At the village, Killy reawakens to discover that his body’s interaction with the nanobody infection has reset internal cybernetic systems he didn’t realize he possessed. His vision suddenly includes information and visualizations about his surroundings. He concludes on sight that Zuru does not possess the net terminal gene due to the City-wide infection that removed it from the human genome.
Cibo, Sanakan, Pops and Sutezo enter Toha Heavy Industries. They pass through a corridor after which gravity is applied in a different direction, towards the inner wall of Toha’s cylindrical structure. They discover a huge cylindrical section where the surface resembles natural terrain, including bodies of water and clouds.
The group returns to the Fishermen village to report what they have seen and plan further exploration. Killy’s vision continues to scan the people around him, but it struggles to analyze Sanakan, eventually identifying her as a Safeguard. When he tries to warn the villagers, Sanakan drops her disguise. As Pops ruffles her hair (in thanks for bringing Cibo to the village), she severs his arm and emits a blast wave, killing many bystanders. Her body converts to a mechanical form that includes a graviton beam weapon.
Notes & Trivia
- While the chapter title "Awakening" refers to Killy regaining consciousness, it may also refer to Killy's dormant abilities being reactivated.
- The cylindrical terrain chamber resembles a small O’Neill cylinder, albeit using the same sort of artificial gravity experienced throughout the City (rather than rotating to incur centrifugal force).
- When Killy’s enhanced vision examines Sanakan, the resulting messages include “denied”, as if Sanakan’s own cybernetic systems are blocking him. This may imply that Killy’s enhanced sense relies partly on dynamic connections to wireless information services offered by other bodies and devices, similar to an internet of things.