Smoke Ten

Under the gloom of moonlights I wander the streets of Aramis, scouring the intersections for PC Bangs, those unofficial shelters for Korea’s refugees, the engine room of the diaspora economy, racks of aloe drinks and snacknuts. Beneath a giant podpark I find an alleyway arcade of fried pork stalls and freeband stations, instant access, newband booths, the works. Just as you’d described it. I mean, I’d proofread your application. Research into the thriving street level Internet cultures … exploring concepts of transmigration, as a means of cultural exchange between Aramis and Korean Network City. Who knew what that meant. Still, you didn’t seem all that surprised when the letter arrived informing you of a positive outcome, the notification itself perhaps even more significant than the amount of money. The equivalent of three months hacking, above street level anyway. You began sharpening your Hangul, and I my Mandarin. Then, of course, came the resumption of hostilities, the burst and the overseas draft. All accounts, like our plans, frozen.

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