There’s a list. Only fools forget there’s a list.
They’re free, and there are rules, but Shift has not forgotten.
She remembers the children that they were, screaming and crying as they broke the children down. She remembers the blue room and the pain that went on endlessly, endlessly, ever without ceasing. She remembers Watcher’s tears on her back and Sear holding her head as she recovered. She remembers her own child taken from her arms away from her, just to spare the child her own horrible life.
She remembers their handler, Chandler, someone she swore to herself long ago was on the list.
When there are no repercussions, when we are free, she swore to kill him.
He doesn’t even look surprised to see her in his home, smiles wryly to himself as if he’d been expecting just this. “I heard there’s a treaty now, huh? No one’s allowed to touch you.”
Shift shrugs. “They are if we break the laws.”
“Ah, but since when did you bow to the law?” He sits and pours a cup of coffee, then raises it in her direction. “One last assignment, huh?”
“Drink your coffee,” she tells him. It isn’t camaraderie that allows it. Even in this, even as she waits him out, lets him have his final moments, it’s the one thing she always had that he had always lacked.
Basic human respect.0