“Teacher of Einlari, why are you not studying on the computer?” Priest of Jirth voice woke me up.
My lids flickered open. And, I stared shocked, once again, at its appearance. The strange oval, angled head, with eyes on the side of its head. The spots on yellow smooth spread across the smooth yellow skin, as it blinked at me.
“Are you a woman, or a man?” I asked before I could prevent myself.
Priest of Jirth stood holding a small circular tray. It shifted back and forth. “The question does not apply.”
My back ached with pain, due to the fact I moved so fast sitting up. “What do you mean, ‘the question does not apply’?”
It sets the tray down. It turned my eye toward me, than the other. “Jirth do not have gender. Your people have gender?”
My mind began to thrum with pain. I pressed my fingers against my temples. “Yes. How can you not have gender? How do have children? How do you pick spouses?”
Priest of Jirth stepped back and clasped it’s three fingered hands together. “I am not sure you are ready for this type of information. I think…” It trailed off for a moment, staring at the computer. “You are not ready. You were not ready for computer.”
I did not know what to say. I had felt better before the Priest of Jirth had returned. The shakes came back as reality fell upon me. My knees gave out and I landed on the ground, the pain barely registered. I buried my face in my hands. Wet tears ran down my face, as I sobbed.
A soft touch of a robe brushed against me, as I felt the Priest of Jirth sat beside me. It was very still. How long we sat, I could not say. “Priest of Jirth has erred. Teacher of Einlari was the most ready of all Einlari for new knowledge, but not enough.”
I dropped my hands. “I…” I let out a final sob. “I don’t know what to say.”
It stood up. “No blame can fall on you. I decided. Now, there is only one solution.”
The way Priest of Jirth said ‘one solution’ terrified me. There was a finality to it. “What is the solution.”
“Eat your nourishment. I will set up the solution.” And, then it left.
I shook myself off. I leaned against the bed, and lifted myself up. The round white tray, had a ball bottle filled with clear liquid, and three white bowls. Each one of the bowls was filled with different items, one had a black pellets, one was brown strands, and lavender liquid in the last.
The clear liquid smelled like water. I sloshed it around, it moved like water as well. With great hesitation I took a drink. It tasted like water that had been in a keg too long. The lavender liquid had a smooth, smoky flavor. A sauce, I decided. I lifted up a black pellet I had to take a drink of water to chew it, but it was nutty, and enjoyable. Brown string things were crunchy and the flavor was off. I poured the lavender on it, and it did not help. I ate, the rest of the pellets, and drank the water.
I set the tray on the floor, and laid in bed. I had put off thinking about the solution as long as possible. ‘There is only one solution’. The phrase refused to be put away. “Voice.”
“Do you require assistance?”
“What is the solution?”
There was a pause. “A solution is an answer to a problem.”
“The solution the Priest of Jirth spoke of.” I managed to hold my temper. The voice had only helped me.
“The solution, when regarding primitives, opens their minds to advanced knowledge.” The voice responded it the same monotone it used earlier.
My forehead was throbbing. “I don’t understand, can you explain it?”
The voice took a moment to rebuttal. “There is no other explanation in my database available to your clearance level.”
As I opened my mouth, the door opened. Priest of Jirth stepped in a strange metal headband in its hands. “I bought you the solution.”
An acidic taste filled my mouth, and I felt the blood drain my face. I feared this was the end.