twinmaker

Hashtag Crashland

As with Twinmaker and “I, Q”, I’ve been releasing bits and bobs of the original text of Crashland (Crash) out into the ether because (1) it’s fun and (2) people seem to enjoy it. Below are the quotes before editing and posting. This means that the final Hashtag Crashland is the ethereal one. Spooky.

Anyone looking for a refresher before tackling the final book might find this handy. Or! Take a look at “Redux”, a novella from Jesse’s POV that links books two and three (with a bit of book one for good measure).

Hashtag Redux has already begun. Hashtag Hollowgirl will commence on Wednesday.

  • crashland - glitchThe day the world ended, Clair Hill was sitting at a table in a tiny interview room opposite two uniformed peacekeepers #Crashland
  • PK Sargent’s first order of business was to offer Clair a cup of coffee and summon a medic to look at her bruised elbow. #Crashland
  • The injury was minor but the memory of how she had gotten it was one of several running on rapid repeat through Clair’s mind. #Crashland
  • PK Forest was a small man in his fifties, with narrow shoulders and thinning black hair. There was something wrong with his face. #Crashland
  • “Are you going to charge me with murder?” #Crashland
  • “You are a copy made from the same pattern as that other version of you, taken the last time you went through d-mat.” #Crashland
  • “But how do we tell you apart if you’re both claiming to be Clair Hill?” #Crashland
  • Murderer. Terrorist. Dupe. #Crashland
  • “If I don’t exist, how can I possibly help you with anything?” #Crashland
  • “If I was playing good cop, I’d be patting you on the back right now and saying something stupid like ‘There, there, it’ll be all right.’” #Crashland
  • They had kissed. Then she had destroyed his world. #Crashland
  • She was the girl who’d taken on d-mat and won. #Crashland
  • “The law specifically forbids the reactivation of the patterns of people who have been declared legally dead.” #Crashland
  • “Death is an essential part of human life. Society lacking that basic constraint would be . . . terrifying.” #Crashland
  • Did that mean it was wrong to bring back someone who died unnaturally young, too young to have really lived at all? #Crashland
  • “We have methods of dealing with inconvenient duplications that do not involve violence. It is not an uncommon crime.” #Crashland
  • The sandwich was not just any sandwich. Clair could tell instantly that it was an alfalfa-and-peanut-butter sandwich on pain de mie bread. #Crashland
  • Clair didn’t pick up the sandwich. It was her favorite comfort food, but it didn’t comfort her now. #Crashland
  • “This is me telling you that we have no more reservations about your claims of selfhood. You are legally Clair Hill. Please eat.” #Crashland
  • Clair ate the sandwich. #Crashland
  • There were rumors of accidents and partially transmitted bodies and wild speculations as to what was going on. #Crashland
  • “Don’t feel you’re alone in this, Clair. Let me help you. I’m here if you need me.” #Crashland
  • The Abstainers thought she was a hero. Clair Hill, the girl who killed d-mat, #Crashland
  • Clair didn’t want to be a hero, particularly not for a cause she didn’t agree with. All she had wanted to do was stop Improvement and save Libby. #Crashland
  • “You broke the world WTF!?!” #Crashland
  • “You had a crush on me for years, and I barely noticed you.” More fuel for the Clair-is-a-bitch crowd.#Crashland
  • When they pulled apart, her heart was pounding. How had he learned to kiss like that? #Crashland
  • “It’s okay,” she said, and immediately regretted it. Nothing about their situation was okay. #Crashland
  • By a slow and methodical process, the original Tilly Kozlova had been scooped out of her own skull and thrown away like so many pumpkin seeds. #Crashland
  • “We like to hide in the noise. It’s our job to protect the interests of future humans.” #Crashland
  • “RADICAL used to stand for ‘Radical Assembly of Digitalists, Ideators, Cyborgs, And Longlifers’. Note the way it contains its own name: that’s supposed to be clever. Woo.” #Crashland
  • “We could all be dead within a year, and not because of killer duplicates and mind-rape and the crash and all that stuff you’re worried about.” #Crashland
  • This was no reflection, nor was it a recording in her infield. This was her, right down to the pores. A replica that would bleed blood identical to hers if she pricked it. #Crashland
  • “it can’t be fun, living like this. In and out of people’s bodies all the time . . .” #Crashland
  • “I am nobody,” the dupe said, “but I remember Charlie.” #Crashland
  • This dupe didn’t just have her body. The dupe had her memories, too. #Crashland
  • “Ah,” said a high-pitched voice that wasn’t surprised at all. “The shadow road. I wondered.” #Crashland
  • Was that her mission now, Clair wondered—to hunt down all the lost girls and boys and bring them back? #Crashland
  • She was just a sixteen-year-old girl with a sore elbow, a bruised throat, and a boy she liked but was still getting to know, a long way from anywhere familiar. #Crashland
  • She felt surprisingly okay, physically, considering she had [redacted] and watched her own dupe die in the last few hours. #Crashland
  • “It’s better, isn’t it, to fix something than to leave it broken?” #Crashland
  • Applying a second layer of conditioner to her hair, she ignored the embarrassment of talking in the shower to a boy she hardly knew. #Crashland
  • “Q almost wiped VIA HQ right off the surface of the Earth just to get you back. Imagine what she could do when she grows up!” #Crashland
  • “Reality can be such a letdown when it kicks back in.” #Crashland
  • “We should give our squad a name,” said Devin. “Clair’s Bears, perhaps.” #Crashland
  • She tried not to think about all the school kids and tourists stuck in Washington until d-mat could get them home. #Crashland
  • “I’m the closest thing to a specialist anyone has when it comes to Improvement and the dupes. Apart from you, I guess. You blew everyone else up.” #Crashland
  • The Great Alexandria Barrage was one of the more awesome attempts to keep the ocean in place after the Water Wars. #Crashland
  • “Pinch Me” by the Ponies—a jitter-punk song that had been big a few months back. #Crashland
  • It was like a bomb had fallen out of a clear sky and blown her happy world to smithereens. #Crashland
  • People didn’t contemplate cheating with their best friend’s boyfriend if the friendship was healthy. #Crashland
  • Being attracted to people was normal. Handling it badly, that was the problem. #Crashland
  • They hit some kind of airspace restriction, a jurisdiction relic, she assumed, since there weren’t any planes anymore. #Crashland
  • “How many do we have to kill before they stop coming for you?” #Crashland
  • “Meanwhile,” said Devin, “round one goes to Clair’s Bears.” #Crashland
  • Washington’s monuments and memorials had been perfectly preserved from the seas and stood in marble defiance against the elements. #Crashland
  • Fireworks? On a day like this? #Crashland
  • “Emergency services normally use d-mat. The big rigs they use to get people off buildings come in pieces or through industrial booths.” #Crashland
  • “It seems insane,” said Clair in frustration, “to be stuck in a building full of d-mat booths and we can’t go anywhere.” #Crashland
  • “Being an observer sucks if it means you die.” #Crashland
  • Clair didn’t want to think about the possibility that once again she had brought death to people simply by existing. #Crashland
  • In a matter of minutes, Crystal City would be an island in the middle of a much wider river, if it survived. #Crashland
  • “If the best hackers on the planet can’t hijack one little booth, they should hang up their hats and go home.” #Crashland
  • The mirrored interior was large enough for two or three people. It didn’t seem possible that they would all squeeze in there. #Crashland
  • No way was she leaving him to drown or be shot by dupes, not when something as simple as going through a booth could save him. #Crashland
  • “Are you sure it’s going to scan us correctly? We’re not going to end up all mixed up together or anything?” #Crashland
  • Clair had bigger things to worry about, like trying to think straight when every reflex was telling her to run around in circles, throw up, or scream. #Crashland
  • Clair closed her eyes, wishing the images she saw behind her eyelids weren’t of death and destruction all the time. #Crashland
  • She would never again be able to listen to Satie’s “Je te veux,” one of the most joyful pieces of music ever written. #Crashland
  • “Q’s an entirely new kind of being, as alien to us as bird flu virus or a god. If it comes down to her against us, who are you really going to choose?” #Crashland
  • It looked like a giant dog had picked the building up and shaken it before dropping it back down again. #Crashland
  • Clairwatch: “She lied to you and now she’s trying to hide from you. We’re not going to let her.” #Crashland
  • Clairwatch: “She’s back in the Big Apple! What does she know that we don’t?” #Crashland
  • Her best friends were either missing, potential criminals, or currently stuck in a jungle valley picking off giant leeches. #Crashland
  • Ronnie reached for another chocolate bar. Anxiety eating had always been her greatest weakness. #Crashland
  • “D-mat will start working again soon, you’ll see,” Clair said, because it had to be true. “Everything will be fine.” #Crashland
  • “Why should I listen to you? I don’t know who you are anymore, Clair.” #Crashland
  • “I’m doing my best,” she said, even though all she seemed to be doing at the moment was struggling to stay alive. #Crashland
  • “We should get out of here,” said Clair, feeling a flicker of panic. The dupes just wouldn’t let up.
  • Abstainers were everywhere, and they didn’t treat their homes like temporary rest stops, with their real lives happening somewhere else. #Crashland
  • “If a terrorist helps you, PK Forest,” said Devin, “are they still terrorists?” #Crashland
  • “There’s an ideological war taking place down there, one that’s been brewing for a while . . . You’re the flashpoint, the trigger.” #Crashland
  • “They’re the ones with the guns,” said Devin. “That gives them a certain bargaining power.” #Crashland
  • She couldn’t remember the last time she’d slept. It felt like a lifetime ago—and was, in a sense, exactly that. #Crashland
  • She reached up on tiptoes and kissed him long enough to make her point. #Crashland
  • Out of the corner of her eye she caught a reflection of the two of them in the glass: short and tall, both with so much hair. #Crashland
  • “The damage has been done. If d-mat does turn you into a zombie, that’s what I am now.” #Crashland
  • Staying together was more important than anything else, short of saving the world. #Crashland
  • When the rest of the world was so easily confused about who she was, even her closest friends, it was hard not to feel that way herself. #Crashland
  • Good cop/bad cop scenarios where doomed to fail on Jesse because he had been raised to think that there weren’t any good cops at all. #Crashland
  • Altering a pattern was supposed to be dangerous, but it had happened to her so many times now that she barely thought about it anymore. #Crashland
  • “Privacy is a privilege, not a right,” she said. “You can earn that privilege now by doing less talking, more communicating.” #Crashland
  • “D-mat is the second most powerful technology on the planet. But unlike AI, unregulated d-mat is unquestionably a good thing.” #Crashland
  • “It’s cold outside,” Clair said, reminded of a creepy old song Oz liked to sing after a couple of drinks that drove her mom crazy. #Crashland
  • “You really think the PKs will let you bring your friends back, even if we find their patterns? They’re dead, Clair. Get over it.” #Crashland
  • The last thing Clair had expected to see at the South Pole was a child.“Come on down. It’s nicer in the garden.” #Crashland
  • The air was thick and warm, and smelled of *green*. #Crashland
  • “Humanity almost destroyed the world once. It could easily do so again.” #Crashland
  • “You don’t get to tell me what I can or can’t do, just because we made out a couple of times.” #Crashland
  • “Thank you, fruit factory,” Clair said to the tree. “You’re welcome, meat machine,” Jesse replied on behalf of the plants. #Crashland
  • Under ordinary circumstances they might have dated like people usually did—but awkwardly, given how much that kind of thing required d-mat. #Crashland
  • Ronnie’s caption showed a child’s face covered in chocolate, with the line Overeating my way to oblivion. #Crashland
  • For now, it was a case of sleep or die, as snake-killing Tash used to say. #Crashland
  • Clair didn’t read anything else to do with her former life. It hurt too much. #Crashland
  • Jesse probably deserved to know the truth, she thought, but Clair wasn’t going to be the one to tell him. #Crashland
  • “Getting colder,” said Q in her little-girl voice. “You never lose at hide-and-seek when you don’t have a body.” #Crashland
  • “I’m sick of running,” Clair said. “It’s time we pushed back.” #Crashland
  • “When Clair comes out of the Maze, we’ll all be together again, I promise, and then the fun will really begin.” #Crashland
  • “There’s not much I’m okay with at the moment,” Jesse said. “But if this plan really does get the dupes off your back, I’m all for it.” #Crashland
  • To hell with the dupes, Clair thought, and RADICAL and everyone else who wouldn’t let her get on with her life. #Crashland
  • “I guarantee it’ll all work out okay in the end . . . for most upbeat definitions of ‘work out,’ ‘okay,’ and ‘end.’” #Crashland
  • When someone went through a booth they were killed and a copy of them emerged somewhere else. Who was to say that copy was identical? #Crashland
  • Who was to say that the Clair in this booth wasn’t just a pale shade of a girl who died years earlier, and hadn’t realized it yet? #Crashland
  • *She* was to say, she told herself. She knew who she was, and no one had the right to tell her otherwise. #Crashland
  • “The first d-mat booths needed days to cycle a single lab rat, which obviously wasn’t practical.” #Crashland
  • That did freak Clair out a little, the thought that she could be present and not present at the same time, like some weird physics experiment. #Crashland
  • “How can someone track us?” “Or attack us?” “Unless they hack us?” The conversation was beginning to sound like a sinister Dr. Seuss book. #Crashland
  • A jump in an ordinary booth seemed to last a second, but came at a cost of a couple of minutes outside, the time it took the machines to work. #Crashland
  • She’d heard an urban myth once about lovers who had sworn never to be separated, and had only ever gone into booths together. One trip, the machines made their wish come true, turning them into a single person with—depending on which version of the myth was being told—various numbers of arms and legs, but always two mouths, both of them screaming. #Crashland
  • One of her own reflections turned to look at her. The reflection’s lips moved, but Clair wasn’t speaking. #Crashland
  • This is bad, said the whisper, as though it could read her mind. This is very, very bad. #Crashland
  • Her hands were light as air, as though if she pressed too hard they might pass through each other and she would dissolve into nothing. #Crashland
  • “She’s finished,” said Devin in a higher pitch than usual. “For the record, I do care about that . . . but we need to move. Now.” #Crashland
  • “There could be dozens, hundreds, thousands of dupes converging on our location right now.” #Crashland
  • “I never use guns. Too dangerous.” / “Isn’t that the idea?” #Crashland
  • The thought of shooting someone still made Clair squeamish. But the thought of dying made her feel worse. #Crashland
  • “How do you figure my odds?” / “Zero if you stick with me.” #Crashland
  • Cashile shook his head, a small boy of maybe ten with cornrows and skin the same color as hers, staring at her with adult eyes. #Crashland
  • “You’re not a killer. You’re just a kid who’s out of her depth, like Cashile was. If you’re not careful, you’ll drown too.” #Crashland
  • “We don’t have names anymore,” he said. “We’re the hollow men.” #Crashland
  • “Hollow men,” she said. “Don’t you have any hollow women?” #Crashland
  • If she’d entertained any doubts that VIA was truly broken, they were now completely dispelled. #Crashland
  • Birds scattered in all directions, abandoning the tiny valley that probably been theirs alone for years. #Crashland
  • The distinction between tell us or die and tell us and die was a thin one. #Crashland
  • “A body is just a body. It’s what’s inside that counts.” #Crashland
  • In Clair’s mind the worst of the dupes were synonymous with Dylan Linwood’s ominous, craggy face. #Crashland
  • Killing a wounded, unarmed teenager in cold blood warranted some kind of retaliation. #Crashland
  • “Got me before I could get him,” he said. “Damned dirty dupe.” #Crashland
  • “Can make atoms with any velocity. Just a matter—get it?—of giving them all the same velocity, in the same direction. Boom.” #Crashland
  • “She loved you best . . . but she was most proud of me.” #Crashland
  • Clair had barely known Devin a day and already he had saved her life more times than she could count. #Crashland
  • “You’ve got to be kidding,” she said, backing warily away. Was everyone copying themselves now? #Crashland
  • “Don’t be stupid. He and I are completely different. I’m Devin’s twin, Trevin.” #Crashland
  • There hadn’t been a war since the creation of the peacekeepers. There weren’t even countries anymore. It was supposed to be impossible. #Crashland
  • “If you’re going to fight a war, you need an army. We’re volunteering.” #Crashland
  • Q is a she, not an it, she wanted to say, a person, not an entity. #Crashland
  • Clair had once visited the Serbia, a wrecked seastead on the equator where tens of thousands of people had died of an incurable and highly contagious disease. #Crashland
  • “You’re free to leave any time you like. But where would you go?” #Crashland
  • Before they left the booth, Trevin touched the corner of his right eye, the universal sign for check your lenses. #Crashland
  • “We’re linked by an entangled neural network—twin telepathy made real by technology.” #Crashland
  • “No surgeons here,” he said. “We grew out of that medieval practice years ago.” #Crashland
  • Jesse gave her the chance to indicate that she wanted nothing more than to admire stupendous machines, and capitulated graciously when she did not. #Crashland
  • The very idea of war was so strange and overwhelming. But if the dupes weren’t going to let up, she couldn’t see what she could do but fight them. #Crashland
  • “What happened? Did I die?” #Crashland
  • This was Improvement as it was supposed to work, not tampering with a birthmark or a nose, but fixing someone’s injuries, saving a life. #Crashland
  • “We believe in free and informed experimentation. It’s your body; you should be able to do whatever you want with it. #Crashland
  • “The Consensus Court has ruled human pattern editing to be unacceptable,” said Forest. #Crashland
  • “You, me, and that anchor makes three.” #Crashland
  • RADICAL wasn’t a terrorist organization like WHOLE, but clearly it shared a similar disregard of the law. #Crashland
  • “I read once how they sent the first permanent moonbase in one piece seven times, recycling it over and over until they got all the leaks out.” #Crashland
  • Small dogs had bigger names, which perhaps said more about the people who named such things than the things themselves. #Crashland
  • “I used to call my bike Trigger,” Jesse said. “I wonder if it’s still where I left it. . . .” #Crashland
  • What Clair was she up to now—4.0? #Crashland
  • The memory of school was equally distant. What would be happening if none of this had taken place? She would be hanging out with her friends, agonizing over Zep and other romantic entanglements, dodging homework and the Mean Girls a year above them—the same girls Libby had defended Clair from in the earliest days of their friendship. #Crashland
  • “You can’t fix everything, Clair. That way lies insanity.” #Crashland
  • “No one starves anymore. Except for you, when you’re sticking to your principles.” #Crashland
  • They were on a giant metal ship in an icy ocean, vast forces gathering around them, but there was still time to kiss. #Crashland
  • Clair imagined PKs running, unable to d-mat like normal, and the image was almost comical—except it wasn’t funny at all. #Crashland
  • Clair didn’t want to think about that. Her mother the dupe. What if the next time Clair saw Allison Hill she was really an assassin? #Crashland
  • “Shut off the powersats?” said Devin. “Are you serious? You know what that will do.” #Crashland
  • Three meals, Clair thought. Turning off the powersats would be the end—not just of her mother but of everyone. #Crashland
  • “I’m amazed,” said Trevin, “that anyone’s still laboring under the illusion that Clair knows anything about anything.” #Crashland
  • “The idea that someone can copy you and move into your head . . . Who in their right mind would use d-mat after that gets out?” #Crashland
  • “Sterling work, peacekeepers,” said Trevin. “If you can’t save one woman, how do you expect to save the world?” #Crashland
  • She might not want to accept it, but the dupes would keep chipping away at her life until they destroyed everything she loved. #Crashland
  • Clair would kill them all, every single hollow man and hollow woman, if that was what it took to bring her mother home. #Crashland
  • “I for one am not surrendering to a dupe,” said Devin. “Better dead than someone else in your head.” #Crashland
  • There was something in her mind, some thought she needed to extract, wriggling and gnawing at her like a worm in an apple. #Crashland
  • The worm swallowed itself and morphed into a lightbulb. #Crashland
  • These weren’t people, she told herself, but dupes, greedy ghosts stealing bodies in exchange for immortality. Hollow indeed, empty of all conscience and morals. #Crashland
  • “Okay,” Jesse said with a shrug. “Let’s get this war on the road.” #Crashland
  • I am the real Clair Hill, she wrote, and I am telling you the truth. #Crashland
  • We saved the world from Improvement, she wrote, but that was only the beginning. #Crashland
  • Dupes walk among us… If you see someone behaving strangely… Not everyone is who they seem… #Crashland
  • Clair understood the instinctive need to find safety in numbers. #Crashland
  • “How is it complicated? The dupes are the bad guys and they have to be stopped.” #Crashland
  • Clair hadn’t been interested in OneEarth, beyond watching her parents participate in the Consensus Court on matters that moved them. #Crashland
  • “A peacekeeper’s job is not to define the peace or how to keep it. That’s what the Consensus Court is for.” #Crashland
  • Kingdon’s voice had the same kind of easy authority that Clair associated with the least annoying school counselors. #Crashland
  • “I won’t give up until the natural sovereignty of ordinary people over their bodies is fully restored.” #Crashland
  • “People are people, with all the proper rights accorded to them by law. Illegal duplicates are not people and have no rights.” #Crashland
  • Clair made polite noises even though the last thing she wanted to be was a lawmaker. Of that she was certain. #Crashland
  • How was Clair to know when she had done enough? Was it possible to do too much? #Crashland
  • “Doesn’t matter who or what’s breaking the peace. Human or otherwise, we’re obliged to stop it.” #Crashland
  • All those years they had been at school together and she had barely noticed him. Now she couldn’t get enough of him. #Crashland
  • Until everyone in danger is safe, she wrote, I talk to Nobody. #Crashland
  • If anyone expected Clair to shave her head they’d find themselves in a whole world of hurt. #Crashland
  • In every other period of history that she was aware of, it was the city that stayed put and the people who moved. #Crashland
  • It did have a certain grandeur, she supposed, but so did a lot of other crazy things from the past, like atomic bombs and emperors. #Crashland
  • Clair hoped the dupes understood that she would never, ever stop if they harmed a single hair on her mother’s head. #Crashland
  • “You wandering around lost, me giving you directions. No matter how many friends in high places you get, we’ll always have this.” #Crashland
  • “War waits for no one. Or should that be waits for Nobody?” #Crashland
  • “When it comes to war, we’re lemmings. One lemming always has to go over the cliff first.” #Crashland
  • “Parapsychic twin-link, remember? Always on.” #Crashland
  • It matters if we erase death from the equation entirely. That changes humanity as a whole in ways we’re probably not ready for. #Crashland
  • Clair might be a lemming teetering on the edge of the cliff, but was she a soldier lemming, or a terrorist lemming, or something else entirely? #Crashland
  • Much easier, Clair reflected, to be a cog in a giant machine than the person with her finger on the go button. #Crashland
  • “It’s a gold rush on dupes, and we’re cashing in.” #Crashland
  • “If we did make reactivation legal, who gets to make a decision like that—to bring someone back from the dead or not?” #Crashland
  • “Some things are more important than the people we love. That’s what I try to tell myself.” #Crashland
  • “If the dupes can find a way in here via d-mat, I’ll eat Devin.” / “I think I’m safe, although I would be quite tasty. #Crashland
  • Clair wasn’t sure about anything to do with the dupes now. The speed with which they had responded was frightening. #Crashland
  • Clair’s hair, with Sargent’s help, had been smoothed back into the cowl. She felt naked without it in her peripheral vision. #Crashland
  • In the normal world, making dangerously radioactive elements in a d-mat booth was utterly forbidden. #Crashland
  • “Even pacifists must dream of casting the first stone sometimes. . . .” #Crashland
  • War, Clair thought. There was no mistaking this situation for posturing or bluster. It was happening, and it was happening in earnest. #Crashland
  • Trevin was shouting and so was Devin. Under pressure, it was hard to tell their voices apart. #Crashland
  • What if Q was working with the dupes? What if Clair had accidentally taught her how to be a Mean Girl? #Crashland
  • Clair wondered if wars were like being alone amid great chaos. She wondered if that was what someone who had no idea what war was really like might think. #Crashland
  • She added that to the list: stop the RADICAL twins from abandoning the world to a fate they deemed too horrible for themselves. #Crashland
  • Every gruesome copy of Jesse’s father contained the same disturbed mind, duplicated hundreds of times over. #Crashland
  • The gunfire sounded again, horribly close, and she could hear the Cashiles falling silently, without the slightest cry. #Crashland
  • The gun never seemed to run out of bullets. It was a miniature version of a fabber, designed solely to make the same bullet over and over. #Crashland
  • Was this how it was going to end, with her buried alive under a mountain of dead dupes? #Crashland
  • Clair had mowed them down in cold blood, even as Nobody tried to . . . what? Become her to death? #Crashland
  • Jesse sounded faintly ill, and no wonder: how many times had he seen his father killed now? #Crashland
  • “How can they be the same person? I get how they can copy bodies over and over, but minds as well?” #Crashland
  • “I guess it’s all in the brain. If you copy that, you copy the person as well.” #Crashland
  • I’m Clair Hill. I may not know what I’m doing, but I do know that.” #Crashland
  • Her face was wet with spray coming in her open faceplate—or was it tears? She couldn’t tell. #Crashland
  • Over her shoulder the sea grasped and hungered, just dying to suck down the crippled seastead into its pitch-black depths. #Crashland
  • Flickering beams crisscrossed the night sky, delivering power to the machines the dupes had built, enabling still more dupes to be created. #Crashland
  • Clair barely recognized herself. Her hair was still tucked into the black undersuit, and her face and hands were black with dried blood. She looked wild and desperate. #Crashland
  • No welcoming expression. They all had more important things to worry about than what their faces were showing. #Crashland
  • His was the face of terror and despair. It had chased her to the ends of the Earth. It haunted her waking dreams. #Crashland
  • “Death is a gift that can be given but never stolen. It belongs to the dying, and is lost with them.” #Crashland
  • “I am a hollow man, condemned to repeat the same experiences over and over again. Different bodies, the same fate.” #Crashland
  • Anything could be fabbed and re-created at any moment, without mattering in the slightest. That was what happened to people, after all, when they moved from place to place via d-mat. There were gaps between here and there, lost and found, that were intriguing to contemplate, in the same way it was intriguing to wonder what happened to Clair Hill when she fell asleep every night. Was she the same person when she woke up, even though she had stopped being for a while? No one in their right mind thought so, and no one worried about d-mat gaps either. #Crashland
  • “You know that phrase, being of two minds? That’s exactly how I feel, multiplied by however many there are of me.” #Crashland
  • “Only the very young . . . and the dying . . . have no time to lie.” #Crashland
  • “What did you see, Clair, in the stars . . . what did you see?” #Crashland
  • “Well, that told us nothing,” Jesse said, “except that Nobody is one fucked-up dude.” #Crashland
  • “He’s dead. Let’s get rid of the corpse before it springs any nasty surprises on us.” #Crashland
  • Clair’s mind still reeled from everything that had happened in the previous hours. If that had been war, she wanted no more of it. #Crashland
  • Clair’s mother liked to say, The only thing separating success from failure is giving up. #Crashland
  • Every high-tech attempt to evade the dupes had failed. Maybe it was time for something simple. #Crashland
  • “Are you for real?” / “Never been realer.” #Crashland
  • “Well, that was fun.” “Which part?” “None of it, to be honest.” #Crashland
  • “Better to be up front about something we can’t hide.” #Crashland
  • Clair needed to rest, but instead she was jumping headlong into the mouth of the whale. The mouth of WHOLE, more literally. #Crashland
  • Her stepfather had sent her several messages conveying his love and hope that she was looking after herself. Clair doubted this plan would qualify. #Crashland
  • “A hovercraft?” said Jesse. “Can I drive?” #Crashland
  • Here they were, fleeing dupes in some weird vehicle created from an archaic pattern dredged out of the dark corners of the Air. #Crashland
  • Accelerating smoothly, they drove—sailed? flew?—into the ruins of New Petersburg. #Crashland
  • New Petersburg: a ghost town of skeletal skyscrapers and empty freeways. #Crashland
  • Ahead hung several lighter-than-air craft, some fat like plums, others long like cigars; one in the likeness of a celebrity. #Crashland
  • “You owe me,” Clair said, aware that she was taking a huge gamble. “I’m the girl who killed d-mat.” #Crashland
  • People who claimed to be injured by d-mat were a key source of WHOLE’s recruits. #Crashland
  • Don’t mess with me or my kick-ass girlfriend will have words.” #Crashland
  • Here she was taking comfort from an Abstainer, after all. Clair 1.0 would never have imagined that. #Crashland
  • Clair 1.0 had had no idea, she thought, about so many things. #Crashland
  • “The great Inspector, upholding the regime that crippled him: there’d be something truly poignant about that if it weren’t just . . . sad.” #Crashland
  • “A man with nothing to live for *would* say that blame is overrated.” #Crashland
  • “This might be the safest place on Earth right now, because you don’t have any booths or fabbers.” #Crashland
  • “Running hasn’t worked. Fighting hasn’t worked. What else is there? Give up and let Ant Wallace win?” #Crashland
  • Instead of a revolutionary leader in combat fatigues, she was a crippled old lady who would die in minutes if unplugged. #Crashland
  • “You’re nothing but trouble, Clair Hill. Everywhere you go, you sow discord. Do you mean to, or does it just follow you around like a bad smell?” #Crashland
  • “You remind me of me when I was young. You see through the bullshit the way others don’t.” #Crashland
  • “We either speak up or burn up from the inside, consumed by our own vision.” #Crashland
  • “You’re neither hero nor villain. You’re the girl who gave Turner Goldsmith the ending he needed—and for that I will always be grateful.” #Crashland
  • “Turner Goldsmith was a dreamer, and now he’s a martyr. That’s the only immortality he craved.” #Crashland
  • “Where will you turn, Clair? Or more important, what will you turn into?” #Crashland
  • Tears dripped from her eyes onto Agnessa’s hospital coverlet, red from dried blood at first, but then becoming clear. #Crashland
  • “I’m not a leader.” “My bullshit-o-meter is twitching again.” #Crashland
  • She didn’t want to be a leader, but if people were offering to listen to her decisions, wasn’t that kind of the same thing? #Crashland
  • Being a good leader might be more about timing than the decisions themselves. Timing, and a loud voice. #Crashland
  • Clair had forgotten what it was like around Abstainers. Everything had to be made by hand and cleaned to keep it as new. #Crashland
  • She was lost in a giant multicolored maze that spread out all around her, a vast and impossibly complex tapestry. #Crashland
  • “This is a test,” said Q in a reproachful voice. “You’re failing.” #Crashland
  • “There are no rules,” said Q. “When are you ever going to learn?” #Crashland
  • Jesse smelled different from any guy she had ever known. Maybe it was because the soaps he used were real, not fabbed. #Crashland
  • “I can stay an Abstainer if I turn my back on d-mat forever, Agnessa said—but only if I do it publicly, so everyone can see.” #Crashland
  • When things went back to normal—as they surely had to; she had to believe that—their different lives would tear them apart. #Crashland
  • Clair had been struggling so long to save other people that she had hardly thought about what *she* needed. #Crashland
  • “Tomorrow’s tomorrow. That’s what my mom always tells me. Today is today. Everything ends up yesterday, anyway.” #Crashland
  • That was why it was called the *sub*conscious, she supposed. It was up to the rest of her mind to figure out what it was trying to say. #Crashland
  • Q was talking to her, goading her on. Could it be a clue as to where Q was hiding—or a message in writing she couldn’t understand? #Crashland
  • Stars made her think of the night sky, but there was nothing special about that. Anyone could look up. #Crashland
  • Maybe she had been looking for the wrong thing, or looking in the wrong place, or looking the wrong way… #Crashland
  • What she really needed was a private investigator, but there was no way she could afford to pay for someone’s time like that. #Crashland
  • “You trust me, don’t you?” “I’m happy to vouch for you,” Sargent said. That didn’t really answer the question, but it would do. #Crashland
  • “Wake up,” Clair bumped Devin. “Wake up. Wake up. Wake up. Wake up!” #Crashland
  • Clair imagined Agnessa drifting invisibly from camera to camera. What she had now was something like being a ghost, or a god. #Crashland
  • “Lots of room for secrets in a desert, or on the ocean floor. We’re good at exploring the spaces between. That’s where we live.” #Crashland
  • In WHOLE territory, a different kind of law operated. Here, the watcher stayed hidden from the watched. Here, an unknown god ruled. #Crashland
  • Maybe it was time to cut her hair, she thought. A new do for the new Clair: Clair 5.0, who had survived the nightmare and was fighting back. #Crashland
  • Who knew how Libby would have changed had their roles been reversed? Maybe Libby 2.0 would have already saved the world. #Crashland
  • Antiquated means of transport, once employed for recreation or out of curiosity, were now finding use in a world deprived of d-mat. #Crashland
  • The messages in her infield were angry, but at least her friends were safe. Better alive and angry than the alternative. #Crashland
  • In Clair’s mind it wasn’t the human race versus the dupes: it was right versus wrong. #Crashland
  • “Someone’s either got incredible hacking skills … or I don’t know what’s going on. An invasion from OneMoon, maybe.” #Crashland
  • The only conclusion Clair could come to was that breakfast was long overdue. And possibly dinner and lunch from the previous day as well. #Crashland
  • “Matter we can replace. People we can’t.” #Crashland
  • Cooking was almost unbearably slow. She suspected her digestive tract of eating a large part of itself by the time breakfast arrived. #Crashland
  • “You’ve assembled Clair’s Bears for real. If I was one of the bad guys, I’d be feeling more than a little nervous right now.” #Crashland
  • “Where do you think you’re going, zombie? Taking your pet freak for a walk?” #Crashland
  • The thug to the redhead’s right had long, skinny fingers like the legs of an enormous spider. #Crashland #arachnodactylia @EpicReads
  • “You’re nothing. Those sounds you’re making, that twitching you’re doing with your mouth. You’re dead, and you just don’t know it.” #Crashland
  • A fake that stood in for something real was no different from the real thing, wasn’t it? #Crashland
  • Horrible people who hated her were people nonetheless. Since when did she consider threatening someone with lethal force a reasonable response? #Crashland
  • Nobody’s dried blood was stuck deep in the lines of her palms. Was she now in danger of becoming a dead-eyed killer like him? #Crashland
  • It felt like homework, but as it was homework that might save the world, she did her best. #Crashland
  • He is an Abstainer who can’t see through his hair. She is a crashlander with the ugliest nose in the world. Together, they fight crime.” #Crashland
  • “If someone volunteers to be a dupe, they don’t have to disappear. They can leave their original behind and just copy their pattern.” #Crashland
  • “I’ll cook, you do the dishes.” There was that rule again. How anyone got anything done in the old days, she didn’t know. #Crashland
  • “Pay attention, Stainer boy,” said Devin. “These sausages aren’t going to cook themselves.” #Crashland
  • Dinner might have been delicious under other circumstances, particularly the mashed potatoes, which were comfortably lumpy and fragrant with real butter. #Crashland
  • Clair forced down as much of the meal as she was able to and tried not to think about who at the table might have betrayed them. #Crashland
  • “Out of sorts, Mum would say. And then Dad would say, ‘Out of sorts and out of the blue,’ and then he’d tell the story of how they met for the 1000th time.” #Crashland
  • It made sense to play her cards close to her chest, but that didn’t mean she had to drive herself insane, looking for jokers. #Crashland
  • Clair’s missing friends had become holes in her life where real people had once been. Absences rather than presences. #Crashland
  • “Q was six days old when her only friend in the whole world betrayed her. When you think about it that way, saying ‘sorry’ might not cover it.” #Crashland
  • Why was it always up to her to fix things? Couldn’t someone else do it for a change? But she was the finisher. That was what Zep had called her. #Crashland
  • Slow and steady wins the race, she told herself, imagining her mother’s voice. Trust your instincts. Never give up. Use the Force, Luke. #Crashland
  • Information pressed in on her, even as she tried to focus on his body beside her and the sound of his breathing in her ear. #Crashland
  • The worst case scenario remained that Q had switched herself completely off. Was that the same thing as committing suicide? #Crashland
  • She wondered what it was like to be a dupe, jumping from body to body, losing chunks of her life as versions of her died un-updated. #Crashland
  • Did dupes ever get holidays as their original selves? Did they ever find that their minds didn’t fit when they tried to go back? #Crashland
  • “I represent the hollow men. We offer amnesty in exchange for the girl, Clair Hill.” #Crashland
  • She felt wretched for Jesse and emotionally exhausted on her own account. Somehow the dupes always found new ways to ratchet up their attack. #Crashland
  • “Everything is wrong. Mom, Dad, your dupe—all the dupes, Improvement, resurrection . . . even you.” #Crashland
  • “You shouldn’t be here. But I want you to be here. Everything about you tells me you’re you, but still… It’s just all so broken.” #Crashland
  • When he looked at her, did he see the girl he had known from school or the girl who had died with Turner Goldsmith? #Crashland
  • “We’re going to fix it.” “When you say ‘fix it,’ you mean d-mat.” “Yes.” “But d-mat did all this. Don’t you see that?”
  • “How does making people starve solve anything?” #Crashland
  • “What I think and what I feel are the exact opposite. How can I love you and hate everything you stand for at the same time?” #Crashland
  • Improvement had brought them together, but it might just as easily tear them apart. #Crashland
  • Three bodies lay on the icy ground. Zep, Libby, and Clair’s own mother. #Crashland
  • Such a simple thought but so devastating, dropping into her mind with the force of a depth charge and leaving nothing in its wake. #Crashland
  • After days being chased by monsters that shouldn’t exist, monsters that broke the rules, it seemed reasonable to try another way. #Crashland
  • No mother would want her child to be an Abstainer. They were the laughingstock of the world, regarded with suspicion by everyone. #Crashland
  • “I was beginning to feel like you were in one of Tash’s old soap operas, the kind where you can’t vote on the endings.” #Crashland
  • “What else is there to do in a jungle, once you’ve killed all the things trying to eat you?” #Crashland
  • Ahead lay Agnessa’s resting place, and Clair 5.0’s destination. Or was she Clair 6.0 now? Schoolgirl, soldier, investigator, Stainer . . . #Crashland
  • “Clair, you’re going to have to turn in your sense of humor when you join this lot. Have you really thought this through?” #Crashland
  • “Solving one set of problems by creating a thousand more isn’t a solution. It’s surrender.” #Crashland
  • “When people are afraid,” said Devin, “they’ll agree to anything.” #Crashland
  • “I can be content with my small corner of the world—just so long as I have a voice and my people are left in peace.” #Crashland
  • A new age is coming. Divide and conquer. King of the world. #Crashland
  • “Anyone can be copied now, so who’s real and who’s not?” #Crashland
  • “You can’t rule the world if you’re dead.” #Crashland
  • “That’s the trouble with dupes. Unless they slip up or confess, there’s no test to see who’s who and who isn’t.” #Crashland
  • “Q’s the spanner in the works. That’s why everyone wants and fears her at the same time. She changes everything around her without even realizing she’s doing it.” #Crashland
  • Who did Clair have on her side apart from a band of argumentative misfits hiding out in an abandoned city? #Crashland
  • “Elevate,” the song Clair and her friends had danced to at the crashlander ball. “Silent P,” the artist who had sung it. #Crashland
  • “The definition of ‘threat’ is very slippery these days.” #Crashland
  • “I’m linked to Trevin anywhere.” Devin lifted his left eyebrow. “Maybe it is telepathy.” #Crashland
  • Cameron Lee. Born in Manchester, schooled in Boston. Cocky and cheerful, with a shock of blond hair and lively blue eyes. #Crashland
  • The woman smiled. There was no humor in that smile, just a thousand lives’ worth of self-loathing and pain. Nobody. #Crashland
  • “So you found him,” said the woman who was no longer herself. “You found me.” #Crashland
  • “Death stops everything,” he said, “in the end.” #Crashland
  • “I wasn’t privy to every detail of Wallace’s operation,” Nobody said. “I was just a hired thug, infinitely expendable.” #Crashland
  • Anyone who used d-mat could be copied by Wallace and put in cold storage. He became a collector of frozen souls, the curator of his own private mausoleum. #Crashland
  • “He called it the Yard. Graveyard or prison yard—I don’t know which. Perhaps a bit of both.” #Crashland
  • If Clair had the chance to bring back Libby and Zep and didn’t take it, could she live with herself? #Crashland
  • “We’re not going into space by rocket,” said Devin. “You do understand that, don’t you? I’m not riding up there on the top of a bomb.” #Crashland
  • “Wait, wait, wait,” said Devin, pointing at Nobody. “We’re trusting him now?” #Crashland
  • The plan was simple in conception, complex in execution. There were a lot of moving parts, every one of which needed to work as planned. #Crashland
  • “Lenses off, or I’ll reach into those eyeballs of yours and switch them off for you.” #Crashland
  • “It’s not murder if they’re already dead.” #Crashland
  • “One last jump,” Clair said, and she kissed Jesse hard. #Crashland
  • “Harsh,” said a dupe-Tash nearby. “Are you trying to hurt our feelings?” #Crashland
  • “Space suits, Clair. I’m trying to put on a space suit. Can you believe this is happening?” #Crashland
  • “If you have killed her,” Forest said in a stern voice, “you will regret it.” #Crashland
  • “Q is smarter than us. She always has been. All that keeps her at our level is her inexperience.” #Crashland
  • “If Q has been testing you, she’s been testing all of us. You’re a proxy for the human race, Clair.” #Crashland
  • “The pursuit of Q is the pursuit of power. Those hungriest for it have just revealed themselves. It is not too late for lovers of peace to stand against them.” #Crashland
  • Did she have the right to put the world at risk simply to save her best friend? “Do it,” Clair said. “Blow the dupes to hell.” #Crashland
  • “Ashes to ashes,” said Nobody. “Dust to dust.” #Crashland
  • “It’s just the beginning,” Nobody gloated. “The end has come at last, in devastating blue.” #Crashland
  • Clair had one last chance to speak to the world, and she had only moments to make it count, before the world really ended, this time. #Crashland
  • What was the phrase Devin had used long ago—“data ghosts”? #Crashland
  • “‘He ne’er is crowned with immortality,’” Q said, “‘who fears to follow where airy voices lead.’” #Crashland
  • “I’m glad you’re back,” Clair told her. Q said, “Me too.” #Crashland
  • “You and I are going to stay here and face the consequences of our actions.” #Crashland

Leave a Comment