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Donithan reads a storefront labelled


and, for a long and fuzzy moment, takes it as an imperative.

He hasn’t moved across enough time zones for jet lag; it’s just the brainlock that sets in when retracting one’s awareness into eight cubic feet. Poor Donithan! he thinks. Afforded trips on enormous machines that fling him through the sky across continents. Oh, pity the privileged!

He drags himself away from the closed price-gougery and shuffles toward his gate. His trail of thought shimmers on the floor behind him, like a slug’s mucus, or a hot fat skating on a pan.