Blue Markinsonn, let us remember, has declined Calibration.
He strolled down Le Boulevard des Rois on his way to the tram stop. Vagrant trams wandered idly beneath the trees, looking anxiously around themselves as though they expected people to do something silly like board them. But board they did; and Blue was shortly aboard such a tram, a huge-windowed creature that lurched and bucketed as it picked up speed (well, about 5 km/h really) towards the outer layers of the city.
If he turned around he could see the North Point behind him, serried ranks, towers blue and grey in the morning sky. so vast it developed its own weather, an unending skirl of wind that bore strange flotsam like the humbug-striped aerial cats.
His mobile phone pinged. He threw it at the window and it bounced off, clattered on the ribbed rubber floor of the tram among the simple wooden seats.
"Oy," said the tram, "cut that out. You never gave me that quid you promised. The fare."
Chastened, Blue fished in his pocket for his wallet, a carved item presented to him by his Great-Uncle Murgatroyd many years before when he set out to the University of Goldfarg to study Pentaphysics. He unzipped the wallet and took out a pound coin and deposited that in the tram's slot.
"God bless yer guvnor," the tram said.
And they rattled on, Blue the only denizen of his carriage, although murky shapes were visible in the tram's second carriage, behind his. he thought he saw top hats and blue, shark-toothed faces. Street corners hummed past and along those long and dipping thoroughfares he saw, at the end, the green remembered hills that he had climbed, years before, before marriage and the horror that had engendered. Before Recalibrators stalked the frosty streets.
"I'm running," Blue said. "To the hills."
"Run for your life," the tram said.
"Oh," said Blue, as the tram picked up speed, and entered suburbs he had never dreamed of.