The title comes from John Keats’ “Ode to a Grecian Urn
“So.” Althea squirmed uncomfortably in her seat.
“Yeah… So.” Verdad studied her twin for a moment, then looked the other way. They hadn’t had much of a chance to speak in the last few months, their Keepers uncomfortable with the way the two of them were together. But Mendosa had put her foot down, and here they were.
“You got your Change, I guess…” Althea offered hesitantly.
“Yeah. You, too?”
“Yeah.” She lifted the long, whiplike tail and studied it uncertainly. “It’s not bad. Yours?”
“The same, of course.” She showed her twin the tail. “Well, not precisely of course; Dr. Regine says it can be like kitten spots…”
“…and different even in clones,” Althea nodded. “Ver, what’s wrong?”
“Orders,” her twin whispered. “Sometimes they run into my power.”
“Can you talk about that?”
“I… yes. Everything I speak is the truth. Even if I don’t mean to.”
“Oooh.” Thea nodded. “I can see, yeah. Well… speaking of kitten spots…”
“Yours is different?” She looked thoughtful. “But not entirely. Right?”
“I can always tell if someone is lying or telling the truth, or the funny grey areas in between.”
“I can imagine the teachers want to value that – what does your… what does Camry think?”
“He’s… of mixed opinions about that. I’m glad Donyal let you talk to me.”
Her sister smiled tiredly. “Mendosa was not going to let up until he did. And I told him that. I’ve…” She bit her lip. “I want to say I’ve missed you.”
“I know.” The grey edges of truth cut like knives. “Me, too, Vera.” But life was more complicated, now.
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