Sally walks past the dented steel roller shutters splattered with bad graffiti and misspelled slang terms for genitalia. She never noticed those before, maybe because she was too busy at the time. On her way to the station, Sally likes to play at ‘Fivers’, where every participant is marked by a green halo around the 3P tag hovering over them, or red, if their avatar has been ‘stripped’. Sally’s Public Persona Pseudonym is “sally594_tj”. Every time she sees a player with a cool PPP like ‘angstor’ or ‘wackophobe’ or even just ‘I1u2cme2’ she regrets allowing the AI server to auto-allocate her a 3P name. Some people prefer to display their MAC addresses instead, but Sally has always felt that it is rude to walk around with an unpronounceable name. Not that she cares right now.
Jenny looks at the orderly line of vibrating Styrofoam balls hovering just out of reach. She can see Jones from the corner of her eye, fervently adjusting parameters on his keyboard. The balls respond by changing formation, a bit like those acrobatic airplanes, only there are at least twenty, sometimes more balls flying in perfect synchronicity. Occasionally a number of balls would drop out of formation for no apparent reason, only for more balls to arise from the table, resulting in a different pattern to materialize as if out of nothing. These pattern changes could be subtle, almost indiscernible from the previous, or dramatically different. Jones keeps telling her something about sound waves, standing still in some locust or was that low keys but anyway there the balls all fall down and Jones is looking at her with a grin that says "was I a good dog ?"
“They say the Vedic Indians used this to move huge stone slabs to build their monumental temples and things.”