“What’s Stuck Station?” Daniel said, staring at the artwork/sign. Both the graffiti and the painting looked new.
“Sorry, I’m not familiar with that phrase,” the cheery voice said. “Oops. I mean, please hold all questions until the end of the tour.”
Ok, so it’s not a recording, Daniel thought. Most likely an Aye or an organic. And, it can make mistakes. Or, at least, simulate mistakes.
“Where am I?” Daniel asked.
“Welcome to Containment Facility One!” the voice said again, with the exact inflection it had used earlier.
“We of the—” The voice made the same splashing sounds too—“thank you for volunteering on a project that we know will benefit all life.”
Now Daniel was sure it was an Aye.
“What is Containment Facility One?” Daniel asked.
“Welcome to Containment Facility One! We —
“Never mind. Do you have a name?”
“Thanks for asking! I’m Tour Guide,” it said. “You can call me ‘a Tour Guide.’ Or just ‘Tour Guide’. ... Oh, and please hold all questions until the end of the tour.”
The voice’s enthusiasm was wearing thin.
I need a drink, Daniel thought. He reached for the flask in his front coat pocket … and remembered he wasn’t wearing a coat.
Daniel frantically checked every inch of his new outfit.
When his hand found a stuffed pocket in the left-side lining of the robe, he sighed with relief.
Everything was still there. His flask and— actually that was all he had had in his pockets before. It was enough.
For some reason, whoever ran Containment Facility One hadn't taken the heirloom away.