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a complete change of form or appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state.

You spend so long worrying about endings that when you finally get there it feels too brief. Like the end never lives up to all the work you put in to get that far. End of the school year, or end of a big coursework project. End of a relationship. It feels epic, and dramatic, and important while you're in it, and then it simply stops, and is no more, and that's that, and you just gotta keep on going.

Well, this wasn't anything like any of that.

It began early.

Dawn woke me, early morning sun peeking through the blinds. This was immediately surprising as I hadn't expected to be able to sleep and had spent what seemed like hours lying awake on my bed, staring at the moon glow on the ceiling and wondering how my life had led to this one moment.

I'd never been more than an armchair political observer. And I didn't take a seat very often. Politics was never my thing, and keeping an eye on what was happening always took too much time. If other people brought something to my attention then, sure, I'd sign a petition and make some grumbly noises in a bar to my friends. But I never actually did anything, and I was fine with that. I liked to think I had an opinion on how we were all ruled by the wings and how squamata were expected to just toe the line and join the military, but it was never a conviction strong enough for me to, you know, take action.

Then again, a squamata still in school wasn't super common. Most people I knew born on my genodate had already quit education to go bite people overseas somewhere. So maybe that was a statement in itself.

Yet here I was, about to make a speech in the capital to anybody who would listen, about the most heretical, revolutionary concepts. Presuming I wasn't back in jail by the end of the day, after this I was done, and even if everything went as planned, all I wanted to do afterwards was disappear. Go back to being Kay. Make up for lost time.

Pulling apart two slats with my fingers, I looked out at the street, still mostly in shadow. There were people milling about, more than you'd expect for the time of day. They had a direction about them, as they sauntered in a faux-casual kinda way past the house and towards the Aviary gardens.

"Shit," I said.

Marv made sure I had some breakfast. I didn't want anything but he insisted, which probably was a good move.

"How you feeling?" he asked.

I moaned a little and thought about dunking my head in my cereal. "I'm yo-yoing between being on the verge of a panic attack and the calmest I've ever been. Like, as if this is my destiny, or something."

"This is your destiny," Cal announced, entering the room and pouring himself a glass of juice. "Think about it," he said, noting our expressions. "For centuries Earth has been manipulating us. Our genetic make-up is entirely controlled by them. Society and culture is manufactured and restricted so that we're what they want us to be. Did you know they have a television channel all about Locque, except it's presented like a fictional show?"

I did not know that. It didn't surprise me, though.

"Point is, they've created this moment. You are, literally, designed to do what you do. I mean, it's not the design they intended, but it still sounds like destiny. And look at me - I'm the exact perfect change agent for this world. I'm custom built to change everything."

Marv laughed. "Yeah, well, they clearly didn't put any humble into your DNA."

We waited. An hour, then two. More and more people streamed past our shuttered windows and word came in from across town that the same was happening everywhere. There was a mass movement of people through the city, converging on the park. And it wasn't just Perlyn citizens - we're talking people from way off, all around the country and beyond.

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