[Estimated reading time: 14 minutes]

[This is a work in progress.]

The truth is, there's something terribly wrong with this world, isn't there? Daily, people are jumping into the Acid Pit, or are diving off skyscrapers and as they fall they shoot any MedAssist drone that comes near, or they go for a swim in the Thames. They all die, and they are happy as they are doing so.

What the hell is going on? Where is everyone going?!

My investigation begins in my own backyard, the City. I go for a walk, pound the pavement, kick a wailing Nazi down to the wild applause of my adoring public, enjoy running from a mob of terribly-transformed Hitler clones (how else do I get cardio in?!), and eventually find myself on the bank of the intra-city canal. What occupies the canal would fascinate any scientists still left in the City, seeing as how it's neither liquid nor solid, moves at a constant rate and keeps muttering boy-band lyrics, but thankfully no scientists are around. I note that down.

"The City doesn't call out to the curious nerd, it calls out to the unwashed masses who spend 23.75 hours in front of the mediatron, a tube of constantly-moving HealthyGoo squirming down a tube from the InstaMaker3000 straight into their mouths." Yeah, that sounds good.

I sit at the edge of the canal, my feet dangle two hundred feet over the glow-in-the-night migrating surface, and I type up the research for my next column. Half a mile across the canal, a procession of white-clad singers (or is it sinners?) are shuffling slowly toward the great precipice. My glasses zoom in on the smiling faces of the congregants, I take a picture of every one of them. The line is orderly, there's little wait, and three priests are saying the last words quickly enough that the whole process takes about thirty seconds per congregant, who in turn transform into some sort of white bird as they make their final plunge. Smoke marks their resting place for a few breaths - as each suicide is digested by the canal, I breathe in the cancer-filled air and pretend that their smokey presence is entering my lungs - but by and large the City politely ignores these Christians. They come and go, and all that the City does is to collect a toll.

I call down a drone and use it to hop across the canal. The Christians see me approaching and high-tail it out of there. They've got jet units under those white robes!

Lunch is a dolphin blow-hole with fried lizard tails. The suicides at the canal made me all nostalgic and I was hankering for some home cooking, so of course I stopped off at the Frying Dutchman. (Ad money please!)

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A wake

[Estimated reading time: 9 minutes]

"It's a beautiful day for a wake!", some demented part of me says.

"You're not wrong..." I think in response. White billowing clouds, far below us, extend to the horizon. Can't even see the ground today. Multiple wagons cross the pitch-perfect sky overhead and I follow them with my eyes. A shuttle bursts through the cloud cover and blows past at supersonic speeds, a long column of white trails behind it. I wonder where it's going, what kind of a journey it's on.

Coffee comes out of the maker right on time. I grab the mug and take it out onto the balcony, and shiver in the morning's chilly air. I tie the bathrobe around me a bit tighter and hold the warm mug in both hands, allow myself to steal some heat from the breakfast of champions. I stay outside and watch the clouds until I've finished my first cup of coffee.

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