Age twentysix, Metropolis
Quin, wake up.
I was curled up lying sideways in bed, with the duvet pulled into a nice cabbage around me. There is only one way to sleep, dear, and this is it.
Now leave me alone.
Quin, wake up.
My eyes were so puffy I could barely open them. You know how it feels when it is warm under the covers and everything else behind a slightly colder haze. You don't even want to move. At all. Maybe except your feet. I can stay for hours lying in bed, just slowly moving my feet and my toes. It's a gift.
So I did not even bother to open my eyes, wanting just five more minutes, five more.
Quin, wake up.
"Oh please, make it stop."
Yup, because waking up can be ignored only so much.
I turned and stretched, yawning lazily. Nice bed. I opened my eyes and looked straight at... the ceiling, wondering where I had woken up, the baritone voice being about the only thing I recognised around me. I looked for clues, as usual.
After a second yawn I noticed the sounds, there was rain mixed with this incessant hum that could be air conditioning in the room, plus something vaguely industrial far away.
I rubbed my eyes. Ceiling, yes, as unrecognisable as the sounds, with a metallic yet unpolished look with a hint of rust. I spy... a Republic-style building?
Sounds of water. Not rain, coming from behind a door, so maybe a shower. Someone showering? Had I spent the night with...? Yah -you go ahead and laugh- I could NOT remember who I had spent the night with, or even if.
It had better been amazing.
Propped on an elbow, I looked for stuff. The clothes lying around were mine, as was the suitcase, so it was probably my place. Hotel room? No trace of whathisname's stuff, not even a shirt.
Ah, the shower. You know how it sounds different, like movement, when someone is in the shower but it sounds flat when no one is? The rain also sounds alive by the way but this one was flat, so the shower was likely empty. Either that, or there was a body in the shower, ha, ha. Ew.
Alone, bummer, and that was my wake-up shower.
Earrings, my last clue. I reached for my left earlobe and counted: one, two, three. Clone number three, in other words, Business Clone. Money Me.
Republic hotel, by myself and wearing my business clone? I remembered, barely. I was in Teonusude for a marketing pitch, having clone-jumped and flown in on the previous evening for dinner and a whole night of sleep.
I am very good at sleeping, by the way. Not so good at waking up.
And I needed to be in top shape because, racer history would not matter. I had to show off my keen sense of market, the fact that I can buy my own expensive stuff and justify that yes, hiring the real deal would cost them dearly. They would not care how many Nomads I had plugged in some other clone, if my mind and my +5's right here were dozing off and wandering somewhere else.
Anyway, it was time to get ready.
"Mirror, mirror," I asked out loud, "Is there time for a bath today? And will you please find me an actual mirror?"
The baritone replied "Quin, you have a meeting scheduled in three hours. This room is not equipped with a holo mirror, although you may use the reflective membrane on the wall as per local custom."
Reflective membrane... a flat mirror?! How precious! Ever tried one yourself? I know it takes getting used to and you end up twirling and twisting your neck so you can not really look at yourself -which was the whole point of this mirror concept to begin with. But it is such a quaint thing, and the feeling that you have to use this ancient object in the same way they used to, in the old days. Like an Amarrian Holder Princess of yore, ha!
As I stood up I found what looked like a window into another room and saw... myself, looking back. A flat mirror, how cool! It had been years since I had used one but, you know how it is, once you learn how you never forget. Only last time it had been mounted on a proper golden frame.
Bath! Right. "Please cancel the shower and prepare the bath."
"Quin," the AI voice said, "the shower is currently in use."
I turned around, surprised, and walked back towards the closed door, listening carefully for any extra hint. Clone jumping always messes my mind up, but maybe there was enough time to remember what I was up to last night.
"In that case," I grinned, reaching the door, "please order breakfast for two."
You get used to it, and even come up with ways of coping. Ways of making it appear interesting or even funny, the fact that sometimes you may even not have a place regular enough to call home.
So you smile, you laugh. At every chance, every little thing you observe. The way people walk, or that silly monocle, or how the sun feels different or moves the wrong way. Because it is new, true or not, it should be exciting, and finding excitement in the little things, that makes all the big changes worth it.
And it keeps you going.
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