​​​​​Sync City



Episode 1 Scene 2

The Present

My Keeper motorbike has more dings on it since I left the Deacons’ tender care. So have I. It’s unavoidable. Law and order in the traditional sense have disappeared. People look after themselves and those close to them. Society has regressed and returned to its tribal roots. In my opinion, that’d been happening for a while. The Blink just served to speed things up. The Blink also made it more feral. The law of the jungle, dog-eat-dog, whatever you want to call it, Darwin was mostly right: the fittest do survive—but only if they have luck on their side.

I’m back in Saskatoon, and judging by the signage, back when this crap storm all began. This is The Blink’s epicenter, and I end up in this time and place more than anywhere else. Bad karma, I guess.

The signs of protest along the edges of the fortified compounds still sing the same tune: “Man Is Not God,” “Leave Nature to Nature.” The God-botherers and the greenies were hand in hand over this one. Their protests against science and the unknown outcomes of people tampering with the environment had fallen on deaf ears. Progress was king, and humanity had the keys to the castle. The only problem was the religious kooks and earth lovers were right. We had the keys. Only they weren’t to a castle. They were to Pandora’s box. And we opened it.

I shake my head to clear my thoughts. Transtemporal shifts have a way of messing with your brain. I look down at the gauges on my ride. They’re familiar to me. This isn’t always the case. In certain times and places, the bike’s almost alien, but right now, one thing’s clear: a light’s winking. I’m almost empty. Time to fill up.

I pull down my visor, and the heads-up display clicks in. There’s a broad, overall map of the city. Fuel depots are indicated in a pulsing red. Not as many as I remember—the time shifts must be hurting supply. The large, blank space to the north of the city is still there. It’ll never move. This is where the university was. This is where the trouble began. The Blink started here.

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