Vitro/Vivo

It’s impossible to get lost in the City.

But Drei isn’t in the City any more.  She’s fifty feet below it, lost in the stink and the dark of the sewers.

She doesn’t know how she got there.  All she knows is that it’s tangled up somehow with the results of her latest lab report, and she intends to get to the bottom of things as soon as she’s back in the City.  She’s a Vitro, after all.  Any problem, no matter how tangled or dangerous, can be solved with a bit of organized deduction.  It’s a part of her very genetic makeup.

Unfortunately, her investigation lands her in a place where intellect holds no sway whatsoever – outside the City, where the Vivos live.

Eyes of a Jaguar – Jag for short – doesn’t concern himself with thinking.  People who think too much, like the Cutters, end up thinking they can control everything, when it’s perfectly obvious the Earth and its life forces take care of themselves on their own.

Just which life force is it, then, that brings a frantic Cutter woman out of the City and into Jag’s village?  She says she needs help, that the survival of her very people depends on it.  Jag has no reason to trust a Cutter.  At best she’ll treat him like an animal.  At worst, she could decide he’ll best serve her as a specimen in her lab.

He decides to help her.  He doesn’t think out his choice; he just feels it.

Neither Drei nor Jag could anticipate the consequences of their partnership, which include a long-standing disagreement about personal hygiene, the uncovering of a massive geneticist-conspiracy, and the realization that Vitro and Vivo alike cannot survive unless they reach a middle ground – the place where intellect and instinct meet.

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