Friday, February 27, 2015

MindGames: As The World Terns 1

Tern's trailer was lined with computer screen crammed together. Some were scavenged, older LED displays, one was a mirror HUD, and the rest were newer fabric displays. They were oriented in every which way with most of them running dynamic feeds of the political governments in the known universe. She wore a spandex body stocking and chorded gloves that fed wirelessly into her computing system.

She hummed tunelessly to herself, while paging through stock notes coming in live (minus the transmission delay) from Omr. The numbers were flowing through expected fluctuations, and she tagged a few promising ventures for future review. There was a tap on her door, and she toggled control over to her local betting book screen, the only display that was duplicated, with one inside and one outside her trailer.

She eased herself over to the door, and slid it open, admitted a face she didn't know. "What's your poison?"

"What's the book for the Prime Minister election on Three?"

"Which one?"

He paused, ignorant of the fact that there were four of them currently running, and another half-dozen in the coming months. "Uhh... the one with Joh Aldams."

"Oh. Sure, just a moment." Tern turned her head to face the display, though it was currently upside-down in relation to her body's orientation, and scrolled through the list. "Two to three for Joh, one to six for Sil, and one to six for Mal. No minimums. What's your bid?"

"Can I get two hundred on Mal?"

"Two hundred down on Mal pays out twelve hundred if he wins. You sure?"

He swallowed heavily, his adams apple sticking out like a sore thumb, and hesitated a moment before nodding.

"Put your thumbprint on the sensor." She gestured to the fingerprint detector hanging beside the door jam. A quick keystroke as he did verified his funds and transferred the appropriate amount to her holding account. "Payout next week. Good luck."

"Thanks."

She shut the door and went back to work.

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Excerpt from Tales of Vidar: Coming Home

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