• 6



    “Would you like something to drink, sweetie, or do you know what you want?”

    You’re so involved in the menu that you don’t notice the waitress ready with her carbon-copy pad. “Uh, well…” You settle on the first dish that grabs your attention.“I’ll have the Bio-Diesel Omelette, please…and an orange juice…I guess…and maybe a water too.”

    Before you know it, you’ve downed the omelette and it’s passed through your system – spam, chives and all.

    You’ve made your way further west now, crossing into South Dakota on 19 and eventually making your way to I-29. Before heading north or south at this junction, you take some time to check your Hotmail inbox on your netbook (you don’t own a cellphone for a number of cancerous reasons).

    One of the emails is titled plain enough: Please Respond from Federal Agent 96-N. Your present whereabouts are not in compliance, it reads, Note that you are in TOTAL VIOLATION and will be pursued and subdued if necessary. You don’t bother to read the rest of it. Toward the bottom there’s a text-art signature that looks like some crop circles, wagon wheels, and a kind of binary code made up of 6’s and 9’s.

    “I wonder if I’m fucked,” you wonder. Then you remember they might be tracking your IP address so you shut off the computer and get back behind the wheel.


    If you fly like the clappers south and then west on I-90, go to page 97.

    If you try to keep your anxieties under your hat and zephyr northward, go to page 93.


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