Together, we continued down the hall. Priest of Jirth stopped and waved her fingers in front of a panel, and a door opened. “Now, you will use the computer, and learn. I will return with food.”
Panic began to crawl around my stomach, as it shoved me inside. The door shut behind me. I turned around, and pounded my fists on the door. I would like to say I had a rational reason for it, but I didn’t. The fear and panic overrode everything. I pounded and pounded, I don’t know for how long, but eventually my hands ached, and I leaned against the door panting.
“Get a hold of yourself, Rilas. You are a grown woman, not a child.” My voice was weak, but I managed to look around the room.
There was a flat, tall platform, with a folded up cloth, and a round pillow. A single chair, by a movable picture box, sitting on a desk. I touched all the walls, looking for a closet or even a place to shower. I couldn’t find one. Why didn’t the Priest of Jirth stay, and explain what was going on? Was I going to be left here to starve?
I shook the thoughts from my mind. It said, it would return to feed me. I was not abandoned. Priest of Jirth wanted me to look at a cimpoter. “Cimpoter.”
“Who’s there?” I spun around, feeling my old bones creak.
“There is no other lifeforms in the room with you.” The quiet voice spoke again. It seemed to be coming from above my head.
The fear started to bubble up. “What is a computer?” One problem at a time, worry about what the Priest of Jirth wants.
A light beamed down on the movable. “A computer is an interactive device that allows program systems to be used, and stored. It is often used for education, social networking, and business. This unit is set up to teach you about the social customs, and mores of Jirth.”
“I don’t understand, most of that.” My shoulders shook.
“You will understand, you must use it, to learn.”
I swallowed hard. “I don’t know how to use it.”
“You must turn it on.”
My fingers tangled themselves up together. “I don’t know how to that, either.”
A long time passed before the voice spoke. “Approach the computer.”
Each step I took seemed to take forever, before I stood before the computer.
“There is a series of three buttons at the bottom right corner. Tap them on the furthest right. After you tap it, it should light up.” The voice didn’t use any inflection at all, it unnerved me.
My finger found the button, and pressed it. A light emitted from it, in a pale green. My heart beat faster. Never in all my days, had I ever seen a green light. The computer made a humming sound, and large circle appeared. The circle had four smaller circles in succession in altering color of blue and red.
“Now you ask it questions, and it will give you answers.”
“What kind of questions?” My curiosity warred with my fear.
“Anything you desire. If the computer cannot answer you, it will say ‘query not found’.”
A thousand questions cluttered my mind. But, I couldn’t ask any of them. My mind ached, too many things I had known were now shattered. The bed called me, and I decided to rest instead. Reluctantly, I took off my clothes, folding them, and placing them in the chair. The last time I slept naked, I had been a child. I pulled up the sheet
My thoughts wouldn’t let me rest. I worried what the Priest of Jirth would do, since I did not use the computer. Regret sneaked in, if this had been a good choice for me. Admittedly, I had no children, but the village relied on me. Priest of Jirth said I was needed, but what if I had been a falsehood?
No, I thought to myself. The decision had been made. There was nothing I could do, or anyone could do to change it now. Choices have consequences, for good or for ill. Since, I arrived on strange, star ship I felt calm. And, finally, I was able to rest.