It's been over half an hour since you were planning to arrive at the city a few miles down, the last of the stops. You've already used the bathroom twice and read through the little book you brought, but your boredom and frustration continues.
Finally the long-awaited train arrives. Big, powerful and a chrome coating that makes you think back to "the good old days", when they said the future would be better. The future that was promised constantly in the advertisements, arts and science fiction but never became reality.
Hard times have fallen on your community. Homes foreclosed on. The future is nothing like the one you want. And you just want to escape from it all on a train ride. Out there, you can think of what you please and get your mind off troubling matters.
As it leaves the station you sit by the window on your left and notice the graffiti on the sides of buildings. Many are abandoned due to economic troubles. It is a constant reminder of the hardships that your city faces.
Normally you might think them to be ugly, unpleasant realities of life that again intrude into your personal time, but this time you're not interested in focusing on anything else. The sky is gray and depressing and the buildings are little different. They're the only color standing out in a sea of conformity.
Endless gang tags, crudely drawn genitalia, incomprehensible art and writing of a rainbow of hues adorn the sides of the houses and buildings nearest to you. Gradually you lose interest in sight-seeing as they grow less unique. However, one symbol catches your eye. It is very different from all the rest. It sits in your mind for a brief second as you wonder what it could be. You try to catch another glimpse at it, but it is gone by now. Somewhat disappointed, you lean back onto your chair.
And then you see it once more as the train goes by. You take note of it and keep visualizing it, desiring an explanation for it. You've never even seen that symbol anywhere before. It is a lone image that stands out from all the graffiti around it. It is almost as though it was burnt onto the background and it stands in stark contrast to the sprayed images. The colors and designs of all other graffiti seems to warp somewhat towards the symbol. They form a circle which surrounds the symbol, making it hard to miss, and the center of attention.
You keep noticing it up and down on the concrete barriers that now show up on the sides of the tracks. More and more graffiti is warped towards the symbols. At first they form orderly patterns on the barriers by producing lines of the symbol, but now they are chaotic and appear all over the side. What once was a merely interesting symbol that appeared there is now covering the barrier, leaving nothing else on it. Even the tall skyscrapers carry the symbol.
You look up at the electronic schedule above the doors. It shows the regularly scheduled stops, tracks and their positions. When the train has passed by a stop, their indicator (a circle with their name) lights up. All of the stops have been lit up and replaced with the symbol.
You look down at your watch to check how long this has been happening. It says you have been on board for two hours.
You glance out the window in shock, slightly ahead towards the horizon. You can barely make out the thousands of shadowy figures approaching from the largest and brightest symbol yet.
The symbol that has replaced the sun.