The Implicit Denial of Infinity

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Chapter 22: Disagreement

Just as Kai had thought, the next day had begun with the taking of her blood. Maxwell drew more than he typically did this time, a total of three rather large vials. She found herself feeling quite faint after this. Typically, he took what she perceived to be very small amounts. Vaguely, she wondered if the amount of blood they’d taken from her over the past few weeks was having any negative impact on her health. She certainly had found herself sleeping more than she typically did, and had been in a constant state of dizziness. Was that related to this? She’d been told it was just stress.

It also could have been the pain medication she was given, she thought. Though she had no way of knowing what that actually was. She was simply handed pills, and all questions as to what they were had been left unanswered. If nothing else, that had led Kai to believe they were either something very potent, or that they were laced with something. Neither answer was satisfying, and she wondered why they hadn’t just lied to her. Perhaps that was where their difficult to decipher moral code kicked in. Lying was wrong, but simply staying silent was not. It was strange, and she didn’t like it.

“Morning, Kai!”

Mae. The voice was overly peppy and tinged with anxiety.

“Hi.”

“Are you hungry? I brought you some food.”

Kai turned around, raising an eyebrow. She knew this trick. The portion of food held in Mae’s hands seemed slightly smaller than usual. Just a piece of toast with jam on it. Jam that could very easily hide a ground pill or liquid of some kind.

“I’m fine.”

Mae stared at her in silence for a moment, and Kai stared right back. Nothing broke the quiet, save for the traitorous growling of Kai’s stomach.

“You should eat.”

The tray tapped against the table beside her bed. Mae took a step back, folding her arms. There was something strange in the eyes of the typically friendly woman, something that Kai most certainly did not like.

“I will.”

The woman didn’t budge. Clearly, she wanted to see Kai eat it.

Kai, however, had no intention of doing so.

They spent a moment like that, in uncomfortable silence. It really had been years since she’d felt any level of awkwardness talking back to perceived authority figures. A uniform meant very little when the entire human race was at the mercy of alien invaders.

“Something wrong?” She gave a smile to Mae. It did sort of hurt her to be unpleasant to this woman. After all, she had been nothing but kind to her. Besides that, she could have most certainly misread the interaction…

No. Better safe than sorry.

“No.” There was distinct harshness in her tone.

“Okay. Did you want anything from me?” There was a curt impoliteness in her voice, and Kai knew it. She just wanted her to love.

“You need to eat.”

Ah yes, we’re back to square one.

“Fine.” Defeated, Kai picked up the piece of toast, taking an overlarge bite. “Happy?” She spoke with her mouth full

Mae rolled her eyes, as if exasperated with her.

As the woman walked out of the room, Kai hop-hobbled to the bathroom and spit out the chewed-up bread into the toilet.


The building was, once again, suspiciously quiet. The elevator had, however, mysteriously stopped working, leaving Kai stranded on her floor. She didn’t appreciate this in the least, but was powerless to do anything against it. That was the problem with being hurt. It made her need these accursed people. Something was going on here, something that she felt would put both her and Aster in danger. Aster herself brought another issue. Though she may not have been exactly well-liked by her fellows, being an apparent political dissident, it didn’t seem likely that her kind would be too keen on her remaining a prisoner on Earth. That was what she was, really, Kai thought. Though this place masqueraded as a place of healing, there was certainly no way Aster would be allowed to leave. Hell, Kai didn’t even know if she would be able to. Had her leg not been broken, would they have kept her confined by other means?

She’d told herself repeatedly that it was best not to think about this, to avoid indulging the cynical part of her that wanted nothing more than to mistrust these people, but that part of her was beginning to seem wiser and wiser. These people, kind as they seemed, were almost certainly hiding something

Kai’s hands skidded over the wheels of her chair, slowing it to a halt. A long-forgotten sound had reached her ears; the sound of an engine. She slowly turned herself around, and then began to make her way toward an empty room, one she knew to have windows facing toward the loading bay. It wasn’t the right day for a delivery, she knew. Something had to be wrong. Why else would the pattern be interrupted? It was a given that the aliens knew they were here, and that they had picked up on the days the supply replenishment shipments came in. Though Kai couldn’t remember if she’d ever been told the specific re-supply day, she knew it had been three days ago. She hadn’t kept track of the days of the week in years. That didn’t matter though, she just needed to know what was going on. She was tired of being kept in the dark, tired of the apparent use of her body for reasons unknown to her. It had to stop. This wasn’t any real rebellion, she knew, but rather exploration. It was better than nothing though, far better than simple passivity. As Kai reached the window, she extended her hands out to catch the sill, pulling herself closer. The window was locked shut, requiring a key to open. She hadn’t even considered jumping out, and was just a bit offended at the implication. Did they think that low of her? That she was at risk of harming herself?

Or was there some other factor, some other reason that she would do so?

Focus. It’s not important.

As Kai leaned forward, movement below caught her eye. A truck, one far larger than the one that typically came through, had parked outside. It was white, with no markings of any kind to indicate what might be inside. Four men, two dressed in matching black ensembles, and two wearing the scrubs typical of the hotel, appeared to be unloading a great deal of what looked to be medical equipment. There was quite a lot of it, and it seemed like they’d been at this for a while. The sight immediately filled her with unease. Though Kai was no doctor, she was quite certain that there hadn’t been any new patient brought in, and certainly not one that needed complex treatment. Even if they did, why wouldn’t they simply transport them back to a city? Both black-clad men now seemed to be unloading a series of lights, and having a great deal of trouble doing so. The two men in scrubs stood off to the side, engaging in discussion that Kai could not hear. This broke off after a moment, with one of them, an older man with white hair, moving into the trailer of the truck to fetch a large box. That was odd. It just looked like a box of boxes. Much to Kai’s surprise, however, the man paused, setting it down on the ground and beckoning to his companion to come closer. He pulled out one of these containers, appearing to find something funny. It was just a white container with a red label Kai couldn’t read. She assumed it was styrofoam of some kind, just based on the color and the apparent weight. She squinted, leaning further forward. There was a black symbol on the label, but she couldn’t quite make it out.

She didn’t need to, she suddenly realized. She knew what it was.

Biohazard.

It all began to click into place.

Aster, sedated, weak and kept far from Kai.

The meeting, and the tense conversation. The increase in taken samples.

The attempt to drug her.

This wasn’t the preparation for a surgery.

No, it was the preparation for a dissection.

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