Around him, the Eve’s festivities went on, people crowding around the glassed-in balconies of the townrise to view the endless volumetric displays hovering in the synthetic heavens above the yearly re-imagined wilderness, but a dark blot spread in his mind and blinded him to all.
He shut himself in the old shuttle, locking it from inside with his own official password, and punching the button for the lowest street level. There was a muffled whisper as the shuttle began to move, but Jannix paid the foursome in the corner no heed. After a moment, they continued their tryst, broken one last time by Jannix announcing he was on official business and they should get themselves another shuttle to higher levels. Continue reading
Some minutes prior to New Year’s Eve, Fr Kaleem Hacob found breathing space before his next, most important client. He straightened his tunic and stretched, pacing a circle around his office in the House of John, newly carpeted and, thanks to a generous donor, with all his equipment brand new. He blinked up at the centuries-old dome above him, the imagery lost under its twenty-first century mixture of dust and paint. It had been salvaged from one of the grand Cathedrals of the West, recently demolished to make way for yet another townrise.
The President of the Republic walked in on him then, still musing over the fading traces of eye or ear or mouth, and possibly a vine just below one of the dome’s two huge cupola windows, both of which now rendered a holograph of an almost-midnight sky. The President wiped industriously at a red smudge that ran down his neck from ear to collarbone with an immaculately white lace handkerchief, all the rage now among the rich and famous for its rarity and ancient sentimentality. Continue reading