Lev.DN......Index......Mail.....................Lev.UP, page 20.....(c) 2005 Lee Skidmore...................................Lev.UP

Chapter 2.1

Eller left Phara at her place--still sleeping, but showing signs of life as he had carried 
her into the bedroom. It looked like she might wake up at any time. Quickly, he set her 
down on her bed then left. Finally,  he could head for home. To the Terre Haute duster 
berg at the edge of the Chi' 'Crete's sprawl. Terre Haute was situated at the southern edge of 
the Chi' 'Crete's insured zone, was Eller's home.
    The storm-racked, debris-strewn uninsured zone between the gigantic thing the city of 
Chicago had grown into, and what had become the New Mississippi River delta was his 
work place. A broad brown scar that cut through the tornado wracked uninsured zone, 
the New Mississippi river was a swollen monster. Miles wide from the rains that the 
ever-warming waters of the Pacific  and the Gulf pumped in in ever increasing amounts 
into the great gutter of land between the Appalachian and Rocky mountain ranges.    
    Eller left the rampcar at Phara's. At the nearest express hovertrain station he clic'd up 
a private module for the trip home. To the warehouse with it's southern exposure. The 
spraycrete-covered wall polished by the spinning dust and acid water wash of the storms. 
It was a warehouse that served as mission control, board hanger, as well as home to 
Eller and OBee.
    When Eller wasn't shareware'n with the fem in the vid the cop had pix'd to the barnet.  

Eller clic'd the hvertrain module's enviroware to tent.camping set to rest.lev. The tired 
boarder watched the seats coalesce, flatten, then disappear into the leaves that appeared 
to cover the ground. Ambient light went lev.down. The flames from the campfire cast 
gently jumping shadows all around him. Eller lay down on the spongesteel surface that 
was softened, while warmed according to the per.pref download from his fibersuit's med 
files. In just a few moments, he tumbled down a deep well of dreamless sleep, gently 
nudged by audio subliminals slipped in by the govware.

The hovertrain shot down its half-pipe. At the edge of the sub-bergs it dove beneath the 
sprawl. On its way to the gulf coast the train burrowed through the underground bergs 
that hid from the tornadoes and dust storms. At the Terre Haute sub-berg, the train 
shunted Eller's module to the local station as it wormed on south, through the tornado 
wastes, riding in its concrete half-pipe strung between the swollen buldge of Lake 
Michigan and the bloated belly of the Gulf.

Thin wisps of smoke that rose from the embers of the campfire were whisked away in 
the morning breeze. Eller woke to sunbeams and the singing of brightly-colored birds. 
His aching, sticky body wasn't fooled by the wake.up's attempt to make him think he 
gotten more than an hour of sleep during the four-hundred mile-per-hour ground-effect 
flight from the northern side of the Chi' 'crete. 
    Eller groaned in pain as he got up to stretch his well-bruised body. An icon for a 
muscle cocktail from his suit's medware dropped into view. Instead of that, Eller clic'd 
on the twin gold arcs emblazoned over the chipped and battered enamel of the coffee pot 
that rested on soot blackened stones. The list of choices available from the hovertrain 
module was short, yet it had what he wanted. Eller yawned as the smoke-n-soak 
appeared in the wide-lipped tin pan, peppered with tiny golden flecks, that lay beside the 
dented old coffee pot.    

Lev.DN......Index......Mail.....................Lev.UP, page 20.....(c) 2005 Lee Skidmore...................................Lev.UP