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  As the island counter lit up, it took the man only a second to realize this was some sort of computer interface. The interface did not have words or pictures but consisted simply of lighted icons. He examined it for a few moments. He supposed, he probably resembled an archeologist, trying to contemplate the meaning behind some ancient artifact or rune.

  He took a gamble and pressed the icon that looked the most like a coffee machine. He was rewarded with a small beep when he pressed the icon, followed by some mechanical sounds, which sounded like they came from within the counters; from under them perhaps. A square slot opened in the counter, near the kitchen sink, and from that slot arose a coffee machine. The smell of coffee brewing began to fill the room, and he nearly fainted, from the relief he was overcome with.

 He walked around the island counter and began searching the upper cupboards until he found the one containing cups. They were exactly where he had left them but at this point he leaving nothing to chance. This house might resemble his old house but he knew this was not HIS house. His house certainly did not possess futuristic technology hidden any where.

 Snagging a cup of fresh brewed coffee, he pondered exactly what this place could be.  Being a police detective, he knew he should have a better grasp on things. The grogginess and lack of certain basic functioning skills he’d experienced, on first awaking, reminded him of being hung over. Yet, it was different in a way. He suspected he’d been drugged and then brought here. That made the most sense given the circumstances. “But where exactly was here?” he thought.

  He took a large sip of coffee and spewed it back out, as the burning heat of it, left him no other choice. Now he knew he would have to figure out, what the icon for paper towels looked like. As he examined the counter interface, he thought some more on his last question and considered the idea that maybe, it was not even the right question. He knew that half of life’s questions, could be answered if we merely changed the way, we asked them.

  He tapped another icon on the display and found the mixer. Too bad he was no quite ready for a mixed drink. He tapped the icon and the mixer sunk back down under the counter. While doing so, he shouted out loud ” Dammit! I just want the frickin’ paper towels!” An icon light up on the screen and few mechanical sounds later, a roll of paper towels arose up from one of the counters. A light bulb lit within his mind, as he realized the interface could be controlled, with his voice.

 He set down the cup of coffee and ripped off a few paper towels, then proceeded to clean up the mess he’d made. While he was doing this menial chore, the question in his mind began to morph and finally became clear. “Maybe I should not be wondering WHERE I am at. Maybe I should be wondering WHEN I am at?”


To be continued(hopefully)…