When the showers end

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Climate change has led to the end of natural rain. After food shortages, riots, and an oncoming second depression, a daring entrepreneur launches a flying hotel. The hotel's purpose is to be a
getaway for the wealthy while collecting and saniitizing guest's waste water in order to create and disperse artificial rain with organic compounds. The hotel is a major success and a chain is
launched. Dissent begins to grow among those in poverty as a small group looks to infiltrate and weaponize a hotel's water system. This story follows the detective charged with protecting this
chain and the man bent on sinking it.

Submitted: February 23, 2018

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Submitted: February 23, 2018

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When the Showers End
By: Josh Bolling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone needs rain for different reasons.To stimulate plant growth, to wash away dirt and memories, to provide melancholy amongst the madness of city life. It has a way of washing everything physical and mental clean. It is the great refresher from the skies, well it used to be.
Around 2100 A.D. the rain stopped falling on the regular. Scientists attributed this to climate change. Research firms scrambled to find reasoning and a solution. Scientists could easily manufacture water through a type of fusion. Having no way to distribute this man-made water posed the largest problem. Also man-made water was just not right for rain, it was missing something. It was a wealthy and adventurous businessman who saw the chance of a lifetime and seized it. Richard Gryse II was his name. He stated man-made water alone simply wouldn't cut it. It needed natural elements, compounds, and quite frankly waste.
His solution was Rain Hotels Incorporated. Where guest's waste water was collected, sanitized, and mixed with man-made water before being released out of the top of the hotel onto the cities below. It goes without saying guests at this hotel could not have a fear of heights. Being twenty stories up would frighten most people. Knowing that you're rooted to the ground though can have a calming effect. Being two hundred stories above ground in a floating hotel would make anyone squeamish. The hotels were successful despite initial criticism. The first Rain Hotel sprang up in Old York City naturally. A place constantly in need of cleansing. Many wealthy CEOs called the hotel home for the weekend. It was win-win. The wealthy had an amazing getaway and the impoverished had rain again. The view was unparalleled from any story. An escape from the hustle and bustle. Workers and bosses returned to work on Monday in better spirits.
Despite some claiming the rich were pissing on the poor, the hotels and rain were met with general acclaim and began springing up in all major cities. Some guests stayed for the weekend, others purchased a room for life. I inherited my room in Rain Hotel number thirty seven Wilmington, New Carolina. Around 2010 the city had an estimated population of 100,000. The city had nearly tripled in size since then. In 2100, the population was estimated at roughly 285,000. You figure a city at the beach would get regular rain but it wasn't so. I stayed on the fifth floor approximtely 205 stories up. I had known Richard since childhood and saw him on occasion. My father had been a successful and wealthy detective. His interests weren't limited to police work. In fact, the majority of his money came from weekend endeavors.
Richard had offered him a free lifetime room on the condition if he ever needed a favor, i.e. something investigated, he would do so free of charge and without informing superiors. Hotel business stayed inside the hotels. He undertook enough occasional hotel cases that Richard eventually put him on salary as District Chief of Security. He oversaw and handled any incidents at around eight hotels. Their trust and friendship grew over the years. When I was born my father was not in the greatest of health. Richard promised I would inherit my father's room and that he would look after me. My father passed when I was eight years old. Having never known my mother, I felt utterly alone save the seldom dinner with a busy CEO.

I

I awoke with a start one morning in June. Strange and dreadful dreams lay heavy on my mind through breakfast. Images of standing on a lakeside dock with a full moon peaking out from behind a bevy of clouds and a small, withered grey hand reaching out of the water for my ankle. Music aided me in pushing the dream to the recesses of my mind. Attempting to follow my normal routine, I activated the blinds on my majestic window. A twelve foot ceiling to ceiling piece of tinted glass that comprised the main wall of my living room. Even with the tint the light increase was immense.
I switched on my jog track and began pounding away at a moderate pace. The view of the Port City below me and the ocean ahead of me stretched far as the eye could see. It was no surprise the hotels at beach cities were the most popular. Right now we were at full capacity, 300 occupants. A fourth of them still mad they couldn't get an ocean view. The waves looked minute from this far up. The beach goers like ants. Magnificent yachts like toy sailboats in a big tub. The clouds were few and far between like usual. I enjoyed working security at the hotels so much I nearly forgot what it was like to live on land. Living in the air could swell one's head a little, I admit.
After a brief shower and stretch, I headed to the central security office. Taking the genetivator down to the bottom floor. These contraptions always made me a little queasy, like walking into a phone booth on the fifth floor, and walking out one second later on the first. They were effecient though. Holding my smartwatch up to the ID panel, I was greeted with an electronic, monotone "Good Morning Sir." The door slid open and I entered a beehive of workers, monitors, and desks. Our security staff consisted of fifteen highly trained officers and three secretaries. One for me and two to handle the rest of the staff and data processing. I moved quietly amongst the team and made my way to the back of central security to my office. "Good morning Ms. Jean." I said as I passed my secretary. "Good morning sir, you have the visitor." I knew immediately "the visitor" meant a higher ranking employee than myself.
As the door to my office slid open for me, I felt immense relief that it wasn't another internal auditor. "Richard, good to see you!" I exclaimed. He turned to face me. "Morning John." He beamed through his deep almost gruff voice. "How are the new locations coming along?" I inquired. "Slow and steady as always. People are always afraid of new things. What if it falls on us?" He mocked. After twenty years in the business he had heard it all. He was about six feet tall with perfect posture. A full beard neatly trimmed. And short dark brown hair that had barely grayed despite his age of 58. He wore a freshly tailored black three piece suit with a turquoise tie. Something rarely seen having fallen out of fashion several decades earlier.
"I haven't come to talk about my new endeavors though, John." he said. "A new case?" I guessed. "Of immense importance." He replied. "One of our locations was recently the target of a foul plot. Sabotage, I'm afraid. An employee granted genetivator access to certain individuals on the ground. They were allowed entry to the mechanical department. Thankfully our security team was able to apprehend them before they could implement their plan." he said. "Their plan was to install a device that would change the fusion process used to create our water and make it toxic. You know what the result would be. Dead patrons, dead civilians beneath us, and a crewless ship. In a word, disaster. I've been keeping an eye on some of the underground anarchist sects. I would bet my money an extremist has sided with some of them and is rallying resistance." he said.
"After so many years, why now?" I asked. "I don't know John, but we cannot let this plan come to fruition. I've worked too damn hard to build this company to let it fall into the hands of some disgruntled junkie with an agenda." He said. "I'll make this case priority one. I'll head to the location of the incident within the hour." I said. "Good John. As always any resource you need is at your disposal. I'll have your secretary send all available data and leads to you. Time is of the essence and I'm not too concerned about exposure here. Whatever it takes, stop these guys." He finished. With a brief and firm handshake, he left. I had three incident reports to pass off to other security officers before leaving for Old York. I hadn't even left and I already missed the ocean.

II

Seven weathered pines stood in a line on a precipice next to a once avidly used interstate. The sun setting quickly on a desolate roadway in disrepair. Opposite the pine trees stood a decrepit single story two bedroom home on two acres of barren land. Vlad knew exactly which exit to take off of I-77. Most exit and billboard signs had fallen over the years as the soil dried out from a total lack of precipitation. The headlights on in his rented Hovercar. It was a total dump, a '61 model. Modern vehicles didn't have to worry about potholes. This old thing bobbed as it adjusted to road differences.
He knew he had to make the trip. To see the Old Man one last time. As he veered onto the off ramp a knot appeared just below his stomach. He turned right onto the dilapidated service road. Knuckles white on the steering wheel at the thought of what lay ahead. Dropping his speed to a crawl at the sight of familiar pine trees that lined the edge of the property and a sharp drop towards four lanes of traffic years ago. The rustic, run-down home coming in to view. You could say it was a dirt driveway but everything was dirt or sand outside of the city. Some vegetation with deep roots still stood but sparcely out this far.
Vlad parked the rental and shut down the electric engine. The cracked concrete porch with four peeling white pillars holding up the house's overhang visible through the windscreen. Memories pouring into his mind. A school project for science class involving antique design model cars, a ramp, and a stopwatch. He could see the kid's face he did the project with but the name escaped him. Vlad could still see his face lighting up, a reflection of his own, as the cars barreled down the plywood ramp. Vlad's father, Petyr, coming home from work and discovering the boys toying around with his models. His father, furious at their recklessness with his keepsakes, had stomped the ramp and exploded in spit-spray shouting at them. He never had Jesse over again, memory finally serving his name. Vlad wondered where Jesse was now and how they had still managed to earn a B on that project.
Vlad exited the rental Hovercar and approached the miniscule home that seemed to loom before him. The Carolina sky dark and cloudless overhead. He saw the broken window on the front door and remembered coming back almost a decade earlier and busting it as if that would help him move on before moving to the big city. A sort of rite of passage for an emotionally abused and angry only child. Coming home this time wasn't in anger, it was time for a vow.
Vlad didn't dare enter the house. The porch had better memories. Too many memories of shouting, crying, and punishment in there. Better to avoid them and head around back to the garden. Vlad slowly walked the perimeter of the property as if trying to remain quiet remembering scoldings for "walking too loud". He made his way around to the barely standing fence which encircled the family garden. Here his grandfather was buried whose wife had absconded with her inheritance finally being buried elsewhere. The tombstone three feet tall and official looking despite wear. Next to the grave were Vlad's parents. Laying in graves he had dug himself almost a decade ago. He had placed makeshift monuments at the head of each. Names and dates carved into wood. Why had his rage overcome him nine years ago?
Kneeling under an almost full moon Vlad faced his parents final resting place. He was their only progeny. "Mother, forgive me for what I did so many years go, I beg you. Father, know that you brought it upon yourself and deserved every bit of what you got. To both of you, I have found new purpose, my purpose. I make a vow here and now before you both that I will change this world for the better. No matter the cost, my life or a million others." Vlad laid down the flowers he brought on his mother's grave and spat on his fathers.
Sullenly, he ambled back in the direction of the antiquated Hovercar. So many thoughts racing through his mind. As he sat on the hood of the car he opened a pint of Ethan's Evaporated Whisky. Tears slowly streamed down his warm cheeks. He barely felt them given his hot, arid surroundings. Brushing them off he took a big gulp. It was a long ride back to the city. He heard a cicada calling out in the distance or was it just a memory...

III

Viscous vomit erupted from my mouth. Taking a Genetivator down a few floors was one thing but long distances were unbearable. I had arrived in Old York in three minutes and lost my dignity on arrival. A passerby chuckling at me. "Must be his first time" he said. Thankfully my chaffeur was just across the street, company perks. The traffic was dense, the air acrid and arid. Crossing four lanes of afternoon traffic on foot was treacherous. The sun's heat bearing down all around and not a cloud in the sky as usual. Hovercars released no emissions aside from heat, paired with the June weather put the heat index around one hundred and eighteen degrees.
The tension in the air was palpable. A city overdue for it's scheduled shower. Glancing both ways, I made short dashes across the street receiving multiple angry gestures from drivers. Nearly drenched in sweat, I slammed the company Hovercar door shut. "Where to, sir?" the chaffeur chimed. "Sir, you don't look so good." he added losing his beaming smile at the sight of me. Visibly shaking from the heat, stomach ache, and sprinting I'd say not. "I need food." I replied. "We have the finest dining for miles here," he offered. "Strong coffee and soup will do," I responded. "Hot soup on a day like today? You're the boss."
Lurching into lunch hour traffic we moved along at a languid pace. A small mom and pop diner called Martin's was my choice. It was set up length-wise and had that old school shiny metal diner look on the outside and two thousand's retro on the inside with rock memorabilia hung over wooden walls. The music pulsed modern electronica just louder than comfortable but loud enough to drown out most conversations to give me time to think. I ordered two coffees and two bowls of clam chowder from the portly mid-forties waitress. She asked if I was expecting a date with a wink and a grin. Both faded fast when I told her it was so I didn't have to wait for refills and to drop the check with the meal. "Damn southerners..." she grumbled walking away.
Finally full of caffeine and chowder I headed for the restroom. Seeing a crime scene meant I had to be on my game, no detail missed. After entering the repugnant restroom I made for the farthest stall. After latching the door I opened my breast pocket and removed a small vial. Uncorking it I removed my snooter and took a large bump of Benzedrine. Trying to avoid eye contact with the floating waste in the toilet, I made for the exit. "Where to, sir?" the chaffuer chimed in the same tone. "Take me to the Hotel lift." I said. Ten minutes later I was facing another genetivator, this one up to the lobby of Rain Hotel #1.
IV

"We are the oppressed! We are the poor and hungry! We are the weary travellers that three hundred foot statue speaks of!" Ogan shrieked. She stood tall for a woman at six foot even. Vlad stood in the shadows watching her work the crowd of impoverished, shoulder to shoulder misfits. Dry air commingled with the sweat and odors of the working class quickly overloaded a normal person's sense of smell.
Vlad had been drinking a bit coming up the interstate from the Carolinas and didn't seem to mind. Gently swaying back and forth, the crowd seemed on edge of frenzy. "We will lead this world into the next generation. Not the CEOs in their floating oases. We, who toil away our lives, and have nought to show but our children and scars. We, the meek, shall inherit this Earth as prophesied many aeons ago." You had to admit, she had a way with words, Vlad thought. As he stood back in the shadows and collected his thoughts and words, he knew the time was drawing near.
"But what will you do?" Vlad called out as he stepped forward from the ranks. "Who will you follow? Where will you strike?" Vlad's voice boomed off the walls of the old town hall. "Will you follow this woman who seems to have all the answers?" he shouted rhetorically. "No, you will follow me into a new age. I am the one you have been waiting for. You do not know me but my name is Vladomir Gryse. Yes, like the Gryse who own the chain of hotels. I have the knowledge and tools that can help us topple this monopoly and lead us into a new era! Free from affluent handouts, free from them always looking down on us, free from them altogether! We are the oppressed, and I'm sick and tired of waiting for the next shower! It's high time we brought one to them!" Ogan looked on skeptically sizing up Vlad as the crowed echoed their approval. Ogan motioned for Vlad to follow her as the cheers died down and the crowd began to dispurse into an exodus of excited chatter reaching for the exit of the crumbling town hall.
"So just who the hell do you think you are?" Ogan snarled bearing down upon Vlad, who happened to be a few inches shorter. "I am second cousin removed to the Gryse family. Since I bear the name, I am granted visitor access to all Rain Hotels upon fingerprint recognition." Vlad replied coolly. "In other words, I am your Trojan horse" he continued. "Trojan what? You better be able to do half as you say if you think you can strut in here and take over" Ogan snapped. "I can and I will" he chided. "I'm sure you heard about the incident in Old York? I was there, I was the inside man. I barely escaped without detection although I'm sure they'll be on to me soon. We strike now or never." Vlad finished confidently. Ogan eyed him again probing for weakness or nervousness. Detecting neither she resolved only to say "let's begin."
V

It was so interesting to see the lobby and layout of the very first Rain Hotel. Richard had designed it himself. A lot of his eclectic and outdated sense of style could be felt on any level. He had opted for antique clocks and wooden countertops, oldies country ballads playing softly over the PA, uniforms reminiscent of the nineties, and classic paintings from the last century which culminated into some kind of awful, educated cowboy mashup. It was a wonder the first investors brought here didn't jump out of their skin and run.
Stepping briskly through the lobby doors, I headed for the security center to get the rundown. I was greeted by Aisha after scanning in with my smart watch. Sometimes a female head of security was a better option since they generally had more tact than their macho male counterparts. "Good morning, John." she greeted, smiling. "Good morning Ms. Yang." I said. "If you will follow me to my office we can begin the briefing." she said.
"So what's the scoop?" I asked. Aisha pulled up a three dimensional model of the premises. "An employee authorized genetivator access to three civilians and bypassed their security screenings. X-ray, metal detection, criminal watchlist all turned off as they came up. We're still probing our records to see who had access. An agent's name is tied to the changes but we believe he was coerced into making them. We want to question him but he is currently not conscious and has been that way since the incident. Not really a coma but not far from it. We have CCTV footage from the day in question and have pored over it extensively. We've narrowed our search down to a handful of employees. Unfortunately several employees were so shaken by the incident they haven't returned to work." she said.
"Any person versed in our systems would know security protocols can be accessed at any secure terminal on site. What makes you so sure an employee was behind this?" I said. "All indications point in that direction. There were only three casualties and one injury. This team of civvys knew exactly where to go to access the water systems. If you watch them on camera they were calm and collected, trained professionals. All New American citizens. You think foreign attack?" she said. "I'm not ruling out anything yet. Get me a list of persons on the property on the day of and status level just in case. I'm heading to the scene. Meet you there." I concluded.

VI

Ogan, her fiancee Stepan, and Gregory entered the genetivator of Rain Hotel number seven, Washington, Rezoned District of Columbia. Vlad had already checked in to the hotel as an honored guest several days prior and casually added a small backdoor program to the hotel's security. Times and computers may have changed but it essentially boiled down to ones and zeroes no matter what. All security protocols were disabled for their ascent. A half-second security breach was excruciatingly hard to detect.
As the three entered the lobby they were cheerful and coy with each other, as familiar as best friends on a weekend retreat. They reached the inner genetivator undetected and made for Vlad's room. The trio carried on feigning friendship and mild drunkenness for the sercurity cameras en route. They entered Vlad's room on the thirteenth floor after performing a quick quadruplet knock on the door to get his attention. "Change quickly," Vlad said. "Dawdling is tantamount to death for us now. We have exactly six and a half minutes to get the three of you to the fusion combination chamber. I have roughly four minutes to reach security central office and belie a heart attack." Vlad continued. "That's not what belie means," Gregory chimed. "Shut your fucking mouth and move." Vlad dictated.
The triplet quickly changed out of gawdy, polyester tourist's clothes into employee uniforms Vlad had procured over the past day and a half from laundry. Their ID cards would pass a visual inspection but ultimately he would open the doors for them as they mimicked scanning them. As they reached their final destination he would have less than a minute to reach central security and collapse in a fit. "This is our time," Vlad reiterated. "Move forward and know that the hopes, dreams, and plans of the next generation rest on your shoulders."

VII

"What do you mean they didn't scan in to fusion?!" I bellowed. "Sir, no ID tags were scanned upon entrance. They pretended to scan into the department while someone remotely operated the doors." Aisha said. "The operation was nearly seamless. They were in the building, through the doors in proper attire, and on the way to the main mixture tanks when they were stopped by an exhausted security guard finishing a fourteen hour shift who didn't recognise their faces." she said. "So you're security guard is awake?" I asked. "He is and as cooperative as one can be after checking out for a few days if you catch my drift." she responded.
After reviewing the hotel firewall I had noticed minute changes before, after, and during the event. Not being a programmer didn't mean one couldn't spot irregularities in coding. Novice hackers were easy to spot and overly confident. After spotting the anomaly, I had commed back to home office at the beach to check all network firewalls for similar instances in case of a rising mutiny. Change was never easy or permanent. Surveying the crime scene led to little evidence. These were trained pro's at their finest. No hair, fiber, prints, or trails to link to anyone but the three lying cold in the morgue much less the rogue amateur hacker who was sure to strike again.
VIII

Vlad followed the team of three door-to-door with his headset and hand controls. No verbal communication was necessary as the footage from the cameras in their ID badges populated instantly on-screen for him in three small windows in his peripherals. First, through the initial maintenance access one at a time. Second to the maintenance genetivator that granted admission to the hotel's infrastructure. This 'vator was different and very slow prompting multiple facial recognition scans and DNA verification in addition to the regular ID checks. Vlad was sober and overloaded on Bromoseltz. This put him in a relaxed yet focused state prone to the sweats and faintness which he would rely on to divert attention away from the group when the time came.
IX

"Mr. Gryse we have a lock on your systemic anamoly number one." a montone voice chimed in my ear. I had adopted Richard's family name after the loss of my father and hadn't looked back since he was the only family I had. "Excellent, give me location, priority one" I commed. The crime scene in Old York was quickly becoming nothing more than a farsical washing of hands, embarassment, and physical lack of evidence. "Washington, R.D.C. number seven. Priority One engagement iminent." the monotone female voice prompted. "Excellent, set nearest genetivator for immediate resolution, local access point, local security hub." I retorted before launching myself into the nearest genetivator.
X

Aft of the main hub was the central collection plant. Nothing was more farsical in appearance. It was like looking at a nineties hamster cage. Large tubes ran every which way. Massive tanks were visible beneath the twelve foot wide catwalk which ran to every corner of this humming basement. The lighting was a bit more dim here so as not to have a detrimental effect on the stored water. Hues of blue enveloped everything. A large mixing tank transitioned the collected, purified waste water with manufactured water. A large paddle made laps around this tank in a slow sloshing rhythm.
The entrance to collection opened. Ogan stepped through briskly, her two accomplices tailing. Gregory had a large glass and metal canister hidden up his right sleeve with a fake hand attached at the end of his sleeve. The canister was secured to his shoulder where his arm had once been many years prior.
Vlad logged out of his computer and rose to his feet. He dropped the headset and sensory gloves. Sweat beaded down the side of his face. His skin was cold and clammy. His face pale but determined. He exited his hotel room and made for the gentivator. He would have roughly a minute to get to the main foyer on the second floor. The industrial PA outside the hotel played thunder. Vlad glanced out the majestic window at the end of the hall. The early night sky was tinted in shades of violet and midnight blue. Not a cloud in sight but the high def thunder playing outside marked the onset of a scheduled shower. As he swayed from the high dose he beheld the full moon hanging lonely in the sky. It began to rain out of the top of the hotel onto the sprawling city below. Refocusing his mind he made for the 'vator.

XI

I pounded through the hotel lobby drunkenly. Woozy from the minute long travel from Old York to the former capital. I commed security "Code Black! Code Black! All hands activate! Seal all doors! Two armed teams to central collection! Clearance code JMG1348." Regaining my stride I hit the second floor stairs and made for the grand foyer. The entrance to central security lay just beyond. Reaching the stair's summit I turned right passing through the fifteen foot tall and wide entrance to the grand foyer.
Towering carpeted staircases with dark oak bannisters curled like giant arms on either side of the foyer. A magnificent chandelier hung in the center of the room. The lights shifted to emergency lighting dimming the room, an array of dazzling red light reflecting off the chandelier in every direction. Outside the thunder continued and the rain poured.

XII

Vlad exited the genetivator. He was dressed in a black polyester suit and black tie. He knew the security footage from today would be replayed for generations. This was his moment, to topple a company that had monopolized one of the most basic and necessary functions of nature. As he proudly descended the right staircase of the grand foyer a man in an official looking suit came pounding up the stairs from the lobby and entered the foyer. Their eyes met. Sweat continued to trickle down the base of Vlad's lower back.
Ogan typed furiously quick at the terminal. Stepan stood guard nearby with a compact rifle. Gregory had unstrapped the canister from his shoulder. The three waited anxiously as the mixture tank's canister slowly ejected. It was half empty and full of U.V. treated natural compounds to be added in for the next shower. Gregory and Stepan removed the canister from the mixer replacing it with the one Vlad had stolen and refilled with a modified brodifacoum solution. The canister slowly reinserted itself towards the mixing tank. The lights went out and for a moment the three saw nothing but glowing blue tanks and water all around as if submerged in some chasm deep in the ocean. The lights came back on red. "It's a security lockdown!" Stepan yelled. "Ten seconds!" Ogan called back.
With a final keystroke it was done. The canister emptied it's lethal contents into the acre-foot below. The door to collection sprang open as fourteen armed guards rushed in. Stepan got off three shots injuring one guard before taking a round to the head. It wasn't a fight it was an immediate pacification by force. "NO!" Ogan screamed. The guards moved in on the two who were unarmed, one of them quite literally. Ogan pulled a vial of the brodifacoum solution from her pocket and drank it. She knew when Vlad gave them each one "just in case" what kind of mission this was. Gregory unpocketed his vial with a trembling hand. He watched Ogan collapse with tears streaming from her face. Veins bulged on her neck and face and she began to seizure from internal hemorraging. "Don't do anything stupid!" a guard called to Gregory as he dropped the vial and to his knees. "You're too late. We're finished here." he said quietly.

XIII

The rain continued to pour outside on the city below backlit by the full moon as sounds of thunder and lightning continued playing off the hotel's massive loud system.
"So you're Richard's puppet, huh?" Vlad goaded. "So you're the family black sheep?" I shot back. "It explains a lot. I remember something in your file about an abusive father, an enabling mother, and a stint in corrections. Wasn't there some kind of accident with your parents?" I said. "I killed them for what he did to me, and she never helped me." Vlad called down to me. "Weren't you released early when their deaths were found to be no fault of yours and accidental?" I called back. "It doesn't matter now anyways. The next shower is in eighteen hours. I've locked the system and added something special. This hotel will rain death on the people below. You think you can sit up here and dole out our weather while we wait below with open hands? We're fed up. We will find a new way. We will make it work and we will survive." Vlad said.
"Think of how far we've come? I don't mean the company I mean as a people. Don't you remember the rioting, the ten month summers, the chaos that made us lose city after city as all the resources were consumed and people moved on to the next?" I shouted. "We can't go back. We've worked too hard for this future to backpedal because of some junkie with an agenda!" I yelled up to the sweating, pale shadow of a man. Richard's words coming out of my mouth. Vlad never reached the bottom of the stairs alive. One shot was all it took to take the little life left in him.

Epilogue

After the successful breach at Rain Hotel number seven, it was taken offline. The contaminated shower was overrode and cancelled causing massive outlash from the community below. Had they known the reason they may have acted differently. Rain Hotel seven was rebranded as The Floating Inn. It became a popular and free field trip destination where children could tour the facilities and learn about water and rain manufacture. The rooms were also free and open to the public after registering on a lengthy waiting list. Richard began opening Floating Inns in all major cities to remove the elitist stigma that had become associated with his chain. Once the community felt a sense of equality there were no more attempted breaches. As for me, I returned home to the beach. Standing at my majestic window looking down on the toy boats riding miniscule waves and ants roaming the beach, I wondered what's next?


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