City Limits

I was on a confused city limit highway in a rusty old red truck I borrowed from a dusty farmer driving in circles looking for my father. The thick metal body of the vehicle rattled as I shifted gears over the cheap asphalt, but all the parts were well built and she drove stiff and strong. The truck had gotten me through the barriers and obstacles that were in my way, but as I pulled around another off ramp to an underpass rest area, I was disheartened. There were no signs on how to get back the other way where my mom was waiting at the college to help me look for dad. Part of me didn’t want to go back, the roads there lead to dead ends into rivers and were more confusing footpaths. The only difference was that the roads there had art and spectacles around it where the highway I was on was utilitarian, streamlined and uncaring.

The off ramp lead me down to a strange parking lot. Several other cars were down there. Jeeps and BMWs and a Mercedes, modern and plastic and brittle. My old truck backfired and echoed with heavy gears around the underpass giving me looks from the middle aged layabouts and a couple energetic naive youth. I shifted down, pushing the handle so worn only the silver aluminum on the handle shown. I rolled my window down to ask one of them if there was a way to get back to the highway in the opposite direction, each I asked were friendly, they told me to follow the parking lot to the other ramp. I knew they were wrong, but I trusted them anyway. I knew deep down that I’d be going the same way I’ve been going.

I didn’t know if I was looking for dad anymore, or what I was looking for. I pushed the sluggish truck on , getting new power from each gear as the highway flew by around me. The cars of a generation speeding past me to whichever city we were on the limit of. The cars were driving themselves.

I thought maybe I could turn around if I got to the city and throttled up to overdrive. 

[BTS2] Love From Business

When I first met her, she was competitive, unflinching, dealing out hard truths. Such is the proper role of a prudent and influential investor.

We were adults, but I felt like a child when I saw the big building. Feko games was like a dream factory. Ever since I could wear a headset and dive into their fantasy worlds I was hooked. I didn’t need to play the game right, I just needed an open world full of places and people and monsters and magic. My character, just a small boy with a few tools in his backpack to face the trials of the world.

The three of us started a small game company with the idea that we could make something great, build something, and so we made a game and I was the creative guy where my two compatriots were the technical and visual sides of things. Time and money went into making the game. Little did we know that creating was the easy part, the hard part was seeing if people would buy it.

Trying and succeeding only in woeful sales, we decided we would bring ourselves to one of the big companies, Feko games. The massive building looked like glass waves frozen in time on a hill greener than the windows background. It’s glass and steel construction rose in three towers that seemed to undulate in the sunlight with curved modern design in the stout structures.

We stepped inside and it was like stepping into one of their games, the world changed. The main atrium of the visitors center was full of neon and in its dark suggestive use of space, screens and VR stations were everywhere with people plugged in and playing games. On the landings and balconies were stores and food vendors, it was a revival of the old way spaces were used, with a cyberpunk and yet utterly modern bend to it all. From retro to state of the art, they had everything in this mall/arcade. 

As the three of us entered, we had no words, we were awestruck.

An aide soon greeted us and lead us up to a glass elevator that looked over the expansive atmosphere. There were even people hanging from the ceiling in full immersion harnesses that glowed in purple and blue.

We were brought to a large table in an alcove that overlooked the atrium. We were handed refreshments and were told to wait for one of their investment representatives. The low thrumming of my heart pounded the giddy fear and excitement through my veins. How were they actually giving us amateurs a chance? Were we woefully out of our depth, or could we rise to this occasion?

I had had maybe two sips of tea, my compatriots to either side jabbered away about their excitement and I found myself at an uneasy loss for words. I felt like I should have something to say, that I ought to be the business version of myself who always knew what the prudent thing to say was, who knew how to keep a level head, but I was too damn excited and nervous that this giddy childless would be my downfall.

Soon a small woman in a very businesswomanly suit entered our alcove from the double doors at the far end. She held a slim tablet under her arm and her shimmering black hair motionlessly reflected the neons of the massive space beyond the railing.

“Hi how are you all.” She said, reaching across the table and shaking each of our hands.

When she shook mine, her gaze cut me down, It was as though I were an ant to her.