TITLE: Gods in the Machine
GENRE: Science Fiction
Levana Anderson sipped her blue-white chocolate latte, holding the steaming porcelain cup firmly in her rounded hands. She peered through creamy white froth at the blue liquid. How did they do that, she wondered- -make the chocolate coffee blue?
Levana's gaze moved from her warm cup to the neon green button implanted in the black plastic restaurant table, stars shimmering within its ebony core. As she pushed the button with her right thumb, a cloth panel rose next to her with a whirring sound, revealing a large rectangular window.
The psychologist set down her cup to more intently soak in the spectacular view. Earth was no more than a giant's black dinner plate resting on a matching table, fluorescent sugar spilled across the darkened circle. Hours ago, night had fallen on the part of Earth linked to the Galaxy Garden Space Hotel in geosynchronous orbit. Levana could barely make out the dark rim of Earth, but the city lights popped brilliantly. Studying the stars thrown across the outdoor scape, the psychologist briefly wished she knew the constellations.
Aboard the Space Hotel for a much-needed vacation, Levana tried to relax. She slumped against the faux leather cushioning of the booth, stretched out her long legs under the table and felt a sudden release of pent-up tension in her knees. Running her hands through her thick brown hair, she shook all of it loose, then picked up her cup of blue-white liquid.