FRATE PETI
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

20. Tortura

Mostra ance la testo orijinal

Zero de la tre xicos ia es presente a acel momento, donce me ia fuji. Mea testa ia dole tan multe ce me ia pensa ce me sangui, ma mea manos ia resta seca pos toca lo. Mea talo torseda ia deveni nonmovable en la camion, tal ce me ia core como un marioneta rompeda, e me ia para a sola un ves, per cansela dejeta la foto en la telefon de Masha. Me ia descomuta sua radio – e per reserva la pila, e per preveni ce on usa lo per trasa me – e ia ajusta sua tempador de adormi a du oras, la periodo la plu longa disponable. Me ia atenta ajusta lo afin lo no nesesa un clave per velia de dormi, ma esta mesma ia nesesa un clave. Me va debe simple toca la teclador a un ves en cada duple de oras, a la min, asta determina un modo de copia la foto de la telefon. Donce me va nesesa un cargador.

None of the three guys were around at the moment, so I took off. My head hurt so much I thought I must be bleeding, but my hands came away dry. My twisted ankle had frozen up in the truck so that I ran like a broken marionette, and I stopped only once, to cancel the photo-deletion on Masha’s phone. I turned off its radio – both to save battery and to keep it from being used to track me – and set the sleep timer to two hours, the longest setting available. I tried to set it to not require a password to wake from sleep, but that required a password itself. I was just going to have to tap the keypad at least once every two hours until I could figure out how to get the photo off of the phone. I would need a charger, then.

Me no ia ave un scema. Me ia nesesa un. Me ia nesesa senta me e entra enlinia – deside lo cual me va fa seguente. Me ia es frustrada par lasa ce otra persones obliga mea scemas. Me no ia vole ata par causa de lo cual Masha fa, o par causa de Securia Interna, o par causa de mea papa. O par causa de Anj? Bon, cisa me ta ata par causa de Anj. Acel ta es tota bela, en fato.

I didn’t have a plan. I needed one. I needed to sit down, to get online – to figure out what I was going to do next. I was sick of letting other people do my planning for me. I didn’t want to be acting because of what Masha did, or because of the DHS, or because of my dad. Or because of Ange? Well, maybe I’d act because of Ange. That would be just fine, in fact.

Me ia fa no plu ca lisca a vale, usante stradetas cuando posible, miscante me con la folas de la Filete. Me ia ave no destina intendeda. Pos cada pico de minutos, me ia pone mea mano en mea pox e ia puieta un de la teclas sur la telefon de Masha per preveni ce lo adormi. Lo ia formi un bulto torpe, despliada ala en mea jaca.

I’d just been slipping downhill, taking alleys when I could, merging with the Tenderloin crowds. I didn’t have any destination in mind. Every few minutes, I put my hand in my pocket and nudged one of the keys on Masha’s phone to keep it from going asleep. It made an awkward bulge, unfolded there in my jacket.

Me ia para e ia apoia contra un construida. Mea talo ia dole matante. Do me ia es, an tal?

I stopped and leaned against a building. My ankle was killing me. Where was I, anyway?

Strada O’Farrell, a Strada Hyde. Ante un “Masajeria Asian” nonfidable. Mea pedes tradosa ia reprende me a la comensa mesma – ia reprende me a do la foto en la telefon de Masha ia es fada, a secondos ante cuando la Ponte Baia ia esplode, ante cuando mea vive ia cambia per sempre.

O’Farrell, at Hyde Street. In front of a dodgy “Asian Massage Parlor.” My traitorous feet had taken me right back to the beginning – taken me back to where the photo on Masha’s phone had been taken, seconds before the Bay Bridge blew, before my life changed forever.

Me ia vole senta sur la troteria e plora, ma esta no ta solve mea problemes. Me ia debe telefoni a Barbara Stratford, dise a el lo cual ia aveni. Mostra a el la foto de Darryl.

I wanted to sit down on the sidewalk and bawl, but that wouldn’t solve my problems. I had to call Barbara Stratford, tell her what had happened. Show her the photo of Darryl.

Ma cual me ia pensa? Me ia debe mostra a el la video, lo cual Masha ia envia a me – lo en cual la aidor major de la Presidente vanta a se sur la atacas contra San Francisco e confesa ce el sabe cuando e do la atacas seguente va aveni, e ce el no va para los car los va aida la reeleje de sua xef.

What was I thinking? I had to show her the video, the one that Masha had sent me – the one where the President’s Chief of Staff gloated at the attacks on San Francisco and admitted that he knew when and where the next attacks would happen and that he wouldn’t stop them because they’d help his man get re-elected.

Bon, esta ia es un scema: contata Barbara, dona a el la documentos, e lasa ce los es primida. Vampires Manadi ia asusta serta la popla, ia fa ce on crede ce nos es vera un bande de teroristes. Natural, cuando me ia projeta lo, me ia pensa a como lo va fa un bon distrae, no como lo va pare a alga papa de eda media en Nebraska.

That was a plan, then: get in touch with Barbara, give her the documents, and get them into print. The VampMob had to have really freaked people out, made them think that we really were a bunch of terrorists. Of course, when I’d been planning it, I had been thinking of how good a distraction it would be, not how it would look to some NASCAR Dad in Nebraska.

Me va telefoni a Barbara, e me va fa lo en modo astuta, par un telefon publica, levante mea capeta afin la camera nonevitable vijilante no va gania un foto de me. Me ia escava un cuatrim de mea pox e ia brilia lo contra la basa de mea camisa, sutraente de lo la trasas de dito.

I’d call Barbara, and I’d do it smart, from a payphone, putting my hood up so that the inevitable CCTV wouldn’t get a photo of me. I dug a quarter out of my pocket and polished it on my shirt-tail, getting the fingerprints off it.

Me ia dirije me a vale, sempre desendente asta la stasion de metro e la telefones publica ala. Me ia ateni la stasion de tram-bus cuando me ia vide la covrente de la Gardor de Baia de la semana, pilada en un monton alta a lado de un om negra sin casa ci ia surie a me. “Leje la covrente, lo es sin paia – ma la custa es sincodes sentimes per regarda interna.”

I headed downhill, down and down to the BART station and the payphones there. I made it to the trolley-car stop when I spotted the cover of the week’s Bay Guardian, stacked in a high pile next to a homeless black guy who smiled at me. “Go ahead and read the cover, it’s free – it’ll cost you fifty cents to look inside, though.”

La titulo ia es tipografida en la leteras la plu grande cual me ia vide pos 11 setembre:

The headline was set in the biggest type I’d seen since 9/11:

SUR GUANTANAMO DE LA BAIA

INSIDE GITMO-BY-THE-BAY

A su, en leteras pico plu peti:

Beneath it, in slightly smaller type:

Como Securia Interna ia teni nosa enfantes e amis en prisones secreta en nosa visineria.
par Barbara Stratford, spesial per la Gardor de Baia

“How the DHS has kept our children and friends in secret prisons on our doorstep.
By Barbara Stratford, Special to the Bay Guardian”

La vendor de jornales ia secute sua testa. “Tu pote crede lo?” – el ia dise. “Asi mesma en San Francisco. Txa, la governa apesta.”

The newspaper seller shook his head. “Can you believe that?” he said. “Right here in San Francisco. Man, the government sucks.”

Teorial, la Gardor ia es sin custa, ma lo ia pare ce esta xico monopoli la mercato local per copias de lo. Me ia ave un cuatrim en mea mano. Me ia cade lo en sua copa e ia xerca un plu. Me no ia fa la labora de limpi de lo la trasas de dito a esta ves.

Theoretically, the Guardian was free, but this guy appeared to have cornered the local market for copies of it. I had a quarter in my hand. I dropped it into his cup and fished for another one. I didn’t bother polishing the fingerprints off of it this time.

“On informa nos ce la mundo ia cambia per sempre cuando la Ponte Baia ia es esplodeda par un partito nonconoseda. Miles de nosa amis e visinas ia mori en acel dia. Cuasi zero de los ia es reganiada; on suposa ce sua restas reposa en la porto de la site.

“We’re told that the world changed forever when the Bay Bridge was blown up by parties unknown. Thousands of our friends and neighbors died on that day. Almost none of them have been recovered; their remains are presumed to be resting in the city’s harbor.

“Ma un nara estracomun racontada a esta reportor par un om joven, ci ia es arestada par Securia Interna a minutos pos la esplode, sujesta ce nosa propre governa ia teni nonlegal multe de los suposada como mor sur Isola Tesoro, cual ia es evacuada e declarada como proibida a persones nonmilitar, corta pos la bombi…”

“But an extraordinary story told to this reporter by a young man who was arrested by the DHS minutes after the explosion suggests that our own government has illegally held many of those thought dead on Treasure Island, which had been evacuated and declared off-limits to civilians shortly after the bombing…”

Me ia senta me sur un banca – la mesma banca, me ia nota con un sensa formicosa longo mea capeles de nuca, do nos ia reposa Darryl pos evade la stasion de metro – e ia leje la article asta la fini. Me ia debe luta enorme per no comensa plora ala mesma. Barbara ia trova alga fotos de me e Darryl bufoninte con lunlotra, e estas ia apare a lado de la testo. La fotos ia es vea de cisa un anio, ma me ia aspeta tan plu joven en los, como si me ia ave 10 o 11 anios. Me ia maturi multe en la du o tre menses pasada.

I sat down on a bench – the same bench, I noted with a prickly hair-up-the-neck feeling, where we’d rested Darryl after escaping from the BART station – and read the article all the way through. It took a huge effort not to burst into tears right there. Barbara had found some photos of me and Darryl goofing around together and they ran alongside the text. The photos were maybe a year old, but I looked so much younger in them, like I was 10 or 11. I’d done a lot of growing up in the past couple months.

La article ia es bela scriveda. Me ia senti constante colerida per la jovenes povre sur ci el ia scrive, ante recorda ce el ia scrive sur me. La nota de Zeb ia es ala, con un reprodui de sua scrive densa en forma grande sur un duipaje de la jornal. Barbara ia escava plu informas sur otra jovenes mancante e suposada como mor, un lista longa, e ia demanda cuanto ia es trapida ala sur la isola, a sola un pico de cilometres de la portes de sua jenitores.

The piece was beautifully written. I kept feeling outraged on behalf of the poor kids she was writing about, then remembering that she was writing about me. Zeb’s note was there, his crabbed handwriting reproduced in large, a half-sheet of the newspaper. Barbara had dug up more info on other kids who were missing and presumed dead, a long list, and asked how many had been stuck there on the island, just a few miles from their parents’ doorsteps.

Me ia escava un plu cuatrim de mea pox, ante cambia mea intende. Como probable lo es ce la telefon de Barbara no es spiada? En no modo me va pote telefoni a el aora, no direta. Me ia nesesa alga ajente per contata el e organiza ce el encontra me en alga loca sude. Mea scema ia fali ja.

I dug another quarter out of my pocket, then changed my mind. What was the chance that Barbara’s phone wasn’t tapped? There was no way I was going to be able to call her now, not directly. I needed some intermediary to get in touch with her and get her to meet me somewhere south. So much for plans.

Lo cual me ia nesesa vera multe ia es Rede X.

What I really, really needed was the Xnet.

Como de enferno me va entra enlinia? La detetador Wi-Fi de mea telefon ia pulsa demente – me ia es ensircada par redes sin filo, ma me no ia ave un Xbox e un tele e un DVD de Xbox Paranoica per inisia lo. Sin filo, sin asede…

How the hell was I going to get online? My phone’s wifinder was blinking like crazy – there was wireless all around me, but I didn’t have an Xbox and a TV and a ParanoidXbox DVD to boot from. WiFi, WiFi everywhere…

Alora me ia vide los. Du jovenes, de sirca mea eda, movente entre la fola a la alta de la scalera desendente a la metro.

That’s when I spotted them. Two kids, about my age, moving among the crowd at the top of the stairs down into the BART.

Lo cual ia saisi mea oio ia es sua modo de move, alga torpe, puietante se contra la viajores pendulin e la turistes. Cada ia ave un mano en sua pox, e sempre cuando los ia regarda lunlotra, los ia rie furtiva. Los no ia pote es plu evidente como interferores, ma la fola ia es nonconsensa de los. Cuando on pasa tra acel distrito, on espeta debe evita persones sin casa e dementes, donce on no regarda la oios, on tota no regarda sirca se si on no debe.

What caught my eye was the way they were moving, kind of clumsy, nudging up against the commuters and the tourists. Each had a hand in his pocket, and whenever they met one another’s eye, they snickered. They couldn’t have been more obvious jammers, but the crowd was oblivious to them. Being down in that neighborhood, you expect to be dodging homeless people and crazies, so you don’t make eye contact, don’t look around at all if you can help it.

Me ia prosimi a un. El ia pare vera joven, ma el no ia pote es plu joven ca me.

I sidled up to one. He seemed really young, but he couldn’t have been any younger than me.

“He.” – me ia dise. “He, esce vos pote veni asi per un secondo?”

“Hey,” I said. “Hey, can you guys come over here for a second?”

El ia finje no oia me. El ia regarda direta tra me, como on ta regarda tra un person sin casa.

He pretended not to hear me. He looked right through me, the way you would a homeless person.

“Veni.” – me ia dise. “Me no ave multe tempo.” Me ia saisi sua spala e ia sisa en sua orea. “La polisia xerca me. Me es de Rede X.”

“Come on,” I said. “I don’t have a lot of time.” I grabbed his shoulder and hissed in his ear. “The cops are after me. I’m from Xnet.”

El ia aspeta asustada aora, como si el vole core a via, e sua ami ia prosimi a nos. “Me es seria.” – me ia dise. “Escuta me, mera.”

He looked scared now, like he wanted to run away, and his friend was moving toward us. “I’m serious,” I said. “Just hear me out.”

Sua ami ia ariva. El ia es plu alta, e musculosa – como Darryl. “He.” – el ia dise. “Alga cosa es mal?”

His friend came over. He was taller, and beefy – like Darryl. “Hey,” he said. “Something wrong?”

Sua ami ia xuxa en sua orea. La du de los ia aspeta como si a punto de fuji.

His friend whispered in his ear. The two of them looked like they were going to bolt.

Me ia prende mea copia de la Gardor de Baia de su mea braso e ia secute lo ante los. “Ma abri lo a paje 5, si?”

I grabbed my copy of the Bay Guardian from under my arm and rattled it in front of them. “Just turn to page 5, OK?”

Los ia fa tal. Los ia regarda la titulo. La foto. Me.

They did. They looked at the headline. The photo. Me.

“O, xic’,” – la prima ia dise – “nos es tan nonmeritante.” El ia surie bobo a me, e la plu musculosa ia palmi mea dorso.

“Oh, dude,” the first one said. “We are so not worthy.” He grinned at me like crazy, and the beefier one slapped me on the back.

“No posible —” – el ia dise. “Tu es M—”

“No way –” he said. “You’re M –”

Me ia pone un mano sur sua boca. “Veni asi, oce?”

I put a hand over his mouth. “Come over here, OK?”

Me ia retrae los a mea banca. Me ia vide ce alga cosa vea e brun manxa la troteria su lo. La sangue de Darryl? Lo ia trema mea pel. Nos ia senta nos.

I brought them back to my bench. I noticed that there was something old and brown staining the sidewalk underneath it. Darryl’s blood? It made my skin pucker up. We sat down.

“Me es Marcus.” – me ia dise, forte engolinte en dona mea nom vera a esta du ci conose ja me como M1k3y. Me ia descamofla me, ma la Gardor de Baia ia fa ja per me la asosia.

“I’m Marcus,” I said, swallowing hard as I gave my real name to these two who already knew me as M1k3y. I was blowing my cover, but the Bay Guardian had already made the connection for me.

“Nat.” – la plu peti ia dise. “Liam.” – la plu grande ia dise. “Xic’, encontra tu es un onora tan grande. Tu es en efeto nosa eroe de tota tempo —”

“Nate,” the small one said. “Liam,” the bigger one said. “Dude, it is such an honor to meet you. You’re like our all-time hero –”

“No dise acel.” – me ia dise. “No dise acel. Vos du sembla un anunsia pulsante cual dise: ‘Me interfere; per favore, pone mea culo en Guantanamo de la Baia. Vos no ta pote es plu evidente.”

“Don’t say that,” I said. “Don’t say that. You two are like a flashing advertisement that says, ‘I am jamming, please put my ass in Gitmo-by-the-Bay.’ You couldn’t be more obvious.”

Liam ia aspeta como si el va plora cisa.

Liam looked like he might cry.

“No ansia. On no ia catura vos. Me va dona conselas a vos, plu tarda.” El ia felisi denova. Lo ia deveni strana clar ce esta du idoli vera M1k3y, e ce los va fa cualce cosa cual me comanda. Los ia ave suriones stupida. Esta ia fa ce me senti noncomfortosa, nauseada asta mea stomaco.

“Don’t worry, you didn’t get busted. I’ll give you some tips, later.” He brightened up again. What was becoming weirdly clear was that these two really did idolize M1k3y, and that they’d do anything I said. They were grinning like idiots. It made me uncomfortable, sick to my stomach.

“Escuta: me nesesa entra a Rede X, aora, sin vade a casa o a cualce loca prosima a casa. Esce vos abita prosima a asi?”

“Listen, I need to get on Xnet, now, without going home or anywhere near home. Do you two live near here?”

“Si, me.” – Nat ia dise – “A la alta de Strada California. Lo es un pasea esersosa – colinas presipe.” Me ia veni de desende tota los. Masha ia es ala, alta, a alga loca. An tal, la situa ia es plu bon ca cualce cual me ia pote espeta.

“I do,” Nate said. “Up at the top of California Street. It’s a bit of a walk – steep hills.” I’d just walked all the way down them. Masha was somewhere up there. But still, it was better than I had any right to expect.

“Ta ce nos vade.” – me ia dise.

“Let’s go,” I said.


Nat ia presta a me sua xapeta de basebal e ia intercambia jacetas con me. Me no ia debe es ansiosa sur reconose de pasea, no con mea talo tan dolente – me ia coxea como un ator minor en un filma de caubois.

Nate loaned me his baseball hat and traded jackets with me. I didn’t have to worry about gait-recognition, not with my ankle throbbing the way it was – I limped like an extra in a cowboy movie.

Nat ia abita en un aparte enorme con cuatro salas de dormi a la alta de Colina Nob. La construida ia ave un portiste, en un jacon roja con brocada oro, e el ia toca sua xapeta e ia nomi Nat “Sr Nat” e ia bonveni tota nos ala. La loca ia es nonmanxada e ia odori como briliamobila. Me ia atenta no sta con boca abrida ante un condo con valua serta de du o tre milion dolares.

Nate lived in a huge four-bedroom apartment at the top of Nob Hill. The building had a doorman, in a red overcoat with gold brocade, and he touched his cap and called Nate, “Mr Nate” and welcomed us all there. The place was spotless and smelled of furniture polish. I tried not to gawp at what must have been a couple million bucks’ worth of condo.

“Mea papa.” – el ia esplica. “El ia es un bancor de investi, con multe asecura de vive. El ia mori cuando me ia ave 14 anios e nos ia reseta tota. Los ia es ja divorsada tra anios, ma el ia lasa mea mama como la beneficada.”

“My dad,” he explained. “He was an investment banker. Lots of life insurance. He died when I was 14 and we got it all. They’d been divorced for years, but he left my mom as beneficiary.”

De la fenetra de solo a sofito, on ia pote vide un vista stonante de la otra lado de Colina Nob, asta Molo Pexor a su, asta la trunca fea de la Ponte Baia, la fola de grus e camiones. Tra la nebleta, me ia pote pico persepi Isola Tesoro. Regardante tra tota acel via a su, me ia senti un urje demente a salta.

From the floor-to-ceiling window, you could see a stunning view of the other side of Nob Hill, all the way down to Fisherman’s Wharf, to the ugly stub of the Bay Bridge, the crowd of cranes and trucks. Through the mist, I could just make out Treasure Island. Looking down all that way, it gave me a crazy urge to jump.

Me ia entra enlinia par sua Xbox e un scermo enorme de plasma en la salon. El ia mostra a me cuanto redes Wi-Fi abrida es vidable de sua punto alta de vista – dudes, tredes de los. Esta ia es un bon loca per un usor de Rede X.

I got online with his Xbox and a huge plasma screen in the living room. He showed me how many open WiFi networks were visible from his high vantage point – twenty, thirty of them. This was a good spot to be an Xnetter.

Me ia ave multe epostas en mea conta de M1k3y. 20 000 mesajes nova pos la parti par Anj e me de sua casa en acel matina. Multe de los ia es de jornalistes, demandante per intervisas seguente, ma la plu de los ia es de la usores de Rede X, persones ci ia vide la reporta en la Gardor e ia vole dise ce los va fa cualce cosa per aida me, cualce cosa cual me nesesa.

There was a lot of email in my M1k3y account. 20,000 new messages since Ange and I had left her place that morning. Lots of it was from the press, asking for followup interviews, but most of it was from the Xnetters, people who’d seen the Guardian story and wanted to tell me that they’d do anything to help me, anything I needed.

Esta ia fini me. Larmas ia comensa desende mea jenas.

That did it. Tears started to roll down my cheeks.

Nat e Liam ia regarda lunlotra. Me ia atenta sesa, ma no ia pote. Me ia sanglota aora. Nat ia vade a un armario de libros en cuerco contra un mur, e ia pivote un bar de en un de sua scafales, revelante linias briliante de botelas. El ia versa per me un vitreta de alga cosa oro brun e ia trae lo a me.

Nate and Liam exchanged glances. I tried to stop, but it was no good. I was sobbing now. Nate went to an oak book-case on one wall and swung a bar out of one of its shelves, revealing gleaming rows of bottles. He poured me a shot of something golden brown and brought it to me.

“Uisce eres rara.” – el ia dise. “La favoreda de Mama.”

“Rare Irish whiskey,” he said. “Mom’s favorite.”

Lo ia sabori como foco, como oro. Me ia sorbe lo, atentante no tose. Me no ia gusta vera alcol forte, ma esta ia es diferente. Me ia fa alga respiras profonda.

It tasted like fire, like gold. I sipped at it, trying not to choke. I didn’t really like hard liquor, but this was different. I took several deep breaths.

“Grasias, Nat.” – me ia dise. El ia aspeta como si me ia veni de afisa un medalia a el. El ia es un bon joven.

“Thanks, Nate,” I said. He looked like I’d just pinned a medal on him. He was a good kid.

“Oce.” – me ia dise, e ia prende la teclador. La du xicos ia oserva fasinada en cuando me ia vaga tra mea lista de epostas sur la scermo jigante.

“All right,” I said, and picked up the keyboard. The two boys watched in fascination as I paged through my mail on the gigantic screen.

Lo cual me ia xerca, prima e xef, ia es un eposta de Anj. On ia ave la posible ce el ia evade simple. On ia ave sempre esta posible.

What I was looking for, first and foremost, was email from Ange. There was a chance that she’d just gotten away. There was always that chance.

Me ia es fol par espera an. No cosa ia veni de el. Me ia comensa traversa la epostas a rapidia masima, separante la solisitas jornaliste, la mesajes de fanes, la mesajes de odia, la spam…

I was an idiot to even hope. There was nothing from her. I started going through the mail as fast as I could, picking apart the press requests, the fan mail, the hate mail, the spam…

E alora me ia trova lo: un letera de Zeb.

And that’s when I found it: a letter from Zeb.

Lo no ia es plasente cuando me ia velia a esta matina e ia trova, en la pajes de la jornal, la letera sur cual me ia pensa ce tu va destrui lo. Tota no plasente. Lo ia fa ce me senti – xasada.
It wasn’t nice to wake up this morning and find the letter that I thought you would destroy in the pages of the newspaper. Not nice at all. Made me feel – hunted.
Ma me ia veni a comprende perce tu ia fa lo. Me no sabe esce me pote aproba tua tatica, ma on vide fasil ce tua motivas ia es bon.
But I’ve come to understand why you did it. I don’t know if I can approve of your tactics, but it’s easy to see that your motives were sound.
Si tu leje esta, lo sinifia ce lo es alga probable ce tu ia vade su tera. Acel no es fasil. Me ia aprende esta. Me ia aprende ance multe plu.
If you’re reading this, that means that there’s a good chance you’ve gone underground. It’s not easy. I’ve been learning that. I’ve been learning a lot more.
Me pote aida tu. Me debe fa esta per tu. Tu fa lo cual tu pote per me. (An si tu no fa lo con mea permete.)
I can help you. I should do that for you. You’re doing what you can for me. (Even if you’re not doing it with my permission.)
Responde si tu reseta esta, si tu es un fujor e solitar. O responde si tu es arestada, controlada par nosa amis en Guantanamo, xercante un modo per sesa la dole. Si los ia catura tu, tu va fa lo cual los comanda. Me sabe esta. Me va aseta esta risca.
Reply if you get this, if you’re on the run and alone. Or reply if you’re in custody, being run by our friends on Gitmo, looking for a way to make the pain stop. If they’ve got you, you’ll do what they tell you. I know that. I’ll take that risk.
Per tu, M1k3y.
For you, M1k3y.

“Uuuuu,” – Liam ia espira – “xic’.” Me ia vole palmi el. Me ia turna per dise alga cosa cruel e taliante a el, ma el ia regarda me con oios tan grande como platetas, aspetante como si el vole cade a sua jenos e adora me.

“Wooooah,” Liam breathed. “Duuuuude.” I wanted to smack him. I turned to say something awful and cutting to him, but he was staring at me with eyes as big as saucers, looking like he wanted to drop to his knees and worship me.

“Esce me pote mera dise,” – Nat ia dise – “esce me pote mera dise ce aida tu es la onora la plu grande de mea vive intera? Esce me pote mera dise acel?”

“Can I just say,” Nate said, “can I just say that it is the biggest honor of my entire life to help you? Can I just say that?”

Me ia roji aora. Me no ia pote evita lo. Esta du ia es completa impresada par sua stela, an si me ia es no tipo de stela, a la min no en mea propre mente.

I was blushing now. There was nothing for it. These two were totally star-struck, even though I wasn’t any kind of star, not in my own mind at least.

“Esce vos —” Me ia engoli. “Esce me pote ave alga privatia asi?”

“Can you guys –” I swallowed. “Can I have some privacy here?”

Los ia rampe de la sala como canetas malconduosa e me ia senti como un pixeta. Me ia tape rapida.

They slunk out of the room like bad puppies and I felt like a tool. I typed fast.

“Me ia evade, Zeb. E me fuji. Me nesesa tota la aida disponable. Me vole fini esta aora.” Me ia recorda prende la telefon de Masha de mea pox e titila lo per preveni ce lo adormi.

“I got away, Zeb. And I’m on the run. I need all the help I can get. I want to end this now.” I remembered to take Masha’s phone out of my pocket and tickle it to keep it from going to sleep.

Los ia permete ce me usa la dux, ia dona a me vestes fresca, un bolson nova conteninte multe de sua benes de trematera – baras enerjinte, medisin, cuxinetas calda e fria, e un saco vea de dormi. Los ia inclui an un Xbox Universal reservada, con Xbox Paranoica ja cargada sur lo. Esta ia es un ajunta bela. Me ia debe refusa un pistol de siniali.

They let me use the shower, gave me a change of clothes, a new backpack with half their earthquake kit in it – energy bars, medicine, hot and cold packs, and an old sleeping-bag. They even slipped a spare Xbox Universal already loaded with ParanoidXbox on it into there. That was a nice touch. I had to draw the line at a flaregun.

Me ia continua regarda mea epostas per vide esce Zeb ia responde. Me ia responde a la mesajes de fanes. Me ia responde a la mesajes de la jornales. Me ia dejeta la mesajes de odia. Me ia espeta partal vide alga cosa de Masha, ma probable el ia es ja en media de via a Los Angeles, con ditos dolente, e sin capasia de tape. Me ia titila sua telefon denova.

I kept on checking my email to see if Zeb had replied. I answered the fan mail. I answered the mail from the press. I deleted the hate mail. I was half-expecting to see something from Masha, but chances were she was halfway to LA by now, her fingers hurt, and in no position to type. I tickled her phone again.

Los ia urje me a fa un dormeta, e tra un momento corta e vergoniosa, me ia deveni paranoica, pensante ce cisa esta xicos intende denunsia me pos mea adormi. Un pensa stupida – los ia ta pote denunsia me con fasilia egal cuando me ia es veliada. Me simple no ia pote dijesta la fato ce los regarda tan alta me. Me ia sabe ja, inteletal, ce on ave persones ci va segue M1k3y. Me ia encontra alga de esta persones en acel matina, criante MORDE MORDE MORDE e vampirinte a la Sentro Munisipal. Ma esta du ia es plu personal. Los ia es mera bon xicos bobo; los ia ta pote es cualce de mea amis en la dias pasada ante Rede X; mera du cameradas ci ia condui amin en aventuras adolesente. Los ia ofre junta se a un armada, mea armada. Me ia es encargada sur los. Lasada sin aida, los ta deveni caturada, a un ves o un otra. Los ia es tro fidante.

They encouraged me to take a nap and for a brief, shameful moment, I got all paranoid like maybe these guys were thinking of turning me in once I was asleep. Which was idiotic – they could have turned me in just as easily when I was awake. I just couldn’t compute the fact that they thought so much of me. I had known, intellectually, that there were people who would follow M1k3y. I’d met some of those people that morning, shouting BITE BITE BITE and vamping it up at Civic Center. But these two were more personal. They were just nice, goofy guys, they coulda been any of my friends back in the days before the Xnet, just two pals who palled around having teenage adventures. They’d volunteered to join an army, my army. I had a responsibility to them. Left to themselves, they’d get caught, it was only a matter of time. They were too trusting.

“Xicos, escuta me per un secondo. Me ave un cosa seria sur cual me nesesa parla con vos.”

“Guys, listen to me for a second. I have something serious I need to talk to you about.”

Los ia sta cuasi firma como soldatos. Esta ta es comica si lo no ta es tan asustante.

They almost stood at attention. It would have been funny if it wasn’t so scary.

“La problem es esta. Aora, car vos ia aida me, lo es vera perilosa. Si los catura vos, los va catura me. Los va estrae de vos tota cual vos sabe —” Me ia leva mea mano per impedi sua protestas. “No, para. Vos no ia esperia lo. Cadun parla. Cadun rompe. Si a cualce ves vos es caturada, ta ce vos dise tota a los, instante, tan rapida como posible, tan multe como posible. Los va estrae final tota, tal o no. Acel es sua modo de opera.

“Here’s the thing. Now that you’ve helped me, it’s really dangerous. If you get caught, I’ll get caught. They’ll get anything you know out of you –” I held up my hand to forestall their protests. “No, stop. You haven’t been through it. Everyone talks. Everyone breaks. If you’re ever caught, you tell them everything, right away, as fast as you can, as much as you can. They’ll get it all eventually anyway. That’s how they work.

“Ma vos no va es caturada, e per esta causa: vos no va interfere plu. Vos ia retira vos de servi ativa. Vos es un —” – me ia foraje en mea memoria alga vocabulo colieda de trileres de spia – “vos es un selula dorminte. Sesa vosa ativia. Deveni denova xicos normal. En un modo o un otra, me va rompe esta cosa, rompe lo par fesur larga, fini lo. O lo va prende me, final, e va ruina me. Si vos no oia de me en 72 oras, suposa ce los ia catura me. Fa como vos desira alora. Ma per la tre dias seguente – e per sempre, si me va fa lo cual me atenta – sesa vosa ativia. Esce vos va promete esta a me?”

“But you won’t get caught, and here’s why: you’re not jammers anymore. You are retired from active duty. You’re a –” I fished in my memory for vocabulary words culled from spy thrillers – “you’re a sleeper cell. Stand down. Go back to being normal kids. One way or another, I’m going to break this thing, break it wide open, end it. Or it will get me, finally, do me in. If you don’t hear from me within 72 hours, assume that they got me. Do whatever you want then. But for the next three days – and forever, if I do what I’m trying to do – stand down. Will you promise me that?”

Los ia promete con tota seria. Me ia lasa ce los convinse me a dormeta, ma ia obliga los a jura ce los va velia me a un ves per ora. Me ia debe titila la telefon de Masha e me ia vole sabe direta cuando Zeb va recontata me.

They promised with all solemnity. I let them talk me into napping, but made them swear to rouse me once an hour. I’d have to tickle Masha’s phone and I wanted to know as soon as Zeb got back in touch with me.


La loca de encontra ia es en un vagon de metro, donce me ia deveni nervosa. Los es plen de cameras. Ma Zeb ia sabe lo cual el fa. El ia organiza ce me encontra el en la vagon final de un tren spesifada, partinte de la stasion de Strada Powell, a un ora cuando esta vagon ia es plen de un presa de corpos. El ia prosimi a me tra la fola, e la bon pendulines de San Francisco ia libri un spasio per el, la spasio cual ensirca sempre un person sin casa.

The rendezvous was on a BART car, which made me nervous. They’re full of cameras. But Zeb knew what he was doing. He had me meet him in the last car of a certain train departing from Powell Street Station, at a time when that car was filled with the press of bodies. He sidled up to me in the crowd, and the good commuters of San Francisco cleared a space for him, the hollow that always surrounds homeless people.

“Bon es revide tu.” – el ia farfulia, fasante la porte. Regardante en la vitro oscur, me ia pote vide ce nun es sufisinte prosima per escuta secreta – no sin alga tipo de microfon multe sensosa, e si on ta sabe sufisinte per veni asi con un tal aparato, nos ta es ruinada, tal o no.

“Nice to see you again,” he muttered, facing into the doorway. Looking into the dark glass, I could see that there was no one close enough to eavesdrop – not without some kind of high-efficiency mic rig, and if they knew enough to show up here with one of those, we were dead anyway.

“Ance tu, ami.” – me ia dise. “Me – me regrete, comprende?”

“You too, brother,” I said. “I’m – I’m sorry, you know?”

“Clui la boca. No regrete. Tu ia es plu corajosa ca me. Esce tu es preparada per vade su tera aora? Preparada per desapare?”

“Shut up. Don’t be sorry. You were braver than I am. Are you ready to go underground now? Ready to disappear?”

“A tema de esta…”

“About that.”

“Si?”

“Yes?”

“Me no intende lo.”

“That’s not the plan.”

“O.” – el ia dise.

“Oh,” he said.

“Escuta, oce? Me ave – me ave fotos, video. Atestas cual demostra vera la cosa.” Me ia pone un mano en mea pox e ia titila la telefon de Masha. Me ia compra un cargador per lo en Plaza Union en via a asi, e ia pausa per lia lo en un cafe per un tempo sufisinte per aumenta la pila asta cuatro baras de sinco. “Me debe trae lo a Barbara Stratford, la fem de la Gardor. Ma los oserva el – los oserva per vide esce me va apare.”

“Listen, OK? I have – I have pictures, video. Stuff that really proves something.” I reached into my pocket and tickled Masha’s phone. I’d bought a charger for it in Union Square on the way down, and had stopped and plugged it in at a cafe for long enough to get the battery up to four out of five bars. “I need to get it to Barbara Stratford, the woman from the Guardian. But they’re going to be watching her – watching to see if I show up.”

“Tu no crede ce los oserva per me, ance? Si tua scema nesesa ce me vade a un distantia de min ca un cilometre de la casa o ofisia de acel fem —”

“You don’t think that they’ll be watching for me, too? If your plan involves me going within a mile of that woman’s home or office –”

“Me vole ce tu organiza ce Van veni per encontra me. Esce Darryl ia raconta ja a tu sur Van? La xica —”

“I want you to get Van to come and meet me. Did Darryl ever tell you about Van? The girl –”

“El ia raconta a me. Si, el ia raconta a me. Tu no crede ce los oserva el? Tota vos ci ia es arestada?”

“He told me. Yes, he told me. You don’t think they’ll be watching her? All of you who were arrested?”

“Me crede lo. Me no crede ce los oserva tan intensa el. E Van ave manos completa limpa. El ia colabora nunca en cualce de mea —” Me ia engoli. “En mea projetas. Donce los es cisa pico plu destensada en relata con el. Si el telefoni a la Gardor de Baia per organiza un encontra per esplica mera perce me es plen de merda, cisa los va lasa ce el vade ala.”

“I think they will. I don’t think they’ll be watching her as hard. And Van has totally clean hands. She never cooperated with any of my –” I swallowed. “With my projects. So they might be a little more relaxed about her. If she calls the Bay Guardian to make an appointment to explain why I’m just full of crap, maybe they’ll let her keep it.”

El ia regarda la porte tra un tempo longa.

He stared at the door for a long time.

“Tu sabe lo cual va aveni cuando los catura nos denova.” Esta no ia es un demanda.

“You know what happens when they catch us again.” It wasn’t a question.

Me ia acorda con testa.

I nodded.

“Tu es serta? Alga de la persones ci ia es sur Isola Tesoro con nos ia es prendeda a via en elicotores. Los ia es prendeda a estra la pais. On ave paises do la SUA pote transfere sua tortura. Paises do on va putri per sempre. Paises do on desira ce los ta dona simple la fini, ce los ta fa ce on escava un foso e sta supra lo afin los ta pistoli on a la retro de la cranio.”

“Are you sure? Some of the people that were on Treasure Island with us got taken away in helicopters. They got taken offshore. There are countries where America can outsource its torture. Countries where you will rot forever. Countries where you wish they would just get it over with, have you dig a trench and then shoot you in the back of the head as you stand over it.”

Me ia engoli e ia acorda con testa.

I swallowed and nodded.

“Esce lo merita la risca? Nos pote resta su tera per un tempo multe longa asi. A alga dia, cisa nos va reseta denova nosa pais. Nos pote espeta entretempo.”

“Is it worth the risk? We can go underground for a long, long time here. Someday we might get our country back. We can wait it out.”

Me ia nega con testa. “On reali no cosa par fa no cosa. Nos parla sur nosa pais. Los ia prende lo de nos. La teroristes ci ataca nos es ancora libre – ma nos no es. Me no pote resta su tera per un anio, des anios, mea vive intera, espetante ce libria va es donada a me. Libria es un cosa cual on mesma debe prende.”

I shook my head. “You can’t get anything done by doing nothing. It’s our country. They’ve taken it from us. The terrorists who attack us are still free – but we’re not. I can’t go underground for a year, ten years, my whole life, waiting for freedom to be handed to me. Freedom is something you have to take for yourself.”


En acel posmedia, Van ia parti de scola como usual, sentante a la retro de la bus con un grupo densa de sua amis, riente e bromante como sempre. La otra pasajores en la bus ia nota spesial el car el ia es tan vososa, e plu, el ia porta acel xapo jigante, bobo e flasida, un cosa cual ia aspeta como un mobileta de un teatral de scola sur spadores de la Renase. A un momento, tota los ia foli juntada, ante turna a via per regarda tra la retro de la bus, puntante e rietante. La xica ci ia porta aora la xapo ia ave la mesma grandia como Van e, videda de pos, el ta pote es Van.

That afternoon, Van left school as usual, sitting in the back of the bus with a tight knot of her friends, laughing and joking the way she always did. The other riders on the bus took special note of her, she was so loud, and besides, she was wearing that stupid, giant floppy hat, something that looked like a piece out of a school play about Renaissance sword fighters. At one point they all huddled together, then turned away to look out the back of the bus, pointing and giggling. The girl who wore the hat now was the same height as Van, and from behind, it could be her.

Nun ia atende la peti xica asian e musin ci ia desembarca a alga paras ante la metro. El ia es vestida en un vea uniforma simple de scola, e ia regarda timida a su cuando el ia sorti. Plu, a acel momento, la xica corean vososa ia emete un ulula, e sua amis ia imita el, tan forte riente ce an la busor ia lenti per torse sur sua seja e fa un regarda despetosa a los.

No one paid any attention to the mousy little Asian girl who got off a few stops before the BART. She was dressed in a plain old school uniform, and looking down shyly as she stepped off. Besides, at that moment, the loud Korean girl let out a whoop and her friends followed along, laughing so loudly that even the bus driver slowed down, twisted in his seat and gave them a dirty look.

Van ia freta a via longo la strada con sua testa basida, e sua capeles liada a retro e cadeda su la colar de sua jaca nonmodosa de peluxeta. El ia ajunta ja plantas interna en sua sapatos cual ia alti el par sinco sentimetres torpe bambolante, e ia estrae sua lentetas e ia apone sua oculo la min favoreda, con lentes enorme cual ia ocupa un dui de sua fas. An si me ia senta en la parabus per el e ia sabe cuando me debe espeta el, me ia reconose apena el. Me ia sta me e ia pasea a longo pos el, a la otra lado de la strada, con retarda de un dui de bloco.

Van hurried away down the street with her head down, her hair tied back and dropped down the collar of her out-of-style bubble jacket. She had slipped lifts into her shoes that made her two wobbly, awkward inches taller, and had taken her contacts out and put on her least-favored glasses, with huge lenses that took up half her face. Although I’d been waiting in the bus-shelter for her and knew when to expect her, I hardly recognized her. I got up and walked along behind her, across the street, trailing by half a block.

La persones ci ia pasa me ia diverje sua regarda con rapidia masima. Me ia aspeta como un joven sin casa, con un nota sur carton susia, un jacon mugrida par strada, un bolson enorme e supraplenida con sintas aderente sur sua laseras. Nun vole regarda un xice vagante, car si on ta regarda sua oio, el ta demanda cisa per monetas libre. Me ia pasea de asi a ala en Oakland tra ja tota la posmedia, e la sola persones ci ia parla a me ia es un Atestor de Iaue e un sientolojiste, de ci ambos ia atenta converti me. Acel ia repulsa me, como un cortea par un pervertida.

The people who passed me looked away as quickly as possible. I looked like a homeless kid, with a grubby cardboard sign, street-grimy overcoat, huge, overstuffed knapsack with duct-tape over its rips. No one wants to look at a street-kid, because if you meet his eye, he might ask you for some spare change. I’d walked around Oakland all afternoon and the only person who’d spoken to me was a Jehovah’s Witness and a Scientologist, both trying to convert me. It felt gross, like being hit on by a pervert.

Van ia segue la instruis cual me ia scrive atendosa. Zeb ia transfere los a el en la mesma modo como el ia dona la nota a me estra la scola – par colide con el cuando el ia espeta la bus, abundante escusante se. Me ia scrive la nota en stilo clar e simple, mera esplicante a el: Me sabe ce tu no aproba. Me comprende. Ma esta es major. Esta es la aida la plu importante de sempre cual me ia solisita de tu. Per favore. Per favore.

Van followed the directions I’d written down carefully. Zeb had passed them to her the same way he’d given me the note outside school – bumping into her as she waited for the bus, apologizing profusely. I’d written the note plainly and simply, just laying it out for her: I know you don’t approve. I understand. But this is it, this is the most important favor I’ve ever asked of you. Please. Please.

El va veni. Me ia sabe ce el va veni. Nos ia ave un istoria longa, Van e me. Ance el no ia gusta lo cual ia aveni a la mundo. En ajunta, como indicada par un vose malvolente cacarante en mea testa, el ia es aora suspetada pos la apare de la article de Barbara.

She’d come. I knew she would. We had a lot of history, Van and I. She didn’t like what had happened to the world, either. Besides, an evil, chuckling voice in my head had pointed out, she was under suspicion now that Barbara’s article was out.

Nos ia pasea tal tra ses o sete blocos, regardante ci es prosima a nos, cual autos pasa. Zeb ia raconta a me sur segues par sinco persones, en cual sinco desembladas diversa intercambia la taxe de segue on, tal ce reconose los es cuasi nonposible. On debe vade a un loca tota abandonada, do an un person ta saisi la oio.

We walked like that for six or seven blocks, looking at who was near us, what cars went past. Zeb told me about five-person trails, where five different undercovers traded off duties following you, making it nearly impossible to spot them. You had to go somewhere totally desolate, where anyone at all would stand out like a sore thumb.

La viaduto per Autovia 880 ia es a sola alga blocos de la stasion de metro Coliseum, e an con tota la sirculi cual Van ia fa, nos ia ariva a lo pos tempo corta. La ruido de supra ia es cuasi sordinte. No otra person ia es presente, cuanto me ia pote persepi. Me ia visita ja la loca ante sujesta lo a Van en la nota, atendosa xercante partes do algun ta pote asconde. No tal ia esiste.

The overpass for the 880 was just a few blocks from the Coliseum BART station, and even with all the circling Van did, it didn’t take long to reach it. The noise from overhead was nearly deafening. No one else was around, not that I could tell. I’d visited the site before I suggested it to Van in the note, taking care to check for places where someone could hide. There weren’t any.

Cuando el ia para a la loca asiniada, me ia move rapida per ateni el. El ia palpebri buin a me de pos sua oculo.

Once she stopped at the appointed place, I moved quickly to catch up to her. She blinked owlishly at me from behind her glasses.

“Marcus.” – el ia respira, e larmas ia flue en sua oios. Me ia trova ce me larma ance. Me ta es vera noncapas como un fujor. Tro sentosa.

“Marcus,” she breathed, and tears swam in her eyes. I found that I was crying too. I’d make a really rotten fugitive. Too sentimental.

El ia abrasa tan forte me ce me no ia pote respira. Me ia resiproci an plu forte sua abrasa.

She hugged me so hard I couldn’t breathe. I hugged her back even harder.

Alora el ia besa me.

Then she kissed me.

No a la jena, no como un sore. Plen a la labios, un besa calda, moiante, vaporosa, cual ia pare dura per sempre. Me ia es tan inondada par emosia —

Not on the cheek, not like a sister. Full on the lips, a hot, wet, steamy kiss that seemed to go on forever. I was so overcome with emotion –

No, acel es caca. Me ia sabe esata lo cual me fa. Me ia resiproci sua besa.

No, that’s bull. I knew exactly what I was doing. I kissed her back.

Alora me ia sesa e ia retira me, ia puxa el cuasi a via. “Van.” – me ia sanglota.

Then I stopped and pulled away, nearly shoved her away. “Van,” I gasped.

“Op.” – el ia dise.

“Oops,” she said.

“Van.” – me ia dise denova.

“Van,” I said again.

“Pardona.” – el ia dise. “Me —”

“Sorry,” she said. “I –”

Un cosa ia entra a mea testa a acel momento, un cosa cual suposable me ia ta debe vide ja longa, longa a ante.

Something occurred to me just then, something I guess I should have seen a long, long time before.

“Tu gusta me, no?”

“You like me, don’t you?”

El ia acorda misera con testa. “Tra anios.” – el ia dise.

She nodded miserably. “For years,” she said.

Mea Dio. Darryl, tra tota esta anios, ia es tan enamada par el, e tra la tempo intera Van ia regarda me, secreta desirante me. E ultima me ia fini en un relata con Anj. Anj ia dise ce el ia batalia sempre contra Van. E me ia core de asi a ala, traente a me tan multe problemes.

Oh, God. Darryl, all these years, so in love with her, and the whole time she was looking at me, secretly wanting me. And then I ended up with Ange. Ange said that she’d always fought with Van. And I was running around, getting into so much trouble.

“Van.” – me ia dise. “Van, vera, pardona me.”

“Van,” I said. “Van, I’m so sorry.”

“Oblida lo.” – el ia dise, regardante a via. “Me sabe ce lo no pote aveni. Me ia desira fa acel a mera un ves, per caso ce nunca me —” El ia morde la parolas.

“Forget it,” she said, looking away. “I know it can’t be. I just wanted to do that once, just in case I never –” She bit down on the words.

“Van, me nesesa ce tu fa alga cosa per me. Un cosa importante. Me nesesa ce tu encontra la jornaliste de la Gardor de Baia, Barbara Stratford, el ci ia scrive la article. Me nesesa ce tu dona alga cosa a el.” Me ia esplica sur la telefon de Masha, ia raconta sur la video cual Masha ia envia a me.

“Van, I need you to do something for me. Something important. I need you to meet with the journalist from the Bay Guardian, Barbara Stratford, the one who wrote the article. I need you to give her something.” I explained about Masha’s phone, told her about the video that Masha had sent me.

“Cual bon va resulta de esta, Marcus? Cual es la gol?”

“What good will this do, Marcus? What’s the point?”

“Van, tu ia razona coreta, a la min partal. Nos no pote repara la mundo par perili otra persones. Me debe solve la problem par raconta lo cual me sabe. Me ia ta debe fa esta ja de la comensa. Me ia ta debe vade direta de la prison a la casa de la padre de Darryl e dise a el lo cual me sabe. Ma aora me ave atestas. Esta cosas – los va pote cambia la mundo. Esta es mea espera ultima. La sola espera per libri Darryl, per ateni un vive cual me no va pasa su tera, ascondente de la polisia. E tu es la sola person ci me pote fida per fa esta.”

“Van, you were right, at least partly. We can’t fix the world by putting other people at risk. I need to solve the problem by telling what I know. I should have done that from the start. Should have walked straight out of their custody and to Darryl’s father’s house and told him what I knew. Now, though, I have evidence. This stuff – it could change the world. This is my last hope. The only hope for getting Darryl out, for getting a life that I don’t spend underground, hiding from the cops. And you’re the only person I can trust to do this.”

“Perce me?”

“Why me?”

“Tu broma, si? Vide como bon tu ia fa, veninte asi. Tu es un profesal. Tu es la plu bon de tota nos per esta. Tu es la sola ci me pote fida. Perce tu? Tal.”

“You’re kidding, right? Look at how well you handled getting here. You’re a pro. You’re the best at this of any of us. You’re the only one I can trust. That’s why you.”

“Perce no tua ami Angie?” El ia dise la nom con tota no infleta, como si lo ta es un bloco de semento.

“Why not your friend Angie?” She said the name without any inflection at all, like it was a block of cement.

Me ia basi mea regarda. “Me ia crede ce tu sabe. On ia aresta el. El es en Guantanamo – sur Isola Tesoro. El es ala tra ja dias aora.” Me ia atenta no pensa sur esta, no pensa sur lo cual aveni cisa a el. Aora me no ia pote freni me, e me ia comensa sanglota. Me ia senti un dole en mea ventre, como si on ia pedi me, e me ia presa mea manos a mea media per reteni me. Me ia plia ala, e en la momento seguente, me ia es sur mea lado en la detrito su la autovia, teninte me e plorante.

I looked down. “I thought you knew. They arrested her. She’s in Gitmo – on Treasure Island. She’s been there for days now.” I had been trying not to think about this, not to think about what might be happening to her. Now I couldn’t stop myself and I started to sob. I felt a pain in my stomach, like I’d been kicked, and I pushed my hands into my middle to hold myself in. I folded there, and the next thing I knew, I was on my side in the rubble under the freeway, holding myself and crying.

Van ia ajena a mea lado. “Dona la telefon a me.” – el ia dise, vosinte en un sisa coler. Me ia estrae lo de mea pox e ia dona lo a el.

Van knelt down by my side. “Give me the phone,” she said, her voice an angry hiss. I fished it out of my pocket and passed it to her.

Embarasada, me ia sesa plora e ia senta me. Me ia sabe ce muco flue de mea nas. Van ia fa a me un regarda de repulsa pur. “Tu debe preveni ce lo adormi.” – me ia dise. “Me ave un cargador asi.” Me ia foraje en mea bolson. Me no ia dormi tra tota la note pos oteni lo. Me ia ajusta la alarma de la telefon a sona pos cada ora e un dui per velia me afin me pote preveni lo de adormi. “Ance no clui lo.”

Embarrassed, I stopped crying and sat up. I knew that snot was running down my face. Van was giving me a look of pure revulsion. “You need to keep it from going to sleep,” I said. “I have a charger here.” I rummaged in my pack. I hadn’t slept all the way through the night since I acquired it. I set the phone’s alarm to go off every 90 minutes and wake me up so that I could keep it from going to sleep. “Don’t fold it shut, either.”

“E la video?”

“And the video?”

“Acel es plu difisil.” – me ia dise. “Me ia eposta un copia a me, ma me no pote plu asede Rede X.” Si vera nesesada, me ia ta pote revade a Nat e Liam per usa sua Xbox denova, ma me no ia vole fa la risca. “Vide, me va dona a tu mea nom e clave per la servador postal de la Partito Piratin. Tu va debe usa TOR per asede lo – sin duta, Securia Interna scane per persones ci identifia se a la posta de Partito P.”

“That’s harder,” I said. “I emailed a copy to myself, but I can’t get onto the Xnet anymore.” In a pinch, I could have gone back to Nate and Liam and used their Xbox again, but I didn’t want to risk it. “Look, I’m going to give you my login and password for the Pirate Party’s mail-server. You’ll have to use Tor to access it – Homeland Security is bound to be scanning for people logging into p-party mail.”

“Tua nom e clave.” – el ia dise, con aspeta pico surprendeda.

“Your login and password,” she said, looking a little surprised.

“Me fida tu, Van. Me sabe ce me pote fida tu.”

“I trust you, Van. I know I can trust you.”

El ia nega con testa. “Tu revela nunca tua claves, Marcus.”

She shook her head. “You never give out your passwords, Marcus.”

“Me pensa ce lo no importa plu. O tu va susede, o me — o lo va es la fini de Marcus Yallow. Cisa me va oteni un identia nova, ma me pensa ce no. Me pensa ce on va catura me. Probable me ia sabe sempre ce on va catura me, a alga dia.”

“I don’t think it matters anymore. Either you succeed or I – or it’s the end of Marcus Yallow. Maybe I’ll get a new identity, but I don’t think so. I think they’ll catch me. I guess I’ve known all along that they’d catch me, some day.”

El ia regarda me, aora furiosa. “Un peri tan grande. Perce tu ia fa lo, en fato?”

She looked at me, furious now. “What a waste. What was it all for, anyway?”

De tota la cosas cual el ta pote dise, no cosa ta pote dole plu me. Lo ia es como un plu pedi a la ventre. Un peri tan grande, tota de lo, futil. Darryl e Anj, perdeda. Cisa me va revide nunca mea familia. E ancora, Securia Interna ia ave mea site e mea pais caturada en un asusta jigante xiliante nonrazonante en cual tota cosas ia pote aveni par autoria de preveni terorisme.

Of all the things she could have said, nothing could have hurt me more. It was like another kick in the stomach. What a waste, all of it, futile. Darryl and Ange, gone. I might never see my family again. And still, Homeland Security had my city and my country caught in a massive, irrational shrieking freak-out where anything could be done in the name of stopping terrorism.

Van ia aspeta como si el espeta ce me va dise alga cosa, ma me ia ave no cosa per responde. El ia lasa me ala.

Van looked like she was waiting for me to say something, but I had nothing to say to that. She left me there.


Zeb ia ave un piza per me cuando me ia reveni a “casa” – a la tenda su un viaduto de autovia en la Mision cual el ia erije per la note. El ia ave un tenda peti per du persones, pasada militar, con la testo stensilida COMITE COORDINANTE PER ABITORES DE SAN FRANCISCO SIN CASA.

Zeb had a pizza for me when I got back “home” – to the tent under a freeway overpass in the Mission that he’d staked out for the night. He had a pup tent, military surplus, stenciled with SAN FRANCISCO LOCAL HOMELESS COORDINATING BOARD.

La piza ia es de Domino’s, fria e caliada, ma deletosa an tal. “Tu gusta ananas sur tua piza?”

The pizza was a Dominos, cold and clabbered, but delicious for all that. “You like pineapple on your pizza?”

Zeb ia surie superior a me. “Freganes no pote eleje.” – el ia dise.

Zeb smiled condescendingly at me. “Freegans can’t be choosy,” he said.

“Freganes?”

“Freegans?”

“Como veganes, ma nos come sola comedas sin custa.”

“Like vegans, but we only eat free food.”

“Sin custa?”

“Free food?”

El ia surie denova. “Tu sabe – comedas sin custa. De la boteca sin custa?”

He grinned again. “You know – free food. From the free food store?”

“Tu ia fura esta?”

“You stole this?”

“No, bobo. Lo veni de la otra boteca. La peti a retro de la grande? Fabricada de aser blu? Con odor pico strana?”

“No, dummy. It’s from the other store. The little one out behind the store? Made of blue steel? Kind of funky smelling?”

“Tu ia prende esta de la dejetadas?”

“You got this out of the garbage?”

El ia puxa sua testa a retro e ia cacara. “Si, coreta. Tu ta debe vide tua fas. Xic’, lo es oce. Lo no ia es putrinte. Lo ia es fresca – mera un comanda malfada. Los ia dejeta lo en la caxa. Los duxi tota con venena de rata a la ora de clui, ma si on ariva rapida ala, on ave no problem. Tu ta debe vide lo cual la comederias dejeta! Espeta la come de matina. Me va prepara per tu un salada de fruta cual tu no va crede. Direta cuando un fresa en la caxa deveni pico verde e peluxetin, la intera es dejetada —”

He flung his head back and cackled. “Yes indeedy. You should see your face. Dude, it’s OK. It’s not like it was rotten. It was fresh – just a screwed up order. They threw it out in the box. They sprinkle rat poison over everything at closing-time, but if you get there quick, you’re OK. You should see what grocery stores throw out! Wait until breakfast. I’m going to make you a fruit salad you won’t believe. As soon as one strawberry in the box goes a little green and fuzzy, the whole thing is out –”

Me ia sesa escuta el. La piza ia es bon. Serta, reposa en un portadetrito no ta infeta lo o simil. Si lo ia es nauseante, esta ia es mera car lo ia veni de Domino’s – la pizeria la plu mal en la site. Me ia gusta nunca sua comedas, e me ia abandona completa los cuando me ia descovre ce la compania finansia un bande de politicistes suprademente ci crede ce la caldi global e la evolui es conspiras satanal.

I tuned him out. The pizza was fine. It wasn’t as if sitting in the dumpster would infect it or something. If it was gross, that was only because it came from Domino’s – the worst pizza in town. I’d never liked their food, and I’d given it up altogether when I found out that they bankrolled a bunch of ultra-crazy politicians who thought that global warming and evolution were satanic plots.

La senti de nausea ia es difisil per supresa, an tal.

It was hard to shake the feeling of grossness, though.

Ma on ia pote regarda lo en un otra modo. Zeb ia mostra a me un secreta, un cosa cual me no ia previde: tota un mundo ascondeda ia esiste en la urbe, un metodo per susiste sin partisipa en la sistem.

But there was another way to look at it. Zeb had showed me a secret, something I hadn’t anticipated: there was a whole hidden world out there, a way of getting by without participating in the system.

“Freganes, si?”

“Freegans, huh?”

“Iogurte, ance.” – el ia dise, con acordas enerjiosa de testa. “Per la salada de fruta. Los dejeta lo a la dia pos la data de dura minima, ma serta lo no deveni verde a medianote. Lo es iogurte – me vole dise, lo es fundal mera lete putrida ja de la comensa.”

“Yogurt, too,” he said, nodding vigorously. “For the fruit salad. They throw it out the day after the best-before date, but it’s not as if it goes green at midnight. It’s yogurt, I mean, it’s basically just rotten milk to begin with.”

Me ia engoli. La piza ia sabori strana. Venena de rata. Iogurte putrida. Fresas peluxetin. Me va debe abitua me a esta.

I swallowed. The pizza tasted funny. Rat poison. Spoiled yogurt. Furry strawberries. This would take some getting used to.

Me ia come un plu morde. En fato, la piza de Domino’s ia pare pico min mal cuando on ia reseta lo sin custa.

I ate another bite. Actually, Domino’s pizza sucked a little less when you got it for free.

La saco de dormi de Liam ia es calda e bonveninte pos un dia longa e emosial consumante. Van ia contata ja Barbara. Barbara ave ja la video e la foto. Me va telefoni a el en la matina per descovre lo cual el sujesta per mea ata seguente. Me va debe visita personal pos sua publici, per confirma la raconta.

Liam’s sleeping bag was warm and welcoming after a long, emotionally exhausting day. Van would have made contact with Barbara by now. She’d have the video and the picture. I’d call her in the morning and find out what she thought I should do next. I’d have to come in once she published, to back it all up.

Me ia pensa sur esta, cluinte mea oios, ia pensa sur como lo va es cuando me presenta me per aresta, filmada par tota la cameras cual va segue la malfamosa M1k3y a en un de acel construidas grande e colonosa en la Sentro Munisipal.

I thought about that as I closed my eyes, thought about what it would be like to turn myself in, the cameras all rolling, following the infamous M1k3y into one of those big, columnated buildings in Civic Center.

La xilia de la autos pasante a supra ia cambia a un spesie de sona maral en cuando me ia lisca a dormi. On ia ave otra tendas prosima, persones sin casa. Me ia encontra alga de los en acel posmedia, ante cuando lo ia noti e tota de nos ia retira nos en grupos prosima a nosa propre tendas. Tota ia es plu vea ca me, de aspeta e vose bruta. Ma los no ia aspeta como persones demente o violente – mera como persones ci ia sufri un mal fortuna, o ia fa un mal deside, o ambos.

The sound of the cars screaming by overhead turned into a kind of ocean sound as I drifted away. There were other tents nearby, homeless people. I’d met a few of them that afternoon, before it got dark and we all retreated to huddle near our own tents. They were all older than me, rough looking and gruff. None of them looked crazy or violent, though. Just like people who’d had bad luck, or made bad decisions, or both.

Me suposa ce me ia adormi, car me recorda no plu asta un lus briliante dirijeda a mea fas, tan briliante ce lo ia sieci me.

I must have fallen asleep, because I don’t remember anything else until a bright light was shined into my face, so bright it was blinding.

“Acel es el.” – un vose ia dise de pos la lus.

“That’s him,” said a voice behind the light.

“Saci el.” – un otra vose ia dise, un cual me ia oia a ante, un cual me ia oia sempre denova en mea sonias, reproxante me, esijente mea claves. Fem de Capeles Sever.

“Bag him,” said another voice, one I’d heard before, one I’d heard over and over again in my dreams, lecturing to me, demanding my passwords. Severe-haircut-woman.

La saco ia es rapida poneda supra mea testa e stretida en modo tan tensada a la garga ce me ia sofoca e ia vomiti mea piza fregan. En cuando me ia spasma e tose, manos dur ia lia mea polsos, e mea talos a pos. On ia rola me a sur un portaferida e ia leva me, portante me a en un veculo, asendente du grados de metal tintinante. On ia cade me sur un solo cuxinida. Tota no sona ia esiste en la retro de la veculo pos cuando on ia clui la portes. La cuxin ia amorti tota estra mea propre sofoca.

The bag went over my head quickly and was cinched so tight at the throat that I choked and threw up my freegan pizza. As I spasmed and choked, hard hands bound my wrists, then my ankles. I was rolled onto a stretcher and hoisted, then carried into a vehicle, up a couple of clanging metal steps. They dropped me into a padded floor. There was no sound at all in the back of the vehicle once they closed the doors. The padding deadened everything except my own choking.

“E alo denova.” – la fem ia dise. Me ia sensa la osila de la camion en cuando el ia rampe a en con me. Me ia sofoca ancora, atentante suca un enspira. Vomita ia pleni mea boca e ia flueta en mea tracea.

“Well, hello again,” she said. I felt the van rock as she crawled in with me. I was still choking, trying to gasp in a breath. Vomit filled my mouth and trickled down my windpipe.

“Nos no va lasa ce tu mori.” – el ia dise. “Si tu sesa respira, nos va serti ce tu recomensa. Donce senti no ansia sur esta.”

“We won’t let you die,” she said. “If you stop breathing, we’ll make sure you start again. So don’t worry about it.”

Me ia sofoca plu forte. Me ia sorbe la aira. Alga ia penetra. Toses profonda dolente ia secute mea peto e dorso, desfisante plu de la vomita. Plu respira.

I choked harder. I sipped at air. Some was getting through. Deep, wracking coughs shook my chest and back, dislodging some more of the puke. More breath.

“Vide?” – el ia dise. “No tan mal. Bonveni denova, M1k3y. Nos prende tu a un loca multe spesial.”

“See?” she said. “Not so bad. Welcome home, M1k3y. We’ve got somewhere very special to take you.”

Me ia destensa sur mea dorso, sensante la osila de la camion. La odor de piza usada ia es inisial inondante, ma como su tota stimulas forte, mea serebro ia deveni gradal abituada a lo, filtrinte lo a via asta cuando lo ia es mera un odoreta debil. La osila de la camion ia es cuasi comfortante.

I relaxed onto my back, feeling the van rock. The smell of used pizza was overwhelming at first, but as with all strong stimuli, my brain gradually grew accustomed to it, filtered it out until it was just a faint aroma. The rocking of the van was almost comforting.

Esta ia es cuando lo ia aveni – un calmia noncredable profonda cual ia traversa me como si me reposa sur la plaia e la mar enflue e leva me en modo tan delicata como un jenitor, alta teninte me e portante me a via sur un mar calda su un sol calda. Pos tota cual ia aveni, me ia es caturada, ma lo no ia importa. Me ia trae la informas a Barbara. Me ia organiza Rede X. Me ia vinse. E si me no ia vinse, me ia fa tota cual me ia pote fa. Plu ca me ia pensa ce me va pote an fa. Me ia fa un lista mental en la viaja, pensante a tota cual me ia ateni, cual nos ia ateni. La site, la pais, la mundo ia es plen de persones ci va refusa vive tal como Securia Interna vole. Nos va batalia per sempre. Los no va pote prisoni tota de nos.

That’s when it happened. An incredible, deep calm that swept over me like I was lying on the beach and the ocean had swept in and lifted me as gently as a parent, held me aloft and swept me out onto a warm sea under a warm sun. After everything that had happened, I was caught, but it didn’t matter. I had gotten the information to Barbara. I had organized the Xnet. I had won. And if I hadn’t won, I had done everything I could have done. More than I ever thought I could do. I took a mental inventory as I rode, thinking of everything that I had accomplished, that we had accomplished. The city, the country, the world was full of people who wouldn’t live the way DHS wanted us to live. We’d fight forever. They couldn’t jail us all.

Me ia suspira e surie.

I sighed and smiled.

El ia parla tra esta tempo intera, me ia nota subita. Me ia profondi tan en mea loca felis ce el ia desapare mera.

She’d been talking all along, I realized. I’d been so far into my happy place that she’d just gone away.

“— joven intelijente como tu. On ta espeta ce tu ta conose la stupidia de jua contra nos. Nos oserva tu ja de la dia cuando tu ia parti. Nos ia ta catura tu an si tu no ia ta vade plorante a tua trador-jornaliste lesbian. Me simple no comprende lo – nos ia fa un acorda, tu e me…”

“– smart kid like you. You’d think that you’d know better than to mess with us. We’ve had an eye on you since the day you walked out. We would have caught you even if you hadn’t gone crying to your lesbo journalist traitor. I just don’t get it – we had an understanding, you and me…”

Nos ia ronci a traversa de un placa metal, con osilas par la amortadores de la camion, e pos esta, la osilas ia cambia. Nos ia es sur acua. En via a Isola Tesoro. He, Anj ia es ala. Darryl ance. Cisa.

We rumbled over a metal plate, the van’s shocks rocking, and then the rocking changed. We were on water. Heading to Treasure Island. Hey, Ange was there. Darryl, too. Maybe.


La saco no ia es desaponeda asta cuando me ia es en mea selula. Los ia fa no cosa a la lias de mea polsos e talos: simple, los ia rola me de sur la portaferida a sur la solo. Lo ia es oscur, ma en la lus de luna tra la sola fenetra pico e alta, me ia vide ce on ia sutrae la materas de la leteta. La sala ia conteni me, un vason, un sceleto de leto, un lavabo, e no otra cosa.

The hood didn’t come off until I was in my cell. They didn’t bother with the cuffs at my wrists and ankles, just rolled me off the stretcher and onto the floor. It was dark, but by the moonlight from the single, tiny, high window, I could see that the mattress had been taken off the cot. The room contained me, a toilet, a bed-frame, and a sink, and nothing else.

Me ia clui mea oios e ia lasa ce la mar leva me. Me ia flota a via. A alga loca, distante su me, ia es mea corpo. Me ia sabe lo cual va aveni seguente. On ia lasa me a pisi sur me. Denova. Me ia conose la esperia. Me ia pisi sur me a ante. Lo odori mal. Lo pruri. Lo es umilinte, como si on es un bebe.

I closed my eyes and let the ocean lift me. I floated away. Somewhere, far below me, was my body. I could tell what would happen next. I was being left to piss myself. Again. I knew what that was like. I’d pissed myself before. It smelled bad. It itched. It was humiliating, like being a baby.

Ma me ia survive lo.

But I’d survived it.

Me ia rie. La sona ia es strana, e lo ia retira me a mea corpo, a la presente. Me ia rie e rie. Me ia sufri ja la plu mal cual los ia pote lansa a me, e me ia survive lo, e me ia vinse los, ia vinse los tra menses, ia revela los como despotas noncapas. Me ia vinse.

I laughed. The sound was weird, and it drew me back into my body, back to the present. I laughed and laughed. I’d had the worst that they could throw at me, and I’d survived it, and I’d beaten them, beaten them for months, showed them up as chumps and despots. I’d won.

Me ia relasa mea vesica. Lo ia es ja plen e dolosa, e esta ia es la bon momento.

I let my bladder cut loose. It was sore and full anyway, and no time like the present.

La mar ia porta me a via.

The ocean swept me away.


Cuando la matina ia ariva, du gardores eficas e nonpersonal ia talia la lias de sur mea polsos e talos. Me ancora no ia pote pasea – cuando me ia sta, mea gamas ia colasa como los de un marioneta sin cordetas. Tro multe tempo en la mesma posa. La gardores ia leva mea brasos supra sua spalas, e me ia es partal tirada, partal portada longo la coredor familiar. La codigos de baras sur la portes ia es aora risa e pendente, atacada par la aira salosa.

When morning came, two efficient, impersonal guards cut the bindings off of my wrists and ankles. I still couldn’t walk – when I stood, my legs gave way like a stringless marionette’s. Too much time in one position. The guards pulled my arms over their shoulders and half-dragged/half-carried me down the familiar corridor. The bar codes on the doors were curling up and dangling now, attacked by the salt air.

Un idea ia veni a me. “Anj!” – me ia cria. “Darryl!” – me ia cria. Mea gardores ia aranca me a longo con plu rapidia, clar disturbada, ma nonserta como los debe reata. “Xices, esta es me, Marcus! Resta libre!”

I got an idea. “Ange!” I yelled. “Darryl!” I yelled. My guards yanked me along faster, clearly disturbed but not sure what to do about it. “Guys, it’s me, Marcus! Stay free!”

Pos un de la portes, algun ia sanglota. Un otra person ia esclama en un lingua cual ia sona como arabi. A pos, on ia ave un mal ruidosia, mil voses diversa criante.

Behind one of the doors, someone sobbed. Someone else cried out in what sounded like Arabic. Then it was cacophony, a thousand different shouting voices.

Los ia trae me a un sala nova. Lo ia es un sala vea de duxi, con la duxes ancora presente entre la telias mofosa.

They brought me to a new room. It was an old shower-room, with the shower-heads still present in the mould tiles.

“Alo, M1k3y.” – Capeles Sever ia dise. “Lo pare ce la matina ia es avenosa per tu.” El ia plieta sua nas en modo nonambigua.

“Hello, M1k3y,” Severe Haircut said. “You seem to have had an eventful morning.” She wrinkled her nose pointedly.

“Me ia pisi sur me.” – me ia dise, bonumorosa. “Me recomenda lo.”

“I pissed myself,” I said, cheerfully. “You should try it.”

“Donce cisa nos debe bani tu.” – el ia dise. El ia siniali par testa, e mea gardores ia move me a un plu portaferida. Esta ia ave coreas restrinjente longo tota de se. Los ia cade me a sur lo, e lo ia es jelin fria e saturada. Cuasi instante, los ia pone la coreas a traversa de mea spalas, ancas e talos. Pos un minuto, tre plu coreas ia es liada sur me. La manos de algun ia saisi la reles a mea testa e ia abri alga fisadores, e pos un momento me ia es apoiada a su, con testa su pedes.

“Maybe we should give you a bath, then,” she said. She nodded, and my guards carried me to another stretcher. This one had restraining straps running its length. They dropped me onto it and it was ice-cold and soaked through. Before I knew it, they had the straps across my shoulders, hips and ankles. A minute later, three more straps were tied down. A man’s hands grabbed the railings by my head and released some catches, and a moment later I was tilted down, my head below my feet.

“Ta ce nos comensa par un cosa simple.” – la fem ia dise. Me ia torse mea testa per vide el. El ia turna a un table suportante un Xbox, liada a un tele de scermo plata e parente custosa. “Me ta gusta ce tu dise a me tua nom e clave per tua conta de eposta a la Partito Piratin, per favore.”

“Let’s start with something simple,” she said. I craned my head to see her. She had turned to a desk with an Xbox on it, connected to an expensive-looking flat-panel TV. “I’d like you to tell me your login and password for your Pirate Party email, please?”

Me ia clui mea oios e ia lasa ce la mar porta me a via de la plaia.

I closed my eyes and let the ocean carry me off the beach.

“Esce tu sabe cual es la plance de acua, M1k3y?” Sua vose ia retira me. “On es liada con coreas como esta, e nos versa acua supra la testa e en la nas e boca. On no pote supresa la reflexe nauseosa. Lo es nomida un esecuta similida, e par cuanto me pote dedui de esta lado de la sala, acel es un bon evalua. Tu no va pote vinse la senti ce tu mori.”

“Do you know what waterboarding is, M1k3y?” Her voice reeled me in. “You get strapped down like this, and we pour water over your head, up your nose and down your mouth. You can’t suppress the gag reflex. They call it a simulated execution, and from what I can tell from this side of the room, that’s a fair assessment. You won’t be able to fight the feeling that you’re dying.”

Me ia atenta vade a via. Me ia oia sur la plance de acua. Lo ia ariva: la tortura real. E esta ia es sola la comensa.

I tried to go away. I’d heard of waterboarding. This was it, real torture. And this was just the beginning.

Me no ia pote vade a via. La mar no ia enflue per leva me. Me ia ave un tensa en mea peto, mea palpebras ia trema. Me ia pote sensa pisa umida sur mea gamas e suo umida en mea capeles. Mea pel ia pruri su la vomita secida.

I couldn’t go away. The ocean didn’t sweep in and lift me. There was a tightness in my chest, my eyelids fluttered. I could feel clammy piss on my legs and clammy sweat in my hair. My skin itched from the dried puke.

El ia flota a vidablia supra me. “Ta ce nos comensa par la nom de conta.” – el ia dise.

She swam into view above me. “Let’s start with the login,” she said.

Me ia clui mea oios, ia teni los presada.

I closed my eyes, squeezed them shut.

“Dona a el un bevi.” – el ia dise.

“Give him a drink,” she said.

Me ia oia persones movente. Me ia fa un enspira profonda e ia reteni lo.

I heard people moving. I took a deep breath and held it.

La acua ia comensa como un flueta, un culieron de acua, jentil versada supra mea mento, mea labios. En mea narinas inversada. Lo ia vade a la retro de mea garga, comensante sofoca me, ma me ia refusa tose, ia refusa enspira e suca lo a mea pulmones. Me ia reteni mea respira e ia presa plu forte mea oios.

The water started as a trickle, a ladleful of water gently poured over my chin, my lips. Up my upturned nostrils. It went back into my throat, starting to choke me, but I wouldn’t cough, wouldn’t gasp and suck it into my lungs. I held onto my breath and squeezed my eyes harder.

Me ia oia un tumulta estra la sala, un sona piafante de botas caososa, crias coler e ofendeda. La culieron ia es vacuida sur mea fas.

There was a commotion from outside the room, a sound of chaotic boots stamping, angry, outraged shouts. The dipper was emptied into my face.

Me ia oia la fem farfuliante alga cosa a algun en la sala, ante dise a me – “Mera la nom de conta, Marcus. Lo es un solisita simple. Vide, cual cosa me va pote fa con sola la nom?”

I heard her mutter something to someone in the room, then to me she said, “Just the login, Marcus. It’s a simple request. What could I do with your login, anyway?”

A esta ves, lo ia es un balde de acua, tota a la mesma tempo, un deluvia cual no ia sesa – clar, lo ia es jigante. Me no ia pote evita. Me ia sanglota e ia enspira la acua a mea pulmones, ia tose e ia asorbe plu acua. Me ia sabe ce los no va mata me, ma me no ia pote convinse mea corpo sur esta. En cada fibre de mea fisiolojia, me ia sabe ce me va mori. Me no ia pote an plora – la acua ia versa ancora supra me.

This time, it was a bucket of water, all at once, a flood that didn’t stop, it must have been gigantic. I couldn’t help it. I gasped and aspirated the water into my lungs, coughed and took more water in. I knew they wouldn’t kill me, but I couldn’t convince my body of that. In every fiber of my being, I knew I was going to die. I couldn’t even cry – the water was still pouring over me.

E alora lo ia sesa. Me ia tose, tose, tose, ma par causa de mea apoia, la acua cual me ia tose ia reflueta en mea nas e ia arde mea sinuses.

Then it stopped. I coughed and coughed and coughed, but at the angle I was at, the water I coughed up dribbled back into my nose and burned down my sinuses.

La toses ia es tan profonda ce los ia dole, ia dole mea costelas e mea ancas en cuando me ia torse contra los. Me ia odia como mea corpo tradi me, como mea mente no pote controla mea corpo, ma me no ia pote evita lo.

The coughs were so deep they hurt, hurt my ribs and my hips as I twisted against them. I hated how my body was betraying me, how my mind couldn’t control my body, but there was nothing for it.

Final, la toses ia calmi tan ce me ia pote comprende lo cual aveni sirca me. Persones ia cria, e on ia ave un sona de scaramuxa, de luta. Me ia abri mea oios e ia palpebri en la lus briliante, ante torse mea colo, ancora alga tosente.

Finally, the coughing subsided enough for me to take in what was going on around me. People were shouting and it sounded like someone was scuffling, wrestling. I opened my eyes and blinked into the bright light, then craned my neck, still coughing a little.

La sala ia conteni multe plu persones ca cuando nos ia comensa. La plu de los ia pare vestida en armur, elmos e visieras de plastica tinjeda. Los ia cria contra la gardores de Isola Tesoro, ci ia cria respondente, con colos tramada par venas.

The room had a lot more people in it than it had had when we started. Most of them seemed to be wearing body armor, helmets, and smoked-plastic visors. They were shouting at the Treasure Island guards, who were shouting back, necks corded with veins.

“Sesa!” – un de la armuridas ia dise. “Sesa e leva vosa manos. Vos es arestada!”

“Stand down!” one of the body-armors said. “Stand down and put your hands in the air. You are under arrest!”

Fem de Capeles Sever ia parla a sua telefon. Un de la armuridas ia vide el, ia move rapida a el e ia bate sua telefon a via par un mano gantida. Cadun ia silenti en cuando lo ia vola tra la aira en un arco cual ia traversa la sala peti, puminte sur la solo en un esplode de pesos.

Severe haircut woman was talking on her phone. One of the body armors noticed her and he moved swiftly to her and batted her phone away with a gloved hand. Everyone fell silent as it sailed through the air in an arc that spanned the small room, clattering to the ground in a shower of parts.

La silentia ia sesa e la armuridas ia entra a la sala. Du ia saisi cadun de mea torturores. Me ia susede cuasi surie a la espresa de fas de Capeles Sever cuando du omes ia saisi sua spalas, ia turna el, e ia aranca un securipolso plastica a sirca sua polsos.

The silence broke and the body-armors moved into the room. Two grabbed each of my torturers. I almost managed a smile at the look on Severe Haircut’s face when two men grabbed her by the shoulders, turned her around, and yanked a set of plastic handcuffs around her wrists.

Un de la armuridas ia avansa de la porte. El ia ave un camera video sur sua spala, un aparato major con lus siecinte blanca. El ia filma la sala intera, sirculinte me a du veses en filma me. Me ia trova ce me resta completa nonmovente, como si sentante per un depinta.

One of the body-armors moved forward from the doorway. He had a video camera on his shoulder, a serious rig with blinding white light. He got the whole room, circling me twice while he got me. I found myself staying perfectly still, as though I was sitting for a portrait.

Lo ia es asurda.

It was ridiculous.

“Esce vos ta pote cisa relasa me de esta cosa?” Me ia susede vosi tota de lo con sola un pico de toses.

“Do you think you could get me off of this thing?” I managed to get it all out with only a little choking.

Du plu armuridas ia prosimi a me – un ia es un fem – e ia comensa deslia me. Los ia leva sua visieras e ia surie a me. Los ia ave cruses roja sur sua spalas e elmos.

Two more body armors moved up to me, one a woman, and began to unstrap me. They flipped their visors up and smiled at me. They had red crosses on their shoulders and helmets.

Su la cruses roja ia es un plu insinia: Patrulia de Vias de California. Los ia es polisiores de stato.

Beneath the red crosses was another insignia: CHP. California Highway Patrol. They were State Troopers.

Me ia comensa demanda cual los fa ala, e esta es cuando me ia vide Barbara Stratford. El ia es evidente detenida en la coredor, ma aora el ia entra, puiante, puxante. “Asi tu es.” – el ia dise, ajenante a mea lado e saisinte me en la abrasa la plu longa, la plu forte de mea vive.

I started to ask what they were doing there, and that’s when I saw Barbara Stratford. She’d evidently been held back in the corridor, but now she came in pushing and shoving. “There you are,” she said, kneeling beside me and grabbing me in the longest, hardest hug of my life.

Alora me ia sabe lo – Guantanamo de la Baia ia es en la manos de sua enemis. Me ia es salvada.

That’s when I knew it – Guantanamo by the Bay was in the hands of its enemies. I was saved.

Esta paje es presentada con la lisensa CC Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International.
Lo ia es automatada jenerada de la paje corespondente en la Vici de Elefen a 21 april 2022 (17:21 UTC).