J.J.’s smile was the widest one he’d offered so far. He rubbed his thin-whiskered chin like some aged philosopher.
“A lesson to learn around here is not to assume too much about a person’s intent. Suspicion is what got us all into this mess in the first place. Do you really want to know how he’s feeling? Do you really want to know if he has some hidden desire for her…or for you? Do you really want to throw away humanity’s greatest gift that comes with facing the unknown? What fun or challenge is there in knowing a person’s feelings before you can experience them, judge them on their merits, and make your own conclusions that aren’t based on collated data points? Look at all these people. They all pass each other by, checking each other’s personality metrics to see if anyone they meet is not a pure waste of time. What you’re carrying will, hopefully, help us all understand what we’ve become in the New Cities and to prevent others from succumbing to the same trap. I am concerned about that, but also for you. I don’t need access, nor want access, to your Story. I know you the way your uncle described you, and from what I’ve seen since Kennywood, that’s good enough for me.”