Cyberpunk 2078

It was nighttime, and raining, in the city. Despite these conditions, which would normally impair visibility, it was in fact quite easy to see, owing largely to the abundance of neon lights. There were neon lights on the walls, neon lights on the buildings, and even holographic neon lights floating in midair. Many of these were advertisements for some of the products you could buy in the city. "Drink Neo-Berry Soda!" one read, with an outline of a woman sipping from a can. The text was in Japanese, because like all goods and services, Neo-Berry Soda was sold by Fujimoto Corporation, which had its headquarters in Japan. Most English-speakers had some knowledge of Japanese because it was useful for communicating with the upper management of Fujimoto, who they all worked for. Even if they couldn't read the advertisements, that was okay, because everything they bought was owned by Fujimoto anyway.

My cyber-boots (boots with neon lines along the zippers) splashed along the puddles in the street. Even though it was nighttime, I was going to work, because people did everything at night now. Street vendors in their stalls, illuminated by blue and pink glows from the neon lights overhead, called out for my attention, hoping I would buy some midnight snacks. Unfortunately for them, I had already had my Fujimoto brand nano-protein breakfast bar, sating my hunger for now. The vendors were of course Fujimoto subcontractors, who received nightly shipments of authentic pre-packaged street food that they then distributed for a portion of the proceeds.

I arrived in the lobby of the Fujimoto Corporation Regional Headquarters on the corner of Neo-45th and Neo-Third. I shook the rain off my jacket as the holographic receptionist greeted me. "Good evening, Dave," she said. "Shall I take your coat?"

"That won't be necessary, K.A.R.E.N.," I replied with a smile, just like I did every night. My jacket was made of a special polymer that repelled water rather than absorbing it, meaning it would take only minutes to dry. The digital woman nodded in acknowledgement as I entered the elevator.

The doors slid shut and I ascended the many floors to my office. The elevator was normal except the buttons were neon colored. Once I had reached my floor, I walked out and surveyed the sea of cubicles. This place was like my second home, and some days I spent more hours here than at my apartment. I walked over to my cubicle and sat down, and my cubicle-mate Mark greeted me. "Hey, Dave," said Mark. Mark had prosthetic hands, which he got after developing an RSI from too much typing. "Busy day yesterday?"

"Oh, the usual," I replied. Mark knew this meant I had stayed up late playing MMOs on my gaming PC. My character, a night elf mage who specialized in conjuration magic, was almost level 50. At such high levels, combat became extremely grindy, so even with my carefully-optimized build I had to spend hours raiding dungeons if I wanted to progress. "Yourself?"

"Same old, same old," Mark replied. Mark was a fan of NNASCAR (the first N standing for Neo), the hot new racing competition that was taking the world by storm. In NNASCAR, all the cars had wings, and they flew around in the sky instead of driving on the ground. They weren't allowed to fly up or down, and all the other rules were the same, so it was exactly the same to watch as normal NASCAR.

With the pleasantries out of the way, I opened up my spreadsheets and got to work. We were nearing the end of the quarter, and my manager, TJ "The Snake" Fuzz, had requested quite a few graphs and tables summarizing our team's recent performance. It was tedious, repetitive work, but I didn't mind. I took pride in the fact that my effort contributed to Fujimoto Corporation's mission of bringing everyone the best products, at the lowest price. Besides, all the recent advancements in science and technology improved my life so much that I could hardly complain. I didn't feel any disillusionment or alienation from my labor, and I knew everyone else in the world felt the same way. Out of all the futures I could be living in, this was definitely the coolest.