Zark looked at the mechanism situated atop the counter. There was a single, bright pinpoint of white light between two vertical black bars. Zark looked at it for a second, before the light turned green. She read a confirmation on her screen.
“Thank you. Step up please…” He was ushered off the queue where he met his father.
Ahead, a man in a light-blue button up uniform stood by an exit where everyone that had been registered was passing through. Zedd and Zark followed the crowd into a smaller hallway. A warm gust bellowed through the hall carrying a metallic scent. The crowd followed a switchback in the hallway where the path turned and descended. It finally ended in a large room with floor-to-ceiling windows on every wall.
Through these windows, a vast bronze sky expanded beyond visibility. Rising into the ochre backdrop were dark, colossal structures looming over them like unholy monoliths. These constructions were scattered with white and amber lights, dotting themselves throughout the blackness.
“There’s some restaurants up ahead. You hungry?” Zedd asked.
“Around that corner.” Zedd pointed straight ahead.
“How do you know?” Zark asked, accusatory.
Zedd flashed him his left hand, showing the pale blue light, then tapped his temple with his forefinger. Zark looked away in self-derision.
They continued straight and were met with a set of escalators that lead down. They rode a crowded escalator down to a ground floor and followed the hallway until it cornered left. When they turned the corner the room continued, but they could now see this wing featured restaurants built into the walls on either side of them.
“What are you hungry for?” Zedd asked.
Zark shrugged in response. The overwhelming amount of people, buildings, foul air, and vastness had stifled his appetite. The people wore strange clothes and everything made him feel miserable.
“Oh my God.” Zedd said, stunned. He stepped forward, wide-eyed.
“What?” Zark asked, not seeing what drew Zedd away.
“What?” Zark repeated, not understanding.
“Chicken. I haven’t had KFC since I was on Earth. We have to go.”
Zark saw what he was pointing to. A brightly lit sign featured the image of a smiling, elderly man next to the bold letters, ‘K-F-C’. It was stationed above a glass doorway, which revealed about a dozen people within.
“What’s KFC?” Zark asked.
“Kentucky Fried Chicken. It’s terrible, but I need it.” Zedd said this as he broke into a brisk walk.
“Wait, if it’s terrible, then why are we going?” Zark’s protest did nothing to stop Zedd from pushing his way through the crowd.