There was a crispness in the air and a feeling in the wind, and she felt her face break into a smile as she was suddenly overwhelmed with a sense of incredible lightness. It had been years since she had been outside, freed from the brushed chrome and the oh-so-tastefully understated furniture. Free to breathe.
And breathe she did, again and again, drinking it in like she’d fallen upon an oasis in the desert. The air felt cleaner and clearer than any she could remember, and it probably was. There was nothing here to make it otherwise, if they were to be believed.
They’d lied to her about other things, clearly. The air outside wasn’t instantly fatal. You could survive outside the PopCap, at least for a while. And god only knows you could never really live in it, save in a stasis where every day is the same. Where every day you wait until the moment where your reason for living walks through the door and eviscerates you for leaving a mug on the breakfast counter.