Daniel passed me the plate of sushi. I waved it off. “Try the small ones. They are just crab with rice wrapped in seaweed,” he suggested.
“No thanks. I don’t eat anything that might bite me on the way down.” We were at his place now. It was comfortable – lots of colorful pillows and low furniture. Daniel seemed to live on the floor. Even if there was a chair available, he tended to crash on the lowest surface in the room.
“Are you going to GTD this year?” he asked, as he stuffed a sushi roll in his mouth.
GTD is Galactic Treaty Day for those of you who don’t get out much. It is celebrated throughout the Verse. The date never changes on Valaria (where the original treaty was signed), but it may shift on other planets due to the planet’s cycle- check your calendar.
If you haven’t been to GTD on Valaria, you certainly should. The event runs a full thirty cycles on their planet. They have a permanent facility set up for the shows. Everything and everyone you could ever want to see is there during that thirty cycles. Vendors and buyers come from all over the Verse.
Most of the event is indoors. There is a building for the latest gadget you might consider for your home or ship – from the galley to the cargo bay, from the bridge to the bathroom. They have a complete display of every weapon available on the market. Of course, you have to register to get in the door to see them and go through the whole intense background check to buy any model. You might see your purchase by the next GTD event. There is a building just for A.I. programmers and buyers and a building dedicated to entertainment of every sort imaginable. I love the food court, which is huge. There are things there that you can’t get enough of, and things that you wish you hadn’t seen, but it is all incredible. Two years ago when I attended there was even an animal show and sale. You could buy everything from a dardolf (from protect class to draft) to a Mahserĝ, or even a malfit on the hoof.
I told Daniel I hadn’t really planned on attending this year.
“I’m going this time. I have a new program I want to get some feedback on. I intend to set it up in the playroom.” Oh, that’s another building I forgot to tell you about. They set up a game room so all the programmers can let customers test drive facsimiles of their wares. “You might have a look at it when I get the proto type done. It would help with Cassie’s program.”
“Really? What is it?”
“Can’t say yet,” Daniel said, “still in the smoke testing stage, but if it works like I have it planned it should make me a very rich man.”
“When have things never worked like you had them planned?” I asked.
“Well, admittedly, hardly ever. Oh, I almost forgot.” Daniel hopped up and dug in a nearby drawer. When he came back he presented me with a very intricately designed box. “It’s a puzzle box. I ordered if from Delightful. I thought you would like it.”
I turned it in my hand, a box without a way in – as far as I could see. Daniel loves unique packaging. You could almost say he is obsessed.
“When you find the way in, it has a surprise for you – a Muldavian chocolate – Rainbow flavor.”
I tugged at the corners thinking it might pop open. I sat it on the floor and pushed down in hopes that it would spring open. Muldavian chocolates are my favorite. I was not going to be thwarted. I tried twisting it a bit. It still wouldn’t open. The nice thing about Daniel is that he is so excited about the packaging that once you have given it your initial effort, he is more than willing to show you how the delightful thing opens. “I can’t figure it out,” I said and handed it back to him.
Daniel held it in one hand, pushed on the two opposing corners and the box literally popped open and played a tune as the center rose up and presented the chocolate (dipped in gold) in all its magnificence on a small black lacquer tray. “Is that something or what?” he asked.
I didn’t know whether to eat it or applaud. Temptation got the best of me – I opted to eat and applaud later. It is the most incredible chocolate in the Verse.