Chapter 19

Stef looked at Jones as the Tech paced back and forth, arms folded behind her back, looking for all the world as though she were considering the deepest, most philosophical question this side of Trek vs. Wars.

After a moment, Andrea stopped pacing. ‘Are you sure he’s the one?’

Stef nodded. ‘Yeah,’ she said with a nod. ‘I mean, there’s no one else.’

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Fragility – 03

Wednesday

With Merlin securely tucked in, Jones drifted in his HUD.

Most agents had some true – if shallow – sleep during some part of the night. Even agents only had so much processing power, so sleep served as a convenient time to fulfil functions that would otherwise slow their reaction times.

Deep scans, integrity checks of every single nanite, cache clearing. Sleep gave an agent time to look after themselves, to make them fresh and new for the next day.

Jones refused to waste the time – it was inefficient to have so many dead hours during the night, when he could get so much work done without recruits underfoot.

Combat and Field functions were largely diurnal – so no one would miss Taylor if he bunked down – naked, apparently – for six hours.

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Fragility – 01

Three Months Before Dorian Knocks.

Tuesday

Three recruits on the phone bank. Two in the lab, working. Three in the smaller lab, investigating their understanding of human biology. Four recruits in the main computer lab, submitting alternative drone paths.

All in all, very quiet for two in the morning.

Jones placed another bet and wondered if Blue Earth ever even considered horse races when they threatened to expose magic to the world.

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36 – Blinded

Someone was knocking.

Ryan looked up, finally cognisant that someone was trying to get his attention. He put his pen down, and tried to look past the high stacks of paperwork. ‘Come in,’ he called, unlocking the door with a requirement.

Jones walked in, a few folders in her hand. Ryan held back a sigh – hopefully whatever paperwork Jones needed done, it was something quick.

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15 – Contradiction

September 28th

Curt stopped walking as his headset made the tone indicating he had a new email – his Agency phone buzzed a moment later confirming this.

He took a quick left, and walked to the hall that overlooked the street – the wall beneath each window was shaped in such a way to allow a person to sit – or two recruits if they didn’t mind being close.

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35 – The Wizard and The Angel

Jones watched Stef spasm and convulse in the tank, screaming while barely conscious, bubbles forming in the blue, popping, floating to the edges of the tank.

Reabsorption was different for every agent. Some found it rapturous, orgasmic, some found it torturous, some found it worse than a glitch. There was no reason for the different experiences, no math on why it was wondrous for some and the hell of being born for others. A scant few claimed the found the same pre-consciousness nirvana in the tank, but the majority believed those lucky few to be liars.

She cracked her head against the wall of the tank, went still, and floated towards to the top of the tank, her limbs limp and heavy. Continue reading “35 – The Wizard and The Angel”