Clair: "Don't! Please don't hurt him. I've told you everything I know. Q is one of the lost girls, like Libby. She woke in the hangover when I used Improvement. She's been helping me, and I've tried to help her too. She deserves to know who she is. Who she was. You must know. You killed her."
Jesse: "Clair, what's happening? Are you all right? Where's everyone else?"
Mallory: "They're gone forever, unless your girlfriend tells us the truth."
Clair: "Why would I lie? I've told you everything I know."
Mallory: "That Q is an ugly duckling who latched onto you at random? I don't think so."
Clair: "Why not?"
Mallory: "Because I'm careful. I don't leave leftovers."
Jesse: "This time you made a mistake. You must have."
Mallory: "Ant doesn't make mistakes. Except when he's being too generous."
(sound of snapping fingers, booth operating)
Dylan Linwood: "Jesse?"
Jesse: "Stay away! Who are you?"
Clair: "It's him, Jesse. Really him, this time."
Dylan: "Who else would I be?"
Clair: "You were captured in the street. They put you in a booth, took you through a null jump to take a record of your pattern."
Dylan: "What have they done?"
Clair: "They duped you. Your dupes tried to kill us. We . . . we managed to stay ahead of you, of them . . . for a while."
Dylan: "So we're all zombies now."
Clair: "Don't say that. That's not the way it is."
Dylan: "You too, Jesse?"
Jesse: "They're going to take you away again, Dad. They want something we can't give them."
Dylan: "How can I feel like this? How can I feel anything at all? Was your mother right the whole time? Was I wrong not to let them bring her back?"
(sound of booth operating)
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...