Monday, February 18, 2013

Science Fiction Story: Building Towers

From Chapter Five of An Analysis of the Cardassian Language:

I carried the chair to the bed, moved the pillows and set it near the wall. Then, very carefully, I climbed onto it, then gingerly stood up, taking my time and using the wall for support.

The moment I was fully upright, a jolt of electricity shot through me. I fell off the chair, missed the bed entirely and hit the floor with my side, knocking the wind from my lungs.

In that long, desperate moment before the air came painfully back, I heard Gul Dukat's voice say calmly, "I'm disappointed in you, Teryn."

I raised myself to my hands and knees and coughed and struggled to breathe. When I could speak, I said, "Gul? Can you hear me?"

"Of course I can hear you," came the answer. "I didn't know you enjoyed building towers so much. Are you an architect?"

"No," I answered, and coughed.

"No," he repeated, "but you have deceived me."

I wondered how I should respond to that. I wondered how I could have been so dumb as not to realize they would have bugged the room. I wondered where the cameras and microphones where hidden, and whether the Gul could see me now as well as hear me. I wondered if any of my bones were broken.

"Did you hear me, Teryn?" Gul Dukat persisted. "You've deceived me."

I wondered who Teryn was, and why he'd confused our names. "Yes," I answered. "I'm trying to figure out what you're referring to."

"You seemed happy enough to share my bed last night. I thought we had something good going. And now I find you trying to escape."

"It won't happen again," I promised, and meant it. I wouldn't be touching the top of the wall again, at any rate.

My breathing was becoming more regular now, and I got off my hands and knees and sat on the floor. Moving hurt: I was badly bruised, at best. I felt very grateful that I hadn't landed on my head.

"Gul?" I asked.

"Go ahead."

"I think I need a doctor."

"Why? Are you dying?"

"No, but I think I could have cracked a rib."

"A souvenir, then. A reminder to improve your behavior in the future. Is there anything else, besides your medical status?"

Thanks to Paramount
I couldn't believe he wouldn't let me see a doctor. "Yes," I replied numbly. "Are there any other places I should be aware of, that are off-limits, besides the top of the wall?"

"The top of the wall isn't off limits," he answered. "Insulting me is off limits."

"Of course," I answered, confused now. "Did I insult you, Gul?"

"I would consider attempting to run away from me insulting. Wouldn't you?"

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