The R-18 section of Anime Attic… This is where the wall scrolls turn from scandily dressed anime women into naked anime women with nipples out the wazoo.
Here I am waltzing in here without sunglasses and an overcoat on, showing my whole identity to the world. And I even thanked Tony… Oh, wow, I’m ruined.
I feel my entire face turn red. There is no control my body has over this event—it is a chemical reaction whenever it comes in contact with lewd imagery of cartoon characters. An allergy, some might say.
As hard as I can, I try to ignore the bombastic imagery of sex and depravity surrounding me on all corners and focus entirely on these holo-booths. My goal is right here in front of me, and I will achieve this goal at any costs. Because that’s what heroes do!
There’s eight holo-booths here at this particular Anime Attic. They take up a ton of space, so I’m surprised they have this many here to begin with. They must be, um, popular. Luckily on a weekday evening after a hard day’s work, it seems most people are too tired to, er, partake, because only three of them are currently occupied.
Unfortunately, one of the ones currently occupied is the specific holo-booth that Mighty Slammer’s messages said to meet at.
So, what do I gotta do? Loiter around and wait for it? People are gonna get really suspicious. But I bet a lot of the people here do have their “preferred” holo-booth so maybe it’s not that weird. Besides everything else about it.
I’m so uncomfortable right now. How did I end up in such a precarious situation in my life? I died, I was resurrected through technologies I hardly comprehend, I was given an enhanced body and powers no human could ever accomplish… and it all led up to this point, right now, where I’m waiting in front of a holo-booth in the porn section of an Anime Attic. I take it back. God, if you are real, please, I seek salvation, not mercy. I need to be forgiven for whatever curse I am set upon that has put me in this horrible situation.
Maybe R8PR is actually Old Scratch himself. The Big L. The red guy with the pointy pitchfork. All along I’ve been strung along by Faust’s best friend and one day he’ll pull out some contract I forgot that I signed and bam, my soul’s now in possession of Sage, Aka Satan.
Okay, finally, the door to the holo-booth opens and out comes a skinny young woman in a Kuchibiri Network t-shirt. Her hands are in her pockets and she’s slumped over, but she, too, lacks the typical sunglasses and overcoat combo you tend to see in these types of places. Maybe I’m in the clear after all, and my visit to this place will never become public knowledge.
Just think if Jones Burrow was still doing all the Social Media Killer hackings and caught me here… My life’d be over.
Okay, enough with the histrionics. Let’s enter the holo-booth and sit down on the access chair.
Most of these things are sitting-only; the fancier ones let you move around and have virtual reality helmets so you can play shooty games with full immersion, but there’s clearly not enough room for much like that here. Just a chair, a bit of standing room, and of course a bunch of sanitizing wipes and tissues in arm’s reach. I definitely won’t be using th—
Suddenly, a large-breasted CG hologram character pops up in front of me and greets me in Japanese. Her blouse is so low cut that she’s basically baring it all, and I haven’t even paid any money yet…
I mean, not that I’m going to!
This is actually really annoying me that I’m getting an anime character blabbering about whatever in a high-pitched voice while I’m trying to sleuth out some clues about the appearance of Mighty Slammer at this here location.
Part of me wishes that the woman who came in before me was Mighty Slammer herself, just without the armor and helmet. Only problem with that is that that woman was a twig and Mighty Slammer is absolutely ripped. Cyber-tech or no, she could probably get me to the ground in just a couple punches. I’m not entirely sure she’d fit in this damn holo-booth to begin with.
The anime woman slips off her blouse and, oh, yep now she has her giant boobs hanging there. She loosens the ties in her panties and I can feel that allergic reaction coming on.
I get so flustered that I just look straight down at the floor so I can’t see her anymore. It’s too embarrassing to—
Huh. Would you look at that?
It’s almost impossible to see if you’re not looking for it, but the floor paneling is in a tile pattern, and one of the tiles has a tiny crack. A closer look, and it reveals… one of these tiles is removeable. Almost certainly.
I pick around at the crack and try to pry it open, but no dice. There must be something else here. It’s jammed in real good. Uh, the crack is. Uhhhh listen I’m trying to talk about a criminal investigation, stop with all that snickering about my accidental innuendos.
And that’s when I look beside the access chair. The whole thing is like a solid plastic cube in shape, but it doesn’t take up the entire holo-booth wall; there’s little crevasses to each side that contain just enough space that I could slip my fingers in. When I’m bending over at the floor (the anime woman giggles something suggestive), I can just about see the glint of some metal in one of these gaps…
I reach in with my fingers, and just kind of…
It’s a pair of tweezers. Okay, I really, really hope that this was left by Mighty Slammer or someone and not, like, a real customer. Please.
The crack is indeed big enough that the tweezers fit. I reach into the hole and the tweezers almost immediately catch hold of something. It’s a tiny latch. Tiny, but long, and just so much so that I can yank it with my fingers a few times, and up that tile goes.
Now there’s a hole big enough to stick my hand in comfortably. That’s nice. That means the next time I reach in, I can discover the truth! And the truth is…
What the hell?!
It’s in my hands, and I’m holding it, and it still feels fake to me. Blyth didn’t actually wake me up from the time he forced a Dreamtech helmet on me, no. I’m actually dead right now but my brain signals have been going on in that helmet a bit longer thanks to my cybernetically enhanced nature.
That’s the only explanation I can give for what reality appears to be showing me, which is a literal gold bar in my hands. Actual, physical gold. I shine the flashlight of my cellular into the hole and see that there are something like six of these gold bars tucked away underneath the holo-booth.
And I am holding it.
I want to faint… but then the naked anime woman begins shaking her butt in a dance move and makes my face turn red again.
R8PR’s going to love this.