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They crack the secret Derrida Vault and gape at the array within: devices quite unlike crowbars, yet dissimilar to lightsabers: plentiful and simple enough that everybody gets one. Or at least a pretty good facsimile.

Milan finds the one Laetitia brought home and opens some leftover moving boxes. “Best unpacker we’ve ever had!” he says, when he lets Fantine borrow it.

Fantine calls it a deboxer when she loans it to Diego; naturally, he takes it to the gym.

“That’s starting to cause some real pain now,” groans his boxing partner.

“It’s probably a good hurt!” grins Diego, winding up again.


“A good activist strives to be the proverbial butterfly in China,” says Laetitia.

“First, that’s not proverbial,” says Milan. “Second, do you even understand that metaphor?”

“Well, according to chaos theory, the air pressure can influence the prevailing wind–”

“The prevailing wind,” says Milan, “has fuckall to do with hurricane formation. Hurricanes move under wind, but they’re generated by warm oceans, which in turn are generated by warm atmospheres. Guess how much heat a butterfly generates?”

“Fine! How would you say it?”

“A good activist strives to be the coal plant in China.”

Laetitia’s fillings grate when she grinds her teeth.


“Well, Battlestar may not be real,” says Fantine sagely, “but it’s true.”

“It’s fiction, right?” says Laetitia.

“Only in the sense that–”

“Are you spiritual but not religious too?” Laetitia snaps. “What you’re parroting there is a cliché: conversational shorthand for fiction that resonates with your perception of current events. But fiction is by definition both imaginary and false. What are the opposites of those, Fantine?”

“Do real people make speeches like that, Laetitia?” says Fantine.

Laetitia bites her finger.

“Do real people care that much about clichés?”

Laetitia backspaces over the last couple paragraphs and goes looking for the Advil.