-Capital Crocus Theater, 1:55 P.M.-
The trio had gotten out of the mall parking lot without too much trouble, but the wait to get into the movie theater was a long and dull one. They had arrived at the theater at 12:50 P.M. but had to wait slightly over an hour because the theater was running on a skeleton crew and there was only one person manning the ticket booth. Alex and Victoria were OK with it, but Allie was visibly annoyed by the wait. The trio learned that tickets to Celestial Conflicts were sold out, so they chose to see Cybernetic Conspiracy because none of the theater's other offerings were particularly interesting. They paid for their tickets and went inside the theater to go get concessions before their movie started at 2:30 P.M.
-Inside the lobby, 2:00 P.M.-
The trio walked into the lobby with thirty minutes left before Cybernetic Conspiracy started, which was just enough time to brave the lengthy concession lines and get what they wanted. Taking advantage of an all-too-rare short line made possible by the people in front of them bailing out to take a sudden trip to the bathroom, the trio promptly hopped into it and waited their turn in line, getting to the counter in the astoundingly fast time of four minutes. So far everything was going smoothly for them, a trend that Victoria holed would continue.
Within another five minutes they had gotten their drinks, candy, and popcorn and were on the way to the theater where Cybernetic Conspiracy was showing, one marked with the number 12. Victoria, who was the least burdened of the trio with a large Cherry Charge clutched in her left hand, opened the door for the Montgomery sisters, who had their hands full. Allie had a large cup of water and a large tub of popcorn while Alex carried a large Cherry Charge, a large tub of popcorn, and a box of chocolate candy precariously perched underneath the tub of popcorn. The grateful sisters went by and Victoria followed them into the theater.
-Inside Theater 12, 2:09 P.M.-
The trio made their way to the seating in the middle of the theater, which was lightly populated by moviegoers. They chose seating that was in the middle of the higher seats and sat down, catching a few early movie previews for standard box office fare like romantic comedies about college students, action movies that were big on gunfights and explosions, and even some strange arthouse movie about a guy wearing sunglasses carrying a potted plant across Desierto. As the previews went on they got to be annoying, so the audience began to chat amongst themselves about other things.
"Man, these previews suck. How many times are they gonna make romantic comedies set in college?" Allie asked between mouthfuls of popcorn.
"Dude, I don't know." Victoria answered incredulously. The preview that was on the big screen was for a movie named The Perfect Partnership, which was about a girl in a sorority who was obsessed with a rich guy who just so happened to be in all of the Business Administration classes she attended. The rich boy checked all the boxes for typical "college romcom heartthrob" such as having perfect brown hair, deep blue eyes, chiseled abs, and a near-perfect GPA along with a large circle of friends and admirers. The girl, on the other hand, was a card-carrying nerd with waist-length jet-black hair who wore thick black-rimmed glasses and wore long-sleeved shirts and long skirts. One could see the plot of the movie coming from miles away.
Nerdy girl wants rich guy, so she goes on a quest of self-discovery, bonds with her sorority sisters while going through typical college movie hijinks, and eventually gets the guy after learning that true beauty was within.
Victoria kept quiet and sipped on her drink as the preview mercifully ended and the theater darkened. The curtains concealing the left and right sides of the screen drew back, then the opening credits to Cybernetic Conspiracy rolled. While they rolled a mournful violin played as a male narrator who sounded exhausted described the world that Cybernetic Conspiracy was set in. It sounded like typical "dystopian future" fare, but Victoria was interested enough in the premise to listen to the narration.
The year was 2152. The world was groaning under the weight of numerous problems, most of them caused by humanity. Wars over resources that had been going on since the start of the 22nd Century with no end in sight, rising levels of pollution in the world's oceans and rivers, corporate interests acquiring a disproportionate amount of influence in the political system through lavish donations to politicians, and growing gaps between the rich and the poor that showed no signs of being narrowed.
The scene was a view of a pristine white laboratory where a gloved hand dropped a solution into a beaker. The next scene was a picture of Leonardo DaVinci's famous artwork The Vitruvian Man. While the image formed the background the narrator spoke of how militaries and governments all over the world were hard at work creating super soldiers to end the wars over resources... and to form the backbone of special police forces dedicated to rooting out people who were tired of the gross economic disparities and lack of voice in the political system.
The scene changed to formations of uniformed soldiers with cybernetic enhancements such as cybernetic arms and eyes marching in perfect lockstep. The narrator said "These men of iron are relics of a world gone by. They are to be replaced by men of the future. Men of the future made by men of the past. How this paradox plays out will affect the world for centuries to come." Victoria did not quite get what that meant, but she surmised that it meant that the super soldiers were being created by men who were stuck in the past for goals that were equally outdated such as the global supremacy of their country.
The screen went dark and the narrator said "The men of the future will wield the power of nanites."
Next came a scene where uniformed men with no cybernetics and glowing blue eyes jogged in formation before scenes of battle came on. In one battle scene a nano-augmented soldier lifted a disabled Armored Personnel Carrier above his head before turning around and facing a squad of soldiers shooting at him, then tossing the vehicle at the squad in a ghastly game of bowling. In another a nano-augmented soldier shrugged off point-blank fire from a cybernetically enhanced soldier wielding a light machine gun and casually walked up to him before delivering a single punch with enough force to practically disintegrate the cyborg soldier's head. A third scene showed a nano-augmented soldier in heavy armor wielding a rifle that looked like the cannon of a tank with one hand and blasting an enemy tank into a heap of flaming metal before blasting another five into scrap with a single shot to each tank. In the end a pile of dead cyborg soldiers lay at the feet of a single nano-augmented soldier wielding an assault rifle. The nano-augmented soldier turned towards the camera with an expressionless face and glowing blue eyes.
The movie sounded like typical dystopian fare, but again Victoria was keenly interested in the premise because she had never seen anything like it before. The narration did a good job of setting the mood of the world the movie was set in and the music only enhanced the mood. Victoria was glued to the screen and wanted to see how the movie ended.
[Post Word Count: 1,278]
[Total Word Count: 4,334/5,000]