A Pointless Gala
31st December, 2999
The ice was cold as I peered out of the window, looking down on the frosted roads, frozen lakes. The pallid, yellow sun was rising, and the colour began seeping into the cloudless sky. It was mint blue, like the ice - as if the whole world we lived in was an ice age that was only just beginning to thaw. It was silent - I liked it this way - but that bliss soon shattered.
“Morning, Miss Ella.” I barely registered the words. Briefly I turned, seeing Satalie, the hologram. The projection was rather realistic, and showed a woman, probably early twenties, bathed in blue light. Was everything blue in this era? The hologram had azure, shoulder length straight hair, faded eyes and a small smile fixed on her face. Glad some of my tech is coming in useful. I checked the time by looking at the programmer embedded into the side of my arm. It was complicated to use, but after all I had designed it. I knew how the thing worked.
“Why didn’t you tell me I was late for work?” I pant quickly, panicking a little.
“It is new year tomorrow.” Pause. “You have the day off.” Satalie says after a few seconds. I sighed with relief, grumbling out of tiredness as I stepped away from the windowsill.
Tomorrow will mark the new millennia. It’s an important date for me - Princess Miya is going to publicly announce whether I’m permitted to continue my work on prehistoric DNA and holographic study at the International Precursory Corp. I just needed the results to be functional. When you’re only eighteen, working fourteen hours a day is definitely not easy, or ideal. You know, I’ve not had one chance to see my college friends since I turned eighteen. Not once.
I looked over my shoulder and glanced at the mirror hanging on my wall. I nearly screamed when I saw myself. Man, I look bad in the mornings.
“You have the International Precursory Corp gala in one hour.” Satalie reminded me, casually. I flinched. That was today? I practically ran into the shower, mentally face-palming myself.
Thankfully, I didn’t look terrible when I emerged from the steaming bathroom. I had found myself a strapped satin-blue dress that only came down to my knees. Suddenly I thought I might be showing too much skin, but then thought nothing of it. Cautiously, I stepped in front of the mirror. I trailed my frost-blue eyes down my ever-curving frame, my curly brown hair falling over my shoulder. Uggh. I hate these things.
It’s just one gala.
I scrolled on the control panel in my arm until I found the programmer for my car. Jogging down the stairs I hit the unlock, and my car door swung open.
“Where to, Miss Ella?” I had programmed Satalie to be in my car system as well.
I replied immediately. “IPC.”
“Heading to International Precursory Corporation.” The hologram disappeared and my car raised about three feet in the air, before racing forward.
When the car halted, and the door flew open, I was hesitant to step out. I had been to a few of the galas before, and none of them seemed to be as interesting as I’d hope they would be. At a couple of these extravagant festivities, I had gotten into a few exclusive business deals, but nothing was truly intriguing here. I take a deep breath, and step out. I hear a small applause - I am quite prominent among my peers. Even if I’m only eighteen. You may think of this as a good thing, but really, I’m just a rich kid with a Harvard degree. I stare up at the three-hundred and twelve floor building, walls practically made of paned glass all the way up, solar panels on the roof and the huge double doors that lead into the whole place. I walk in quietly, hoping my presence isn’t too noticeable. I feel the eyes of all of the young, male colleges studying me, and I glow beet-red, suddenly feeling very exposed. I try to keep my eyes on the floor.
I step towards the bar and decide to order a lemonade. I scan the great hall, trying to find some familiar faces. Some have other versions of my holograms - like Satalie - that I remember them buying off of me. I was so lost in thought that I didn’t see the shadow creeping up behind me.
Uh, Conrad. My manager. Well, the manager. He was the one who invented the IPC. Aka my boss. He was young and bumptious. And arrogant. And also the type who doesn’t understand the word ‘NO’ when he needs to. I look up and see his broad shoulders, his muscular chest and his slick, blonde hair. He is annoyingly good looking. I quickly turn to study the carpet.
“Conrad.” I nod my head, still looking at the floor.
I feel his gaze burning the side of my head. “Come on sugar, why do you always act like this around me?”
Well one reason is because you call me sugar. You’re arrogant and lazy and you call me into your office for no reason and-
I decide not to say anything and just shrug. He seems to shrug it off too, of which I am very grateful for. This was becoming awkward.
“Well anyway, sugar, I decided to give you an upgrade.” My ears perk up at the mention. “I’ll give you the space, equipment, and all the funding you need for your work. On one condition.”
I raise a brow, questioningly. “That is?”
“You will be my date to the Millennium Festival.”
My eyes widened.
I had been dreading this all month. It was one of the reasons I had been avoiding Conrad, along with every other male that comes into my vision. The thing was, I needed that upgrade. My work wasn’t being funded enough and I needed money for a business contract to put my holograms to market. I really don’t know…Anyone but Conrad. Even my neighbour that I’ve only spoken with six times. Not my boss.
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