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Secret Society Part Three

Kimberly came to with a noise, a raw sound from the border of things, her trained hand serpenting from under the covers to slap the panel on the bedside table. A dozen buttons but only one left active overnight to ensure her fumbling fingers didn't launch the wrong sequences. The protocols and precautions of Perdieux.

Lights and speakers and recorders embedded in the walls and furniture of the apartment turned on. Patterns of sound and colour, programmed a decade ago by Perdieux and only now gaining cautious acceptance in the most edgy of the city's dance clubs. What they did to her senses, her lobes. Waking consciousness recoiled from the post-psychedelic display, barricaded from entering standard flatline perception. In the blurry visual and auditory fugue Kimberly began shouting out details of the dream in the evoked sleep-awake hybrid language.

"She is staring ate muself bright coallition her hair stream moment as we pass. I... surrounded by the street familiars new breed criminal intentions incongruous with her later betrayal collision distinct against that look, how can we have looked at each other like that it done it's done after what she'll do..."
Kimberly sat up, then she threw back the covers and lurched as if drunk onto the carpeted floor, lit from a hundred angles, strobed, her actions in sync then against the rhythm of the almost-music. 

"I'm flying back from the end of the street where it becomes building cafe patio. Can't shake alcarasees nobrion the familiars look her look... shit... ah shit..."

Her hand, she was kneeling on the floor, posture and position at forty-five degree angles to the walls, windows, furniture, her hand struck out again and killed the lights and sounds and recorders. Dark and quiet.

"Damn..." Just shy of a sob. "I lost it."

Half and hour later Kimberly, in a dressing gown, poured tea into a mug. The kitchen was dimly lit, the morning sky still night-dark with storm weather. She joined Genevieve, short red hair, brown skin, white t-shirt and exercise pants, at the table. Genevieve was scanning a stack of local and national and international newspapers, circling and noting repeating word-use in the headlines. 'Dead... Death... Failure... Crisis.' She sipped from her mug and glanced at Kimberly.

"I heard. Were you capturing a dream?"

"Trying to. It got away. It..."


"It was way outside parameters."

Genevieve turned a page but stayed on Kimberly. "Did you check the Bestiary?" Surprised she asked, checking was procedure, automatic, but sounding casual.

Kimberly made a dismissive noise, then realized the deviation in Gen's question and the potential significance of her response. The mood of the kitchen went tense, the two women looking at each other, as if it connected to the charged atmosphere outside.

"Is this because of Deborah?" Genevieve asked, perhaps an attempt to rationalize the anomaly. They had heard yesterday that Deborah hadn't made it.

On unstable ground, Kimberly nevertheless opted to follow the course of the conversation. "No, that's just it. It didn't feel like anything. Like it had to do with anything." And what she couldn't say, either because it wasn't true or because it was; that it was like how normal people must feel about their dreams. "I have to get ready for work."

Once Kimberly had gone back upstairs, Genevieve went to the room, the wood-paneling and paintings and books. Turned on the laptop, sighed. Entered her discrete drive and went online. Keyed in the email address, given to her five years ago, never replied from, the formality and silence of the action like a religious endeavor. Typed her report on what Kimberly experienced, the novelty of it. She didn't include her own response to Kimberly, but instead of ending the report with an assessment, a citation of procedure, she asked it as a question, expecting no response.

"Should Kimberly be marked for termination?"