Pacifica

Book One of the Redeemable Trilogy

Technically, Wes should have been doing other things, far up north, training the latest batch of clones, getting them ready for the cull. There were some promising candidates in this batch, and if two or three of them survived the Swim they would have candidates for mass production. But this was more important. This was the hunt, and this is what Watt desired.

Zero. There were some memories of their time back before Watt was so strong. She was a good soldier, a good comrade. She’d been a good leader, in the moments when they were allowed to do anything other than follow direct orders from high command.

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The morning broke but Cylee and Kelly were still asleep. Kelly whimpered slightly in her sleep from time to time, but seemed to have settled down from the previous night. Mitzi left around sunrise, and returned a few hours later.

Cylee woke when Mitzi came back in. Mitzi was carrying a suitcase that she set on the low table in their rented room.

“Mitz? You’re up early. Are you okay?” Cylee asked quietly. Sometime during the night Kelly had snuggled up close to Cylee and she stirred slight as Cylee talked. Cylee gently slid out of the bed around Kelly and stood up, stretching tall.

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Cylee and Kelly drove north. There’s no way to make that go faster. The car’s solar system was barely good enough to handle a standard 100 kph, so speeding wasn’t really an option. They were more or less off the grid, only occasionally brushing the edges of municipal networks on the road, and only occasionally diving into small towns to buy food and water.

The drive couldn’t have come at a better time, emotionally. They learned a good system: if the other one cries, talk about it.

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Author’s note: I have spent a good two hours trying to figure out how they find Kim. I can’t. I’ll keep working on it, but I’ve got thousands of words to go and I need to move on. So imagine, if you will, a montage. Kelly sitting quietly, writing notes on a piece of paper in a diner. Cylee looking over her shoulder. Kelly looks up sharply and Cylee leans back, inspects the wallpaper, orders another drink. The two of them pouring over the hand-drawn notes later in a hotel room, pulling out a big paper map of Canada and trying to line up points on the map and points in their notes. If you’re more comedically minded have one of them turn the map over and look crossly at the other, as if either of them would accidentally hold a map upside down. All the words would look dumb! At any rate, at the end of the montage, they drive along a dirt road. And that’s where we get back into the part of the story that I’m actually trying to tell. Okay, as you were.

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The problem with sharing your mind with mind-altering microbes is that they do really weird things to your dreams. Cylee slept deeply but not restfully. In her mind she was sitting in a classroom, surrounded by students, but she couldn’t really see the other students. There was an instructor up at the front of the room, standing in front of a 2D display, showing a series of graphs and charts and connection-type symbols. There was a conversation happening, the students were asking questions and the teacher—or teachers—were answering, but Cylee couldn’t understand the languages of either party. The emotional tone of the conversation carried through, though.

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There’s an old question that Cassandra should have considered more closely.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Who will watch those who watch? Who watches the watchmen?

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Tricia had worked in a number of weird places, but this one took the cake. If they had tried to schedule her here permanently she would have walked out, but this job was only for another two weeks and then she could go back to Whittier or Fairbanks or somewhere and pick up seasonal work. The Pacific Academy was in the middle of nowhere, in fact she wasn’t entirely sure where it was, which was just icing on the weirdness cake.

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Note: “Unplaced” Chapters are sections of text in an early form that haven't yet found a home in the official text. This one is very much a rough sketch of a rough draft, but I needed to get it written down, and I figured I'd toss it in here so people could see what's up.

Consider Julian’s life.

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