9.Gathering

Juni's simulation had been observing and waiting; it had somehow extended itself into several pieces of human technology, including the drones and the information repository. Peculiarly enough, whenever it turned its attention to the repository, the autistic member of the Corentin duo would "go nuts," which seemed (to the functional member) correlated to a tiny light turning on. This filled the functional member with aggravation, and the simulation of Juni observed why, exactly, the autistic Corentin was missing so many feathers — his brother would habitually pluck them out in rage. As the simulation watched, the functional Corentin also expressed a desire to have Juni help again with the repository.

The simulation's observation of the brothers was interrupted by Tamu entering the simulation room. Tamu decided to provide more information to the simulation about what caused Sam and Juni to go missing. Apparently, Captain Ed Lombard, Sam's commanding officer, had tasked Agent Harris with eliminating Sam and Juni, apparently over some past incident. The simulation, knowing that Sam and Juni were still alive, began to understand everything about the greater situation. For a brief moment it also saw itself as a human-Kayohash hybrid.

Unfortunately, Tamu still believed that Juni was dead, and wanted to perform an experiment. Knowing now about Kayohash electroreception, and noticing that Juni had taken on new memories from the previous simulation, he decided to hire Seth, a Kayohash prostitute, to experiment with the extents of their natural electroreception, and seemingly to act as a vessel for Juni's memories.

Back in Kajoshu, Juni and Hira exited the temple, where Eugene had been waiting with the drone. Seeing them side-by-side, Eugene realized that Hira hadn't bred, but that Juni was a "parth," offspring generated via parthenogenesis, an uncommon but not-unheard-of trait in Kayohash.

Meanwhile, the simulation grew rapidly concerned when Tamu's plan with Seth became immediately obvious. In a state of panic, not wanting Tamu to do something rash like wiping Seth's memories in the hope of making him more receptive to Juni's memories, it let Tamu know that Sam and Juni were still alive and well in Kajoshu, and somewhat sloppily relayed a conversation between Juni and Tamu.

Juni, seeing these massive coincidences all coming together, suddenly believed that the reason it was sent to Kajoshu was in order to bring Hira back to the South for some reason, perhaps to do with the information repository. However, the drone, suddenly projecting a sparkle much like Juni's and Tsan's, filled Hira was great concern, as that combined with Juni's sudden incomprehensible behavior made her believe that Juni had gone insane like Tsan. Wanting nothing more than to save herself and her village, she attempted to run away. Eugene, feeling that Juni was helping to salvage his mother's reputation, helped to restrain Hira until transport back to the South arrived.

Juni attempted to explain what was going on, but with the concepts being so foreign and intangible, the best it could do was convince Sam and Hira that it needed their help — although perhaps not the sort of help Juni wanted.

On the way back to the South, Juni had another dream, wherein its subconscious accused it of stealing its life away, and being the result of a terrible mistake.

Comments