After eating, she went out onto her balcony where she took a moment to soak in the morning air. She turned her head in it, swaying through the air and feelings its gentile nothingness. A second would pass and the wind would caress her freshly carved skin, enhanced in radiance from the combination of her oils and blood with her mate's from the other night. She took a deep breath in, the back of her tongue clicking rapidly against the roof of her mouth as she did. She always felt so refreshed after mating and giving birth. In truth, mating did not only add to their population, but also it kept them alive, regenerating their bodies to a state of almost perfect health. She felt as light as air, ready for the wind to sweep her up like a scarf and she'd dance elegantly within it. She felt her body no more than a wisp that would soon fade away and become a part of her very world.
She heard a waking snort to her right and looked toward it. In the dim corners she found Hellion picking his head up from the ground he had lied sleeping on. She looked to him, smiling carelessly. He cried softly and stepped out slowly, bowing his head to her so that she could pet him. She talked to him as she did, clicking and whistling. He answered her the same, and she stepped behind her to grab a canister of insects that she dumped on the ground for him to eat.
Hellion was the only thing that put a happy smile on her face. He was the only light of her life. Years back she had been tracking a hunter through the highland mountains outside the city. He had been hunting Hellion's species. She found Hellion with an injured leg. Assuming that the hunter was going to return for him, she took Hellion and saved him. She'd kept him as her pet ever since. Under normal circumstances, she would likely have left him there for the hunter to return and make the kill. For some odd reason, she had felt sympathy for him. Hellion was the only thing she'd ever felt sympathy for.
Hellion's species were hunted nearly to extinction. Their species being endangered even then. They were hunted for their beaks of pure silver. Silver being incredibly rare and an exotic material, birds like Hellion were hunted extensively. She had covered this on her channel as well as most everything else.
She knelt down next to where he fed and stroked his head softly. The scarves about her body were blowing gently with the wind; they were light pink wisps billowing out from the edge of her balcony. Hellion made a few clicks with his tongue at her and she knew immediately what he wanted. Her carefree attitude left her blissfully happy and all of the evils within her buried and quiet. Even the idea of talking seemed normal to her.
She gave a nod, smiling. "You want me to tell it again?" she said, her voice deeply accented. Her eyes wandered about aimlessly, and it seemed her smile would never subside. ". is a story," she began, standing up and strolling to the edge of the balcony as Hellion continued eating and spying her intently, ".of a gorgeous world." She waved her hand out toward the sky as if watching the world come to life as she told the story. She turned swiftly and faced Hellion, raising her arms up and twiddling her fingers together.
"It is a world replete with happiness and fun!" She told the story with excited glee. Her behavior was as that of a young woman who lived in the world she spoke of. "And all the people in this world run wild and free," she said, kneeling down before Hellion again. She quickly sprang up and jumped into the air, twirling round and round, the scarves about her spiraling in an elegant dance as she did. "And they're all as happy as can be." When she touched the ground again, she was giggling like a small child. She began a slow stroll around Hellion, occasionally skipping quickly as though she hadn't a care in the world. "They have parties," she said, "and they live in great, majestic buildings that tower over the lands! They eat the sweetest of fruits and the most delicious of deserts."
She finally reached the front of Hellion again who was still watching her intently with a glint of eager anticipation within his deep, brown eyes. She stopped in front of him and looked down upon him. "And when they throw their parties they invite everyone from all over the world," she said, waving her hand through the air toward the sky again as she had when she started the story. "They play music full of beautiful melody and wonderful lights that stream about the room in coordination. And they all dance!" She began a dance through the air, pouncing up from her heels and twirling about over and over again. "And they'll dance and dance and dance until the stars come out and the night turns to day."
She stopped and leaned down close to Hellion, an evil glare coming from her. "But then," she said, "a rain of evil monsters begins to pour from the skies. They come and they tear the joy from all of the beautiful people. They swarm over the lands like a shadow or a raging tidal wave engulfing the entire surface." She stood up suddenly and moved again to the edge of the balcony, staring out into the busy world before her. "They spread like wildfire," she continued, the excitement in her voice falling. Her tone changed to a grim one. "They wage wrath and carnage. They destroy all the happiness in all of the wonderful people. They ravage the they torture the males." Her eyes looked down, bemused. "Everything that all of the people of that world had ever ." Her voice was but a whisper now, carrying with the wind like the nothingness that her voice was. ".The people were never happy again."
She turned then, away from the balcony, and away from the city of mute introverts.
She sat down with Hellion, his head lying in her lap. She stroked his feathers as the wind caressed her velvet cheek.
The world behind her never blinked. .It never even opened its eyes.
As she poured the liquid from its canister into the square glass, she watched the clear red juices stream through the air as natural as any liquid would. The simple things often amazed her. A fascinated, intent look watched the liquid pour. She began to pour it slower so that the glass would not fill so quickly and she would have more time to watch it. It was an odd habit she had. There were times when she would pull at least a dozen glasses out and fill them with some form of liquid whether she would drink it or not. She started to raise her hand higher as she poured, watching the stream of liquid thin and its force become stronger. It fascinated her beyond belief. A streaming river pouring from her hand into an object she did not was but an enigma to her. It was no more mystical or exciting by the definition of science or physics. To her, however, it was an amazing force, powerful and intriguing.
As she finished, she put the canister back into the cabinet she had taken it from, still half full. She drank her liquids at room temperature. She preferred them that way. She took the glass, sipped it, and approved of the taste. She walked into the living area, stepping over the many cluttered objects about her floor, avoiding excessive damage to whatever was there. What she frowned upon was that it had been so long since she'd cleaned that she honestly didn't know what half of the stuff on her floor was. .She didn't care either.
She sat down at a computerized table. She looked to her right at a corner where a computer was set up. She got back up and activated it and set it to PEN and switched to the news channel. An image flashed on of scrolling text and a robotic voice narrated it. She sat back at the computerized table and activated a holographic image that appeared before her, flat and transparent. She accessed the library network and downloaded the next few chapters from the last point she was at on the physics of universal framework. It was information that dealt with dimensional barriers and universes. Her people had a vast knowledge of it. Watching herself pour the juices into the glass she drank from now reminded her of her research on the subject, for her last reading of it talked about the many dimensional realms in which the universe as she perceives it exists. Watching the liquids flow from the canister made her curious as to what they may look like from another dimension's point of view.
She was so like her people, yet so unlike them also. She did what they all did. She researched and studied whenever she could. She hid from everyone as usual. She wore masks when she went into public and dared not speak a word to anyone. And had anyone other than a robot spoken a word to or around her, she would have joined in the awed faces and terrified commotion. Yet there was something about her people that seemed to pester her. She knew not what it was. She spent many hours and days pondering it. She never could see the answer. No matter how hard she tried, she never found the ability to open her eyes to it. .She often gave up.
She read from the holographic text while half of her paid attention to the news. She allowed the words to enter her subconscious and alert her when a single, more interesting one came to her knowledge.
The text on the news channel was a simple white font in a plain, black background. There were no pretty colors to enhance its brilliance or any wonderful sounds to please the ear. It was of no more interest than the emotionless dribble in the holographic text before her that was likely written by a robot like the one that narrated the text on the news channel.
Still, she wanted more.
She looked to her left suddenly. She decided something in her head and got up and walked to a control pad integrated into a wall. She tapped at it for a few moments before a dull melodic note began to play over and over again. She sat back down and started reading from the holographic text, the robot's voice from the news channel in one ear, and the music in the other ear. A full five minutes would pass and a very light and subtle change would occur to the melodic note. It would enhance slightly or dull. Over several more minutes, an additional note would be heard, very small as if far away and in the sky. It was unnoticeable at first. To her, however, she heard it instantly and changed the music so drastically that she got up again and switched to a different musical selection.
As she sat down again, something from the news caught her attention. She turned to look at the screen in the corner as she focused both ears on the robot's voice.
".from the International Population Center. The center's president has announced that the population has once again dropped by another five per cent in the last two hundred days. The president says that the rate at which the population is degrading is increasing by point zero three nine per cent each day. It is believed that the cause in population dropping is in affect to increasing suicides and murders due to the increase of sightings and attacks by the remaining."
She stopped listening then. She had once again gotten up, this time to turn the channel off. She instantly closed her mind to all thoughts and sat back down, reading over the holographic text again. She replaced her drifting thoughts with the words from the text.
By late evening, she had glanced toward the balcony where she saw that the sun was quickly beginning to set. She switched off the holographic text, stopped the music, and put on a plain, silver mask. She walked outside into the wide corridors and tapped her identification number into the keypad next to the door. Her ears picked up muffled voices down the hall in the direction she was about to walk. It was of no interest to her and she had not given it a single glance. She knew what it was. She could very well have recorded it for her channel but chose not to, for she had other matters. When she left, she walked down that corridor. She walked past the muffled dying voice of the person whose heart had just been penetrated by the dagger that their murderer held. She walked by them calm, quiet, and gave them no look as if they were not even there. Others would pass, and they would do the same.