The man on the stars

It was earlier than usual. The bus stop, however, looked exactly as every other day. Empty. He was always the only one waiting for the bus, and he was always the only one in the bus. Not even a driver was to be seen, which, at first, gave him the creeps, but then, slowly, he got used to it. He stepped on the bus and, although it was empty, he took his time before choosing a seat --the last time he couldn't sit because there was something lumpy there.

--There he is again--, said Susann, --the strange guy I told you about--, and turned around to face Catherine.

They both went a long way back; they first met at junior high. By the time they started high school, Susann moved the city, because her dad got another position at the company he worked for, and now both girls were studying finance at the same university.

--Ahhhh, where, where?, was asking Catherine while turning right and left, looking for something suspicious.

--There, he's about to get in the bus. The one with the beige jacket--, and, making a humming sound of disapproval, she remarked how he always ignored the line, as if the other people didn't exist.

Susann found an internship about two months ago and was, since, working part time along with her studies. This was the bus she always took to work, and it was Catherine's first day as intern in the same company --by Susann's recommendation.

--He's so strange... Just the other day, I was already in the bus, and then he came in and almost sat on a taken seat! The guy sitting there asked what was wrong with him and all, but all he got was a strange look, as if strange-guy didn't understand what was happening... He's a little coocoo, I tell you.

The bus kept moving, its occupants, most of them, dozing off or just looking to a blank point in the horizon. He turned his music player on, carefully extended the earphones' cable and, after separating "R" from "L", introduced first the right one in his right ear, then the other one in the other ear. Some rock song was on, and he, suddenly remembering there was no one else there, started singing aloud.

In the bus, nobody paid special attention to strange-guy. It was always tricky at the time of stepping into the vehicle, but afterwards it was almost as normal as anything else, except for one thing...

--Oh, look, look... He's getting his things now-- said Susann, who as hard as she thought about it, just couldn't get into her head what was about to happen.

--What, seriously? Now? But we're still moving, and he didn't even pressed the stop button or anything!

The empty bus stopped. He walked alongside the seats towards the front door, threw a last look at the empty driver seat, and stepped out with a look on his face that clearly said "what the..." and "ooh, whatever" at the same time.

Many people... Most people would have reacted alarmingly in a situation like this. The 7.20-bus-people, however, were already used to seeing strange-guy step out of the bus while moving and without opening the doors. They just ignored it now. Or at least tried to, and continued with their lives as if nothing had ever happened. Not that it would be a great shock anyway, since hard as they tried, they were never able to actually be aware of what was taking place. In fact, whoever tried, was left with an uncomfortable feeling afterwards, just like the feeling you get when you dream of something and you know you remember it and you know you remember all the details, but somehow you don't remember a single thing about it other than that it existed.

...Inside an enormous skyscraper, a man who came from an empty bus is ready to go to work. He steps into a lift and presses a minuscule blue button. The display in the lift lights up and reads: "Middle Orion".