It’s 03:23 in upper Berlin. Despite the late hour, the smog levels are still high, and there’s still a lot of traffic going down the Deutsche Bahn Speedway. This privately owned patch of asphalt and concrete is expensive to use, but it’s the fastest way from the Reinicke city-complex to the Köpenick megaplex.
And it’s also the only major street left in that area that is in good enough to be used by cars like the Mercedes Coupé 3000. And face it, these are the only cars a citizen of Köpenick would see fit to drive, as they speed northwards to the glittering Reinicke complex where the banks and big software companies reside, barely spending a glance at the warzone that is
Far below the speedway, Joan is starting to get desperate. She’s out on the street for 9 hours now, her legs jittery from lack of ice, and her contact still hasn’t arrived. She reaches into her pocket again, feeling the contour of the terastick. She stole it from a nerd at the Airport, hoping it might contain something worthwhile, something that would allow her to get at least one months supply of ice, and probably a nice room to enjoy it in.
In the end, the data made no sense at all to her, just a few satellite pictures and apparently a bunch of schedules. But when she mentioned some of the company names found on the stick, she got an instant offer for the thing. Now, if her damn contact would already arrive, and take it from her.
Finally she hears a faint cough behind her. „Stef, that you? Where’ve you been all the ti-“ A faint wet sound stops her short. She’s dead before her body hits the ground.