A long commute lay ahead and the sparse traffic on I-95 made for a lonely drive. As a master-driver, however, I would not be lonely for long.
Being a master-driver is a big responsibility; one that I take seriously. I had worked very hard for the title. On my 30th birthday, when I became eligible,
I applied for the master-drivers license, and after an extensive review of my driving record, I was offered the master-drivers training course. I passed the course with high marks and upgraded my dockable soon after.
Although it had been years since, I can still remember the thrill of my first dock, and the excitement of piloting my first cluster. Now, these things bordered on tedious, but the memories of them having, at one time, been exhilarating kept me from activating a continuous general dock denial beacon.
I could see a purple dockable approaching from the rear. I knew it was Judy before her dock request was displayed, and her speed indicated that she had been running behind today. I accepted her dock request and assigned her the position to my immediate right.
She glided up to my right side and matched speeds. I rotated my right-side docking pintles and moved in. As usual, Judys strict adherence to protocol made docking a breeze. Once the mechanical dock was established I initiated the electrical dock. I was now piloting both vehicles, and Judy was finishing her make-up.
The commute continued, and the cluster grew.
I glanced occasionally at the commuters within the cluster. Some napped, some read. One couple, in a burgundy dockable in the rear of the cluster, was arguing about something that had occurred last night.
They enjoyed the passive nature of the commute.
I envied their enjoyment.
Since my exit was but a few miles down the road, I transferred control to one of the other master-drivers we had picked up on the way, and disengaged from the cluster.
Miniature Volkswagen van-like vehicles with docking receptacles on the front, back and both sides. As they travel in a docked cluster, one driver pilots all vehicles in the cluster. Traveling in such a formation would save fuel and reduce emissions and road congestion.