That was hard.
Election Day. Watched the results come in with a sick and nervous wife, went to the pub with my family shortly before it was called for Obama. My daily target took a second place to celebrating the historiacl re-election of Barack Obama — first Democrat since FDR, btw, to win with over 50% of the popular vote, if the projection holds up.
I hit my target in one hour. I held myself to a new high water mark of frantic production. It worked. Whew. I present an excerpt, never more unedited, then I sleep. Excuse the typos.
She looked at the book again, and saw the picture of a young man. He was older than Tala — maybe 60 or 70 years to Tala’s 38 — and thin-faced. The closer Tala looked, the more curious he appeared. He had an irregular quality to his features, an asymmetry that was uncommon in the Metro except in the oldest members of the Citizenry. It wasn’t that he looked old, really, so much that he looked like he belonged to another time.
Tala attributed this unevenness to the random birth reproduction widespread on the outside. There was no genetic filtration on the outside, and babies could be born with all sorts of untidy genetic and epigenetic traits, causing the most grotesque distortions int he faces of outsiders. Crooked noses, lopsided mouths, badly distributed teeth. Tala thought of the gentle but pointed comments she endured as a child about her somewhare undersided ears, and the reminded chilled her blood to think of her association to the outside.
She looked at the man’s name, written below his picture.
“Sephro. ‘Joseph Robison’.” Tala looked up. “So they do still use Colonial names.”
Kanen nodded gravely. “An indignity that you shall have to suffer with steely will. He is known to us at Sephro, as you can see, but to the outsiders, he is ‘joseph’. You shall have ot address him as such, of course.”
She continued reading. “52, Historian.” Much younger than she had guessed, which was likely due to the hard aging of the average outsider. And historian. She wasn’t familiar with the profession, but it suggest a perverse and distasteful attachment to the past and it foul traditions. A career devoted to preserving old ways disguested Tala.