MINI-READ Fourth Installment
This fourth mini-read installment ran for two weeks from 11/10/19 to 23/10/19 which features the fifth chapter of Participant In Entropia by Andrew Jenery.
Participant In Entropia
Back to basics Day
I had come to realize a few facts of life as an Entropian citizen well before my miraculous regeneration. That anything was either a benefit or a hazard, or a bit of both.
Locating these new teleporter locations for instance was very much a benefit, as it meant I could now get to almost anywhere on Calypso in a fraction of the time, but it had also been a hazard attempting to find them. First, it had taken a great deal of time that could have been spent acquiring more minerals and matters that I really needed, and second, I had yet again become momentarily retired. I had been re-regenerated! However, the real truth was, that retirement was becoming almost a non-event. I have been retired so many times already, that I've lost count.
Whatever, I had had enough of gallivanting around the map for a while - it was time to get serious again and get my ship back in order. Getting 'back to basics' was long overdue. The maintenance fee for my apartment was long overdue, for one thing, in fact I haven't even so much as looked at it since regeneration, and vital equipment and other items badly needed to be repaired. Either that, or they would become fit only for trade terminals or as ornaments for my humble abode. There were also other things on the agenda, but these were the most important.
Palms Corner, the last of the new teleporter locations, was certainly very picturesque and I had made sure to get a few good e-shots that might be useful for digital postcards and other visual material, but I had no intention of exploring this new found land too much at this point; because of the household chores I had to do, and because I didn't know what lurked around here.
A visit to an R&D block was perhaps needed, but not today. I quickly step into the teleporter that I now of course had ID clearance for and select the home of my apartment. A smart, spangled-5 tower block complex, intervened by sculpted grass banks and concrete thoroughfares. Omegaton West Habitat.
I alight near to the teleporter there in the usual fashion moments later, then head up the long rampart to get to the Beta Block. As usual, I didn't encounter anybody on the way; it was that type of area. They would either be indoors or doing things elsewhere, not that I really had time for a conversation right now, as I had things to do myself.
Finally I get to one of the entrances to the tower and then head on in towards the televator. Mine was apartment E on the second floor and so I key-in '2' on the level selector. I appear before the Estate Terminal, right next to my door with a giant 'E' embossed on it, and hit the status button. The usual 'maintenance fee expired' notice is displayed on the readout, and I duly transfer the nominal sum of 10 PEDs from my e-credit card. The door then slides open before me and I rush in and make a quick visual check of all the amour, weapons and other equipment that needed to be repaired, and on the myriad of looted items strewn all over the carpet that was really only trade terminal fodder.
* Televators are the very short-range equivalent of teleporters, only instead of taking you from one town or location to the next, they would take you from one floor to the next. Other than that, they worked in exactly the same way. Televators are now everywhere on Calypso where there are apartment blocks or shopping malls and replaced escalators many years ago before I was even around. *
What is regarded as the most important scientific innovation of our time, compound miniaturisation, meant that citizens no longer had to rely on holdalls and other carrying equipment. Even so, trying to get from A to B with three full sets of armour, various pistols and carbines and other items, wasn't easy, however much reduced in size they were.
I still couldn't use the teleport chip as I had no Mind Essence, and I couldn't use the free teleport implant either, as a certain revive-point was nearer to my apartment than to where I actually needed to get to, Omegaton's Trade Center. Teleport Implants, as opposed to teleport chips, could only take you to a revive point and nowhere else, even if you were not in any danger and so were not always advantageous, even though they virtually cost nothing to use, unlike the latter which could get fairly expensive.
It took me nearly ten minutes to get to the Trade Center, even though it was only a few thousand yards away, a trip that would normally take me a few minutes, but at least I was now there. Quite a few citizen's were there, either talking to auctioneers and technicians, or using manufacturing and tailoring machines that were there, but no one I could recognise. Somehow I inch my way forward to a repair terminal and push the activation button, to which I am presented with the usual virtual depository and also my virtual Personal Inventory.
First I select the weaponry section, and sure enough, there are my various laser pistols and carbines and a few vital power amplifiers re-materialised to near full size in front of me. Dragging them into the depository, I then make the final request and the items are repaired in the next few split virtual seconds.
I follow the same procedure for the armour, and moments later my Personal Inventory is once again laden with fully restored and functioning equipment, well, at least most of it. The repair fee had been considerable, so in the end I couldn't repair the mining gear as well, something that would have to be done another day. But at least I had done some of the essentials and my apartment was now once again accessible. I leave the Trade Center at Omegaton and head back for the teleporter. It was high time that I paid a visit to an old friend of mine.
End of this mini-read installment. Click here for the next chapter or chapters of Participant In Entropia which runs from 29/06/20- 13/07/20.