The re-run of some stupid robot sitcom finally ends, and the cheesy saxophone music plays over a still frame while the credits scroll rapidly across the screen.
I nod my head sagely and sit back to watch some soothing, low-volume commercials that advertise me new and interesting brands of detergent and extremely classy canned coffee flavors.
Rain gently pelts my window. There’s been an onslaught of nonstop rain since the day of the Summer Festival, and I’ll never not be glad for it. I love when the weather’s not sweltering, but not shiver-inducing either.
Why am I up at four thirty in the morning watching television, you ask? Why’m I up, indeed. It’s not that I ended up a sleep deprived mess and stayed up all this time. On the contrary, I’m well-rested. I went to bed at like, eight at night from the sheer exhaustion of the past few weeks finally unloading on me. As soon as I got home from R8PR’s place, all those thoughts of Ascendants and Cybermancers and crazy plots sped out of my mind and I collapsed on my bed for one of the deepest, most satisfying sleeps I’ve ever had in my entire life.
I didn’t dream. Just absolute unconscious bliss for eight whole hours.
Now, I’m wide awake with nothing to do on a morning without work. I’ve eaten my corned beef sandwich for a very early, very yummy breakfast, and I’m vegging out watching the worst of the worst on TV.
This is the stuff.
Sitting back in my couch, relaxing, just having a great rest for the first time in ages.
I’d gotten pretty worried about myself back there. Questioning my heroism. Questioning if anything I did in the world made it a better place. Questioning my own sanity. But guess what? I’m a hero. I saved Atlanta in a huge way, and if I wasn’t there that wouldn’t have happened. Did it go perfectly? No! But you know what else didn’t go perfectly? The production of the movie Alien, and that ended up being one of the greatest movies of all-time.
Yes, I’m comparing myself to Alien.
I deserve it, because even heroes deserve to rest their extremely tired bodies and minds sometimes. The reason Spider-Man’s always having trouble is because he can’t manage his personal life and hero life at the same time, after all. I have to make sure to avoid my comic book superhero brethren and take care of myself, because that way I’ll be better suited to kicking ass.
Heroes should be able to watch bad robot sitcom reruns too.
In fact, I know it’s barely sunrise by now, but I’m going to… Okay, you don’t have to actually read this part of the chapter, trust me, but I ruffle through a drawer and take out my lonely copy of “Glasses Glasses Glasses!”
I didn’t get a chance to really read it before. You know, for the articles. Articles of clothing, that is.
Now I can crack this thing open again and keep on relaxing in the early morning…
Wait a minute, this ad… This is for the “Steamy Machine.” It goes on and on about magical AI technology that will allow you to live your “greatest fantasies” in the form of a self-writing story controlled by your own mood and preferences. It’s already been tested and released for a public beta testing period, and you can try it out yourself for free?!
Ugh, I have to get up from my comfy position, but it’s basically required. I go over to my desktop, type in the URL, and come up to the Steamy Machine’s very professional looking site. Aw, man, it’s all here!
Oh. The free public beta is certainly free.
But… it’s on CD, and you have to pay for shipping and wait a week for it to arrive.
My quick dreams are shattered, or at least they are for a week since I’m definitely still sending away for it. Patience will just have to—
Oh, an e-mail from a random string of numbers in the address and title. That’s probably R8PR.
Hm. A long message about some rumors I might be interested in investigating. Some links to other websites that show off videos of people’s dreams of something, and a bunch of teens on Netnect doing their thing. This is extremely interesting, R8PR says, and you really should get into it before it becomes a big deal.
To that, I reply only two words:
I’m relaxing today, and that’s final.
Back to the couch, back to the magazine, and back to letting the dog days of summer wash away into an early autumn.
Thanks for reading ATL.
For now, the story is finished. The story ended up very unpopular, so I’m going to rewrite ATL starting next year and rerelease it in 2022 or 2023. Please fill out this reader survey to help me make the story as great as it can be! The link is http://tinyurl.com/atl-reader-survey.