Gate

“Now that you’ve been in Ambrosia for a week Sally, what do you think of the place?”

“It definitely exceeds my expectations, Duke, but I still have a few questions.”

“Shoot.”

“I don’t know if I was imagining it, but I met a guy named Henderson who seemed normal, and then the next day I saw the same person with no legs in a wheelchair. Am I imagining things, or are they twins?”

“Neither. Henderson is one of the people that we recruited to join us at no charge. We saw a human interest in the newspaper about him that said he was a big-time volunteer in spite of his handicap. He was very good in his job on a suicide hotline. We were very impressed that despite of his handicap, he didn’t brood, but did what he could to rescue people in despair. When you saw him out of his wheelchair, he was using prostheses that we have developed. When you saw him later, we were fine-tuning his robotic legs. He thinks that we are helping him, but he’s also advancing our technology, so both sides win.”

“Most of the people that I see here are the makers and shakers, the leaders in business, science, and politics. How many of the residents are exceptions like Henderson?”

“I don’t have the numbers on me, but something like a third of the residents aren’t rich or famous, they are just great humans. We have enough money here, so we can afford to offer places to people who have earned in ways other than money.”

“One thing that I like about the place is the evening dance. Some of the residents do a detailed routine, while others just get to free form.”

“They do whatever they feel. I noticed that you are a truly impressive dancer Sally. Were you a professional dancer before your time in the WNBA?”

“I had trained from an early age to be a ballerina, but when I reached 5’10” as a fourteen-year-old, I knew that I’d be too big for the danseurs nobles to handle. I was fortunate that I was a good basketball player, so I still had something at which I could excel. Even though I gave up the idea of ballet, I kept up with several dancing disciplines as well as yoga and gymnastics.”

“Want to hear a funny story about the dance? You know that because we are so secretive and well guarded, and have so many famous people here, someone is always trying to get in to find out what we are up to. One evening while we were doing the dance, I saw someone inside the perimeter hiding in the bushes. When we caught him, we warned him that he would be prosecuted if he ever revealed our exotic dancing. I told him that we have the best lawyers in the world and besides those that live here; we have friends in very high places. He was convinced to keep his mouth shut, but the irony is that if he reported what he saw, we’d still come out fine. We had to make some changes to our security system.”

“Based on my time here, I can see what you mean. On the subject of the residents, Ambrosia recruited me. You said that you have others that you invite in for various reasons. Does anyone ever apply to get in?”

“Many have. They usually fail. Not too long ago, we had a losing billionaire presidential candidate who expected no problem joining us. He already had plans for adding a casino. Absolutely no one here supported him.”

“Do you have any trouble keeping out the undesirables?”

“I mentioned the best lawyers. It helps that we have every single religious, ethnic and sexual orientation here. Every time someone has tried to sue us to join, we have been able to show that the plaintiff is rejected based on being an abhorrent person.”

“You mentioned sexual orientation. When I was interviewed I mentioned that I am polyamorous and love diverse partners. At the time I thought that it might be a deal breaker. Obviously, that was before I learned more about Ambrosia.”

“I don’t know if you noticed, but when you were interviewed, you were given freedom to just tell about yourself. Our lawyers made sure we didn’t ask any question that could open us to legal action. You must have volunteered information about your sexual interests.”

“That I did. I wanted to do full disclosure.”

She added “I was told that your father, Duke Sr. started Ambrosia thirty-two years ago.”

“Was it thirty-two years? I haven’t kept track, but that sounds about right. I believe that he was the world best geneticist, and the Nobel Committee agreed. His advances were astounding, and the outside world doesn’t even know about his greatest accomplishments. I was a teenager when we moved in here. I’ve attempted to make modest headway on his greatest works.”

“Don’t be modest. I’ve seen and even experienced some of your best work.”

“What do you mean?”

“Henrietta, the one with tentacles, and I got intimately acquainted one evening. If an outsider had seen that, the place would be shut down fast.”

“That is why we only play with our designer friends indoors. I’m glad that you enjoyed her company. The darling is as friendly as a Labrador retriever. I hope that you get to enjoy some of the other genetically modified associates that live here. You might be surprised that some of our residents never play with them.”

“It takes all kinds. I don’t judge.”

“One last question for now. Do you play requests? I’d like to get close to something with fur.”

“That is our next project. I think that it will be a 2020 model. If you put in your request now, it can come with tentacles. Our creatures are the second favorite thing at Ambrosia.”

“The first?”

“Brunch.”

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