“That’s why I got here so late this morning.” Jane Summers walked over to her chair, placed the backpack on the floor, lowered herself swiftly into the seat. She exhaled, shoulder-lenth brown hair drooping over her shoulders as she leaned forward, as if a weight were bearing down on her neck. “Couldn’t find my Unirail pass — ” she shrugged — “couldn’t find Unirail — all I saw were dozens of cars on the street, and buses, goddam buses, billowing diesel exhaust.” She swore, shook her head. “Haven’t seen one of those damn things since they were phased out five years ago.”
“Lemme guess.” Jane looked up at Scott’s smirking face. “This ‘Unrail’ thing made buses obsolete?” Jane nodded. “OK, what planet did — ”
“I think we need to change the focus here.” Gary spoke with authority, making it clear he expected both Jane and Scott’s attention. He leaned across his desk in Jane’s direction. “You say you don’t recognize your phone, didn’t know you had a car, and you think there’s some kind of mass transit system that’s suddenly gone away. But — ” he quickly flicked his right index finger, pointing it between Scott and himself — “you remember us.”
Jane stood up abruptly, raised her hands in the air like a football referee. “Exactly! You’re the same, the other people I saw in the office are the same — this office is in the same location, the houses, most of the businesses I saw when I walked here this morning, they’re the same — ”
“Most businesses?” The tone of Gary’s question seemed genuine.
Jane frowned. “There was more gas stations than before.”