Septemus 69

Discovering My Source


“Baxin’ivre is your source,” Xirra told me the next time we sat together.

“And Pabatuotuo?”

“Came from Baxini’vre’s brother, Batuotuo.”

The Kfvico’kyastorr created me, she told me, but the rebels created Pabatuotuo.

“When we found out they were keeping Batuotuo’s tissue sample, we knew we had to get it. Situ’s man is amazing–he could get into anywhere, and recover anything. He brought Batuotuo’s sample back to us, and we created him.”


“What for?” I asked. “I know–or at least I think I do–why I was created by the Kfvico’kyastorr. But why Pabatuotuo? What purpose did you have for him?”

She looked at Octavius. “We wanted you to have a brother,” she said.


“I the brother,” said Octy.

“Indeed you are!” she said. Then she looked back at me. “We also wanted your brother to have you.”

She told me that Situ had been a rebel plant in the Kfvico’kyastorr lab. Once they’d found out about the acquisition of Baxin’ivre’s sample and the plans to clone him for harvesting, the rebels knew they had to prevent this.

Situ had training as a bizaapgotojo, and she and Xirra came from an influential, privileged family, who had kept their liberal leanings to themselves. It was easy for Situ to get the job.

They thought they’d have more time. The original plan was to carefully orchestrate the escape and then to reunite Pabatuotuo and me on the rebel base on Doxnivre. But it went wrong. They had to rush when Situ learned that my scheduled harvest date was just a few months out.

It feels so odd to write this. I use euphemisms because the truth is harsh: “Harvest” means murder. I was created so that my brain would be surgically removed and planted into the skull of the Premier’s daughter. He wanted an intelligent daughter. These eyes were to go to the highest bidder. Those whom the Premier owed favors were to get these hearts, livers, and lungs.

I know why I shudder. The fate I escaped lingers like a shadow you see even after your eyes are closed.

“We wanted you and Pabatuotuo to play in the meadows, like you did a thousand years ago, when your originals were but boys,” she said. She lowered her voice to a whisper. “That’s why he was on the ship with you. If we had to abandon our careful plans and rush the escape, we wanted him to come, too. And Whisper. Situ needed her daughter with her. We were all to join you at Haven. Shésti and I manned the escort ship. It wasn’t supposed to happen like this.”


We sat quietly.

The Freezer Bunny movie repeated for the tenth time. Xirra wept softly while the harmonium played.

“Don’t cry, Mommy,” Octy said. “Sept good brother! Mommy good mommy. Everybody happy, Mommy.”

I’m really going to have to teach my brother about verbs.

Xirra heard me think that and she started laughing.

“Don’t worry!” she said, inside. “Teach him Vingihoplo! No verb ‘to be!'”

We both cracked up.

“See?” said Octy. “Freezer Bunny IS very good bunny!”

“And no articles!” Xirra said inside, and we laughed some more.


Octy toddled off, repeating, “The, a, an, the, a, an–the bunny, a bunny, an bunny.”

Xirra told me she’d had her seasons of grief. “Years and more!” she said. “Really, I keep thinking I’m healed.”

“I am not so sure that such a thing requires healing,” I said. “It isn’t a wound–it’s a part of us. My life, and my brother’s, will always be entwined with Situ and the crash. That is part of the fabric of who we are.”

I pulled out my list. “Remember when you asked me to write down all-the-good-things?” I asked.

Of course she did.

I started reading:

Grilled cheese.

Blue skies and white clouds.

One silver moon.

One golden sun.

Smiles that light up from the inside and make eyes shine.

To know what it is we share, whether we are blue or purple or brown. 

To love, even if that love is not returned.

She handed me a book. “You aren’t the first one to make a list. You have list-making in your cells.”

I took her gift into the bedroom and began to read. It was Baxin’ivre’s Book of Lists, and the first list in the book was “Naa  Bairadekakir,” literally, “all big beautiful” which translates into “all-the-good-things.”

Byu jisu – sweet food

Ti kiya – one sun

Fi karika – seven moons

Tharistei shésti – purple wind

What is good, what is beautiful, now is the same as what was good, what was beautiful, then.

In bringing us answers, my Xirra brought us joy.


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