Eventually, if you're smart and if you're lucky, you put together a list that looks something like everybody else's list; Kant called it the Kingdom of Ends, in which everybody acted in accordance with, basically, the Golden Rule. In which all people are treated as Ends in themselves -- rather than Means to an end -- by everybody else. In which everyone is both Sovereign and Subject at once. But if you live for the list, and then find out that the list never existed, you can be whatever you like. You can be the woman you choose to be, and you can take your time deciding who that is. You have infinite time to play.
Cally watches them, talking, sees the playfulness in Tory's eyes, and as the stars and moons whirl about her, and Nicky screaming, and Tory's hand unmoving from Chief's elbow, she decides that yes: she is white-trash tacky enough to drag a baby into a bar and start screaming. Luckily, she's on drugs and she's ninety percent right about all of it (and Clyne's acting her ass off besides), or I'd be laughing and pointing right about now. ["Is it okay if I persist in laughing and pointing? And congratulate Cally for finally Going There?" -- Joe R] She hastens to their table, but can't even get out a full-throated shout before she starts vomiting. On the floor of a bar with a baby in her arms, and everybody watching. To be proven right, to know that your husband is cheating on you, that you're just the dirty girl after all, and then to vomit on the floor, in front of everybody. I mean, my God. She takes off running, and he shouts and stares after her, and back at the table, Tory drinks her drink and feels some more sensations or whatever.
THE ONLY POSSIBLE ARGUMENT IN SUPPORT OF A DEMONSTRATION OF THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
(In which the Admiral and the President share strength, but All is still not Well.)
39, 676 souls in the Fleet, for now. In the sickbay, Cottle hooks up Laura's IV and promises that her nausea should subside in about an hour. She reads for a sec, then leans head back, grunting softly to herself. This isn't going to be one of those times. She takes her glasses off, and settles into the sickening. It starts like it always does, with the body. All we are, all that we think we are, all that we are certain about is taken away from us. After a moment Bill arrives, and sits down without comment.