Shilo's drooling corpse reclined in an office chair, festooned with wrist straps and contacts and cables. Every few minutes it kicked, stiffly, as if struggling to rise from its sleep and feast on the living.
Half of a human head leered at something unseen in the southwest corner of the room.
Jonas huddled over a tablet in the northeast corner of the room, wedged into the corner of the black couch.
"Man, I'm hungry. Jonas, you want some pizza?"
"Ah, no, I'm fine."
"Right. There, I ordered some. You can have some."
"Is it safe to leave here yet?"
Exactly four minutes later, pizza was delivered to a spacious private lounge. It was appointed in royal purple and red and had a new car smell. The lounge did- the pizza was yellow and smelled like cheese.
Black Alice was slightly frazzled, black haired and green eyed.
"Concerning your associate's actions, I must ask: WTF, mate?"
"Well, ya know, he's an African."
"There are white Africans. So, ya know, they're not steady state and all. They don't follow, uh, the Code."
"If, by the code, you mean common sense, I thought that everyone follows it because it's the most rational system and if you deviate it costs you money."
"Right, well, we follow it here. Don't initiate force, life liberty and property, so on and so forth. And you're right, it's purely rational self interest to follow it. But they're not rational. Say you kill someone and take their car, you'll be executed by their insurance company or RDI or something. Or some vigilante will kill you and take the car and no one will care, cuz you're a murderer. But in Africa, there's no network coverage, so how would you get caught? And if everyone's guilty, and no one follows the code, then any retaliation can result in a bloodbath. Rational decisions require perfect information, so rational societies can only exist where there's extensive information technology."
"I'm not buying your propaganda, but ok, what's the point?"
"So when I found him, he was fighting in Thailand. This was two years ago. I didn't want to hire him, but my boss wanted him and Tyson wanted to come to America."
"What the fuck is America?"
Jonas wiped sauce from his lip and said, "It's the continent we live on."
"Uh, yeah, but more specifically it's this center region between the Gulf and the Great Lakes. People over there call it that because there used to be a nation state here."
"Don't worry about it. Point is, Betty's trying to catch him, which is kinda funny."
"No, but see, he has no hardware and she's all hardware. It's like, social commentary."