The last jump anywhere near earth was leaving for Sarcophagus City and Billy was hurrying. He had his Thumb broadcasting over as wide spectrum as possible without alerting the local authorities or frying every pacemaker in 30 miles.
Billy examined the Thumb: it was the Paratrue CL3.2 and it was a big improvement on the last model. Much stronger lock-on (always important if you don’t appreciate being turned inside-out) and for some reason, when you stuck the thing up your butt, you tasted strawberries. The engineers hadn’t actually made that a feature, but the boys in marketing ran with it anyway.
(Billy knows he shouldn’t have shown the Thumb to that tall writer fellow in England, but…)
The Thumb beeped and to Billy’s perspective, he swallowed the universe and then, 200 or so million miles away from earth outside of Mars’ orbit, threw it back up. Then he actually threw up.
Most everyone did, so there was usually someone waiting with a receptacle and a towel, some water. Also, the someone usually wasn’t laying there dead.
Billy, he thought to himself, you’re fucked.
To be continued…