haph-Tachie and haph-Fota1 were sixteen years old when the Place found the next pair of twins. They were already past their age of peak usefulness and had been training as acolytes in the Institution for almost a decade, but the arrival of a new set of twin infants meant –
Well, for Fota, it meant freedom. They could go out in the world now. They could explore, they could learn what life was like outside of the Place. Fota couldn’t wait to leave.
Tachie, on the other hand, liked the safety of the place and the comfort of an acolyte’s rituals. She wanted to know what the world outside was like – but she didn’t want to leave the Place, not permanently.
“The Institution will always support you,” the Head Reader of the Place reminded them. “You can do whatever you want with your life.”
“But what I want is to be here,” Tachie insisted. She felt guilty, going against her twin… but the freedom Fota might find outside, she thought she might find in a little bit of separation. The chosen twins were always together, waking and sleeping. And Fota had always been the stronger twin.
1. one-Left, one-Right.
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