This story is a part of a blog-hop anthology all taking place within the WFGC Hotel. You can find more stories in this anthology here.
Phil walked through the airlock into a lobby straight out of late twentieth-century Earth: white marble floor dotted with diamonds of gold-veined black, a ten-meter ceiling arched over crystal chandeliers, and colorful rugs that smelled like actual sheep’s wool. The impression of antiquity was so strong, it took a moment to spot the telltale distortion around the WFGC Hotel sign and the discreet interfaces in the deep-brown multispecies seating.
After a decade as a Guardian, entering a place designed by humans felt strange. A quick mental command adjusted the clings on his legs to local gravity. He still crossed the lobby too quickly, but many humans had minor mods beyond the standard neural-network implant. Nothing to alarm anyone.
Human noses couldn’t smell the truth. Human ears couldn’t hear his heart racing. His network profile didn’t show what hid in his cells. His cycle was ticking down, and he needed to get hidden and safe.
The white-haired human receptionist peered up at him with large brown eyes, and he felt the ping on his profile a moment before her public persona flicked from “permanent contract” to “widowed.” She set her knitting aside and smiled broadly just as his nanobots detected the frequency coming off the needles.
Getting hit on by a septuagenarian with military-grade tactical knitting needles was just what today needed.Read More