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Anti-Im! Anti-Im! Day Three, a Modern Parable

Anti-Im! Anti-Im! Day Three, a Modern Parable

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Anti-Im! Anti-Im! Day Three, a Modern Parable

121 pagine
1 ora
Jan 10, 2019


Anti-Im! Anti-Im! Day Three, continues to call upon an ancient art form, the parable, to weave a modern mystery in four parts. At the heart of the mystery that unites artificial intelligence, genetic warfare and genocide into an entirely plausible context is 15-year-old Nicole Dee Showalter, a biracial girl from a small southern town, a nobody until she becomes the active carrier of a contagious disease that modifies the human genome. She is now on trial for a capital crime she allegedly committed when she was a teen. Four years beyond 15, she is in her 40s, aging quickly from her infection and fighting not just for her life but for the lives of countless humans who carry the latent germ she circulated. The parable is full of dark moments and sayings told in a well-lit courtroom. Thank you for continuing your reading journey. Welcome to Day Three of Nicole Dee’s nightmare.

Jan 10, 2019

Informazioni sull'autore

C.N. Bean writes novels, screenplays, poetry, short fiction and non-fiction. His novels include Putnam/Penguin’s A Soul to Take, Dust to Dust and With Evil Intent. He directs and produces films. His most recent film, Poem to a Nameless Slave, premiered in numerous prestigious film festivals. His screenplay, The Dream Interpreter, became Virginia Tech’s first public film and went on to the Cannes Film Festival. His screenplays have won various awards. His poetry has appeared widely and one of his poems, “Parable of the Sewer,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Anti-Im! Anti-Im! returns an ancient genre, the parable, to the contemporary world and shares it in four parts.

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Anti-Im! Anti-Im! Day Three, a Modern Parable - C.N. Bean

Anti-Im! Anti-Im!


a Modern Parable by

C.N. Bean

Smashwords Edition

Copyright © 2019 by C.N. Bean. All Rights Reserved.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination, interpretations of commonly known historical events, or used in a fictitious manner.

No part of this book may be reproduced or used in any manner without the written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in book reviews.

…draw near and I will open my mouth in a parable.


…coming in the clouds with great power….


Table of Contents

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

About the Author

Chapter Eleven

I ate lunch right before I was escorted back into the courtroom the following day and my stomach was in a knot, so I continued my defense while pacing back and forth in front of the jury. The High Priestess said it was a distraction, but I said it helped me to focus, so she let it ride.

I told the jury that at first I consoled myself by acknowledging that the information I had given up about Cap and QB was harmless since they were constantly on the move and the Anti-Ims probably always knew generally where they were. As I stood before the jury, my stomach in a knot, though, I had to admit that by drawing more attention to them, I had increased the likelihood they would eventually be caught. I said I hated myself for being so careless with their lives in order to save my own. I wasn’t even sure I cared that much about winning the formula for the vaccine because I knew that most of the people I would have really cared about were dead because I had willingly betrayed them.

Time took some of the rough edges off my fear that I could never talk my way out of the mess I was in, I told the jury, but for some reason I remained locked for months in my detention room, yet to be transferred for hanging, execution by firing squad, or slow death by starvation, welded in a steel cage that didn’t even room to sit up. I almost forgot about Cap and QB, too, until strange things began to happen. I kept being awakened by a tapping at my cubicle window at night, but when I looked out, there was nothing, not even animal or boot prints I could see in the bright compound light of fresh snow. That someone would have gotten through the fence and barbed-wire perimeter seemed impossible, so I convinced myself it was my imagination teasing me. The problem was the tapping kept happening, so I decided it must have been some night bird pecking on the wood frame around the window to get insects.

Four or five days into that routine, I told the jury, Major Wilson woke me up in the middle of the night. She brought me a uniform, coat, hat, gloves boots and my prosthetic hook, all wrapped in new bedding. She told me, strip your bed and give me your old bedding.

They’re shipping me? I asked as I stripped the bed.

I’m getting the sense that what you have told them is about all you have to tell, she replied. It may not happen in the morning, but one of these mornings it will, and it will come without warning. When you get caught in that trap, there will be no escape, no talking your way out of it.

I asked her if she thought I’d be put to death.

She told me they’d probably drag it out because what I had done to Anthony. She had obviously read my record.

I sat taking it all in, not knowing what to say or do, I told the jury, but at certain stressful moments the strangest thoughts would come to me, and one did then. I wondered why she was telling me what she was telling me and realized she was obviously one of them according to the loyalty oath she had to take to gain her position.

Personally, I wouldn't try for another deal if I were you, she went on. Mr. Sturgeon is still embarrassed over the last one. He hates when something goes wrong, and it looks like this time you led him down the wrong path. He won’t make that mistake again. She sat down next to me on the bed. If I were in your shoes, I’d run. She pointed at the window. It wouldn’t take much to squeeze out that window.

Into a trap? I asked.

At least the consequences would be immediate, she replied. She added, I wasn’t supposed to be at the inauguration that day. I hadn’t been invited. My going there was for two reasons. First, since everyone nearby was required to watch it, the inauguration would be a perfect time to send out a message to the resistance, which I was then a part of. Ever heard of Four?

I told her I had heard rumors of a resistance group that went by the name of Four. Why the whole business of Nate Pios I asked her.

We figured that anyone who got the message naypeeos, Greek for don’t say a word, the word would get out. You see we do nothing electronically so we leave no trail. All communications are word-of-mouth. That way if you have a traitor in the chain, you can figure out exactly where the weak link is.

The President, had he been shot? I asked.

She answered, A bullet grazed him when they tried to capture him, but he escaped.

Why did you choose me? I asked.

She said, You were the youngest person there, which I figured would make you totally gullible and so caught up in the adventure that you’d spread the word like fire, and anyone who heard it from you would know you couldn’t possibly be of value to either side.

Which makes me wonder why you’ve taken the risk you’ve taken tonight, I told her.

I used you, and I’m sorry I did, she replied. "When we stop being sorry for when we don’t treat others right, we become one of them.

So they just opened the front door and let you in? I asked, skeptical. For all I knew, I told the jury, our conversation was being recorded in an attempt to get me to open up to her.

I don’t know why, she answered, but for some reason a fish out of water interests the Anti-Ims. You, for example, were the first one to sign a loyalty oath in Galax, Virginia. For a 74-year-old woman to break into the inauguration because she said she wanted to bow down and worship the new President impressed them. Whether you know it, anyone over 65 is not required to sign a loyalty oath.

I still didn’t know what to think, I admitted to the jury, so I said the obvious, You could just leave all the doors unlocked and let me walk out.

She told me, You still don’t get it, do you? This isn’t a game, because if it is, we’ve put out entire destiny into the hands of computers we created so they could, in turn, create the perfect world. They decided the only way that was ever going to happen was to get rid of us. How am I going to help the next person if I throw myself into a trap that destroys me?

I had a final lingering question. I said, My claw. How is it that I broke into a safe and got it out?

We shipped that arm the first day we locked you in here, she told me. Anthony said he wanted it back. We sent it to him. I’m quite sure he never got it, but he didn’t care so long as he knew you didn’t have it. With that, she got up and left, locking the door behind her.

I hid the clothes, boots and arm in my pillow case.

Eventually I lay down but couldn’t sleep, I told the jury. I got up and paced my cubicle until I thought I could sleep. I lay down and tossed and turned for at least an hour. I got back up. That was my routine for three more days and nights, which was when there came a tapping at my window. This time it was on the glass, not the frame around the window. I was too scared to move, too scared to look. When I thought it might be safe, I got up to look at the brightly lit, fenced-in compound. Everything looked normal.

A door slammed. I got back in bed until a lit flashlight glared through my door window. When the light was gone, I waited until another door slammed. I went to the outside window again, where I stood for a long time and looked at the winter world bleached with cold light.

I returned to bed and pulled the covers over my head. I must have dozed because it seemed like a long time passed before the tapping came again. I threw off the covers and hurried to the window, which I rolled open. My breath made steam in the cold. In a low voice, I said, Who’s there? I thought it might be the major trying to coax me into a trap, I admitted to the jury. No response came.

I rolled the window closed, lay down and dozed again, only to be pulled from sleep by yet another tapping. This time when I hurried to the window, I saw a human shadow

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