Despite the acres of food, there were only five types of meals.
A sealed container of bluish gas, a plate of gray rocks, a transparent cage of jumping insects, a bowl of what Daniel’s duster training told him was some kind of Mek lubricant, and a tray of ...
Daniel’s heart raced as he took a closer look at the fifth item.
Hurrying to the nearest table, he took in the smell of something he hadn’t eaten since the Afterthought’s food forge stopped working right six weeks earlier.
Piles and piles of them.
There had to be hundreds. With lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and five or six other kinds of toppings.
Not bothering to check with his augmem if the food was safe to eat, he grabbed one sandwich and took a ravenous bite.
He closed his eyes in ecstasy.
This place isn’t so bad, he thought. He was wrong.
Then Daniel spit the mouthful to the floor in shock.
The chunk of food hit the ivory ground and disappeared. Daniel caught the faint haze of a Cloud as it broke down the burger bite and spirited the atoms away.
“Tour guide!” Daniel screamed.
There wasn’t a problem with the meal. The burger was perfect with plenty of special sauce.
It’s just that Daniel had, to his horror, noticed something that should have been obvious immediately — he was no longer in the same room he had been before. And the architecture hadn’t been cloud shifted.
Terrified, Daniel knew that he had been teleported.
Which, in the 28th century, is a lot scarier than it sounds.