Author : Roi R. Czechvala, Staff Writer

He had been a brilliant physicist, she a promising graduate student.

“I love you,” he said.

“And I you,” was her reply.

Autumn threw off her many coloured coat and bowed to the dominance of Winter.

“Marry me,” he said.

She did.

Implantation was new. It was expensive. They could not afford it. They were chosen.

His, a brilliant mind, two points shy of genius. Hers, lightning fast, intuitive, bordering on precognitive.

They were happy.

They recovered separately in identical white, sterile rooms.

“The implantation and assimilation was successful. You may feel some disorientation at first; that will pass. Welcome to The Community,” the doctor said.

She beamed.

“I’m sorry. It is rejected in some, assimilation does not always occur. You may experience severe headaches, they will diminish over time.”

“I’m happy for you.” He smiled.

“I’m sorry for you.” She wept

They fell apart. Satisfied. Glowing. Happy.

“I’m pregnant,” she said.

“But how? We Just…,”

“I know.” She tapped her temple. “It’s a girl,” She added.

They embraced. They were happy.

She spent increasing amounts of time linked to The Community. He couldn’t share. The baby cried, she didn’t hear.

He awoke one morn to find her in the throes of auto erotic stimulation. Moaning the name of another.

“What is it,” he asked, disturbed.

“It’s no one, it’s nothing.”

“It’s someone.”

“Look around,” she gestured “No one is here.”

“It’s someone,” he repeated darkly.

“It’s like a holo stim,” she said. She left to shower. The baby wept. The plaintive cries were drowned by the running water. She was with The Community. He was Other.

He found her again in the throes of singular passion.

“It’s him again.”

“It’s nothing, I told you. Look around. There is no one here.

“There is someone here.” He tapped his temple.

“It’s not like that. He…”

“Do you love him?” She did not answer, did not look at him.

“Do you love him in your precious Community? A gated Community, where I am not allowed. Do you love him? Do you?”

“Please” she said, turning to him tear filled eyes. “Please don’t do this.”

He picked up the lamp from the bedside table.

“I have to.”

“I know.”

“Have you always known?”

“It was inevitable.”

The baby cried.

He walked to the nursery, wiped the blood from his hands and took his daughter into his cradling arms.

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