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Cheung Lok gave a look at the arched back massaging his feet. There was nothing enjoyable about it, he thought, unlike what many of his friends who loved a good foot massage said about it.
It was hurting like being trampled by a million wild rhinos, and the release of pain was even painful enough to not be enjoyable.
He had no choice, it was part of the social acts expected from him, and in that precise moment also a cover to get some particular piece of information.

An ugly person wearing outrageous make-up arrived on the seat next to him, making it crack like a pack of cheap matches, the arms of the chair protruding in the middle of the enormous waist.
Without a word spoken, he received the key, and was thankful that he didn’t need to stay longer.

He paid the boss with some cash, and left silently in the turmoil of the city.
He signalled the driver he’d walk to the office. Another peculiarity, as usually officials with his rank would never walk unless under extreme necessity, which was the same as saying never. But he enjoyed walking in the Chinese parts of the city, there were all sorts of smells and activity, it was never dull.

He had too laugh at the insane number of beauty parlours and salons. For all he could tell, either there weren’t enough of them, or they weren’t doing a good job.
For once, it had little to do with the robots replacing human attendants; massage and beauty parlours had been the most resistant to change, and for now, most still employed human personnel. That meant, there was still a large market share escaping the Corporation, and the prototype that Irina stole was supposed to change all that. He had to retrieve it by all means.