He awoke. The sun was already high in the sky and its yellow-gold light was slanting through the high windows. He wondered what time it was.
"A little after ten," Omni's voice informed him, the computer's voice coming out of the thin air.
He wasn't surprised but he did wonder. "How did you know what I was thinking?"
"I didn't. It was only a guess based on your expression and my experience of sleeping humans." Omni's avatar shimmered into existence next to the bed. It stood, seeming to look down at him, a smile on its face.
"I see," he rolled over. The room, he realized, was beautiful in sunlight. He'd been too busy to notice it before. The tapestries on the walls, the ornate furniture, the great windows and mirrors that seemed to invite light into the room from every direction…all magnificent!
Yet, it was a little overwhelming. There was something a bit massive about it. When he had his own place, he would decorate it with an eye toward delicacy. Something mild and gentle. More Louis Quinze and less Louis Louis Quatorze.
He felt suddenly mischievous. "What am I thinking now?" he asked the avatar.
And What Am I Thinking Now?
"Hmm," Omni's voice was meditative. "You were looking at the walls and the furniture. Your pupils were a little dilated, so you were impressed. But your lips were a bit thin and compressed. I think you do not entirely approve of the Center's interior design."
"Wow!" He was stunned at the machine's abilities.
"Thank you. But do not be concerned. I will not genuinely 'read your mind,' unless it is absolutely necessary. And I will respect your privacy."
"That's a relief."
He sat up, the silky sheet falling from his naked body. What a strange new world it was.