Translucent, Backstory | ATLA: File 61596

Written confession of ALYDIA RYNNS TORIS [ATLA subject 6.23]; 2658-2-7, Androvid Penitentiary Unit

Prisoner Number: 00132

Legal name: ____________

Date of birth: ____________

Nationality: Raedian (Revoked)

Diagnosed conditions: Psychopathy, extreme depression (C495), Vswret Condition, …(see file)

Convicted felonies: Genocide, 511 assassinations (1 unsuccessful assassination attempt), 30,000 murders (noninclusive), 769 counts of arson, 26 counts of conspiracy, …(see file)

[start text]

My apologies for the blanks. As you must realize from your agent’s numerous interrogations, my identity is not easily summarized on a form. I do not know my birthdate, name, or parents. All I can record of my first days are the scattered facts I have dredged from the some buried cache of my memory. This much I remember vividly: mine was the first generation to be born into an official War, when it was finally deemed inappropriate to call ourselves “rebels.”

“Blue propaganda, makes us sound like their subjects. But the world knows. We are the Raedian Republic.” Those words, whispered euphorically into my day-old ear, compose the first and last impression of my mother. The scratching cotton against my cheek, her calloused fingers running over my scalp, wide green eyes in sunken sockets, all are fragments of an existence that has since fled my mind. “We’ve done it,” her ash-corroded throat murmured with the ecstasy of a child. “We’re free. The Republic lives –”

From there, the memory falters. I’ve strained for years to reconstruct the rest of that day, find a signal of anything that might place a name or location, but my infantile thoughts dissolve to hazy sensations of rattling and yelling and coughing.

I have no recollection of my father’s face. I knew him only as another broken voice in the delivery room. Memories of my early years pass equally indiscreetly; all I can comprehend is movement – moving to this orphanage, that camp. Name, gender, heritage, all fail me. My identity before Integration remains as thin as morning mist, and dawn has long since passed.

But my childhood is trivial. You have presented me a file, a name, and a ream of paper. Before you force my pen any further, I must insist (in vain, no doubt) that a distinction be drawn. I am not Alydia Rynns Toris. Alydia Rynns may be found in a burial pit fifty kilometers east of Androvid. Alydia Toris is a fictional entity of whom any physical remnants were burnt on February 2, 2658.

You ask me for her story, in full, in my own words, and so a story I shall tell. A narrative of my invention as verifiable as you wish to presume. If this shall satiate your endless, ruthless quest for truth, then whatever relics of my moral compass demand I provide it.

Yet to continue requires you absolute attention and patience. There will be no beginning, lest I delve into the very fundamental human nature, and as I have warned in your first interrogations, you shall find no satisfactory conclusion. And as for your questions…

  1. Who are you? You brought me here. You tell me.

– N


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