PARK THE CAR AND THEN GO PUT ON THE VR GOGGLES ON THE FOLDING TABLE.
“Um, this is my mom’s car btw. Nothing will happen to it, right?” I didn’t want them to like send it to a chop shop or smash it into a cube in a junkyard or something.
YEAH MAN, DON’T WORRY SO MUCH. IT’S JUST TIL THE HEAT DIES DOWN A LITTLE. NOW GO CONNECT TO THAT VR TERMINAL SO WE CAN TRY TO FIX OUR CONNECTION.
I parked the car, got out, and went over to the folding table. The VR goggles were a better model than the one I had at home, so that was pretty sweet. They seemed to be wireless, but I didn’t see any computer anywhere. I put them on anyway, and they came to life as soon as I did.
There was a flat blue background and then some text popped up:
DIAGNOSTIC MODE: PLEASE WAIT
Then a progress bar appeared, but it was like super duper slow and stuff. I started getting really impatient, but then the voice of the Guide came back in the headphones.
SORRY FOR THE WAIT, MY DUDE. IT’S GONNA BE A FEW MINUTES, UNFORTUNATELY. THINGS GOT KINDA EFFED WHEN THAT DEVICE WAS ARMED.
“No worries,” I said. “Got any games on this thing, at least?”
ACTUALLY, WHILE WE’RE WAITING, WE THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA TO CONTINUE YOUR TOUR.
OF THE CITY. THE CONSPIRATOPIA PROJECT. YOU UP FOR IT, OR DO YOU NEED TO LAY DOWN LIKE A WUSS OR SOMETHING AFTER ALL THIS EXCITEMENT?
“Haha. Nah, I’m cool, bro. You know me. But you got anything to drink here though? I’m actually thirsty as hell.”
YEAH, THERE’S SOME PURPLE POWERADE IN A MINI-FRIDGE. DON’T TAKE THE HEADSET OFF THOUGH. WE’LL SHOW YOU ON SCREEN HOW TO WALK THERE.
Some arrows appeared on the floor in VR, and I followed them to a corner of the warehouse I hadn’t seen earlier behind a wall. It was like an office or storage room or something idk. But I saw the mini-fridge on VR, and opened up the fridge IRL, which was a little weird but totally cool. I took out the purple Powerade, opened it and slurped it down.
“Wait, this doesn’t have like nanites and stuff does it?”
UH, YEAH, ACTUALLY. ELECTROLYTES AND NANITES.
“Dammit, I said no more tricks.” The Powerade was especially good though, but I didn’t let on.
IT’S NOT A TRICK, BRO. WHAT WERE YOU EXPECTING ANYWAY? ALL OUR DRINKS HAVE NANITES. IT’S HOW WE ROLL. PLUS WE GOTTA LIKE REPAIR YOUR CONNECTION, SO IT CAN’T HURT ANYWAYS.
OKAY, LET’S GO THEN.
Just like that, we were back in the City. I was in the telepresence robot I used before or another one just like it.
“Wait, I don’t have a controller.”
YOU DON’T NEED IT WITH THIS HEADSET. IT’S A MORE ADVANCED MODEL. JUST LEAN FORWARD A LITTLE TO ROLL, BACK TO STOP, OR TO THE SIDE TO TURN.
I tried it out, and it was sweet as hell. “This is sweet as hell,” I said. It really was sweet as hell.
IKR? OK SO WE THOUGH IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO SHOW YOU WHAT TRIALS ARE LIKE HERE, SINCE YOU’LL HAVE ONE YOURSELF LATER. THIS WAY YOU’RE NOT SURPRISED.
“What does that mean? Why would I be surprised?”
Some arrows on the ground indicated where I should go, so I followed them while we talked.
THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN CONSPIRATOPIA IS NOT LIKE THAT IN YOUR WORLD, WHICH IS VERY CROOKED AND UNFAIR.
“You’re telling me. I got this parking ticket last summer that was like $400. It was total bullshit! I didn’t even see the no parking sign, and how was I supposed to know you can’t park near a fire hydrant?”
RIGHT? TOTALLY UNFAIR AS HELL. OKAY, HERE WE ARE.
We rolled up to another totally ordinary looking office building. The place was filled with them and stuff. But inside this one was different. It was a big open area, with a bunch of levels arranged in a half circle on one side. We watched while a bunch of other telepresence robots rolled in from a corridor, and went up the ramp on the side that lead to the different levels. I guessed there was at least like a hundred of them and stuff.
“What’s going on?”
THE JURY IS ASSEMBLING. THE TRIAL IS ABOUT TO BEGIN AND STUFF.
Then there was a voice over a loudspeaker or something that said, “WILL THE ACCUSED PLEASE STEP FORWARD?”
“I SAID, WILL THE ACCUSED PLEASE STEP FORWARD AND STUFF?”
Some arrows lit up on the ground in front of me.
“Wait, what the hell? I thought you said my trial wasn’t til later.”
WE DECIDED TO MOVE THINGS UP A BIT, SINCE YOU’RE DOING SO AWESOME. HOPE YOU DON’T MIND!