My dog Heywood at the dog park in our town. He's the little one to the right swimming desperately after his two new friends. (Photo by the Kid.)
We also met this nice boy, whose name is Gunner, according to his collar at least
|More Unwind Fan Art|
“There were dark days leading up to the war. Everything that we think defines right and wrong was being turned upside down. On one side, people were murdering abortion doctors to protect the right to life, while on the other side people were getting pregnant just to sell their fetal tissue….It was beyond madness!"
We brokered a peace by bringing both sides to the table. Then we proposed the idea of unwinding, which would terminate unwanteds without actually ending their lives. We thought it would shock both sides into seeing reason—that they would stare at each other across the table and someone would blink. But nobody blinked. The choice to terminate without ending life—it satisfied the needs of both sides.
“We are a community here," [the Admiral says] "You will learn the rules and you will follow them, or you will face the consequences, as in any society. This is not a democracy; it is a dictatorship. I am your dictator. This is a matter of necessity. It is the most effective way to keep you hidden, healthy, and whole.”
Tyler’s parents still huddle together, comforting each other instead of comforting Cy. It makes Lev even more furious. “TELL HIM YOU WON’T UNWIND HIM!” he screams.Lev threatens Tyler's parents with the shovel, promising to bash their heads in if they don't tell Tyler want he wants to hear. They say it, and Cyrus collapses into the arms of his two dads. They tell him everything will be all right now, and Cyrus agrees.
|My Beloved Dr. Skull|
“Saving you and others like you is an act of conscience,” the woman had said. “Doing it is its own reward.”
The Fatigues all talk like that. Big-Picture-speak, Risa calls it. Seeing the whole, and none of the parts. It’s not just in their speech but in their eyes as well. When they look at Risa, she can tell they don’t really see her.
Connor had done the right thing. For once, he had seen the situation more clearly than she—and he had probably ensured that Roland wouldn’t physically threaten her again, at least for a while. And yet there’s a part of her that can’t forgive him for just standing there. After all, heroes are supposed to behave in very specific ways. They’re supposed to fight, even if it means risking their lives.
|"Are you going to be loyal to me or to that f*cking Constitution?"|
“In a place like this you have to practice triage,” [Nurse Greta] told Risa, referring to how, in an emergency, a nurse had to choose which patients would get medical attention. “Love the ones you can,” Nurse Greta told her. “Pray for the rest.”
|Eva with her Magical Negro Uncle Tom|
[Lev says]"You’re speaking wrong on purpose.”
“Wrong? What makes it wrong? ... I ain’t appreciating you disrespecting my patois.
“Sure, I can talk like you," [CyFi says], "but I choose not to. It’s like art, you know? Picasso had to prove to the world he can paint the right way, before he goes putting both eyes on one side of a face, and noses stickin’ outta kneecaps and stuff. See, if you paint wrong because that’s the best you can do, you just a chump. But you do it because you want to? Then you’re an artist.”
Lev knows about that. His sister Cara has epilepsy, so they replaced a small part of her brain with a hundred tiny brain bits. It took care of the problem, and she didn’t seem any worse for it. It had never occurred to Lev where those tiny pieces of brain tissue might have come from.
The baby is inconsolable, and Connor wants to complain to Risa about it, but knows that he can’t.
It’s asleep, and right now, in this place and at this moment, there’s something so comforting about holding it in his arms, he’s thankful he saved it. And he thinks that if his soul had a form, this is what it would be. A baby sleeping in his arms.
“That can’t be right,” says Lev, “I was kidnapped, or . . . uh . . . at least they think I was. That should be in the news.”
“Lev’s right,” says Risa. “They always have incidents with Unwinds in the news. If we’re not in there, there’s a reason.”Connor, who we have already noticed is terrible at thinking ahead, claims it's good news. No pictures in the paper, no way to find them.
Most people have two emergency modes. Fight and Flight. But Connor always knew he had three: Fight, Flight, and Screw Up Royally.
It was a dangerous mental short circuit. The same short circuit that made him race back toward armed Juvey-cops to rescue Lev instead of just saving himself. He could feel it kicking in again right now. He could feel his brain starting to fry. “We’ve been storked again,” the fat kid had said. Why did he have to say “again”? Connor might have been all right if he hadn’t said “again.”
Don’t do it! Connor tells himself. This is not the same baby! But to some deep, unreasoning part of his brain, they’re all the same baby.
These two Unwinds are out of control. He no longer fears that they’ll kill him, but that doesn’t make them any less dangerous. They need to be protected from themselves. They need . . . they need . . . they need to be unwound. Yes. That’s the best solution for these two. They’re of no use to anyone in their current state, least of all themselves. It would probably be a relief for them, for now they’re all broken up on the inside. Better to be broken up on the outside instead.
And all at once the truth comes to Lev. Pastor Dan wasn’t telling him to run away from the kidnapper that day—he was telling Lev to run away from him. From his parents. From his tithing. After all of his sermons and lectures, after all that talk year after year about Lev’s holy duty, it’s all been a sham. Lev was born to be tithed—and the man who convinced him this was a glorious and honorable fate doesn’t believe it.
He knows AWOL Unwinds will not give up as long as there’s an ounce of consciousness left in them. They are high on adrenaline, and often high on illegal substances as well. Nicotine, caffeine, or worse. He wishes his bullets were the real thing. He wishes he could truly take these wastes-of-life out rather than just taking them down. Maybe then they wouldn’t be so quick to run—and if they did, well, no great loss.This is going to be part of Schusterman's Big Theme, which is that this new world was created to make life more sacred, but has actually cheapened life.
Connor should have kept the Juvey-cop’s gun, but he wasn’t thinking. He was so freaked out at having tranq’d a cop with his own weapon, he just dropped it and ran—just as he dropped his backpack on the interstate so he could carry Lev. His wallet with all his money was in that pack. Now he has nothing but pocket lint.
Risa’s pretty. Not in the way Ariana was pretty—in a better way. Ariana’s prettiness was all about makeup and pigment injections and stuff. Risa has a natural kind of beauty.Ah, yes. The 'natural' kind of pretty that guys 'really' like.
There was a time, shortly after the Bill of Life was passed, that Dumpsters such as that would be tempting to girls like her. Desperate girls who would leave unwanted newborns in the trash. It had become so common that it wasn’t even deemed newsworthy anymore—it had become just a part of life. Funny, but the Bill of Life was supposed to protect the sanctity of life. Instead it just made life cheap.
If they catch her, she’s obliged to keep the baby—that’s part of the Storking Initiative too—but if they open the door and find nothing but the child, it’s “finder’s keepers” in the eyes of the law. Whether they want it or not, the baby is legally theirs.This is so obviously a recipe for disaster that I can't believe Schusterman thought for a second this part of the worldbuilding would be convincing. Force people not related to a child to adopt a child against their will -- one they can't afford and don't want. What do you think happens next?
As she hurries down the street, she thinks how wonderful it is that she can get a second chance. How wonderful it is that she can dismiss her responsibility so easily.
“We’re not perps,” says Connor, “we’re AWOLs.”It's another eeevil government plot.
“We’re felons,” says Lev. “Because what you’re doing— I mean, what we’re doing—is a federal crime.”
“What, stealing clothes?” asks Connor.
“No, stealing ourselves. Once the unwind orders were signed, we all became government property.
To end the war, a set of constitutional amendments known as “The Bill of Life” was passed. It satisfied both the Pro-life and the Pro-choice armies.
The Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen.
However, between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, a parent may choose to retroactively “abort” a child . .