He thought the all-white colour scheme to be somewhat harsh on the eyes. But this was a beach bar and that’s what they did with these places, “they” being the cabal of designers and nanotects that made all the decisions on the matter. “EXPANSYS DESIGN” his implant belched out, the jagged line logo of the firm flashing on his RT without warning, visibly startling him. He wondered if anyone noticed.Probably not; it was early and the tables at the front were empty. This had been happening for about a month now, getting information blasts just by thinking about stuff. “Known bugs” was all it got from customer support although they did assure him that these would be solved with the upgrade.He made a comical head shake and moved to the bar.
Why did he go out tonight? A stupid question to ask since he knew there was no answer to it. He figured that it was best to think of it as something of a symptom or – to lessen the negative vibe that line of thought had – as something automatic, involuntary, like blood pumped around the body. Only difference was, it didn’t help much in maintaining his health, mental or otherwise. Damn. That negative vibe was here to stay.
He wasn’t in a hurry to order a drink so he just sat there, palm under chin, idly watching the people sitting at the tables, their faces and bodies dissolving into shadows and vague shapes as they spread away from him. The barman was busy making a drink although there didn’t seem to by any other member of staff around. Odd. No pretty girl at the door either. Aren’t posh places supposed to have something like that? Dicks 1 – Pussies 0 he thought as his implant was tagging the place with a yellow flag. That part of it worked, at least.
He let his eyes wander around the architecture of the place which despite the whole white colour thing was quite impressive resembling a gothic church complete with pointed arches and spiral columns. Along the sides of the walls hung a series of heads, or rather something that looked like a head if the one wearing it had no need for a mouth, ears or nose; the only feature coming out of the oval was a horizontal line, tapered at each end. It was then that one of these lines lit up, in a blue tinge. He managed to utter a low “What…?” before the oval started coming out of the plaster, which it soon became clear that it was anything but as it rippled and flowed around it and then around the body that came with it, smooth and featureless apart from the bar’s logo etched in black on what could pass for the thing’s chest. Now completely out of the wall, the creature headed onto a table on the front row, the people sitting there visibly shocked by the spectacle; shocked was something of an understatement ; he could see a young girl holding the hand of the boy next to her, trying to shake the goosebumps off her.
“Pretty cool huh?”
The voice of the barman half-startled him. He turned to face him, annoyed that he didn’t manage to hide his own surprise at what just happened
“Service Automatons. People think they’re part of the decor and then they see them coming out of the wall and shit their pants!”
He let out a chuckle.
“We use them as waiters. Orders coming through implants or voice for those offline. They come here, take the drinks, place them on the table and go back inside the wall.”
This time he gave a grin.
“Nanoplaster. Programmable down to the molecule. Just came out, from some German nanotech lab. Costs a fortune too. Way I see it mate, it will take at least a decade for it to become affordable for common people. Sure is impressive though don’t you think?”
“Yeah, yeah, it is, it is”. He thought that by repeating it the barman would leave him alone. He hated smalltalk with barmen; He hated himself for coming here too, figuring out that drinks in places with German nanoplaster and droids moving about weren’t cheap. Not really. Not at all in fact.