what this blog is about




The following is a work of fiction set in a very far future. Nothing in it should be taken too seriously…

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dinner



To Bobbi's surprise, it turned out that the Center maintained a restaurant. "Actually, it is quite chic," Désiré explained. "Very expensive. All the Dominas come here to see the newcomers, like you. It is considered very exciting."

The restaurant was down a hall and to the left. At the entrance, Désiré stopped him. "One last check," he said. He gave Bobbi a quick inspection, straightened a bit of cloth on the romper, and then stood back. "Perfect. Take my hand and we shall make the grand entrance.”

Bobbi nodded, terrified but obedient. He was glad he'd brought his Teddy. It felt comforting under his arm.

"Then, we shall begin," Désiré said, and led him through the doors.

Inside was a large room, richly furnished, with tables and chairs. Robot waiters cruised about, taking orders and delivering food. The customers sat at their meals. Bobbi realized that most of those were women. There were a few boys here and there, almost always at a table with three women or more. But mostly it was just the women themselves, seated alone or in tense small groups.

Désiré swept into the place with Bobbi doing his best to keep up. As they entered, there was a distinct hush. It wasn't total silence, but Bobbi noticed it all the same. They are staring at Désiré, he thought. But, then he looked again and realized that many of the eyes in the crowd were directed at him. They're looking at…me?

The hush gave way to the murmur of ordinary conversation. Désiré whispered softly into his ear, "You have just created a sensation."

"I have?"

He touched Bobbi's cheek. "Ah, my dear child, how little you understand." 








Saturday, September 22, 2012

Into The Hall


♀/♂

 Désiré led him out the door and into the hallway. There were still people and machines moving about, but it was quieter than it was before. "The Center isn't like a hospital," he explained. "At least, not a hospital as hospitals were in our times. They don't have that mania…that sense of emergencies at every hour."

They walked along, Désiré explaining this or that feature. "Notice the paintings? They love art. Not very much into abstract, I'm afraid. Or conceptional. " He laughed. "Same is true for their other arts. Sculpture, 3D graphics, theater…." 

Bobbi nodded. "What is their written literature like?"

"Oh, similar. Some good. Some bad. Some very good."

"And their poetry?"

"They write a good deal of it." Désiré paused. "But, funny thing, they don't write much in Alona. They have regional languages. Europe and the Americas speak something called Pantos. East Asia has Aeflinisa. And that's what they write their poetry in."

"But," Bobbi guessed, "Alona is reserved for communication and legal purposes."

"Why, yes. How did you know?"

Bobbi said. "It has to be. You couldn't write poetry or literature in Alona. It is a constructed language designed to be a lingua franca. An interlingua."

Désiré came a stop and stared at him. "It's an artificial language?"

"Obviously."

"Why 'obviously?'"

Bobbi found himself slipping into lecture mode. "Well, just consider the verbs…" Every language, he explained, that is actually used in real life by real people has some verbs that are regular—that is, they obey a common set of rules. "Like the English verb 'Jump.' It is completely regular. I jump. You jump. They jump. Or in the past tense, I jumped. You jumped. They jumped. The same word in each case changed in only minor ways to show differences in time. It always follows the rules."

But, now, he said, "consider another English verb, Be." That wasn't even remotely regular. I am. You are. He is. "The same meaning, the same verb, but expressed by three different words."

"Ah, oui," Désiré agreed. "We have the same thing in French. Je suis. Te es. Il est."

"Nous sommes. Vous etres," Bobbi added, remembering his high school French. "Every language…every human language…has some sort of irregular verbs. And they're usually the verbs that one uses the most often."

"But not Alona," Désiré said, suddenly understanding.

"Exactly. In Alona, all the verbs, all the time, behave in exactly the same way." 

Désiré shook his head. "You are absolutely right. I have never noticed it."

"It's so consistent," Bobbi continued, meditatively, "that I wonder if it wasn't designed by a machine of some sort. It is a little too logical."

Désiré shook his head. "Were you a linguist in your first life?"

"Pardon?" Bobbi remembered where and when he was. "Oh, no. I was a continuity editor for video games."

"A what kind a editor?"

"Continuity," he smiled. "Let's just say it was my job to make certain that if something happened at one level of the game then it was the logical outgrowth of what happened in the previous level. Or, to put it another way, I was supposed to find things that didn't make sense. Didn't fit the pattern." He felt a little wistful. "I was good at it. I was always good at seeing things that weren't quite right. I could always spot the Discontinuity."

"I understand…" Désiré was quiet for a moment but took Bobbi by the arm. "Listen to me. Everything you've just said is fascinating. But don’t say it in front of the Women…our Dominas. They don't find that kind of intelligence attractive in a man. They want to believe there isn't a thought in that pretty little head of yours."

"Oh," Bobbi felt embarrassed. "Of course. Of course. Sorry. I got carried away."

"Not a problem. Just remember, no matter how interesting you find it, they probably don't want to hear it. D'accord?"

"Oui. D'accord,"

"Bravo. But," and he gave the other boy a wink, "when we're alone, tell me more. This is most interesting."






Sunday, September 16, 2012

"practice your skills at self-display"


♀/♂

After an hour or so, Désiré said that they ought to be getting ready for dinner. "We'll be joining the good Doctor Elena and a couple of friends of mine for a bite," he explained. "It will be a chance for you to get into the swing of things."

Again, Bobbi felt the terror of a shy man in the face of a social situation. "Friends…?"

"Don't worry. You will charm them. Now, hurry, and bathe, and practice your skills at self-display."

The two Basic robots appeared and led him to a bathroom. It came, he discovered, with a shower, very much like those that existed in his own times. The only difference was that there were no controls on the water. He could not set the temperature or the flow. Instead, the water simply began when he entered the shower itself. It was, he was delighted to find, neither too hot nor too cold. It was perfect.

Though, there was something odd about having no say in the temperature. It was like being a child again, and not being trusted with the hot water tap. Instead, his caretakers handled everything. 

He was also not allowed to use the soap. Instead, and to his amazement, the Basics entered the shower, the water flowing down their metal skins, and scrubbed and shampooed him. He felt the foaming bubbles flowing down his naked body. That, too, was strangely pleasant, as he stood in total passivity.

The shower ceased and the machines helped him exit. They dried him with brightly colored towels and then powdered his skin. To his astonishment, they even applied cosmetics to his nipples, highlighting them with a red-brown tint that they applied in the shape of small hearts.

Next they led him back into the front room. Désiré greeted him. "Excellent," he said. "Now, select clothing. What do you think the Women will want to see you in? A little test for you."

Bobbi allowed the two Basics to display a number of garments to him. Finally, he picked a romper of a transparent lacy material.

"Well done!" Désiré said, clapping his slim, delicate hands. "Excellent choice. Personally, I would have selected something darker, but the pink will highlight your innocence."

Once more, the Basics dressed him. Then, once again, they did his make up and hair. Afterwards, he regarded himself in the mirror. He stared. Once more, he wondered at it. How was it possible for him to be the lovely thing before him? He, who had been so loathed in his first life?

"You are fabulous," Désiré assured him. "And, yes, you will get used to it. It takes a while." He grew thoughtful. "Oh, and take with you the Teddy Bear. Your Yookey. It will drive them wild." Bobbi was surprised but he picked up his bear. He felt its soft fur on his skin.

Désiré stood and took Bobbi by the arm. "But, come, we should go meet the Ladies." He laughed, a look of sweet mischief on his face. "And believe me, once they see you, they may never be the same again."




Monday, September 3, 2012

Chapter 11, Alona's Rule






"I frightened her?" Bobbi said, disbelieving.

"Oh, yes. You did," Désiré replied. "What was the term you Americans used? You scared her half to death."

"But all I did was give her things she wanted."

"Which was the problem," the other boy replied. "You see, there is just something creepy about a man who is that desperate. When someone is that willing to debase themselves, she begins to wonder what it is you conceal. Maybe no other woman would touch you. Maybe you have disease. Maybe you are a pervers. Maybe you are the mass murderer and have bodies in the basement. The wonder is that your Millie did not call the police and have you arrested."

"I didn't know.  I had no idea."

"Typical," Désiré replied, a little disgusted. "So very typical. Particularly for American men. You thought you could gain a woman's favor only by buying her. That is, by giving her everything she wanted."

He shook his head. "But that was not your fault. You were trained from birth to think you had no value. No right to self-respect. All those bumbling sit-com fathers and dimwitted boyfriends on TV. All those women teachers eager to 'empower' girls and teach boys that they are nothing. All those corporations hiring women over men. No wonder that when they, the women, decided that they and they alone should rule the world you just rolled over and gave it to them."

"I…"

"But, that is of no import now." Désiré looked him up and down. "You will have to learn much. You will have to learn that you are not here to be their Knight in Shining Armor. That you are not here to serve their every need." He laughed softly again, but this time there was something a little grim about it. "Indeed, it is time for them to serve a few of yours."

"I'm sorry," Bobbi said. "I don't understand."

Désiré patted him on the arm. "Don't worry. You'll soon learn the rules of the game. I'll teach them to you."

"Thank you," he said, grateful, but mostly just feeling confused.

"We shall start with your appearance," Désiré said, and then began to instruct him in the arts of make-up and clothing.