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|Welcome to the Machine|
|Main character(s):||Bernice Summerfield|
|Printed in:||A Life Worth Living|
|Big Finish Bernice Summerfield series|
|Misplaced Spring||Final Draft|
Jess has a friend, named Mann, whom she has never met. They text each other. He convinces her to attend a party. Jess has difficulty mingling; she avoids a man named Igo, and unintentionally insults her neighbour Adreas and a visiting professor. She leaves the party, but feels like she is being followed.
The next morning, at the library, Jess texts Mann. She wonders if Raymond, the maintenance tech, could be Mann. As she stares into space, a student, Thomas, asks to use her terminal. She wonders if he could be Mann, so when she leaves the library, she looks him up. She later encounters him and he tries to force himself on her. She is rescued by Adrian Wall.
A hearing is held to determine whether to banish Thomas from the Collection. It turns out that he has assaulted several women, but no one, until Jess, was willing to accuse him. The court decides to banish Thomas.
After the trial, Benny introduces herself to Jess, and apologises for not recognising that Thomas, one of her students, was a problem. Jess finds herself becoming jealous of Benny, who has so much confidence. She decides that she should stop texting Mann, and start socialising with others.
When she sees a message from Mann on her terminal, she responds.
- Jess's paper is on life during the Fifth Axis occupation.
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