This is the fifth section of the first chapter of Sonnets from a Proton. The novel starts here.
The next section is here
Laurence pointed Tom to the group of people blocking the track.
“Ah some things never change” mused Laurence, “For centuries you’ve seen people take a stick of wood, hammer a square of cardboard to it and try and block the way of the inevitable”
The inevitable in this case being the train heading at a few kilometers per hour towards the protesters who seemed to be reluctantly moving out of the way of the now slowly moving train.
“Nothing is inevitable, particularly when people work together” Said Tom somewhat indignantly.
“Well, when you find a way to reverse entropy by standing in front of a several thousand tonne vehicle let me know.” Laurence saw the look on Tom’s face at this, “Do you even know what they’re protesting about?”
Tom tried to read what the boards the protesters were holding said but failed. He waved his pad at the window but it just showed error messages; “No I’m afraid I don’t, why they can’t have a ‘site for this I don’t know”
“You should watch more news, current affairs are what matters.”
Tom shriveled his face up in distaste, “It’s always the same stuff,” he spat out “some conflict somewhere, someone dying, industrial sector wiped out there, percentage points fluctuations in product outputs. It all gets a bit depressing after a while really.”
“No news or current affairs then and yet you think that people working together standing in the way of the inevitable can make the world a better place. This all happens in your world of watching sports or celebrity gossip.”
“Sports is what I do; it’s what does matter” Said Tom sounding increasing disheartened, “if competing to be the best you can isn’t the fundamental part of the human nature then what is?”
“Sex and power.” Laurence turned aside and went back to staring out of the window looking back at Tom only as a line of white almost invisible flame erupted from the end of the mountain range and disappeared into the clouds.