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Short Story: "Scaling K2" (part 3 of a series)

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Philip Zack       (Page 2 of 8 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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Angela grimaced. "I'll bet that went over big."

"Well," Kendrik continued, "my teacher sent a note home to my parents, and they asked me to stop doing it."

"Did they tell you why?"

He shook his head. "Nope. And that just made me mad."

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"So what did you do?"

Kendrik grinned. "I asked my gram Natalie. I figured since she worked at the library, maybe she could help me figure it out." He suddenly got very serious. "So, um, she showed me some history books and some pictures about the Ku Klux Klan. It's pretty scary stuff. I guess that's why my folks were afraid to talk about it, but my gram wasn't. She said it was important to know history, because we can't learn from our mistakes if we don't know about them. She also showed me some stuff about how people who tried to do or say something about bad things have been treated."

"Oh? Like who?"

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"Well, there were a lot of them, but the two that stick out in my mind are John Brown and Bradley Manning." He twitched uncomfortably at the thought. "Private Manning was--. Can they really do that sort of thing to people?"

"Sadly, yes," Althea said. "But what does all that have to do with why you call yourself K2?"

He nodded. "My gram called it a nem" a mnemonic, something to help me remember. There are three Ks in my name, but the third one, the one in my last name, is silent. She said that if it doesn't speak out, if it doesn't make itself known, it doesn't count. And that's true for people, too. That's why I couldn't just go to school when I saw her being arrested for talking to the police. I couldn't be quiet about that. I had to do something, to make what she did count. That's why I came down here on my own, and that's why a lot of other people are here as well."

Ifan stopped the video and closed his eyes for a moment. "Jeez," he said at last, "and we're arguing over how to deal with a stupid rule?"

Angela took the netbook back and stood up. "Sometimes," she said, "a little perspective can be a real kick in the pants."

"Ain't that the truth," said Les, rising to join her. "So what are we going to do?"

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Ifan looked up at them for a moment before standing. "I think we should leave the square, get out into the community, take this fight where it belongs."

Angela crossed her arms. "And where, exactly is that?"

He hooked a thumb towards an older section of town. "The Lunchpail district. If there's anywhere in this city that speaks of the ninety-nine percent, that's it. This city started as a factory town, after all, and that's what's left of the original workers' community, from back when the unions were still a force to be reckoned with."

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Ever since I learned to speak binary on a DIGIAC 3080 training computer, I've been involved with tech in one way or another, but there was always another part of me off exploring ideas and writing about them. Halfway to a BS in Space Technology at (more...)

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