Story

A Normal Morning in Xunil

20 Jun 2020 · 478 words

Light from the morning sun gently shone across my face as my curtains automatically opened to the start of the day. A steady beeping infiltrated my ears, rousing me from my sleep.

“Good morning, Alston. It is seven in the morning.”

I rubbed my eyes and sat up, stretching to get the sleep out of my muscles. “Good morning to you too, Bixby. What do I have on my schedule today?”

As I headed to my bathroom to freshen up leaving my house, my personal assistant said, “You have: one meeting with the Technological Officer of Demauge to discuss continuing exchanges of technology and information between Demauge and Xunil.”

I looked up from the heated toilet seat I had just sat down on. “Is that it?”

“Yes.”

“So an easy day, then.” I finished defecating into the fancy lavatory and grabbed my electric toothbrush. The aforementioned fancy lavatory closed and cleaned itself as I left it. “Itsh been a while shinch I got won.”

Finishing my preparations for the day, I walked through the automatic door and to the people mover. As the machine carried me down to the lobby, I checked the status of and registered a route to the nearest train station.

The people mover dropped me off in front of the bus station outside. Just in time, too — I could see it arriving on the tracks. Putting my phone away, I speedwalked towards the escalator and took the steps two at a time. My digital identification opened the security barrier in advance, allowing me to catch the bus within my allotted boarding time.

When I reached the subway station, there was a surprising number of people crowding the escalators — some appeared to be holding signs, a protest maybe? — so I hurried down the normal stairs and into the station proper. My route led me to take the slower, unupgraded trains, but those were the more comfortable ones, anyway. As a result, it took several more minutes than the computer had originally anticipated to reach Camber Station.

My gaze turned wistful at the entrance to access the vacuum train pods. It was a real shame that none of the other tribes cared much for easy transportation between them — but things were getting better, at least between tribes in Farele and in Enigma. Still, none of them would commit to the cost of a vacuum train or even civilian airports, but at least there were discussions aimed at improving intertribal transit — the ancient Xunilean bullet trains were starting to show their age. My tribe did what they could to improve performance from our end, but we could only do so much without external funding and support.

“Welcome to the Intertribal High-Speed Rail System. This is the Demauge–Xunil Line. Please submit your ticket.”

...And they still used those old-fashioned disposable physical tickets, too.

Revision:

Ⓒ 2022 Daniel Chen

Licensed under the AGPL-3.0 on GitHub and Gitea