I Know the Pieces Fit
Summary: Sarah spends some time with her own thoughts.
Date: 11 November 2013
Related: All of Sarah's logs.

January 20, 3014 — A Cell, a Watch House in Landing

This is Sarah One-One-Three of One-Six-Four, please respond…

She waits, heart held tight in her chest. She counts backward from five. But it is the same reply it has been for the last months. Nothing.

Luminous blue eyes open to stare up at the dark ceiling above, her enhanced eyes adjusting easily to the dim. There is nothing to distract her mind; there are no lines to follow, no textures to get lost in. It reminds her that she is in a box that she may never escape.

She rolls herself upright on her single-wide bed, rubbing a bit at the hollow of her eye with the heel of her palm. she casts her gaze around her cell with its simple compact toilet, exercise treadmill, and shield-reinforced berth that looks out into the hallway beyond. And the chairs. She cannot forget the chairs. One for her, and the other for an Inner Worlder. Hers is always placed just off the foot of her bed, while theirs sits poised and ready beyond the containment shield. It could be filled at any time.

Tonight, it remains empty.

Sarah swings her legs off the bed once the blankets are tossed aside. The floors are cold, but the sensation is welcomed through the soles of her cybernetic feet. Her toes go tap-tap against the ground as she wriggles them. She remains there for another minute — the cold floor, the dark room, the empty chairs. Then she bends down, reaching under her bed to remove the woven paper box. Within the crude container was a half dozen or so three-dimensional shapes, all made from paper. So benign the task had seemed. A test of her fine motor skills, but she kept requesting more paper. To Lorraine Figguroa, it is a fascinating study of Sarah's interests. To Sarah, it is a way to store data.

Each construction is placed gently beside her on the bed in a well-organized configuration. She touches each object in turn, the pattern precise. It is known as memory association, being able to embed thoughts and feelings into an object. She may never be able to tell the others about what she has learned here, but she will continue to exercise her mind around the Inner Worlders and this Cycle.

She picks up the cube. She turns it lightly over and over again in her hands, and as she feels the corners and faces, she focuses on all the information she has mentally associated with the object.

Victor Khournas. Her cybernetic finger glides over a corner as she turns the cube end over end. A soldier of the Imperius continent of the Crescent. An incomplex personality — straight forward, blunt faces, but sharp corners. I know he seeks to understand me because that understanding may give him insight in his enemy. We are similar in that. He tests me, but does he know that I am testing him? Next time he crosses that threshold, it will be my turn to ask the questions… and since he wants answers, perhaps he will give me what I seek.

She looks up a bit as she continues to roll the object from palm to palm. The soldiers of the Inner Worlds are curious things, Sarah has discovered. Some seek to annihilate the Cantosans, while others would like nothing more than a peace be orchestrated. She frowns slightly. But what does ending the war mean?

She gently places the cube in the crude box. Next she picks up the multipointed, three-dimensional star. It is almost like the spiked ball on a mace head. This one is held carefully in her palm where the points gently prick the synthetic surface of her hand.

Brigham Peake. She maintains a steely gaze on the spiked shape. He wants to poke, to prick. He would see me limbless, kept alive so he could test my responses. He would crack open my chest, poke about my insides. Then he would exterminate me if only to continue to sate his curiosity without worrying about the morality of others. She tilts her head ever so slightly. I know what your genetic heritage would be, Brigham Peake. Your coterie would be a Cleric, so curious about how it all works, how it all fits. I hope they never harvest you… I hope they do to you what you would have done to me… and then throw you away…

She drops the spiked ball into the box along with the cube. Sarah stares at it for a long moment while she curls her hand into a fist, dulling the nerve-tingling sensation the points had left. Then she reaches for what is more anamorphous than anything truly geometric in shape. It is crafted from a piece of paper that has been crumpled up, flattened smooth, and then folded randomly to form an obtuse shape.

Nitrim Khournas. His name floats about her memory while she turns the shape over in her hands. He is an unknown… a random anomoly in the pattern. He… is unsettling. Chaotic. Desperate. He is a danger to his people because he wishes to be the catalyst of change… not knowing that a catalyst is never isolated to an individual. No… catalysts are events. She dips her chin even while she continues to stare at the shape. He brought me a book, which in itself is a frustrating paradox. I find the inanities of the melodramatic fictions that the Doctor provided interests me more. What is the Inner Worlder obsession with 'One True Love'?

The shape is placed into the box with the other two, though she stares at it a bit longer after it has settled on its uneven edges. Then with a slight rise of her shoulders, she selects the simple, compact shape that is nothing more than a sheet of paper folded over and over again until it could be folded no more. It sits as a tight little square in her palm, heavy for its size, but somewhat… unrealized.

Lyrienne Orelle. Sarah actually frowns for a moment. Her fingers curl around the folded up square, squeezing it lightly in her palm. A strange visitor… an unrealized potential that is wasted on procreation. While the Clerics attempt to understand more about this anomoly, the Inner Worlders try to normalize it. They flatten it down so it fits, not realizing that they stand apart from humanity. There in lies how they oppress those who suffer this mutation… if they are just like the rest, they will never be anything more…

It surprises Sarah to feel a certain sympathy for Lyrienne and her plight. She settles the folded object quite delicately in the box. The next in the sequence is a prism-like shape — a triangular rod. It looks somewhat fragile, but by the way she handles it, it is easy to see it is sturdy in design.

Aidan Peake, but he has no similar characteristics to that of Brigham Peake. If they share familial ties, then it must not be close ones. He was the first to negotiate that I be returned to full-functionality. She tilts her head a bit as she rolls the prism along her palm. I would have you spared, Aidan Peake… and perhaps then I would find you someone who would enjoy a convert…

The prism is placed carefully back in with the others, nestled between the cube and folded square. Sarah picks up the regular octahedron — a cuboid construction based on a diamond. She carefully balances it on a point on the flat of her palm, allow it to sit like a crystal in the dark.

Rozlyn Orelle. She remains perfectly poised, back straight as she examines the shape carefully. A scientist by every possible definition… curious, seeking for understanding, unaware of the consequences she faces… She tilts her head aside a bit. But she has compassion… a reflection of the Nurturer. You will get to see the full nature of the Cantosans soon enough, Rozlyn Orelle… but will you regret wishing that wish?

The octahedron is placed amongst the others, and the geometric helix is selected next. Sarah had been very thoughtful about this shape — an obvious representation of a genetic map. She balances it lightly on each of her palms, like a bridge between her hands. Just the way in which she holds the shape represents thoughts and feelings.

Ithaca Black. The only of the lower caste that she has interacted with. The others are all from the ruling castes, but Ithaca was a special case. My descendant. Those two words swirl around her thoughts. The granddaughter of a woman who had been slain in war, and rather than lost forever, was harvested so her genetic map could live on. Sarah Owens had been a soldier of the Second System War, and then became the Alpha for all Sarahs that would come. We possess none of her memories, but we are of her all the same. Do they know how much we honor those we select, and how each time another Sarah is born, we continue a legacy that the Inner Worlders would have buried, mourned, and then forgot? We represent the continuation of Sarah Owens potential…

Sarah sits with those thoughts for a long moment, feeling their weight on her mind and in her chest. She slowly lowers the helix down into the box with the others. It is the second to last object in her collection. All that remains now is the icosahedron — a twenty-sized figure with thirty edges and twelve points. There is no individual associated with this object, but it is perhaps the most important of them. She draws up her legs to her chest as she cradles the object in her palms. Her luminous blue eyes search over its facets, and it draws her thoughts inward.

Each of these facets represent a question that haunts her mind — an unknown that has no answer.

Why do they keep her alive? She is one of their enemy, she has done nothing more over the last nine-thousand three-hundred six Cantosan days than prepare for this war. She was told by the Guides that she would not come home. She could fight for the entire Cycle, but she would not come home. Collin had gone ahead of her, and she promised him, she would find him and together they would fight until the others joined them. He had died on the polar moon of Oculus, and that was the end.

Why do they seek peace? Do they not see that we cannot go home? The ships land, but they will never take off once more. We are here to fight until the others come, and then the Inner Worlders will have no choice but to accept this new era.

Why do they look at her and see a lesser? She is a Cantosan, and Cantosans are not lesser humans to the Inner Worlders. That is what angers her most about them, but she cannot let that anger rule her. She must keep her emotions buried deep, keep her mask in place. They cannot know, they cannot understand.

She turns the icosahedron over and over again, fusing it with all her inquiries, all the unknowns, all the emotions. She closes her eyes as she rotates the paper-crafted shape between her fingers. Then she places it in the dead center of the box, surrounded by all the other shapes. She breathes out through her nostrils as she draws her shoulders back. Slowly, she unfolds her legs and turns to place the container back under the bed.

She lies back on the bed, drawing the blanket across her body as she does. Her gaze returns to the ceiling, staring at the flat blackness above. She breathes out another sigh that sinks her shoulders and spine back into her mattress. She slowly closes her eyes, luminous blue disappearing behind thick lashes. She taps into her internal communications system.

This is Sarah One-One-Three of One-Six-Four, please respond… This is Sarah One-One-Three of One-Six Four, please respond…

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