An Excerpt from The Tomorrow Paradox (Book Two in The Adventures of Mackenzie Mortimer):
The bus’ brakes squeaked loudly, as it pulled into the Serenity Valley bus station. A blond teenager strapped on his backpack and stepped off. He turned, and reached out to help the woman behind him step down. “Let me give you a hand, Mrs. Porter.”
The middle-aged woman smiled at the boy, grasping his firm hand as she descended the steps. “Why, thank you. It’s so nice to meet such a well mannered young man. I enjoyed our conversation; it made the bus ride go quicker.”
Zack released her hand. “The pleasure was all mine.” He walked down the block, turned to be sure he wasn’t being observed, and pulled a wax-like coating off his hand. He took a cylinder the size of a pencil from his pocket and aimed it at the wax. A thin laser beam shot out from the cylinder, which he used to cut out impressions from the wax. Zack re-applied the cutouts to each of his fingertips and continued down the road until coming to a small store.
The robotic clerk, a permanent smile painted onto its oriental face, greeted him as he entered. Zack nodded, taking a small plastic shopping basket from the counter. He walked through the store, tossing items into the basket as they caught his eye. A ham and cheese sandwich was soon joined by several candy bars, a soft drink, a portable music player, a razor, a can of shaving cream, deodorant, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and three packs of gum. The clerk rang up the items and bagged them. Zack placed his hand on the scanner to pay for his purchase.
The robot handed the bag to Zack. “Thank you for your business, Mrs. Porter. We hope you will visit the Serenity Valley Downtown Mini-mart again.”
Zack took the bag and left the store. He pulled the wax cutouts off the tips of each of his fingers, letting them fall to the ground. He unwrapped the sandwich and took a bite. He concentrated, tapping into the neural net. GPS location mapping, he thought. A map of Serenity Valley appeared in his mind. Show path from present location to Mortimer Enterprises. Zack memorized the route and disengaged from the net. It won’t take me much longer to get there. I hope it will be worth the trip.
Time is running out… fortunately, Mackenzie Mortimer has a few more minutes than anyone else!