The Implicit Denial of Infinity

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Chapter 11: Match

Perhaps the rumbling of the floor was more obvious at night, or perhaps Kai was simply more attuned to it, either way, she counted the rumbles as she lay awake. It seemed they were more frequent at night, she’d counted fifteen in ten minutes, with varying degrees of severity. She lay very still, hand hanging off the side of the bed, fingertips brushing the floor, other hand across her belly. Her fingers tapped lightly against her belly, stretching and flexing. She didn’t dare move further, unable to shake the feeling that she was being observed. It seemed unlikely that the test ended with the end of the questionnaire. Somehow they’d managed to weed out vile scum like Henry, and he seemed the type to flat-out lie. After all, lying would be incredibly easy. They would have no way of knowing if she’d lied on every single question just to spite them.

She hadn’t, but that was beside the point.

They had to have a way of weeding out those they didn’t want. People as slimy as Henry wouldn’t have been honest on the test, and he’d managed to be rejected multiple times.

Kai sighed, allowing her eyes to fall shut.

“I know you’re listening.”

There wasn’t a response.“I want you to know I hate you.” She paused, inhaling, “I want you to know that you can all go to hell. I’ll hurt you if you stick me with one of your type.”

She waited a moment, just to see if there’d be a reply. When no reply came, she rolled onto her side, sighing softly, “Just thought you should know.”

Nothing.

For the first time in what felt like forever, Kai woke up what she suspected to be late. A tray of food already sat beside her bed, slightly cooled to the touch. The food was the same quality as before, though today it was toasted bread, a few slices of an orange, a cup of water and a slice of what looked similar to bacon. Kai vaguely recalled some questions in regards to diet on the test.

‘DO YOU EAT MEAT?’

In truth, Kai would eat just about anything.

She lifted the slice of bacon to her mouth, taking a bite, only to spit it out in disgust. It tasted wrong, very wrong, as if it was laced with some kind of chemical. She set it down again, licking her lips.

It is meat. And it’s warm.

Kai lifted it back up to her mouth and took a second bite, which was slightly better. She wondered what exactly the issue with this food was, as making meat taste acidic was a feat in itself. Her gaze flitted over to the bread, which seemed reasonably edible.

“Miss Flint.”

Kai’s head whipped toward the door, the hairs on the back of her neck standing up. The slender woman from the testing room stood in her doorway, hands folded neatly at her waist.

“You’ve been matched.”

Kai took a bite of her bread, it was toasted and appeared to have butter on it, “I don’t want a match.”

Behind her surgical mask, the female seemed at a loss for words, “I shall connect the two of you in a video call once you’ve finished eating and had a chance to get dressed.”

She nodded, taking another bite.

The alien heaved a sigh, then stepped back, allowing the doors to slip shut.

A smile rose on Kai’s face, and for a moment, she could pretend that her tiny rebellion was worthwhile.

The room was small and clearly meant to be cozy, painted grey and equipped with a plush sofa of a lighter grey. The room matched Kai herself, she’d been given a comfortable gray jumpsuit, though no shoes. A white throw blanket that had previously perched upon the sofa’s back twisted between Kai’s hands as she stared straight ahead, at the screen only a few feet away. It was blank now, save for a dull glow indicating it was powered on. Kai closed her eyes and flopped her head back against the couch, the top of her head touching the wall.

The ceiling was also grey.

Kai tucked her legs under her body, spreading the blanket over them. It was a soft thing, woven of chunky white thread. It was comforting to squeeze the hem between her hands, and to twist it. She couldn’t help if it was all by design, if they somehow knew she’d be calmer with an object to fiddle with. It wasn’t hard to notice, and she did vaguely recall playing with the hem of her tunic for nearly the entire duration of the test. She looked up again, staring ahead, at the screen.

Her gaze met a cold orange one.

He sat on a similar couch, gaze trained on her.

He.

He was a he.

Kai racked her brain, thinking back to the test. There hadn’t been any question in regards to sexuality. That seemed like an enormous error on their end. After all, the general human population had been informed that these monsters wanted to marry them.

“Hello there,” His voice was as cold as his gaze, “How are you today?”

Kai opened her mouth and closed it again, clenching her jaw. “Fine.” Her voice was a croak and a timid one at that. She sounded meek and vulnerable, enough so that it brought about a flare of anger.

“I’ve heard you like to be called Kai.”

She nodded.

“Why?”

“None of your business,” Kai leaned forward, her grip on the blanket tightening, “Nothing about me is.”

“We’re matched,” His tone was calm, patient even, “I am a traveler, you’ll be happy to spend time with me.” A small smile crossed his face, “As my wife, no less.”

She sighed, leaning forward, her knees on her elbows, “You’ve made a mistake.”

“I really do doubt that.”

She pinched the bridge of her nose, “Have you never heard of a gay person before?"


The walk back to her cell was very quiet, enough so that Kai found herself mentally searching for conversation topics.

So, Ms. Test Lady, what do you like to do for fun?

She shook her head, looking up at the slender female, who was wringing her hands nervously. They turned a corner, back into the hallway containing Kai’s cell.

“So, who caused this whole situation?”

The female’s head whipped down to Kai, eyes widening, she seemed to flounder for a second before regaining composure, “We are unsure, Miss Flint. We believe it was a system error. Very few humans prefer the same sex, it seems the evaluation given to you accidentally ommitted the question sequence.” She paused, “But, it is likely you will be transferred to another facility pending a medical examination.”

Kai nodded, “So, for now I’m stuck here?”

The female nodded, “Indeed.”

Kai sighed, “One more thing.”

“Yes?”

“What’s your name?”

The woman cocked her head, “I am called Allison.”

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