CALI

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[Faction: CIVILIAN]

The warm sun sets through the blinds of your waterside condo as the distant lights of the crystal white City 3-50A19 across the bay begin to glow yet again. A holoscreen blares to life, a sudden pale blue flash of light as Veela, your digital assistant, begins to give you the nightly news, courtesy of the Accel-Con Network. Every feature and movement of her face looks remarkably human, but her lifeless eyes betray her synthetic nature. You ignore her, though, and step outside onto your balcony. The wind rushes through your hair as you watch the birds flying around the sodium generators, a series of reddish brown coastal towers that sit in shallow water, extracting electrical charge from the salt in the bay. Two of the birds are fighting over who gets to nest on top of one of the one closest to you, and you smile, realizing that the endless conflict reported on the nightly news is equally trivial.