It was late summer, and a cool rain had fallen days before, breaking the heat and leaving the city in a tenuous spell of tepid indecision. This night grew chilly, and so did his feet by the foggy window, which came down to the floor and glowed dimly orange from a floodlight far below and a block away. In front of the window sat his computer tower, humming and clicking as it processed the next simulation. But something in this simulation report seemed off.
Between the scan lines, in the gaps above and below the distant twinkling points of light, the darkness of the city night resolved in black grids housing faint cells of suspended animation. White dotted arcs traced suspension cables mirrored elegantly by the soft, tremulous surface of the tidal estuary. Flashes from faraway headlights crawling up the waterfront were blocked intermittently by dense patches of trees, invisible in midnight's shroud.