For the purpose of records, the following people admitted to being in the following places during the earthquake:

For the purpose of records, the following people admitted to being in the following places during the earthquake:

Sassy (1) had been pulled into a phone booth by Romney Gowei (2), whose sister Nola Oria (3) had temporarily been trapped in a rotating door with his best friend Levi (4). Meanwhile Cannon (5) was at work, pilfering pharmaceutical drugs from the back room. Liisi (6) was at the public bath, just beginning to dress and wondering whether she should stop by the cannery to see if Sid (7) could bring home dinner or if she should go get it herself. Memphis (8) was at home, wondering where exactly the brick of dubious content had come from and how she had gotten ahold of it.

Immediately after the earthquake, while the city was still in some disrepair, the following conversation took place in the Union Square just outside of the trendy restaurant Parlor.

"You saved me?" Sassy (1) asked Romney (2), still in shock. For a good reason, as the Union Square itself had been torn basically in two – one giant crack down the middle of the square leading straight to city hall. A couple of the rioters had fell down into it, still holding their picket signs.

The earthquake had been over for only half of a second when Sassy had sprung out of the phone booth to take a look around. Curiosity always had been her downfall.

She repeated her statement, a little bit stronger this time, as Romney followed her out of the phone box. "You saved me!" the declaration was followed by something that, to Romney, sounded a little bit like Klingon or Portuguese.

Slum - it was the all-encompassing word for the variants-on-a-theme language that many of the residents of the local undercity spoke. And this girl was most definitely a resident of the undercity – everything from her heavy weight to her lackadaisical manner of hair care screamed "poor".

Romney himself had been put through a rigorous exercise routine from the day he could walk, and his mother had recently given him money to put highlights in his hair. It was for that reason that he and Levi had decided to go celebrate at Parlor instead of staying home and doing their homework. Only a few moments of convincing ensured that Nola came with them so they could use her car.

But for the here and now, he had just impulsively saved a poor chick.

"Yeah, I guess?" he answered her declaration-question as best he could. He supposed he had saved her, although really it hadn't taken too much brains to yank somebody into a phone booth when the ground started to shake and giant pieces of City Hall began to fly from the towers.

"What's your name?" she asked, sticking out her left hand. "I'm Sassy." Sassy – well he supposed most of the undercity kids had strange nicknames. One of Nola's maids had a daughter who called herself Lo-Fat, after all.

Strangely enough, Romney had seen the girl and she was anything but 'low-fat'.

"I'm Romney," Romney shook her hand, even though it felt quite odd to be using his left. He supposed he should be happy for this minor breakthrough in his usual monotonous life.

"Rom!" It was Levi's voice. Rom turned to the right only to see Levi sprinting up to him with Nola close behind, big white speckles dotting her usually pitch-black hair. Levi came to a stop when he got near to Romney and Sassy, he clutched at his stomach and began coughing deeply. All of the ash with the air was beginning to itch at Romney too, but Levi had always been a bit more sensitive to the environment.

"I'm calling mom," Nola said. "Then I'm calling an ambulance before Levi splits a lung." She hadn't sprinted like Levi, but simply walked at a very quick pace over to the scene with a linen napkin over her mouth so as to save her poor, genetically engineered lungs.

"No, don't do that!" Rom and Levi shouted in unison. It was a domino effect – if Nola called their mother, their mother would call Levi's parents. The three would consult each other, then all convene in one room and speakerphone their children back to tell them, in unison, that they were no longer allowed on the surface. In fact, in Levi's case, he might not even be let out of his penthouse anymore. Levi's mother was very protective of her son's health.

It was then that Levi noticed Sassy, who had retreated back into the phone booth and picked up the phone again.

"Who's that?" Levi asked, standing up straight again. He could do extraordinary things when it came to girls – not limited to ignoring his own suffering.

"Nobody," Rom answered quickly.

"Who's who?" Nola asked, shutting her phone quickly. Nola's memory was short when it came to those of lower classes.

"Nobody," Levi repeated, taking on Romney's defensive stance. "None of your business."

"You're such a child," Nola scoffed. "Come on, Rom – if I don't tell mom soon then she'll just find out herself and then we'll really be in trouble. Let's go find the car."

To this, Rom was helpless. Girl in the phone booth or not, he still had to avoid trouble with his mother as much as possible. Chivalry wasn't exactly taught in schools anymore, but self-preservation was.

"Fine," he decided. "You can use my phone. She doesn't answer to your number anymore anyways."

The story could have ended here, if it weren't for Levi. But that comes later.


Memphis had gone straight over to the pharmacy where Cannon worked, as she had been instructed to in case of emergency.

Thus, when she entered the store she made sure that Cannon knew the latest news.

"There was an earthquake and freaking everything is gone."

"Wow," Cannon, for one, had already been informed of the earthquake and knew that his work was probably where everybody would be congregating. Sassy had already given him a phone call to tell him that she'd be there within the hour and that she'd been buzzed up on Z-Block – her favorite antisleeping pill – for at least the past three days and she would need a place to pass out soon.

"I got some of your stuff out," Memphis told him, handing him his backpack. "And Sassy's civvies."

"What about Liisi and Sid?" Cannon asked. Memphis shrugged – a shrug that he took to mean that Liisi and Sid could fend for themselves. He sighed and selected a bottle off of the shelf for her.

Memphis popped two. "What is it?" she asked, holding her hands out for the bottle of water he kept by his register.

"Benzodiazepines," Cannon sounded the word out. Memphis tended to get a little bit freaked out when he said big things too fast. This time however she was freaked out by the word anyways. "Xanax, Rohypnol, Loramet, Restoril – that kind of stuff. It's so you don't have a panic attack, start hyperventilating and get sulfur all over the inside of those genetically manufactured lungs of yours." Memphis made an 'oh' face and settled down.

"When will the others get here?"

"A few hours," Cannon said. Sid's work was earthquake-proof last he'd heard, but they could have a change of heart and let their cannery workers off early. Sassy had gotten an hour ago, but it usually took about two hours to reach the pharmacy from her job. Liisi would be there any minute, but if Memphis knew that she would bolt before Liisi could stop her from going out for the night.

He continued filtering through the things Memphis had brought back from the apartment and found himself encountering the brick again – big, white and covered in a black plastic bag. Even if he couldn't recognize it from the size and shape, it was shedding little white flakes everywhere on the bag. Cannon imagined that Memphis had been shaving a bit off to figure out what it was.

He saved it, just in case that "friend of Rubbermaid's" Memphis had gotten it from came looking for it.