58 A New Day
A new day arrived, and I woke up to the sound of the alarm ringing in my cybernetics. I got up and for a moment, was surprised by the ease of it. I was a bad sleeper and always had a hard time getting up. Since the incident in Thailand, that has changed.
I was still not used to it.
I shut off the alarm and walked out of my bedroom. Standing in front of the mirror of the restroom, I saw myself. My sleeping habits was not the only thing I was having trouble getting used to. The man in the mirror looked like a different person. He was still balding and a little overweight, but outside that he looks very different from the man I was used to. His right eye was now a red glow, his upper torso was shiny silver, and both his arms were now cybernetics. In many ways, the man in the mirror looked a real cyborg. Hard to imagine that man was me.
Just six months ago, my cybernetics were just Grade One junk. Now they were worth hundreds of thousands of credits. All I had to do was to almost die … I brushed my teeth and washed my face. Many cyborgs ignored personal hygiene as they got more hardware, but I made a point to avoid that. I wanted to be as human, and as normal, as possible. I took an early morning shower. Like all cybernetics, my new parts were waterproof but unlike my old model, my new cybernetics came with a sense of feel. It was nothing compare to the feel of water on real human skin, but the added sensation was welcomed. When I was done with the shower, I put on a bathrobe and went into the kitchen. I used my cybernetics to remotely order the meal helper to prepare a simple breakfast and began to surf the Solar Net.
There was a political scandal in the Federation of Eastern NA, a report that a hacker group managing to access the financial records of a bank, and a strange report of a cat burglar stealing a multi-million painting. The last one was a surprising piece of news as the painting was on the hundredth and sixty-fifth floor of a skyscraper on Mars. The cat burglar still somehow managed to make off with it.
A sound told me the meal was ready. I took the breakfast out of the oven and turned on the holographic television. I watched the morning news as I ate. Unlike the Solar Net, the local news focused mainly on regional affairs. There was a report on the brewing trade dispute between Cambodia and Laos, something about Singapore and Malaysia lodging formal complaints against Indonesia on the annual haze problem, and Brunei complaining about overfishing in it's territorial waters. Although the SEAL was a formal alliance, the countries in the South-East Asian League were still independent sovereign nations and such disputes were commonplace.
I couldn't help but sigh. These was nothing on the ongoing corporate war between Oriental Earth Group and Star Chang Holdings, and nothing on the battle six months ago when I almost lost my life. I accessed my cybernetics and called up the System. I had inherited the System from my father and the strange AI has been a great help in my career as a battlesuit designer. I checked on my outstanding missions and saw that that I still had one outstanding reward to claim. While I was laid up in the hospital, I had told Jaya to put my latest battlesuit, the Sealion, in an exhibition. My broker was shock that I still wanted to enter a technology exhibition, but I managed to weave some bullshit about not wanting to let Star Chang Holdings win and not wanting to let them push my battlesuit out of the limelight. It must have been an Oscar winning performance because Jaya relented without much of a fight. One of the few good things about being heavily injured was the fact that no one really want to argue with you.
Using his contacts, Jaya found an exhibition in Samoa of all places. It was called the Oceania Technological Exhibition and was held in Apia, the capital city of Samoa. My Trackbot-P had gained fame after the attack at Nonthaburi Province and the organizers of the exhibition were more than delighted with the presence of my battlesuit. They waived my booth fee and even helped in getting the paperwork ready for export.
It turned out better than expected as the Sealion was a hit with the locals.
Samoa was part of the Oceanic Federation, and for the past few years several of their nations had begun building massive floating platforms to link up their various towns and cities. Their plan was to have their citizens eventually live on these floating platforms and create a floating megacity. It was an ambitious, and some say foolhardy, plan but this meant that an easy-to-maintain amphibious battlesuit like the Sealion was a dream come true to the people there.
I couldn't be present in Apia for the unveiling as I was in a hospital bed, but the System told me the moment the Sealion was presented and immediately offered me the reward. I had to control the urge to click on the rewards till I was back in Singapore.
That was yesterday. After a good night sleep and behind the white noise filter of my home, I now mentally press on the reward tab and the cybernetics in my right eye kick in.
[Mission completed- Enter a public exhibition/competition. Cybernetic add-on awarded to User Tobias Wong. New Mission available]
My vision changed and a holographic image of a six-sided dice floating above a rice bowl appeared. Not for the first time, I wondered about the mental stability of my father. These rewards mini-games he programmed into the System were childish.
Sighing to myself, I pressed on the dice and it dropped into the bowl. The dice began rolled for a while before landing with a 'three' on top. I immediately felt a tingling in my cybernetic right hand. My entire right arm shut down and hang limp by my side. I wasn't worried. I had confidence in the System so I just waited. After a few minutes, my right arm came back to life. I lifted my right arm and saw a lens in the palm of my hand.