Cannon fire between rings.

Walking to work, Petra passes through at least three rings: high-tension wires embedded in concrete, shop awnings and the long shadows of cross-street buildings, scaffolding. She wears headphones. Each ring is a new body: heavy and shaggy, small and liquid, gray-furred and spider-eyed. The headphones are constant, somehow.

It was all a novelty when she first moved here, but these days she’s over it. She ducks shrapnel from the latest revolution happening in D4 and turns her headphones up, drowns out the death cries of alien beasts with a Prince album. Well, Prince and the Revolution. She’s not completely over it.

The bus only comes in D2, which means it’s about a kilometer long and seats 20 comfortably. She curls nose to anus and watches boiling mud slide by. At work she’s a file clerk; she strenuously avoids any implication of metaphor.