Overview

Originally published in Baen's Universe, (April, 2008)

This morning, when you wake up and look at your rippled reflection in the basin of water near the concrete wall of your cell, you only have one true personal memory left. It can't be that your entire life is based off this one event, so you suspect they've left it with you to piss you off. To 'motivate' you. To make you ...
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Manumission

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Overview

Originally published in Baen's Universe, (April, 2008)

This morning, when you wake up and look at your rippled reflection in the basin of water near the concrete wall of your cell, you only have one true personal memory left. It can't be that your entire life is based off this one event, so you suspect they've left it with you to piss you off. To 'motivate' you. To make you one raging motherfucker.

It's a riff on the Countee Cullen poem. You're six, standing on the street holding the anonymous arm of your mom, and the other kid staring back at you flips you off and calls you nigger.

That's all they really left you with.

Sure there's other stuff, you're no vegetable. You can use money, eat, walk, tap the net, and know just about anything headlined over the last thirty years. But anything specific is faded, general, lost behind static and fuzzy feelings.

You empty the basin with a flourish and look around your cell.

The headache, the all-over itching, the scars crisscrossing your entire body, that gets to you too.

You've signed yourself away, the men in the black suits have explained back when you first arrived in this cell. They sat across from you on a sterile metal table. The document they slid toward your burnt smooth fingertips is legit.

So you listened to them, and nodded, and they got up to leave.

Oh yeah, one last thing, they had said.

Your name.

Pepper.

And your last name?

They just chuckled and closed the door...
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013141018
  • Publisher: Tobias Buckell
  • Publication date: 7/26/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 434 KB

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