Twenty-five

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Import Archive/history/modern/1200-*
  Logging.config(security=default; module=core("op.parameters", "safeguards"); analysis.context("origins", "interconnectivity", "tipping points");
  Log:
    
Israel/Palestine,
    The Troubles,
    American White Supremacist terror,
    Early 21st century jihadist terror,
    Hong Kong,
    The People's Temple; The Branch Dividians; Heaven's Gate; Aum Shinrikyo; Sannyasins; ...
    Regression of Civil Rights Movement in 21st century,
    Entrenched misogynistic violence in rural ###@!, 21st century,
    Colonial superiority delusion in post-EU Britain,
    Witch trials in 15th century Europe; 17th century England; 19th century America,
    Ethnic genocide in Europe and Africa, 20th century,
    Ethnic genocide throughout Americas, 15th century-*,
    Soviet influence on nascent democratic processes by post-career KGB agents,
  VIEW MORE>>(2,124,728 more records)
  Commonalities (fuzzy):
    
Resource limitations (geographical): 82%
    Technological sea change: 36%
    Illogical government: 63%
    Cultural inefficiency (eg legacy patriarchy): 59%
    Global weather (psychological, disease): 47%
    Inherited bias (long-form trace): 99%
  //
Exit(logging)

*

The whole idea was dumb. That wasn't an uncommon response for Tilda, and it wasn't her fault - it was a consequence of being surrounded by idiots. She could hardly be blamed for everyone else's stupidity. Such was life in Cragside, in the valley of tedious fools.

One thing kept her sane and he was walking right towards her.

"Hey, Tilda," Harry said, flashing that massive grin of his.

"What do you want?"

Harry held up his hands, then raised his eyebrows. "What do I want?" He walked beside her, following the path through the field. "That's a big question. What do you think of Tommy's big explorey adventure?"

"I think it's typical Tommy. He always has to come up with something new for us to get all excited about. It's like he's scared of everyone just relaxing and enjoying themselves. In case we might notice that he's really boring."

"Ouch. I guess he's got his reasons."

Tilda let out an exasperated grunt. "If he's so desperate to go wandering around outside the valley, why doesn't he go live with Flick? They can both be weird together."

"I always see her when I'm hunting up top. She's always there, out the corner of my eye."

"She probably fancies you." Tilda shot him a quick glance, then looked away again before he could notice.

Harry scrunched up his nose. "A bit young, Tilda. What is she now? Ten? Eleven?"

"She's so weird. I can't believe Eva used to actually hang out with her."

"I dunno," he said. "I think she's OK. Doing her own thing."

They crunched on through the field, keeping to the narrow path that led between the crop rows. Flies zipped back and forth in the air and crickets hummed away out of sight.

"So what kind of age do you like, then?" She was pushing her luck, now, but he'd been talking to her a lot more lately and had made the effort to join her on the walk. Of course, she'd timed her arrival in the field precisely so that he would see her as he left Tommy's yurt. She'd had to wait for ages in the village square.

"Older! Well, my age, I suppose. Seeing as we don't know anybody older than sixteen."

Tilda was fifteen, still, much to her annoyance. She wanted to ask if he'd make an exception if it was the right person, but instead found herself saying something entirely different. "Imagine if we met someone who was, like, twenty."

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