He could no longer tell where he ended and the gun began, and that the feeling extended to encompass the cracked pavement beneath his feet, and the car, and the splintering telephone poles, and the boarded-up storefronts, and a nearby oak tree, and a finch perched on the branch of that oak tree where it watched a strange man standing in the street with a gun.
The water encompassing me is dark and clear. The simulacrum fills it with enzymes, reducing its viscosity dramatically. The liquid stops resisting my movements. I float freely inside the abdominal cavity of the simulacrum and the beam of light from my headlamp doesn't find anything to reflect from.
And then they come. The stars.
The hinterland desert grew each year, not by inches, but by feet. The sand bleached whiter over time for lack of moisture. Water-hungry insects clung to the undersides of the seedling's leaves desperate to leech any bit of moisture they could. The insects were desperate. No different than us.
The goddesses are so suicidal anymore. We lost Jemma and Iwahana in one day last week, Jemma to poison and Iwahana to self-flagellation. None of us were trained in seeing the signs of self-flagellation. Now we are. There is so much to learn.
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