We finally arrive at my assigned quarters. In addition to the 30 minute walk to a doorway off the main communal space, we took an additional 15 minutes until this cabin was reached.
“This isn’t the fastest way to get around. There are automated pathways that should cut travel time down to about a fourth of what it took us to get here right now. There is a station map on your terminal or any of the public ones disbursed throughout the entire station. On a related note, if you want a meal quickly, you can have it delivered through the cabin delivery system and that’s even faster. Just order whatever you like from your terminal.”
She points to a recessed black reflective panel that is located near standing eye level for most individuals.
“The door is programmed to your biosignature, so only you can open it. Place your hand on the panel to unlock the door. It’s that simple. Give it a try.”
I do as she says and the panel lights up with text: “Access Granted! Sky, welcome to your new cabin.”
The entire door slides open to the left in a quick whoosh. I immediately notice this room is considerably larger than I expected it to be. It isn’t just one room, but more like one large room sectioned off into three comfortably sized spaces. The center area we are in now has a simple round dining table and three chairs as well as what appears to be a large sliding door. The area to my right is a living space with a desk holding a terminal, a couch with a small short table in front of it, and a large screen attached to the wall adjacent to the couch. The area to my left is where the bed and what looks like a closet is located.
“Here is your cabin, you have about a third more room than a standard issue one. Your bathroom is directly in front of us and, of course, the terminal is on the right. That’s pretty much all you need to know, am I right?”
I give her a wide eyed glance and bend my right index finger back and forth a bit on my substantial jaw bone. She returns a similar facial expression, but with a tilt of the head and everything amplified two fold. We both quickly look away and form duplicate smiles for a split second.
I walk over to the bathroom door while making a big double armed stretch. She start explaining the general layout of the station and how best to access each area, following my movement by shifting her stance back and forth.
I say in passing out loud, “It’s been a long trip and I only managed a few decent hours of sleep on the tether”, while pressing the bathroom door access button. I see a wall sized mirror directly in front of me. I decide quickly that now is a good time to test the waters. Sorry Leena, I was well trained and you just can’t pick up on it yet. I see my personal luggage already arrived and was placed on the bed along with a stack of orange jumpsuits. I go over to my personal bag and pull out some boxers and a t-shirt I can use after taking a shower. Leena continues on with various subjects like restricted areas and eventually gets to the subject of my schedule.
“I’d like to take a shower before exploring the station a bit.”
She makes a quick nod and continues on talking. I face the mirror and pull my shirt and undershirt off in one hasty action. Making certain to glance at Leena’s face and give her a half grin through the mirror’s reflection as I do that. My physique is well toned to be above average, not to mention my highly rated overall looks. This is from many hours of weekly exercise with moderate weights and Government required visual modifications so that producers are as appealing as possible. She doesn’t pause her dissertation of a speech about protocols, but I notice a slight flushing of her cheeks and widening of the eyes, with what I think is an internal struggle to keep her facial expression at a professional level. It isn’t a surprising reaction. I pull my undershirt out and put it back on as a ruse to make it seem like I didn’t intentionally do that. I turn around, take a few steps forward, and face her so that I could best understand the rest of her speech. I’m thoroughly amused, but that’s enough for now. To get ahead of the game, I need to take steps like this.
“As for the schedule, you can find that in the terminal under the given label and visual icon representation. Tomorrow we will be starting an extensive tour of the station. Bring all the equipment you need. Your camera gear should be delivered within the next two hours, but you don’t need to be here to receive it; you can take that walk you wanted to do before sleeping. As I mentioned before, I have other matters to attend to, otherwise I’d join you. Let me know if you need anything. I’m really looking forward to helping you out with your observation tasks.”
Leena does a ridged about-face maneuver and presses the door release button with her left index finger and a vertical twitch of the wrist. As she walks through the door, she turn around again, waving her hand in the motion I’d best describe as the shape of a sea shell fanning out. Another big grin comes out along with a change in tone of voice: “I’ll be here tomorrow at 10:00 sharp on the 24 hour clock. Remember to review the schedule! Oh, and no shirt, no shoes, no service is the name of the game here. Be fully dressed when I get here.”
“Alright, thanks. Haha, you are a clever one Leena. Seeing right through my attempt at making some juicy producer content! I’ll be sure to have one of those orange jumpsuits on before answering the door tomorrow.”
Leena quickly takes her leave onward to other duties, and the door closes swiftly behind her with that signature whooshing sound. Before it completely closes, she raises her hand and gives a thumbs up with a nod of the head.
It looks like I’ll have an interesting time here. Not what I was expecting by any means, but this might be even better. Consumers love this sort of thing…