JA Cambry’s Journal

May 26, 2423

Getting rid of everything is easier than I thought it would be. My furniture sold so fast, I’ve been sleeping in a sleeping bag on the living room floor for the past two days.

I’ve crammed everything I own (or still own) into three bags. Martin told me to bring whatever I thought I might need, but it’s hard to know what to pack when you’re participating in what amounts to a crime. Non-conspicuous clothing? Perhaps a mask? (I’m hoping that the latter will be provided.)

I’ve memorized the plan even though my whole function tomorrow is to sit quietly in a car after sitting quietly on a train. And my function after that is just helping with the reintegration. Drs. Harmon and Ellis told me to bring my research, but I don’t know how useful it’s going to be. I think they just want to make sure they have all their bases covered. I’m don’t think they’re convinced that they’ll be successful. Reintegration of captured subgroup Bs has never been attempted, and the two that they’re rescuing have been in the WE system for twenty years.

I suppose there’s not a lot of point in speculating, but I can’t sleep, so all I can do is think about whether or not I have lost my mind completely by choosing to participate in this madness.

It’s good work. I know it’s good work. Even if we’re not successful, even if we can’t get the subgroup Bs back home, at least they’ll have a better quality of life. And at least we’re taking two of them together. They don’t need to be alone. They shouldn’t be alone.

There are four hours until I have to be up and ready to make the first part of my journey. Clearly, I’m not going to sleep, so I suppose I’ll spend the time looking through the itinerary again.

May 28, 2423

So. Yesterday.

The train was late by fifteen minutes. I messaged Martin to let him know, and he was annoyed. Once we finally met up, he spent half an hour complaining about how we were going to have to make up time on the road. So, that was fun. He spent the next half hour obsessively checking in with the other two groups. As far as I gathered, the actual transfer went fine even though it looked like a vein was going to pop through Martin’s forehead.

Because I couldn’t talk to Martin without him losing his mind, I spent most of my time looking out the window. I had never been that far outside the city, and I had never even been close to the Subgroup B Plains. Martin, apparently, hadn’t either. He said he thought the trip would be more interesting. It was just miles and miles and miles of flat land and crops and, in the distance, factories.

The research facility we were headed to is located pretty far off the map. Far enough, according to Martin, that it’s not easily found. It wasn’t until he made that comment that I remembered that we were essentially stealing someone else’s property. And while that thought rankled every part of me and made, I wondered what would happen if they caught us. I wondered if they would send us to prison. I mentioned this to Martin, and he said that the two we were taking had not been considered valuable for a long time because they weren’t young anymore, and they didn’t perform. I asked if that mattered. He said he didn’t know.

And then, probably because he’s lousy at comforting, he distracted me, by handing me a tablet and telling me to familiarize myself with the Subgroup B dialect we would be using.

We didn’t talk the rest of the way to the facility.

It was dark by the time we arrived. The others had gotten there before us, and they, like us, were exhausted. There was food laid out for us in the makeshift dining hall, but we were all too tired to eat. I asked about the two rescued Bs and was told that they were fine—as far as anyone could tell anyway—and that I could see them in a couple days.

Then, I followed everyone else upstairs (dorm style sleeping—exciting!), and found an empty bed and fell asleep.

May 29, 2423

I spent most of the morning walking through my research with Dr. Ellis and Dr. Harmon to see if there was anything that might be of use. Surprisingly, there’s more than I thought there would be. It’s a little gratifying to know that there is some immediate application to my work. I like the doctors quite a bit. They didn’t bother to hide the fact that, for the most part, we’re going to making up things as we go.

In the afternoon, Martin and some of the others helped fill in the gaps regarding the treatment the two rescued Bs had likely endured at WE so that we could identify and avoid any behaviors or gestures that might be triggering for them.

Luckily, they know enough of our language (and the doctors know enough of theirs) to understand that we’re trying to help them and that we’re not going to be taking them back to WE.

No word yet about WE’s response to the theft. Maybe they’ll let it go. After all, it’s not like these two were making them any money anymore.

June 3, 2423

Today, I finally got to meet the two Bs.

Dr. Ellis took me down to their room on the ground floor. Through the window in the door, I could see them crouched together on one of the beds. When we entered the room, both of their heads swiveled immediately around to look at us.

Dr. Ellis greeted them in their own dialect but remained respectful of their space. The male responded with a nod. The female returned the greeting. They both looked pointedly at me, so Dr. Ellis introduced me to them. I stumbled through telling them hello and that I was here to help them. I wanted to tell them that I was their friend, but I didn’t want to lie to them. I waited while they took me in.

Finally, the female pointed to herself and said, in her own tongue, “Little Sister.” She pointed to the male and said, “Little Brother.”

And then I said the first thing that came into my head. I thanked them for giving me their names.

The male, Little Brother, nodded at me. “Yes,” he said. “Yes.”

Previous Chapter: The Second Transfer


3 thoughts on “JA Cambry’s Journal

  1. It’s them! I wonder if she will figure out she’s now met her research subjects in the flesh.

    This was a happier ending (eventually) than I expected for the protagonist and Little Sister.

    Thank you for the powerful and thought provoking story. I will remember it.

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