The story so far:
Changing the subject, his mother asked, " have you thought anymore about what you want to do with your life?"
"No", was Hector's short, curt, reply.
Most boys his age already had two years of vocational classes in cycberschool, but Hector couldn't make up his mind. One day he wanted to be a congressperson, the next a genewtic engineer. Most of all and presently he wanted to be an exployer and explore the Outside. He wanted find his father.
"Well,think aboput it", she told him, as she picked up the picnic basket and left the room.
The next morning his mother was busy day trading. She was there physically, but was so involved with her work, that she had no idea what Hectore was doing.
He was in her bedroom trying on the few items of clothing she had, looking for something that would fit him well enough to wear it Outside. He'd never had his own clothing since he had never needed to go Outside before. Finally, he settled on a plain white T-shirt and a pair of shorts. The shorts hung low on his hips and the shirt was so long that it covered them completely.
Now if he could remeber the door code for the building....his mother had given it to him a while ago, thinking he might need it to escape in somekind of emergency.
"7549" , he recited as he stood in front of the door that led to the hallway, but nothing happened.
"4975", he said and the panel slid open silently. He stepped out into the hallway. A gray gritty substance stuck to his bare feet and his hands, as he ran his fingers across the wall and wrote "Hector was here," in the dust. Then he wiped away some of the grit to reveal the ancient graffiti underneath. He could read some of the words, but didn't understand the meaning of the phrases. The rest appeared to be written in some foreign lauguage.
He stepped in front of a door, different from the rest of the apartment doors that lined the hallway. The turbo lift sensed his presence. The door opened and the same voice that inhabited the apartment Gusrdian Angel asked,"Up or Down?"
"Encouraged by the familiar tone, Hector hesitantly stepped inside the tubular box and the door quickly closed behind him.
"Ground level, please", he requested, taking a deep breath.
His heart raced and he felt light headed as the lift dropped at a high rate of speed, two hundred and one floors.
"Ground level", the familiar voice informed him as the door opened into a vast lobby. It was even dirtier than the hallway on Hector's level. He was side traked momentarily, looking at the old security console, that hadn't been used since the building Guardian Angel computer had been installed a hundred years ago. Then he went and stood before the huge glass doors that opened to Outside.