Irena enters her room at the penthouse. she keeps the lights off. She has always preferred the darkness. she sits down in the center of the room on the floor. Closing her eyes, she allows herself to sink back in the past.
The smell of home cooking fills the air. softly spoken words drift in from the kitchen. Her grandmother and mother cooking together… doesn't happen often. Her Aunt is coming from the market. Uncle and Grandfather are playing chess in the living room… occasionally words of taunting over over a move makes her smile. her father is calling her into the computer room. his work as a programmer and her mom's work as a biotech scientist has always fascinated her. she has been typing in programs for both parents for years now. lately she has been able to start writing her own programs. Simple times… laughter and family times.
another memory merges… a year has passed… something is wrong… she finds herself at a family friend's house… a program written by her did something it wasn't supposed to… it was a code to help sync cybernetics limps better with neutral pathways. but it did more than that. Clara's mother had come home from work in a panic. phone calls to her relatives… hushed whispering… being driven to the friend's house… told to listen and learn… they will be able to protect her better… Clara is not sure what is going on but the 14 years old finds herself now a member of a street gang family.
16 years old Clara learns that her computer skills have not gone unnoticed. Someone has put the word out on the street that she is wanted… hunted… Clara just knows she doesn't want to be caught. No names… just a number to call if she is caught… are they looking for her or for her family she doesn't know.
She has not seen her family in years… a glimpse of her uncle once a few years ago at the local market. she misses them but know she has to keep them safe. In her bag of belongings there is an old doll she was given by her grandma to remember the family.
opening her eyes to the darken room, Clara tries to cling to the smell of the home cooking and the whispers of laughter from her past…