Holly was examining her reflection in a pool in the courtyard, while snippets of recording played over her brainchip. The Author was a stunning woman and yet, based on the previous recording, she was old enough to be Holly’s mother, or grandmother maybe. It seemed so obvious now that the Author had to be older. How could Holly have not seen the inconsistencies before? How could they teach such blatant misinformation at the Order? But, then again, when had Holly ever taken the time to question anything? There was always another flashy headline coming through the brainchip, new apps, new movies, better meds, and between all the distractions, the devotionals. When had Holly ever really stopped, turned off the noise and just thought? If the Author’s age was a lie, what else was?
She looked at her reflection and felt a bit of a pride. Holly might not be much to look at, but she never pretended to be anything more than what she was. No expectations; no one to disappoint. She selected a dose of Ativan inside her brainchip, and felt the slow release of calming quiet settle her brain.
They had spent the day recording and Holly felt exhausted. She had been grateful that the Author suggested she get some fresh air before bed. It was another dark night, but the courtyard was lit with billions of tiny lights that emulated stars, but much brighter, which were reflected in the shallow pool of water and in the mirrors that hung around the stone fence.
A loud thump disrupted her reverie. The door that led from the courtyard to the city beyond closed with an echo that made the waters oscillate. Holly spun around. She hadn’t realized anyone else had been out here. She ran across the grass and stone sidewalks toward the door and opened it a crack. Peering out, she caught sight of a dark figure heading away from the compound.