Two months later
“How are you feeling,” I asked as I sat in the chair across from Daniel. We were sitting in the covered atrium of the facility. The temperature was perfect, the sound of the water trickling into the pond and the recording of the birds, mixed with the gentle breeze generated by their weather control unit. All in all, it felt like a mild spring day even thought it was minus 243 degrees outside the dome.
“I’m doing well,” Daniel assured me. “You picked out a really nice place.”
Ma-rye-a, Horus, Cassie, and I had talked the night I came home from the dinner with Daniel when I discovered the drugs and the game tweaking. We put our virtual heads together and found an abuse rehab facility on Rigil #3. They had a stellar reputation for helping folks reclaim their lives lost to addiction of any kind. It took me a while to arrange for Daniel’s admittance, and even longer to convince him he needed to go, but he had eventually given in. I can be quite stubborn when the need arises. I just nagged and badgered until he finally couldn’t take it anymore.
I transported him here and had been hanging around visiting him daily ever since we arrived.
It was a lovely facility with beautiful grounds, but very strict rules. No amount of Daniel’s money could sway any of the staff to break the rules and bring him anything that was not on the doctor’s approved list.
Daniel reached over and took my hand. “Do you think you could get me a gaming flat?”
Even though Daniel's addictions of record were alcohol and drugs, addiction to gaming was the reason some folks were in this place. Games were not allowed, even for those who didn’t have that particular problem to overcome.
“Sorry, Daniel,” I said and squeezed his hand in sympathy. “You know the rules.” I gave him what I hoped looked like a reassuring smile. “You want me to get you something to read? I can get you a reading flat.”
“Yeah,” he sighed. “I suppose that would be better than nothing. The crap they watch on the NET here is mind numbing.”
“I’ll have Cassie order one and we’ll have it to you tomorrow. Ma-rye-a’s 3D construct ought to be able to produce one easy enough.”
“How’s the food?” I asked. “If you are craving anything, I can get it for you. Course you can’t share with anyone in case they are in here for food abuse treatment,” I reminded him. Daniel was not in a very good frame of mind when he arrived and I wasn’t sure he heard all the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of this place.
“No need,” he answered. “The food is premium here. No complaints along those lines.”
He sighed again. He was bored now that his mind wasn’t being numbed by alcohol. This was probably the longest he had ever been away from a computer in his life. The facility advocated meditation and relaxation techniques. They had classes all hours of the day and night. Those and the therapy sessions were given round the clock. Daniel had a personal therapist on-call 24/7.
The gentle chimes rang announcing an end to visiting hours. I stood, still holding his hand.
“I’ll see you tomorrow and I’ll have the reading flat,” I said with a smile. “Cassie and I will even see if we can find you some of those old science fiction books you like.”
Daniel squeezed my hand. “You’re a good friend, 3su. I haven’t said it, but I do appreciate what you did.”
I leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. “That’s what friends are for.”