• Time: 50,000,000,184 k181+70° 23’ 70”
  • Place: G/F, Tower 2a, 384,350 Telestor Street, District 7, Calendia
  • Character Set: Block

The new day’s sun beat rather harshly at Doroeste as he made his way down the street to the metro. He has a slight partiality to the metro because of its balance between simplicity and coverage. Buses, for instance, use two numbers to indicate themselves as opposed to the one he read in the history books; taxis have nightmarishly complex navigational systems; there are only two tram lines; and of course the teleportation system is just an excuse for placing three million seven hundred and ninety-six thousand four hundred and thirteen (he counted) buttons and put them all to use. Also, while the train will occasionally talk to you, it’s not as bad as the trams and the buses and the taxis who talk far more. And that’s not just the driver.

He left the sun once again as he heads underground.


  • Time: 50,000,000,184 k181+70° 23’ 70”
  •  Place: Exit L, Dorenabre Station, District 7, Calendia

The station is huge, but the walkways are longer. Doroeste passed the advertisement panels as he vaguely con-templates why he would do this anyway. It just seemed so weird that he was called to this particular one, helping people that he may never see again. But then he has to remember that the same thing happens to the quadrillion-odd people who do exactly the same thing for Kalšunay, so maybe it was just rotten luck he has to deal with one irrelevant to his life. Or just average luck.

He nearly forgot that the walkways move by themselves until the moving walkway suddenly prompts him about his next corner. He picked “to the station, how many times do I have to tell you” once again (it was his fifth corner) as he continues on.

The gates. Once, long, long ago, they were used for fare calculation. Now they are strictly for cataloging and re-cording – for the individual and the government – of who goes where, money being a long-forgotten aspect of the world with the exception of more artistic items. It is also for advertisement requirements but then what doesn’t? It’s always those idiots trying to sell you a computer that you have to vomit on to make it work[1]. It’s almost pitiful, that. The gates have no barriers; just pass and you’re logged. Doroeste walks on. After being taken down a floor by any means {lift, escalator, stairs, zero-dimension teleporters, straight-up (down?) falling} it’s waiting-for-the-train time. Waiting times could have been zero, and it is in most places, but for Doroeste he always takes the next train after the one that’s waiting for him on the platform leaves (“Dismiss”). He does that because he wants to see the platforms. They’re more artistic than the ones on Moscow: paintings flow into the screen doors; sculptures acts as pillars; and holographic imagery is everywhere. Yet Doroeste can turn all these off with a single thought. The world is so confusing now, for person can change the appearance of a room as they see fit as long as it’s listed in one of the allowed locations. Doroeste likes the art there and tends to spend degrees looking at them like someone’s odd porn collection. Alas, it wasn’t long before the train he has to take arrives, and he enters.



  • Time: 50,000,000,184 k181+73° 50’ 170”
  • Place: Car 6, somewhere between Dorenabre and Evüso-nap station, Suburban Line
  • Character Set: Block

Being a rather grumpy morning kind of being, Doroeste was clever enough to stay in the quiet section. He was quite certain he didn’t want to hear about some guy’s nostrils emitting earwax again.

The trains, like the platforms and the concourses, are variable in appearance. For us, without the convenience of selective viewing, it looks like a regular train to you: seats, standees, and a TV/hologram screen in the front for things like news, advertisements and bets. For Doroeste, though, it was another artistic festival, with pillars that look like something nasty and windows embedded with tasteful paintings of various aliens doing all sorts of things – in both senses of the word. Gosh, this is quite a naughty chapter isn’t it?

The stations he passes are equally artistic. Each of the three hundred-odd stations have their own art style, be it schematic, realistic, abstract, psychic or just plain old scribbling on the wall. There was even a station (was it Galsena? He couldn’t remember) whose art style was copy and paste, which means a lot of the decorations are small, haphazardly-placed repeating segments that made your glasses look like they’re broken. Quite jarring, that.

The journey on the Suburban Line ends at Lalorun, and Doroeste changes off to the High Loop for two stations be-fore switching off to the Airport Express. After that all he has to do is to ride the line to the end and then exit to the station concourse.


  • Time: 50,000,000,184 k181+80° 30’ 280”
  • Place: Concourse Main, Spaceport station, District 10, Calendia
  • Character Set: Block

After exiting the gates, he had to look for exit S18. There is no exit S. Okay yes there is, but no one uses it. Exit S is a special exit, and not just because it has an S in the name. This one has a small metro network of its own, consisting of all of two stations, joining the main station with the subordinate station. The subordinate station is usually only used for government officials and other official things, even though it can (and is) used by everyone.

Unlike the lavishly-decorated stations in the main network, these two stations don’t have much decoration, user-perceived or otherwise. Highly practical, the moving sidewalks here are almost twice as fast, and there is only one of them to reduce asking times (thank goodness!)

Exit S is a metro network with no train. At the end of the moving sidewalk there is a small platform – barely large enough for ten people – and a set of small pods. These pods, not unlike the balls in epic mailing, can contain one person. The doors open when a pod enters a station; they close about 10 meters before they leave. Then they roll down a massive slide to reach the subordinate station. The subordinate station has an elevator for the pods so that they can roll down a different slide to reach the main station at the same level. A gyroscope prevents the pod with the person inside it from spinning like vegetables in a strainer. The experience is quite harrowing for those who have never rode it before, but Doroeste has ridden it for quite literally a thousand times (1,388 to be exact) so it was actually quite fun for him. It’s the only thing that distracts him from the lack of art, that’s all.

Then, it’s time to exit the metro for real. S¬18: Stars 1 Tpc to 50 Tpc. It’s time to head off to the check-in.


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  1. not an exaggeration
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