The Implicit Denial of Infinity

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Chapter 9: Facility

Kai had found herself sprayed down multiple times with first water, then foul-smelling chemicals, and finally with a sweet smelling perfumed solution. Now she stood in a room that could only be described as a mix between a hospital room and a prison cell: stark white and sterile with a toilet and cot that seemed to belong in a prison cell.

They really are weird about hygiene.

Kai sat back on her bed, rubbing the material of the hospital gown-like tunic she’d been given between her fingertips, it had the same texture as the restraints she’d worn in the original transport, though it was white in color and much thinner. Part of her wished it had some kind of pattern, so that she could have some contrast from her caged environment. Her hand moved to her hair, which had taken on an almost crispy texture as a result of the spray down, and felt a little like dry grass. Kai slumped back again, her head resting on the -- admittedly quite soft -- pillow. She closed her eyes, heaving a soft sigh as she forced herself to relax. Her hands refused to obey this order, staying fisted in the thin sheet that covered the mattress. Kai wished her nails were longer, she’d bitten them to the quick over the few days that had passed between her conversation with Oldy and her current predicament. Kai’s mind raced as she lay as still as she could, trying to wrap her mind around her situation.

Think of now. Focus.

Kai sighed, slowly stretching her fingers across the sheet, her left pointer finger tapping. She inhaled, taking in the scent of the room. It was unfamiliar, but somehow, Kai knew it was the scent of some type of cleaning solution. It was definitely based around some sort of floral scent, but not one that she could place. Something told her that it was not a plant of Earth, which was oddly comforting.

Even aliens like chemicals to smell like not-chemicals.

Kai turned her head into the pillow, inhaling deeply. It held the same false floral scent as the rest of the room, though it did make her oddly hungry. In all truth, she wasn’t completely sure how much time had passed since she’d been passed over to the aliens. In her mind, less than a day had passed since she’d dropped her ID card’s fragment outside of James’s house. Either way, it was definitely time to eat again. Slowly, Kai opened her eyes, exhaling a long breath. Now was not the time to think of food, but rather to think of her current issue. She sat up, slid off the bed, and began to pace.

Ten steps each way.

Kai sighed, wringing the bottom of her dress in her hands as she walked. The floor was, oddly enough, not cold in the slightest, but rather, very warm. Kai stopped her pacing and crouched, placing her palms against the surface. She closed her eyes for a moment and exhaled.

And then it hit.

A rumble so imperceptible that she could barely tell it was there, the lights of her room flickering briefly. Immediately, Kai dropped to the floor, ear pressing against it. A sound could be heard beneath, an unfamiliar sound, followed by another rumble and a soft far-off thud. Kai lay there for a moment, keeping her eyes shut, listening for another rumble. It reminded her of the sound of a garage door, or maybe the sound of a school bus revving to drive off.

Internally, Kai hesitated before allowing her thoughts to proceed. It was dangerous to allow thoughts of the past to continue, unless of course, they benefited her present situation.

Think search filter, like the ones on school computers to keep nasty things away, but even they didn’t always work, like when Jess-


Kai sighed, eyes flitting open as she moved to a crouch, laying her palms flat on the floor, eyes fixed on the plain wall. Her fingers twitched as she waited, her breathing as even as could be.

The rumble came again, the light flickering, and along with it, a very quiet click, followed shortly after by another. Kai tilted her head, gaze panning the room.

There truly was nothing that could make that sound in the room, nothing at all. It sounded almost mechanical, like a bicycle switching gears.

Or a lock quickly unlocking and relocking.

Kai tilted her head, looking toward the outline that was the door. There was no visible lock, but still she rose, moving toward it and pressing her palm against the smooth surface. She gave a little push, expecting nothing of it.

Her expectations were met, as the door was quite solid. Kai gave a harder push, to no avail, and then backed up, regarding it a minute, thinking. The rumble had to be related to the clicking and the flickering lights.

Something’s using power, a lot of it.

She sighed, stepping closer to the door and leaning her head on it, eyes closing, tapping her big toe against the metal.

As if on cue, the door slid down and opened with an audible ‘whoosh’, causing Kai to stagger forward with a yelp, arms pinwheeling as she struggled to regain her balance, arching her back in an effort to right herself.

A pair of arms shot out from the other side of the doorway, grabbing her around the waist and yanking her forwards and out of the cell. Kai once again staggered, head smacking into the alien’s chest. The being was certainly male, and seemed displeased based on the grunt that came from him as Kai’s skull collided with his ribs. Her hands shot up to push off his chest, head whipping up to his. Unsurprisingly, his face, like the others, was covered, though the mask was closer to a surgical mask, the hood more like a hooded sweatshirt. His clothing seemed thinner as well, and his hands were ungloved. His skin was a distinctly human color, a dark tan, with a strange sheen of blue along his fingers, trailing up to his wrist.

“I take it you’re ready for your test, Miss Flint?”

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