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Paradigm Shift - Act 1: Paradise City

Part 1

Trinity and Beyond.

Requiem for...something. Who could remember? Literally? Requiem for something or other being played on the piano, maybe someone or something or some place lost to catastrophe or...

Consciousness. Realization. And yelling. "R. Dorothy Wayneright!"

Struggling to make his bloodshot eyes actually blink, Roger Smith resolved to strangle Dorothy with his bare hands.

He resolved to forget his resolve when he remembered that Dorothy would proceed to smash him like a twig if he tried.

So instead, Roger settled for heaving himself out of bed, shrugging on his bathrobe, and plodding out into the living room. Perhaps it was time to buy a smaller house. Sure, he could afford something larger than what he had now, but the larger the rooms, the better the acoustics for Dorothy’s morning torture sessions. "Dorothy, do you have an alarm clock program or something? Can I delete it if you do?"

Her head rotating on her very servo-like neck, Dorothy did not stop playing as she answered. "I contain no such program for you to delete, Roger Smith. Also, you are dressed inappropriately for your appointment."

"But I don’t have any," Roger started to say. He turned to head for the shower, meaning to get out the work ‘appointment.’ The word came out as something akin to ‘ack!’ as he jumped, noticing the pair of people sitting calmly in his living room.

"I made your appointment for this time when they called earlier this morning," Dorothy added.

Regaining his composure amidst the total strangers in his house, Roger pushed a handful of pillow-shaped hair out of his face. His inquisitive and fairly annoyed stare fixed on the other butler. "Norman?"

"Sorry, Sir," Norman answered, the tray in his hands holding a cup of coffee. "She beat me to the phone."

Excusing himself momentarily, Roger re-entered his room an emerged decked out in the suit labeled for wear on this particular day of the week, with his hair combed to top it off. Though the suit felt a bit odd; he had a feeling Dorothy had gone switching the labels again to prove that each was the same no matter what day of the week it was. She just couldn’t appreciate fine suits, Roger figured.

"Sorry about that," he apologized, sitting down on the other side of the coffee table from his guests, chin resting on his backs of his hands. "So, what can I do for you?"

One of the perspective clients was a tall old man, his chin square and prominent. The other was a little old lady in a wheelchair, most certainly old enough to have forgotten everything she’d known forty years ago.

"No trouble, no trouble at all!" The gentleman proclaimed, almost embarrassed to be in the room as he scratched his head. "We just, well...have a little disagreement with an insurance company over an accident and figured we should get a negotiator."

Roger sat back. All insurance companies in the city were subsidiaries of Paradigm. He hated dealing with Paradigm.

This would be a trip.

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