intro: already that bitch

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"If you have any concerns about cooperative childcare, remember that the goal, as it should be for everyone in Wood2, is to keep your child out of The Thornes." [Here the images in the video switch to pictures of cramped and dirty apartments that frankly churn the girls' stomaches.] The free housing for people who don't care how they look or where they live, the people who are truly terrible at creating engaging content. The Thornes are a dangerous and lonely place, and certainly no place for children, who are so full of promise and hope and positivity and unexplored content.

"Although a handful of our children graduate right into tremendously successful career paths, many of our students are well poised for success in one of Wood2's 4 excellent high schools - Eternal High, the Academy of Mysterious Occurrences, High/Low High, and KillMySelf High. They can go wherever their personal brand and value proposition takes them, after completing their mandatory 3-year customer service rotation at one of Wood2's many fine shops and restaurants.

"Managing a successful personal brand is the work of a lifetime. You are trying, and Wood2 supports you. The next time your new baby ruins your personal journey or otherwise unfocuses your spirituality, just give them to us. The Secure Future Academy for Babies. We focus on children, so you can focus on the things that matter."

When the video ends Qannen stares at her sister in disbelief. "Wait these babies get to go to school and learn all kinds of sh*t what the F*CK."

"MOM WHAT THE SH*T," Qynka yells and together they race out of the bedroom, followed by the zonnys.

They find their mother, Isotania, on the couch (a long, U-shaped Dwelphine) in the living room, doing something on her screen. Behind her the floor-to-ceiling windows of their penthouse apartment in the Grand Butera afford a killer view of Wood2. The dull light from the eternally gray skies alighting delicately on everything from the Kulture District to the Intentional Lifestyle District, across the Forest District, to the Innovation District.

"How come you literally prevented us from attending the Secure Future Academy for Babies?"

Isotania looks genuinely confused without looking away from her screen. "Because you're not total f*cking losers???"

"But the kids there learn life skills or whatever that we don't have?"

Isotania looks up now, at her daughters standing before her. When they're standing next to each other like this you can see the cooperative artwork of their hair gradients - yellow to green pink on Qynka and then pink to lavender to yellow on Qannen, so that whichever way they stand they fade in and out of each other.

"What life skills do you feel you are lacking?"

Qynka looks at Qannen like Help me out here.

"Um," Qannen says.

"You already have your own show," Isotania says like it's the most obvious thing in the word. "You're already building your brands." She gestures like why is this conversation happening to me.

"OK," Qynka counters, "But the video was all-"

"Ladies, come here." Isotania cuts them off and motions for them to join her on the couch. "They're just learning life skills about how to people, which you already do. They're training in hopes of having successful brand interactions some day. You were born into one of the most successful brand interactions of all time. Your father and I had brands fighting - physically fighting at the Arena Mall, for the right to host your first anniversary."

Qynka and Qannen look at each other, unsure.

"OK, school, fine" Isotania says. "Test time. Season 6 of The Keepening. What happened to Raquelista?"

Qynka's eyes light up. "She finnnnally broke up with Ja50n_."

"Why was that important."

"He'd been cheating on her forever with kaytranizole, like basically the whole time. It was a whole disgrace."

"And so when Raquelista finally ended things with Ja50n_, after he had betrayed her for so long, how did we feel?"

"Very disapPOINTED," Qannen says.

"Because?"

Qannen shrugs at the obvious response. "Because it was really selfish to just break up with him like that. It's like OK for her but not that entertaining for everyone else."

"What would you have done," Isotania asks Qynka.

Qynka responds without hesitation. "Waited. Not let on that I know. Collect more information and use it to destroy him later, more publicly, in a way that both humiliates him and benefits me."

"I have nothing more to teach you." Isotania playfully shoves them off the couch. "OK bye. Go. I'm getting ready for a meeting with Daddy before your father and I make an appearance at the new Conveyance launch tonight."

"Can we come?" Qynka asks, hopefully.

Isotania turns back to her phone, swiping something. "Uhhh yeah, when you have more followers."

The twins turn to leave but Isotania calls after them.

"Girls. Your circumstances and your purpose are the gifts that mold the journey towards your destiny. OK? When you start to worry about what other people got that you don't have I want you to remember one thing: you are both already that bitch."

Isotania goes back to her screen and the girls return to theirs, feeling seen and validated about their sense of selves and purpose. They would return to the positivity of that interaction time and time again as they grew up. It was the last thing their mother ever said to them.

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