A woman with raven locks flowed round one cozy corner of the room. She was humming. A slightly doughy man reclined on an armchair near the door, shoes half-removed. Daniel had started to take them off, but become uncertain of himself halfway through.
The gist of the year 2056 was this: no one asked what wound up in the garbage.
On a certain night in July, what wound up in the garbage were the contents of an armored transport the size of a semi-trailer. An escort of six black vans followed it across the state of Arizona, clawing at the sand. Flying cars were still too conspicuous in this part of the country. But ground vehicles had very little traction here. They slid through the bare Mojave like a particularly callous funeral procession. The motorcade muddled on this way for hours until, at no especially notable point in the desert, the transport squatted up against a lonely concrete building.