‘You’re letting us go on holiday together? Me and Terry?’
Brandon laughed hard. The others exchanged glances. Mary
wondered if her husband had finally pushed himself over whatever edge it was
he’d been tiptoeing around for the last seventeen years.
‘Not as such,’ said Brandon, drying his eyes. ‘You see,
you’re not having a summer outside of this house, so you two will just have to
think of something to be getting on with. In fact...’
Brandon stood up and walked over to the nearest cupboard. He
tapped the wood twice in quick succession, prompting the room’s screen emitter
to project a floating digital panel in the same location. Within a few swipes
of his fingers Brandon was viewing the Kakadu stores. His debit balance, set
against tax thresholds and spend targets, ran as a meter down one side. The
central panels flashed up with a multitude of product suggestions.
‘I nearly sacked the contractor who suggested this after
seeing the footage of your stunt, but actually he had a point, albeit
He tapped into the search box and a rounded beep signalled
that the room microphone was listening.
‘The Great Connection,’ said Brandon. The product boxes
zoomed out and then back into view now filled with items related to his search
query. He began to flick and filter through them.
‘What better way to spend my unexpected overtime credit than
on a foray into research science?’ he said as he continued to search. ‘Here we
go.’ He nodded over his shoulder back to Raif and Terrence who were now
standing close by, trying to get a peek at the images.
‘The home pack. Two dedicated projected reality base units
with headsets, for use exclusively with The Great Connection research programme.
Normally they’d be more expensive, it says here on the reviews, but because you
can’t even use them to play games or watch SVs, it’s a steal at one hundred
Brandon floated his thumb into the green box below the
rotating image of the unit. Small flashes of red light caught the dust between
the emitter and his thumb as it scanned the veins and matched the blood
signature. It beeped obligingly as it recognised the account holder and made
‘Don’t say I never give you anything,’ said Brandon, smiling
to himself as he walked out of the room, knowing full well that a summer spent
confined to the house and connected to a projected reality machine exploring
barren rocks, was the last thing either his wayward son or his bookish Hilfsvater wanted to do in their last
six weeks together.
About the Book
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