He was taking his sweet time on this one. He could still feel the stinging bouquet of pre-decentralized scotch in his nostrils. He sneered into a smile and took another sip. It was too hot for the suit he wore on that crowded dockside platform, but Trent didn’t care. He’d never known luxury like this.
Shopping used to be a desperate chore; he’d try to get the minimum of necessities as quickly and cheaply as humanly possible. The emphasis was usually on cheap.
Over the past few days, though, he’d learned the languid pleasure of selection. He had time. He had money so people made their time his time. That back-alley flip was the best decision he’d ever made.
Trent sneered again and glanced at the line forming behind him. It was the nouveau riche like him and the temporary rich, like he used to be. Every job pulled was feast, and every week after, famine.
He turned his piggish little eyes to the glowing panel before him and slowly considered the options available. He took another drink.
Then he looked one last time at his reflection in the grimy mirror to his left. He’d already picked the replacement for that hooked beak of a nose. That’d been easy. He surprised himself and decided to go for big black eyes instead of the standard baby blues. Strong cheekbones, a slim but muscular build, sculpted calves: these had been easy choices, but he was stuck on the chin.
They were all good strong chins. He just couldn’t pick. Dimple? Square? How big was too big?
Eventually Trent’s eyes strayed once more to the perfect lines of his black on black suit. What sort of chin wore a suit like this? He grinned and took another swig. His decision was made. He tapped the top corner of the panel and waved his shiny new platinum card at the virtual assistant.
“Excellent choices, sir,” she practically purred at him.
The shopping panel slid away revealing a short, white hallway lined with medical coffins.
“Yours is the one with the green light. Have a beautiful tomorrow, sir,” she said with a giggle before blinking out of existence.
He hurriedly stowed his clothes and possessions in the safe below, dry swallowed the provided medications, and climbed awkwardly into the claustrophobic, gleaming white tunnel.
And, Trent “The Beak” Castel was never seen again.