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The unobtrusive ads in Besnik’s peripheral vision suddenly pop 404s. He blinks twice, trying for a reboot, but then the whole GRail maglev whines down and chunks to a stop. The lights flicker out; battery backups flood the car with red light.

“Someone ping support,” he says. The woman next to him thumps her WiPod and shakes her head.

“Can’t get a signal,” she says. “No connectivity just when the train dies? It’s almost like Google cras–”

“Don’t say it!” hisses Besnik. It’s not real if nobody says it, he thinks, swallowing panic. The impossible can’t be true until it’s named.