Tobal got off at the airbus terminal and asked directions at the information desk. He was only two miles from Old Seattle. After spending the night in the airbus the exercise and fresh air felt good. His clothing was warm enough as long as he kept moving. He had no luggage because his uncle had said he would be given everything needed at Heliopolis when he got there.
The first part of his trip was easy since New Seattle was essentially one huge indoor complex. This was common with city-states. The entire city-state was essentially one giant self-enclosed structure. Public transit was small automated air cars that took passengers to any programmed address or destination. He was going to the South Gate and punched the proper location into the control screen.
"Please fasten your seat belt", said a pleasant mechanical voice from somewhere inside the car.
Tobal complied and the car took off smoothly entering a long corridor filled with other flying traffic. In a matter of minutes his air car touched down next to the city gates and let him out. He watched as it sped away to pick up another passenger, then shrugged his shoulders and stepped through the gate into the cold air of Old Seattle.
The light mist and fog felt chill in the pre-dawn air. He turned his collar up against the wind and fastened his light jacket a little tighter. As he walked, he buttoned the top button of his collar. The icy moisture seemed to seep into his bones. There was a dusting of freshly fallen snow on the ground and it was very quiet as the sun peeked over the distant horizon. He guessed the snow would not last very long. It was already melting. While cold, it was still much warmer than his uncle's estate.
Old Seattle differed sharply from New Seattle. He looked around curiously as he walked along an empty street. There were individual buildings on both sides as far as he could see. New Seattle had no streets. Anti-grav technology had made ground operated vehicles obsolete over twenty years ago before he had even been born. Still here in Old Seattle there was foot traffic and the streets were kept in repair for that purpose alone. The contrast between the two cities was almost overwhelming.
New Seattle was a self-contained city-state like so many others in what was now simply the Federation. Some of the older citizens called it the "New World Order" but it was not new any longer and did not seem to contain a lot of order. There were not many people still living that remembered the pre-Federation days. Each city-state was like any other with access to many of the same resources. Most people worked from their homes in private offices or lived within walking distance of the local manufacturing plants that produced the food and material products that kept the city alive.
It was hydrogen cell technology that revolutionized the world bringing cheap energy to entire communities. Almost overnight the energy problems of the world were gone. There was abundant light, heat and electricity within small communities along with the technology to become self-supporting and self-governing.