Chapter 1:

Morning Routine.

Corporate Climbing

I opened my eyes. It’s very hot and I’m sweating all over my PJs. The screen in front of me blinks 03:10 to my face. It changes to white and red. I set my alarm this way: a blinking screen, beeping sounds, capsule bed that's getting hotter by the minute. I wait a few more seconds before the heat gets unbearable, I press the button to stop the burning process.

There was one time that I missed the alarm, it gave me burns, and I have to move with them until 11:00 when the infirmary opens.

I have an hour before work.

I whisper, “I am …” deep breath “… so happy and grateful now that I get to sleep in a capsule bed,”

“ I am so happy and grateful now that I get two meal supplements a day, and an actual meal once a week.”

“I am so happy and grateful now that I can — “

BANG. Someone fell outside, in the corridor.

“ — earn twenty credits an hour.”

“I am so happy and grateful now that I can visit Robin today.”

“I am so happy and grateful now that I am Brooke’s father.”

I close my eyes and slide my fingers on the little ceiling of my capsule bed, I keep sliding it until It’s way past my head and I reachout more to stretch tapping my fingers on the plastic. A little drum roll. I go limp again.

“Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.”

I’m ready. I’m ready. I’m ready. I’m.


I shimmy up until I can hold on the railing and slide myself out of my cubby and put my foot on the ladder to the left. I put the rest of my hands and foot, and I started going down. I’m in a row of cubbies third from the ground. I look down to check if the coast is clear. The path is clear and I start descending the ladder.

Close enough to the ground, I jumped the ladder and looked to the left where the loud bang came from and saw a body lying down a few meters from me. I approached them.

Looking closer, I recognized the person. It was Bats. It looked like he was trying to climb up to his capsule bed. He either missed his last energy pills or he took some happies cause he was off today, good thing he’s still breathing though.I tapped on my watch and set up a droid to pick him up and put him to bed, white I was at it, I used the watch to self-clean my capsule bed. I continue walking out the corridor and into the showers.

When I got in the showers there's already a few people there, five as usual. I took the top half of my PJs off and threw them to the laundry chute, and took the bottom half off into one of the toilet stalls. While sitting on the stone cylinder, I turned on my earphones by smacking the side of my head with my palm, today’s the right side. It turned on and switched to COINTELCORP NEWS.

Today's cast is about 15 minutes long. This means it’s just some regular news day.

It starts off with today's date and how many years COINTELCORP has been in business, then it thanks me.

“Thank you,” I picked a deep male presenting voice this time, “White Theo Fitz, for seven years of honest service.” I heard from the others that if you hear “honest”, that means you’re one of the good guys, that the trouble you make is small enough to be ignored.

“Here is today’s update with COINTELCORP.”

The profits are up, and there are no new hires. My wage is always higher than the declared average wage, what a surprise. Then there's the food menu in the cafeteria. The weather forecast, which is only important if you’re one of the few people who get to go outside, or if you have a window in your work. The birthdays and work birthdays, when they joined the company. The announcer mentioned Bat’s name celebrating his 40th birthday and 39th work birthday. Bats probably took some happies then.

I shucked out the rest of my PJs and finished my toilet routine. I threw the rest of my PJs down the laundry chute and walked to the nearest shower stall. I washed myself under the water, it was a bit cold at fiRst, but it adjusted to how warm I liked it based on my employee ID. I use my hands to rub my second skin suit so I could activate the soap in the water. The second skin suit makes sure you're protected from dirt, but it also makes sure you’re clean under the suit by activating the soap and sanitizer in the water. I opened my mouth to catch the water to gargle with to clean my mouth, and swallowed it for some vitamins.

I let the water run down on me for a little longer. I sigh. It’s one of those little things.

I stepped off the shower and walked to the other end of the room to pick up my clothes for the day I looked at the clothes rack. There’s about several navy blue cubes hanging on it, the color of the maintenance workers, and one forest green one for the office workers. Office workers this early? Must be a big project.

I took one of the navy blues with my name on it and placed it on one of the benches by the tube dryer. Perfectly dry, I sat on the bench and tore the plastic cover, so I could start getting dressed.

I went to the mirror and patted my uniform down. As usual, the headband and hair tie were in my right chest pocket. I tidied my heart up and I’m good to start the day.

Today is gonna be good. I smile.

I stepped out of the showers and went through the corridors to the cafeteria. The menu mentioned in the news is up on the menu screens. I took a tray and it turned on with my name and numbers on the corner. There wasn't any line through the food so I took my time looking through the display.

I pointed to some imitation meat, “two of those please”. Two small droids from behind the counter went up and picked one slab each of the meat and dropped it in my tray.

“Two of those carrots, and one of the corn.” The droids took off and took two sticks of carrots and one cup of corn.

“And one of those mint candies please.”

I placed my tray on the metal plate at the end of the counter. The machine whispered into my right ear: “21 credits please”

“Take of the mint please,” and a droid took out my dessert.

“19 credits.” The computer said.

“Thanks. I’ll take it.” I took my tray and went to an empty table.

I sat down and took some bites and fished my tablet in my right pants pocket.

I looked through my task list while I’m eating breakfast. The whole thing doesn’t need chewing, it just melts in your mouth.

Not much going on today, just the routine cleaning and som bulk removal orders, Lucky enough, I just need to stand there and let the droids do the work, putting out special instructions if they need it.

And an appointment in the admin section. Odd. Maybe it’s a raise?

Taylor Victoria