The restaurant hung on the edge of one of the sky scrapers like a tumour, the puss of fast food being collected by a constant stream of air-traffic. The owner was a curmudgeonly old fool who’d taken out the franchise with his first wife, indenturing his son in another franchise in exchange for his own. It was a common process, which meant he was stuck with someone else’s runt. And a franchisee bill which meant he could barely afford the lease, much less to eat his own food.
It didn’t always used to be the way. As the cities rose, the people clamoured for more. More food. More speed. But when the Tropics kicked off and the first tethers went up it kicked off a chain reaction. The golden arches acquired the king, both decimated the bell. And then Denny’s took over the whole lot.
So now, if you wanted food (and not the packet, powder or pill kind) you went to a Denny’s. Along with the mastication came the normal social holdings. Birthdays and parties and business lunches; all took place at a Denny’s.
Which meant Jill had spent the last thirteen hours serving a never ending procession of spoiled rich kids and suit-wearing drones who treated her like an automaton that took cards and dispensed protein paste formed into whatever shape was requested. Which was fine for her. A million people saw her face and forgot it the moment their food arrived. Perfect anonymity.
“The all day breakfast, no egg.”
“Sure thing,” Jill said, the cheeriness in her voice grating on her own ears from the methamphetamine induced walking coma.
Denny’s prided itself in being quick. But not too quick. If you served a steak in under sixteen seconds (the time it took to actually cook) customers would be suspicious. But take thirty minutes and you’d lose money to walkouts. So now every order included an exact estimate on when it would arrive, which counted down on your table.
Eight minutes and forty seconds later, Jill returned with a plate of steaming bacon, sausage and accoutrements. And found herself facing the barrel of a Heckler, Koch & Wesson TX-8. Recoilless barrel configuration, nanofibre caseless rounds with a grip-switch firing rate selector.
She knew this, and when she looked into the eyes of the diner, she realised he knew this as well.
“Hi Kat. It’s been a while,” he said.
Prompt originally posted by Theoson on reddit and received 4 upvotes.