Last night’s special interview on Entertaining Times featured Shirly’s plain-faced Hugger who balked at simple questions. She acted suspicious, as if she was being interrogated. She refused to share all the intimate details of her adorable daughter’s life with us. Her demeanor suggested she has a mean-spirited, jealous streak. Everybody noticed. And even though she’s the prime suspect she cries all the time. Her wary facial expressions, both mournful and full of remorse, mark her guilt. Lora knows the Hugger did it.
As she watches Shirly’s Hugger being questioned once again, Lora ponders the death of a little girl. That loss must be the worst thing that could ever happen to a Hugger. She congratulates herself, views herself as lucky because she had never ever considered having a child.
Getting up to drink a ration of cool, de-tox water, she looks in the mirror, worries for the umpteenth time about her pallor, and does another face check. All channels drip tears over Shirly, even romance stations. Lora feels connected to every one of the thousands of people tsk-tsking and crying over Shirly. She congratulates her fellow viewers for being so human, so full of emotion.
She knows that she and her co-workers at FEDRA are not like those awful huddle-bombers who kill for foolish ideas about so-called freedom. She bristles at the thought of those Testor people who can’t get with-it and feel the loss of a little girl. She’s read that the leader of the Testor Resistance, a woman called Phebe, wouldn’t waste her time over the death of any one person. According to plasma Newsies, Phebe’s an ice cold bitch. Just to think about Phebe enrages Lora. She hopes the Testor Resistance turns on their savage leader and kill her. If she had the chance, she would gladly kill Phebe along with all her ProTestors.
The local Newsi, Sade, describes a terrific car pile-up in the fog. Lora’s glad to be spared; so many people in so many rickety little Sudocars. Lora has never driven a Sudocar, and now that women are barred from driving, she actually feels safer.