Setting the sun...


The Cure, 15: Metravā City


OPEN AIRWAY OF 45SUB / 2.3.3450 / 7:43āam |

We are making good time, but then again, time is now confusing. I press my U-chip to give meē the official Peār Approved time and even though it says 7:43āam, the sky certainly does not reflect that time of daāy.
“They must have been startled by our technology,” I say to a colleague who sits beside meē. “When Knijä’s faulty U-chip connected with the Peār Protocol’s, the Nerve Centre must have malfunctioned.”
“I would assume so. It did work in our favour though. The Peār Protocols could barely see anything in the sudden darkness.”
I nod at the assumption. The mood is quiet. It feels like the aftermath of a brutal war, though I suppose it was not far from it. There were 49 TAODAP casualties, their blū blood smeared against the walls of the Tāu’s multīspace, their bodies no doubt collected by Peār already. Despite this tragedy, the operation was still a success. Peār is now aware of our agenda and it will all be over soon.
Knijä lies beside meē. From research, I know that when humans sleep they like to have their bodies covered. A blanket, they call it, and even though it is odd, we have put a throw of white coats over the top of her, thinking she might find comfort in them.
“It is so unusual,” a colleague comments, “to see someone with their eyes closed. I wonder how it feels?”
“Limitless, I would imagine.” I think on this further. “Apparently sleep is the one place where the braāin unleashes all restraint. Would that not be nice?”
My colleague concurs with a brief hum. Knijä stirs, her eyes flutter open and she sits up.
“I fell asleep?” she questions, curling her fists into little balls and rubbing her eyes, a practice that I find most fascinating.
“From exhaustion,” I tell her. “The chaos was too much for you, especially now that you no longer have your U-chip connected.”
Knijä looks down at herself. Her Synthetī cap of blonde hair came off during the fray, the creams that had been applied meticulously to her body are now patched in places and the prosthetics on her palms and fingertips have either loosened or fallen off. She still looks at meē with her ‘perfect’ blū eyes, but they are raw and puffy from having been closed with the contacts still intact. From exhaustion and stress too, I imagine.
“I have so many feelings,” she says, removing the coats we have placed over her. “I don’t know what’s going on.”
“Emotions,” I label. “Sophisticated processing that U-mans are not able to handle.”
“Mūm? Dād? Hoslū?” It is as if her braāin has finally remembered what has happened.
“Are safe,” I reply quickly. “We could not have them travel with you because you are now considered dangerous to Peār. Peār will terminate anyone who is associated with you.”
“Where are they, though?”
“They have been transported to our base camp. It’s the safest place in all of Metravā, I can assure you. Not even Peār’s Nerve Centre has our level of protection.”
I can see the pain in her face, something that I know all too well from my own experience. I stand up and manoeuvre myself so that I am sitting in front of her.
“All of us only have our U-chips synced to our base camp now,” I tell her, knowing that she would want to hear of and see her family. “Your family will arrive there shortly and then you can be reunited.”
“Peār will know where we are otherwise.” She understands and looks out into the darkness before noticing the glowing lights of the city approaching.
“Something’s happened to the sky?”
“Yes.” I look outside, truly wondering what in Metravā has happened. “We do not know what exactly, but it seems that your faulty U-chip may have fractured their system.” I then focus my gaze on the approaching skyline. “It appears, however, that Metravā will soon have saānlight.”
“Where are we exactly?”
“We have just passed into 34Sub’s air space.”
“What was its intention?” she asks, exasperated. “My faulty U-chip. What did it do?”
“Something that we have been working on for decades. It is a combination of physics mixed with biogenetics and discreet science.” Her eyes widen. “We combined magnetic light with an aggressive anti-cell which is meant to reverse the physical effect of the U-chip.”
She remains stunned for a moment and then she nods. “It is in this process that you were also protected from harm, at least temporarily.”
“So many people sacrificed their life for this.” Her eyes begin to fill with Waterlite. “I have never seen someone cease in front of meē.”
“I know,” I say, attempting to comfort her, yet I feel that I am not doing it quite right. “We are always scheduled to cease but no one is ever meant to cease right in front of you. I am sorry that you had to witness that.”
“It’s not your fault,” Knijä says, trying her hardest to process everything at once. “I just don’t know what’s happening to meē.”
“Your emotions have gone haywire. Do not worry, this is normal for you. You have been through a lot. It is something you—something we—will learn. Together.”
“What do you mean we?”
There is a moment of stillness – the constant hum of the Helīcopter, the silence from my colleagues. It is time to reveal our plan and everything that we are working towards. I see large patches of sky textures lighting up in the near-distance.
“We are heading to Metravā,” I inform her, the city’s skyline coming into full view. “We are going to the Nerve Centre of Peār and we are going to overthrow them while they are weak.”
Knijä glances at the skyline and gasps. She sits up in her seat, understanding the seriousness of what I have just said. “How?” She tenses.
You,” I explain just as the saān begins to burst through. “You will be the one to overthrow Peār, Knijä.”
“Meē?” Her eyes fill with a foreign emotion that I am only vaguely aware of. Uncertainty? I wonder. “I’m supposed to do all of this?”
“Yes.” I sense her genuine surprise. “It was always meant to be this way from the moment I fused you.”
“But why?” she shrugs. She shakes her head furiously. “Why are you only doing this now if all you needed was someone like meē?” I see the exasperation all over her face. Her mouth gapes open, her forehead creases.
“Well, years and years have been spent on this, U-man lifetimes.” I hold my hands out, and I wish I could transfer the right answers in all the right words to her. “A rebellion does not happen overnīght. We only fused one. We only fused you and we only need you. We needed you to be raised, Knijä, so we could study you, so we could assure ourselves that you are exactly what we are meant to be: without the U-chip.”
“So this is why nobody has attempted to do this before? I’m the first?”
“The first in the history of Metravā.” I study her and it is as if I know what is pulsing through her mind. “I know you may be wondering why you are the person to do this if that is all it takes?”
“Yes. But I’m also beginning to understand why I always felt alone. Apparently I was just your experiment.”
“No, Knijä! You are more than that. You were chosen, fated, to be the beginning of the rebellion. We know that we are all meant to be like you and, because of this, they now want to meet you.”
They?” the word escapes her in a huff. “Who has done all of this?”
“Agent 00,” I tell her. “We are travelling so you can meet them now.”
She sits back in her chair, her eyes wide, her chin lifted. “So you falsely fused meē, studied what I am and raised meē to this point to meet meē and to tell meē that I’m meant to end our existence as we know it by meeting the person who is behind all this?”
“I know it is impossible to ask you to understand, but yes.”
I am unclear if Knijä’s questioning has ended or if she is just stunned by my answer.
“You will meet with Agent 00 in the Nerve Centre.” I take her hands, she accepts, and I hold them tightly. “You will then tap into Peār’s mainframe and remove the U-chip’s hold on all of us. This will be the real cure that will return us to who we are supposed to be.”
“It’s irrational to think that I should accept all of this.” Her eyes continue to leak Waterlite. Reluctance and frustration emits from her. “But it seems I have no choice.”
We are both watching the scenery, Metravā City approaching, and I say to her, honest and hushed, “We all have a choice, Knijä. It just all depends on what you choose next.”
There is a moment of clarifying silence. Saānlight washes over both of us and we bathe in its glory.
Knijä then presses her lips together, the liquid from her eyes smearing her lips. After blinking from the blinding light, she closes her eyes and, as a shiver runs down her spine, she nods.
Everything is about to change.

  • The Cure will be published in full on Monday the 15th of August.
  • The Cure is written by J. R Knight, illustrated by Paul Ikin and edited by Kayla Marie Murphy.
  • All 15 instalments of The Cure have been published on The Knight Life. Begin reading by hovering over ‘The Cure’ and then the ‘Read’ tab via the main menu.
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