The midwestern dawn was gray and the bus station was gray, as well. I had slept a little next to a dumpster behind a supermarket. I had cracked open pay phones with my hands until I had enough for the bus ticket and a Milky Bar. I was exhausted and broke, young and evil and superintelligent, somewhere in America.*
When it came, the bus was nearly empty. I took a seat two-thirds of the way back, on the left, and sat looking out the window. The roads and houses and gas stations rolled by, and I knew that not one of them was a place I could live or work. My ticket was for Reno, Nevada, bought at random.
I knew I needed to go someplace emptier, preferably with a desert where I could start building underground. Working with my hands if necessary, I'd truck in concrete and generators and electronics. It would be bare-bones at first - the soaring archways and gleaming metal would come later. For now, I'd lay out circuitry on wood and metal frames and make the supercomputer I had already designed in my head. I'd build up power gradually, computing power, electrical power, super-power. Soon I'd be working with teraflops and running off fusion power. For a long time, I watched the world change from green fields to rocky scrub, and the clouds darken and burst up in the mountains. Raining somewhere else maybe, but not here.
I remember those nights, planning technologies that didn't exist yet, outsider science, futurist dreaming, half-magical. The things I could do outside the university setting, now that I didn't have to wait for the pompous fools at the college! I was building another science, my science, wild science, robots and lasers and disembodied brains. A science that buzzed and glowed; it wanted to do things. It could get up and walk, fly, fight, sprout garish glowing creations in the remotest parts of the world, domes and towers and architectural fever dreams. And it was angry. It was mad science.
It is safe to say that I am GREATLY ENJOYING reading this book.
*at this part I started to suspect it might secretly be by John Darnielle.