Johnny awoke with a hangover and rubbed his fragile forehead as he turned over to his side. His fingers hit a bump that must have formed during the night, and it emitted a sharp sting to his touch.
“Aw shit.” He said, the pain giving him enough sudden motivation to make his way to the bathroom across the one room unit he lived in. Hitting the switch, he examined the source of the pain in the mirror over the sink. His normal goatee had newly formed stubble surrounding it, the blue in his eyes contrasted the deep red surrounding his iris, and beneath his Mohawk, the pain seemed to come from a small white dot surrounded by a slight red discoloration.
As in all instances of any strange bump, Johnny poked at it and assumed it was a pimple or a spider bite. he raised his eyebrows and found that the little basted was on the crease in his forehead as well. The small tender swell was taught and stung like it was too deep to pop which would have been his next action per protocol, but since he could do nothing now, the word “Whatever” flowed through his addled mind.
His mouth felt like an ashtray caked with dry sugar and so he washed it out with water and for the first time in a while he ran a brush across his teeth and scrubbed away the film of yellow on his tongue. Thats when he saw the time. Luckily he had slept in his work uniform.
Swearing and throwing water on his face, he darted from the bathroom. The true form of his hangover had yet to set in and he operated in a haze on the complete auto pilot of necessity putting on his socks and shoes, slicking his Mohawk to one side and locking the door behind him
The walls were lined with doors marked by sequential numbers which were exact duplicates of his room. the white tiled walls matched the white tiled floors and ceilings. Every few units was a blue light over an emergency phone. The lights passed quickly as Johnny hurried along, his hard rubber boots cloping against the smooth polished floor. His boney knees turning like gears in a dying remote car, pulling his unwilling body garbed in black shorts and polo along the corridor. He came to the transporter already five minutes late. He stepped onto the wide circular pad and in a voip of blue light and energy, Johnny was whisked away.
He arrived at the hub almost instantaneously. His hangover felt like a very real barrier among the lights and sounds. The walking, talking, thinking public made their way to and fro within the giant domed room lined with similar circular disks marked overhead by simple stenciled black numbers surrounded by a square of yellow. He was aware of the extreme tunnel vision he had to put himself in to find the proper numbered transporter. All of his effort was channeled into moving his body in the minimum fashion of correctness for such a public place.
The only thing running through Johnny’s mind was “ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhLOOKhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhFORWARDhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh27hhhhhhhhhhhGOhhhhhhhh….”
He stepped through the huge echoy room with the directness of an arrow in flight towards transporter 27, the colors and shapes of other people moving around him in whatever plane of reality they occupied. He was now already 7 minutes late by the time he stepped onto the platform with four or five others.
With a similar Voip, Johnny arrived on a separate transporter which was within a small room with big glass windows overlooking the docking bay where he worked. Beyond the grey bulkheads and infrastructure was the vastness of space, Stars dotted in every direction. Johnny could not notice any of it right now.
“Dude, really? You’re eight minutes late.” came a voice from one of the chairs at the records desk in the far corner.
The invention of the transporter had reduced commute times so much, that despite how relieved everyone was that they would have more time to themselves because of the marvelous advancement, there was no longer an excuse to account for lateness. There was no traffic to be caught in, no accidents, and no problems with individual mechanics. being eight minutes late was like being half an hour late today.
To be continued