* * * * * Entropic Forest * * * * *

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Series No. 12



Looked for exits all my life. Like a rabbit hole. A mirror. That wasn't an entrance, that's an exit. From here. My thoughts running ahead of me. To where. Alice comes back but I won't. Low on stash. Enter the doorway. Bicycles and a Rubic Cube tank. Within a cylinder. I look up. Is this where I fell to? Why is the place somehow familiar? No, the other way around. Photos?

Splitting headache. Sneeze.

My sneeze echo. Oh yes. The pictures that I found that day. When I bought some drugs. This is where it was. An idiotic round sky.

Then those were the photos of contact points? Then today I might actually score. Finally.

And then another 2 hours. Incoming filter set pretty high, so my message reception at the bottom of the eye is only like once every 20 minutes. Once every 10 minutes, an owner of a bike comes in and out, giving me a suspicious eye. Each time, my heart leaps. Could this be the man? I stare them back with half-hopeful eyes. No. They all just leave.

Stood up again. Another 30 minutes. Tears. Uncomfortable warmth at the back of my nose. Blood.

Maintenance robots coming around.

Last month, mercy killing became legal. Like it matters at this point. It's virtually ubiquitous nowadays.

Suicide is on the rise. But only the younger ones get any media attention. Natural deaths never make headlines, and when you're old, suicide is a form of natural death. Rumors abound. There are a bunch of underground hazard shelters. 10,000 in Tokyo. Some of them, the rumor goes, have become dumping grounds for the old. For example, the one under this underground parking space. There IS a large structure beyond. No one seems to have been inside. Luke warm air. White van. Is that it? The place is often used for deals. There are other rumors. Someone lives inside. Rats are swarming inside. Dead bodies inside. Ammunitions inside. Poison gas. Whatever. The plants in the park above never last. Yellow lawn. Deep dark bottom. Some one jumped off here before. Malfunction of the information filter. Information overdose. His family sued. But he was definitely too old for such sophisticated electronic implant. Shouldn't have tried to mess with the communication system of your own body when you're over 70. It's become prohibited, but they do it anyway, what've they got to lose? Around this entrance, they've introduced tons of security robots. Surveillance camera has doubled, too. But there is another entrance to the level below. Or so the rumors say. I see them all the time on the net.

Oh yes, the net. It's everywhere now, and contact points with the man also come on the net. Encryption didn't become much popular. With the slow adoption of the general user, encryption users stand out too much. Except for real biggies, people use old fashioned codes, meaningful pass phrases and rumors. So today it's an older reclamation in Tokyo bay. How trustworthy this inforette is, I don't know. Blue skies. Feeling awkwardly stable today. Look, there are other people. Looks promising. Although that's what I think every time. A terminal there. A guy still looking at it. Is he the man? Nah, he's just waiting, too. Should I look among those trucks? Just wait some more. Maybe another 30 minutes. A car coming. is that it? People coming out, looking into the trunk. No, it's too outspoken with no signs of secrecy whatsoever. Seems like another deal, who cares. We're all looking. Any place but here.

Sudden fear. What are those guys? Shouldn't be here. Ominous looking plane. Too weird. I know this is irrational, but I'm still afraid. Panic. Shut off the receiving unit. Afraid. Anxiety in the back of my eye socket. Uncomfortable. Sudden urge to rip it out.

Headache. Brain needs more oxygen. Came back to my hole. Open the door. Still afraid. Lock it. Change the wall pattern. Narrower. Darker. Drugs. Only 50 left, and it's a lousy lot. Take 10. Wait. Slowly, my nerve stabilizing. Flatter emotions. More distance with the world. A padding between me and the surroundings. Good. Put the walls back brighter. Feels secure again.

But the padding grows. At an enormous speed. No surrounding anymore, just tha padding, crushing me. And then, myself starts to run out toward my limbs. Sound, vision receding into the distance. My senses like a rubber band. Thinner. Light, snaps (snap). Sound far away, socket unplugged. (Shlumph). Cracking headache again, that's all that's left, and breathing?

The exit....

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