A phone call from “secretary” Puddles to arrange a meeting with Doctor Mill. Another phone call to make reservations at Middle of the World, an expensive restaurant located on the 160th floor of the Frost Spire downtown. Then two days of waiting. Puddles and Chuck continued to follow Red Hand gangers around the city, unsuccessfully. Whiskers spent the time listening to their tales, researching Doctor Mill, and concocting their plan.
Ten minutes before their meeting they pulled into valet parking, wearing a dark business suit Whiskers exited their car swiping his issta-stick over the kiosk. Puddles wearing a matching suit and smart glasses exited from the passenger side and joined Whiskers waiting at the door. Chuck exited last, wearing a light gray suit and carrying a large case of samples.
“Ready?” Whiskers asked.
“We’ll be the best CAH augment sales people we can be,” Puddles replied sarcastically.
“Can’t we just stun him?” Chuck asked for the hundredth time.
Rolling his eyes, Whiskers turned and headed to the restaurant. The doors opened automatically as they approached. Inside, a gilded serv-O droid, greeted them, “Welcome to Middle of the World. How can I assist you?”
“We have reservations for four,” Whiskers answered, “Under CAH.”
“One second,” the droid made a pantomime of searching through a ledger even though all reservations were kept in it’s memory. “Ah,” pointing at a page, “here you are. Reservations for four. One moment,” the serv-O droid snapped its fingers summoning another serv-O droid. “If you will follow Charles, he will direct you to your table. Apparently, one of your party arrived early. Enjoy you meal.”
Charles, slightly less gilded, with a monogrammed towel over one of his thin arms, bowed, “If you will follow me. Today’s specials are…”
Chuck nudged Puddles, “We are way out of our element.”
All around them businesspeople carrying on as if this was a daily event for them, signs of extreme wealth everywhere, from the mem-ware clothing flashing customized corporate logos, personalized designs to the holo-displays from watches and tablets displaying just about anything that any of them could think about. Everywhere they looked a clear view of Middle Stroud unobstructed by the “Cloud” or lanes of traffic, nothing but clean buildings and advertisements.
“I think I saw the latest Kira Designs Smart Watch over there,” Chuck whispered excitedly to Puddles his tail slashing through the air with nerves and excitement.
“Try to act like you have been here,” Puddles replied as cool as she could, her tail twitching.
“…pairing that with our in house red wine,” Charles finished as they approached a table near the rear of the restaurant. “Your table. I see one of your guests, Doctor Mill, is already here. Allow me to pull out your chairs. May I get you any drinks?”
Seated at the table, his back to the restaurant, Doctor Mill sipped from a glass of red wine, while reading the menu. At their arrival, he stood up and extended his hand out between all three of them. Whiskers, grabbed his hand with a paw and shook, “Doctor Mill, a pleasure to meet you.”