“I was in a park at sunset, and…it was amazing. This pillar of clouds, towering over everything…lit in orange, purple, and red with the waxing moon above. It was like something from the cover of a fantasy novel, only I was really seeing it,” said Koay. “The clouds moved and shifted as I watched–I think they might have been thunderheads for a far-off rainstorm–so that by the time the last rays of light were fading it looked like an enormous art deco locomotive, steaming on a celestial track. I was breathless, speechless.”

“Very moving,” said Detective Haines. “But I don’t follow.”

“Do you know what? No one else noticed. They were all absorbed in their little worlds, looking down at the path or listening to their clamshells–insulated from the reality around them.”

“Now that I can believe,” said Haines.

“Yes!” Koay continued. She’d grown flushed while speaking. “It made me realize that we’ve stopped seeing things, stopped noticing–if I hadn’t been there, looking up when I was supposed to be looking down, that glorious display might have gone unseen!”

“Meaning what, exactly?” Haines wasn’t quite sure what Koay was getting at, but the light in her eyes gave him pause.

“I guess that’s when I decided that I need to make people wake up. To make them notice.”

“At any cost?” Haines said warily.

“Maybe so…maybe so.”