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Pepper

Pepper’s been digging through her grandfather’s paperbacks, which are unexpectedly supple and white. Must have come out right after they stopped printing on acidic paper, around the early Zeroes. Pepper loves their Anglo names: Gibson, Sterling, Stephenson.

“Only one of them got close, though,” she tells Augusto as they patch a panel. “They mostly thought the cities would collapse and turn into this technology jungle, like in the barrio, only cooler. Drugs and implants and hacker clicas–”

“They might,” says Augusto slowly. “You don’t know.”

They look up at the floating orb of Pittsburgh, a baby moon, green in the sunlight.

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