I was in what seemed like a hotel room, where I picked up a small iPhone-looking device. I decided to talk to it.
me: "Hey, phone... um... show me a map of how to get out of this building."
I walked out the door and passed a strange looking robot. It seemed to have some kind of sign for a face. Remaining calm, I passed it peacefully, and it didn't bother me.
Trying to make sense of the map, I noticed a man who looked like a construction worker push an elevator button on the wall. Nonchalantly I followed him, but when the elevator came it was rather shallow and wide.
construction worker: "Hm, is the main elevator not working?"
me: (playing it cool) "...it might not be..."
Fumbling with the phone it seemed to be able to expand into a wallet, and had some kind of built in lighter. Looking into the wallet, it appeared to be full of a lot of large bills. I discreetly closed it back up.
Fearing the usual dream attacks, I didn't want to look suspicious. So I decided to make small talk.
me: "So...how's your day?"
man: "About as good as it gets? Had a meeting, and I feel like I can't get anywhere because I'm always getting judged on how I look. Maybe I should wear fancier shoes."
me: "Well, if someone judges you on your shoes, then you have a piece of information of what kind of person they are. I'd just turn it around and judge them for it."
He smiled and we walked outside, passing an opening area of a building that seemed to have some restaurants or stores built into its bottom level. I walked out into the dark, and turned around to try and see the context of where I was. A sign on the outside said Amy's Roadhouse
I tried talking to the phone some more, but now--for some reason--it talked back. It seemed to punctuate what it said with laughter.
phone: (laughing) "It's owned by the Radisson Group."
me: "So it's like, a hotel? Are the units all rented, or owned, or what is it?"
phone: (laughing) "You have to pay to stay there."
me: "Yes, but I mean, what kind of building. Is it all hotel, or mixed residential and hotel?"
I'm not sure why of all things I would care about the zoning makeup of the building I'd come out of.
I wandered about staring at the phone's map, and decided to go into a local shop to see what I could learn about the body I was in before I woke up. I addressed the female shopkeeper, starting with some kind of innocuous-seeming questions.
me: "Do you remember seeing me before?"
me: "Do you know what I do, like, for a living?"
woman: "I don't know anyone that knows you've said anything about it."
me: "Would you say this area is a good area? Is it high end, average, or is it dangerous or something?"
woman: "It used to be sort of the second nicest neighborhood around here, because of Manta Research. Maybe not quite as nice these days, but still good."
"Manta Research" sounds like the name of some supervillain's cover company from a comic book or movie. However, pretty much every organization I can find on Google calling itself "Manta Research" is very literally involved in researching mantas, e.g. the aquatic fish. I suppose that could still have a villainous angle to it.
me: "Okay, well, let me tell you the situation here. I don't know anything about this place. I don't recognize this place, this city, the room I was in before, 'Amy's Roadhouse', 'Manta Research' the phone I'm carrying... none of it. Basically, the way you could model this is that I'm an amnesiac, except... I'm not. I have an entire life that I know about, it just is unrelated to whatever this one is."
woman: (shrugging) "It's pretty easy to get hacked. You just read a few pages, and next thing you know, whoosh."
me: "Sure, I'm a programmer. And I get that. But it seems if anyone's been hacked, it would be the body I'm occupying...not me, the occupier. I'll wake up fine in a minute--near certain, regardless of attacks. I just have no idea how I got connected in here, wherever here is."
woman: "The one person who knows about your situation is Rohit. He knows, but he just can't say anything."
woman: "Rohit...of Famous Amy's and Michaels."
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