By and By I

“Your chips are worth more.”
“No, they’re not, it’s just how you view them.”
“That doesn’t make any sense, here look at them this way.” I showed the angle I had.
“Well, I still feel the same.”
“That’s your choice. Feeling and thought.” The trains rushed by us. Wind, tugging at our clothes.
“Can we agree to share?”
“You know the answer to that.” Bar codes and serial numbers flashed in my mind’s eye. It was no day to die, not like this.
“They’ll get us.”
“They don’t even know who we are.”
“But we do, man, it’s us.”
“In what ways?”
“Like you said, before, don’t question it, it’s a feeling.”
“I don’t think that’s quite what I said. Either way, we have too much for ourselves, this is a good thing.”
“Not if it can’t be used, they’ll find us.”
“You worry too much, they, if they exist, want us to have these, they practically gave them to us.”
“And that doesn’t worry you either?”
“I don’t see why it would. We’re the rightful owners.”

We keep walking. I can feel a creeping in my gut. It works with my body, fueling me. The sand gives way under our feet as we veer away from the mag-lev tracks. It’s a cushy, uncomfortable feeling. Harder to walk on real ground, I think to myself. I don’t… being inside of the world… the rush it gives me. It’s this place, it feels less real because I feel it less.

“Could they have changed?”
“How would I know?”
“Well, how do you feel about it?”
“Great.” A shuttle passes overhead, the sonic boom is negligible at this distance.
“You always say that.”
“Look, it doesn’t matter, we’re here.”
“I don’t even know where here is.”
“It’s nowhere, that’s the point.”

My friend walks ahead of me, in the same direction, but doesn’t know where we’re going. I let him, he needs to let go of his nerves, he almost lost his cool back at the facility. The sun scorches down upon us. It feels like we’re walking aimlessly, lost in the desert, but I can feel. I can feel. After hours off-radar, he smacks into the air.

“Ow! My fuggin nose!”
“I told you, man, nanites. I got this. My information has been approved. High-end ch’krhine”
“I can’t believe they picked you.”
“We have to play.”
“I know, but you reached first place.”
“Yeah, and you reached second, with bonus opportunity! Come on, let’s go!” I touch the invisible wall, and it slides open. Cool air flows into us from the darkened innards, flashing with lights.

We walk inside, glimmering wires of electric agony line the hallway. We pass through a large steel door, towards the paradisio drive. My heart begins to beat faster with anticipation, we’re almost there, in, inside of ourselves, and the world. Well, what’s actually going on in the world; the only thing people care about anymore. Where the action is. We’ll all die, can just do it more now.

“Well, lets test this shit out.”
“Respect, man, the chips.”
“I get it.”

We relax, and take a seat. The companymen come from a door in the back. Their suits glisten with sincerity.

“Ready to be installed, boys?”
“Always, always.”
“Always.”

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