Friday, 26 April 2013

Day 340 3519 The Adulkis at the Pleasure Park

Well, it did go rather smoothly, on the whole. The ride form the border to the Pleasure Park was amazing. They were absolutely silent. Their mouths were open most of the time  while Louish pointed out certain thngs to them. I think they thought they were dreaming.
In the Meet room, they listened ever so quietly. We told them about all the activities they would be doing and what to do if they wanted to stop or if they couldn’t see the rest of the group. But I don’t think there was any danger of anyone getting lost. They were all a bit nervous. So much quieter than they normally are. But they seemed to enjoy the wheat biscuits we gave them and the banana milk.
The Cinders Ash ride was a success and they livened up a bit then. It puts them all into the story. They had to choose who to be – there were Cinders, the prince, the fairy godmother, the two ugly sisters and the horrid stepmother. Or rats, or Butane, the servant. Funnily enough, there was an equal amount of all of them. I don’t think the Adulkis understood the story too well, but they enjoyed all the costumes and they really loved the gliding dance at the end. Most Normal Zoners know that story. It only occurred to me today what an appropriate little story it was for the Adulkis.  Their lives are about to be transformed, too. What’s left of them.
They did find the climb up Ever Mountian a bit of a strain. We forget sometimes that they’re all getting old and that getting old, when you’re a Z Zoner can be quite painful. We’re so used to them tumbling around like small children. But bits of them don’t work so well any more. They had to holo them up most of the way. But they seemed to like the views.
They loved the Lily gardens. They wanted to pick the lilies and we had quite a job stopping them. I explained that they could buy some from the shops to take back home, but of course, they couldn’t understand the idea of a shop, or even of buying things.
The picnic was nice and we were able to sit out in the Real Meadow. The sun was warm enough. Josie came and sat be me, and the insisted on holding my hand all the time afterwards. I was quite pleased, really. I thought they’d all forgotten me. It made me sad, remembering my time with them in the Zone. And remembering how proud Kaleem was of me. He said I was so good with them. They all started remembering me after lunch. You know, we always think of the Adulkis as really being so simple, but they were all tactful enough not to mention Kaleem to me. I think they understand a lot more than we think they do.
They loved the animals. And they did get so excited about feeding the goats and samese cats. More like the Adulkis I used to know. It was interesting watching the animals as well. It was almost as if animals understood them, too. They didn’t seem to mind how much they were prodded and pulled. They really seemed to understand that they were dealing with creatures who had perhaps even less understanding than they did.
We hologrammed them into apartments at London Harbour, on to Ski Mountian and then on to a veriglass floating transporter with views over F and G Zones. You should have seen their faces when we gave them the holograms. They were so proud. It’s all such simple stuff to us. We Normal Zoners take everything so much for granted. They were fascinated.
The shopping was fun. I think old-time shopping with tokens to represent credits would fool even us Normal Zoners. But they were coping with being able to choose, not understanding even how credits work, and the complexity of using the tokens. The staff there were getting quite worried. Then Louish got that gleam in her eye.
“Oh never mind,” she said. “Just let them have all they want. Charge it all to my account.”
They did choose some funny things to take back with them. But I’m afraid I did end up crying after all. Thomas bought me (well, he brought it out of the shop, goodness knows whether he or Louish paid for it) a fluffy monkey.
“He can be your boyfriend,” he said. “I can’t. I’ve got to go back to the Z Zone.” He looked so sad.
It was all over so soon. I had such a lump in my throat as I waved them goodbye. I’m just hoping I’ll be able to work with them in the future. And I hope we haven’t done any harm by showing them a bit the life in the Normal Zones. 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Day 335 3519 Final Arrangements

Louish and I have been working hard over the last few days. We have it all worked out now for the Adulkis visit. It’s going to run like this:
8.30 – They arrive at the Zone border. Louish and I shall pick them up. Travel by transporter pod to Pleasure Park. Louish and I will point out interesting sites for them.
9.00 In Meet room at Pleasure Park. Explanation of how day will run. Light refreshments.
10.00 Cinders Ash ride
11.00 Climbing Ever Mountain.
12.30 Stroll through Lily Gardens.
1.30 – 2.30 Picnic lunch. We’re going to give them very simple food. They’re going to be a little overwhelmed with impressions. The rides we’re taking them on are very gentle, but it is going to be a really big day for them, all the same. Still, we’ve asked their carers about their favourite foods and we’re going to make sure something’s included that’s a bit of a treat.
2.30 Visit to 24th Century Farm Setting. We’ve arranged for them to be able to feed some of the animals.
3.30 Photo session – we’re going to holo them into all sorts of Normal Zone settings, but nothing too dramatic. Just a gentle hint of how life could be come for them. We’re not sure how much they’ll understand, really.
4.30 Time to shop. They’re allowed a certain number of credits each. They’ll be able to take some small souvenirs back.
5.30 Farewell at Meet room.
6.00 Return to Z Zone
I’m sort of excited and scared at the same time about this project. I hope we are doing the right thing. I think form what I know they’ll enjoy it, and I don’t think it’ll make then too frustrated about returning to the Z Zone. Let’s hope.     

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Day 328 3519 Contact from the Adulkis

I was so surprised today to get a communication form Sonja, one of the helpers I used to work with, when I was helping to look after the Adulkis. She actually managed to speak to me via the communicator. Her voice just came through loud and clear, right into my apartment.
That’s amazing in three ways – that she was actually allowed to do that, that they can do that already, and that she knew what to do. Of course, this also means that he’s done it. He managed to do whatever it was he was supposed to do there in the Z Zone. Doesn’t it mean that it’s not dangerous there for me? So why has he sent me away? And where is he now, and what’s he going to do next.
Who knows?! And I must stop caring.
But, anyway, Sonja. She was delighted that we are going to do this. They have started telling the Adulkis about it. Apparently they cannot believe that such a place can exist. They do have parks in the Z Zone, but nothing like the Pleasure Park. And Sonja seems pretty excited, too. I suppose it’s all going to be so surprising for the adult Z Zoners as well.
I hope it’s going to be all right. I hope it’s not going to be too much.
I can’t believe it’s all happening so quickly. I suppose I was out of it for a couple of months. But just before that, there we were, getting used to life in the Zone, and beginning to understand it a bit, and then meeting all of that hostility from Kevik and his followers. Now, suddenly, they’re coming to the Normal Zones to visit. The Z Zoners and the Normal Zoners are actually communicating. Just like the Terrestrans and the Zandrians. Kaleem again. Or was it Razjosh this time?

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Day 323 3519 Visitors

I’ve had the most amazing evening yesterday. I went to eat with Maisie Thomas as I’d arranged. She actually cooked most of the food herself. She has got a state-of-the-art Kitchen Robot and an Autochef, and she did let them do all the chopping and boring stuff, but she was actually watching something cook when I arrived. It was fantastic food. A sort of spicy soup to start with, and then roast meat – it was mixed meat, but form the Farmlands. I didn’t realise the animals actually live semi-wild there. They don’t have a Stopes programme, she said. They give birth naturally and I guess that means there’s also natural insemination. Maisie reckons it makes the meat taste better. She did some unusual vegetables with it – some of them were Zandrian, she said. I hadn’t actually realised we got anything from them other than the vaccines and antidotes. She was a bit vague about that. Intriguing! The dessert was brilliant too. A fruity ice-cream with chocolate curls. And of course we had nectar to drink. Grape nectar, she said. That’s all she’ll ever drink with food. It’s the nearest to the wines they used to drink. She’s really interested in that and how nectar works. I suppose it’s something to do with her being a chemical analyst.
We really do get on well. We just didn’t stop chatting. She’s really interested in the Z Zone and I told her so much. She thinks it’s good what we’re going to do for the Adulkis.          
Then the most extraordinary thing happened. The communicator buzzed. It was quite late by then, so we were a bit wary. But, on the other hand, the nectar had made us a bit mellow.
“Perhaps it’s some handsome man come to ravish us,” she said.
Then she switched on to visual.
“It’s Julienne,” she said.
She irised the communicator and let her in.
She was unbelievable. You just couldn’t recognise her as Julien. She was wearing a really glamorous blue satin tunic and white silk leggings. She was really well made up, too. I don’t mean silly. But she looked really pretty and feminine. She had a big diamond ring on her finger. Her hands didn’t look big at all, and yet when I met Julien the other day, he looked quite big and well built. I didn’t notice that he had small hands, particularly. It must have been the ring that did it.
The first thing she said was “I’d heard you were having a girl’s night in, so I’m hoping you don’t mind if I join you!”
Amazing. You really would not believe she was really a man.
We all three of us got along so well. Two great new friends I have there.
Deleted section
She’d brought along some peach nectar. It went down really well after that fabulous dessert Maisie had made. It seemed ages before the bottle locked. I’m sure we drank more than we were supposed to. I have a feeling that Maisie’s manipulating a few things in that apartment … Goodness, I hope she’s not into Hidden Information.
No, never. Well not much, anyway.  I think she’d be careful. They’re getting less strict about it now, anyway. 
Shouldn’t have mentioned that. I hope no-one saw it.