Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Dreams of Stars Part 9

            "Hey, you can't go in there!"

            L’lorne and Deborah stopped mere feet from the elevator door.  The guard that stood there didn't seem to mind their approach, but the woman at the reception desk practically screamed at the two of them.

            L’lorne turned from the elevator and marched across the black marble floor to the black marble reception desk and the three people who manned it, or womanned it as they were all women.  "Really?" she leaned against the desk that was nearly chest high.  "And why would that be?"

            "You're not authorized," the woman glared.  Well, at least Deborah assumed she glared as she could barely see over the desk.

            "I was the last time I came in here," L’lorne said in the most irritated tone Deborah had ever heard.  It also confused her, as she had been under the impression that L’lorne had never been in the building before, or even in the capital for that matter.

            "Well you must have missed the updates to the security system," the receptionist said.  "Your ident cards please."

            L’lorne grumbled something, and handed over her wallet.  The woman waved her hand at Deborah, insisting that she give her own ID, but the woman didn't quite seem to be looking at her.  Deborah hesitantly handed it over only to have it snapped out of her hand.  There was some shuffling behind the slight rise in the counter that prevented Deborah from seeing over with any ease, followed by some tapping and beeping.

            "Ah, okay," the woman said.  More shuffling and tapping.  "Okay, there we go."  The woman stood up and handed L’lorne's back, then moved to give Deborah's back.  "Sorry about that," she said, looking right over Deborah's head.  The girl could only blink, then carefully reached up and took the wallet.  "As I said, the security system was recently upgraded, and now everyone must have their ID's scanned before entering the elevator."

            "Really, when'd they do that?"  L’lorne asked.

            "About a month ago, I think.  You two must have been out in the field a while if you didn't even hear about it."

            "Well, we decided to walk back from our last assignment," L’lorne smiled.  "Better for the circulation, you know?"

            "Oh don't I ever!  I would walk back and forth to work if I didn't live so far away.  Or if it wasn't so cold in the winter, or hot in the summer.  Oh well, you're all set.  You’re heading to missing persons, yes?”  L’lorne nodded.  “They moved two weeks ago, fifth floor, turn left, then right, third door on the right.  Have a nice day."

            "Thank you," L’lorne said.  Deborah said something equivalent, but didn't linger on the exact nature too much.

            "There's something wrong with that woman," Deborah said quietly to L’lorne as they moved toward the elevator.


            "She didn't even stop to look twice at me.  She didn't even look at me."  Deborah paused.  "What did you have that ID say about me?"

            "Nothing, except that you were authorized to enter."  The guard nodded to them and turned the key that called the elevator.  "Why, do you think it matters?"

            "Well, I don't know, but something is definitely wrong with her if she doesn't notice that I'm a. . ."  Before she could finish, the elevator arrived, and L’lorne pulled her inside.

            "Maybe there's another reason," L’lorne said as she studied the button panel and pressed the button marked 5.

            "Yeah, what's that?"  The mirrored doors of the elevator slid closed.

            "Oh, probably that," L’lorne pointed.

            Deborah's gaze shifted from L’lorne to the doors, and a reflection that wasn't quite her own at all.  There was L’lorne, her long black hair, simple coat and slacks, and standing next to her was a tall blond woman wearing a long brown coat.  "What the. . ."  The blond woman's mouth moved as Deborah spoke, causing her to stop.  She moved her hand, and the image moved her hand the same.  "What is this?"

            "What they see right now, and for as long as you want."

            Deborah reached over and touched the reflection.  Her hand was near even with her head as she reached out, but the reflection reached down to touch the hand exactly where it should if it were a real reflection.  "How," was all she could manage.

            "You didn't think those glasses could just receive information, did you?"

            "But I'm not wearing them."

            "Doesn't matter to the glasses."

            The girl stared at her reflection, an adult reflection and could only ponder at it.  "Is this what I'll look like when I grow up?"

            L’lorne shrugged.  "Probably, it's only guessing really, taking what I've learned about you and extrapolating this image.  It's close, at least."

            More staring.  "I look like mama."

            "Then your mother was a very beautiful woman," L’lorne said calmly.  The door pulled itself open and the image disappeared behind the walls.  "Come on."


            For a moment, Deborah wondered if all government building hallways looked like the one in which she stood.  It was devoid of any real markings aside from room numbers and a few choice words to describe the room behind it.  The rest was bland, a dull cream color that served no purpose than that it was chosen to stick to the walls.  The carpet was a combination of purple and dark blue, but it too seemed simply to have been placed there with no rhyme or reason.  The lighting was equally bad, just cheap florescent office lights, and while they let in adequate light, they seemed destined to light a space which was not meant to be seen, and likely would never have been if it weren't for the lone window at the end of the hall.  That was the only way she knew the hallway was ugly.

            "I think it's this way," L’lorne said quickly, moving away from the window and the elevator, deeper into the depths of the hell of the bland.

            "Where are we going?"

            "Missing persons," L’lorne answered, peering down a side hallway that wasn't part of the directions.

            "Why?  Mama isn’t exactly missing, she was kidnapped."

            L’lorne stopped at an intersection.  A quick glance left was followed by a confident step to the right.  "True, but the point was simply to get in here, everything afterwards we can handle electronically."

            Deborah stopped at the intersection while L’lorne continued forward.  "Well why missing persons?  Why not something more in line with what we want?"

            "And what would be," L’lorne stopped and returned to the intersection.

            "I don't know, maybe," she couldn't think of anything and just stood there for a moment, as if in thought, but really as a stall.  "I'm just not sure how I'm supposed to react to everything."

            "You mean your reflection."

            "Yeah, mostly.  But the ID thing, with you seeming like you've been here before, the glasses, your implant things, the way you spend money, the boutique.  It's all, just, I don't know, confusing."

            L’lorne nodded, then put her arm on Deborah's shoulder.  "Let's go have a seat," she pointed forward to a kind of small lounge.  They settled down on a pair of linked, uncomfortable, and fairly ugly chairs.  "Okay, ask away."

            "Um, I'm not sure where," Deborah started.  "How did you make that image of me?"

            "It extrapolated your genetic patterns into the fully grown form.  Probably about 25 or so, I'd say."


            L’lorne held up her wrist and the watch.  "I knew you couldn't get in as a kid, so I had this make you look like a woman.  It's all quite simple, simple as breathing."

            "Simple?  I've never seen anything like this.  It matches me exactly, like it's," a pause of disbelief.  "Like it's reading my mind."

            "No, it's not.  It's reading your nerve impulses in your various body parts, nothing more."

            "And the database?"

            "Electrical patterns in the brain.  That's why you have to speak the first commands to it, so it knows what to look for."

            Deborah thought on this for a moment, and decided that it was reasonable, if odd.  "How does it do it though?"

            L’lorne smiled.  "It does it very well."  Deborah frowned.  "It would take too long to explain, just accept that it does it, for now.  Later, maybe, I'll show you how it all works."

            "Okay," Deborah said.  "Now, why did you act like you've been here before?  Have you been here before?"

            A shake of the head.  "No, I haven't been here before.  This is the first time I've been in the capital, for that matter."  She settled down a bit in the chair.  "Remember the boutique?  How that woman acted when we came in?"

            "Like we didn't belong?"

            "Exactly.  We didn't belong in there, did we?"

            "No, well I didn't anyway."  She could still see the disgust on the woman's face as she tried to shy them away.

            "We didn't belong," L’lorne stressed.  "But as soon as I started acting like I belonged, and gave her evidence to support the act. . ."

            "She became more than happy to help us," Deborah finished.

            "Same here.  We act like we belong, offer her evidence that we belong, and to her, and everyone else who matters, we do."

            "Well, that makes sense," Deborah said quietly.  "But what if that lady hadn't told us where missing persons was?  How would we have found it?"

            "I would have asked in a way that didn't sound like asking.  Maybe make a joke about it being moved when they changed the security system or something.  Doesn't matter, she told us anyway."  L’lorne stood up.  "Now, the officer guarding it is probably expecting us, so we should get going."

            "Right," Deborah said without hesitation.  She felt better, like she was learning something important.  "Uh, how are we going to convince that guy to let us look for mama?"

            "That," L’lorne said.  "Will take persuasion by other methods."

            "You're not. . ."

            "No, of course not, but we will have to make it so he doesn't have any choice."



1. What kind of person is Lcorn Llorne? What does she look like (in your mind)?
2. What kind of person is the Deborah Ignigus? What does she look like (in your mind)?
3. Does the setting seem fitting? Would you like to know more?
4. Does the second section flow well?  Does it feel forced or disjointed?

No comments:

Post a Comment