97. Themba took the moletrain

 

Themba took the moletrain because he was too scared to teleport. Most of Cape Town was.

They had all seen the first public demonstration on Watchtube gone horribly wrong. Watched Miss Kruitvoet be turned from a nubile young lady into a gooey pool of malformed DNA in a matter of nanoseconds. The kinks had been mostly ironed out of teleportation machines since– and incidents were far and few between – but still most people preferred the moletrain.

At some level you had to wonder why. The trains had been state of the art in 2043 but now looked as though they could fall apart any time. A lot of them did as a matter of fact. These days travel by moletrain was 108.7 times as hazardous as teleportation. It was also 1,000 Rand cheaper.

So far Themba had dodged every possible bullet. No power cuts. No fires. No head-on collisions. But today his luck ran out. A bolt popped, a track swayed and the carriage was flipped to its side amid ominous fire sparks.

Themba grabbed a bar and pulled his body as close to it as he could. Corpses of fellow passengers bumped painfully into him but Themba didn’t let go. He just closed his eyes and prayed. And he promised himself that if he came out of this alive, he might give teleportation a try.

That was exactly the kind of reasoning The Beam-Up Company, patent holder of teleportation machines, was hoping for when they bought a 75 percent stake in the biggest moletrain operator in South-Africa as a silent shareholder, cutting the maintenance budget in half every year since.

 

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7 thoughts on “97. Themba took the moletrain

  1. Very clever with a cold twist most relevant to the corporate-led, profit-first societies in which we live.

  2. liewithstyle says:

    You’ve got this dark humour stuff down, very entertaining 🙂

  3. yakinamac says:

    Fab writing. I did wonder, though, why if EvilCorp owned a 75% stake in the moletrain company, it wouldn’t be in their interests for the moletrains to continue to do well? Or if they really wanted people to switch, wouldn’t it be easier (and carry less legal risk in terms of compensation/ corporate liability suits) just to put up moletrain ticket prices? Sorry – can’t help it, it’s the civil servant in me…

  4. Oooh I LOVE it. Good work. Awesome to see South Africa in this story. Even though it’s a dark and twisted one!

  5. Late Summer says:

    I just wanted to let you know…
    I’m nominating you for a Liebster Award! I received one earlier this evening and I just knew I would pass it on to you. Your blog is amazing and I love following it. This is a “no strings attached” sort of thing. You don’t have to accept, but I thought I’d do this as a small token to let you know that you’re definitely appreciated. Keep up the good work! To find out more about the award and/or accept it, check here: http://renderingaview.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/i-got-nominated/

  6. You seem to have the knack for pulling out those endings. Always interesting.

  7. great to read a story based in Cape Town, where I was at school:)

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