Avery is falling asleep in her seat. Her chin hits her chest, and she jerks her head back, eyes wide.
“And this woman, this Luddite as you call her, tell me about her.”
Avery wants to cry.
“I’ve told you everything,” she pleads. “Well, not you, but all the other Taints before you. How many of you are there?” She sighs in resignation when the clone fails to respond. “I was just doing my job. Why am I being held?”
The Taint cocks his head at her question.
“Are you being detained?” The Taint asks. “I was not aware of this.”
Avery’s anger flashes. “Excuse me?” she demands. “Are you kidding me?” She’s standing. She doesn’t remember standing. Her tiredness has been replaced with with fire.
“Laine, please. No one has said that you are a prisoner here.”
She cackles, eyes burning. “I’ve talked to about a dozen of you idiots, all with the same questions. I’m answering the same crap over and over again, and now you’re telling that I’m free to go!?”
She advances on the clone, and he quickly stands to move away. His chair clangs as it falls over behind him.
“No!” she yells. Her hands are reaching for his sweater. “I swear I could kill-”
The door burst open and three more Taints rush to enter. She thinks one of them might be Garfield, but before she can react to anything, a new face enters. He’s a head taller than the Taints, and his uniform pegs him Ministry of Chronology. Someone important.
“Ms. Avery,” the man says with a plastic smile. “If you would be so kind, please do not murder my staff. They are expensive.”