Forum Life Novella

A little novella I started on a few weeks back. Really need to get back into it. In other news, I wrote 500 words of a new story just before and Ommwriter deleted it. Argh!

***

“Welcome to Persordin”
I slip under the words, through the arches that give me access to the city. It’s a busy thoroughfare with people coming and going as they please. Keeping to the sides, I make my way towards the centre. I take it all in. The buildings, pale white and fading red. The people, smiling and chatting, not a trace of concern or doubt. I notice a great deal of augmentation on all of them, built for functionality, not fashion. I mutter thanks to the Creator for my forward-thinking; my own hasty additions will fit right in. I look down at the pipes and wires newly connected to my flesh. Basic as it is, I’m still adjusting to the changes, but at least no one is going question them.
I keep going, hands firmly in pockets, head down. This is not my world. My eyes swivel constantly, both to take everything in and to be sure I’m not being watched. Amongst the crowds of individuals I notice some people in uniforms, obviously some form of police or security. I avoid them at first, but soon realised they patrolled out of a formality. None of the citizens seemed frightened of them. They would have been like anyone else were it not for the clothes. I relaxed.
The city was of classic design, but clean and modernised. The streets I traversed were smooth and well-maintained, the buildings and habs spewing steam from the rooftops. PM-tubes ran likes vines across terraces. For the Tech Capital, it employed a perplexingly subtle approach to architecture. So transfixed by the wonder of Persordin, I kept walking in passers-by, none of whom seemed slightly angered by my obliviousness. Eventually, through nothing more than luck, I found what I was looking for.
I came into a gigantic forum. While I gathered myself,  I recalled what I had learnt of Persordin. For it is not only a hub of technology and progress, but also a place to freely discuss thoughts and opinions. A number of small districts border the centre, each having their own focus. There is one for serious philosophical debate, one devoted to personal technology progression, and the largest of them focussing on the popular practice of digital combat. While each would interest me in time, I headed straight for the social sector: The Rhube.

Here the buildings swung in close together. Signs and posters littered the walls, the latest social events advertised for all. I wandered for a while, getting to grips with this city. I’d never felt this level of boisterousness. It was invigorating to be among so many people all living and working together. I got lost, but eventually I stumbled on what I was looking for: a tavern. The sign hung over the large oak door. I entered the Uplate Lounge.
The stench of cigar smoke hit me, followed by the warmth of the fire. It was crowded, raucous shouts pinging between patrons, and the typical after work chat had taken hold. I made my way to the bar.
I ordered a whisky, neat, the bartender asking no questions.

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