“See you’re back to exploring Nautilus,” said Sally the bartender, part of the group mind.
“See you’re back to red and yellow. Not all black. Stay that way. Reno,” she warned.
“Don’t bring it back.”
“Soo, what you doing in *these* parts (of Nautilus)?”
“Welll.” He scratches one of his ears with this, grateful to have them trimmed again. Cost him Reno but it gained him more, all of Nevada in essence. Middletown, or at least future access to. “I was going to hike the trails of Quirrola Forest but it seems I’m blocked from access.”
“Go down a bit,” suggested Sally. “Toward the coast. Go in from the east. No ban lines from that direction. 1/2 of the sim is banned. Up here; down that road. That where you came from?”
“Yeah. So from the east. I guess this would be from the south. And over 1/2way up, like you said.”
“Well thanks. I guess I’ll be on my way.”
“Hold on,” and she poured him a drink she already had 1/2 made. Grasshopper, extra kick. Kick-ass kick. “Get this in you before you go. It’ll help you think. You’ll be pondering Middletown thoughts as quick as you can say $499,000.”
Newt wondered if that would be the ultimate cost but he took the drink and starting swigging it anyway. 2 gulps and gone. He’d done a lot of drinking in the Old West, the wild times. Had to chug fast or else someone else would for you. And that someone else usually could make you dead in no time too.
“Another?” spoke Sally, seeing the empty glass. “1 million, then. The population of Las Vegas.”
(to be continued)