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The year is 2053. Basketball is eternal.

The year has always been 2053 on your little slice of paradise. You fish a familiar bakelite-shelled personal computer out of your satchel. It's warm to the touch. "September"... - again? Feels like it's been September for at least three dozen shifts.

You stopped counting months a while ago. They don't line up with anything significant on the frontier. 119.65 months to a revolution? Besides, the only real calendar these days is the annular ... *ahem* video distribution ring. Count the passing time by the regular repeats of greetings.dmi. Fuck. You pull out a pen and draw a small line on the warning label behind the PDA. Two more shifts and you'll break even again.

The year is 2053, so much so that it's burned into the screen. You don't think it *couldn't* be 2053 if you tried. You don't try though. A new PDA costs 350 creds.

You rub the sleep from your eyes and slip on a jumpsuit. Gray and purple. You stare out a porthole while your brain plays catch-up. You remember the blue glow. You remember the swirl. You remember the warnings- BUCKLE IN - you only made the mistake once.

You were practically a child then. '46. Your knees ache.

The year is 2053, as you stuff a paper cartridge down the barrel of your sidearm. It's 2053 as you check your ID's licensing and DRM. It's 2053 as the hull shudders and creaks.

Somewhere, a man in a green hat is downing the last bottle of wine. Real wine. Somewhere, a woman in a yellow hat is crunching the numbers. Somewhere, a lizard in a gray and blue jumpsuit straps into a pod. Nowhere, a radio beacon flies at hundreds of thousands of miles per hour, never to reach Central Command. Several nowheres, the link repeater buoys fill their buffers and retransmit the signal on to the next; a perpetual delay line of not-quite-forbidden content. Every once in a while there's a hiccup, and something new squirts itself into the ring.

You pull on your boots. You grab a mop. Same as every shift.

You step outside your dormitory. The hallway moves. The ceiling stares back at you with a dull thud as your gray and purple suit takes on a brown tinge.

Your radio crackles. "Who the FUCK took a shit in the hallway man? It's Twenty fuckin Fifty Three"

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