He paced the length of District Three’s laboratory, taking long, even strides. He was aware of the name the Surface Creatures’ children had given them: Shadow People. Some Indigenes hunted more than just animals in retaliation for what the surface dwellers had done to their race. He understood the reasons that fuelled their predatory motives. In weaker moments, he’d felt the irresistible urge to join them. After the explosions and with so few of the Indigenes remaining after their population was almost wiped out, he felt no compassion for them. He cared as much for their children as they had for the Indigenes’ Evolvers all those years ago.
At least the tunnels in District Three and other districts across Exilon 5 had preserved what was left of their species, giving them a chance to start again. The tunnels he stood in now had been a lot simpler back then. Changes had been made later on, when the surface was no longer habitable.
As Stephen stopped to try on the artificial skin that Anton had designed, it felt strange to him; an additional weight, even though it weighed almost nothing. Changing his appearance bothered him. Using his fingers, he brushed his face and the delicate silicone yielded to his gentle touch. How could something so fragile feel so heavy? He was proud of his appearance and was a unique member of a great society. It was necessary change himself. What happened the next day could shift the balance of power long enough for the Indigenes to figure out what to do next.
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