He’d seen that virtual when he was 10, just days before his father died.
Maybe that’s why salespeople still creep me out, Daniel thought. Seems obvious in retrospect.
Now that I think about it, this whole room looks like a horror virtual.
Dark, eerily quiet, full of fog and untouched alien technology, the med bay -- especially the stasis chamber pit -- would have been the perfect setting for the Cryonic Salespeople sequel.
It made Daniel feel nervous.
He wished Trak was with him. Rachel-7 would have made him laugh, but Trak would have made him feel protected.
Trak always did.
After Daniel’s father passed away, it’d been Trak who helped Daniel survive.
Daniel inherited his father’s cloud yard, "four square miles of the most interesting junk in the Humbolt sector.”
That’s what it said on the sign and on the ads in the virtual world. And when Daniel was growing up that's what the yard had been.
His father taught him to think like a duster— motto: “Everything is repairable” — and together they’d found hundreds of semi-valuable things in that scrapheap.
It was at that same scrapheap that Daniel stumbled upon Trak. It’d taken his father take years of effort to get the Mek working again.
When his father died, Danial became completely alone, the only human on the planet Fragged. He was a ten-year-old on a world of aliens, Meks and Ayes.
Luckily, Trak was there.
At the yard, he helped Daniel discipline the clouds. He helped him get the best price for nome. He helped him take care of himself.
A few times early on Daniel had gone hungry until Trak learned that humans needed to eat, but still …