The Pulse: BC
The French Maid
Matthew couldn't help himself from wondering what lay beyond his container. The only time he saw outside of it was when, the day before, the baulomorph French Maid made her first visit. She opened and shut the door so quickly however that he couldn’t gather much. A concussive roar slipped into his room, and he saw a flash of bright blue, which Matthew imagined was a hallway.
The maid's name was Baulixia, and she was actually French. She said her name used to be Odilia. She wore what appeared to be a black spandex dress, and had frills on her white apron. Her fish-net stockings ended abruptly in sensible running shoes with white laces. She was wide-eyed and eager to please.
Baulixia assured Matthew that she was allowed to answer any of his questions and give him any help he needed. He suspected that she was probably in fact under restrictions as to what she was allowed to say. Yet he didn't want to embarrass her, and he kept his questions away from anything political. She was no more responsible for his present confinement — or for the collapse of human civilization — than he was.
Baulixia confirmed that he would probably be in his present container for about two months. She also reassured him that the only reason his door was locked was that the construction site outside was dangerous. If he wanted to walk around outside, the safest way to do that was to be assigned a guide. Otherwise, he might get knocked senseless by a crane, orange light-beam, or drone. She stressed that there was little point in venturing out, as it was ear-splittingly loud. He could also damage his eye-sight because of the toxicity of the isolate particles and the intensity of the orange beams and laser welding.
"Myself, I ave ze prescribed route, mostly under ze tunenells. My friend Baularama was zinking, Oh, look, iz a coffee shop on ze ozzer side of ze elevate walkway! She was knocked into with a ammer of drone, un marteau of ze flying zings. I imageen zat it iz better to wait until zey are finish wiz ze construction."
Her accent was delightful, singing and slipping past any anglophone dangers she encountered. She had light blue eyes and the white frills of her apron danced in the slight breeze of the air-conditioner. Her personal life became very interesting to Matthew.
Luckily, his curiosity wasn't rebuffed. She was in fact a very lonely girl, having left Cherbourg only two months ago. She'd made very few friends prior to the takeover. The one friend she did make, Baularama, was still unconscious in the hospital, dreaming of the coffee shop at the other side of the construction site. The Baulians had managed to cure a number of ailments – flus, cancers, etc. – but still had difficulty waking up the human brain once it had decided to go into what they referred to as ‘deep sleep mode.’
To his surprise, Baulixia invited him to a baulomorph party on Friday night. She said that the authorities encouraged human remainers to interact with baulomorphs, since this was perhaps the easiest way for them to understand Baulian culture, which was otherwise mind-strainingly different.
"Zey are encouraging zis mixing of uman bodies wiz baulomorph bodies, since zey are very much ze same." Before she closed the door she winked at him and said, "Just call me Baulixia, ze French Bridge Between ze Culture. Bring your swim-suit. It's in ze top drawer."
Matthew certainly hadn't read about that in Assimilation Manual S 2,756,301.
Big Screens & Coffee
Matthew had two more days till the party, whatever that might end up being. He made himself another nespresso and sat back in the padded leather chair in front of his many screens.
Apart from the fact that he missed Sylvia, it wasn't such a bad life. All he had ever really wanted to do was sit in front of his computer and write.
So, the Baulians wanted him to write about the way he saw the cosmos, and about the way human culture might be remembered.
He started a story about strange life forms that existed outside the cosmos. They had enormous bodies that looked like funnels and their eyes pulsed every time they communicated with eachother.
Next: The Monster in the Manor