If we were a couple of dozen floors lower, I could open a window and listen to the noises of the slumbering metropolis. Up here however, the glass is sealed hermetically tight, reinforced against high velocity winds. Any sound is a barely distinguishable murmur. 

It doesn't bother me. I like standing here high above the silenced streets, Tokyo a circuit board spread out below me. In the daytime, people are ants scurrying through its channels, and when dark falls it lights up with a multitude of coloured diodes, flashing stridently in the blackness. But now, right now at this particular time that teeters between night and day, there is a deathly pall even the most garish billboard advertisement can't enliven.

The city is like a cemetery, aisles of dark grey cenotaphs haunted by the occasional furtive attendant. All the human inhabitants lay still, sleep killing their thoughts and gifting me with silence - their dreams nothing but cobwebs, insubstantial and easily brushed aside. Not like the whiny little hopes and sharp spites which form the incessant barrage their minds exude during the day.

This graveyard time is my reprieve.

The worker drones will start stirring in the street below in half an hour or so. In these final few moments of leaden tranquillity there is the potential of choice. Perhaps I'll stay to watch the city wake. Perhaps I'll return to bed like I usually do. Perhaps I'll go pick up Brad's paper and fill in the crossword just to ruin his day. The possibilities, contrary to what our beloved Oracle thinks, are endless. Perhaps I'll...

"Oh no, you don't," despite the sternness of the words, he sounds amused. "You make up half the answers."

Warm arms encircle me. I lean backwards and slide into the outer precincts of Crawford’s mind, relaxing amidst the orderliness of his surface thoughts.

*What's the point of playing a game if I can't cheat?* I reply.

"Come here and I'll show you a game you won't want to cheat at."

He tugs me off-balance, draws me towards the bed. I cast one last glance at the stillness outside and leave it for another form of peace.


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