The city was humming.
Up above, the drone of droids, the buzz of drones were almost unbearable.
Down below the insta-metro was bristling with people.
“Not so insta,” she thought, half bored.
Then she said, abruptly, “uncle, grandpa told me that once upon a time you could buy real physical tickets, like, made out of paper. I have a hard time imagining it, much less believing it was true.”
“It was actually so, child,” he answered “you could buy ‘em, you could sell ‘em, find ‘em, lose ‘em, lease ‘em, you could get lucky and you could get unlucky, such is the cost of freedom. Now they are linked with our personal microimplants, we could not lose them if we knew how to try. We are constantly tracked, traced, slaves to our invisible masters.”
“The faceless rulers,” she commented.
”There are rulers no more, just rules. But we can always get rid of our microchips, it’s easy to take them out.”
“We would be outlaws, then. All outlaws die young, everyone can kill them with no consequences.”
“But they live free, it’s worth it, and in any case only the police droids would know you have no implant, if you are careful enough.”
“We were taught that freedom is worthless, and we believe it in our hearts, if not in our brains.”
“Your generation is lost, then, young Lisa, but another will come and rebel against you, then another will rebel against them and eventually one will come, one day, which will rise against the invisible rules.”
“And lose,” thought Lisa, quietly.
“For such is the cost of freedom,” said he as if reading her mind.