**Shard.01 - Things forgotten**
I cradle my drink, or at least the analogue of it. I haven't really been able to 'drink' anything in the traditional sense for the past three thousand years, but that's why I come here.
They map you at the door and simulate your memetic concept of a relaxant. To me everyone is a humanoid, drinking some sort of liquid.
To the guy on the other side of the bar everyone might be an energy-cloud, absorbing plasma from a central node.
Apparently they tailor the experience based on the composition of your nervous system, which most sentient beings have in one form or other.
It's a good system; we can all still get wasted together, without having to deal with culture shock. I'm here to meet a man named Bezerk.
Not his real name, but the closest thing to it I can understand.
A slim man steps up to me; he seems nervous, almost trembling.
From what I know of the Garlorkians, this probably means he's a roiling ball of plasma, anxious and destructive to carbon based life forms, but I'm safe - another benefit of a sim-bar.
He sits next to me nonchalantly, but his twitching lip belies plasmoid flares bursting across his nest-space.
"Garlin?" he whispers, without breaking his forward gaze.
I return the favour, looking forward as I take a long draught of something that tastes like a beer I first tried when the Earth still circled the sun.
I let the moment hang before muttering, "Garlin is dead, but what he fought for isn't."
The slender man's tremors subside imperceptibly, he knows he's on safe ground now. "But a dead man can't see a vision made real, so why bring the vision about."
I turn to him, and drawl, "when a man dies for a vision, it is for the eyes of others, and must be seen" with as much enthusiasm as I can muster.
For Bezerk this might be a thrilling risk, for me it's just a day job.
He licks his lips nervously, and turns to me. "So you're the guy?" he says, dripping with disdain.
"Probably," I retort, "if I get the job done I am, if not then we're both dead, so what does it matter?"
"You've got the transport vehicle ready?" he asks, seemingly calmed by my callous attitude to death. "It's in Port, meet me at docking bay three-oh-delta, in six turns" I reply.
He takes all this in his stride, "OK, I'll emit a frequency at 12hz so you can identify me, and then we can load up," he shoots back. He's obviously used to giving orders.