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The City: 097: Sibeal

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Xue cracked her knuckles and bit back a scream of frustration.  The large group gathered in a hidden spot in the park.  Over forty people had answered, but not Ingmar They had the manpower, but what they didn’t have was a plan.
“What’s wrong,” Sibeal asked.  She was one of Aoife’s friends.
“I can’t reach Ingmar.  We were hoping to get his input.”
“On what?”
“This.”  Nora set a green collar down on a picnic table.  He examined it.
“Where did you find this?”
“On a cat, of course.”
“Cats aren’t a part of The City’s programming.  Who made this?”

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The City: 030: Paulo

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Paulo nodded at the American punk girl.
Do you think the one has to do with the other?  Is Midas screwing with the trains to manipulate the market?
Xue shook her head.
Too expensive.  Midas owns too much of The City to wreck it’s productivity.
Maybe a rival?  Ingmar offered.
The timings too close.  The announcement about the trains came before the sale.
I got a peek at the meeting.  The new CEO’s avatar looked weird.
Weird how?
I don’t know.  Out of sync.  Kind of creepy.
I’ll look into it.  Paulo offered.  He was always trying to impress Dawn.

The City: 014: Ingmar

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Dawn hadn’t been very specific, but it sounded like they would need a car, at the very least.  The only friend Xue knew that had one was Ingmar, but he and Dawn did not get along.  Great.  She booted her phone’s translator and connected.
“Hi, it’s Xue.  I need you to do me a favor…”
Traffic was glacial all throughout the city.  It took them nearly two hours to reach the financial district.  The sight of Dawn dangling helplessly from a gargoyle was worth it though.  Ingmar laughed so hard he could barely record her annoyed frown without camera shake.

The City: 011: Xue

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Xue was feeding the ducks when she got Dawn’s message.  She liked ducks.  They didn’t build, didn’t destroy, didn’t do anything but swim and eat bread crumbs.  Feeding the ducks was her favorite thing to do in the City.  It was a meditation, a retreat from the pressure and demands of school and family.  It was not that she was ungrateful.  Her future was being formed like a diamond by that pressure.  But too much and she would collapse instead.

She listened to it twice, gave up and ran the translation.
“Please come pick me up?  I’m kind of stuck.”