Sharon Part 2

“So, what is it that you’re going to show me?”

Kate swiped through her bookmarks, and transferred a page to the left panel.

‘Kids Born Today Will Never Get To Drive A Car’ (Link)

“Isn’t it amazing? People used to control their transportation, it’s called driving. I’ve also looked up some old photos, they had these round bars called the steering wheels which they turn to direct their transportation. And they used to fly too! In huge transportation called aeroplanes.”

Sharon was staring intently at the article, oblivious to the arrival of her fried fish. The article was from an old archive on the internet, an older version of the Link, dated about 200 years ago. Her hair wasn’t covering her face now, and Kate could see the black irises of Sharon’s eyes clearly. Black irises are rare, remnants of the old world one would say. The white glow of Sharon’s skin contrasted starkly to these eyes, making her fairylike demeanour stand out even more. Perhaps that’s why she kept her eyes covered most of the time. She didn’t like the attention.

“Do you think we can still find some of these cars around?”

“Maybe we can, outside the clusters.” Sharon looked up. “But we probably won’t be able to find one easily.” She glanced at Kate’s PAT knowingly. “GEIS, can you show us where we can find a car? I’d like to learn how to drive one.” Her eyes fleeted left and right a few times before coming to a squint, then she looked back at Kate. “GEIS says there isn’t one right now in any of the clusters, and it will not be advisable for us to go out and look for one. She’ll inform Pete if we try to go, you’re not old enough to travel out on your own.”

People can travel out of clusters if they like, mostly to be in touch with nature and to see parts of the old world. There are certain areas that are out of bounds, where reconstruction is still being done. People didn’t all agreed to have GEIS in the old world, and had taken up arms to remove GEIS. But such ideas were a thing of the past.

“You can bring me out for a short trip! I’ll ask dad to let us go. You’re my best friend, I’m sure he’ll agree!”

Her cheeks flushed pink and eyes glistened, softening her sharp look. Sharon held out her right hand to hold Kate’s left.

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Sharon Part 1

Study time usually lasts about 4 hours after breakfast, but Kate has been on the history module for nearly 5 hours now. Pete wants her to spend more time on her mathematics and science modules though; he believes children need more training in logical thinking. However, as with most kids, Kate prefers modules which she likes. While most children her age are occupied with elementary reading, she is already proficient in advanced reading and able to understand modules meant for more developed teenagers. This is the only reason why Pete does not impose his beliefs on her study routine.

“Kate! Do you know what time it is? I’ve been waiting for your call for more than an hour.” A girl called on the left panel. She had shoulder length curls and fringes that covered her eyes, but that didn’t hide her sharp facial features and flawless complexion. “Sorry Sharon, I got too engrossed in my reading, is it time for lunch already?” “Yes, I’m so hungry waiting for you. Let’s meet at the diner in half hour’s time, and you’re making your own orders right?” “Alright, see you!”

Pete and Kate have only moved to this cluster for one week now, and are still getting to know the neighbourhood. Usually people will get to know others at diners, music halls and sports centers, and Kate met her first friend here, Sharon, at the diner. Kate was trying to figure out what is good on the menu of the diner, and was walking around looking at the food others were having when she saw Sharon. Sharon was having a huge bowl of ice-cream sundae: two scoops of chocolate and another two scoops of vanilla ice-cream topped with chocolate sprinkles and some whipped cream on the side. They hit off immediately, and spent the next six afternoons eating lunch together at the diner.

Kate quickly bookmarked her history module, and swiped upwards to bring up the transport module. “Going to diner.” She instructed, following which the panel flashed the words “Order Confirmed” and a countdown timer in green. Her car will arrive in five minutes, this time a single seat hovercraft. “Dad, I’m off to meet Sharon at the diner!” She called Pete, who had been at the sports center. “Okay, would you girls be coming to the sports center after?” “I’ll check with Sharon, and call you later.” PAT started beeping again, the transport had arrived.

Hovercrafts move about two meters off the ground, and they have a maximum speed of 80kmh. Apart from hovercrafts, other transportations capable of carrying up to 8 people roam the streets, before they are routed to their nearest clients. As Kate buckled up and the hovercraft took off, a ‘welcome’ message flashed across the front windscreen. “Hi GEIS, thanks for the transport” “You’re welcome, Kate. It will be ten minutes to the diner, would you like to place your order first?” Kate swiped her hand to the right, scrolled down the menu, and clicked on “Ice-cream Sundae”.

“Over here Kate!”

Kate ran forward towards the small table on the right, and jumped into the metallic chair. “Hey Sharon, what are you having today?” “I’m having fried fish, and salad. You?” Kate giggled, and they both nodded.

“I want to show you what I’ve been reading on the history module. You’ll love it!” Before Kate could transfer her module over, a shoebox like object hovered vertically onto the table. It’s sides compressed downwards to the base, revealing a huge bowl of ice-cream sundae.

(To be continued)