It struck Dysmas as strange, the way Cloverleaf seemed to talk about Cynara.
For one thing, they talked about her. Not in hushed tones, not truly in reverent tones. They gossipped. If the town had boasted the equivalent of the Daily Mail (It did, but he hadn’t discovered it yet), they would have been posting pictures of Cya with her latest Kept, a skinny blonde boy with outrageous horns. As it was, they just talked about all of those things. Over coffee. Over transactions. Over work. She was a celebrity.
The person they were talking about, Dysmas decided, was some sort of myth. Like Brittany Spears or Princess Diana, back before the world had ended. They’d built up their stories about her.
“Well, I’m sure she can take on the bandits again. She built the city with her bare hands,” one shopkeeper huffed at another. “A couple skinny starving bandits aren’t going to be a problem.”
And “I hope there’s a space open in Doomsday Academy when my James is old enough. I know there’s the local schools, but Doomsday has the best education.”
Dysmas wondered if they knew they were putting all their faith on a lie. He wondered what they would think about the Cynara he knew.
He looked down at his current dinner, still lost in the mind-control trance they’d taken great pains to tell him was illegal. This idiot had been talking about Cynara making some threat go away by talking to it. She wouldn’t miss the half-hour he’d taken at all.
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