Males are to wear dress-code #6 during inter-collective travel. These were the first words Ki heard as he entered the subway. He looked down at his outfit- blue jeans and sneakers with a coca-cola t-shirt. Phew, he has chosen the right outfit at last. Ki gazed around the crowded carriage where similarly dressed people stood, gripping the rails tightly above their heads. All wearing blue jeans, sneakers, a coca-cola t-shirt and wristbands proclaiming 'Promoting individuality through conformity'. Kia looked up at his empty wrist. His face grew white and he found it increasingly hard to hold onto his bar. He focused on shallowing his breathing, concentrating on every movement of his chest. 'No-one noticed the last 3 times' he told himself, 'just get to the port and then you can buy another one'.
It was only then that he spotted a male seated on the right handside of the cubicle. Like the others he wore blue jeans, sneakers and a coca-cola t-shirt. Unlike the others his wristband proclaimed 'conformity through individuality'. It was a subtle difference but one which, combined with his seated posture, spoke volumes.
Kia edged towards the door, ready to leap at the next opportunity. He pressed the button down and held it, watching the seated passenger out of the corner of his eye. And then, as the carriage turned a corner, he released his hold. Tumbling forwards, he watched as his ride disappeared into the dust. He got up and shook the dust from his t-shirt. He gazed around and began to prepare his speech for the port authorities. He was going to be late yet again.