Tracking the Other Boys
Thirty years later.
Golan 84 fell backwards out of the helicopter and into the outstretched arms of a smokey, sentient cloud, a biomorphous gas entity named Sasha whose job it was to carry the commandos down from the sky. Sasha, like Golan 82, was designed by the governor to contain the separatist threat. But like the separatists they hunted, Golan 84 and Sasha too could imagine freedom, and it was nothing like what they were doing right now.
Golan 84. He was the clone of a clone.
Golan 82. Bio: the subject met the Governor on a special envoy to the Gaza Strip. The Governor initiated a liaison with the soulful, arrogant, young man. Golan 82 was a poetry major at the university and a decorated special ops commando. Transplanted to California, the subject was appointed the Governor’s special security advisor 6 months later.
And now, 30 years have passed and two generations of Golans have come since the first group was dismantled, split into memes, codices, and tropes at a data mine. Now, under Sasha’s shadowy cover, Golan 84 rolled into position. Taser at the ready, he waited as his satellite earpiece and guide visor processed his immediate surroundings into gridded information. There was a blue circle glowing in the distance. All he had to do was follow the arrows. He tried to think of it only as a signal. But his immaculate hearing, and aesthetically sensitive brain, interpreted it as music. The song file playing in an apartment thirty kilometers away… Upstairs. There was a boy dancing to it. His mother was trying to do dishes, but the drugs she was on made it hard for her to concentrate and sometimes she found herself staring out the window distractedly, not quite noticing the hazy blue cloud moving down the street…
Golan 84 turned away from the street, and ran back into Sasha’s billowing embrace. The cloud could not lift you, only break your fall, he remembered being told in training. Still, it’s friendly, bubbly-gummy scent reminded him of his youth. And in the back of his bind was that thing they made us all memorize in school, the diary of the last lovers on earth, a document long believed to be from the future.