After taking the decision, the rest is easy. I connect with her cyberspace, and ask it to tell her that I come in the next train. When I take my old jacket and I touch my pocket, I feel the plastic of the gun. Shall I leave it here? The Village is famous for its security and access controls, so maybe it’s easier to go unarmed. On the other hand, I have a Corps ID, that in theory is giving you permission to enter everywhere, no questions asked. The point is, I want information not as a member of the Corps but as a friend of her, the problem is, that like in the case of my Pioneer friend, I plan to use it on solving the case. Borders are blurry sometimes.
When I’m at the door of my place, following an impulse, I leave it, but I keep my data glasses. I walk down the street direction the closest entrance to the tube, and then I remember it could be nice to appear with a present. Not that I need to, but if I’m not coming in an official mission, maybe I can use the trip to know her better. Yes, in that way. So the question is: what should I buy to a girl that is rich enough to live in the Village? Probably there is no right answer to that, therefore I choose something I like and she may enjoy with me. I go to the closest replicator and I order it to bring me a real bottle of the finest bourbon. The machine hums and beeps for a few minutes while the bottle is automatically fished from somewhere, and brought here by pneumatic tubes. It seems to be OK in price, I will not need to sell my soul to get it. Usually, people don’t stay in front of the replicators for so long, anyway, since they replicate most of the items you ask for. A few minutes later, there is a thud, and in the delivery compartment I see one bottle. It looks quite nice, like all the non-printed items look in general. I take it by the neck and look around. On my back, a runner, probably having a break from making a round circle, looks at me with a casual face. He looks at the bottle, and smiles when our eyes cross each other. I think his smile is telling me “It’s OK, I understand you want to have some fun, but some of us here unfortunately need to work. I could join you if I could”. Like to rubricate my imaginary speech, he nods me, does some stretchings on his legs, and runs out. I put the bottle in the pocket of my jacket and continue walking to the tube. In perspective, an hour trip to the Village. The farthest place one can go in the planet. And the more isolated and protected.