Different Visions of the Future

Our tech-priest is interesting some of the other acolytes, whose only exposure to technology doesn't even extend to an electric toothbrush. 'What part of you is robotic?', one asks.

Taking his own uncomfortably close look, Matthias answers for Xerxes the tech-priest, 'his nose hair'.

But marvelling at such high-tech solutions to mundane issues is short-lived. The acolytes have to leave the opulent splendour of the upper-hive to travel to the squalor of the mid-hive as part of their investigations, and finding out how to get there has Dariel upset.

'Stairs?' Seeing the long and shallow series of steps has him stopping in his tracks. 'It's the 41st millennium and we still have stairs?!' It's amazing to think that escalators, lifts, even jet-packs haven't replaced the vastly inefficient stairs to move people between places of different heights.

Eventually Dariel calms down and accepts that walking down the stairs isn't quite as arduous as he first imagined, if only because they're going down. Once he realises he'll have to come back up them it will be too late, and he can always be left in the mid-hive.

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