Lunch 2032 =©= 2010 Michael Blade
By admin on Oct 21, 2010 | In Human Survival
On Zane's lunch break he went off campus to the usual spot at Jack?s Joint, arriving early.
Jack?s was an old run down lunch auto-dinner, cafeteria style, with no real sense of decor. The eats were fast food international and the only thing it had going for it was completely automated food preparation with no crowds. Maybe that was not the only reason.
He had his usual selection, the dinner putting a small bowl of Wanton Soup, a slice of Pepperoni Pizza, Key Lime Pie, and water bag onto his tray, as well as sterilized recycled utensils and a sanitized napkin. The tray slid past a register scanner, a soft beep and $52.50 appeared on the display, automatically debiting from his account. Lifting the tray, he went over to the usual booth and scooted in.
It was early and no one had arrived yet. He sipped his hot soup without the spoon and looked out the window at the San Francisco sidewalk traffic. He had to tell Monica and Nicky the latest news, this dramatic soap opera that had now turn his life upside down.
Monica was the first to arrive, her rainbow hair and green makeup clashing with her shinny flex-display set on "dizzy fractal orange" outfit and matching, or not, red static wavy-furry knee high boots.
Monica was a genemod chromamorph.
Being gay himself he was not physically attracted to her, although he noticed her exceptionally large breasts, and shapely curves; as most of the other guys did. He suspected she could activate Human Pheromones that would even affect him. She usually had a hypnotic effect on others. Even some of the girls who liked girls became practically catatonic while in her presence.
She smiled warmly at him and went to get a tray. Monica?s parents were quite homely and had obviously gene enhanced her for sexual attraction. No one could dress that badly and still turn heads with desire. She once told him in confidence her makeup was not really makeup at all, but skin cell pigmentation she could color change at will. One of Monica's gene splices was the Cuttlefish with its especial color-chameleon skin. It was visually obvious Monica was not exactly 100% pure-breed natural grown human.
Although to her credit Zane found her at times to be the most human of all. She had that rare and precious human ability at times to empathize with just about anyone, and that included her boyfriend Nicky and for some reason himself. He loved her even though he was immune to her attractive arsenal, or maybe not. He suspected Nicky knew he did, but then he loved Nicky as well, but Monica would always be his favorite.
As long as he had known her, she looked like she was wearing full-blown makeup. He had noticed she usually changed the color of her eyes and nails to match her outfits. She once told him that if she wanted to she could accelerate her hair growth rate or stop it, varying its color and shade. She wasn?t too clear on how much of her body?s skin she could consciously control, but when he commented on her intricate arm and leg tattoos, she said she had never been to a parlor.
The sad thing for Monica was she was so painfully beautiful no one would ever take her seriously. Her IQ was probably skyrocket norm. It seems the gene engineers had given her both great brains and beauty. She wanted to be a Terraforming Research Scientist, but on Earth she would have to settle for other work. Her parents had lost most of their money in a wild Marsearth start-up investment, so she had to work her way through the university, no one would give a genmod scholarship. It was just plain and simple prejudice.
She slid into the booth seat opposite him. ?Hey Zane, how are you?? She said in her soothing voice, picking up a cube of wobbly blue Jell-O off her tray and with her long rainbow fingernails and placing it on her shinny black lips and tongue, sucking it into her mouth with a loud slurping sound. Before he could answer, Nicky arrived, sliding into the seat space next to Monica.
Nicky was a first generation genemod as well, but with strikingly different results. He was a real honest to god human Martian. He was the first generation designed for survival on the future terraformed surface of Mars. Most notably he was small and extremely thin, nearly anorexic in his outward appearance, but deceptively strong and hearty. His skin had a dry tough quality, like all the moisture had been sucked out, and his skin pigment was pale green, results of an added chlorophyll gene.
He had no hair on his face or head, which included his eyebrows and eye lashes. His nostrils where tiny and his nose the smallest and thinnest Zane had ever seen on any face. He had no lips to speak of and his ears tightly flat against the head without earlobes.
Nicky?s biochemistry was drastically enhanced. Aside from being able to survive extended cold and metabolize high levels of carbon dioxide in the thinnest of air, he possessed an extra pair of lungs. Engineered to survive Mars, he would also do well on the high slopes of Earth?s Mount Everest given protective clothing. Nicky was here on Earth as part of an Earth-Mars Solar Student exchange program, a decision he and his parents already regretted, considering the recent highly charged political problems between Earth and Mars in the virtual news media.
They were all distracted by a scrapping sound on the window. Zane turned away from Nicky to look out the window. He saw a group of Truehuman punks, yelling. ?Gene Freaks! Go back to your tanks,? Tank being slang for Artificial Womb.
Monica immediately gave them the finger. One boy responded by wagging his tongue lewdly and said. ?I?d do you honey.? Monica turned her head away and the punks laughed, moving on down the street, staggering and stumbling along.
There was a long silence as they ate lunch. Zane said. ?They?re probably high on Jester,? Jester a street drug, whose effect was to reduce inhibitions and give the user a euphoric feeling of superiority. The difference from other drugs being it came with an antidote dosage, which made the user sober immediately after taking it. Users of the drug completely forgot everything they did while under its influence. It was highly illegal.
Nicky replied, ?It doesn?t matter. It?s just getting much worse, you know. Honestly, don?t take this the wrong way Zane, but why do you hang around us? You?re a normal, as far as I can tell.?
Leaning forward he spoke softly so he could not be overheard. ?I am not a normal, I just found out I?m a clone!? Zane looked at his friends and smiled a sheepish smile.
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