C4 & D29

C4 looks out the window while D29 sets the table for dinner.

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C4: They are watching me.
D29: Don’t be foolish.
C4:…I saw one in the sky.
D29: When?
C4: Three months ago. I was resting in bed. It was early in the morning and it was staring at me. I wasn’t scared.
D29: Why should you be scared?
C4: No reason. I’m just telling you, I wasn’t.
D29: I thought they stopped making the rounds years ago. Isn’t it law?
C4: It is.
D29: Shouldn’t you report it?
C4: I don’t want to get involved.
D29: But what if your image was taken?
C4: Maybe it was.
D29: So, shouldn’t that concern you?
C4: It should, but it doesn’t.
D29: You must report it.
C4: I’m not reporting it. It’s already been months.
D29: Do you realize that this could be a test?
C4: I don’t care if it’s a test. What test? Why should I be singled out and tested?
D29: Because you are already on record!
C4: They would have come for me by now.
D29: They could be acquiring additional data. Why didn’t you tell me sooner?
C4: I did nothing wrong. All I did was notice and when I noticed I didn’t move or make it obvious.
D29: It doesn’t matter. All they have to do is connect you.
C4: What if I refuse?
D29: You cannot refuse.
C4: I should refuse. It’s my brain. I can do what I want with my own brain.
D29: This is why they are watching you…because you refuse to play by the rules. Do you want to be sent to the fields?
C4: I rather work in the fields than feel imprisoned on this floating island!
D29: You are so—you only care about yourself. You give no thought to your family!
C4: Yes I do but things need to change. We’ve talked about this.
D29: And who is going to change it? You? Me? WHO? It’s not up to us only.
C4: …We have lost so much.
D29: You say that all the time but we are rebuilding. Don’t you understand that it’s the future?  It’s a better future.
C4: This isn’t going to work, either. We are only wasting more time.
D29: I cannot bare getting into your philosophies.  What will you do if they come for you?
C4: They won’t.
D29: Answer my question. What will you do?
C4: …I will let them take me. I have no choice…you and the children.
D29: And then what?
C4: I will have no choice but to give them my neural lace.
D29: Do you promise me?
C4: I promise.
D29: What will they do if and when they find out you knew of being sighted?
C4: I will tell them the truth. I will say I thought it a dream. Nothing more.
D29: But that isn’t—
C4: That is the truth. Nothing more.
D29: Okay…

(pause.)

C4: There is something else…I could overwrite it.
D29: I cannot believe what you just said.
C4: I know someone who can override that moment.
D29: You are impossible!  Don’t you dare!
C4: He is trusted and has already done it. It works!

(she begins to walk away from him)

Listen, I can do that in case they come. They won’t find anything.
D29: What if they do? You will be in more trouble then you are already in! If they see that you have been tampering with your own neural lace, this can destroy everything. You will be going against everything.
C4: I’ve done it.

(pause.)

D29: What?
C4: I’m sorry…I’ve already done it.
D29: How?
C4: I told you. There’s a place. I won’t tell you anymore than that. It was taken care of for us. I did it for us and the kids.
D29: I don’t know who you are anymore. Are you sure they didn’t erase your reasoning?
C4: Hey! I’m asking you to calm down. It was handled. It will be undetected. It’s the only way.
D29: I need to be alone.
C4: I will leave you alone but you need to know that this was the only way…I’m sorry…but, this is the only way to protect my family. I have a record, you said so yourself. I don’t want to be banished to the fields.

(D29 nods and sulks)

(C4 walks away after rubbing her shoulder and patting her back.)

Joseph Arnone

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