A satire of dysfunctional government and economic disparity.
Chapter IV: Day/Page 32 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . . In the final days leading up to the launch, Sofia and Swift increasingly spend more time together, professionally and socially. On one occasion they go out to the countryside together where he lets her practice with his lariat bracelet. After securing the band on her wrist, she feels the tingle of the force-field envelop her body. With a deft flick of her wrist, she frees the sapphire crystal and casts it to the side, still tethered by a long thin wire to the bracelet. The wire glows red, yellow, then burns white-hot. Protected by the force-field, Sofia grasps the wire and gracefully swings the whip in a broad arc over her head like a fly-fisherman, snaps the line with a sharp loud crack, and adeptly swings and slices through dead branches on trees and rocks on the ground. After ten minutes of thrashing and slashing, she deftly flicks her wrist again and the wire recoils instantly back into the bracelet. (Wow… that was a blast. I wonder if I could buy one of these things for myself.)
When it was Swift’s turn, anyone could see Sofia was better than he was at casting and snapping the lariat. Just flicking his wrist to get the line free proved awkward, took him several tries, and looked more like he had something sticky on his hand that he was trying to shake off, rather than artfully wielding a weapon. When she teased him about his lack of lariat prowess, he responded that women were inherently able to wield a whip over men. You’re just jealous, she said, which he conceded was true.
On the last weekend before the launch the two even went to the pub together, which got a few of the beaks there chirping, but it was rubbish. Although Sofia was no longer irritated by Swift like before, and one could even say she was now fond of him, there was no romantic interest, at least not from her side. For her, he was interesting to talk to, he was funny, he provoked critical thought—in short, she liked spending time with him. He was a friend.
“Objective reality is the ultimate arbiter of what is true,” Swift tells Sofia, while sitting together having a beer. “And all life has the inherent capacity to perceive and interact with that reality, at least to the extent needed for survival. Failure to do so as an individual will likely mean death; failure to do so as a species will likely mean extinction.”
“But how can we be certain . . .
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW. . . .
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2013 by Gregory James
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