– I don’t want to fight. I want to avoid further conflicts, and to help the society to forget the bad guys are amongst us. That’s why I joined the Corps. – He taps my shoulder, then he gives me a hug.
– Right. You’re one of the good guys. – He finishes his drink once more. – Let’s have some fun and forget about the future, like in the good old days! – Magically, two shots are in front of us. – A toast for the future!
– For the future! – I swallow it. It’s some kind of tequila. The aftertaste is funny, like fungus, or something. Like when you lick a wall, if you ever want to do such a thing. But it falls into the stomach very well, and I feel its warmthness escalating to my brain. We go to the dance hall, and join the mass of dancers, each one on its own style, connected to their music flows.
After leaving the Shark I am moving in that cloud that I know it means it’s time to slow down. Normally I will say him bye at this point, when I can still come back alone. But I need to give him my speech also. I feel like I didn’t have the words at the moment he spoke about the Earth wars. So I need to go to another place. Again, I think about suggesting to go to the Golden Rabbit. Again, I remember it’s better not to drink and work.
It’s funny that the LowLands are looking like a gigantic mess first time you see it, but if you go with a local, that is, if you forget about the directions and go with the flow, you can enjoy the ride through the dark curved streets, the neon lights, the piled houses, the elevated crossways, the visible transport pipes and all the architectural nonsense that is, actually, at this moment, starting to dance in front of my eyes.
We are there. A big petrified fungus seems to mark the place, like an old religious symbol. A cross. An alien buddha. A piece of art, most probably. Around us, a group of people are drinking on the street, and talking more or less loudly, creating a muzzled white background sound. No cameras are visible. But that’s common here in the LowLands, so nothing weird there. There is a small queue to enter. The name on the door is flickering in yellow, but either I’m no more able to read it or I’m no more able to read. I follow my friend to the queue, while he speaks with some of the drinking people around. Fragments of his conversation reach my ears: “yeah, really?” “definitely come!” and things like that. He keeps an eye on me, but he doesn’t speak with me, and also he doesn’t introduce me to anybody.
And then we’re in.