/’skAn/ : a loosely coiled length of yarn or thread wound on a reel

In Absentia

John passed out at his desk, slumping over and spilling his coffee with a wide flung hand. Something had given a little pop in his head, and everything had gone black.

The paper he’d been working on, however, continued writing itself. He’d spewed enough assertions from his stream of consciousness into the metacortex to fuel the process for a few weeks yet.

Miles away, his morning class started. At the podium in the university lecture hall, his holo-avatar flickered to life and began orating to the students filing in on the first day.

John’s phone rang – it was Chen, one of his colleagues from the AI/IA department. Refusing video contact, John’s voice answered, “Hello?” For the next hour or so, Chen and John had a lovely conversation about this semester’s hopeless batch of grad students.

As a small puddle of drool ran from the corner of John’s mouth, most of his life went on without him.

His cat, however, was a bit hungry, wanted a warm lap, and was quite unamused – the Abyssinian yowled and huffed.

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