“I’ve *been* here for 2 weeks,” complained Johnny Cage, tiring of the assignment in Slaashsides. He was ready to get back home to his wife Elvira and kids Lester, Luke and Leonard Jay (Leno). But the problem was: Barry DeBoy was a quick healer, a *real* quick healer — like he stood outside of time or something (as his supervisor exasperatedly explained over the phone to him) — and that he may be needed for another one of those “accidents” again.
“We need you to stay close to that New Mexico portal,” he said. “That’s the only way we know how still to reach him. Work on your biking, work on your *bike*,” he suggested. “Slaashsides is fairly big — about a 1/2 sim as I recall. Just ride around and around, check your tires, check your gears, handle, seat — *everything*. Just don’t go groundside yet. And that’s an order, John, from the guys and gals upstairs that pay *both* our salaries and bonuses. You got a big bump recently. Don’t screw all this up. You need to start thinking about your pension — the future. Think of little Leno.”
The stinky green pocketbook displayed on the side of the news stand was starting to get overwhelming. “Listen, I have to go,” spoke Johnny Cage. “I’ll do what you said. I’ll keep them happy. But either get me back to New Mexico or get me back home pretty quickly. I can’t stand these halfway places, neither here nor there.” And with this he hung up the receiver, rather slammed it back in the carriage really, and walked up the sidewalk and turned left again. Back to Burro Alley, pheh.
10 days, he determined while treading carefully on its slicker surface — not daring to hurt himself as he would hurt others. That’s all I’m going to put up with it.