Rapid fire clicks. An electric hum. Rapid fire clicks. An electric hum. Rapid fire cli-

The lights fired, flashed, settled into a rhythm and lit the station. It was cold. The last of the ash storms had cleared and now the sky was clear.

It was early, though. No one had arrived.

This is merely set dressing.

***

He had to get ready. Had to go out. Had to count. The las one didn’t. No. Not the last one.

He spun the taps and waited for the water to warm up. Twitching, jerking.

The old man. Dead already. Didn’t count. Doesn’t count. Behind. Mustn’t be behind.

He stepped into the shower, washed the filth off him, the mixture, the flesh, the blood. He washed in short, sharp movements. Scrubbing his skin until it hurt. Until he knew he was clean.

Tonight will have to be something big. The towel moved slowly. Deliberately drying.

“Tonight I shall put my numbers up. And I shall show them all.” He took a long, deep breath and started to dress.

He no longer twitched. His hands moved deftly up his shirt, buttoning it calmly. After all. To walk among them, he had to be like them.

***

The transit system carried everyone. It didn’t care. However, the business classes were a little worried about rubbing shoulders and expensive items with the mugger classes, and so they had 1 compartment to themselves.

It has been a point of social watching to note that those not meant to be in that carriage won’t stray into that carriage even if the train if full.

This could, of course, be because of rumours of armed guards, or scanning software at the door.

***

He slips his jacket on, feeling the device in his pocket. He is so proud of the design. Small, thin, easy to detonate and made of substances that disguise the contents from detection while avoiding detection itself.

He slips from the window, and makes his way to the train.

The journey is of no consequence.

On the transit he’s a natural. chewing gum, eyeing the passengers. He smiles, apologises for being in peoples way.

This would show them, but he couldn’t do it here. It would be too risky. He might get caught in the blast.

Better to wait.

Wait and watch the people getting on. Getting off.

Being allowed to live.

***

The station is filling up now, but trains are coming and going. Still – it’s an exposed stop, and the wind is biting. People huddle in their groups for warmth.

The room is empty. The door isn’t locked. Inside there’s a heater. It’s not so big but it came on with the lights and the room is quite warm now. There’s a second room that accompanies this one. It is equally empty. Equally warm.

There’s an announcement. Delays on the line, Incidents and accidents. The usual.

People shuffle away from the platform’s edge, hugging the walls to try and keep warm.

No one opens the door.

***

The train arrives, people move for the doors. The throng mix, push, trying to get off. Get on. Something falls to the floor. Bounces silently.

Still the room is empty.

There are no gentlemen. And who the hell is a lady now?

The something is trodden on. Snapped.

There’s a whump, a sucking in and an explosion. Flesh fuses, voices scream.

That showed them.