Blue Skies and White Snow
The snow was evidence they were in for a hard reset. The machines wound down every couple of cycles, and you had to turn them off for a few days while they cooled. Spring, Summer, Fall, Summer, Spring, Summer, Fall, and occasionally, Winter. Bouncing back and forth until you eventually ran out of quarters and had to deal with the frost.
He knew the science behind it, in a vague, cable-news educated way, and assumed it wouldn’t be long before they knew to take the precipitation out of the air before shutting down the engines. The cold would still come, but they wouldn’t be buried in the slush. Some scientist was probably paid a lot of money to sit around all day thinking of ways to do that. Not him. He wasn’t poor, but he wasn’t fixing problems on that kind of scale, either.
The sky was blue today, and he stopped to look at it. It never ceased to amaze him. It just looked so real. Something to do with light refraction. No, no, that wasn’t right. Reflection. It used to be refraction, before the Black. There was light outside the world. Now it was bounced back.
It was rare to see the blue, because of the cost. Many of the children grew up under red skies, but all of them stopped and stared at the blue ones. It was as if they knew this was how it was supposed to be.