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Chelsea, Siri Keeton's ex, may not be a militant radical but she was a Realist, to the point of taking her sex in the raw, which it is suggested the Realists don't even do any more. As far as I could discern while she had given up on Siri she still had a career if she wanted one and was an independent and strong minded individual with a deep belief in the value of the real world.

Why then does she plug into the simulated world of Heaven where nothing is real?

Any insight into her motivation would be useful because as it stands I've missed any clue or queue that was given and her choice doesn't make sense, therefore her death doesn't either and my suspension of disbelief is damaged.

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She doesn't, as far as I can see. She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time:

By the time she called again the news was out: acute Golem outbreak lancing like a white-hot needle through the heart of Boston. Containment measures holding. Heaven secure. Modest casualties expected. Names of victims withheld pending notification of kin.

Yes, the attack that killed her was symbolically aimed at Heaven, but it didn't do any damage there; the victims were people in downtown Boston in the general vicinity of the facility.

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  • So yes I really did miss something, it even says she only got caught in the crossfire towards the start of the passage and I missed it.
    – Ash
    Sep 17 at 9:35

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