In CantabrigiaThe train arrived in Cambridge half-past seven in the evening. Twilight had all but vanished into night but the sky was still well-lit with the glow of the surrounding metropolis; enough so that Leopard could read the note that PDP-chan had scribbled before promptly exiting the car. 'I have to get back home,' PDP had explained, before hefting a too-big-for-her-size piece of luggage from under her seat, 'Mom will be upset if I'm not back soon.' Before Leopard could say anything she had pushed her way through the crowd of towering adults and out of sight.
Leopard inspected the note again. Written on it in surprising good hand for a child was the simple time and address Noon, Artificial Intelligence Lab. Looking up, Leo glanced around the dreadfully underlit and mostly-deserted outdoor terminal before settling her eyes on Selectic. "How will I find this place?" she asked, handing him the slip.
He gave Leopard a cross look. "It's where we're going, or, excuse me, it's
Ad CantabrigiaShe had been sitting on the platform for a few minutes when the conductor finally opened the door, allowing her to enter the caboose; a messy crew's quarters that appeared to have every comfort of home packed in a decidedly uncomfortable manner into a narrow-gauge train car. Being inside was certainly better than sitting on the platform, but it wasn't pleasant by any stretch of the imagination; Leopard felt overcome by the cacophony of sounds and smells within. Pots and pans and other hanging items clanging against the walls competed with the rambunctious conversation of the crewmen for auditory supremacy, the alluring aroma cooking food clashed terribly with the suffocating musk of tobacco and woodsmoke.
"So, so, so, we have a straggler?" The conductor began, "Get separated from your group, did you?"
Leopard had trouble discerning whether his caustic tone was an expression of irritation or done in jest; his body language was too ambiguous to give her an