The Implicit Denial of Infinity

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Chapter 10: Test

Kai felt like a prisoner, or rather, a captive, being dragged toward something thoroughly unpleasant. In all truth, Kai knew whatever was to come would likely not be bad at all, at worst boring, at best intriguing. She wasn’t truly being dragged either, but rather calmly walking behind the alien that had come to fetch her. He didn’t seem to care that her gaze wandered all around the hall, memorizing and mapping. She wondered if the idea that she would perhaps flee was so foreign to this male that he didn’t even consider it or think he needed to even glance back to make sure she wasn’t running. He also appeared to be unarmed, though Kai assumed that based on his size, and therefore leg length, he’d easily be able to run her down. The man was not bulky with muscle, and almost seemed unnaturally slender.

“This way. In front of me.” The man paused, then stepped back on the wall, gesturing toward a doorway, whose door sat retracted.

Through the doorway there was a short hallway leading up to another door, this one sealed. It reminded her of the sanitizing tunnel she’d been through,with doors that closed to keep her from moving back through. It was lit with a warm, orange light, likely meant to be comforting and warm. She turned her head back toward the male, who stood rigidly in the doorway, arm still extended. He cocked his head, flexing his fingers.

“Go on.”

Kai took a little step forward, then another, stepping over the small slit in the ground that housed the door. Two steps more into the hall and she hesitated, listening for the male’s footsteps. He stopped directly behind her, waiting and as still as a tree.

Or as still as a predator stalking its prey.

“Take a moment, if you need it.”

Kai nodded, exhaling as she paced another step forward. Even the floor in this little hall was warm, heated by some coil under the floor, perhaps. Slowly, Kai turned in a circle, back to facing the male.

“I’m ready.”

“Then go.”

An unexpected stab of fear jolted through Kai’s chest, the comfortable, warm room suddenly seeming suffocating. Her gaze settled on the door, the door that was only about ten feet away, the door that the test she so feared sat behind. She exhaled, then turned her gaze back to the male. He still stood there, watching calmly. In the more natural light, the blue on his skin truly stood out. It reminded her of especially dark veins, or perhaps of smudged makeup.

“Aren’t you coming with?” Kai’s voice was much quieter than she intended it to be, much more meek.

“I am not permitted into the testing area.” He paused, “I’ll be here to collect you after.”

She nodded, then turned back to the door, exhaling. It only took her five steps to cross the space to the door, and one more to cross the threshold as the door slid down to grant her passage. Kai closed her eyes, listening as the door flew shut behind her. She kept her eyes closed a moment more, relishing in the safety of the darkness, before opening them and taking in her surroundings.

The room, most accurately, reminded her of a dentist’s office, if a dentist’s chair was twice as padded and had a strange, metallic circle perched upon the arm. Otherwise, the room was quite similar to some sort of medical office.In place of any desk, however, was a soft chair, also with a metallic disk, though this one was fixed to the front. The disk itself was nearly hidden behind the slender pant-clad leg of the chair’s occupant. She was tall, like the others, and lanky, but oddly enough, wore only a light grey surgical mask over her mouth and nose. Her skin was silvery, complimented nicely by her large blue eyes. Her hair, which looked soft and silky, was off white, hanging to curl just above her chest.

“Hello there, Miss Flint.” Her voice was as silky smooth as the rest of her, nearly maddeningly so, “How are you today?”

Kai found herself at a loss for words, gawking at this being, “Fine.”

“Are you ready to begin?

She nodded, smoothing down the sides of her tunic-dress, lifting her gaze to the graceful creature.

“Have a seat, please.” A slender sharp-nailed hand lifted to gesture to the chair in the middle of the room, “Make yourself comfortable.”

Kai slowly moved toward the chair, pushing herself up into it. As she leaned back into it, it seemed to meld around her comfortably. Her fingers found the armrest, rubbing a small circle into it.

It was the very same fabric that her tunic was made of.

“What is this stuff?”


“The stuff I’m wearing and sitting on.”

“It’s plant matter based fabric.” A pause, “Shall we begin the assessment?”

Kai nodded, relaxing slightly into the chair, “How does this work?”

“Well, I’m going to turn your chair and then launch the assessment. You’ll see projections on the wall across from you and on the tablet in front of you.” She paused. “It will calibrate so that you have no difficulty reading. You may leave your glasses on or take them off. It’s up to you.”

Kai nodded again, “What happens if I fail?”


“The test. If I fail it. What happens to me?”

“It’s impossible to fail.” The woman’s voice had grown gentler, as smooth as her appearance, “Think of it like a personality screening.”

Kai nodded, thinking the better of asking after those who were released, “Let’s get this over with.”

The woman nodded in response, “Do you need a moment to put yourself in a positive mindset?”

Kai suppressed an eyeroll, she’d expected hostility from these aliens, not to be treated like a third-grader.

“No, I’m fine.”

“In that case, please make yourself comfortable.”

Before Kai could reply, her chair began to slowly swivel, her back now to the slender creature. A display rose onto the wall, text coming into view


Unsure what to do, Kai inclined her head, hoping the nod would register.

It seemed to, as the screen changed, a new question.


Kai cocked her head, “Not at all.”The question faded, replaced by another.

Kai estimated the test had taken around three hours, possibly even longer. The test itself had felt like some stupid and painfully long internet quiz, but instead of being rewarded with arbitrary information, Kai was rewarded with a long walk back to her cell. The same male walked at her side, though this time he made no effort to speak to or acknowledge her. The route back was the same, though the lights seemed dimmer. Perhaps it was their form of nighttime?

The male didn’t bother to speak to her as he opened the door to her cell-room, not even sparing a glance as he stepped out, the door slamming shut behind him. Kai stood still for a moment after he left, eyes closed. The room was the same, save for a covered tray perched upon her bed. She hesitated, then stepped closer, lifting the lid off.

Soup, bread and some grapes.

It looked appetizing enough, enough to make Kai salivate. She’d always told herself that if captured, she’d take nothing from these monsters.

Her stomach growled in protest.

Kai sighed, then sat down upon her bed, lifting the tray into her lap.

There were better ways to protest.

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