The parcel contained maps with directions to an old building on the outskirts of New Melbourne, in the town of Cheltenham. It was a strange place for strange people, comprised mostly of social outcasts who stuck to themselves. Mav headed straight there for whatever test awaited, knowing she didn’t have much time.
This wasn’t something that could wait until tomorrow.
New Melbourne wasn’t exactly the biggest place, so it only took Mav a quarter of an hour to reach the town of Cheltenham. While the original Melbourne had been a sprawling metropolis spanning a massive business district and 50 kilometres of metro suburbs in each direction, the survivors of the Collapse had a much more humble city. You could cross from Cheltenham to Hampton in a matter of minutes on foot now.
It turned out that the test would be taking place in a hardware store on Fall St. Mav had never been to this place before, but she could immediately recognise that this building was abandoned. Signs of decay were everywhere, from the rotting boards over the windows to the crumbling stone walls. It would certainly take more than a nice unicorn wall decal to bring this place back to life.
The automatic sliding doors weren’t functional, so Mav had to pry them open with a nearby plank of wood. As she moved inside, she made note of the walls of the old hardware store, considering what would be most suitable for a wall decal. She had a habit of evaluating the walls of every building she entered, picturing vivid wallpapers and decals in her mind’s eye. It was only when she managed to get some time away from the city that she could turn that part of her brain off.
On the front desk of the abandoned hardware store, Mav found an envelope addressed to ‘The Finest Installer of Nursery Wall Decals New Melbourne Has to Offer’.
Mav wasn’t sure she’d call herself the best in the city, but given she’d been sent here, she figured it was for her and ripped open the envelope anyway.