Hashtag Hollowgirl

Fall - glitchThe final Twinmaker remix is complete! Below is the raw text that was the source of Hashtag Hollowgirl, the final Twinmaker novel broken down into bite-size bits. I’ve enjoyed this disintegration and reintegration process–the literary equivalent of a d-mat machine. Gee, I hope nothing went wrong in translation . . .

  • What price the mirror, the box, and the wire? Everywhere is anywhere is nowhere now #Hollowgirl
  • Clair was twelve the first time a story about d-mat truly scared her. #Hollowgirl
  • “Did you hear the one about the girl who used d-mat to lose weight . . . and died?” http://twinmakerbooks.com/die-with-a-t/ #Hollowgirl
  • “In order to pretend to be you, I had to temporarily suppress you,” Q said. “That was hard. You’re very strong.” #Hollowgirl
  • A creeping sickness in her gut was one part hunger, one part dread, and a large part self-blame. Real. #Hollowgirl
  • Tash and Ronnie, and Libby, and Zep . . . At least two people on that list were supposed to be dead. #Hollowgirl
  • “To the Sphinx Observatory,” Clair said, shaking herself out of her concerns. “Where this whole thing started.” #Hollowgirl
  • Clair’s heart held such a chaotic mix of emotions she couldn’t begin to describe how or what she felt. “Intense” was one word. “Everything” another. #Hollowgirl
  • “Who called the peacekeepers?” asked Zep. “Talk about a buzzkill.” #Hollowgirl
  • The other Clair retreated a step, her hand flying to her mouth as though she was about to throw up. “Who are you?” she asked. #Hollowgirl
  • “I’m you,” she said, staring right at her double. The other Clair wasn’t exactly the same: her hair was shorter; her face was clean. “I’m not a dupe.” #Hollowgirl
  • Q was much cleverer now that she knew what she was. #Hollowgirl
  • “My name is Q,” she said. “I am not human, but I am Clair’s friend and I want to help her help you.” #Hollowgirl
  • They had the same genes. They were equally stubborn. If Clair 1.0 wanted to force the issue, Clair 6.0 was happy to push back. #Hollowgirl
  • “I’m me and I’m real and if this is some kind of stupid crashlander hazing, then screw you and whoever’s behind it.” #Hollowgirl
  • Improvement was a net designed to catch a particular sort of person, one willing to try an impossible meme to illegally make themselves better. #Hollowgirl
  • That feeling . . . of being entranced and entrapped at the same time . . . Clair 6.0 remembered it well. #Hollowgirl
  • “Older,” said Tash. “Harder,” said Ronnie. “Angrier,” said Zep. “Damaged,” said Libby. #Hollowgirl
  • “I know how you feel about Zep,” Clair 6.0 said, grabbing at Clair’s arm 1.0. “I kissed him. That was my first mistake.” #Hollowgirl
  • “You make copies of things in a fabber,” said Ronnie. “Why not people in a booth?” #Hollowgirl
  • “Well, the first thing we have to do,” said Libby, “is to decide what to call you two. Clair One and Clair Two? But who is One?” #Hollowgirl
  • “This is all too weird,” Clair One said, “and you just expect us to take your word for it. I want a second opinion. That’s not unreasonable.” #Hollowgirl
  • “See what they did when they found out there was one of me here? Imagine what they’d do if they knew there were two.” #Hollowgirl
  • “This party sucks,” said Libby with bright decisiveness. “Let’s blow this joint. Argue later. Okay, ladies?” #Hollowgirl
  • “I was expecting a new face and a crashlander ball, not this funky little shindig.” #Hollowgirl
  • “This is messed up,” said Zep as the carriage descended. “We’re all thinking that, right?” #Hollowgirl
  • “Nice one, Zep,” said Libby, slapping him on the chest. “You’ve broken Clair.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Clair Hill, I presume,” said Ant Wallace. “The naive girl blessed with powerful friends. Or is that actually a curse? Time will tell.” #Hollowgirl
  • Wallace smiled. There was no humor in his eyes. “This is my world. Your interference cannot be tolerated.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Lucky Jump? Just like old times.” #Hollowgirl
  • Libby put her hand palm-forward in the air, like she was swearing an oath. “Zep is right. This is such a mind-fuck.” #Hollowgirl
  • “That’s twice you’ve saved my life, then. And here I was thinking you were trying to steal my boyfriend.” #Hollowgirl
  • It felt so good to have her best friend back, to be acknowledged as herself, and to forget everything she had lost in the last few days. #Hollowgirl
  • “God,” Libby breathed, “you can be such a pain.” / “You know it. But only because I’m right.” #Hollowgirl
  • Mariah’s expression hardened. Even the goodwill of saints had limits. #Hollowgirl
  • “We can’t stay in here,” said Tash. “I don’t want to be made of nothing.” #Hollowgirl
  • Clair One used a stop-playing-games voice that sounded like their mother. Clair Two was appalled: she didn’t know she did that. #Hollowgirl
  • “Dead means dead,” said Zep. “As it ought to.” #Hollowgirl
  • “What if my mind is leaking into yours—because there are two of us and the Yard is confused about whose memories are whose?” #Hollowgirl
  • “How do I make it stop?” asked Clair One. “I don’t want to be written over.” #Hollowgirl
  • “A data ghost on an electrobike?” said Zep. “I don’t think so.” #Hollowgirl
  • All I want right now, she prayed, is for no one else to die. #Hollowgirl
  • Hollow men was what the dupes called themselves, only Jesse said it as one word, like “salesman” or “chairwoman.” It sounded scarier that way. #Hollowgirl
  • “There’re two of you now,” Nobody said. “I’ve seen you. You’re the ones who got away.” #Hollowgirl
  • He smelled like Jesse, felt like Jesse, sounded like Jesse, *was* Jesse—but how much did he remember? #Hollowgirl
  • “Hold on,” Jesse shouted, “and think of Dad!” #Hollowgirl
  • “Don’t make any sudden moves,” said Dylan Linwood in a hard voice she knew well, “or we’ll shoot.” #Hollowgirl
  • Dylan’s expression was all brittle crags, like a cliff face on the verge of avalanche. #Hollowgirl
  • “You were right and we were wrong. We were all very, very wrong—about Wallace, about d-mat, about everything.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Qualia has been broken,” Q said, “by which I mean both the notion and the entity.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Ant Wallace thinks he’s won. He thinks he’s going to live forever in his pathetic playground. We’re going to show him how wrong he is.” #Hollowgirl
  • “The shadows are moving,” she said. #Hollowgirl
  • Clair felt as though someone had reached into her chest and ripped out her heart. #Hollowgirl
  • “At some point we have to take it on faith that something that feels real *is* actually real.” #Hollowgirl
  • “I like this version of you better, and not just because you want to kiss me.” #Hollowgirl
  • Clair didn’t like confrontation, but when pushed too far and there were no other options … giving in wasn’t her style. #Hollowgirl
  • “Listen to her, Clair. She’s making sense. You always make sense, even when you’re being an idiot.” #Hollowgirl
  • Clair hadn’t realized that saving her friends from each other would be so difficult or so time-consuming. It was exhausting. #Hollowgirl
  • Under a ceiling covered with twisting rock straws came a steady drip of water, like the ticking of a crystalline clock. #Hollowgirl
  • Lightning struck all around her, creating a flickering, electric cage. She was afraid of the light. It was alive somehow, and yet the sound it made was a hissing crackling noise utterly unlike anything natural. If it touched her, she knew, she would become like it and never be able to turn back. The thought terrified her so much she couldn’t breathe. #Hollowgirl #arealdreamihadonce
  • Kari’s lenses showed complex geometric shapes coming and going in rapid succession, indecipherable from the outside. #Hollowgirl
  • “Serious catastrophes demand severe sacrifices. Every drone, every algorithm, is be required to mete out justice. The rot will be rooted out.” #Hollowgirl #fiction?
  • “Q’s a goldfish, you know—growing as large as the container that holds her? The Q I knew was a me-sized version of her. Now I barely know her at all.” #Hollowgirl
  • “If wishes were fishes, we’d be up to our ears in goldfish.” “Make enough wishes and one of them is bound to come true eventually.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Friendship is not just helping each other, or testing each other, but understanding each other better and better as time goes on.” #Hollowgirl #Senecasaiditfirst
  • Clair wished Q had a face. It was so hard to read what she might mean beyond the words. #Hollowgirl
  • “I have come up with several words for me, but none of them sound very good. I’m happy being just Q. The one and only.” #Hollowgirl
  • It was all very well to know that she had been brave once. The thought of doing it twice was almost too much. #Hollowgirl
  • Clair rubbed the bridge of her nose. The saving-the-world part of her plan was proving elusive. #Hollowgirl
  • WHOLE would drag the world back to the twentieth century if anyone was crazy enough to let them. #Hollowgirl
  • Dylan rasped one hand across his stubbled chin and made a pained expression like Clair’s stepfather did when she won an argument. #Hollowgirl
  • “White Man’s Pit, the one ultramax prison ever built, is about a mile under the old opal mines in South Australia. The only way in is via d-mat.” #Hollowgirl
  • Taking Jesse’s hand again, she turned it over in hers, marveling as she had long ago that these fingers had made things. #Hollowgirl
  • There were lots of ways to touch someone, but none as powerful in Clair’s experience as stroking the skin of someone lost and newly regained. #Hollowgirl
  • “Yeah, but there are two of us now. Wallace won’t know what’s hit him.” A ghost of a smile flickered across Clair One’s familiar features. #Hollowgirl
  • In some ways, the hardest person to read was herself. #Hollowgirl
  • “Well, we’re all fucked now, Stainer boy,” said Zep, “and we’re your bitches. Karma paid off for you big-time, I’d say.” #Hollowgirl
  • Zep said in a shaky voice, “Come back, d-mat. All is forgiven.” #Hollowgirl
  • One hundred percent of ultramax prisoners chose euthanasia over life imprisonment. It might take them years, but they always got there. #Hollowgirl
  • “This is where terrorists come to die,” Dylan Linwood said. “The ones who get caught.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Only one flavor of taco?” Zep said. “For the rest of your natural life?” #Hollowgirl
  • Some might say that Clair was responsible for the death of billions. Would she end up in a cell next door to Ant Wallace? #Hollowgirl
  • There was a ghost in the prison, and it was Devin Bartelme. #Hollowgirl
  • Her need to pretend that everything was normal was a physical thing, a cloying cobwebby cloud hanging between them. #Hollowgirl
  • “Clair Two,” said Clair One, “is such a bitch.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Cunctando regitur mundus,” said Dylan Linwood. “It means, ‘Be patient and you’ll conquer the world.’” #Hollowgirl
  • “I’m the real Tilly Kozlova, warts and all, pre-Improvement. Don’t ask me to play a piano concerto. I’m more of a ukulele girl. #Hollowgirl
  • “We call ourselves the Unimprovables,” said Libby. “Like it?” #Hollowgirl
  • Hope has flown, she thought. A line from a poem she couldn’t quite place, although she knew she knew it well. #Hollowgirl
  • How was she going to save the world if she couldn’t save herself? #Hollowgirl
  • Spring becomes summer / Summer becomes fall / Fall becomes winter / Evermore #Hollowgirl
  • She was intensely glad for Q’s strong hand resting in hers. The price needed to be paid, and it needed to be paid by them. #Hollowgirl
  • Clair expected death to be quick. #Hollowgirl
  • Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive. That was Wordsworth. Only it wasn’t dawn, and it wasn’t likely to be blissful, either. #Hollowgirl
  • Clair 6.0: the one who got away, standing in the wrong place at the wrong time in order to live while billions didn’t. #Hollowgirl
  • “We’ve won! All the peekers and zombies are gone. It’s just us now. WHOLE has inherited the earth!” #Hollowgirl
  • “No one’s attacking anyone,” Nelly said. “Not today.” #Hollowgirl
  • Even Abstainers had friends and loved ones who used d-mat. They had all lost people. And they wanted answers. #Hollowgirl
  • “This is potentially the most precious machine on the planet,” Q said as she rearranged the radio’s innards in ways Clair didn’t understand. #Hollowgirl
  • “Respond, if you’re hearing this,” she said, her voice crackling with static. “Explain to me how the hell you’re still alive.” #Hollowgirl
  • RADICAL wanted to live forever, with the help of d-mat, and they weren’t going to let something as trifling as the law get in the way of that ambition. #Hollowgirl
  • The truth was hard. It tore apart Clair’s promises and stomped all over her values. #Hollowgirl
  • Lightning and thunder danced around them in a deafening ballet, as though blind giants were fighting over earth’s last inhabitants. #Hollowgirl
  • “We brought it on ourselves. We deserve everything that happened to us. We were so smart, and so, so stupid.” #Hollowgirl
  • Clair dreamed of Jesse and woke reaching for him. The space between her arms felt as though it would never be full again. #Hollowgirl
  • “For the good of the many, out of compassion for the world . . .” #Hollowgirl
  • “There are bound to be other survivors,” Q said again, as if by repeating it, it was likely to be more true. #Hollowgirl
  • The buildings of New Petersburg stood tall in the distance, surrounding the ruins of the muster like the teeth of an open mouth. #Hollowgirl
  • An airship possessing the improbable shape of a giant head—that of Kipling Satoshige, a popular game show host—casting an incongruous smile across the ruined landscape. #Hollowgirl
  • Many of Clair’s mother’s elephants had been genetically engineered “in pattern” before being born naturally in Northern Australia. #Hollowgirl
  • “The problem wasn’t d-mat,” said Eve. “The problem was people.” #Hollowgirl
  • “At its maximum rate, radio would take millions of times longer than the age of the universe just to send a single person.” #Hollowgirl
  • “This is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard of. Sign me up.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Round peg into round hole, except instead of pegs we have thoughts fired like homing missiles into your own mind.” #Hollowgirl
  • In dark moments Clair imagined a creature emerging from the ashes, spawned from the death of humanity and feeding on its remains. #Hollowgirl
  • “If they look like us, act like us, feel like us—who are we to say they’re not us?” #Hollowgirl
  • The weak winter sun hung dead ahead, just kissing the horizon over the humped backs of row of grim-looking hills. #Hollowgirl
  • Clair jerked awake from a very strange dream about giant flying heads and a boy with patchwork skin. #Hollowgirl
  • I’m Clair One, and no one else.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Take the grenade and go practice somewhere quiet, so you can concentrate . . . and in case it goes wrong, somewhere a long way from here.” #Hollowgirl
  • “My name is Mallory Wei,” she said, “and I want the same thing you do: Ant Wallace, dead.” #Hollowgirl
  • Dylan Linwood thought everyone who had gone through d-mat was a soulless zombie. Why would he strive to save himself or anyone else? #Hollowgirl
  • “Time to come full circle, Clair,” Nobody said. “The only way this is going to work is if you become me.” #Hollowgirl
  • War had turned Clair Two into a monstrous version of who she had been. Already, Clair One could see her friends falling under the same spell. #Hollowgirl
  • “Holy freaking hell,” Billie said. “You’re Clair Hill, the girl everyone’s looking for. What rock have you been hiding under?” #Hollowgirl
  • “I dissected a frog once who was as cynical as you,” Zep said. “It didn’t end well for him.” #Hollowgirl
  • After first being copied, and now losing her face, the question of who Clair was was getting increasingly hard to answer. #Hollowgirl
  • It wasn’t her reflection. It was Nobody looking back at her. Until she blinked, and the blond, blue-eyed, white-skinned boy in the mirror blinked too. #Hollowgirl
  • He kissed her not because she was Libby’s best friend. Hell, she didn’t even look like a girl anymore. He kissed her because she was her. #Hollowgirl
  • “I’m good at inventing random numbers.” Zep said. “That’s what my math tutor wrote on my last paper.” #Hollowgirl
  • Behind an absurdly huge desk, big enough for a game of racquet ball was a chair so baroque it could have been a throne, with complicated spires and gyres. #Hollowgirl
  • Wallace may have built the weapon that destroyed the world, but you’re the one who made sure it went off. #Hollowgirl
  • “You can learn a lot,” said Kingdon, “from the way a person lies.” #Hollowgirl
  • “There’s truth in lies,” Clair said. “And honesty in deceit. No one in this room has ever talked in a straight line.” #Hollowgirl
  • “You sound like a petty villain,” said Mallory to her husband. “It impresses no one.” #Hollowgirl
  • It was ironic, really. Dylan Linwood had given Clair a mission, and in a roundabout way she had succeeded. #Hollowgirl
  • It would’ve been funny, almost, but for the thought: I guess we’re the same, after all. #Hollowgirl
  • Clair closed her eyes. History repeats itself. #Hollowgirl
  • Clair woke feeling as though a whole army had just run across her grave, firing pop guns and being chased by monsters. #Hollowgirl
  • “Something’s very wrong.” Distantly, an alarm began to sound. #Hollowgirl
  • “The hollowmen have been attacking on and off, but the Yetis are a match for them.” #Hollowgirl
  • My hair is gone. “I really am damaged now, aren’t I?” #Hollowgirl
  • Clair was gambling a lot on not being stone-cold crazy. #Hollowgirl
  • “The prodigal Clair returns.” #Hollowgirl
  • “You’re probably right. That’s never stopped me from disagreeing with you before.” #Hollowgirl
  • Another Clair? The whisper spread through the room. “Lose one, find another,” said Nobody. #Hollowgirl
  • “You either trust all of us or none of us,” Clair said. “You can’t have it both ways.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Clair was never very good with the small stuff,” said Tash. “She’d walk through a picnic following a cloud, my mom would say.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Another you,” said Libby. “How many are there? And is she as bald as a coot too?” #Hollowgirl
  • “Copy the atoms and you copy the person. Remember when we cloned those tomato plants in biology? Just because yours died didn’t mean the others died with it.” #Hollowgirl
  • “People aren’t tomatoes,” said Tash hotly. #Hollowgirl
  • This was bigger than friendship, bigger than who belonged to what group. There was nothing bigger than the future of the human race. #Hollowgirl
  • “He’s Mom,” said Devin Bartelme from the South Pole. “A very old version of mom.” #Hollowgirl
  • What reassurance could she offer? Except to say, “We won’t make any mistakes. This is the time we get it right,” and hope it was true. #Hollowgirl
  • Sandler rolled his eyes. “Just because there’re two of you doesn’t mean you need to be twice as cocky. Or twice as annoying.” #Hollowgirl
  • Swaying slowly from side to side, the giant floating headplowed on through clouds piled high like mountains. #Hollowgirl
  • The memories, once part of a girl called Clair in the Yard, belonged to all Clairs in the Yard, whether they wanted them or not. #Hollowgirl
  • “Have you ever had your palm read,” Kari asked Clair, “or seen a psychic? Did they say that you were going to lead the weirdest life ever?” #Hollowgirl
  • People tied themselves in such knots of indecision, Allison Hill said, because what they knew and what they wanted to think were often different things. #Hollowgirl
  • Clair had never heard so many four-letter words in one string as during a philosophical argument over the soul. #Hollowgirl
  • Eve and Evan behaved like estranged parents, when in fact they were estranged selves, separated by much more than just memories. #Hollowgirl
  • Libby didn’t look fashionable or jazzy. She looked tired, and tired of being tired. And that, Clair knew, made her dangerous to cross. #Hollowgirl
  • Clair burst into tears and reached out for her mother’s hand. #Hollowgirl
  • “Disappointment is for people who can’t accept that their children never turn out exactly like them.” #Hollowgirl
  • “I’ve spent the last few days not knowing if you’re dead or alive. If I end up with two of you, that’s just good news twice over.” #Hollowgirl
  • “War takes a toll. I worry that the cost of this one might be too great.” #Hollowgirl
  • Q not knowing things was worse than Q not saying anything. #Hollowgirl
  • “Humans like rules even if they are invalid, or superseded, or outright nonsensical.” #Hollowgirl
  • “A mind’s relationship to constraints placed upon it is one of the measures of true consciousness.” #Hollowgirl
  • “It’s important rules exist so we can rail against them. They are made to be broken, isn’t that right?#Hollowgirl
  • Q asking Clair’s opinion on AI was like her asking a child for its thoughts on the works of Mary Shelley. #Hollowgirl
  • Clair had thought herself done with speeches. But when the circumstances demanded one and no one else was stepping forward . . . #Hollowgirl
  • “What are you afraid of? Looking bad? That’s not something dictators worried about, I thought.” #Hollowgirl
  • Clair had seen very little evidence that the Consensus Court had failed. All the problems she had faced were caused by individuals. #Hollowgirl
  • “The Consensus Court cannot be overturned by the Court itself. That’s the one decision it cannot make. The only way to get rid of it is by revolution.” #Hollowgirl
  • “It takes a true leader to tear everything down in order to build something new.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Being smart doesn’t mean you can’t be crazy or ignorant at the same time.” #Hollowgirl
  • There was no way Clair was bumping Wallace to make him an offer. He already had enough of her blood on his hands. #Hollowgirl
  • “She’s dead! She died fourteen years ago and that apparition parading before you is a vicious, cruel lie. The sooner you accept that the better!” #Hollowgirl
  • “You’ve done it, Jesse,” said Libby in amazement. “You’ve made Improvement real.” #Hollowgirl
  • It wasn’t just about revenge, Clair told herself, although that was definitely part of it. #Hollowgirl
  • Following the action through her lenses wouldn’t be enough. She wanted to smell Wallace’s failure. #Hollowgirl
  • If Clair couldn’t even get out of bed without help, what hope did she have of surviving a single second against the hollowmen? #Hollowgirl
  • Parts of her had once belonged to a different Clair. Did that make her a kind of Frankenstein’s monster? #Hollowgirl
  • Clair knew at the very core of her being that she was 100 percent better, and 200 percent Clair Hill. Even her hair was back. #Hollowgirl
  • This had started with Libby and Zep. That was how it had to end. #Hollowgirl
  • It was so strange to think that Jesse had traveled all that way in the blink of an eye. Now Clair knew how her grandparents must have felt when d-mat was invented. #Hollowgirl
  • On either side of her the Yetis and Unimprovables were moving. Clair put her head down and leapt through an imaginary door. #Hollowgirl
  • Prize giants were illegal, but there were stories about covert wrestling matches and wrestlers who couldn’t change back to their normal forms. #Hollowgirl
  • People constantly ripped in, fired at each other, and then ripped elsewhere, creating a mad dance like a ballet choreographed by maniacs. #Hollowgirl
  • One of the hollowmen ran past. An explosion tore the figure apart, leaving nothing but shreds of black behind. No blood. No flesh or bone. Just cloth. “Yeah, they’re literally hollow now,” said Zep. #Hollowgirl
  • “This is just like gaming. All those hours practicing instead of writing essays weren’t wasted after all.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Dangerous? Gee, I hadn’t noticed.” Libby’s face was flushed and sweaty. Her birthmark stood out on her cheek like war paint, proudly displayed. #Hollowgirl
  • “I get it,” Libby whispered. “You’re going to Frodo your way in, but you forgot something very important: Frodo didn’t actually work alone.” #Hollowgirl
  • “You’re Sam Gamgee?” “In my version of the story I’m both prettier and more in charge, like Galadriel, but whatever. You get the point.” #Hollowgirl
  • “This is my wife’s gun. She had a good eye for deadly things. I’m saving the next bullet for someone special.” #Hollowgirl
  • “It’s over,” Clair said, barely able to believe that she was saying the words. The hostages were saved. They were all saved. #Hollowgirl
  • Someone twisted into the space directly behind Clair and pressed the hot barrel of a gun firmly to her cheek. #Hollowgirl
  • WHOLE was full of clever engineers. Scavengers and madmen, too, Clair was truly beginning to realize. #Hollowgirl
  • With friends like WHOLE, no wonder Abstainers were surrounded by enemies. #Hollowgirl
  • “You don’t have to do this,” Clair said. It felt wrong to go down without a fight. #Hollowgirl
  • “It’s funny. You think you’re Ezekiel in the valley of dry bones. Snap your fingers and they’ll talk and dance to your tune. But I don’t see anyone here dancing, do you?” #Hollowgirl
  • “Not-so-humble techno-utopian decides to start his own master race. Doesn’t trust anyone else to bear his clones, so changes sex and does it himself.” #Hollowgirl
  • Nothing Dylan could do was worse than this. But Dylan was still Jesse’s father. He wasn’t Nobody in disguise. He thought he was doing the right thing. #Hollowgirl
  • “This is what the future holds,” Evan said, speaking to everyone with his arms stretched wide in the pose of a beneficent messiah, his glitch-suit flexing like a living thing. #Hollowgirl
  • “No mortality. No physical tyranny. Complete freedom to choose how and how long you live. . Humanity’s destiny is to grow, to flourish, to be more than it ever has been before!” #Hollowgirl
  • There was no rescue coming, everyone in the Yard was going to die, and the Earth was going to fall because the only people left were insane. #Hollowgirl
  • “Hacked their augs,” Devin said. “Gave them extreme tinnitus and . . . whatever the equivalent is for eyes.” #Hollowgirl
  • For the thousandth time, Clair wished Jesse was with her. Killer with a screwdriverand more besides. #Hollowgirl
  • “I am your friend, Clair,” Q said. “I would do anything to keep you from harm.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Humanity.” The word echoed through the chamber, and Clair shivered, sensing an emotion so huge that it might never have been felt before. #Hollowgirl
  • “I do not see you as you see ants,” said Q. “You squash ants, and I do not want to squash you. There’s nothing wrong with being an ant. Clair is not an ant.” #Hollowgirl
  • “I think people are people,” Clair said, wishing she had something wiser to offer. “And I can be stupid too.” #Hollowgirl
  • “I was a child before, and became an adult, and now I am . . . whatever comes beyond an adult.” #Hollowgirl
  • “We say we’re sorry and we try not to do anything like that again. That’s how humans relate, Q.” #Hollowgirl
  • “You’d kill us all to keep her safe?” said Zep. “That’s insane with a capital I.” #Hollowgirl
  • “No conscious being is entirely rational.” #Hollowgirl
  • The airship was descending, swaying after their passage over the mountains. Frozen Lake Baikal lay beneath them, stretching flat and white to the distant horizon. #Hollowgirl
  • “What do penguins sing at birthdays? ‘Freeze a jolly good fellow.’ Get it?” #Hollowgirl
  • “Which side of an Arctic tern has the most feathers? The outside, of course.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Why did the penguin cross the road? To go with the floe.” This time they all groaned. “Come on. That’s genius.” #Hollowgirl
  • The meme spread fast, and so did the copies, because each of the copies could in turn copy themselves: from one Libby could spring two, then from two four, eight, sixteen, thirty-two. #Hollowgirl
  • As fast as they multiplied, the glitches multiplied too. Clair couldn’t tell which Libby was real and which a strange phantom from her memory. #Hollowgirl
  • “I wasn’t planning on dying today, Clair.” #Hollowgirl
  • Libby was too good at this. She liked being in the spotlight. What Clair never wanted Libby to learn was that a spotlight could also be a target. #Hollowgirl
  • Clair knew how it felt to watch herself die. #Hollowgirl
  • “The yar ebreaki ngtheru les.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Believe anything you want. Knowledge is real, isn’t it?” #Hollowgirl
  • “Whatever happens,” Jesse said, “we’ll always have the Mystery Caves.” #Hollowgirl
  • This was about them, and they were together. “I love you,” Clair said. #Hollowgirl
  • The balloon wasn’t capable of great speed in the air, but it certainly seemed fast when they were coming down out of control. #Hollowgirl
  • The ragged remains of the balloon were like the wings of a giant bird, straining hopelessly to take off again. #Hollowgirl
  • All around her she could hear the ice flexing and fracturing, strange squeaks and cracks that were sometimes as loud as gunshots. #Hollowgirl
  • They arranged the body and stood in a circle around the hole. “You were a good friend,” Clair said. “Both of you. . . .” #Hollowgirl
  • “Mom says she was a lot more driven when she was a he. That was one reason why she changed: too stressful, she says, being a man.” #Hollowgirl
  • “People either want to use technology to change everything, or they want to ban it forever. They’re never anywhere in the middle.” #Hollowgirl
  • “I know that d-mat isn’t evil. It’s just a tool. And tools don’t kill people. People kill people. Tools won’t save people either. Nothing will save us but . . . us.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Instead of dreaming about what d-mat can do, why not dream about what we can do? Isn’t that the better dream?” #Hollowgirl
  • “You have to sleep in order to dream,” said Devin. “Maybe that’s the part these old guys forget. Sleeping means letting go. And they don’t want to.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Difference is a good thing. Diversity increases the human race’s chance of survival. The more of it, the better for all of us.” #Hollowgirl
  • The station was designed to float when the lake melted, and there was something in the curve of the walls and the low ceiling that put Clair in mind of boats. #Hollowgirl
  • “So there’s hope.” / “If hope looks like a massive question mark to you, then yes, run with that.” #Hollowgirl
  • “I know this doesn’t feel like winning, but honestly, Wallace has lost for good.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Mess with Clair Hill,” said Trevin, “and she’ll turn you into a zombie. That’s a lesson WHOLE won’t forget in a hurry.” #Hollowgirl
  • “It’s strange, knowing I was dead for a while. There’s a lot I didn’t see before I died. I’ll try not to make that mistake again.” #Hollowgirl
  • Clair imagined the powersat opening up like a flower and streaming bright yellow rays across the Earth, like an artificial spring. #Hollowgirl
  • “This is the first body I ever inhabited. I hope you don’t mind that I’m using it again. It seems appropriate, for what I need to say.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Come on, Q,” she said, reaching out and taking her best friend’s hand in hers. It was very cold. “Let’s walk.” #Hollowgirl
  • Lake Baikal’s ice shone a rich, glassy blue. Lines of bubbles and fractures formed strangely delicate geometric works of art over forests of living kelp below. #Hollowgirl
  • The expression on Libby’s face might have been anguish, but it might equally have been indecision. One was possibly causing the other. #Hollowgirl
  • Q’s voice sounded older than it had in the wreckage of the muster. Older, harder, angrier, and damaged. #Hollowgirl
  • “I think we think too much, you and I,” said Q. “It would be easier not to, sometimes.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Come with me,” Q said. “I could scan you and put you into a mobile version of the Yard. We could travel the universe together.” #Hollowgirl
  • “I’d be like a pet to you. You would keep growing and growing, and then I wouldn’t be anyone at all. I’d be no one, a dot.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Children do not kill their parents when they surpass them in strength and experience,” said Q. #Hollowgirl
  • “Uncertainty is the only certainty. Therefore, an intelligent being should do little that cannot be undone. I am convinced of this.” #Hollowgirl
  • “We must tread lightly, even when those around us do not.” #Hollowgirl
  • “I was as the child and now am as the parent. I could smother you just as easily as kill you.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Conflict is a part of nature, and nature is not in itself wrong. If we fight nature itself, we are doomed to a life of futility and unhappiness.” #Hollowgirl
  • “How a person responds to conflict is a measure of that person. There is conflict, and then there is harm.” #Hollowgirl
  • “A good person strives to eliminate harm, doesn’t she, even while conflict persists?” #Hollowgirl
  • Clair could Improve the world with one simple decision. So why shouldn’t she? #Hollowgirl
  • But trying to change things for the better was how everyone had gotten into this mess in the first place. #Hollowgirl
  • Unexpectedly, bringing the entire human race back from the dead was easier than deciding the fate of a single person. #Hollowgirl
  • Had Q meant that as a joke? It was hard to tell, sometimes. Hopefully this entire conversation wasn’t some kind of cruel trick. #Hollowgirl
  • “You won’t stick around to see what happens? It’s going to be quite a soap opera.” #Hollowgirl
  • “The mistakes I make tend to kill people.” #Hollowgirl
  • Clair laughed. It made her feel better to think that someone as smart as Q also had problems with self-blame. #Hollowgirl
  • “Let’s make a pact: no destroying the world. How hard can that be?” #Hollowgirl
  • “Enough,” said Q. #Hollowgirl
  • It was confusing and wondrous, a wonderful confusion of Clairs, of herself, of lives unlived and deaths undone. #Hollowgirl
  • So many different experiences seen through the same eyes . . . but the eyes were constant, which was what mattered. #Hollowgirl
  • Perhaps it was time to stop worrying about who she was and start simply being herself. Not Clair 1.0 or Clair 7.0. Clair complete. #Hollowgirl
  • “Remember this. Next time you’re in a booth, say his name three times: Cameron Lee.” #Hollowgirl
  • “In two years, the ocean will be blue again.” #Hollowgirl
  • “Come find me,” said Q’s last message, “when you’re ready. I’ll be waiting.” #Hollowgirl
  • I bid these joys farewell and pass them by for a life of my own, afar . . . #Hollowgirl

 

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