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The Soft War - Chapters 1 and 2
The staccato gunfire startled him, echoing along crumbling brick walls, fading into silence.
"...a small band of renegades escaped the quarantine area this morning and managed to make it into the Buffer Zone. They carried ancient projectile weapons, but were quickly apprehended before they could enter the city. No citizens of Shore were harmed..."
A sideways flick of his forefinger muted the sound from the holo projection hanging just in front of him. There was a light pressure against the finger, as if pushing against a lever.
Torbin continued to monitor a dozen news channels nearly simultaneously, periodically changing the volumes, or pausing some to concentrate on others. At times the movements of his hands and fingers were merely a blur. Accompanying each gesture was a tactile response that changed depending on the purpose of the action.
A pulsing hum in
Bo.When Lindsay was born, Bo was there. Standing beside her mother, he was the first thing she ever saw. But he was not her father; her father stood on the other side.
Bo was there until the very moment she died.
The sun shone bright through the windows of her pink-laden room. She loved pink. And black.
“Because Bo is black,” she’d told her parents.
Her imaginary friend, they soon concluded.
“Bo is all black,” she described one night as her father tucked her in, “His skin and his hair and everything. He doesn’t talk a lot.”
Her father frowned.
“He sounds scary.”
“He’s not,” she insisted.
Bo sat on the bed and said nothing.
Her father kissed her good night and turned out the light.
“Why can’t Dad see you?” she asked.
“Are you real?”
“Are you real?” he replied.
“How do you know?”
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