“Where would you be if you could be anywhere right now?” It was an unexpected question, she could see it in his eyes. She hoped he would take at least a minute to think before he answered. After the moment of initial shock has passed he quickly responded, “Right here.”
“Seriously, Uncle, anywhere at all and you would choose here?” she asked with the hope that he would change his answer.
“Where else can I be? Everyone I have ever known and loved became CTs. Places I enjoyed became private. Ohm, and what we are doing here, are the only things I have in life. Revenge is what makes me get out of bed. If it weren’t for this, right here, I don’t know what I would do.”
She understood his point. She had never experienced loss to such an extent. When the formula became available nearly everyone in her circle, including her, was offered the chance to stay pure. Nevertheless, she was depressed. She had been feeling trapped lately. Everyone within Ohm seemed unable to see a life outside of it. They saw the pures and the founders as eternal enemies and did not care to try to understand or empathise. Everyone she knew outside of Ohm did not refrain from speaking of their disgust of the odd ones, and their behaviour towards CTs showed they did not think highly of them either. Her views differed so greatly from those of either group that she feared voicing them would land her in trouble.
She badly needed to confide in someone. She had known Uncle for long enough to want that someone to be him. She tried a different approach.
“You know, you are pure now. If you wanted to pursue anything, become one of the leaders of the system, you probably could. Just for a second let’s imagine you hadn’t lost everyone. How would you live your newly found pure life?”
She looked at him with a glimmer in her eyes hoping to find even a shred of common ground. Perhaps Uncle had forgotten about his pureness, and what it could bring, as he was only going out of the Ohm compound for missions. She seemed excited while he, in return, seemed concerned.
“Why would I want to live as a pure when so many, regardless of their relation to me, are suffering? Especially when the life I would live would be built on their suffering. Isn’t that why you’re here? Isn’t that why any of us are here? The people who are not here are either living in ignorance or they are cruel enough to not give a fuck. How can we let them get away with that and just live our lives? How can we go on with our lives knowing the founders are getting away with what they have done?”
“Per... Perhaps they had the right intentions but...”
“Then they should have stopped the moment their evil became apparent.”
She gave up, “You’re right Uncle. Anyway, you are good to go now. Let me know if you need anything else.”
Uncle thanked her and walked out of the room. He felt something was off with her. He was afraid she was losing sight of the big picture and the upcoming war. He wouldn’t become the sort of person to alert everyone because of just one conversation and get a possibly innocent person in trouble but he also couldn’t simply let it go, just in case.
As he walked lost in his thoughts he found himself in front of Arsinoe’s chambers. He stood there for a good five minutes before he committed to his decision, knocked the door, and walked in.
Arsinoe, upon seeing her visitor, in her usual cold and calm voice asked, “How may I help you Uncle?”
“I just had a thought. You know everything about everyone who joined Ohm after you, including every detail regarding their lives and aspirations. I was thinking... maybe, if one of the odd ones were ever interested in medicine, perhaps we could assign them as an assistant to the Doctor?”
“Where is this coming from, Uncle? Is she overworked?”
“No. I don’t think so. I actually don’t know. Don’t do anything rash I just have a hunch that we could benefit from someone under the radar keeping an eye on her. Perhaps someone with experience in behavioural science so can give an insight to us about what she is thinking.”
“Are you suggesting internal espionage Uncle? And on one of our most respected and most valuable members: the Doctor? Is this simply because she is pure? Will you be suggesting that I should be spied on next? Was that why you sent your niece to work with Narmer?”
“You know my niece had nothing to do with this!” He tried his best to calm down because he knew now he had to defend himself. “Regardless...” Her calmness in the face of his anger was making him even angrier, his voice trembled as he spoke, “It wasn’t anything like that. As I said, it was just a hunch. On second thought, you are right. Spying within Ohm would be inappropriate. Please forget I ever mentioned it. But maybe do talk to her as one pure to the other to see if there is anything troubling her.”
“That I can do, Uncle. Thank you for bringing the matter to my attention. Is there anything else I can help you with?
“No, no, thanks Arsinoe. I guess I will see you in a while for the debriefing.” He walked out of the room without giving her a chance to utter another word. What had just happened? Somehow, feeling both frustrated and ashamed,he marched across to his room without stopping to exchange pleasantries to people who yelled “Hi!” at him.
After he had calmed down a bit, post-fist fight versus the bed, he realized that perhaps Arsinoe’s refusal of his offer was not the worst thing ever. Ohm would become a scary entity like any other out there if they started spying on each other, regardless of their suspicions. Knowing that they had a right to their own thoughts and feelings, and private lives, was a good and precious thing. He thought about how lucky he was to be a part of Ohm and to have his rights to privacy, and to freedom of thought and speech. He made a mental note to apologize to Arsinoe for his reaction and thank her for the enlightenment. He then began drafting his debriefing report.