When she got out of bed an hour before dawn, the Farmhouse was as silent as the grave. For some of its inhabitants, that was literally true.
I was two rooms away, without knowing it, inhabiting a body I had commandeered in transit the second time in two days. That it was the same body didn't make it any less weird. I was barely stable in its skin. I knew I didn't have long, even with the extra precautions I had taken this time. I had to find Clair and warn her before it was too late.
I didn't know that she and I were circling each other, going in different directions through the complex, me seeking her, she a toilet. What she found was a familiar face.
Clair: "Sorry, Jamila. It's just me."
(unknown female #1): "Clair?"
Clair: "I thought the search had stopped. Did you come down with the Skylifter?"
(unknown female #1): "Yes. I'm looking for Turner."
Clair: "Well, I'm looking for the toilet, so let's help each other out."
(unknown female #1): "All right."
Clair: "The hall's this way, I'm sure." (silence) "How far away did you crash? Did you have any trouble with the farmers? I think they're mostly okay, just naturally suspicious."
(unknown female #1): "No trouble. Is Turner far from here?"
Clair: "Don't tell me you've got a crush on him."
(unknown female #1): "Are you kidding? He's over eighty."
Clair: "You'd never guess to look at him. What's his secret, do you think?"
When they reached the hall, Clair saw more familiar faces, but it took her too long understand that this was a bad thing.
(unknown male): "Any luck?"
(unknown female #1): "Found this one. She might be able to help us with the rest."
(unknown male): "Good work."
Clair: "Ray? Jamila? What's going on? Theo-you're talking."
(unknown female #2): "Grab her. She's going to run."
(sound of scuffling)
(unknown female #2): "No alarm?"
(unknown female #2): "None."
(unknown female #3): "Sentries are down. Let's get a move on."
(unknown male): "Now, Clair, I'm going to take my hand away and you're going to tell me where Turner is. Scream and I'll break your neck. Understood?"
YOU ARE READING
113 (Twinmaker)Science Fiction
A post-scarcity world transformed by free, instantaneous travel should be paradise, but nothing is ever as it seems. When an ordinary girl uses Improvement, a meme promising a complete physical makeover by little more than wishing for it, she brings...