the pures

by rachel yong

At the sound of a dog barking, Paltron came slowly out of her daze. She sat tied to a chair with her arms twisted behind her back. Of course that dyke would want her tied up. The bristles on the twine scratched at her wrists. The binding was tight. She squinted, blood throbbing through her temples. Was that a bruise on her forehead?

“Jesus…” was all she could mutter as her senses begrudgingly came online. She felt like puking. The room doggypaddled into focus. Not much to look at, that was for sure. Concrete walls, no windows… This was a holding cell, designed to take prisoners. Was Davis a psychopath? Didn’t see that coming.

Looking around, she could see nothing else in the room except a bag – one that Paltron recognized as her own.

It was open, the carbon leather slouched down to reveal that it was empty.


Davis broke into a trot, clutching the databook that seemed to be carrying the last year of Paltron’s cognitive backup. She was heading back to the EIU, the only place she knew of that had the equipment to decode it. She wasn’t sure what her plan was for getting back in, but she had a hunch Paltron wasn’t bluffing – she hadn’t exposed Davis yet. Exposing Davis would have exposed herself, and Paltron definitely seemed like a woman with secrets to hide. If that was true, then the EIU still didn’t know Davis was the Outside Man. It was a gamble, but she could pass off her absence to sickness, or a problem at home. She could make something up. Charlie had always had a soft spot for her.

And if she needed it, she had Paltron’s stunner in her side pocket. It was a grade Davis hadn’t seen before, definitely not civilian grade, and unlike anything they carried in the EIU. It hadn’t even been detected in Glide Transit when Davis had carried Paltron's unconscious body through, and Glide had the toughest security on the planet. All the evidence pointed to the stunner’s device signature being undetectable, and that kind of technology could only come from the top – for people like the Moderators and the Abolitionists. The stunner itself featured an aluminum body with a small flame etched onto it – an insignia she didn’t recognize. A part of her wondered if it could burn people. She’d never heard of that before – a portable device that could burn people – but she was starting to think she hadn’t heard of a lot of things.

She shook the thought out of her head. Hopefully it wouldn’t come to that. Hopefully she could just sneak back into the EIU unseen, get the databook hooked up, and escape unscathed without hurting a soul.

Judy stumbled into the creaky, stained glass church where Solomon sat waiting. He was sitting in the same pew and in the same spot where he always sat. He turned to look at her. Her Solomon.

He stood up, faster than his age would suggest he could. Judy took a few irregular steps towards him, slowing when her aisle met his pew.

She looked up at him, at a loss for words. So much had changed for each of them in the last few hours that the guard they’d each built up so diligently over the last 40 years seemed to have vanished all at once.

She took one step towards him and reached out her hand. “Solomon –

He took her hand and pulled her close. Blues reds and greens shone down on the sixty year old couple as they shared the first kiss of their lives. For Abolitionists, kissing was not allowed.

“Looks like we’re on the same side after all,” Judy said tenderly.

“Yes,” Solomon answered. “Yes.”


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