Junk satellites, burning in the atmosphere over Jakarta. ‘Why I prefer Murray Perahia to Glen Gould.’ A handgun fired at Michelangelo’s David. A pressed red flower discovered in an abandoned archive. Anthrax breeding upon a slide.
Morgan used his own clips as a way to think aloud. Over the year, he’d come to enjoy the way his opinions on a subject would change when he viewed them as a spectator. He could talk about work, or the events of the day, or even the return of some memory, long suppressed. He’d recorded close to fifty clips about the eggs, from the time the company had announced the project, through to the protests and the lottery. Most he would eventually delete.
Elena must have recorded hers during the first of the launches. Cutting between a close up of her face and news-clip images of the protestors, she spoken directly to the camera; behind her head the sky glowed, a bright fluctuating pearl. ‘I don’t know why anyone is surprised,’ she’d said. ‘This the survival of the species, we’re talking about here and in any disaster people will always buy their way to the front of the queue.’ A cut to a news clip of the launches, the curved white pods, the silver engine trails making slices into the fabric of the sky. ‘Eggs,’ Elena had laughed on the voice over. ‘Tell me they look like anything else but sperm. Forget the lottery and the good of the human race spiel. This is an old-fashioned patriarchy we’re talking about.’
As he drifted from the dining room, Morgan was tempted to view the clips again, but he’d given up his handset when he’d first arrived. Such things were seen as distractions. Already, outside the main door, workers for the next shift in the garden were gathering up their tools; a group of people were meditating on the front lawn. With an hour to spare before his shift in the greenhouse, he debated whether to head up to his room and read, or take a walk in the grounds. The coincidence continued to nag at him, however. He was almost tempted to wander down to the administrative office and request his handset, but whether he wanted to check Elena’s clips or to see how strongly the retreat’s suggestions were enforced, he wasn’t sure.