Stone walls seemed to hold the weight of a night that grew heavy with rain clouds. Muffled lights still dimly shone through drape covered windows. Crystals pulsed around on either side of the sidewalk and precious gems were intermittently speckled into the cement fastenings for the stone ground. This was the wealthy area (the oasis of the oasis) and Holly knew it well. She had watched the west through the windows and barred gates of the Order of Writers.
As a child, Holly had never imagined living in the east. The East was a place of enemies, full of indecent chip-depraved subhumans. However, she hadn’t understood the difference between the East countries and the lower-class east side of this city, where most people were decent, just not well off and it had been the former that had been discussed in disgust.
Decent, but mostly soulless. Holly did not recall that lesson from school. Did becoming the recorder mean Holly had developed a soul? How would she know if she had one? Would she feel different, somehow?
Holly was following a hooded man walk west, away from the Author’s tower and stone-gated courtyard (presuming it was a male anyways, based on the broadness of the shoulders and narrowness of the hips), hoping, but not quite willing to consciously admit, that it would be the Creator under the hood.
Her brainchip was automatically routing and re-routing the fastest way home, when finally, after a turn, it asked, ‘Are you heading to the Order of Writers?’ Holly looked past the hooded figure, to the road which was now beginning to wind into two turn-offs: one toward the market, which was closed this time of night, and the second, toward the gates of the Order. There were more direct routes from the tower to the market so, the brainchip was making a logical deduction. Wrapping her arms around her chest, she shuddered, whether from the night cool or from haunting memories. She had never wanted to come back here.
The man ahead continued his steady pace toward the gate. Holly fully planned on following, despite her misgivings, when her head roared painfully. Someone had hit her, but who? Why? The ground rose up to meet her. ‘More Ativan,’ she managed to command her brainchip and felt the blissful release of the medication shrouding her mind, before the painfulness of landing on an unforgiving surface. And then, oblivion.
The Creator looked at the tiny infant and was perplexed. She had not woken despite being medically stable. He was in his lab in the basement of the Order. His colleagues had secreted the baby here for him after the Author’s tantrum, which had become a more frequent occurrence.
He had been trying to dose the site of her brain tumor with nanos, but her paranoia interfered. Likely, the Author will have forgotten the incident by now. He watched the sleeping baby. Now, he had two women in his life that he was not sure how to save.
This baby, if she lived, was the fulfillment of everything he had worked toward all these years. A genetic, organic, beautiful, natural, intermingling of her brain of DNA and computer: the first born true hybrid.
If this baby lived, the Author was irrelevant. Perhaps the Creator should abandon his fruitless efforts in saving her life and just end her now. The viral containing the virus was still in his pocket and his fingers played with it while he thought.
“I found the file,” Jean said. Jean was one of the Order and one of the Creator’s trusted colleagues. “You were right. Lane, Holly: IP number: 055fkS;f5l’5wN, Route: Jd5553609. She was one of the experiments, left here by her parents in response to our request for preemies. She is a half-hybrid, but we were never able to fully engage the DNA component of the structure. As a result, she was a rather unremarkable child, generally slow and not overly bright.”
It was not surprising that the Author wanted an unremarkable recorder. The Author was a vain and competitive woman and if she was planning what the Author guessed, she would want someone to live who would not become a greater leader than she herself was.
The real question was, how much time was left until the Author planned to lead the suicides and how many would follow suit? The Creator knew her influence was great, but it was not complete. Or would she choose to take only a select few and would he be chosen among them?
He did not regret his early experiments on the Author. His primitive methods may have caused the brain growth, but it also led to their wealth, their reign, their total and complete control of the West. And it has led to his dream, this baby. If only she lives.
PART 15 COMING SOON!!