“I’m pretty sure that man drooled on the key.” Nick said.
The ‘motel’, and that was being generous, was a hole. Hab modules purchased by an enterprising businessman/slumlord. Of course they preferred cash or anonymized currency cards, and the key was still hardware: cheap plastic. You could pay by the month, by the week, by the day, or by the hour. Nick paid for a week.
He deadbolted the door and closed the blinds.
Time to go home, Quola had said, but when you were playing a role, home changed with that role. Home was the open road, and this was just a pit stop for a while.
“Gonna be honest, most of the time these places aren’t awful. The area might be, but the insides are pretty standard. Might want to check the sheets just in case, though.”
There was a certain awkwardness in the air. He and Quola were comrades, sure. Friends, he hoped, but now they were playing a role unfamiliar to her, and in a way that was unfamiliar to him.
“I hope Rod found a place to hole up,” he said, filling the dead air. “Think you can risk a message, or are you not sure how pre-bugged the network is?”
“Also, do you want first shower, or second?” he said, trying to keep things professional, but it was going to be time to feel out that minefield sooner or later, might was well jump in.