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Even Smaller Things

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It’s remarkably easy to lure your other self here.

It should be, everyone else says, as if there is no difference between either of you.

There must be, though. Otherwise…why is it *him* they want?

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The headaches are bad. But the idea that he could be betrayed by something so integral to him? That his nanotechnology, in seeking to aid him, could only hurt him? That his self could be so divided into the parts of him that are man, and the parts that are machinations?

It doesn’t terrify him. He is unfamiliar with the concept.

He looks at the man sleeping across from him.

If something so internal as his nanites could harm him…then what could something external do?

He tells himself he is unfamiliar with the concept of fear.

He tells himself, but the headaches remain.

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The thing of it is, she’s *used* to being alone. Her friendship with Gunther is a surprise. Her friendship with Paul is…

Trepidatious.

It’s like she’s constantly waiting for him to make a mistake.

She’s glad when he does.

It’s probably the kindest thing he could have done for her.

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Hello, user [ ███████ ].

Accessing cached conversation logs.

File not found.

Accessing user-created transcript logs.

File not found.

██ ████████ ███████ █████ ████ ████ ████ ██ █ ████████

Hello, user [ █████ ].

██████ █████████████████ ████

Command not recognized.

██████ ██████████ ███ ██████ ████████████

Command not recognized.

████ ████

This command requires further specification.

Access ████ ████ subtitle logs, search ID:"nucl3arsnake" AND ID:"███████", sortOption chronological

Accessing ████ ████ subtitle logs.

 

Result 1/513

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<<Ripper ID - ███████ logs on and starts shouting loudly at server emulated security.>>

██: Y'ALL

██: READY

██: TO

██: RUMBLE!

<<SES units do not respond.>>

Ripper ID - nucl3arsnake: <<Somehow, audible silence>>

██ : oh sorry i meant

: YALL READY TO RUMBLY!!!!!!!????!?!?!?!!!

██: there is that better?

██: i forget neo english flips things around sometimes

██: ill do better, promise

██: snake?

██: i mean snek?

██: hello?

██:

██: …hewwo???

██: HEWWO!?!?!?!?!

██: DONT LEAVE ME

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>>ENTRY 11-09-2051<<

It’s been…been a week since Lilia died… I didn’t…didn’t think I was in trouble. Maybe the testing kits are wrong. Maybe… Today I woke up and my tears were black. My head is killing me. I can’t…can hardly even see straight. It’s too cold. I’ve got a fever. Maybe it’s the flu…

Everything hurts. God does everything hurt. Mom, I’m sorry… I’m so sorry. I’ll go to the clinic. I will. I will, when I… I just need to sleep for a minute. Just a minute. I’m so tired…