Bree Davenport Mission Log
Skylar Storm called them Pluribus. She said the name came from our money, that saying, "E pluribus unum." Out of many, one. It's a good description.
Skylar said that Pluribus strove for peace and unity, and that we would be safe. She said it wanted to help us, bionic humans and regular humans alike, achieve everything we could dream.
No more fighting, no more pain. If it sounds too good to be true, it's because it was.
Skylar said we shouldn't fight Pluribus, that we should just accept it. Well, Skylar didn't say that. The thing that owned her brain said all that.
My dad and uncle haven't gotten back from space yet. I want to warn them, warn them so they don't come back blind to this… crazy hive mind.
I want to warn them, yeah, but I'm also pretty sure it's all their fault. Pluribus came from outer space, I'm sure of it. They didn't need to tell me. I think Mr. Davenport and Douglas must've dragged this thing back to Earth without even knowing.
And now we're all paying for it.
Or maybe it wasn't them, maybe it was Skylar. At this point it doesn't matter. Skylar, Oliver, Kaz, they've all been assimilated. They're gone, they're like puppets for Pluribus.
It got Chase too. It got my brother.
I couldn't say how many people have been affected, but it's too many. It hits big cities first and then spreads. There was this movie, "Contagion," it's like that. Like a virus that just gets stronger.
I hope Mr. Davenport and Douglas come back to fix it, but I also hope they don't come back. I don't want to lose them like I lost Chase.
I've been hiding out in the area around Centium City. The thing is, Pluribus may be like a virus but it doesn't spread through the air. It needs physical contact to… infect people, or however it does what it does. It has to touch you.
It has to catch you first. I can outrun this alien monster whatever, but I can't fight it. I don't know how.
If you're listening to this… Pluribus is coming. Maybe, by the time you're hearing this, it got to me.
Maybe it's going to get to you next.
Taylor stumbled into the holding room, two men taller than her holding her between them. They weren't themselves though. She knew that.
"Let me go," she snarled, struggling against the men with their terrifying blank gazes. A woman facing her just smiled and shook her head.
"Relax…" The woman touched her forehead and Taylor tensed up. These people, these things… this thing… it could read you with a touch, scan your thoughts. "Taylor. You will be with Pluribus."
"I don't want to be with—"
"Shh, it's alright," the woman said. "It won't happen right away. And when it does happen, it won't be painful or scary. It feels good."
A wave of shame racked Taylor when she realized she was crying, actually crying her eyes out right in front of the enemy. It was just… she had fought so hard for so long. Kept to the countryside, stayed alert. And now she was going to lose herself, just as she lost herself to Krane through the Triton App.
"Relax, Taylor," the woman said again. And then to the men, "Let her stay here and get acclimated."
The men carted her down the steps to a large room full of other people— men and women, children, the elderly, mothers, teachers, husbands. All assimilated. All… gone.
Well, not all of them. Not yet. These people wore colors to distinguish their stage of assimilation. The yellows were in the process of joining Pluribus, and the greens were already a functional part of Pluribus. The reds— like Taylor— had yet to join.
In the beginning, Pluribus picked people off easily. It needs people to be at ease, accepting, before they can be assimilated. And in the beginning, they made that sound like they only took people who consented.
What it meant was they took people when they were asleep, when they were drunk, when they were caught off-guard. And when that got too hard, they dragged people into these facilities and sedated them until they were calm enough to join Pluribus.
Taylor was relying on fear and panic to keep her mind too scattered for assimilation. She looked around the room, searching for familiar faces and hoping she would find none.
A couple of the green shirts gathered around her, smiling their brainwashed smiles. "You'll be happy here," they promised, crowding her, suffocating her. "You will be us and we will be you, and it will be better."
"Get off me," Taylor said, shoving at them and wishing she sounded tougher. It was hard when she was still crying. "Stop it. Leave me alone." They pawed at her like zombies and she started hitting them harder. "Go away! Stop it!"
And then suddenly there were arms around her chest, someone behind her pinioning her arms to her side. "Taylor, don't."
She craned her neck around to see who was holding her and her heart sank.
And he was wearing a green shirt.
"No, no," Taylor cried, more upset to see Leo there than at her own fate. Tears came faster now, frantic, and she felt like she couldn't breathe. "Don't do this, please. I can't be something else. I'm me."
"Stop struggling," Leo said placidly, leading her away from the other green shirts. "You are with Pluribus now, and you are okay."
"I'm not!" she screamed, fighting to get away from him but crying all the time, sobs ripping out of her chest. "I'm not okay! Leo, let me go. Let me go."
"No, no, this is all wrong," she said. "You're not you. Those brainwashed bastards got you, y-you're not Leo."
And he leaned over her shoulder, put his lips very very close to her ear, and said, "Yes I am."
And then she got it.
Leo Dooley had faked his way into the hive mind headquarters.