Turning a rocky corner in a low desert valley, a billboard greets me. It reads:
Now entering Running Siege regional preserve. Radioactive exposure risk – Low.
Beyond this advisory, a cliff wall looms. High up on the plateau is a sign in the shape of a t-shirt, which hovers over a dwarfed building. Another structure, made by someone. I scale the cliff.
As I approach the establishment, its two glass doors open automatically. Silence waits within.
1. Missing T's
It's a novelty shop. One which sells a wide variety of tacos. Apparently.
Other items on the shelves include screened t-shirts with messages such as "Hack the Vids" and "Nullifire Crew". Prepackaged foods and drinks stand at attention in dusty vending machines.
2. Stim Fizz – Haste Grape
Label reads: Get a frosted grape fix that'll keep you running all day. Literally! And don't stop running once you start. Oh no, that's a sure fire way to heart failure. Made by the kind people of Legal Foods Incorporated.
3. Stim Fizz – X-Ray Apple
Label reads: Sight beyond sight beyond sight. Each sip turns gives you xray vision. For a few minutes. Don't be creepy though. That's illegal! Made by the kind people of Legal Foods Incorporated.
4. Stim Fizz – Sonic Berry
Label reads: Shout your message to the world! And shatter stone at the same time. Plant your feet first though. May blow you away. Made by the kind people of Legal Foods Incorporated.
5. Stim Fizz – Power Lime
Label reads: Move mountains. Feel the rage. The power. The power! Ok, that's enough. Don't burst an artery. We're serious. Made by the kind people of Legal Foods Incorporated.
As I scan these strange products, an incoming message flashes across my eyes:
This is control. Your last transmission failed to come through. Please resend the SE004v1 data. Repeat, cease current functions and resend packet SE004v1.
Resending now, I respond.