Franks stands in line at Time Central Station with his shoes in a tray and his go-bag open for inspection.
“Year?” the Time Security Agent asked, his voice flat. All business.
“2138,” Franks replies.
The agent shoves a hand in the bag, roots around for a split second, and then he blinks an image of Franks face.
“Reason for travel?”
“Vacation,” Franks states.
The agent stares at him blankly.
Franks sighs, “Suspension.”
The agent nods. “Please proceed through the scanner.”
Franks steps into a booth with white walls and a smart tile floor.
A buzzing fills his ears. More, his entire head is buzzing. His body, down to the skeleton. He hums.
After 30 seconds of this, the booth chimes. The sensation fades.
“This way, sir,” the agent calls from the exit.
“No upgrades?,” the agent asks, handing Franks his bag.
“Au naturel,” Franks confirms as he slips on his shoes.
The agent considers him closely, then nods. “We’re clear here. Follow the red stripe.”
The stripe is a a foot thick and the only color in the sterile white hallway.
He walks twenty meters without passing a door or an alternate path. Eventually, the red line demands that he turn left.
He finds himself entering a large round room just as sterile as the hallway, the red line marking the perimeter. In the center of the room stands a pedestal, a display glowing red resting on top.