! Sozont #9: Online Research

9.  Online Research

Now what?  Sozont tried to take another bite of emergency ration, but the wrapper was empty.  He had eaten the whole thing without noticing.  He thought about getting another one from the kitchen.  Or there was the VR unit, with its food-elemental conduits connected to the city grid.  There ought to be a way to get something tasty out of that, but Sozont didn't know how.  Perhaps he going back to Furry Fairytale Land and try to rustle up some grub with a broken field emitter, but Sozont's inner animal was a healthy Tigri-Hippo-Strich, not a half-blind cripple.  Sigh.  Besides, he didn't know if Tardrayn had put the VR unit back together again, since more repair work was scheduled for tomorrow.  He got himself another ration bar.
     The computer was still on, so Sozont sat down and pressed a few keys.  Ah!  Now *here* was something his human body was actually good at!  He pressed a few more keys.  On a whim, he started looking up information on Martha Stewart.  She had recorded a lot of stuff about her thoughts and feelings, which didn't seem to match the brass-talon-wearing fur that Sozont had met, but he read it all anyway.  There was no mention of an RL name, but quite a few references to one female friend: "Red Bunny".  No male was mentioned more than once.  But there were many protected entries Sozont could not see.  He sent Marth an offer of friendship, making his own protected entries visible to her.  Hopefully she would reply in kind.
     Sozont wanted more, but there was nothing more to find about Martha Stewart.  So he looked up Spike.  That guy did not hide his RL name at all!  Nor his school's name, but what was his major?  Most of the information was about parties he had attended and lists of other furs who had been there with him.  Sozont had read this stuff before, as a tigrihippostrich in Fairytale Land.  There was no need to read it again as a hy00man, except to pass the time until his VR unit was fixed.  But he was bored with rereading it.
     Maybe he should go out someplace.  It had been a very long time since he had left his apartment.  What places could he still remember how to get to?  Well, there was the Furry Club.  And then there was...  Sozont drew a blank, which was ridiculous!  There were plenty of other places he could go.  He imagined the supermarket and traced in his mind exactly how to get there from here, but his body had no interest in making that trip.  They didn't sell ration bars and there was no point in buying any other kind of food, since Sozont would be going back to his VR life tomorrow.  Might as well go to the Furry Club, then.
     Sozont considered putting on more clothes, but he was just going out to pass the time.  He set the auto-vac to do a "major cleaning" cycle and left his apartment.

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-- Pyesetz the Dog