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“I remember when this fighting made sense,” mutters Waxman (D-CA). “Two sides, party lines, primary colors. I had allies over there.” His suit is mudstained, one sleeve torn for a bandage.

“It couldn’t last,” says Martinez (R-FL) wryly. “War is never that simple.”

“I liked it better when we paid people to do this for us,” grumbles McConnell (R-KY).

“Prepare yourselves!” bellows Mikulski (D-MD), her claymore high. “You hold this line! You hold!

Four hundred thirty-five cavalry mount the hill and charge, sabers gleaming. Waxman licks his lips, grasps the haft of his pike, and waits.


Martinez pushes through the gelatinous wall and feels it seal up behind her, jams her filtration mouthpiece into the bubble over her lips, and one dive later she’s plowing through a blue-black world. The Fishbelly Slick hews warm and tight to her skin, and its hydrophobic surface makes her dolphin stroke feel like a skid on buttered tracks.

Martinez goes down and down. The schools barely bother to explode at her passage, and she thinks about the drawings from a childhood magazine, primeval whales with hands. Slicked and insulated, she imagines herself another curve back into evolution: swimming, walking, swimming again.