She climbed behind the wheel. Angela stood frozen for a moment, then darted around to the passenger side. Genesis flicked the ticket back over her shoulder.
“Did you have fun?” Genesis asked.
“Good,” Genesis said, and hit the gas.
When the smart car pulled up in front of Angela’s building after breakfast, she was almost afraid to step out. Through the foyer, up the stairs, and into her empty apartment.
“Everything okay?” Genesis asked.
“Yeah,” Angela said. Opened the door. “Thanks for inviting me to the party.”
She climbed out.
“See you soon, Angie,” Genesis said.
Angela nodded and shut the door. Genesis pulled away from the curb. Angela wanted to chase after her and get back in the car, but instead she just waved.
Back upstairs, Angela paced around for a while. The walls seemed narrower than usual. Taller. More oppressive.
She opened the curtains and almost expected to peer down at the streets of Berlin. But it was still the same old view of Victory City that always greeted her.
She laid her forehead against the glass with a clunk and watched the street below for a while. She glanced back at the door. Took a step toward it.
She hesitated, and her eyes drifted to her computer. She spent the rest of the day playing Akkraemyth.
“Can I talk to someone who knows what they’re doing?”
Angela rolled her eyes.
“Please, sir,” she said, “if you’ll just be patient, I’ll get this all sort—”
“Patient?” the customer snapped. “I spent all morning on hold and then another hour dealing with your stupidity and now you’re telling me to be patient? I don’t have time for this shit.”
“I understand, sir,” she said, “but—”