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Gliders


“Hey,” Alexis said. “People need to exercise. That’s what you do.”
“Because I need to make sure that I keep myself sexy. I’m just saying it’s what it reminds me of.”
“They have those a bunch of places.”
Carlo shrugged. “I know. Still reminds me of a prison.”
“What, do you think they shouldn’t have put it there?”
Just something shitty I’m feeling, he thought. It just adds to that shitty feeling.
It was strange, Carlo thought. Feeling this way. Like a woman’s intuition or something.
Carlo ignored Ale xis and pointed to an arcade farther down to the left. Inside its wide entrance, bright,
shimme ring, mu lt i-colored lights illu minated a dark roo m, the sounds of laughter eme rging fro m within.
“You guys down to go later,” Carlo asked, regarding each one of them. It was more to make conversation
than anything, because he didn’t think he wanted to stay here long enough to go.
“The shit’s a waste of time,” Alexis said.
Maxis looked at her. “Of course you would say that. You’re supposed to say girl shit.”
“And there little old Maxis goes,” Alexis said and put Maxis in a headlock with one, thin, red-suited arm.
“Get off me,” he demanded, trying to pull his head free. “I’m not going to get aggressive with a girl.”
“Not much of a reason to hold back if you consider Alexis acts like a man,” Carlo said. “Let him go
Alexis.”
She did as Carlo asked.
What struck Ca rlo as funny then was that Maxis, as tall as he was, though not as built as Carlo, didn’t come
off as weak. In fact, he wasn’t weak. But Alexis, for whatever reason could bully him. And Alexis, despite the
distinctly dark eyes, was a very sweet looking, pretty girl.
They reached the theater five minutes later, Carlo pointing exc itedly when he saw it. It was a massive,
white-walled building, with neon light fixtures that Carlo e xpected to co me on when night time fe ll. On their way to
the large double doors, the group of five brushed through a thick c loud that hung in front of th e door. It was the fifth
cloud they’d either walked or flown through that day.
“All right, all right,” Carlo said, the instant they had stepped through the automatic, almost invisible, glass
doors.
They stood in a large red-carpeted space, the surrounding walls fixed with moving movie posters. They
approached a glowing red counter in the center of the roo m, two b lue suited girls standing behind two clear glass
screens.
Carlo put his Vera -phone on the counter to pay for everyone’s tickets. An embedded scanner was present
and the female employee on the left tapped twice on the screen in front of her, causing Carlo’s Vera to light up, and
the system accepted the payment.
“Have a good day,” the female employee said with a broad smile.
“Snacks everyone,” Carlo said, glancing around at everybody. “Snacks?”
His friends shook their heads.
“Don’t forget,” Carlo said to Alexis. “You’re paying for everything next week.”
“Don’t I know it.”
The group strolled down a wide hall to the le ft, heading toward the screening room. More movie posters
flashed by on either side of the m, actors doing anything fro m firing a laser gun, to ju mping off a c liff. They reached
the viewing roo m a minute later.
For the ne xt two and a half hours they watched the movie.
2
“Quantum-59 is kind of a weak name,” Carlo said, “let’s be real about it.”
“A lack of creativity, I’ll say that much,” Maxis piped up.
“Oh, like Earth or Mars is much better. I’m sure there’s some more complicated name that they came up
with at first,” said Alexis. “But they switched it just to satisfy the people.”
They sat near the front of the room, the screens of this theater like the old IMAX screens that Carlo had
heard about. Many years ago everything had been upgraded, the theater screens c hanged to IMAX screens and the
IMAX screens changed into something more advanced. The end result was a film with a sound quality and an
utterly vast screen that allowed for a co mp lete immersive e xperience.
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