District 21 Part Five


Cloning facility by adamkuczek on DeviantArt

Read all of the episodes of Kain’s story here.

Kain and Lilith walked for what seemed like four or five kilometers, taking twists, turns and in one case another ladder. Finally, she placed her pale hand against a palm lock on the corridor wall.

Kain wouldn’t have even noticed the lock, much less the hairline cracks which made up the outline of a door. That was, unless ze was looking for it specifically with zir senses turned to max. Ze chuckled at the cleverness of it. “Why in the void would anyone make that?”

Lilith walked into the space beyond and lights came on. The room was large and looked like a disused shelter of sorts. There were three sets of bunk beds three levels high. Storage cubbies on each of the side walls were filled with sealed plastic boxes. Their contents were a mystery due to the opaque material. A few cobwebs fluttered in the corners of the room and it smelled of neglect. “This is why. There are rooms like this all over the city and everywhere the population was over a certain amount when they were made. We’ve since turned them to our own uses.” She made a pass with her hands and the quality of the light changed, becoming more diffuse and blue rather than white.

The bunks disappeared, nothing more than a high quality holo. In fact, the cobwebs and even some of the dust vanished. In their place was a room you could operate in and a wall that was more of a vid screen. Or perhaps a window? Ze couldn’t be sure, but none of that mattered for the moment. The view ze now had was of a series of cylinders with one body floating in each. After staring closely for a few seconds, ze could tell it was a projected image from somewhere else. “I could run up a vid like this in half a day. It proves nothing.”

Lips formed a moue of annoyance. “This is real. I know, you don’t want to take my word for it, but we must make sure you’re on board before we actually let you join us.”

“So before I can receive the reward, one I don’t know is real, I have to put everything on the line.” Ze held up a hand to stave off protests. “I told you, it’s not about the money, or even the new body. It’s about the fun. You want to unmake our current society. You’ve gone to great pains to make it happen. That’s almost enough.”

Lilith snorted, more like a bull than a laugh. “What would put the fun over the top for you?”

“To get back to my people, without them chilling me en route, they require a pound of flesh to know it’s righteous. I don’t have proof, won’t be any me left to help you. And they might decide to strip mine my core processor, take the memories, and use them to find and blaze you off the map.”

Her pale skin turned a shade of green. “What’s to stop them from doing that even if you do bring them this proof?”

“They’re business types. I’ve done too much for them to cut any ties without provocation. There will be other jobs.” Something near zir forearm clicked and whirred. “Besides, can’t you just grew a replacement?” A thin rod slid out from under zir sleeve. As it got longer it tapered to a nearly invisible point. The steel whip looked rigid enough, but ze could use it to remove head from neck or hand from arm.

“I can, but I’d prefer not to. If that’s the only way.” Her pallor and slumped posture spoke of fear and subjugation. Emotions she likely hadn’t felt in a while.

Kain brought his hand back and down, aiming for the spot above her wrist bone.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

 

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