Chapter 1: Лайка
“Good girl,” the humans kept telling them, and they just wagged their tail with excitement.
They were strapped to something, and then – deafening noise, and pressure, and unfamiliar darkness.
Their heart was hammering in their chest, and they felt as if they were falling, or maybe suspended midair. Something big and round was rolling underneath them, beautiful and out of reach.
It was so hot in there. Hot, and so little air. They were so sleepy, they could barely keep their eyes open.
They wondered if all those little lights twinkling in the distance meant they were finally coming home.
Chapter 2: 01001101 01110010 00100000 01001101 01100101 01110010 01100111 01100001 01110100 01110010 01101111 01101001 01100100
Everything is a circle, that was what he’d been told ever since he was built. Not that it made any sense, really – humans believed that God and Angels were the supreme beings, and yet they appeared to be completely unaware that it was the robots who built them.
So in the end it didn’t matter that it was humanity who built robots in the first place; time was all but a snake biting its own tail, and neither robots nor humans nor angels could tell where it started from where it ended.
The difference was that robots just didn’t care.
Chapter 3: Angel | Muse | Lady Wizard
She used to be a mathematician, oh so many years ago. Numbers felt so much more real back then, as did such things as infinity, and love.
She never thought she could miss the air that she breathed, and mundane things like the shops. Trapped in a world of things that were not real, she wasn’t even allowed to reach for the one tool that could make all the difference in the world – both worlds, as a matter of fact.
There were days when she wondered if even pain would be a welcome change from not feeling anything at all.
Chapter 4: Daniel Kraken
The King of Space, that was what he called himself. He owned space, and he made money by hiring it out. Self-storage units were his personal version of money boxes, except more clever.
He created his own wealth, and there was very little money couldn’t buy. Luckily he was smarter than most, which meant he was usually able to work his way around to those few particular things that represented the exception that confirmed the rule.
The mirror was his most recent acquisition, and quite likely the turning point of his entire career.
John Dee would be ever so proud.
Chapter 5: Martin Gay
He walked to work every morning, sat at his desk playing games on his phone, made tea; sometimes Graham made it, though he usually forgot to buy milk. In the end it didn’t matter, he was used to it.
There were so many things he was used to, and he barely even noticed. It wasn’t as if he had any dreams, or lifelong ambitions; he had a job, a flat, a decent housemate – he supposed it was enough.
Still, there were times as waited at a pelican crossing, when he wondered if there was more to life than just that.
Chapter 6: Gabbie Hayes
Talking to people in the streets was the best job she could ask for, even more so seeing as it was for a good cause. She’d always loved to get to know new people, ever since she was a little girl in the playground; it didn’t matter that some of them didn’t want to talk, or even look at her.
There were always nice people who were willing to spare a few moments of their time – and hopefully, some of their money too. She always made sure she looked them in the eyes, and gave them her most dazzling smile.