It had been so long since Adolfo had been brought to the floating prison, he barely remembered the revolutionary impulses that had led to his capture.
He remembered the girl, though.
She’d had the heart and tongue of a poet. They still made songs about her, he knew from the more recent inmates, who sang in the strange new style that wasn’t really singing at all, but rather a kind of barking, pipping, rhythmic chorus. But the words told of his girl.
She had towered above him mentally. At 17, she’d memorized the Code, and used it to publicly defy the Leader and his toadies, “the Leadera,” as they’d come to be known. With their own laws, written with such complexity that no one outside the Leadera understood them, she had fought them with flawless precision, a retort for every empty commandment they tried to dig at her.
Adolfo had been enthralled. And so, when she told her band it was necessary to broadcast the meetings of the inner sanctum on national hologram, Adolfo had not needed further instruction. He’d used his job at the Hologram Entertainment Division to gain entrance to the Palais, insert fiber optic cable into their existing conduits, and had captured a 24-hour feed of their machinations.
It had almost worked. The pirate news had just begun to broadcast an incriminating conversation between the Leader and his First Officer of Public Morality, about the need to cull the adolescent population, when the location of the station had been discovered by the Leadera Sanitation Squad. All but one of the news crew had been massacred, in what was later described as a “terrorist cell that had accidentally blown itself to bits.” Adolfo had been rounded up when the man they’d taken alive finally cracked under torture and gave him away.
But he knew from the songs that she had escaped. His fiery, bold, Emma, with her shaved head that became a symbol of the Defiance movement. The tattoos appeared on more and more of the incoming prisoners.
The resistance was growing.