Nano Tech Vignette

Bradley Morgan walked down East Main Street and wondered what he would do for dinner tonight. He saw one of the many nano-food machines out of the corner of his eye and involuntarily shuddered. He'd practically grown up on nano-burgers but now, at twenty-five, he craved some fresh, home cooked food. There was no real difference in taste, not really, but he just wanted something that did not come from one of those ugly machines. The thought of a grilled steak, or a nice tossed salad had him practically drooling right here on the busiest street in the city. He mentally shook himself and pointedly tried to change his train of thought. All he needed was to be drooling and run into someone he knew.

Money, that's something he could always think about. Ever since nano technology became widespread money has completely lost it's value. No one needed it anymore, it was totally useless to him. Food cheap from nano-machines, cars flooding the market, and jobs down to nothing. The only way to get a job was if you wanted to clean something or teach. No one needs workers to make anything, that's why we have nano technology. Bradley sighed heavily and decided that this wasn't exactly a safe topic to dwell on either. Somehow he needed to get his mind off his messed up life, and his messed up world.

Then he saw the perfect diversion to his depressing thoughts. Molly Brannagin was walking his way. She would get his heart out of the gutter, but hopefully not his mind. He changed his angle of travel so that they could not possibly miss each other when he saw what he deemed slime approach Molly. It was Erik Henderson, the dirtiest man alive. Erik sold alcohol, that was actually brewed instead of made through nano technology, to the masses. Although Bradley has on occasion dealt with that scum it didn't make it any easier to watch him approach Molly.

"Hey Erik, what are you sellin' now? More beer and vodka to the young and restless?" Asked Bradley. He had come to stand directly behind Molly while Erik had been speaking to her. Erik raised his hands in an innocent gesture and stuttered that he was only supplying his customers with what they wanted. With that he completed his sale with Molly and scuttled back to the alley which he came from.

"And the slime crawls back to it's restin' place" sneered Bradley as he turned Molly around to face him. Her pain filled eyes met his own as they both wondered what was next. After what seemed to be an unending silence Bradley finally asked Molly about the alcohol. She sighed and shook her head telling him that was not his concern. She quickly walked away from his seeing eyes and continued down the street as if nothing had happened.

When Bradley recovered from the shock of what had just happened he slowly sat on the concrete pavement. He wondered if life had been better or worse before nano technology. The lost of jobs, loss of value for money, and the forgotten home-cooked meals sat heavy in his heart. The stories he had read as a child told of wonderful, and horrible, things that could not have possible have been true. What if those stories were true? Could life have ever been that strange, or wonderful? Life would then defiantly be much stranger than fiction. Shaken out of his musings by a girl running down the sidewalk her realized that he still had no idea what he would do for dinner.
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