In a single breath all fell silent. Like fog shredded by the wind, the cacophony dissolved into silence. Grefa slowly opened his eyes and peered out between his knees. His entire body trembled as the last vestiges of sound dissolved; it felt as if several Gs of pressure had been banished in the blink of an eye. He exhaled a great breath and struggled to his feet. All around him others rose and swayed back and forth in half-lit night. They murmured garbled words and looked about with wandering eyes.
The autolutes began to play. Their notes rippled through the viscous floral air and soon became an indiscernible warbling drone. The canopy began to shake as if a strong wind was pushing on it and there were several sharp cracks above. Shards of wood rained down, followed immediately by the shadowy forms of six Lantern Hawks. The creatures clove the stagnant air and glided about the village with wings outspread and locked in place. One by one, they swung towards the suspended Lampflower and fell into a circular pattern around it.
“Those lights— what are they?” Grefa asked.
“Lampflowers of course, didn’t your briefing cover them?”
“No, it didn’t...”
He went to one of the orbs and inspected it. It was in fact the bulb in the toroid of a massive flower. Except for the one suspended above the clearing, each grew naturally on the perimeter of the village.
He turned and saw the Admiral sitting with the others. He held an odd instrument and plucked at it experimentally.
“Is that an autolute?” Grefa asked, returning to the Admiral's side.
Act 2 Scene 15
Lisonse is snooping around in the Recycling Center.
Sim: “Fair enough. There’s a burlap sack.”
Lisonse begins to grab everything and put it in the sack. He checks the cell phones for batteries and pulls the batteries out before putting them inside. Lisonse then exits and proceeds to climb the building. Halfway up, a window opens.
Child 1: “Santa Claus?”
Lisonse: “Not exactly.”
Child 1 closes the window.
Child 1: “Burglar?”
Lisonse: “No. I’m not a burglar.”
Act 2 Scene 14
Lisonse puts his thumb drive in the computer and load the recording. He cuts most of it out.
Sim: “Going to try and splice his “destruct” and “Unit four, deactivate system”?”
Lisonse nods and plays it. Nothing happens.
Sim: “Doesn’t sound right. Flow or something. Check the HELP thing for pitch.”
Lisonse types away.
Lisonse: “Says a subscription is required.”
Act 2 Scene 13
Lisonse jumps from the roof tops, landing relatively softly on the ground.
Waitress 1: “This is my apartment building. It’s not much, but it’s home.”
Lisonse: “It’ll certainly do. Do you have a computer?”
Waitress 1: “Yes, but what do you want it for?”
Lisonse: “It’s complicated. Suffice to say, nothing illegal.”
Wiatress 1: “Alright then… I’m going to get something to eat. Want anything?”
Lisonse: “Sure, I’d…”
Waitress 1: “You alright?”
Lisonse: “Sure. Probably never better.”
Act 2 Scene 12
Alpha, Beta, and Gamma begin circling Waitress 1.
Beta: “Yo, baby. That purse’s looking might heavy. Maybe too heavy for you.”
Waitress 1: “You know…”
There’s a thump in the background.
Waitress 1: “You’re not going to get away with this.”
Beta: “Catch phrase of my life. I’m on my eighth strike. Two more and I get switched to a different kind of community service. Guess I’ll have
to make this one semi-special…”
Act 2 Scene 11
Sim and Lisonse lay on the roof top.
Lisonse: “Alright, who do we know?”
Sim: “The reporter seemed down with it?”
Lisonse: “I’d rather not.”
Sim: “Mr.Richards is pay roll.”
Lisonse: “Granted, but he might want
revenge or something.”
Sim: “Nope, too cowardly.”
Lisonse: “That’s not very nice.”
Sim turns to Lisonse, then throws up on him. Lisonse twitches as he tries to scrape it off. He closes his eyes and it’s gone.
Act 2 Scene 10
Lisonse: “That would’ve been helpful to know.”
Lisonse gets up.
Lisonse: “What now?”
Sim: “I’m sure folks in here have already sent something out alerting the authorities, so first we need to leave. Maybe, make an example out of somebody.”
Lisonse: “I’m not doing that.”
Lisonse goes to walk out but stops at Librarian1. She looks scared.
Act 2 Scene 9
Lisonse: “We need to find a public place to snag the file.”
Sim: “Library’s closed. What about the college?”
Lisonse: “Maybe. We need another directory though. I’ve never checked out the one here.”
Lisonse takes to the building tops until he can find another directory. He looks up the local college and disappears again.
Once at the college, Lisonse looks around.
Sim: “Just go in. The stealth stuff’s probably just brainwashing or something. If you’re making me stupid, I’ll take us both down.”