I snap my sketchbook closed and sweep my pens into my open satchel. I dig out a few more coins from my pocket and drop them on the tiny table, adding to the small pile I’ve already left there— a peace offering to the proprietor. I flip my bag around behind me and step out into the city lights and setting sun.
I used to think the robots were always connected no matter where or what they were doing. But I’ve since discovered that individuals will voluntarily disconnect from the network for brief periods. This isn’t seen as a repudiation of their social values but simply another operational mode.