Okay, this is an OLD idea that I never intended to write because it was so pieced together,
but I’ve found my Muse! I’m really starting to roll with it, and I hope it’s to your liking.
Disclaimer: I own only my OCs and the plot of my story. All background info
on BR, its game, movie or characters belong to Philip K. Dick, Ridley Scott and Westwood Studios.
Italics in story represent thoughts.
To Learn to Live
Chapter One: Wanted Dead or Dying
[Transcript of an audio tape found in the Joleson apartment, December 24, 2019:
The sound of traffic is evident on the recording. There is a crackle of a radio
being switched on.]
“[female computer voice] ATTENTION ALL UNITS. ALL POINTS BULLETIN ISSUED
FOR …JUNE …JOLESON …FORMERLY BR-6-1-6-7-5. CONFIRMED ISSUING AID TO WANTED REPLICANT CRIMINALS. ARMED AND
[Another crackle, then a woman’s quiet laugh.]
“Armed and active. That was what they called you when you weren’t considered
dangerous. At least not yet. The way things were going on though, one tiny slip and they’d take you out. It almost happened
to a buddy of mine. He was lucky I guess.
“How lucky are you when your escape plan includes blasting off in a wrecked moonbus
two worlds away from this one?
“[a quiet laugh] Good ol’ rookie Ray. Always getting my ass in trouble.
Of course, I didn’t have very much under my belt either. As obvious to my situation. I never thought years of training
at the Academy would get me in as much shit as I’m in now.
“I know it’s no good trying to tell my side of the story. Since Lieutenant
Edison Guzza disappeared, there’s been a big crackdown on the replicant population. No more room for grey areas; you
either shot them, or you were labeled a traitor and a threat. And that’s just how they saw me. No matter what I did
or didn’t do.
“You may think you’re going to hear why I did what I did, or how it all
happened. Well, tough shit, cause you’re not. But to whatever profiler they’ve got working on me now, let me give
you a little hint about my state of mind… The LPD is SHIT!”
[There is a metallic click. Some shuffling is heard. The sound of something heavy,
then a struggle for breath. The strain of a rope is heard. Minutes pass and there is a snap. The tape runs until it ends.]
June Joleson was a traitor. At least in the legal sense.
Replicants. It was only natural that she studied them. Eldon Tyrell was her great-uncle.
He’d fronted her tuition to Androtech University in New Phoenix. After she graduated in the top of her class, she went
to Los Angeles to train at the Police Academy in the forensics department. When replicant technology came into existence,
she was ecstatic. She spent many hours with her brilliant relative, all the while dreaming of the contributions she could
make to his achievements.
Unfortunately her degree and research went unused and untested.
After the Off-World rebellion, the top students in the Academy became Blade Runners.
She was one of them. She remained a forensic scientist, applying what she knew about replicant anatomy to her job as a Blade
Runner. Then the fallout came between her and Dr. Tyrell. The old man loved her, but didn’t trust her. Before the rebellion,
things might have been different; but she was a Blade Runner now. A dealer of death to her great-uncles “children.”
Not a very fitting employee at the Tyrell Corporation. Still, she went on in the tiny lab in her tiny apartment, researching
replicants one night, retiring them the next. It was now no longer a study, but an obsession with no real purpose but to be
Her big break came at the expense of another. Or rather, others. When Tyrell fired
Luther and Lance, she finally had contact with the technology she needed for her research. She brought her problems to them
and worked along side them when she could. Moonlighting as a researcher of replicant technology while keeping her status as
a Blade Runner was one of the hardest things she ever did. Anyone would understand the toll it would take on one’s sanity.
She almost gave up trying.
But one night, her motto to protect and serve was put into a new perspective when her
protection and service went out to the wrong “person.”
She didn’t know if she really saw them as people as much as hunted, oppressed
strangers. Like the ones who fought for their freedom in the earlier days of America. But what she felt didn’t matter.
In fact, it got her into trouble. Her empathy and association with another traitor made her a target, like the ones she used
But it didn’t matter now. June Joleson was dead.
At least in the legal sense.
Swathed in stinking rags, a pair of eyes peered out from a pair of round green goggles.
The blue, almost teal eyes watched as LPD spinners landed gracefully outside the dark apartment building. Brown-coated detectives
swarmed onto the street, blocking off access to the curious in ground cars. It didn’t bother the ragged figure. She
knew what the CSI unit was carefully examining on the pavement. It was a body. Her body.
She smiled as a badge was extracted from the decimated remains. A team of officers
rushed into the building, presumably to the apartment of the late June Joleson, former Blade Runner. Good.
The time this ruse would buy her was short, but hopefully the corpse she’d hung
and let fall was altered enough to distract her hunters. By the time the LPD came to the last dead end of her paper trail
and realized the dead woman was a retired special, June Joleson would hopefully be Off World.
Adopting the shambling gait of a toxin-ruined wastrel, she disappeared into the sewers.
It was time to pay a visit to a friend.
Chapter Two: Ghosts and Demons
Spencer Grigorian sat dumbfounded in the shabby hotel room.
Since the LPD had finally discovered who was behind the Tyrell
bombing, he’d been cleared of their suspicions and released from lock-up. Unfortunately, his mortgage on his uptown
home in the Third Sector had been foreclosed on and he had to live in the decrepit but unnoticed Yukon Hotel. The room he
was in was paid for in advance for three months. He never found out who set that explosive at the Tyrell building, but he
owed his living space to a Blade Runner: One who was now dead.
He felt a great amount of sympathy for the young woman. He couldn’t
imagine committing suicide. Not long ago a Blade Runner had given him the Voigt-Kampff test, and suggested that he suddenly
felt the urge to do such a thing. He remembered he told him that he loved life too much to commit suicide. After all, what
would a killer like a Blade Runner know about loving life? They destroyed so many and he supposed would have many demons to
fight within themselves. Still, the girl seemed so levelheaded, more empathic than most Blade Runners he’d met. He wished
she would’ve given up her killing and joined the cause. She seemed to believe in it; she paid the first few rent payments
for him until he’d secured a job. Why else would she help him? However, it all came to nothing now.
“I suppose you couldn’t live as a death dealer anymore
June,” he sighed as he switched off the news report announcing her suicide.
“You got that right Spence’.”
Spencer nearly jumped through the decaying roof over his head.
He spun around to see a small-bodied vagabond in tattered burlap rags. He took a step back when the figure raised its hand.
Slender fingers lifted the green-hued goggles away from a pair of large aqua eyes. With a flick of the wrist, the hood was
pulled away from the head, revealing a long mass of red-brown curls. “Boo!” she said sharply, causing Spencer
to start back and fall over his chair. He looked up at her from the floor and rubbed the heels of his hands against his hazel
“J-June?” he stammered, sweat drops beading on his
“In the flesh my friend,” she answered, discarding
the last remains of her disguise. Her faded blue denim pants were streaked with dirt and sewer refuse and her black shirt
was gray with filth. A little belt with a small pouch hung at her waist. “Little worse for the wear, but what can I
“But…but you’re…how did you…huh?”
“Hmm, maybe I should explain myself. Can’t have you
not completing sentences forever, can I?”
“Yeah…” Spencer murmured, coming out of his stupor.
“Yeah maybe you should. What happened June? I saw the body on TV. They identified you with dental records.”
“That’s the advantage in having a friend in a DNA sub-con
in dental design Spencer. Even if old man Tyrell doesn’t want my help, the sub-cons are always willing to make a little
extra, in return for a little troubleshooting from me,” she muttered, the thought of the reproach she felt from Dr.
Tyrell making her cranky.
“And the body?”
June’s eyes suddenly lost their angry spark and filled with
remorse. “A special. I found her when I was hiding in the sewers. She was sick and I…I retired her.” She
wrapped her arms around her waist, feeling a cramp in her gut over the banality of those words. “Oh fuck it, I killed
her! I didn’t want to…but…I didn’t know what else to do. I’ve been a killer for so long I thought,
‘Hell, what’s one more?” She said with bitter humor. Digging one hand through her unwashed red hair, she
looked at the man she naturally assumed would take her in. “Damnit, I’m sorry to come to you like this Spence’.
I didn’t know where else to go. Luther and Lance are Off-world, and my uncle, well, wouldn’t want to draw the
attention of the Blade Runner unit. But you. You’ve already been through enough trouble. I hate to get you involved.”
He shook his head. “Don’t worry June. I’m not
ashamed of what I do. It will get me in trouble no matter what.”
She looked at him, regarding his complacency strangely. “You
could land in jail again you know.”
“At least I’ll already know how to deal with it,”
he smiled, nervously, but a smile nonetheless. June stared at him, and then finally cracked a smile herself.
“You’re a good guy, Grigorian. Can you point me to
a shower?” she asked.
“Yeah, just go ask the clerk out there. Do you have any chinyen?”
“Enough. Thanks Spencer.”
One hot shower later, June sat, drowning in some of Spencer’s
old clothes. The large button up shirt overemphasized her small frame, and the belt she’d worn was cinched past its
last hole. Armani wouldn’t be placing her in any fashion ads, but it was better than the stench those rags left on her
“You got anything to eat Spence? My stomach’s kind
of gnawing on itself,” she said, the cramp in her gut replaced by the burn of hunger.
“Yeah, I think so. I got a little new souch from Howie Lee’s.
If you mix it with hot water it’s kind of like instant soup…”
“That sounds cool. Thanks.” She smiled at the thought
of something warm in her stomach. She watched him go out the door and let the smile fall away. One hand went to the small
snap button of the little brown pouch on her belt. Inside were two small vials of metallic fluid and several tiny silicon
chips. She sighed in relief, thankful that the most important things she had were with her instead of her by-now cleaned out
apartment. Hearing Spencer walking back, she snapped the pouch closed and pulled the shirt over it. He came through the door
with a steaming coffee pot full of water.
“I got the hot water and…” he trailed off when
he saw the stricken look on her face. Her hands clenched the baggy knees of the pants, balling up the khaki material in her
fists. “Um, June?”
“Hm?” she looked up at him, her eyes shining but dry.
Spencer knew there was a lot she needed to tell him, but she needed food more right now.
“Uh…nothing, I’ll make the stuff…”
A few minutes later, June was sipping the hot, surprisingly tasty
liquid from a short clay mug. Every gulp burned down her throat and settled in a pool in her empty stomach. By the time she
finished the broth she looked, to Spencer, a lot better. For a moment they sat quietly, neither one knowing where to begin.
“Well, I guess I’ll start,” she mumbled, looking
at the brownish ring of leftover soup at the bottom of the mug.
“You don’t have—”
“Yeah, I do. I have no right to be here unannounced like
this. You deserve to know why at least.”
Spencer looked at her, her eyes set in determination. He sighed
and nodded, letting her have the floor. She opened her mouth and suddenly laughed bitterly.
“This whole thing is so ridiculous! It’s not even fair!
I wanted to be in genetics research and development; that’s what I studied eight years at Androtech for. Technically,
I am a doctor. I wanted to develop technology to help my uncle create and improve life, and I wanted to be a cop so I could
help protect that life. And I did well for myself too. I was a good cop, on and off the street. I put my forensics knowledge
to work in the lab with Dino, and I helped to keep people off the slab too. Then one little Off-world civil war breaks out
and my life goes to hell.
“I didn’t want to be a Blade Runner; I didn’t
agree with it. Nevertheless, I was a top student, so it was expected of me. I tried to get my uncle’s approval to work
at Tyrell Corporation so I could have a reason not to be. Problem was the old man didn’t trust me anymore. Once he heard
I was a Blade Runner, he was only good for a little chinyen and a phone call now and then.”
“You know, he probably thinks you’re dead June,”
he pointed out. “You should tell him his niece is alive, right?”
“Why should I? He didn’t care then, he sure wouldn’t
care now!” She stopped when she found herself shouting and cleared her throat. “Well, that option useless, I decided
to try my own way. I tried to stay off the streets by putting in too many hours in the lab. Then Guzza, the lieutenant in
charge, got suspicious of my motives and put me on active duty with Holden and Steele. He thought with my knowledge of replicant
technology I would be ‘invaluable’ as a rep detect. Fat-ass stupid waste of space…” she muttered,
running a hand through her now dry hair. She twisted a large lock around one finger and pulled out with a sigh. “Anyways,
he thought I’d be better retiring replicants instead of cutting them up on the slab.”
Spencer shuddered. He hated morbid talk.
“So I did my job. I became a killer. I was paid to be a killer;
I had to eat and stay alive. Then one night, I pulled out some of my research and started messing with it again. It felt great.
Like redemption. I thought, if I could develop something to end the conflict between humans and replicants, I could…
I don’t know; make up for all those I retired.”
She stopped speaking for a moment. Spencer gulped and asked a question
he didn’t really want to ask her: “How many?” Now who’s being morbid Grigorian?
June gazed at him, teal eyes full of pain.
“In my first year there…sixteen. Only half as many
up to now.”
“Twenty-four…” he breathed. So many lives lost.
He had no idea what it was like to take a life, artificial or not. They communed through their eyes for a moment before her
head dropped forward, copper ringlets pouring down.
“You hate me. You think I’m a murderer.”
“No I don’t.”
“Well, you should. Here I am, the epitome of what you fight against.
Top it all off, I’m an admitted traitor.”
“Better to betray them than yourself.”
June gave a deep sniff, damming up her tears and lifted her head,
a sad smile on her lips. “You’re such a teacher Spence’.”
“It’s a living.”
She chuckled softly, glad for the small release in tension. At
least he didn’t hate her. “So I researched when I could with the little technology I possessed. But I didn’t
get too far and soon I was pretty much reanalyzing the same thing over and over. It almost drove me crazy. And on top of it
all, we had new recruits coming in. Captain Bryant wanted Dave and Crystal to train them, but Guzza recruited me instead of
Holden. Bunch of rookies had no idea what was expected of them, so I couldn’t give them half-assed training. I had to
force myself to be a good teacher. Steele was the ideal BR though; zero empathy. Those rookies learned most everything physical
from her, but I held the key to the VK machine and the firearms. That’s where I met Ray. Wet-behind the ears, he was,
but a good guy.”
“Forgive me if I didn’t find him as charming on the
other side of the bars,” Spencer muttered.
“Yeah, he put on the tough guy face for us, but I don’t
think he liked what he did anymore than me. That’s why he trusted me I guess.”
“Then why June?” he asked, still very puzzled. “I
mean I’m glad you’re not a killer anymore, but why are they after you?”
June took a deep breath. She hadn’t told anyone this. Not
Ray, not Tyrell, not even the Twins. “I helped out the wrong person.”
“What do you mean?”
“About two months ago, I was getting ready for my patrol.
I was on DNA Row, finishing a night of research with…some friends. I walked to my spinner and there was this scream.
I looked and this girl, hardly a teenager came running out of the alley like the devil was on her heels. This wasn’t
far from the truth either. Not two seconds after I got her in the spinner, these punks come running out of the alley. I pulled
my gun and told them to beat it. Then…they said to...let them have the ‘reppie whore.’ When I told them
I was a Blade Runner, they left. I didn’t know if the kid was a replicant or not, but she was scared and had almost
faced the worst thing a woman can. So I decided to help her. I asked her where she lived, she told me. I took her home and
I never saw her again.”
Suddenly, a bitter laugh that chilled Spencer’s spine issued
from her mouth. “Turns out she was a replicant, and one that was on our toplists. I kept quiet about it, but somehow
someone in the brass found out. And voila, here I am, a dead woman walking.”
June sat back in the chair, drained from telling her tale. Spencer
looked at her, taking in all she had told him. Finally, he leaned forward and placed a hand over hers, resting on her knee.
“You’re very brave June.”
She laughed again, that same rueful sound. “No I’m
not! I didn’t stand up for myself, not once! I killed a sick woman to cover my own ass! That poor kid would’ve
been raped if I hadn’t done what I did! Android or no, there’s right and wrong damnit!” Suddenly she lurched
forward and threw her arms around Spencer. He startled as the onslaught of tears came pouring out of his normally tough, capable
friend. For many minutes, he just held her as she let go of all the pain and suffering she’d just relived.
After a while, she straightened up and wiped her eyes. Brushing
the hair from her moistened face, she sniffed and shook her head. “That’s all there is. And that’s all for
me. I can’t stay here.”
“What are you talking about? You know you can stay here as
“No. I mean I can’t stay on this planet.”
Spencer gaped. “You’re going Off-world?”
June shrugged. “Can’t think of a better place to disappear
to, can you? Besides, this world’s got nothing left for me.”
“That isn’t true June,” he answered firmly. “Your
research can make a difference for the replicant people. Your uncle—”
“Yeah, right. Good one Spence’. Former rep-killer working
on Dr. Eldon Tyrell’s precious technology,” she snorted. “No, I have to get Off-world. I can’t go
on here. Besides, I think I’ve still got a couple friends up there.”
“But how? Apparent suicide or not, you’re a wanted
woman. Show your face at the terminals—”
“There won’t be any terminals,” she said rather
cryptically. Spencer cocked an eyebrow at her. She sighed and stood up. “I hate to do this Spencer, but I need some
more help from you.”
“Me?” he said a little loudly, getting to his feet.
“Wh-what can I possibly do? I don’t understand.”
June smiled. “Not too long ago, when Ray was still around,
he told me he interviewed you. You said something about an underground railroad.”
“That…that was a figure of speech,” he stuttered,
not looking her in the eye.
“That’s what he said. But I did a little snooping,
and a very well-hidden trail led me to GOURD.”
Spencer finally looked at her, his light brown eyes sparkling.
“GOURD is still running?”
“Apparently so: Grigorian Off-world Underground
“Yes…that’s it,” he smiled dreamily. His
people still believed in the cause.
“GOURD?” June asked with a wry smile.
Spencer snapped out of his trance and grinned. “We took that
from an African-American song in the 19th Century. They used to call the Big Dipper constellation the “drinking
gourd”, saying that following the direction it lay in would lead them to freedom.”
“Must be pretty successful. You got your name in it,”
she said, chuckling softly. He blushed a bit and looked away.
“Yes well…leadership gets you big-headed sometimes…”
he admitted, blushing a bit redder.
June shook her head with a smirk and placed her hands on her hips.
“So, what do you say Spencer: Can you help me out?” He frowned, thinking, his brows knitted above his eyes. “Oh,
come on Spence’. I have to do this. I can’t live on this shithole anymore.”
A note of pleading entered her voice and he made up his mind. He
would not allow this proud, strong woman to beg for his help. “Okay, I guess I owe you one anyway.”
“Thank you,” she said, stepping forward to hug him.
“Just…thank you.” He smiled and patted her back. She pulled away and grinned for the first time since she
arrived. “So, what do we do?”
It was not as quick a process as she hoped it would be.
GOURD, as a rule, was a nomadic organization. They moved from place
to place every month to avoid detection. Spencer told her that he would contact them and, he hoped, would get a quick response.
He also told her that they might not be so hot about transporting a former Blade Runner, but he would pull some strings. Until
then, June would have to lay low with him.
“I know it’s not the Ritz, hell it’s not even
the Bradbury, but the mattress is clean, and the clerk is going to keep his eyes open for you,” he explained, smoothing
a sheet over the mattress.
“I don’t know how I’ll sleep to tell you the
truth,” she mumbled, hugging her knees to her chest. “Every sound I hear makes me jumpy.”
“Maybe this will help,” said Spencer, holding out a
small brownish pill to her and a glass of water. She looked at the pill, then at him. “Just a light sleep aid. I have
trouble sleeping too.”
“Look at us,” she sighed, “a pair of sympathetic,
insomniac saps on the run.” She took the pill and gulped the water down, shivering a bit at the cold in her stomach.
Spencer walked to his mattress on the far side of the room. He watched her slip beneath the sheets, drawing them up to her
chin. She looked so small, so innocent. But he knew all the death she’d seen; all the death she caused. But one thing
he could take comfort in was she hated what she’d been, and took no pleasure in the lives she took.
“Thanks again Spence’,” he heard her whisper
softly. He smiled and finally stretched out on his mattress. Hopefully his people would come through, and this woman’s
hell would finally end.
Chapter Three: The First Step
“HELP! Somebody please! HELP!”
June whirled around at the sound of the scream. She could hear the beating of small,
panicked footsteps on the rainy pavement.
“Who’s there?” she called, her hand fluttering on her gun. A crash
of galvanized trashcans answered her, a small flood of rubbish spilling out from the mouth of the alley.
Almost immediately after, a young girl scrambled out onto the sidewalk. One of the
legs of the magenta thigh high garter tights she wore was ripped at the knee, stained with a small amount of blood. She wore
no shirt, her young, heaving breasts covered only by a small black bra. Her wide frightened eyes danced around the area, tears
smearing the heavy black makeup down her pale face.
“Hey, kid! C’mon, quick! In the spinner!”
The girl jumped at the sound of the new voice. She stared at June, terrified for a
moment, but then quickly followed the order. The door opened and she fairly leapt inside. June went for her door and froze
when she heard the growl and snigger of male voices. Her hand whipped out her gun and she spun around, finding aim on a small
knot of punks from the alley.
“Party’s over boys! Take it somewhere else!” she shouted, her gun
unwavering. A few of them raised quiet qualms about her, but the obvious leader hushed them and stepped forward.
“Lady, all we wants is the girl. Where’s the whore?”
“No girl around here but me, and I hope you aren’t insulting me.
Now beat it!”
The dirty man sneered at June. “Hell, I see her in that flying heap. You some
kinda rep-symp? Give us the reppie whore and there won’t be no trouble,” he bargained, taking a step forward.
June’s stomach went icy. If they were right, and she was…But it was wrong.
She knew their kind and she couldn’t let her go to them.
“Joleson, BR61675. Blade Runner Unit,” she explained, cocking her gun slowly
and loudly. “And I said beat it!”
At the crack of the chamber filling with a bullet, the leader stepped back into the
throng. “Awright boys. Let’s let the officer do her duty. No fun fucking a robot anyway.”
June felt bile rise in her throat and the thought of putting a slug through his jewel
box crossed her mind. She waited until they disappeared, then lowered her gun and entered the spinner.
The girl jumped visibly when June settled in the driver’s seat. June stared out
the window, waiting to see if they dared to come around again. Finally, she holstered her gun and ran a hand through her red
“Bastards,” she growled. “They’re better off in lock-up. And
they say replicants have no empathy.” She turned and looked at the girl. Her hair was messy and out of place, clods
of dirt caked in the bright pink bob. She’d begun to shiver a bit, whether out of fear or chill. June reached behind
her seat and watched her nearly jump out of the spinner with a gasp. “Whoa, now take it easy hon. Just seeing if we
can’t…ah here we go.” She pulled a purple vinyl zip-up top with clear sleeves out of a bag and held it out
to her passenger. “Here you go.”
The girl stared at her with wide hazel eyes. She made no move for the top.
“You won’t hurt me, will you?” she asked in a quavering voice. June
felt that cold needling her stomach again.
“Why would I do that?”
“You’ve got a gun. Guns hurt people.”
“I’m a police officer honey. It’s my job to keep you safe.”
She edged the shirt to her. Finally, she girl reached for it. June could see the ripped nails painted pink. “There you
go.” Her slender fingers gripped it and she held it to her chest for a moment. She slipped it on and looked down at
it, a tiny, barely-there smile gracing her lips.
“I like it,” she said, the tremor all but gone from her voice. June grinned.
“It looks good on you,” she said, holding out her hand in a friendly gesture.
“My name’s June.” Slowly, the girl grasped her hand and timidly shook it.
“I’m Lucy,” she whispered, clasping June’s hand a little tighter.
She placed her other hand over Lucy’s and smiled gently.
“Lucy, if you want to make a statement against them, I can take you to the station,”
she explained. Lucy shook her head firmly.
“No, I just want to go home.”
“Are you sure? We could get them easy,” June urged.
“No. Please I…Father will be worried,” Lucy said, reaching for the
“Wait a minute, where are you going?” June stopped her.
“I…I have to get home.”
June shook her head in finality. “After what happened tonight, I’m not
letting you walk out there. Where do you live?”
“I…In…I don’t think you should.”
“Honey it is way too dangerous tonight. Considering what just happened, I don’t
think your father would mind you getting a ride home.”
Lucy sighed. “I live at the Yukon, near Mr. Lee’s restaurant.”
“Yes. With Father, Mother and…my uncles.”
Full house for the Yukon, June thought, but let it pass and nodded. “Alright
honey, buckle up.”
The trip to the hotel was short and silent. The only sounds were the hums and beeps
of the spinner and Lucy’s slow, even breathing. June glanced at her from time to time. The fear was still lurking in
her eyes, tears threatening to leak out. The only signs of the trouble she’d had were the wounds on her knee, the dirt
on her body and the tracks of black make-up streaked on her cheeks. They set down in front of the hotel and sat for a moment.
Finally, Lucy looked at her.
“Thank you, June.” Suddenly she looked ashamed. “I…I wasn’t
doing anything wrong.”
“Oh honey I know. You’re alright now,” June said with a soft smile.
“Do you want me to tell your father what happened?”
Lucy sat thinking a moment then shook her head. “Father doesn’t really
like visitors. I’ll tell him, I promise.”
“Okay.” She started to take the shirt off but June held up a hand. “You
“But it’s yours.”
“It suits you better than me. It’s a gift.”
Lucy looked at the floorboards a moment and then looked up at June, a real smile on
her face now. June felt relief puddle in her stomach. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome Lucy. I’m gonna get out and watch you go in, okay?”
“Okay,” she smiled, opening her door. June got out and leaned against her
spinner, watching Lucy disappear into the Yukon hotel. Then something above her moved and caught her eye. She looked up and
saw a man standing in a lighted window. He was looking down at her; she could see his incredibly dark eyes even at the distance
She saw someone else come into view and realized it was Lucy. The man in the window
turned to her and pulled her to him protectively. She spoke to the man, who looked at her earnestly and spoke to her in return.
She saw Lucy nod and point down at where June stood. The man looked down at her again, this time with a look of surprise in
those piercing eyes…
“June? June, wake up.”
June breathed in deeply, the dream fading quickly. She opened sleepy teal eyes and
saw a blur above her. When her vision cleared, she smiled at Spencer who was gently shaking her shoulder.
“Okay Spence’, I’m up. What’s going on?” she asked, rubbing
the sleep from her eyes.
“Well, one of my contacts at CARS called my phone early this morning. I went
to meet him so we could discuss your situation.”
June immediately woke up and sat up in the bed. “And? What’s he say? Will
they take me?”
Spencer was surprised at how quickly the news got her focused, but continued. “Well,
it took a bit of doing—they don’t usually take non-replicants—but I was able to secure you passage on one
of their transports. Merry Christmas.”
A firework went off in June’s stomach. “Hot damn!” She leapt out
of the sheets and tackled him in a joyous hug. “Oh, thank you Spencer! Thank you, thank you!” Spencer laughed
and patted her back. She froze and pulled away, nervously rubbing the back of her neck. “Uh, sorry. I gotta stop that.
So when do we go?”
“Well, that’s the bad news.”
“What? Bad news? No, no, bad news is bad. Please, no bad news.”
Spencer nodded grimly. “Sorry to say there is. See, they’ll take you, but
they’re stationed out of town past the kipple. We’d have to get past the radioactive stuff to get there. A ground
car won’t get us there. The roads don’t go out that far, and my spinner was impounded after I got locked up.”
June gaped at him. Spencer frowned. He hated to disappoint her.
“Is that all?”
Now it was his turn to gape. Did nothing discourage this crazy woman? “Um,
yeah, that’s all. Why? You have a plan.”
“Well, kind of,” she shrugged. “I may not be on the best of terms
with my uncle, but family ties should get him on my side for a minute. Can I use your phone?”
“Yeah, of course,” he handed it to her. She took it and dialed quickly.
A moment passed and she straightened up involuntarily.
“Hello, Rachel? Put me through to Eldon. Who the hell else has this number? It’s
June, so put him through.” The determined look in her eyes went out like a candle flame. “What? When? I…I
see… Never mind, look, I need a spinner. Any way you can…good. Okay sure. I’ll be there.” She clicked
the phone off and handed it to him, not looking up from the floor. “Rachel said they’d get a spinner ready for
me at the Tyrell building. Can you drive me?”
Spencer paled at the near emotionless tone in her voice. “June? What’s
wrong?” He stepped forward and put a hand on her shoulder. She slumped into a chair.
Spencer felt something like a nail pierce his heart. Not more death for this girl,
his mind said, causing a shiver to go through him. “Who is?”
“Tyrell… he was murdered.”
“What? By who?”
Her eyes filled with tears, dripping onto her legs. “I don’t know.”
She wiped her wet eyes fiercely. “He wasn’t the nicest guy on the planet, but…I did love him…God,
I’m so sick of death Spencer.”
He sat down next to her and put an arm around her shoulders. “I’m sorry.”
She pulled away and got to her feet, wiping her eyes again.
“I don’t have time for this now. Can you give me a lift?” She stood
with her shoulders squared, her eyes drying but strained.
Spencer looked at her for a moment and nodded. “Yeah, I can get you there. It’ll
take us about an hour through the tunnel.”
June nodded, staring out the window at the city. It was filled with artificial light
and artificial people. And she wasn’t thinking about the replicants. So many lies. So much death. She knew death was
for everyone, and she probably wouldn’t escape it Off-world, but even living here felt like death. And that wasn’t
for her. She could stand driving an hour through the stinking kipple if only to get away from this living-dead planet.
“So Spencer, this is your Blade Runner.”
June looked levelly at the tall man before her. He reminded her of one of those bouncers
on Nightclub Row; only this guy was barring her from freedom, not some dancer.
They’d made it to the Tyrell Building through the foul-smelling wasteland, protected
by the newly erected tunnel. Hats off to the City’s Board of Commissions. When they arrived at the gilded glass complex,
they received an icy greeting from Rachel and a couple strong-arms. Though reluctantly, the cold secretary led them to the
impressive custom spinner that her late “great” uncle had left her. June asked about Tyrell’s death, but
got no information. Not surprising though. She’d known for a long time that Rachel was a replicant. Not as advanced
as a typical Six, but much more loyal, and her DNA files and the integral data she held were invaluable to the former Blade
Runner. It was funny that her uncle left more to her than his own flesh and blood. Not that it mattered. The spinner and the
sizable amount of chinyen were all she required now.
“Former Blade Runner, Matthew. I’m telling you she’s okay,”
Spencer explained. The burly man looked down his hawk-like nose at her, taking in her body covered by the masculine clothing.
“You sure you ain’t just paying off a few…favors?” he sneered.
Anger flared in June’s stomach, but she only laughed softly and darkly, shaking
her head full of curls. “Look ‘Tiny’ I’ve been through enough shit as it is, and I don’t need
it from a bouncer-wannabe like you, so don’t start. I’m not in the mood.”
“Watch your mouth bitch!” He snarled, making a fist. Spencer stepped between
“That is enough! I’m the leader of this group, and I’ve already cleared
her with Simon. Now step aside,” he ordered. The men looked each other squarely in the eye, then Matthew sighed and
moved to the side. June stalked past him, muttering something about his mother. He looked stonily at Spencer who shrugged
and went to catch up with her.
“Let him just talk down to me and you, what bullshit. He’s a dick,”
she mumbled to herself, sneering at him over her shoulder. Spencer laughed, causing June to give him a strange look.
“That’s Matt. He is that, but good for security. Biggest hard-ass I ever
“Language Spencer,” she chuckled. “You’re usually so soft-spoken.”
Spencer sent a smile her way. “You haven’t seen me on my soapbox yet. I
haven’t done that since the protest at the plant. That was months ago,” he sighed nostalgically.
June grinned. “I’d like to hear your big comeback speech, but I don’t
think I have the time.”
Spencer nodded as they approached the dispatch platforms. Lines of people waited to
board their passage to freedom. He took her hand and led her to the front of the lines, much to the displeasure of those who
waited hours. When they reached the entrance to the humming transports, they were stopped by a thin woman with black hair
and a bulging binder.
“Wait a minute, you can’t just—Spencer! Oh my god, you’re out!”
She ran forward and clasped his hands. “It’s so good to have you back. And who’s this?” she asked,
finally noticing June.
“This is June, Becky. She’s the one I talked with Simon about. Is he around?”
Becky nodded with a secretary-like smile. “Yes, he’s inside working the
computers.” She turned and walked to a small portable building and popped her head in. “Simon, Spencer’s
here. He wants to see you.”
There was a tumble from inside and a wiry nervous man poked his head outside the door.
He grinned at Spencer. “Hey boss, good to see you.” He stepped onto the platform, smoothing the wrinkles from
his shirt. “This must be her,” he said looking at June, who gave him a confident smile.
“Simon, this is June, and yes, she’s the one I need you to take with you.”
“Any luggage?” Simon asked.
June lifted a bit of the shirt to show them the pouch. “Just this. Chinyen and
“Meds?” Becky asked, raising a thin brow. “You sick?”
“Nope, I’m a doctor. These are experimental components,” she explained,
hoping they wouldn’t ask too many more questions.
The pair exchanged a look and nodded. “Okay,” said Becky stepping forward.
“Take it off and put it in this tray and we’ll put you through the scanner. Gotta make sure you’re physically
“No need,” Spencer interrupted. “She used to be in the LPD. She’s
as fit as they come.”
Simon nodded assent and ushered her forward. “Alright, just go in, find a seat
and buckle up.”
“Just a minute,” June hesitated and turned to her savior. Her eyes stung
a little. She’d been so hung up on getting off Terra that she forgot of how much she would miss him. She stepped forward
and held out her hand. “You saved my life Spencer. I owe you everything,” she admitted.
“You don’t owe me anything but a vid or two when you get wherever you need
to be,” he answered, reaching out to hold her hand.
“You got it. And you, send me a vid of that comeback speech.” She tried
to smile, but her eyes started to shimmer a bit. “I know I said I’d stop it but, do you mind—” Spencer
cut her off and pulled her into a tight hug. She sighed and tried to keep her tears reined in. “You’re the only
thing on this planet that I’m going to miss.”
He patted her back and let her go. Simon led her onto the ramp and she stepped through
the door. He turned to leave.
“Hey!” She called. He turned and saw her pretty smile for the last time
for a while. “You keep that spinner, okay? Merry Christmas!”
He grinned. “No argument there! You take care June!” He shouted over the
rising hum of the engine warming.
“I will! Thank you!” She called back as the door slid shut on the image
of the last friend she had on Terra. The airlock hissed a computerized voice urged everyone into a seat. She scanned the area
and saw an empty seat beside a small brown-eyed boy. Walking over, she gestured to the chair and he nodded with a smile. She
returned it and sat down, feeling the pain that had been pounding in her chest ebb away as the engines turned over and rumbled.
The clink of the vials in her bag caught her attention. She unsnapped the flap and
checked on her precious cargo. They were both intact as were all the chips. She gazed at the shimmering silver fluid swirling
behind the glass and smiled. This was everything she had fought for, and now it was time to really set things in motion.
“Hey, what’s that?” asked the boy, turning wide inquisitive eyes
to June. She looked at him, and thought of how this would help him. And all others like him. It sent a warm ripple through
her heart and she smiled warmly at him. This really was redemption.
“My destiny,” she whispered, as if telling him a secret.
And yours too, I hope, she thought to herself as the transport lifted them up
from the ravaged land and started them off on their journey.
Chapter Four: Revelations of BR61-661
Deep within the emerald Martian night, Ray McCoy found no rest for his mind.
It had been over a month since he'd left Terra with Clovis and his "family" on the moonbus. When they took off, he still
wasn't sure if he was whom Clovis said he was. He was surprised to find that he really didn't care. He was quite comfortable
with this new family, knowing how it felt to be hunted.
That was weeks ago. Last night, he found out who he really was.
A human among replicants.
He didn't know exactly why he picked up that particular book from Clovis' study. He had never been a big fan of poetry,
and it seems that was the reason the picture had been hidden there. The picture of the moonbus. Not the one with him in it,
that one was back in his room on his nightstand. No, this was the original, undoctored version. Just Clovis, Sadik, the moonbus
and that panel that had no reflection of the former Blade Runner.
Now all Ray had were a lot of unanswered questions—and a bottle that he'd been pouring steadily out of for about
an hour. The liquor burned his throat, but the betrayal in his gut burned even harder.
Why? Why did they lie to him? Why was he still alive? Surely, Clovis and Lucy didn't completely forget that he'd killed
two members of their "family", Dektora and Zuben. He screwed his eyes shut in misery and let the amber comfort flow into the
"Ray? Where are you?"
Lucy's timid voice echoed through the hall. Ray raised his head a little and rubbed a hand over his face. A part of him
really didn't want her to see him like this. She wouldn't have all the answers, but he needed to talk to someone. "In the
kitchen Lucy," he called a little thickly.
He heard her little footsteps coming down the hall as she hurried to him. She entered, her lithe little body covered in
pink cotton pajamas. He watched the confusion in her face bloom as she took in what she saw. Ray could only imagine what he
must look like: unshaven, bedraggled, and probably shitty as hell.
"Ray? It's so late. Are you okay?" she asked pulling out a chair to sit facing him. He looked across the table at her with
bleary, sleepless eyes.
"Why the hell do you care so much about me?" he asked. Lucy stared at him, trying to figure out why he was so upset, and
why he sounded so strange.
"'Cause," she shrugged as if it were so easy to answer, "You’re so nice to me, and you saved us from the other hunter.
You're my best friend Ray," she added, reaching out to hold his hand. He jerked it away as if it was red hot, and looked away
"I'm not what you think Lucy. I don't even belong here." Thus saying, he took out the photo and tossed it to her. "I'm
human Lucy. I was a hunter. I killed your family, Dektora and Zuben," he admitted, the alcohol making the words tumble
out easily. He picked up the bottle and waited for her to fly at him, enraged and broken-hearted.
It never came.
He almost jumped out of his chair when her warm little hand closed over his and pushed the bottle back onto the table.
She sat in his lap, innocently cuddling him like a small child.
"Father told me. I know all that Ray," she told him, resting her head on his shoulder. He shook off his initial shock and
grasped her shoulders, pulling her away so he could look at her.
"How can you know all that and still feel the way you do? How can you forgive me of that? Didn't you care about them?"
he asked desperately. He watched her eyes grow glossy with tears and sobered instantly.
"Of course I cared. I miss them so much. But Father says that Luther and Lance might be able to revive them when they finish,"
she answered. Hope in her hazel eyes made them sparkle a little. "But even if they can't, then I’ll still have Father.
And you too." The quelled tears grew large and one leaked unchecked down her fair cheek.
Ray felt his own tears prickling in his eyes and reached for her face, gently brushing the droplet away. Letting his hand
linger there, he looked deeply into her eyes. The pure gold swirled with that iridescent green warmed him from the inside,
making some of the pain of the last two days go away. Without the severe make-up she used to favor, she looked fresh and lovely.
He shook his head gently, his mind clearing up by and by.
"I can't replace them Lucy."
"I know," she whispered, leaning her cheek further into his hand.
"I'm not sure…if I even belong here."
She gazed into his eyes, trying to keep her sadness in check until she said what she needed to. "Please, Ray. Don't leave
us. I know you're not like us…but I want you to stay here. We finally have our beautiful planet, with flowers and lakes.
Please stay," she entreated her eyes liquid jewels of green and gold.
Ray felt his heart lurch and he gently circled his arms around her waist. She held him tightly back, warm tears falling
onto his neck. He brushed his rough cheek against her silky pink hair. He knew he had done nothing in his whole life to deserve
this sweet girl. Not a day went by when she didn't tell him she loved him, when she didn't tenderly kiss his cheek with a
smile. She was proof that replicants possessed real emotion and empathy.
Normally, he would've cursed himself for feeling this way about a girl as young as she was. Nevertheless, she had grown
up so quickly after they'd left Terra and soon he found he didn't know how he couldn't.
Slowly, he drew her away from their embrace and looked into her face. Her tears had stopped, but they were still wet and
shining. "I don't know if your father knows that I know who I am. I need to talk to him first. Okay?" he asked, stroking the
soft skin along her jaw. She nodded fiercely and sniffed back another wave of tears.
"If you…decide not to stay…you won't go without saying goodbye, will you?" she asked, her voice quavering at
the thought of him leaving.
He shook his head and pulled her to him again. "I promise I won't go without seeing you first. I won't just leave you,"
he vowed, tightening his arms around her. She snuggled her head into his bristly neck and kissed it tenderly.
"I love you Ray," she whispered.
The skin of his neck where her lips had kissed tingled under the caress of her warm breath. He pulled in a deep breath
of her soft shampooed hair and ran his fingers through it.
"I love you too Lucy."
Lucy sighed happily and squeezed him hard. He coughed out a laugh, surprised at her strength. She giggled a little and
released him, planting a kiss on his forehead. He smiled his first smile in two days and returned it, placing it on top of
her hair. She laid her head beneath his chin and sat contently with him. Then her eyes fell on the bottle on the table.
"Who's 'Jack Daniels'?"
Ray looked up from where he sat on his bed to see Clovis standing in his doorway, his normally expressionless look on his
face. He wasn't quite as depressed after his talk with Lucy last night, but he was still pretty upset with the fact that he'd
been lied to.
"Don't call me that," he muttered grimly. Clovis smiled coolly.
"Do you still doubt who you are?" he asked, approaching him. Ray glared at him.
"No. I know who I am," he answered, pulling out the tattered photograph. He handed it to Clovis who took it and stared
at it for a long time. Ray thought he’d burn a hole right through it. Finally, he let out a sigh and sat in a chair
next to the bed.
"I didn't think you to be the type to peruse books of verse," he said solemnly.
"I'm not” Ray replied, feeling new resentment forming in him. “But I did, and there it is."
Clovis nodded and flicked the edge of the photo against his tapered fingertips. "I suppose I owe you an explanation…and
"Screw the apology; I just want to know why. Why did you try to make me think I wasn't human? Just tell me," Ray demanded,
the look in his eyes saying he would not be refused.
Clovis stared at him with those dark eyes. Somehow, he knew this farce couldn't last forever. He had convinced this man
to leave the only home he'd known. He owed him this much.
"When we arrived on Terra, all we wanted was to extend our short time we'd been given and try to make a good life for ourselves
while we did. However, you and your fellow hunters wanted to destroy all that. After Sadik lost Tamya, he wanted to level
the entire police station. Overkill enthusiast that he is; He wanted to send a message. I had seen so much hate, on and off
that planet; I was almost convinced that it would indeed be a sweet revenge. Moreover, I wouldn't have stopped there. There
was that little man, Emil Runciter. I would have found it quite gratifying to blow his miserable soul to hell."
Ray snorted a laugh. "So why didn't you? No one would've blamed you. That guy was a dick."
Clovis smiled darkly. "You can kill a man, but then that's all for him. But make him watch you take away the thing he loves
most, and then you begin to cause real pain."
"Well, looks like I went about it all wrong then," Ray shrugged. Clovis stared at him, confused. "What? Don't you know
a confession when you hear it? Guzza wasn't the only bastard the world needed to be rid of."
Clovis was taken aback for a moment. Then he relaxed inwardly, relieved that this man, also a killer wouldn't judge him
for his doings. But then, Ray hadn't lied to him as he had so cavalierly done. "I believe we're getting off topic now," he
"Right. So go on, what changed?" Ray insisted.
Clovis opened his mouth to answer, but his attention was diverted to the window. A glimmer of a faraway transport appeared
on the morning horizon of the red planet. A new day was bringing new life to this planet. Looking out there reminded him of
what had changed; it had all started when he'd gazed out of a different window not too long ago.
"Someone showed kindness to my Lucy. She was lost in the night and far from home. But a huntress, of all people, rescued
her and brought her home to us."
"'Huntress'…a Blade Runner?"
"Yes," answered Clovis, his voice sounding far off somewhere.
Ray racked his brain. No way in hell would it have been Steele. Then he wondered…if it could have been…
The creak of the chair broke his train of thought as Clovis shifted forward, resting his hands on his knees. "It was then
that I found that not all humanity is filled with hatred. It became my intention not to kill a Blade Runner, but to sway him,
to let him see how it felt to be hunted and wonder who he was."
Ray nodded. "So you picked me. Why?"
Clovis looked at him, dark eyes for the first time showing a twinge of guilt. "I must apologize for this, but I preyed
on your inexperience. I wanted to see if your loyalty ran as deeply as I thought. To do the right thing, rather than the lawful
thing. But I never intended to grow so used to the thought of you in our family."
"Speaking of family," Ray interrupted, "What about Zuben and Dektora? I killed them remember? Didn't they count?" he asked,
at a loss.
Darkness spread over Clovis' brow as he remembered his brother and beautiful lover. Dektora, sensuous, elegant Dektora..."Yes,
they mattered. And when they died, I did want you dead. But I'm a stubborn man McCoy. And I see all things through to the
Thank God for that, Ray thought with relief. "Lucy says that the Twins might be able to revive them."
Clovis nodded solemnly. "Yes, it's possible. But if not… well life, in a sense, goes on." He stopped speaking, having
told him all he wanted to know. He didn't look at Ray. Neither did Ray look at him, but just sat staring at his hands. "Do
you hate us Ray McCoy?"
The question didn't shock him, but Ray found it difficult to form a solid answer. They had lied to him, taken him from
his home. But they'd also treated him as no less than family, despite the things he'd done. "That depends. You gonna kill
me now that I know the truth?" he asked, not fearing the answer either way.
At last, Clovis looked at him, his eyes for once not piercing. "I won’t lie to you. It’s crossed my mind a
few times. But, my precious Lucy loves you. I would be killing her if I did."
Lucy. Ray sat back, a faraway look in his eyes. She was his saving grace. His angel, and he figured his soul was
pretty much damned if he hated her. She'd known the truth also, and he loved her with his whole heart. Besides, he had nowhere
else to go, and nothing left but this family.
"Well, in a way you did save my ass back on Terra. Guess it’d seem pretty ungrateful if I just up and left. But you
can bet I'm pretty pissed at you, pal."
"No doubt. I wouldn't expect any less," Clovis answered, his voice very low.
Ray suddenly grinned. "What was it you said, 'When angry, tell your friend and wrath will end'?"
Clovis' normally placid face cringed, running a hand through his spiky black hair. "No, no, no. What are you doing?" he
"What? You quote that stuff all the time."
"At least I do it correctly. That was butchery Ray McCoy," he reprimanded, his eyes very hard.
"Ooh, sorry there teach'. Didn't mean to butcher the bard," he joked, finally feeling a little peace after all that had
happened. The two of them stared at each other for a moment; Human eyes of green and replicant eyes like black holes.
Finally, Clovis smiled in his casual way and went to the door. "And don't do it again," he warned, pointing a finger at
Ray before he left the room.
Ray might never admit it to anyone, but he knew he was going to miss being called "brother."
As the heavy transport neared the landing docks, June's aqua eyes darted around the dusty sculpted landscape of the red
planet through the square port windows. Orangey-red powder belched up and floated around the transport as they landed. She
had to get out of this transport and dust cloud. She had to see what she’d gotten into.
Almost immediately after the airlock hissed open, June was up on her feet. She wasn't fast enough though; a line of passengers
had already assembled near the door. She frowned, a little disappointed that she would not be the first outside. Then, she
realized how selfish it was to think that, and how much more these others deserved to be here. She had only been on the run
for a week; they had been oppressed since their inception.
Finally, she reached the front of the line. Before she stepped out, an attendant handed her a small cloth. She stared at
it quizzically. "The air is very dusty out here, so you might want to keep that handy until we reach the city," he told her.
"Right, thanks," June answered, pressing the cloth over her mouth and nose. As she stepped out, the light of the sun pressed
into her eyes. She shielded them, recovering slowly after being in a dimly lit transport for a day. The air was thick and
warm, unseasonable for December, but then again, she was on a different world. Finally, her sight strengthened and she uncovered
here eyes, looking about.
It was more than she could've imagined.
They'd landed on the outskirts of a vast, glittering city. The air around it was clean looking and free of the black plumes
of smoke she was used to. Surrounding the metropolis was not billions of tons of radioactive kipple, but natural mountainous
beauty. The earth was dusted with a fine red powder, but as a random wind blew it aside, June could see that the ground was
covered in geometric patterns of broad, leafy lichen in greens, golds and browns. Large cushions of soft, verdant plant life
grew all over, and various patches of the lichen and moss were topped with alien but lovely flowers, some tall with nodding
bluish-white heads, others squat with star-like red and violet blooms. Haunting, twisted trees stretched for the green sky
with their gnarled arms.
She turned to the opposite horizon and found it was sculpted, natural and endless. Here and there, large pristine lakes
of a nearly unnatural scintillating jade green undulated with the breezes. Above her was a sky of the same color with the
artificial, sun-magnifying atmosphere shimmering beyond it. The faraway mountains were bulky red formations, streaked with
lichen and crowned with wispy peach clouds. All around her was unspoiled beauty, much like a desert in full bloom, and it
brought a tear to June's oceanic eyes.
One of the green lakes to her right shifted from beneath the surface. All of a sudden, something silver, sparkling and
snake-like leapt up from the water. June gasped as the strange creature flipped its yard-long tapered tail around, its tadpole-like
fin at the end flinging beads of water into the air. Its bulbous head lead, snout first, into the lake and she let free an
"What was that?" she asked aloud. The attendant who had given her the cloth came up next to her.
"That was a sylphoid, a product of the genetics department at Germaine-Buckley University. Some endangered Terran
animals were shipped here, but a lot of them started to get sick from the climate and food supply. A few died. Scientists
over there have been working at cross breeding different Terran species to create hybrids that can survive in this environment,"
he explained, as if reading from a pamphlet. “That’s a success over there.”
June had nearly stopped listening after "university," but one other dazed whisper was able to escape before her brain started
cooking again: "They have animals…"
A rattling set of tramcars jostled its way up to the landing docks, drawing the attention of the Terran immigrants. June
walked blindly towards it, glancing back many times to the lake housing the aquatic serpentine creature. A beatific smile
spread across her lips as she took in just what was happening and what she'd seen. There was life on this planet. Life that
didn’t just exist stagnantly, but lived and grew. And just a few minutes away lay a big, beautiful city full of opportunity.
As the tramcar began bustling towards the city, she glanced down and patted the pouch on her hip.
"Germaine-Buckley University," she mused. Suddenly, she looked down at what she was wearing and crinkled her nose. These
clothes might have been good for Spencer, but on her body, they looked baggy and masculine. "First things first, 'can't get
a good job if you're dressed like a slob.'" She smiled to herself, remembering the cheesy rhyme an old roommate had told her
back at Androtech. Cheesy or not, it was true. She needed some good clothes unless she planned to work odd jobs. And Doctor
June Joleson wasn't about to support her destiny on odd jobs.