At a lighthouse in the country, Jill tells Ed Morris that everything is decaying and she's running out of time. Ed watches in horror as Jill turns into a withered corpse... and wakes up from his nightmare. He's aboard his boat that he's working on, and goes ashore. Ed drives home and tells his wife Sally that he's almost done with the deck. Sally says that they have a visitor who wants to talk to them about double indemnity. The woman, Jill, is the woman from Ed's nightmare.
Seven Days Earlier
In the Morris' community on the coast, Sally listens to a broadcast about how the coast is decaying and will soon fall into the ocean. Sally warns Ed that one day their house will fall into the ocean, but Ed says that they'll be gone on an ocean voyage before then. His wife warns that the eggs have already expired after two days and throws the rotting eggs away. The couple goes out and find the recycle driver. He jokingly complains that they kept the eggs too long.
Ed and Sally drive to their work places: Sally at Shiner Farms and Ed at the Spirit Mill. A tour guide shows people around the Spirit Mill and talks about how they take cognitive chimeras for granted, but now the Jacks and Jills are among them. They each have a quantum consciousness--QC--and it means the chimeras have become them. The guide says that he's a Jack and everyone applauds.
Ed is in the lab working and a Jill tells him that the chimeras are beautiful. She ask Ed if the chimeras can think and dream, and Ed tells her that they're latent potential. Jill says that she's in insurance, and Ed shows her the "berries" that they hold the QCs in. The berry provides everything the QC needs to survive. Jill asks what would happen if he released a QC, and Ed says that it would vanish. She fumbles with her broach and drops it on the floor, and Ed picks it up.
Everyone gathers for a demonstration and the Director comes in. The Director tells the spectators that they have two Jacks and Jills, and they have no self-awareness without the QCs. Technicians implant the QCs and they "wake up". The Director asks one Jill what she's thinking, and she says that she's thinking about thinking. He says that they've achieved meta-cognition and everyone applauds.
Ed drives home and sees Jill on the side of the road. He gets out and offers her a lift, and Jill says that she's fine. Ed comes over and introduces himself, and Jill says that she's a Jill but not one of their own. Jill explains that she's from the city's Spirit Mill, and asks if Ed will still help her. He assures her that he will and guides her to his car. They drive to the community and go to a bar, and Ed realizes that Jail is failing. Jill admits that she is, and Ed insists that he's a big believer in neural network equality. She asks about Ed's life, and he explains that he has a wife but no kids even though they tried. He figures that they have a year before their home falls into the ocean, and then they'll go on an ocean voyage. Jill points out that it sounds dangerous, and Ed admits that it is.
At home, Sally is dreaming of growing plants. She wakes up and discovers that Ed isn't in bed with her. She goes downstairs and finds Ed plotting a course on a map. Sally points out that there's nothing there and they wouldn't let him if there was. She insists that it's just a stupid fantasy, and says that the food has turned faster. The next morning, Ed tells the recycle driver that the expiration dates are getting shorter. The driver says that he just does his job.
Sally drives to work and greats the guard, a pig-chimera named Su. She asks Su what she would do if her husband was having a crisis, and Su advises the husband's wife to talk him out of it because a crime is a crime. She wishes Sally a splendid day and Sally drives on to work.
Ed goes to the QC lab and opens a berry. He wonders what the QC inside is dreaming.
Sally drives home and shows Ed the vegetables that she grew. She wonders if she should throw them away, and Ed assures her that they're great. Sally has also grown potatoes that she saved, and Ed takes it out and tries to bury them despite what the neighbors might think if they saw. There's metal plating beneath the ground, and Ed says that he can't stand it. The potatoes rot in Sally's hand.
That night, Ed meets with Jill at the bar. They drink and Jill suggests that he could get enough money to sail away if he helped her steal QCs and sell them on the black market. Jill says that she has a buyer, and Ed tells her that he should go. She tells him that he should but he won't. They go to Ed's boat and Ed removes his wedding ring. He dips his hand into a beaker of liquid, and it solidifies to form a glove with his handprint. Ed teaches her how to sing his favorite sea chanty.
Later, Jill and two masked men go to the Spirit Mill. Jill breaks into the lab and Ed at home watches on their bodycams. Sally comes up behind him and Ed activates an intruder alarm for the lab. Ed then tells his wife that he nearly did something stupid.
Jill meets with her buyer Noah and he's amused to learn that he's dealing with a Jill. She shows him the nine QCs that she stole, and Noah realizes that Jill is holding one back for herself. He opens fire, killing her men, and Jill runs off into the forest.
The next day, Ed comes in and everyone applauds. The Director congratulates him on raising the alarm, and gives him an increase in salary for his service. he says that some Jill did it and she's on the run, and suggests that someone at the company helped her. Ed insists that everyone there is loyal, and the Director tells him that people get desperate.
Sally tells Su that she thinks her "friend" was tempted but he's honest. Su asks if he's loyal to his wife, and Sally says that he is. The chimera says that she would advise the wife to stand by her husband, and Sally thanks Su for her advice and introduces herself.
Jill walks down the highway to the Morris home. Sally assumes that she's a saleswoman and closes the front door, but Jill collapses to her knees, and Sally comes back and asks if she's okay. Jill claims that she's on medication to become pregnant. Sally asks how long she's been trying, and Jill says that it's been too long. They chat and Sally apologizes for being rude earlier. Jill says that she's selling life insurance.
Ed wakes up from his nightmare. He's aboard his boat that he's working on, and goes ashore. Ed drives home and tells his wife Sally that he's almost done with the deck. Sally says that they have a visitor who wants to talk to them about double indemnity. Jill describes double indemnity and tells Ed that if something happened to him, Sally would be cared for. As she goes, Jill staggers and Ed offers to contact Jill's husband. The chimera says that he's away on business, and they make her comfortable. Once they're alone, Ed points out that Jill has her luggage and isn't who she claims. When he says that Jill is a Jill, Sally says that she knows and insists that Jill needs their help.
That night, Jill looks around the house at the nursery the Morrises built for their intended child. She finds a sprig from Sally's hydroponic garden on the floor and goes out to the cliff. Ed wakes up and finds her, and asks what she wants. Jill says that Noah and his people took everyone, and they needs to recover the QCs. She asks if a part of Ed did it for her, and Ed says that he made a mistake and doesn't want anything to do with her. Jill holds up the handprint and then gives it to her, and asks what he's going to do. Ed insists that she has the wrong man, but Jill tells him that he sails the high seas in his heart. She admits that she can't do it without him, and see needs Ed rather than a Jack.
The next day Ed goes to the Spirit Mill, enters the lab, and takes a berry. When he returns home, Sally asks where he was. Ed claims that he was with the guys, and Sally says that they should by the double indemnity. She explains that they had coffee and admits that she likes Jill. Sally figures that Jill is more than a Jill and asks Ed if he agrees. The next day, Ed signs the policy, and the recycle driver comes to the door holding the potatoes. He warns that growing one's own is impossible and illegal. Irritated, Ed slams the door in his face.
That night, Ed meets Jill at the bar and says that they have everything they need. Jill says that she can't do it, and says that she's failing. Ed takes her hand and says that if they do the heist then they can both get a new start. He assures Jill that he's there with her and they kiss, and then Jill puts a revolver down on the table and asks if Ed knows how to use it.
The next day, Ed and Jill go to the forest and find a girl singing. She's part of Noah's band, and Noah and the others are waiting. They go to a house and Noah figures that Ed is Jill's man. Noah realizes that Jill is failing, and Ed says that he needs to examine the berries. When he sees them, he says that he needs to check one by injecting it into Jill, and Noah insists that they stay there. Ed uses the injector that he brought while Jill waits on a cot. He injects the new QC into Jill, and she seemingly dies. When Ed confronts Noah, Jill gets up and shoots Noah and the others dead. She and Ed run off with the others, shooting any of Noah's men that get in their way.
Ed and Jill come to the girl, and the Director holds a gun to her head. He admits that the chimeras have learned all of their ways, including lying and cheating, and tells Ed to hand over the QCs. When the Director threatens to kill the girl, Jill tells Ed to do it. Ed puts the box of QCs on the ground and the Director realizes that one is missing. He figures that it's in Jill and prepares to shoot it out of her, and Ed says that he'll get it. The Director asks if Ed wants to get arrested, and Jill reminds him of Ed's dream of sailing the high seas. Ed says that he has to do it, and Jill tells him that he loves her. When Ed hesitates, the Director grabs the injector and prepares to remove the QC. However, the girl puts the gun in Jill's hand and Jill shoots the Director dead.
Jill trains the gun on Ed and says that he disappointed her just like he disappointed Sally. She drives off, goes to the Morris home, and tells Sally that they have thing to talk about.
Ed runs home a short time later and calls to Sally. She's gone but left a note saying that she wants to find out what "normal" is. The land around the house starts to crumble, and Ed goes to his boat and puts to sea. He finds Jill's broach and sees Sally and Jill on the bow. Ed apologizes, and Sally says that she and Jill both deserve better. A minute later, they throw him overboard. Ed wakes up when he washes ashore, and sees his house at the base of the cliffs where it fell. He finds his old record and caresses it.
Written by Gadfly on Jan 21, 2018