May. 31st, 2011

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“Arthur, look,” Eames called gaily.
“Is it important?” Arthur grumbled. “I think I already know the answer, but what is it?”

They were practicing, preparing for another extraction case. A mob boss wanted to know if one of his caporegimes had turned FBI informant. Eames was forging the capo’s youngest daughter, a bright, ebullient girl and the man’s most trusted confidant.

He’d already seen Eames in her skin, and it was, as usual, an eerie simulacrum. He had the lively eyes and pensive smile Arthur had seen when he observed and taped her drinking cappuccinos at her favorite café in Providence. He held his cigarette at the same angle, pulled at his lip when stressed like she did. And it was hard to get a face to obey you. They had wills of their own. They required obedience training, just like wompats and Earth dogs. It had taken Nilor Premak months to approximate human facial expressions, just to understand the whys and wherefores and to account for the strange new weight of that skin.

Arthur knew that dreams cast a Gaussian veil over everything, heightened any sense of beauty, made the imperfect and inaccurate look more real than the real itself. But he was still in awe.

The awe never shook, even when he was awake, even when it should have been shaken. So much for discipline.

“Well?” Eames asked, turning around, allowing Arthur to look at himself. )


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la pellegrina

May 2012

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