Enjoying Paradise

Part 08 of my third global warming science fiction novel “Last Week”Link to Part 01: “Back To Paradise Era”.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023, 1:47 P.M.

“Get ready for some real beef,” Satoshi said.

“Real beef? I thought that hamburger was 100% beef. It said so on the paper wrapper,” Angel objected.

“Well, technically it is 100% beef. But we still call it junk food for a reason. They don’t use the best parts. McDonald’s has to take a hard look at costs. This place does not,” Satoshi said.

They had reached the steak house. Satoshi had reserved a table. Some music was playing softly in the background.

“Junk food? Are you crazy?” Angel said. “That was the best meal I ever had.”

“That may be true,” Satoshi said. “We still think McDonald’s is junk. Living in the Paradise Era will do that for you, I guess.”

“You really don’t want to know what we call junk food in the 24th Century,” Angel said.

“I’m sure it would be rather unpleasant,” Satoshi said. “It would be a shame to spoil the steak by discussing such a topic. Mind if I order for you?”

“Go ahead. I wouldn’t know anything about steaks anyway,” Angel said. “Cows became extinct long before I was born.”

Satoshi called the waiter and placed his order. The biggest steaks on the menu, with some beer.

“I just realized something. Good news,” Satoshi said.

“What would that be?” Angel asked.

“Since you only have one week left, you won’t have to worry about gaining weight. You can eat all you want,” Satoshi said.

“Worry about gaining weight?” Angel frowned.

“Sorry. How stupid of me. Of course, in your World, you wouldn’t worry about something like that,” Satoshi said.

“We sure don’t. Remember the Fourth Commandment? ‘Don’t waste food?’ We have it for a reason. We have it because there is not enough food to go around. There is certainly not enough to get anyone overweight. Even I get only the minimum I need. And I’m Royalty! A Princess, born of the Emperor’s favorite wife! Trust me. There are no obese people in the 24th Century,” Angel said. She had calmed down somewhat.

The waiter arrived with their food and two glasses of beer.

“Do you have beer in your World?” Satoshi asked.

“We have alcohol. Even something we call ‘beer’. But barley is gone as well. With all the species going extinct left and right over the next Centuries, barley just happened to get hit. I am looking forward to drinking my first real beer,” Angel said.

“And your first real steak,” Satoshi added.

Angel looked at the steak before her. That was quite a difference to the hamburger. No mushy bread. No salad or mayo to distract from the taste. Only the raw power of beef.

As with the hamburger the day before, she took her time. She slowly cut off one small piece with her knife. Then she raised it up right before her nose, taking in the aroma. Again, a difference like night and day from the Big Mac.

And then, she put her first ever piece of steak right in her mouth, and kept it there for a while, without starting to chew. The taste was overwhelming her.

“I made the correct choice all right. This alone makes it worth exchanging all of my remaining time for one week in Paradise Era. It really does. Do you know how fucking lucky you are?” Angel asked.

“I am not sure I am able to follow you,” Satoshi said. “I lack your experience. For me, it’s no big deal. I’ve eaten here before. But I’m glad you like it.”

Angel put down her knife and her fork.

She got up from her seat.

Then she went quickly over to the opposite side of the table. Where Satoshi was sitting.

Before he could react, she gave him a strong hug. And placed another kiss on his mouth.

Satoshi blushed. Again.

Angel went back to her seat.

“That was just a small thank you. For everything you have done for me. But especially for this steak. It’s pure bliss. A girl could get used to this stuff. It is totally worthy of a Princess. It really is. This must be the best food ever in your World,” Angel said.

“It’s not bad,” Satoshi said. “But wait. You haven’t seen much yet. There is much more. Don’t rush your judgment.”

“I wish I could have my father here,” Angel said.

“The Emperor?”

“Yes. The Emperor. He gets the best food available in our World. I am afraid it is far below the standard of a Big Mac, though,” Angel said.

“Do you miss him already?” Satoshi asked.

“Yes. Of course. I really do,” Angel replied. “And I don’t like the fact that I will kill him once I go through with my mission. Maybe I should reconsider. Just spend my last week eating some steaks or something, and making love to you. What do you think? Should I go through with my mission?” Angel asked.

“I don’t know. If you only think about your father, you might want to stop. And I kind of like the idea you mentioned. I mean, making love. I could warm to that, I guess. But aren’t there some other things to consider?” Satoshi asked.

“Yes. There are. There is extreme misery and death for billions of people ahead if I fail to act. Global warming is not a pleasant development. Believe me. It really isn’t. And father wanted me to act, even though it will destroy him and everybody else in our World. I’ll probably do so. But it’s not easy,” Angel said.

“When are you going to start saving the World from global warming?” Satoshi said. “What’s the plan?”

“I don’t know. I guess I have at least another day. It will of course be very easy for me to stop this crisis, once I decide to get going.”

“Of course,” Satoshi said. He was not really convinced. People had tried to stop global warming for decades. But the fossil fuel companies had always got away with pumping ever more CO2 into the atmosphere.

Sure, Angel had quite the personality. But how would she turn around the whole of humanity? And in only a couple of days?

It didn’t seem very realistic.

“I have an idea,” Satoshi said.

“What?”

“Why don’t you just go ahead and do your best to stop global warming? You might fail. And if you fail, then your father and everybody else will be safe,” Satoshi explained.

“I won’t fail,” Angel said. “But thanks, anyway. If you come to think of it, there is of course a very theoretical and very small possibility that I might be unable to pull it off. Thinking of that will really make it slightly easier to get going.”

“See?” Satoshi said. “So, how about starting tomorrow?”

“Yes. I guess that will be fine. By then I will have slept off my jet lag as well,” Angel said.

Link to Part 09: Reading Angel’s Mind

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003, lenzblog.com).

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