why would I cut my hand off

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[after]

Qannen's face is half hidden in shadows, a total f*cking sexually dramatic Mood. She swipes her screen and the lighting jumps up vibrantly, giving the sacred geometry of her face a high-definition, glossy vibe. She swipes again and brings the lighting down a bit, looking for something in-between.

The walls and ceiling of Qannen's bedroom are made of white bio-plastic, embedded with hundreds, maybe thousands of tiny piezo-LEDs. The translucent walls diffuse and soften the light at any volume, generating moods from sullenly pensive to post-manic, all controlled by her screen. So on the one hand there is literally no bad lighting in this room ever, but on the other hand you could search your entire life for the perfect lighting and never quite capture it. It's like, metaphorical on some level.

Qannen sits up in bed, unwraps the hair, lays back down, then sits back up, adjusts the titties, lays back down, and arranges her wavy powder-lavender tendrils around her head so it's both plausible that this was how she'd woken up and unmistakably coordinated beyond all comprehension.

Above her, a sole zonny, maybe 7 inches long, crawls slowly across the ceiling. It hangs upside down by its six metallic legs while its three sets of camera eyes catch everything Qannen does, in every spectrum of light. Or doesn't do; this is not a fascinating moment, Qannen knows. But a queen is allowed to luxuriate in her own bed, OK. Qannen's pet bat, Logophilia, sits nearby on his perch, eyeing the zonny suspiciously, ready to throw down if need be.

Just as Qannen finds what the perfect confluence of lighting, angle, cleavage, and face, she hears a crash, and then a louder crash, and then a scream. It somehow fits the extreme lewk she's delivering and as she takes her selfies she's like Right? Yas RT biiiich go offff.

But the screaming continues, long and piercing, ratcheting up into blood-churning, the scream of the soon-to-be-dead. Qannen recalls that her sister returned home from Recovery late last night. She should probably check on her.

Qannen exits her room and is greeted by a sweeping view of the city. Their apartment takes up two whole floors in The Grand Butera building. The upper floor, where their bedrooms are, has a luxury loft vibe. The hallway that connects her bedroom to Qynka's overlooks the spacious chill-out area below, and the entire apartment is open to the city thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows that rise across the entire two stories. A dramatique view of Stoermer Boulevard and the Forest District, beyond that the Secure Future building and the dorms at Todrick Hall, and even farther back, a glimpse of the Tower, and the wall.

The screaming continues as Qannen pads down the hallway until at last she arrives at Qynka's room. She pushes the door aside just as Qynka violently sweeps everything off the surface of her glam area with a furious scream, sending bottles flying against the wall. Her fuzzy pink curls are untethered from a hair tie that clings uselessly in her hair.

"Goog mormug my darling," Qannen says.

"Goog mormug I'm frEAKiNg out," Qynka says, chest heaving.

"Say more."

Qynka's response is to raise up both her hands, palms out, for Qannen to see.

Qannen looks at Qynka's hands for 2 seconds before her stomach flips. She falls to one knee, hyperventilating. "Your hands," she gasps, trying desperately not to completely lose all her sh*t.

"I know."

"They're empty."

"I KNOW. I can't. Find. my SCREEN," Qynka yells.

"What do you mean you can't find it?"

"I mean it's not here?"

"Have you looked?"

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