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The Vekaiyun

It exists. At least, it has to exist, right? Somewhere between the wild expanse of the unknown and teetering on the scale of unrestrained innovation and morality must exist a specimen capable of complete and utter submission to the Vekaiyun Ideal. Maybe there exists more than one specimen. Perhaps these specimens, if they exist, merely need to be conditioned, controlled, and taught from an early age to bend to the wills and wants of the state. Azsur Venavle and his array of like-minded generals longed for such devoted subjects; therefore, it was made so.

One such individual, Ikrisia Levinile, known as Number Eight, is among such rootless specimens and is a peculiar study. Though a child, she is quick to grasp advanced concepts, and like her groupmates, she is a capable tactician. She was made that way, after all. Any vestige of compassion or emotional weaknesses appears to have been corrected, leaving a clean slate ready to accept the dogma of the all-important Vekaiyun state under Venavle's rule, thereby ensuring his regime and those like his will remain intact for years to come.

Or so it appears. Specimens can have souls. They are more than a simple line of data tested against an algorithm of conditioned responses. Perhaps there's something more to this Ikrisia Levinile that the analysts missed. Perhaps there's another side that the cold hands of Azsur Venavle's subordinates haven't grasped. Perhaps a change is slowly forming against the horizon. Somewhere between the lines and existing only as harmless anomalies, an independent soul, an entity apart from the supplements and indoctrinations, exists. It exists. At least, it has to exist, right?

--D.L. Nighly



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