Meet Justice as he looks for love in the most unconventional way.
I swear on everything, how many times do I need to put my information in, just to confirm I want to do this trip? I’ve only saved the last 3 and a half years. I’ve dreamed of this for years since the first time I watched the infomercial that highlighted the perks and destinations that this incredible voyage would venture and offer. I was ready for this journey right now. But confirming my info and payment with my retina, I’d still have 18 months to pack.
Soon as the payment was confirmed my inbox chimed and I pursued the confirmation number that was promised to me. I clicked the new message titled Moonlight Mariner. I spun my chair to gaze upon the hologram that was centered in the room. The excitement was overflowing as I watched the translucent picture come to life before my eyes.
“Hello Justice Cooper, I am Cynthia. I will be your personal host as we prepare to embark on your amazing journey aboard the Moonlight Mariner. I’d like to first thank you for choosing Moonlight. We specialize in making your travel dreams a reality. Based on our questionnaire, in which you filled out as well as a quick scan of your interest in your histories as well as your frequent spending habits. I have been able to comprise a catalogue of several excursions I’m sure you will love.”
“Wow.” I was completely elated.
“Wow, indeed Mr. Cooper. Or do you prefer Justice?
“Oh, ummm… well Justice is fine I suppose.” I was astounded, I mean I had heard about interactive holograms, but never had I encountered one. I was in utter awe to say the least. “Your name is Crystal correct?”
“No sir, my name is Cynthia.”
“Apologies, I am not good with names.”
“No worries Justice I’m sure we will become acquainted over the next several months.”
I wasn’t sure exactly what she meant but I was excited nonetheless. The excitement was almost overwhelming. I mean I knew what I had signed up for but I couldn’t imagine I’d have my own personal hologram delivered right here in my very own living quarters. Desmond wouldn’t believe me if I told him. Hell, he’d probably shun me. He thought I was completely crazy for even wanting to take the voyage. But guess who gave zero fucks about what Desmond thought of my desire to take the trip. That’s right, Me. I wasn’t going to share my experience with him, the last thing I needed was a Debbie Downer trying to rain on my parade.
Cynthia downloaded a countdown/preparedness calendar into my pod, that posted on the wall just outside the kitchen. Our interaction left a gigantic smile on my face, a bit of uncertainty in my stomach, and a million questions I was sure I could or was even ready to ask. Being a realist with optimistic ways and expert dreamer; I just let the blocks land as they may. I gave thing much thought but internally.
That night I kept having thoughts of this Cynthia. Was she a real person? How did she get that job if she was? Would I actually get to meet her in person? I wonder if she will be onboard the journey? The thoughts gradually became more unfiltered and unhinged. After pondering for what felt like hours, I decided to turn in before I questioned myself into an aneurism.
Upon entry of my sleep chamber I was presented with dream options.
• Desmond bullying in childhood
• Mom’s funeral
• Revenge on Desmond
• The Moonlight Mariner
I wanted to choose the Moonlight but curiosity was said to kill the most curious of cats and Cynthia had more than piqued that within me. I donned my breathing mask and was out before my eyelids could shut good. My mind was a very vivid place so it only heightened with my chamber’s direction. On the contrary Desmond still slept the traditional way. He wasn’t a dreamer like I. He and I shared DNA but that was about as much as we had in common. But he was my brother and though we rarely saw eye to eye, he was all I had and I loved him for it.
I stood at the foyer of my pod complex. I had just exited my Uber Xtreme and as it whisked away my gaze summoned at the sound of my name. There she stood. A shimmering caramel tone, dark locks that fell just below her shoulders. Her eyes shined like the fullest moon on the dimmest night. She was dressed in active wear as though she had just returned from the gym of sorts. Everything in my immediate vicinity became still, virtually lifeless. I could feel my cheeks give way to a fleeting smile of adoration. As she drew nearer I extended my hand but was knocked for six as she leapt into my arms.
“Justice, I’ve missed you so.” She said as she nestled into my neck. The familiarity she exuded was one I couldn’t put my finger upon, she continued. “I knew you were going to be gone but those extra two days really did a number on me. Were you able to get everything you needed done?”
“Yes, I was. Desmond need my help with the farm. It as well gave me much needed time with my niece and nephews.” I’d go back home about three times a year. I had been in Upper Miami for almost a decade now. I left there not much longer after I had graduated. Desmond was a traditionalist like I mentioned. He took after Pops in that regard. Mom was the one who had dared me to dream and be great. He despised the wave of new. But I often joked about his beach farm in Orlando. Global warming had the real Miami disappear well over two centuries ago. There were modern day Atlantis like cities that littered the globe these days. If you should ever have the time you should visit, they are amazing. Upper Miami was created along with many other Upper’s to combat the inevitable rising tides of the world’s oceans. It was located 6 miles above the earth’s crust. It was quite a genius idea at the time it was created. It provided relief to humanities most imminent threats outside of the Ice Age. Most times I used the Upper Community Transit, or UTC to get back and forth to the farm. Well UTC to the crust, then four hours on a vessel then another hour by electric motor vehicle. In total the trip was about 8 and half hours.
“I’m sure they’ve missed you.”
“As I have missed them. They are growing so fast these days.” I was ready to have kids of my own but my dating life had been a recurring epic fail. Desmond often tried to make my dating life a topic of discussion. He never was open enough to explore how I had and frankly, I had no desire to try and enlighten him. “What did you miss of me?” I probed Cynthia, more for myself and information as to our interaction rather than truly wanting to know. It was as if I was trying to piece together an unsolved mystery at this point.
“Well Mr. Cooper, I missed seeing your smile, and greeting you good morning in only a way that I knew how.” She raised an eyebrow and gave me a sassy smirk. “I missed asking how your day was and inviting you over for dinner.” I was beginning to get a picture of what this was. “You know, you are my favorite human right?”
I was thrown a bit. I was almost certain Cynthia was the real thing. Yet she was a droid. I guess it only made sense as she was too perfect. From her glamourous looks that allured me, to the way she knew my comforts. Never had a soul come close to that nor shown this much interest in me. “Well Cynthia, you are my favorite too.” I kissed her on the check and my dream concluded.
I woke up refreshed as I always did but I was filled with many questions that pleaded for answers. I knew I’d be plagued for hours on end. The most pressing of those questions was whether she was, well like me or was she droid. As I worked that day I couldn’t help but wonder who was who at Horizons Water facility. In an effort to smooth integration, the company had within the last year hired 150 new employees, but hadn’t stated if the new employees were droid or humanoid. I kept my distance though, as I’d recently been disappointed to say the least by a droid.
At Horizon I worked in the lab. It was here where I would test the Ph and salinity content of water extracted from the clouds below. I only associated with a handful of people who were tenured at this point. Phil and I had grown close as we had gone through orientation together, and here it was, five years in and counting. He worked on the other side of the plant where he did purification of the samples extracted. Resources have become an even hotter commodity and new ways to produce more with less have been the latest trend. Being somewhat on the cutting edge suited me well. I was always conscious of my footprint, even as a youngin’ I was keen on recycling. Even more so, how could I help with the issues that the plagued the world.
Albeit all my pushing Cynthia to the back burner did nothing as she consumed every vacant moment that my mind had. My commute was consumed of her prancing through the innards of my mind. The Uber ride home was contrived as my chamber had an uncanny ability to tie my dreams into my reality. That being said, part of me was anxious having that blurred lines of recalling her presence upon my arrival. I couldn’t help but pause; almost as if I was waiting to hear my name called in the lovely tone in which she could hum.