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February 5, 2011

In less than half a minute the blank, black walls of the tunnel dropped away, and it looked as if the train was soaring through the air. In reality, it was elevated about a hundred meters off the ground, leisurely descending toward the surface on the track it didn’t even touch, that the magnets suspended it above, so really, it was kind of like flying. Stretched out in front of Dan was the vast, high desert-looking terrain of Tharsis.

“Wow,” Dan said.

The man laughed. “That’s pretty much what everyone says the first time they see it.”