“Coast clear?” Gordon asked.
“Coast clear,” Jamie reported. His breath fogged up in the cool morning air.
Gordon nodded. He withdrew a set of picks from his pocket, and began working on the lock in the front door, while the rest of us gathered around.
“If I’d seen this lock up close, I’d know there was something going on,” Gordon said. “It’s better than the usual.”
“Huh,” I said. “You can’t do it?”
“There’s a locking bar and a rotating disc. It’s the kind of lock you’d find on the front door of the Gage’s mansion, not a warehouse like this. This will take a minute,” he said.
“We don’t have all that much time,” I said.
“I know,” he said.
“I don’t think they’ll be up at the crack of dawn, but at a certain point you have to assume they’ll stop in.”
“I know, Sy,” Gordon said. He fiddled with the lock. “You’d actually find this interesting if you kept your skills fresh with the lockpicking, studied it.”
“Not a priority. I’ve got you and Mary to help cover that one. If I need to learn it for something, I’ve got the stuff in my luggage to remind myself how to do it. Other things take priority when it comes to real estate in my head.”
“That exceedingly small amount of real estate,” he said.
“Ha ha,” I said, deadpan. “You know, we wouldn’t have been so short on time if you and Jamie had actually woken up pre-dawn like Lillian and I did.”
“Sorry I’m dying, Sy,” Gordon said.
I stopped in my tracks. Then I saw the half-smile on his face as he wiggled the push-rod.
“That’s dirty,” I said.
“You’re being a pest.”
“Nah. Just reminding you that you’re slow.”
He sighed, squinting as something clicked in the lock.
“Oh, is that pin one of four? Five? Six pins? Yeah, you’re slow.”
“Bite him, Hubris.”
Hubris opened his mouth, moving toward my hand.
“You don’t want to do that,” I told the mutt. “I’m poisonous.”
The dog stopped.
“I’m disappointed in you, boy,” Gordon said. The dog wagged his tail.
A movement behind us made us collectively turn our heads.
Only a cat, patchwork, running down the length of the street. Someone’s practice making stitched, maybe.
“I know you like to say so, Sy, but you’re not that poisonous,” Lillian said. “It’s not like you spit nightshade and pee cyanide.”
“That would be nifty,” I said.
Lillian rolled her eyes. I caught a smile from Jamie though.
“You’re in a good mood,” Jamie observed.
“He’s intolerable,” Gordon said, but he didn’t look nearly as grumpy as he seemed. “Why don’t you go for a walk, Sy? Jamie and Lillian can keep an eye out here.”
I glanced at the others. Lillian was rubbing her hands together, hunched over a little, as if ducking her head down a half-inch would make the difference in us being spotted breaking in or not.
“Getting rid of me?”
“Very much getting rid of you. You’re being a pest. Go scout the surroundings, make sure nobody’s approaching.”
“Lillian,” Gordon said, “Hit him.”
Lillian punched my arm.
She put both arms out, pushing me away. I let her, and when she dropped her hands, I kept walking.
I circled around the warehouse. The sun had reached the clouds above, lightening the places where the clouds were thinner, while the thickest parts of the clouds overhead remained particularly dark, a heavy contrast. I could see where I was going without the help of the streetlights, but it remained gloomy. Rain came down, persistent if not quite pouring, and it froze into an icy crust in places where the shadows were deeper. Ice in the alleyways and the base of the buildings, water elsewhere.
My fingertips traced wet wooden slats as I walked along the side of the building. It was as nondescript as any warehouse, one of the buildings that was tilting, threatening to fall over, and a few stray shingles had come free, likely pulled down by the poorer weather of summer, dropping onto the street beneath the eaves.
It was as though Lugh was so short on natural life, plants, real trees and whatever else, that it had forgotten what fall was, and was skipping straight to winter. No leaves to turn colors, just a grim, dark, wet little knot of a town, plopped down on a rocky shore.
I ducked into an alley, where I was less visible, still walking around the long building.
I looked up, saw a high window, and then cast my eyes around. I spotted a plank, ten feet long, and propped it up against the wall beneath the window. It was slick with ice in spots, but I shimmied up, and adjusted my weight until I had one foot on the windowsill and one on the end of the plank.
I tested the window. Locked. It looked to be a simple turn-key latch on the window itself, and further down, the key embedded partially in the sill. Turn both keys, and the window opened. Annoying to open and close, given how high the window was, but not impossible. There was probably a tool on the end of a pole that people could use should they really want to open the windows.
Reaching into my pocket, being careful to keep my balance, I got some paper and a bit of razor wire. Making a loop with the razor wire, I used the paper to help work the razor wire through a gap in between the top of the window and the window itself.
I had to squint to make it out past the dusty glass, within a large, unlit room. I eased it over, and hooked the latch with the loop. A sharp tug lifted it.
The one embedded in the windowsill was harder. Twice, I got it in position, only for it to slip free. On the third try, I hooked it over, and twisted the wire until it tightened around the key. Further twisting made it turn at a glacial pace.
Come on, come on.
No way am I going to mess up here. This is too important.
I began exerting some pressure on the window, pressing on it, until a combination of the pressure and the twist of the key made the latch pop the rest of the way open. The window swung wide, and I very nearly toppled through, head and shoulders going through the window, with my ass and legs soon following. I caught myself before facing that indignity.
Straddling the windowsill, I found the pole used for the window, and grabbed it, positioning it below me. I started to get in position to slide down it when the front door opened.
Gordon and the others strode through. Gordon stared up at me.
“Come on down, Sy.”
I kept my face dead still as I slid down.
One minute sooner…
“What was the plan?” Gordon asked. “We come in, and there you are, standing in the shadows, already inside and looking smug? Or were you going to try and scare us? Because I’d like to remind you I have a weak heart.”
“The smug thing,” I said. “I would have looked so smug.”
“Yeah, Sy,” Gordon said. He gave me a pat on the shoulder. “Let’s figure out what we can.”
I nodded, turning my attention to our surroundings.
The first thing I noticed was the smell. A slaughterhouse smell: blood and hormones. Not that one could smell hormones, not really, but I felt as though there was a note to the smell to be associated with pain and fear, and that note was here. Subtle, but present.
The interior of the place was improvised. We’d seen many a makeshift laboratory, and there was a tendency for them to try to hold to a kind of convention. The Snake Charmer, for example, had maintained a small library, equipment, tools, all bought or found elsewhere and brought to his lab. He’d had a chalkboard, texts, a proper desk, beakers, and what he couldn’t find he’d built. It had been ramshackle, but it had been a lab.
This was different. Every piece of equipment seemed to be the wrong sort of thing, bent to scholarly ends. Old crates had been stacked to either side of the desk with open faces out towards us, a makeshift bookcase. The ‘books’, however, were disorganized reams of paper, many bound into sections with twine. An old door had been laid out on its side, propped up on stacks of crates, with more papers strewn on top. The hole where the doorknob was meant to be inserted served to hold a cup, presumably serving as an inkwell, if I could draw conclusions from the dark spatter surrounding it. Candles and lanterns were set atop virtually every horizontal surface on that end of the room, the candles melted to stay firmly in place.
No organic lighting, but they’d whiled away the evening hours here, going by the state of the candles. That meant it was less likely for them to get up bright and early.
Where there were bottles or beakers, most seemed to be old alcohol bottles with the necks shorn off, each containing various fluids, corked with wax plugs, the wax dribbling down sides where a flame had been held to it to form better seals.
Shelves took up a good share of the one-room building, but they weren’t floor-to-ceiling shelving units like we’d seen in the Fishmonger’s warehouse. These were built shelving units. Boards, bricks and stone blocks, stacked so the bricks and blocks held the boards flat, at varying intervals. One shelf would be placed with an end against the wall, the length of the shelf extending toward the far end of the room, a fair gap, and then another haphazard shelf. One in three shelves held the accumulated detritus that had probably been spread throughout this warehouse prior to the new occupants moving in, another third had the notes and paper, tools and bottles of various chemicals, and one in three held the freakier stuff.
The ‘freakier stuff’ consisted of bottles of cloudy fluid. Within a given bottle of fluid there were some limbs of odd shapes and styles, none of them recognizable from any animal species I knew. I saw organs, again, very hard to place or identify, and I saw tissue samples, skin, sections of organ, eyes, jaw with teeth and gums still attached, and fibrous strands that could have been fraying muscle or tendon, collected into bunches. The dim light from some windows reached the bottles at the far end of the building, making them seem to glow from within. Likely why they were so cloudy.
The only other thing of interest was what looked to be a metal panel inset into the floor, three feet across. Chains stretched through a series of pulleys, into and through that metal grate. To lift it open?
I could see the miner’s pick they’d used to break through the hard ground, the wooden splinters and stone debris piled in one corner with all the other garbage that the occupants had set to one side, and I knew they’d dug a hole. Then they’d covered it with a very heavy metal lid, and rigged it with more chains than necessary.
The lid wasn’t that heavy. Half the number of chains would have sufficed to heft it up.
Gordon closed the door behind us, locking it. As a group, we advanced further into the room.
Jamie went straight to the door-table of papers. Lillian started to, then changed her mind and went to the crate-shelves which held equipment, makeshift and otherwise.
Studying records and methodology, respectively.
Gordon’s attention was on the grate, while I turned my eyes to the far corner of the room, with all of the interesting things in bottles.
It was a lab, but it wasn’t a lab.
Most labs were centered around something, and all they had here was… what? A grate in the floor?
“Doesn’t feel like a proper lab,” I voiced the sentiment aloud.
“It isn’t,” Lillian said. She was closest to me. “This is eerie. Like children playing at something serious.”
“What are they playing at?” Gordon asked.
“I don’t know,” Lillian said.
“Everything here is handmade, though,” I said, looking around. My hand reached up to touch a bottle with an organ inside. They’d reserved the clearest bottles and jars for the specimens. It looked like some sort of combination of a heart, but wrapped up in the wrinkly skin of a ballsack, the upper corner knotted together and hardened like a whorl in wood. “They came in here, they spent days clearing away the trash, cleaned up, as much as you can clean this sort of place, and then they built the shelves, put together the table, collected paper… it’s a labor of love, almost?”
“Weeks of work to get things set up, then weeks or a couple months of time to get all of the rest of this done. Whatever it is,” Gordon said.
Gordon hadn’t moved far from the hatch, though he was probably long since done examining it. One of his hands rested on the chain, the other on Hubris’ head. He was tired, slower to move, faster to tire. A clock winding down. His color still wasn’t good.
I tried to ignore that. I’d have to pick on him more later, just to bring things closer to normal.
Another organ, one I might have suggested as a mix of a bird’s talon and a monkey’s paw. Three fingers, one thumb, stretched with gnarled skin, black in color with fibrous strands at the base, almost like feathers or fur.
It had been hacked off. The damage to the stump was haphazard, ragged. I reached up to turn the bottle, my eyes on the damage.
I froze, watching it sway slightly within its makeshift, wax-corked bottle as the cloudy liquid responded to my movement.
My eyes had been on the stump, and I’d only seen it in the corner of my eye, but I could’ve sworn I’d seen the fingers move, closing slightly in response to the movement. The time it had taken my eyes to move from stump to finger had been enough time for the movement to cease.
A trick of the light? A natural movement in response to the movement of the fluid within the bottle?
I knocked on the glass of the bottle, hard.
I moved the bottle again, to no avail.
That was annoying.
“Jamie?” Gordon asked. “What are you reading?”
“Papers have a lot of various mentions of viability. They’re referencing tables on a book or text that we don’t have and using shorthand on these tables I’m trying to figure out. I’m not seeing the text on the shelves either.”
“Nope,” Lillian said. “No text, but lots of tools for surgery. Some big tools, too.”
“Big?” I asked, turning.
Lillian reached to the top of a stack of crates and hefted a woodcutter’s axe. It was heavy enough she almost dropped it.
“Don’t go lopping your toe off,” I said.
She turned a little red.
“I like your toes,” I said.
She turned a little more red. “That’s stupid.”
“It really kind of is,” Gordon commented.
“Shush, quiet, I’m still figuring this out,” I said.
He made an amused sound. “I remember the cafeteria at Mothmont. You have a better idea of how to woo girls than people twice your age. You’re being intentionally dorky.”
“There’s blood on the blade,” Lillian said, mercifully changing the subject.
“They’re creating life and taking it apart,” I said. I turned back to the shelves, walking down the length of it. Some of these bottles were dark brown and green, leaving the contents a mystery. I held one hand up to block out the light and leaned close now and again to peer inside. “Hey, can you grab me a lantern or a candle or something?”
“Yeah,” Lillian said. She put down the axe, scooping up one glass lamp on her way to me. Her other hand reached under a flap to fish in her bag. She retrieved a box of matches as she walked the long way around a pile of crates with a few blankets draped over top. I might have taken it to be a table for sharing meals at, but the pile of blankets would have made for an uneven surface.
“Any ideas?” I asked.
“I’d think they were building a stitched warbeast, but no. Testing a poison or pathogen on a variety of parts, maybe. But… these are bizarre.”
“Consistently so,” I observed, looking at each specimen. There wasn’t a single one that I could point to and properly identify. I held out my hand to partially block the light from the unlit lamp, “Careful as you light that.”
She nodded. The match flared, and she held it to the lamp’s end as she turned the dial in the side. The flame ignited, the light not quite reaching the specimens on the shelves.
I found one eyeball, floating in the jar, the orb itself a jaundiced yellow, the pupil round and almost human. I stared at it, moving my hand away from the light source to let the light better reach the shelf. I gestured for her to raise it.
The pupil at the eye’s center narrowed. Lillian nearly dropped the lamp as she saw it happen.
“It’s alive,” she said, in wonder and horror.
“All of it is,” I said, staring at the bottles. “The girl is supposed to be immortal, remember?”
“Her tissues? No. But that same science.”
Thirty or forty jars of very different organs and body parts, no two alike.
All independently alive.
Two short whistles, barely audible, made our heads whip around.
Lillian reacted by fumbling with the lantern, as I moved to interject my body between it and most of the room. The flame went out as she cranked the dial the other way around. The front door of the building slammed.
Footsteps, quick, more than one set, moving with purpose as they crossed to this end of the building.
Right for us.
My eyes moved quick, surveying the surroundings. The shelves around us were too littered with bottles and other things for there to be a clear escape route through the shelves, like I’d found in the Fishmonger’s place.
It couldn’t be easy.
The footsteps were closer, a matter of feet away. Lillian spun around.
Putting a hand around Lillian’s mouth to ensure she remained quiet as I startled her, I hauled her back, stepping into the deepest, darkest corner, where one shelf touched the wall of the building. It wasn’t much shadow, so I held her close to me, sandwiching myself between her and the wall.
There’s our girl, I thought. Candy or whatever her name is.
Unlike her parents, Candy looked like she was fit for the aristocracy. A long neck, paler skin, and platinum hair that had been artificially lightened, cut short like a boy’s. Everything else about her screamed of an attempt to rebel. She wore a man’s overalls and shirt, though the shirt was tied short, so it knotted at her solar plexus, allowing a glimpse of her belly. Tattoos marked her arms, small thorns or horns sprouted from her skin at the one cheekbone I could see, and two curving horns rose from her forehead. I could tell that her eyes had been altered, but not how, not at this distance, in this lighting.
The one accessory she had with her, however, that screamed of her rebellion against her parents, was a boy. He was tall, lanky, and probably had as much muscle on his frame as I did, after adjusting for height and proportions. Artificial scales decorated him, mingling with dark, swirling tattoos of indeterminate subject. It was a lot less dramatic and haphazard than what Candy had done to herself. It was as if she’d decorated herself with whatever came at hand, spur of the moment, while he’d done the work on himself with an artist’s eye and a goal in mind.
She pushed him down onto the stack of crates with blankets, pinning him, and he didn’t put up much of a fight at all, even as she opened her mouth, revealing pointed teeth, and bit his shoulder.
It was very possible he was even worse at fighting than I was. I felt a kind of pity and camaraderie for the guy.
She shifted her position, straddling his torso, then pinning his arms against the surface with her knees, before reaching up to undo the buckles on her overalls.
I revised my opinion. This wrestling match would be a win for both participants.
I didn’t dare move, my hand over Lillian’s mouth, because we were in their peripheral vision, and any movement could tip them off.
Heck, if they even turned their heads, they might make us out in the shadows.
Lillian’s breath was hot against my hand as I continued to cover her mouth. My breath had to have been tickling the back of her neck, as her back and butt pressed against my front.
With our present view of the scene, there were only so many things to look at, other than the scene, or the back of Lillian’s head, or the skin of her neck, or her shoulder. One of those things was the window I’d opened.
Still open, the pole still moved from its original position.
They were supposed to be sleeping in, after working late. Gordon said he saw them burning the post-midnight oil. The place was supposed to be empty.
I guess Candy and her boy knew it would be.
If the young man happened to stop kissing Candy and look up and a little to the left, he would see the open window.
We would be found if they took just a moment to look.
My back was pressed to the outside wall of the building, and the cold of the fall had seeped into it, now seeping into me, cold, uncomfortable. In contrast, the front of me pressed against Lillian.
I wanted them to stop what they were doing, because this was agony. I didn’t want them to stop. I felt antsy. They hadn’t even properly taken off their clothes. They were saying things I couldn’t hear, she was nibbling on him, and they kissed and ran their hands over each other, drawing it out.
A part of me was sad, because whatever followed from this, it would be weird, the next time Lillian slept beside me.
Candy pulled off the top she’d knotted at her middle, turning around to find a spot to put it. Maybe a place that wasn’t too dusty. Her back was defined by muscle, beneath the straps of her brassiere.
Lillian chose that same moment to squirm. I was sure we’d be spotted. We weren’t.
But Candy turned to face the other way, and she paused.
Did she see Jamie? Gordon? The window?
No. The angle of her head. It was the axe. Lillian had left it lying on the ground.
Candy said something to her boy. He responded, curious, starting to sit up.
We were done.
I pinched Lillian’s derriere, my hand still pressed over her mouth, and she huffed, before pulling away enough to let me slide out from behind her.
I held my finger to my lips as I faced the pinkest Lillian I’d ever had the pleasure of seeing, before I let go of her mouth.
I took a second to smooth out my clothes and fix my belt. By the time I was done, Candy was peering in my direction, squinting.
I approached her.
Muscles stood out in her shoulders and arms as she craned backward, not even standing as she adjusted from straddling her boy to lunging for the floor. She grabbed the axe from the floor, holding it by the very butt end as she straightened, pointing the axe’s blade in my direction.
I spread my arms, raising my hands. With a twitch of fingers, I beckoned Lillian to follow.
“A kid?” the scaled boy asked.
“No,” our quarry replied. “Remember what our patron said? Things and people to watch out for? Children in the wrong place at the wrong time?”
We’re notorious, now, I thought.
“Does Mauer just tell that to everyone who he sponsors?” I asked. “Watch out for the odd children?”
“I don’t know who or what that is,” Candy said. She was still breathing hard, and not from lunging for the axe. Everything about her, even as the top of her overalls hung free at the waist, seemed feline to me. Fluid in movement, almost liquid, a natural strength, like a tense spring.
She was young, too. Only two or so years older than Lillian, if I had to guess.
“The person who hired you?” I asked.
She shook her head. “He’s an old soldier.”
“Black hair, black skin,” she said.
Either one of Mauer’s lieutenants, or Gordon had been misled.
“We’re not your enemy,” I said.
“He said you’d lie to me.”
Even in attitude, she was like a coiled spring. A gun cocked, ready to fire with the twitch of a finger, as reflexes allowed. I was betting her reflexes were better than mine. She hadn’t missed a beat in responding, almost as if she’d expected the statement.
“The project you’re working on, it’s a disaster waiting to happen,” I said.
“You know about the project?”
“No,” I said, “But I know it’s a disaster waiting to happen. If it was this easy to do, the Academy would have done it already. There’s a reason they haven’t.”
“The reason is that it’s a new technology,” she said. She glanced at the door.
She was going to bolt, and I doubted I could catch her if she did.
Lillian approached from behind me. When she spoke, her voice was soft, “It’s older than you think.”
Candy held the axe out adjusting her posture, so the side of her body faced me, one leg out in front, almost a fencer’s pose. She measured her steps, pacing, wary. “Does it matter?”
“The approach you’re using here might be new,” Lillian said, “But we’ve seen how it unfolds in the past, and nothing I’m seeing here suggests anything is going to turn out different than it did then.”
With Candy’s posture, I couldn’t see the hand she held behind her, but I could see part of the arm. The muscles shifted slightly as she moved her fingers.
“Gordon!” I called out, in the same moment Candy’s boy leaped from the makeshift bed, running for the door. I’d taken a step forward as I shouted, and Candy moved to intervene, barring my path.
Hubris charged to the fore. I watched as the boy bounded over the dog. Hubris coiled, hunching down, then leaped, teeth parting to latch on. He missed by a hand’s span.
The boy landed and didn’t even pause as he ran from the moment his feet touched ground. He caught the door handle, unlocking it and heaving it open-
And Gordon was on the other side. I heard a few grunts from clear across the building.
Candy’s boy fell to the ground, curling up into a ball.
Candy glared at me. The coiled spring wound even tighter.
“Believe it or not, we’re on your side,” Jamie said, from behind Candy. She spun to face him, then realized she was surrounded, and couldn’t give him her full attention without turning her back to Lillian and me.
“You’d be surprised how many people have told me that over the course of my life,” Candy said. “The only people who haven’t are Drake and my friends here. They know that when someone says that, they’re lying.”
“You’re right,” I said. “We’re on our side first and foremost. “You don’t even come second, or in the top ten.”
“Speak for yourself, Sy,” Lillian murmured, behind me.
“I’m speaking for myself, I guess. Lillian, the girl of our group here, she has a soft heart. She’s still trying to decide what to do with you.”
“I was asked to fetch you,” Lillian said, her voice soft. “Take you home.”
My eyebrows arched in surprise as I looked back at Lillian. A part of me expected Candy to bolt as I took my attention off her, but she remained where she was.
“You used my full name,” she said. “I thought you probably were aiming for more transparency, more honesty.”
“You’d be right,” I said, looking back at Candy. “Nice one.”
“I’m not going home,” Candy said, her voice tight.
“I’m not taking you home,” Lillian said, her voice pitching higher in her insistence. “I’m not. I was planning on doing it, then I saw you and-”
“I saw you two. I’m sorry. And I thought- I thought that was nice and right and good for you, and I can’t-”
Lillian’s voice got more halting.
I could see Candy’s muscles relax a bit.
“Candy,” I said.
The muscles got tenser than I’d seen them yet. The look she shot me was one fit to kill.
“Candida,” Jamie corrected me.
“I hate Candida,” she said. “I hate Candy more.”
“Sorry,” I said. I spoke to her like I was placating a snarling warbeast. “Sorry. Really, I am.”
Her eyes were wary as she studied me.
“We need to know what exactly it is you’re doing,” I said.
On the other end of the building, Drake got to his feet, wary of the dog and Gordon both. Gordon said something I didn’t hear, and Drake responded.
Drake crossed the room, returning to his girlfriend’s side. After a moment, he walked over to where she’d left her shirt, and tossed it to her.
She was busy studying us, even as she pulled it back on.
“We’re not supposed to tell,” she said. “And I’m supposed to assume anything you do is a lie or an attempt at sabotage. You’re the…”
“Lambs,” Jamie said, behind her.
He was instinctively doing what we’d done to the Fishmonger, speaking in turn, so we took turns, kept her off balance.
Perhaps a bad idea, given how skittish she was.
“You’re creating life,” Lillian said. “Refined life.”
Candy nodded slowly. “You read our notes?”
“Your notes didn’t mean anything without the reference material,” Jamie said. “She intuited that on her own. Because she’s an Academy student, and she’s read about this.”
“Can you open the hatch?” Lillian asked. “Or is it dangerous?”
Candy shook her head. “It’s not viable. Not yet.”
“Small mercies,” Lillian said, her voice almost inaudible to me, and she was closer to me than to anyone. “Show me?”
Candy nodded slowly, a frown on her face.
She walked over to the chain that was connected to the pulley. There was no crank or winch. She simply hauled down on the chain to haul the hatch up.
It was akin to a sewer grate in how it was fit to the floor. Trails of blood and other fluids dripped from the underside and into the hole.
The slaughterhouse smell I’d detected earlier increased in intensity a hundredfold.
The extra chains I’d noted had a purpose, I realized. While many of the chains were attached to the grate, others were attached to the specimen. It was four feet across and about seven feet long, and only vaguely humanoid.
It looked like it was made of tumorous flesh, nodules, or a coral reef. Parts fit together and clutched to one another, giving the entirety of it a surface like a human brain, all bumps and valleys. It moved only slightly, without purpose, like a newborn baby, lacking the strength to even raise a heavy limb more than an inch or two.
“Primordial life,” Lillian said.
“Oh,” Jamie said, “Oh wow.”
“What the heck is that supposed to even be?” Gordon asked.
“Sy has talked about the Lamb’s project, right?” Lillian asked. “About what we’re meant for, in the long run? What he hopes for? A great mind?”
Gordon nodded. Candy continued to give us wary looks.
A better brain, capable of pioneering better brains than their own.
“If that mind had a body to suit, this would be that body,” she said.