Dom held the steering wheel of the van like a drowning man clutching a lifeline. Every muscle in his body hurt and his face throbbed from the welts left from Miho slap. He was acutely aware of her sitting in the passengers seat beside him.

"That light is about to turn red, begin stopping now."

Dom rolled his eyes. Just great, she's a backseat driver too.

"Don't roll your eyes at me, it's not much farther too the club."

Dom sighed, not much longer. He desperately wanted to get back to his condominium and take a shower and go to sleep.

"Do you work for Sega?"


"Black Ops?"

Dom stared straight ahead clutching the wheel tighter.

"I asked you a question."

"It's a division of Marketing."

Miho's voice took a sharp edge. "I've told you once before, don't lie to me."

Dom winced, "Black Ops is a division of Marketing" He licked his lips and continued, "You know, we could use a girl like you."

Miho sat silent for a moment, "You're offering me a job? What a good little sarariman you are."

Dom felt himself blushing, how could he have been so stupid?

Miho sighed, "Bread and Circuses."


"The Romans kept their people content by ensuring cheap food and entertainment."

"What do you mean?"

"Bread and circuses or beer and games, what's the difference?"

Dom was puzzled, "What are you getting at?"

"I could have loved him you know."

"Are you talking about Largo?"


Minutes passed in silence then Miho continued, "Largo thought that games were the conduit for the soul or something like that. They are only a distraction." She turned slightly and squeezed Dom's thigh suggestively, "Not that an occasional distraction isn't welcome."

For the first time tonight Dom smiled, it looked like she might not kill him after all.

"Yeah, but what's that got to do with anything?"

"Well, for one thing I don't believe Sega Black Ops would hire me before graduating high school, do you?"

Dom stiffened, high school? I was taken down by a schoolgirl!

"Does that surprise you, Dom?"

"Yes, I had thought you were older."

Miho chuckled, "I get that a lot."

"How could you do what you did?"

"I've been training all my life Dom, and why don't you call me Miho. I'd like that."

"Okay Miho, are you a Ninja?"

Miho laughed, "Goodness no, though I have occasionally subcontracted for them." Dom could feel her eyes burning into him as she turned to look at him.

"I'm the future."

"I wish you'd talk where I can understand you, Miho"

"Oh, it's simple. I'm genetically engineered."

Dom glanced over at her, "Go on."

"Do you think the rich and powerful will be able to pass up the opportunity to ensure that their children are healthy, strong and disease resistant? They may not be as extreme as I am, at least not at first. The middle class will do it too, long term loans and corporate sponsorships. Guaranteed scholarships, who could pass it up?"

Dom felt a chill run up his spine as he tried to think up some argument. "Well, everyone can't be like you?"

Miho squeezed his thigh playfully, "Of course not, there will be those who are left behind. I've already seen our natural ally; Sony has nearly perfected their Emotional Doll System. Smart, strong, adaptable and loyal. Other robots will handle manual labor."

Dom stopped at another traffic signal and didn't speak until the van was moving again. "So where does this leave me?"

Miho gently traced her finger around Dom's ear, "I think that you'll enjoy working under me, don't you."

Dom could only smile, the future was looking very good to him now.

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