Universal Demarchy

"I hate doing this," Sam muttered. She and Chris took another step with the long line toward the curtained booths ahead of them.

Chris rolled her eyes. "You've said that a hundred times. Maybe you won't in a few minutes."

Sam snorted. "Minutes? My ass. We'll be lucky to be through in a few hours."

"Ugh." Chris slouched. "Hopefully you'll be a little more positive. All that negativity can't be good for you."

"God, why do I even talk to you?"

"God only knows."

They passed the next forty-five minutes in silence. At the front of the line Sam paused. In a small voice, she said, "Let's just turn around. Let's go. We don't have to... to do this."

"Oh, sweetie." Chris put a hand on her cheek. "Everybody deserves a chance to be anybody. President, CEO, homeless. Lover. They'll keep us together, we did the paperwork."

"Just... will it really be us?"

"All the times we've done this, and... who knows?" The technician ushered them past their respective curtains. "See you on the other side."


On the other side, one turned to the other. "Boungiorno. I'm Valentina." She held out a hand.

The other took it. "Xiu Ying."