The train pulled up to the platform in a cacophony of metal, grease and glass, an antique from an age when such things were necessary, not just possible.
Arcady went to the front of the train to talk to the drivers, waving the rest of them behind. "Let me settle their nerves before we get onboard, in case they're worried about us turning up unannounced."
Clair paced back and forth. Gemma joined her at one end of the platform
"You've toughened up," Gemma said, as though she were admitting something shameful. "You were weak before, like everyone who uses d-mat. It gets in your brain, softens it. Stop using and you get better fast. You know that now."
Clair didn't respond.
"You still think we're out of our minds, though," Gemma said. "Don't you?"
"Yes. Going by train is crazy. But what's the alternative? Q could easily fab us some more electrobikes, maybe even another ATAC, but that didn't work at all well last time."
Gemma shook her head. "That wasn't what I meant. The whole d-mat thing. You think we're not just wrong-we're completely around the bend."
"Oh. The feeling's mutual, isn't it? Dylan Linwood called me a zombie."
"That sounds like him." She hung her head. "It's not easy, you know, being in the minority. I mean, what are the odds that everyone else in the world is wrong and you are right? The moment you start to doubt, everything comes crashing down around you . . . ."
"It takes a lot to turn a world upside-down," was all Clair said. "I'm still hanging in there, aren't I?"
"You are, yes, and I expect you will be afterwards, too. Promise me you'll look after Jesse, since you're the one who dragged him into it."
"Drone!" someone called, and suddenly everyone was moving.
YOU ARE READING
113 (Twinmaker)Science Fiction
A post-scarcity world transformed by free, instantaneous travel should be paradise, but nothing is ever as it seems. When an ordinary girl uses Improvement, a meme promising a complete physical makeover by little more than wishing for it, she brings...