...Simon thought about the morning and how he couldn't remember it.

He wondered whether his refusal to remember the future was causing him to black out the past, in order to force himself to deal with the future. Then he forgot what he had just thought.

That Werd kid had looked hung over.

Simon admired Werd, considered him doctrinaire, rootless, a man of the world with the uncanny ability to make a solid living doing work that was not only of benefit only to corporations, but was in fact incomprehensible outside the corporate world, with no useful application in any human domain save business. What kind of mind could lose itself that way, and, severed, float above, disconnected from the urges of the spirit?

Simon had been using the Internet to track the progress of the poisons dispersed by the bombed Dupont factory. And to check to see if any new groups had claimed responsibility for the bombing. The power of the Internet had made it possible for anyone who wanted to to claim responsibility, and the news sought out each confession.

It seemed as though the country were populated by terrorists.

And then Simon paused, feeling that he had just forgotten something.

He entered his name into a search engine and tapped Enter quizzically. The machine paused at its chore and, uncertain, Simon compared the spelling he had typed into the machine to the spelling on his desk's nameplate.

His obituary came up. He read the story:

Simon Blanc was one of the first to die from inhaling the toxins released by the blast caused by the terrorist explosion in the Dupont factory today. Terrorism is on the rise. The President has doubled the Military's budget.

Simon tried to remember the morning. Perhaps he had indeed been poisoned and was in a state of deep shock. That might explain his inability to understand the sequence of events.

  the Bartender serves up Melancholy Hour the Bartender serves Happy Hour putting it to bed the News: evening edition the News: morning edition the Secretary and the Administrator discuss a private matter pertaining to a possible problem the Secretary has a doctors appointment the Secretary does research on the Internet the Administrator stays at work late the Administrator goes to work about dawn the Administrator lies awake all night the Janitor gets drunk at night the Janitor goes to work in the afternoon the Janitor gets up in the morning Werd falls asleep at night Werd gets drunk in the evening Werd goes to work in the morning