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The City of Hollis on Perimeter was a bustling metropolis unlike anything we had on Vahunomi and my brother and I were like wide eyed childern on the ride into it from the spaceport. Tall shining skyscrapers, elevated rail links, and several levels of streets running all around them filled with every type of transportation imaginable.
Our hotel was in the heart of the city, and while not as glitzy and extravgent as entertainment districts in Gallente cities that I had seen in holos, it still oozed excess and possibility. I was only 20 years old and the place just revved my bloodstream with the careless fire that only the young have; even my brother, who normalled eschewed any type of boisterous activty, seemed filled with electricty and excitment.
We checked into our room and quickly headed back to the concourse that connected our hotel building with several other hotels and casinos. Bars, gambling floors, restaurants, sports dens, everything you could imagine was within walking distance and everywhere were beautiful people making sure the patrons had drinks. I craned my neck several times to allow my eyes follow a sexy hostess across the floor. Many years later I would visit the Hedonistic Avenues of Luminaire and realize how simple, small, and innocent the Hollis downtown was in comparison, but at the time I felt like I was in the centre of the universe.
As Kor and I walked around and checked out the sights and attractions, I noticed above the main concourse another one that looked down upon us and a few people at the edge sitting or leaning on the rails, talking to each other.
"That would be a good place to see around," I nudged my brother, pointing to the higher level.
He followed my gaze and snorted. "Good luck!"
"What do you mean?"
"That's a restricted level, for pod pilots and their guests only. I read about it on the flight here on the 'net. Its got specialty stores and restaurants and high end luxury service to lure the capsuleers down from the station. They get the five star treatment down here and separation from us mere mortals."
The knowledge I was not allowed up there made me want to go there all the more. It burned me that I was not good enough for that private level. One of the first things I did after I became a pilot and was discharged from the Navy was to spend a weekend here even though I had to go into debt to afford it.
We carried on and after a while we stopped to have dinner at a restaurant that served some excellent beef and a waitress whose bodice was stretched almost to the point of bursting to my brother's consternation. We brought up the directions we had been given and walked for thirty minutes to a quieter and darker part of the underground concourse. There, set in the wall like a cave entrance, was the door to the bar called "The Vortex".
"After you," I said to my brother.