Dear sir, This is a matter of utmost urgency and I do hope you can help me.
The train car stunk. Lakeishanna crinkled her nose at the scent of urine and someone who hadn’t seen a bar of soap in a month of Sundays.
The light from the Weaver’s aurora illuminated the dirty smoke rising from Chinatown; the snaps of the dhobis slapping linen against river banks cut through the early morning mist like rifleshots.
There are two types of androids available in the market. Organic robots, made for couples who want to see their artificial babies grow, and static ones, made for commercial use, always stuck with the same original appearance. Soriano is the later, and his middle-aged exterior has intrigued me since the first day we met: outstanding blue eyes, a receding gray hairline, a hooked nose, a face full of lines.
Henrietta’s mother is an engine driver and wants her daughter to become one too, but Henrietta prefers the buffet car. She can see her future self there, all grown up in a waistcoat with her hair cropped short, smiling as she dispenses tea and spoonfuls of powdered milk.
I can’t stay long at the Sea Palace. I have little enough funds, despite having taken a couple of reading jobs. Still, it’s good to have a bed and a door that locks after fleeing the Amber City, so I sit on the deck, eating lightly fried, gently spiced seaweed, feeling the warmth of the rising sun on my skin.
Minako plucked a particularly lucky prime number from her garden to ensure the robot exhibition wouldn’t be too crowded. She had been planning the excursion to Universal Studios Japan for months and everything had to be perfect.
In retrospect, ‘I’m dying’ was a bad pick-up line.
The late-afternoon sun hovers above the wall as I kneel on the earth, weeding tomatoes. Beyond the wall, yellow-orange light reflects off the clean sharp lines of the apartment blocks. Boxes for safe people, people who are provided for. People who matter. People who I knew, once upon a time. People who could afford the vaccine before the gates closed. The plague’s gone now, but the wall’s still here.
She said she’d come to warn you, but you’ve read enough time travel stories to know that the time stream is mostly self-correcting.