Saw this advertisement in the classifieds:

Hungry? Can’t afford to eat? Wish your Food printer still worked?

Come down to Ralph’s Replicator Emporium, Harbourtown’s leading retailer of Food Replicators. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff can quickly and easily upgrade the firmware on your existing replicator, or help you choose from a variety of retail models to suit your needs.

We even sell factory second and refurbished models. Just give us a call on 1800-REPLICATOR or visit us on the public web.

Replicators, the great technology of the last decade. Food printing… Just another nicotine, really. Any meal, on demand. That was the slogan. Everyone had one, trading recipes online. “What do you want for dinner honey? I’m having casserole and the kids are having prawn chow mein.”

Then people started getting sick. Then people started dying, or worse. A popular recipe pushed by YumPrint, a subsidiary of Global Alliances Tech, synthesised as odourless, colourless jelly, which, after ingesting, engineered a psychotic break in thirty percent of consumers. Some took it recreationally, like a drug. What they didn’t realise is, during psychosis, they were purchasing all kinds of products, mostly from fleabay, another subsidiary of GAT.

Now most every replicator sits dormant. When it comes to basic human needs, trust is essential. In an effort to curb the dwindling sale rates of protein pastes that formed the base ingredient of the printers manufacturers allowed their devices to use open source recipes. That’s when the real disaster began.

Me, I prefer to eat natural where I can. Not easy getting fresh produce in the middle of the Harbourtown sprawl. A lot of folks try growing their own, but the cops shut down those farms quick smart. Still, I’ve heard rumours of a place, deep in the old Arcologies District, where gardens grow lush and verdant. Our very own Garden of Eden, right here in Harbourtown.

Imagine that.