They’ve left the biomic behind and slipped back into routinespun daymass, where the otaku gathered look to her like watchers, Shenmuezens lured here by secret signal to check out what she’s up to. The dregs are fading into lowmid lux, dying with last coughs of stray vagrants and food stall paved over with chain matter. The local feed is an influx of stuff from other areas. Statdates on which shows are on-trend, which ones accrue you culture death.
She’s reading this transmission from a world lost to her when Seriana nudges her. “We shouldn’t stay in one place,” the girlroid says, eyes of violet faded pale in the neon fire that now strafes them, auras breaking rainbow bursts like splashes of flame across their backdrop. Bled in with the feeds are the ad copy, the holowaif or hus algo-picked to align with your mood hue. You would watch them, she thinks, and the one you zenpressed for would be in it for a sliver of time and space. They drift within the throngs and glitch into Seriana’s prometh field, which catches them, caught midshift between characters in monster trip splicings, an instant before they see they’re made and blip off to find otaku more in the mood.
Then there’s the merch ads, showing up even this low to the dregs. These dissemble pixel by pixel, collapse into clouds of butterflies, take wing and swarm as holofauna somewhere else.
So she’d had to chill for a second to focus on a single thing. To stay with it past the patterns all meshing, coalescing and disintegrating before her.
“Where are we going?” Elise says.