1. Scola · 2. Esplode · 3. Aresta · 4. Prison · 5. Paranoia · 6. Rede X · 7. Spleno-Porco · 8. Paradox · 9. Furgon · 10. Claves · 11. Slogan
12. Conserta · 13. Jornales · 14. Bitnic · 15. Enrolada · 16. Reportor · 17. Tuneli · 18. Juas · 19. Vampires · 20. Tortura · 21. Judi · Epilogo
A la comensa, Mama ia aspeta xocada, ante pare ofendeda, e final el ia resinia intera, e ia lasa mera ce sua boca pende abrida tra cuando me ia raconta a el la interoga, la pisi sur me, la saco supra mea testa, Darryl. Me ia mostra a el la nota.
At first Mom looked shocked, then outraged, and finally she gave up altogether and just let her jaw hang open as I took her through the interrogation, pissing myself, the bag over my head, Darryl. I showed her the note.
Acel sola parola ia conteni cada critica con cual me ia ataca me en la note, cada momento cuando me no ia ave la coraje per informa la mundo sur la situa vera, perce me batalia vera, lo cual ia es vera la inspira de Rede X.
In that single syllable, every recrimination I’d dealt myself in the night, every moment that I’d lacked the bravery to tell the world what it was really about, why I was really fighting, what had really inspired the Xnet.
Me ia enspira profonda.
I sucked in a breath.
“On ia dise ce me ta vade a prison si me ta parla sur lo. No sola per alga dias. Per sempre. Me ia es – me ia es asustada.”
“They told me I’d go to jail if I talked about it. Not just for a few days. Forever. I was – I was scared.”
Mama ia senta con me tra un tempo longa, no parlante. A pos: “Como de la padre de Darryl?”
Mom sat with me for a long time, not saying anything. Then, “What about Darryl’s father?”
El ta fa la mesma efeto par pone un ago de tricota tra mea peto. La padre de Darryl. El ia debe suposa ce Darryl ia mori, a multe tempo a ante.
She might as well have stuck a knitting needle in my chest. Darryl’s father. He must have assumed that Darryl was dead, long dead.
E el ia es mor, no? Pos deteni nonlegal on tra tre menses, esce Securia Interna ta libri on en futur?
And wasn’t he? After the DHS has held you illegally for three months, would they ever let you go?
Ma Zeb ia evade. Cisa Darryl va evade. Cisa me e Rede X va pote aida Darryl a evade.
But Zeb got out. Maybe Darryl would get out. Maybe me and the Xnet could help get Darryl out.
“Me no ia raconta a el.” – me ia dise.
“I haven’t told him,” I said.
Aora Mama ia plora. El no ia plora fasil. Esta ia es un cualia brites. Tal, sua peti sanglotas icante ia es multe plu mal per oia.
Now Mom was crying. She didn’t cry easily. It was a British thing. It made her little hiccoughing sobs much worse to hear.
“Tu va raconta a el.” – el ia susede emete. “Tu va.”
“You will tell him,” she managed. “You will.”
“Ma prima nos debe raconta a tua padre.”
“But first we have to tell your father.”
Papa no ia ave plu un ora definida per reveni a casa. Par la combina de sua clientes de consulta – ci ia ave multe de labora aora, cuando Securia Interna ia xerca sur la penisola companias inisiante per escava datos – e la viaja longa dial a Berkeley, el ia pote veni a casa a cualce ora entre 18:00 e medianote.
Dad no longer had any regular time when he came home. Between his consulting clients – who had lots of work now that the DHS was shopping for data-mining startups on the peninsula – and the long commute to Berkeley, he might get home any time between 6PM and midnight.
A esta sera, Mama ia telefoni a el e ia dise a el ce el va veni instante a casa. El ia dise alga cosa e Mama ia repete sola: instante.
Tonight Mom called him and told him he was coming home right now. He said something and she just repeated it: right now.
Cuando el ia ariva, nos ia organiza ja nos en la salon con la nota entre nos sur la table de cafe.
When he got there, we had arranged ourselves in the living room with the note between us on the coffee table.
Lo ia es plu fasil per raconta, a la ves du. La secreta ia deveni plu lejera. Me no ia beli, me no ia asconde cosas. Me ia limpi mea susia.
It was easier to tell, the second time. The secret was getting lighter. I didn’t embellish, I didn’t hide anything. I came clean.
Me ia oia acel espresa a ante, ma me ia comprende nunca sua sinifia ante fa lo. La teni de la secreta ia susi me, ia contamina mea spirito. Lo ia asusta e vergonia me. Lo ia cambia me a tota la cosas cual Anj ia acusa a me.
I’d heard of coming clean before but I’d never understood what it meant until I did it. Holding in the secret had dirtied me, soiled my spirit. It had made me afraid and ashamed. It had made me into all the things that Ange said I was.
Papa ia senta tan rijida como un baston tra la tempo intera, con fas siselida de petra. Cuando me ia pasa la nota a el, el ia leje lo a du veses ante repone cauta lo.
Dad sat stiff as a ramrod the whole time, his face carved of stone. When I handed him the note, he read it twice and then set it down carefully.
El ia secute sua testa e ia sta e dirije se a la porte xef.
He shook his head and stood up and headed for the front door.
“Do tu vade?” – Mama ia demanda, alarmada.
“Where are you going?” Mom asked, alarmed.
“Me nesesa pasea.” – ia es tota cual el ia susede jemi, con vose rompente.
“I need a walk,” was all he managed to gasp, his voice breaking.
Nos ia regarda embarasada lunlotra, Mama e me, e ia espeta sua reveni a casa. Me ia atenta imajina lo cual aveni en sua testa. El ia es un om tan diferente pos la bombis, e me ia sabe de Mama ce lo cual ia cambia el ia es la dias de pensa ce me ia mori. El ia comensa crede ce la teroristes ia mata cuasi sua fio, e el ia deveni loco par esta.
We stared awkwardly at each other, Mom and me, and waited for him to come home. I tried to imagine what was going on in his head. He’d been such a different man after the bombings and I knew from Mom that what had changed him were the days of thinking I was dead. He’d come to believe that the terrorists had nearly killed his son and it had made him crazy.
Tan loco ce el ia fa tota cual Securia Interna ia demanda, ce el ia pone se en filo como un bon ovea peti e ia lasa ce on controla el, propulsa el.
Crazy enough to do whatever the DHS asked, to line up like a good little sheep and let them control him, drive him.
Aora el ia sabe ce Securia Interna ia prisoni me, ce Securia Interna ia saisi la jovenes de San Francisco como ostajes en Guantanamo de la Baia. Esta ia pare completa lojical a me aora pensante sur lo. Natural, Isola Tesoro ia es la loca do on ia teni me. Cual otra loca ia es a des minutos de San Francisco par barco?
Now he knew that it was the DHS that had imprisoned me, the DHS that had taken San Francisco’s children hostage in Gitmo-by-the-Bay. It made perfect sense, now that I thought of it. Of course it had been Treasure Island where I’d been kept. Where else was a ten-minute boat-ride from San Francisco?
Cuando Papa ia reveni, el ia aspeta plu coler ca a cualce ves de sua vive.
When Dad came back, he looked angrier than he ever had in his life.
“Tu ia ta debe dise a me!” – el ia ruji.
“You should have told me!” he roared.
Mama ia interpone se entre el e me. “Tu no culpa la person coreta.” – el ia dise. “El no ia es Marcus ci ia fa la saisis e la menasas.”
Mom interposed herself between him and me. “You’re blaming the wrong person,” she said. “It wasn’t Marcus who did the kidnapping and the intimidation.”
El ia secute sua testa e ia piafa. “Me no culpa Marcus. Me sabe esata ci es culpable. Me. Me e la Departe stupida de Securia Interna. Apone vosa sapatos, prende vosa jacones.”
He shook his head and stamped. “I’m not blaming Marcus. I know exactly who’s to blame. Me. Me and the stupid DHS. Get your shoes on, grab your coats.”
“Do nos vade?”
“Where are we going?”
“Per vide la padre de Darryl. A pos, nos va vade a la casa de Barbara Stratford.”
“To see Darryl’s father. Then we’re going to Barbara Stratford’s place.”
Me ia conose la nom Barbara Stratford de alga loca, ma me no ia recorda do. Me ia pensa ce cisa el es un ami vea de mea jenitores, ma me no ia pote locali esata el.
I knew the name Barbara Stratford from somewhere, but I couldn’t remember where. I thought that maybe she was an old friend of my parents, but I couldn’t exactly place her.
Entretempo, me ia es en via a la casa de la padre de Darryl. Me ia senti nunca vera comfortosa con la om vea, ci ia es un operor de radio en la marina e ia organiza sua familia como un ecipo de barcon. El ia ensenia la codigo de Morse a Darryl cuando el ia es un enfante, un idea sempre divertinte en mea opina. Lo ia es un de la razonas par cual me ia sabe ce me pote fida la letera de Zeb. Ma per cada bon cosa como codigo de Morse, la padre de Darryl ia ave alga disiplina militar bizara cual ia pare esiste sola per se, como sua insiste per plias esata en la telones de leto e per du rasas per dia. Per Darryl, esta ia deveni vera un peste.
Meantime, I was headed for Darryl’s father’s place. I’d never really felt comfortable around the old man, who’d been a Navy radio operator and ran his household like a tight ship. He’d taught Darryl Morse code when he was a kid, which I’d always thought was cool. It was one of the ways I knew that I could trust Zeb’s letter. But for every cool thing like Morse code, Darryl’s father had some crazy military discipline that seemed to be for its own sake, like insisting on hospital corners on the beds and shaving twice a day. It drove Darryl up the wall.
Ance la madre de Darryl no ia gusta multe lo, e ia fuji a sua familia en Minnesota cuando Darryl ia ave des anios – Darryl ia pasa ala sua estates e natales.
Darryl’s mother hadn’t liked it much either, and had taken off back to her family in Minnesota when Darryl was ten – Darryl spent his summers and Christmases there.
Me ia senta sur la seja retro de la auto, e me ia pote vide la retro de la testa de Papa ci ia gida. La musculos en sua colo ia es tensada e ia move constante con la raspa de sua mandibulas.
I was sitting in the back of the car, and I could see the back of Dad’s head as he drove. The muscles in his neck were tense and kept jumping around as he ground his jaws.
Mama ia teni sua mano a sua braso, ma me ia ave nun per comforta me. Si me ta pote sola telefoni a Anj. O Jolu. O Van. Cisa me va pote a la fini de la dia.
Mom kept her hand on his arm, but no one was around to comfort me. If only I could call Ange. Or Jolu. Or Van. Maybe I would when the day was done.
“Serta el ia entera sua fio en sua mente.” – Papa ia dise, en cuando nos ia asende rapida tra la curvas serpentin longo la Colinas Jemelo asta la caseta peti cual Darryl e sua padre ia comparti. On ia ave nebla sur la Colinas Jemelo, como comun a note en San Francisco, tal ce la faros ia refleta a nos. Sempre cuando nos ia turna a un angulo, me ia vide la vales de la site posada su nos, boles de luses sintilinte cual ia move en la nebleta.
“He must have buried his son in his mind,” Dad said, as we whipped up through the hairpin curves leading up Twin Peaks to the little cottage that Darryl and his father shared. The fog was on Twin Peaks, the way it often was at night in San Francisco, making the headlamps reflect back on us. Each time we swung around a corner, I saw the valleys of the city laid out below us, bowls of twinkling lights that shifted in the mist.
“Esce esta es la casa?”
“Is this the one?”
“Si,” – me ia dise, “lo es esta.” Me no ia visita la casa de Darryl en menses, ma me ia spende asi tempo sufisinte tra la anios per reconose direta lo.
“Yes,” I said. “This is it.” I hadn’t been to Darryl’s in months, but I’d spent enough time here over the years to recognize it right off.
La tre de nos ia sta a la auto tra un momento longa, espetante per vide ci va vade per tintina a la porte. Surprendente, acel ia es me.
The three of us stood around the car for a long moment, waiting to see who would go and ring the doorbell. To my surprise, it was me.
Me ia tintina, e tota nos ia espeta en silentia con respira retenida per un minuto. Me ia tintina denova. La auto de la padre de Darryl ia es sur la via de asede, e nos ia vide ja un lus briliante en la salon. Me ia es a punto de tintina a la ves tre cuando la porte ia abri.
I rang it and we all waited in held-breath silence for a minute. I rang it again. Darryl’s father’s car was in the driveway, and we’d seen a light burning in the living room. I was about to ring a third time when the door opened.
“Marcus?” La padre de Darryl ia aspeta tota diferente ca mea memoria de el. Nonrasada, en roba de bani, con pedes nuda de ungias longa, e oios roja. El ia deveni grasosa, e un mento du ia tremeta mol su la mandibula firma militar. Sua capeles rarida ia es mexin e desordinada.
“Marcus?” Darryl’s father wasn’t anything like I remembered him. Unshaven, in a housecoat and bare feet, with long toenails and red eyes. He’d gained weight, and a soft extra chin wobbled beneath the firm military jaw. His thin hair was wispy and disordered.
“Sr Glover.” – me ia dise. Mea jenitores ia apare, pacida pos me en la porte.
“Mr Glover,” I said. My parents crowded into the door behind me.
“Alo, Ron.” – mea madre ia dise.
“Hello, Ron,” my mother said.
“Ron.” – mea padre ia dise.
“Ron,” my father said.
“Vos ance? Cual aveni?”
“You too? What’s going on?”
“Esce nos pote entra?”
“Can we come in?”
Sua salon ia aspeta como un de acel reportas cual on televisa sur enfantes abandonada ci pasa un mense encluida ante es salvada par la visinas: caxas de come jelada, botes aora sin bir e botelas sin jus, boles mofosa de sereal, e pilas de jornales. On ia ave un apesta de pisa de gato, e dejetadas ia craci su nosa pedes. An sin la pisa de gato, la odor ia es noncredable, como un saleta privata en un stasion de bus.
His living room looked like one of those news-segments they show about abandoned kids who spend a month locked in before they’re rescued by the neighbors: frozen meal boxes, empty beer cans and juice bottles, moldy cereal bowls and piles of newspapers. There was a reek of cat piss and litter crunched underneath our feet. Even without the cat piss, the smell was incredible, like a bus-station toilet.
La sofa ia es ornada par un telon mugrosa e un duple de cuxines grasida, e la cuxines de la sofa mesma ia es desformida como si on ia dormi multe sur los.
The couch was made up with a grimy sheet and a couple of greasy pillows and the cushions had a dented, much-slept-upon look.
Tota nos ia sta ala tra un momento longa de silentia, con embarasa afocante tota otra emosia. La padre de Darryl ia aspeta como si el ia desira mori.
We all stood there for a long silent moment, embarrassment overwhelming every other emotion. Darryl’s father looked like he wanted to die.
Lenta, el ia move la telones a via de la sofa e ia pone la pilas de platones grasida de sur du de la sejas, portante los a la cosina e, si on considera la sona, lansante los a la solo.
Slowly, he moved aside the sheets from the sofa and cleared the stacked, greasy food-trays off of a couple of the chairs, carrying them into the kitchen, and, from the sound of it, tossing them on the floor.
Nos ia senta delicata en la locas cual el ia libri, e alora el ia reveni e ia senta ance se.
We sat gingerly in the places he’d cleared, and then he came back and sat down too.
“Pardona me.” – el ia dise vacua. “Me ave vera no cafe per ofre a vos. Me ia comanda un trae de plu comables doman, donce mea furnis es poca —”
“I’m sorry,” he said vaguely. “I don’t really have any coffee to offer you. I’m having more groceries delivered tomorrow so I’m running low –”
“Ron.” – mea padre ia dise. “Escuta nos. Nos ave alga cosa per dise a tu, e lo no va es fasil per oia.”
“Ron,” my father said. “Listen to us. We have something to tell you, and it’s not going to be easy to hear.”
El ia senta como un sculta en cuando me ia parla. El ia basi sua oios a la nota, ia leje lo sin pare comprende lo, e ia leje lo denova a pos. El ia redona lo a me.
He sat like a statue as I talked. He glanced down at the note, read it without seeming to understand it, then read it again. He handed it back to me.
El ia trema.
He was trembling.
“Darryl vive.” – me ia dise. “Darryl vive, e es un prisonida sur Isola Tesoro.”
“Darryl is alive,” I said. “Darryl is alive and being held prisoner on Treasure Island.”
El ia puxa sua punio en sua boca e ia fa un sona asustante de jemi.
He stuffed his fist in his mouth and made a horrible groaning sound.
“Nos ave un ami.” – mea padre ia dise. “El scrive per la Gardor de Baia. Un reportor investigante.”
“We have a friend,” my father said. “She writes for the Bay Guardian. An investigative reporter.”
Esta ia es perce me ia conose la nom. La Gardor semanal sin custa ia perde comun sua reportores a jornales dial plu grande e a la interede, ma Barbara Stratford ia labora sempre ala. Me ia recorda neblosa un come de sera con el cuando me ia es un enfante.
That’s where I knew the name from. The free weekly Guardian often lost its reporters to bigger daily papers and the Internet, but Barbara Stratford had been there forever. I had a dim memory of having dinner with her when I was a kid.
“Nos vade ala aora.” – mea madre ia dise. “Tu va veni con nos, Ron? Tu va raconta a el sur Darryl?”
“We’re going there now,” my mother said. “Will you come with us, Ron? Will you tell her Darryl’s story?”
El ia pone sua fas en sua manos e ia respira profonda. Papa ia atenta pone un mano sur sua spalas, ma Sr Glover ia secute lo a via en modo fortiosa.
He put his face in his hands and breathed deeply. Dad tried to put his hand on his shoulders, but Mr Glover shook it off violently.
“Me debe limpi me.” – el ia dise. “Lasa a me un minuto.”
“I need to clean myself up,” he said. “Give me a minute.”
Sr Glover ia reveni a su como un om cambiada. El ia rasa e ia jeli sua capeles, e ia apone un uniforma presada de parade con un linia de sintas de campanias militar sur la peto. El ia para a basa de la scalera e ia fa un spesie de jesti a lo.
Mr Glover came back downstairs a changed man. He’d shaved and gelled his hair back, and had put on a crisp military dress uniform with a row of campaign ribbons on the breast. He stopped at the foot of the stairs and kind of gestured at it.
“Me no ave multe vestes limpa cual es presentable a esta momento. E estas ia pare conveninte. Si el va vole fa fotos, comprende.”
“I don’t have much clean stuff that’s presentable at the moment. And this seemed appropriate. You know, if she wanted to take pictures.”
El e Papa ia viaja sur la sejas anterior e me ia senta retro, pos el. De prosima, el ia odori pico de bir, como si lo veni tra sua pores.
He and Dad rode up front and I got in the back, behind him. Up close, he smelled a little of beer, like it was coming through his pores.
Lo ia es ja medianote cuando nos ia rola a sur la via de asede de Barbara Stratford. El ia abita estra la urbe, a sude en Mountain View, e tra nosa freta longo Autovia 101, nun de nos ia parla. La construidas de tecnolojia alta a lado de la via ia flue pasante.
It was midnight by the time we rolled into Barbara Stratford’s driveway. She lived out of town, down in Mountain View, and as we sped down the 101, none of us said a word. The high-tech buildings alongside the highway streamed past us.
Esta ia es un Rejion Baia diferente de lo en cual me ia abita, plu simil a la SUA suburban cual me ia televide a veses. Multe autovias e sudivides de casas identica, vilas do on ia ave no persones sin casa ci puia caretas de compra longo la troteria – on ia ave an no troterias!
This was a different Bay Area to the one I lived in, more like the suburban America I sometimes saw on TV. Lots of freeways and subdivisions of identical houses, towns where there weren’t any homeless people pushing shopping carts down the sidewalk – there weren’t even sidewalks!
Mama ia telefoni a Barbara Stratford cuando nos ia espeta la reveni a su de Sr Glover. La jornaliste ia dormi, ma Mama ia es tan stimulada ce el ia oblida condui brites e embarasada par velia el. En loca, el ia dise mera a el, en modo tensada, ce el vole parla con el sur alga cosa e ce esta debe aveni con fas a fas.
Mom had phoned Barbara Stratford while we were waiting for Mr Glover to come downstairs. The journalist had been sleeping, but Mom had been so wound up she forgot to be all British and embarrassed about waking her up. Instead, she just told her, tensely, that she had something to talk about and that it had to be in person.
Cuando nos ia ariva a la casa de Barbara Stratford, me ia pensa prima a la construida en The Brady Bunch – un casa basa de ranxo con un mur de brice ante lo e un cuadro perfeta de erba ordinada. La mur ia ave un spesie de motif astrata de telias, e un antena de televide UHF de moda pasada ia asende de pos lo. Nos ia vaga sirca lo a la entra e ia vide ce lampas es ja luminada a en.
When we rolled up to Barbara Stratford’s house, my first thought was of the Brady Bunch place – a low ranch house with a brick baffle in front of it and a neat, perfectly square lawn. There was a kind of abstract tile pattern on the baffle, and an old-fashioned UHF TV antenna rising from behind it. We wandered around to the entrance and saw that there were lights on inside already.
La scrivor ia abri la porte ante cuando nos ia pote tintina. El ia ave aprosima la eda de mea jenitores, un fem alta e magra con un nas azorin e oios astuta con multe plietas de rie. El ia porta un jina cual ia es sufisinte modosa per es videda en un de la botecas de Strada Valencia, e un blusa de coton barati cual ia pende asta sua coxas. El ia ave un oculo con peti lentes ronda cual ia flaxi su la lampa de sua coredor.
The writer opened the door before we had a chance to ring the bell. She was about my parents’ age, a tall thin woman with a hawk-like nose and shrewd eyes with a lot of laugh-lines. She was wearing a pair of jeans that were hip enough to be seen at one of the boutiques on Valencia Street, and a loose Indian cotton blouse that hung down to her thighs. She had small round glasses that flashed in her hallway light.
El ia dona a nos un surie peti con labios cluida.
She smiled a tight little smile at us.
“Tu ia trae la clan intera, me vide.” – el ia dise.
“You brought the whole clan, I see,” she said.
Mama ia acorda con testa. “Tu va comprende perce pos un minuto.” – el ia dise. Sr Glover ia apare de pos Papa.
Mom nodded. “You’ll understand why in a minute,” she said. Mr Glover stepped from behind Dad.
“E tu ia clama la marina?”
“And you called in the Navy?”
“Tota a sua tempo.”
“All in good time.”
Nos ia presenta nos a el, la un pos la otra. El ia ave un presa firma de mano e ditos longa.
We were introduced one at a time to her. She had a firm handshake and long fingers.
Sua casa ia es mobilida en stilo minimiste japanes: sola alga mobilas basa e de proportio esata, vasos grande de arjila con bambu cual ia tanje la sofito, e lo cual ia aspeta como un peso grande e osidinte de un motor de gasolio perxida sur un bloco de marmo lisa. Me ia deside ce me gusta lo. La solos ia es de lenio vea, lisida e vernisida, ma no plenida, tal ce on ia pote vide fesures e cavetas su la vernis. Me ia gusta vera esta, spesial cuando me ia pasea sur lo con pedes en calsetas.
Her place was furnished in Japanese minimalist style, just a few precisely proportioned, low pieces of furniture, large clay pots of bamboo that brushed the ceiling, and what looked like a large, rusted piece of a diesel engine perched on top of a polished marble plinth. I decided I liked it. The floors were old wood, sanded and stained, but not filled, so you could see cracks and pits underneath the varnish. I really liked that, especially as I walked over it in my stocking feet.
“Me prepara cafe.” – el ia dise. “Ci desira?”
“I have coffee on,” she said. “Who wants some?”
Cadun de nos ia leva un mano. Me ia regarda defiante mea jenitores.
We all put up our hands. I glared defiantly at my parents.
“Bon.” – el ia dise.
“Right,” she said.
El ia desapare a un otra sala e ia reveni pos un momento, portante un platon ru de bambu con un carafa-termos de du litres e ses tases de forma esata ma con decoras bruta e desordinada. Me ia gusta ance estas.
She disappeared into another room and came back a moment later bearing a rough bamboo tray with a half-gallon thermos jug and six cups of precise design but with rough, sloppy decorations. I liked those too.
“Alora,” – el ia dise, pos versa e servi la cafe – “revide tota vos es multe bon. Marcus, me pensa ce a la plu resente cuando me ia vide tu, tu ia ave cisa sete anios. De mea memoria, tu ia es multe stimulada sur tua juas video nova, cual tu ia mostra a me.”
“Now,” she said, once she’d poured and served. “It’s very good to see you all again. Marcus, I think the last time I saw you, you were maybe seven years old. As I recall, you were very excited about your new video games, which you showed me.”
Me tota no ia recorda lo, ma esta ia sona como mea interesa a sete anios. Me ia divina ce el refere a mea Sega Dreamcast.
I didn’t remember it at all, but that sounded like what I’d been into at seven. I guessed it was my Sega Dreamcast.
El ia estrae un rejistrador e un bloco de paper jala e un pen, e ia jira la pen. “Me va escuta cualce cosa cual vos raconta a me, e me promete a vos ce me va confida tota. Ma me no pote promete ce me va fa cualce reata a lo, o ce lo va es publicida.” Sua modo de dise esta ia fa ce me comprende ce mea mama ia solisita un servi alga grande en leva esta fem de sua leto, si o no el ia es un ami. Sin duta, la labora de un reportor major investigante ia envolve multe pestes. On ia ave probable milion persones ci ta vole ce el ocupa se per sua caso.
She produced a tape-recorder and a yellow pad and a pen, and twirled the pen. “I’m here to listen to whatever you tell me, and I can promise you that I’ll take it all in confidence. But I can’t promise that I’ll do anything with it, or that it’s going to get published.” The way she said it made me realize that my Mom had called in a pretty big favor getting this lady out of bed, friend or no friend. It must be kind of a pain in the ass to be a big-shot investigative reporter. There were probably a million people who would have liked her to take up their cause.
Mama ia jesti con testa a me. An si me ia fa la raconta a ja tre veses en acel sera, me ia trova ce me es noncapas de espresa me. Esta ia es diferente de informa mea jenitores. Diferente de informa la padre de Darryl. Esta – esta va comensa un fase nova de la jua.
Mom nodded at me. Even though I’d told the story three times that night, I found myself tongue-tied. This was different from telling my parents. Different from telling Darryl’s father. This – this would start a new move in the game.
Me ia comensa lenta, e ia regarda Barbara notante. Me ia bevi tota un tas de cafe en esplica mera JuReAles e como me ia evade la scola per jua. Cadun de Mama e Papa e Sr Glover ia escuta focada a esta parte. Me ia versa per me un plu tas, e ia bevi lo en curso de esplica nosa manera de aresta. Pos nara la raconta intera, me ia drena la carafa e ia nesesa pisi como un cavalo de corsa.
I started slowly, and watched Barbara take notes. I drank a whole cup of coffee just explaining what ARGing was and how I got out of school to play. Mom and Dad and Mr Glover all listened intently to this part. I poured myself another cup and drank it on the way to explaining how we were taken in. By the time I’d run through the whole story, I’d drained the pot and I needed a piss like a race-horse.
Sua sala de banio ia es egal nuda como la salon, con un sapon brun organica cual ia odori como fango limpa. Me ia reveni e ia trova ce la adultes oserva cuieta me.
Her bathroom was just as stark as the living-room, with a brown, organic soap that smelled like clean mud. I came back in and found the adults quietly watching me.
Sr Glover ia segue con sua raconta. El ia ave no cosa per dise sur lo cual ia aveni, ma el ia esplica ce el es un veteran e ce sua fio es un bon enfante. El ia parla sur como el ia senti credente ce sua fio ia mori, e como sua sposa pasada ia colasa pos descovre e ia fini en un ospital. El ia plora alga, sin vergonia, e la flue de larmas ia desende sua fas plietada per oscuri la colar de sua uniforma de parade.
Mr Glover told his story next. He didn’t have anything to say about what had happened, but he explained that he was a veteran and that his son was a good kid. He talked about what it felt like to believe that his son had died, about how his ex-wife had had a collapse when she found out and ended up in a hospital. He cried a little, unashamed, the tears streaming down his lined face and darkening the collar of his dress-uniform.
Cuando tota ia es finida, Barbara ia vade a un otra sala e ia reveni con un botela de uisce eres. “Lo es un misca Bushmills de 15 anios, maturida en baril de rum.” – el ia dise, ponente cuatro tases peti. No tas per me. “On no vende lo en des anios ja. Me pensa ce esta es probable un tempo conveninte per abri lo.”
When it was all done, Barbara went into a different room and came back with a bottle of Irish whiskey. “It’s a Bushmills 15 year old rum-cask aged blend,” she said, setting down four small cups. None for me. “It hasn’t been sold in ten years. I think this is probably an appropriate time to break it out.”
El ia versa per cadun de los un vitro peti de la distilada, ante leva la sua e sorbe lo, drenante un dui de la vitro. La otra adultes ia segue sua esemplo. Los ia bevi denova, e ia fini la vitros. El ia versa novas per los.
She poured them each a small glass of the liquor, then raised hers and sipped at it, draining half the glass. The rest of the adults followed suit. They drank again, and finished the glasses. She poured them new shots.
“Oce,” – el ia dise – “asi es lo cual me pote dise a vos aora. Me crede vos. No sola car me conose tu, Lillian. La raconta sona coreta, e lo acorda con otra rumores cual me ia oia. Ma me no va pote mera aseta vosa declara de lo. Me va debe investiga cada aspeta de esta, e cada elemento de vosa vives e racontas. Me nesesa sabe esce alga cosa esiste cual tu no dise a me, alga cosa cual on ta pote usa per dana vosa reputa pos la revela de esta. Me nesesa tota. Me ta pote spende semanas ante es preparada per publici.
“All right,” she said. “Here’s what I can tell you right now. I believe you. Not just because I know you, Lillian. The story sounds right, and it ties in with other rumors I’ve heard. But I’m not going to be able to just take your word for it. I’m going to have to investigate every aspect of this, and every element of your lives and stories. I need to know if there’s anything you’re not telling me, anything that could be used to discredit you after this comes to light. I need everything. It could take weeks before I’m ready to publish.
“Vos nesesa ance considera vosa securia e la securia de esta Darryl. Si el es vera un ‘nonperson’, alora la aplica de presa contra Securia Interna ta pote fa ce on move el a un loca multe plu distante. Per esemplo, Suria. On ta pote ance fa un cosa multe plu mal.” El ia lasa esta pendente en la aira. Me ia sabe ce el vole dise ce cisa on va mata el.
“You also need to think about your safety and this Darryl’s safety. If he’s really an ‘un-person’ then bringing pressure to bear on the DHS could cause them to move him somewhere much further away. Think Syria. They could also do something much worse.” She let that hang in the air. I knew she meant that they might kill him.
“Me va prende esta letera per scane lo aora. Me vole fotos de la du de vos, aora e plu tarda – nos pote envia un fotografiste, ma me vole ance documenti esta en modo tan rigorosa como posible a esta sera.”
“I’m going to take this letter and scan it now. I want pictures of the two of you, now and later – we can send out a photographer, but I want to document this as thoroughly as I can tonight, too.”
Me ia vade con el a sua ofisia per fa la scane. Me ia espeta un computador modosa de potia basa cual ta conveni a sua decora, ma en loca, sua ofisia (sua sala de dormi per visitores) ia es plenida par PCs de cualia masima, monitores plata grande, e un scanador tan grande ce on ta pote pone sur lo un folia intera de jornal. El ia es rapida con tota, ance. Me ia nota con alga aproba ce el usa Linux Paranoica. Esta fem fa seria sua labora.
I went with her into her office to do the scan. I’d expected a stylish, low-powered computer that fit in with her decor, but instead, her spare-bedroom/office was crammed with top-of-the-line PCs, big flat-panel monitors, and a scanner big enough to lay a whole sheet of newsprint on. She was fast with it all, too. I noted with some approval that she was running ParanoidLinux. This lady took her job seriously.
La ventadores de la computadores ia crea un scermo eficas de ruido blanca, ma an tal, me ia clui la porte e ia vade prosima a el.
The computers’ fans set up an effective white-noise shield, but even so, I closed the door and moved in close to her.
“Sur lo cual tu ia dise, ce cisa on ta usa informas per dana mea reputa?”
“About what you said, about what might be used to discredit me?”
“Si me dise alga cosa a tu, on no pote obliga ce tu dise lo a otras, si?”
“What I tell you, you can’t be forced to tell anyone else, right?”
“Teorial. Ma ta ce me dise tal: me ia vade a prison a ja du veses en loca de tradi un fonte.”
“In theory. Let me put it this way. I’ve gone to jail twice rather than rat out a source.”
“Oce, oce. Bon. U. Prison. U. Oce.” Me ia enspira profonda. “Tu ia oia sur Rede X? Sur M1k3y?”
“OK, OK. Good. Wow. Jail. Wow. OK.” I took a deep breath. “You’ve heard of Xnet? Of M1k3y?”
“Me es M1k3y.”
“O.” – el ia dise. El ia opera la scanador e ia turna la nota per catura la retro. El ia scane a alga densia noncredable, des mil puntos per diton o plu, e sur la scermo lo ia es como la esflue de un microscopio eletronal par tuneli cuantal.
“Oh,” she said. She worked the scanner and flipped the note over to get the reverse. She was scanning at some unbelievable resolution, 10,000 dots per inch or higher, and on-screen it was like the output of an electron-tunneling microscope.
“Vera, esta dona un aspeta nova a la situa.”
“Well, that does put a different complexion on this.”
“Si,” – me ia dise – “me suposa tal.”
“Yeah,” I said. “I guess it does.”
“Tua jenitores no sabe.”
“Your parents don’t know.”
“No. E me no sabe esce me vole ce los sabe.”
“Nope. And I don’t know if I want them to.”
“Acel es un cosa cual tu va debe deside. Me nesesa pensa sur esta. Esce tu va pote visita mea ofisia? Me ta gusta parla con tu sur la sinifia esata de esta.”
“That’s something you’re going to have to work out. I need to think about this. Can you come by my office? I’d like to talk to you about what this means, exactly.”
“Esce tu ave un Xbox Universal? Me ta pote trae un instalador.”
“Do you have an Xbox Universal? I could bring over an installer.”
“Si, me es serta ce on pote organiza lo. Cuando tu visita, dise a la resetiste ce tu es Sr Brun, per vide me. El sabe lo cual acel sinifia. On va fa no nota de tua visita, tota la metraje de la cameras vijilante en acel dia va es automata dejetada, e la cameras va es desativida asta cuando tu parti.”
“Yes, I’m sure that can be arranged. When you come by, tell the receptionist that you’re Mr Brown, to see me. They know what that means. No note will be taken of you coming, and all the security camera footage for the day will be automatically scrubbed and the cameras deactivated until you leave.”
“U,” – me ia dise – “tu pensa como me.”
“Wow,” I said. “You think like I do.”
El ia surie e ia colpa mea spala con sua punio. “Xice, me fa esta jua tra un tempo ja enfernin longa. Asta aora, me ia susede pasa plu tempo en libria ca en caje. Paranoia es mea ami.”
She smiled and socked me in the shoulder. “Kiddo, I’ve been at this game for a hell of a long time. So far, I’ve managed to spend more time free than behind bars. Paranoia is my friend.”
Me ia sembla un zombi a la dia seguente en scola. Me ia dormi tra sirca tre oras somada, e an tre tases de la fango cafinida de la turces ia fali reenerji mea serebro. La problem con cafina es ce on deveni tro fasil abituada a lo, donce on nesesa consuma dosas sempre plu grande mera per suprapasa la normalia.
I was like a zombie the next day in school. I’d totaled about three hours of sleep, and even three cups of the Turk’s caffeine mud failed to jump-start my brain. The problem with caffeine is that it’s too easy to get acclimated to it, so you have to take higher and higher doses just to get above normal.
Me ia pasa la note en considera lo cual me debe fa. Lo ia es simil a core tra un labirinto de peti tuneles serpente de aspetas identica, de cual cada gida a la mesma loca sin sorti. Cuando me va vade a Barbara, tota va fini per me. Esta va es la resulta, pos cada manera de mea pensa a lo.
I’d spent the night thinking over what I had to do. It was like running through a maze of twisty little passages, all alike, every one leading to the same dead end. When I went to Barbara, it would be over for me. That was the outcome, no matter how I thought about it.
Cuando la dia de scola ia fini, me ia desira sola vade a casa e rampe a mea leto. Ma me ia ave un ajendida a la Gardor de Baia, a la fronte de acua a su. Me ia fisa mea regarda a mea pedes en bambola tra la portetas, e cuando me ia turna a sur Strada 24, un plu duple de pedes ia adota la mesma ritmo como me. Me ia reconose la sapatos e ia para.
By the time the school day was over, all I wanted was to go home and crawl into bed. But I had an appointment at the Bay Guardian, down on the waterfront. I kept my eyes on my feet as I wobbled out the gate, and as I turned into 24th Street, another pair of feet fell into step with me. I recognized the shoes and stopped.
El ia aspeta como me ia senti: privada de dormi e con oios de panda, con brasetas triste a la angulos de sua boca.
She looked like I felt. Sleep-deprived and raccoon-eyed, with sad brackets in the corners of her mouth.
“He, alo.” – el ia dise. “Surprende! Me ia permete a me un asentia nonanunsiada de scola. Tal o no, me no ia pote foca.”
“Hi there,” she said. “Surprise. I gave myself French Leave from school. I couldn’t concentrate anyway.”
“Em.” – me ia dise.
“Um,” I said.
“Clui la boca e abrasa me, bobo.”
“Shut up and give me a hug, you idiot.”
Me ia abrasa el. La senti ia es bon. Plu bon ca bon. Me ia senti como si me ia amputa un parte de me e on ia reafisa lo.
I did. It felt good. Better than good. It felt like I’d amputated part of myself and it had been reattached.
“Me ama tu, Marcus Yallow.”
“I love you, Marcus Yallow.”
“Me ama tu, Anjela Carvelli.”
“I love you, Angela Carvelli.”
“Oce.” – el ia dise, rompente la abrasa. “Me ia gusta tua posta sur perce tu no interfere. Me pote respeta lo. Cual tu ia fa per trova un modo de interfere sin deveni caturada?”
“OK,” she said breaking it off. “I liked your post about why you’re not jamming. I can respect it. What have you done about finding a way to jam them without getting caught?”
“Me es en via a encontra un jornaliste investigante ci va publici un reporta sur como on ia envia me a prison, como me ia comensa Rede X, e como Darryl es nonlegal detenida par Securia Interna en un prison secreta sur Isola Tesoro.”
“I’m on my way to meet an investigative journalist who’s going to publish a story about how I got sent to jail, how I started Xnet, and how Darryl is being illegally held by the DHS at a secret prison on Treasure Island.”
“O.” El ia regarda a sirca per un momento. “Tu no ia pote imajina alga cosa de un spesie, em, aspirante?”
“Oh.” She looked around for a moment. “Couldn’t you think of anything, you know, ambitious?”
“Tu vole veni?”
“Want to come?”
“Me va veni, si. E me ta gusta ce tu esplica la detalias de esta, si tu no oposa.”
“I am coming, yes. And I would like you to explain this in detail if you don’t mind.”
Pos tota la reracontas, esta, racontada en cuando nos ia pasea asta Bolevar Potrero e a su asta Strada 15, ia es la plu fasil. El ia teni mea mano e ia presa lo a multe veses.
After all the re-tellings, this one, told as we walked to Potrero Avenue and down to 15th Street, was the easiest. She held my hand and squeezed it often.
Nos ia asende la scalera asta la ofisia de la Gardor de Baia a du grados par cada paso. Mea cor ia palpita. Me ia ateni la reseteria e ia dise a la xica noiada ala: “Me ia veni per encontra Barbara Stratford. Mea nom es Sr Verde.”
We took the stairs up to the Bay Guardian‘s offices two at a time. My heart was pounding. I got to the reception desk and told the bored girl behind it, “I’m here to see Barbara Stratford. My name is Mr Green.”
“Me pensa ce tu vole dise Sr Brun?”
“I think you mean Mr Brown?”
“Si.” – me ia dise, e ia roji. “Sr Brun.”
“Yeah,” I said, and blushed. “Mr Brown.”
El ia fa alga cosa a sua computador ante dise: “Senta vos. Barbara va veni de sua ofisia pos un minuto. Vos desira un bevida?”
She did something at her computer, then said, “Have a seat. Barbara will be out in a minute. Can I get you anything?”
“Cafe.” – ambos nos ia dise simultan. Un plu razona per ama Anj: nos ia es manica per la mesma droga.
“Coffee,” we both said in unison. Another reason to love Ange: we were addicted to the same drug.
La resetiste – un fem beleta latina con sola pico plu anios ca nos, vestida en stilos de Gap tan vea ce en fato los ia deveni plu o min retromodosa – ia acorda con testa, ia pasea a via, e ia reveni con du tases mostrante la titulo de la jornal.
The receptionist – a pretty latina woman only a few years older than us, dressed in Gap styles so old they were actually kind of hipster-retro – nodded and stepped out and came back with a couple of cups bearing the newspaper’s masthead.
Nos ia sorbe silente, regardante visitores e reportores ci veni e vade. Final, Barbara ia sorti per trova nos. El ia porta cuasi la mesma vestes como a la sera presedente. Los ia conveni a el. El ia leva un suprasil a me cuando el ia vide ce me ia veni con un xica.
We sipped in silence, watching visitors and reporters come and go. Finally, Barbara came to get us. She was wearing practically the same thing as the night before. It suited her. She quirked an eyebrow at me when she saw that I’d brought a date.
“Alo.” – me ia dise. “Em, esta es —”
“Hello,” I said. “Um, this is –”
“Sra Brun.” – Anj ia dise, estendente un mano. O, si, bon: nosa identias ia debe es secreta. “Me labora con Sr Verde.”
“Ms Brown,” Ange said, extending a hand. Oh, yeah, right, our identities were supposed to be a secret. “I work with Mr Green.” She elbowed me lightly.
“Ta ce nos vade, alora.” – Barbara ia dise, e ia gida nos a un comiteria fondal con mures longa de vitro covreda par sua cortinas desenrolada. El ia depone un platon de clones organica de biscotos Oreo, un rejistrador dijital e un plu bloco jala.
“Let’s go then,” Barbara said, and led us back to a board-room with long glass walls with their blinds drawn shut. She set down a tray of Whole Foods organic Oreo clones, a digital recorder, and another yellow pad.
“Tu vole rejistra esta, ance?” el ia demanda.
“Do you want to record this too?” she asked.
Me no ia pensa a esta, en fato. Ma me ia comprende perce lo ta es usosa si me ta vole disputa lo cual Barbara va primi. An tal, si me no ta pote fida ce el va ata bon per me, me ta es ruinada an con tota.
Hadn’t actually thought of that. I could see why it would be useful if I wanted to dispute what Barbara printed, though. Still, if I couldn’t trust her to do right by me, I was doomed anyway.
“No, lo es bon.” – me ia dise.
“No, that’s OK,” I said.
“Alora, ta ce nos comensa. Seniora joven, mea nom es Barbara Stratford e me es un reportor investigante. Me dedui ce tu sabe perce me es asi, e me es curiosa per sabe perce tu es asi.”
“Right, let’s go. Young lady, my name is Barbara Stratford and I’m an investigative reporter. I gather you know why I’m here, and I’m curious to know why you’re here.”
“Me labora con Marcus sur Rede X.” – el ia dise. “Esce tu nesesa sabe mea nom?”
“I work with Marcus on the Xnet,” she said. “Do you need to know my name?”
“No a esta momento, no.” – Barbara ia dise. “Tu pote es anonim, si tu vole. Marcus, me ia demanda ce tu raconta esta a me car me nesesa sabe como lo coresponde con lo cual tu ia raconta a me sur tua ami Darryl e la nota cual tu ia mostra a me. Me vide como lo ta pote es un bon ajunta; me ta pote presenta esta como la orijina de Rede X. ‘On ia crea un enemi ci on va oblida nunca’: alga tal cosa. Ma, franca, me ta prefere no scrive acel raconta, si me no debe.
“Not right now, I don’t,” Barbara said. “You can be anonymous if you’d like. Marcus, I asked you to tell me this story because I need to know how it plays with the story you told me about your friend Darryl and the note you showed me. I can see how it would be a good adjunct; I could pitch this as the origin of the Xnet. ‘They made an enemy they’ll never forget,’ that sort of thing. But to be honest, I’d rather not have to tell that story if I don’t have to.
“Me ta prefere ave un bon raconta lisa sur la prison secreta en nosa visineria, sin debe razona sur esce la prisonidas ala es persones de la tipo ci, pos pasea tra la porte, ta institui probable un promove furtiva con intende de destabli la governa federal. Me es serta ce vos pote comprende esta.”
“I’d rather have a nice clean tale about the secret prison on our doorstep, without having to argue about whether the prisoners there are the sort of people likely to walk out the doors and establish an underground movement bent on destabilizing the federal government. I’m sure you can understand that.”
Me ia comprende. Si Rede X ta es un parte de la raconta, alga persones ta dise: vide, on nesesa pone tal xices en prison o los va comensa un tumulta.
I did. If the Xnet was part of the story, some people would say, see, they need to put guys like that in jail or they’ll start a riot.
“La spetaculo es tua.” – me ia dise. “Me pensa ce tu debe raconta a la mundo sur Darryl. Cuando tu fa esta, lo va informa Securia Interna ce me ia parla publica, e on va xasa me. Cisa on va dedui alora ce me es envolveda en Rede X. Cisa on va asosia me con M1k3y. Me suposa ce lo cual me dise es: cuando tu publici sur Darryl, tota va fini per me, en cualce caso. Me es ja pasida sur esta.”
“This is your show,” I said. “I think you need to tell the world about Darryl. When you do that, it’s going to tell the DHS that I’ve gone public and they’re going to go after me. Maybe they’ll figure out then that I’m involved with the Xnet. Maybe they’ll connect me to M1k3y. I guess what I’m saying is, once you publish about Darryl, it’s all over for me no matter what. I’ve made my peace with that.”
“La puni es la mesma si on fura un ovea o un oveta.” – el ia dise. “Oce. Bon, lo es desideda. Me vole ce la du de vos dise a me tota cual tu pote sur la fundi e opera de Rede X, e pos acel me desira un mostra pratical. Perce vos usa lo? Cual otra persones usa lo? Como lo ia sperde? Ci ia scrive la programes? Tota.”
“As good be hanged for a sheep as a lamb,” she said. “Right. Well, that’s settled. I want the two of you to tell me everything you can about the founding and operation of the Xnet, and then I want a demonstration. What do you use it for? Who else uses it? How did it spread? Who wrote the software? Everything.”
“Esta va ocupa tempo.” – Anj ia dise.
“This’ll take a while,” Ange said.
“Me ave tempo.” – Barbara ia dise. El ia bevi alga cafe e ia come un Oreo falsida. “Esta es cisa la reporta la plu importante de la Gera contra Teror. Esta es cisa la reporta cual va suverti la governa. Cuando on ave un tal reporta, on labora a lo con multe atende.”
“I’ve got a while,” Barbara said. She drank some coffee and ate a fake Oreo. “This could be the most important story of the War on Terror. This could be the story that topples the government. When you have a story like this, you take it very carefully.”