Chapter 9 – Disconnection (1)

Disconnection – Part 1

      So here I am, sitting around in a wonderfully comfortable chair, with three, maybe four sets of eyes on me. Each of the girls I’ve met, and possibly one I haven’t, sit around me, all in equally comfortable looking high chairs. I hold my face in my hands, and say to no one in particular, “Once again, from the top. Please, please someone explain this to me in a simple way that I can understand.”

     Every woman in the room exchanges glances with each other, seemingly all lost in confusion. “I’ve never met someone with such little knowledge of the Zeroth. So you really are from the Outerlands then?” asks Mimi.

     She looks on in curiosity before looking towards Rose. “I’ve never met an Outlander before. I’ve also never heard of one being in the running of Knights, let alone for the Zeroth,” Rose nods towards Mimi, her silver braid brushing against the floor.

     Kay remains expressionless, neither showing emotion or even moving in general. She sits like a statue and listens to our conversations. I don’t think I’ve heard her talk since she told me her name.

     “So somehow, the title of Zeroth, what?” I say between my fingers, head hung lower, back bent, “Is the right to a harem or something?”

     Rose speaks up, “That is one way to look at it, yes. We have the honor of having been chosen to be the Zeroth’s wives. We’ve spent our whole lives waiting for this moment, the moment to meet you, Lord Zero.” She moves off of her chair while telling me this.

     She approaches me and kneels before me to peek up at me from under my hands. “We are magnificent my Lord Zero. We are the best women anyone could ever desire and we shall give you the most magnificent of children; on this, I swear. And yet you act as if we are simply not good enough?” Rose asks with hurt on her face. But she continues before I have time to really register the insanity of what she has just said. “If there is nothing good about us my Lord of Knights, then simply state what you wish and we will make it so. Please do not throw us out. All we’ve wanted our entire lives is to live a life of servitude to our Zeroth.”

     Rose is in literal tears as she professes this. I pull my head up and look around to see the same on Mimi’s face; and to my surprise I can see a small amount of anxiety on Kay’s face.

     “Hold on,” I say through my exasperation, “Please, just, give me a second before you all start the waterworks. This isn’t fair at all. What about what I want? And besides, you’ve been talking nonsense. You all don’t know me, how the hell could you wish to be my wives? No, further still there are even more things wrong with what you’ve said.”

     I take a deep breath and continue, “First off, “wives?” as in multiple wives? Isn’t that wrong? And even still, the core of the issue is you said it is your duty to bear my children? Beyond the horrible implication that you all basically only exist to shove out a stranger’s children,” I say with anger rising in my voice, “You do realize that we literally cannot have children together, yes? Surely you’re not all so ass-backward with your biological sciences yes?”

     Rose tilts her head to the side and looks towards, weirdly enough, Kay. Kay makes no real expression but slightly shrugs her shoulders.

     “Are you saying we are not good enough for your children my Lord Zero? Or are you… perhaps admitting to your own um… incompetence?” Mimi struggles to finish her sentence, and upon doing so with a bright red face, she looks away.

     “What are you people talking about? The issue is that you are all women.” I say with real aggravation in my tone. All three, Kay included, gasp.

     “Are you saying you are not a fan of the female persuasion my Lord? I’ve heard of such things in stories but…” Rose says, moving slightly away from me. I nearly hurt my head from the force of my facepalm at their expressions.

     “You’re all women and couldn’t possibly have children with me because I’m also a woman.” I scan their faces again, and see a mix of all kinds of emotions on Mimi. She shows confusion, anger, and sadness.

     Kay is largely expressionless but seems to be lost in thought. Rose’s jaw is on the ground somewhere and she seems to be staring intently at the ground, trying to find it. “Right…” Mimi says, as if somehow this news came out of nowhere.

     “How could you possibly have not realized that? I’m not the best looking woman around but you can quite clearly see that I am a woman, yes?” I say towards Rose, as if I need the validation to save my self-confidence.

     “I…” she stammers, “Yes. You are very obviously a woman. I did not forget. I suppose I just…” she lets her sentence hang in the air without being completed.

     I wish Nina were here. She’s a doctor. Maybe she could give basic sex ed to these women. I’m still bothered that we had to separate. It seems she won’t be living with us. She has her own home somewhere else in the city. But alas, I’m stuck with these people, at least for the time being; and I really wanted to talk to Nina and make sure she was all right.

     Seeming to have finally picked her jaw up off the floor, Rose clears her throat and says, “Perhaps we should speak with the Academy in the morning to try and clear things up. But for now, perhaps we should retire for the night.” She says this, in that parental tone that basically disallows anyone to refuse her for fear of reprimand.

     I’m so confused as to what there is to discuss. The others begin to stand up and shuffle out the doorway, each one telling me goodnight in their own, apprehensive way. It seems tonight has put the others on edge despite the fact that is should be me who’s most put out. This situation affects me more than the others and yet they act like I’ve given them a death sentence.

     “You basically have,” I hear a woman’s voice. I flip out and give a shriek. There was absolutely no one left in the room and the voice was far too real to be Rei’s. With my heart pounding I looking all around the room to make sure I wasn’t going crazy, when I suddenly feel a hand on my shoulder from behind me. My instincts cut in and I grab the hand by its wrist while turning my body. I shift my weight while moving my legs to sweep the other person’s legs. They fly out from under the person; and using them and their momentum, I twist their arm and spin them into the air. With gravity’s assistance, I pull down on the arm and slam the person to the ground with an audible thunk.

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     I hear the girl give a small cry as she lands on the ground. I don’t know when it happened but I’m straddled on top of her with her arms pinned to her side. It’s only then that I finally gain awareness of what is going on. My knee is digging into her sternum and I can tell she’s gasping for air. I quickly move my knee to her side, so I’m fully straddling her, but I keep her arms pinned to her side.

     “What an overreaction.” She says while looking up at me. Her eyes are pure white and lay deep inside her head. She has solid black hair at just above her bronze-colored shoulders, done in a side braid. As the adrenaline running through me abates, I finally take in the situation in full.

     “Where the hell did you come from? I thought I was going crazy! You’re a fourth “wife” aren’t you?” I spit out at her, voice still shaky from the fright.

     “You need to calm down.”

     I hesitate for a moment before beginning to shift myself off of her but she stops me, with such a serious voice, that I give in. Sitting on top of her, staring down into her white eyes, I tilt my head in confusion, asking her what she means.

     “This is a nice position to be in,” she says with a seductive smile. Almost immediately I shoot up and slide off of her. I hear her audible “tsk” as she props herself up on her elbows and looks at me.

     I’m sitting there dumbfounded, “What the hell?” I stammer out and she chuckles. She gives herself a boost up on her hands and knees and slowly crawls up to me while asking, “Did I stutter?”

     She approaches me, in full seduction mode, and her ponytail slides around her bronze shoulder. The movement draws my eyes downwards and the first thing to enter my line of sight is her modest bust. Whatever kind of shirt she’s wearing is different than what I’ve seen others here wear. This position reveals far more of her chest than should be allowed and I gulp.

     “See something you like, Zero?” She says with her lips now right next to my ear. She lightly touches her lips to my ear and my pulse speeds up dramatically and butterflies assault my stomach. I’m feeling something I’ve never felt before and I don’t know how to deal with it. It seems Rei doesn’t either because she’s making a racket in my mind, but even that can’t pull me out of this state. The next thing I notice is her smell. It’s wild and sun-bleached. She smells of berries and the grass. Whoever this woman is, she isn’t like the others.

     In my stupor, I reach up and wrap my left arm around the back of her head, and I’m greeted with the sound of her breath catching in my ear. Summoning every single ounce of strength I could possibly muster, I lightly tug on her hair and pull her away from me, separating us.

     I’m greeted with those beautiful lips turned around, into a frown. “And it was going so well. Why do you stop me?”

     “I-I did because of course I did. I don’t know you! And we’re both women!” She stares at me with a look I can’t quite make out when she replies, “Both women…” as if it just dawned on her.

     What the hell is up with these people!? “Yeah, so, you know…”

     She shrugs and leans herself to within inches of our noses touching and stares into my eyes. I can’t quite make out if that’s one hundred percent accurate because she lacks an Iris of any color, but judging by her pupils, I’d say she’s looking at me, as if searching for something. She nods lightly to herself as if reaching a conclusion and says, “It would be a first for me but,” she leans in a bit closer, her scent is overpowering my sense again. “But I’m game if you are.”

     Her lips meet mine with the smallest contact possible. In fact, were we to look at it closer, with better magnification we could probably disprove they touched at all.

     But I have no idea what the hell I’m thinking and I react by pulling away and shooting straight up, standing. My breathing is ragged and my head feels woozy.

     She looks at me with an obvious pout and sits up with her arms crossed. Here I was, thinking Mimi wore her feelings on the surface, this woman has absolutely zero desire to hide anything. It’s almost flattering. But I’ve never… you know…

     “Liar,” echoes through my head and I turn myself inward. There I stand face to face with Rei, and I am pissed.

     “What the hell did you just say to me?”I ask while marching up to her and grabbing her by her collar. I have to angle her down so I can properly meet her eyes due to being marginally smaller than her. The pressure is intense but I’m too angry at her to care.

     “I called it as I know it to be. You are a liar.”

     “Just what the hell am I a liar about?!” I lightly shake her, and notice her black hair sliding across the ground with our movement.

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     “You were thinking something untrue, thus you are a liar.”

     “What I say in my own mind is mine, and no others’.” I shoot out with even more anger. But Rei gives a small chuckle, and with a shooing motion, I’m back to the physical world, with the mystery girl’s hand on my cheek and her leaning up and in. I pull away while asking what the hell she was doing.

     “Well, you weren’t responding and you didn’t pull away again. So I thought you changed your mind,” she says while looking hurt.

     So it seems that if I’m directly conversing with Rei in “person” that I sort of check out in the real world, wonderful. “I’m sorry to have caused a misunderstanding,” I tell her, while taking a small step away and continuing, “But like I said, it’s simply impossible.”

     She refuses to let it drop and asks, “And why’s it impossible?”

     “No. Let’s back up and have you tell me why you’re even pushing for this so hard. I don’t know you, and you don’t even know me.”

     “Who cares?” She asks while sliding herself down into a two-seater sofa- her meaning obvious. She continues and I tentatively take a seat with her, while leaning as far away as I can. “You can’t let yourself get caught up in overthinking things. I want to take you, and so I plan to.” She lays a hand on my knee and I recoil, but with nowhere to go, she keeps her hand on my knee.

     “You may call me Gee, by the way.” She gently strokes my knee. I won’t lie, it feels good. I just can’t explain away what the hell has been going on with me today. So much of me has been different than it should be. Even this. Why am I even still here?

     Then I remember something I’ve forgotten and ask, “Wait. You said earlier that I, “basically have.” What were you talking about?”

     She removes her hand from my knee, leaving a cold spot. She moves her hand back to her lap and continues, “You have basically sentenced them to the chopping block,” she says while lifting her hand, dragging her thumb across her throat- her meaning clear.

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