Monday, 29 July 2013

Day 76 3520 Progress on All Fronts

I’ve only just got back form the Z Zone.  I stayed a little longer in the end. I really am pleased with the groups I’ve been working with there. They’re are racing through the schooling programmes, enjoying the work and are really being very creative on all of the projects. I’m not sure whether I’m really the person to carry on there. They’re beginning to overtake me.
I spent some time with the Adulkis as well. I took a day’s leave so that I could stay a little longer. They are so bewildered about losing Sarah. They can’t understand death at all. Yet it was, in the end, quite easy to distract them. They do have this incredible sense of fun. It’s amazing to see them play. I think in the end it was their carers who needed cheering up the most. They all know this is probably the beginning of the end.  Yes, Sarah was a little weaker than the rest, but there was less difference between her and the other Adulkis than there is between Adulkis and ordinary Z Zoners, let alone between Z Zoners and Normal Zoners. Death is natural in the Z Zone. It makes me think switch-off is really bizarre.
But there's news about that too. They’re talking of suspending all switch-offs for six months. They say it’s partly to let the newly integrated Z Zoners get used to it. But I also thing it’s to do with Normal Zoners also being less certain about it now. I wonder, though, how long people will live without it. And whether it will all be stopped in time for Razjosh to avoid it.
Julien has been in touch – sort of. I haven’t spoken to him, but he did send me a video clip of the new president of the Women’s Movement – Julienne of course. I just really don’t get why he has to take on that particular role and at the Citadel at that, though of course the president of the Women’s Movement is actually Marcia Lafarge and she is not living at the Citadel. All very confusing. I really do not understand what that was all about.
And I did meet the others at the Laguna Bar. There was a few days’ gossip to catch up on. Oh, it’s the same old, same old. But actually, I think they seem more grown-up than they used to be. It is good to actually have someone to talk to in the evenings. It is better than sitting at home in my lonely flat. But the real problem is, they haven’t had the same experiences as I have had. So they don’t really quite understand where I’m at.      

Friday, 26 July 2013

Day 73 3520 Sarah’s Funeral

Well, we’ve now been allowed to have Sarah’s wake. They did do an autopsy to find out exactly why she died. They also took the opportunity to find out more about how the accident made the Adulkis the way they were. They found out so much!  I’m amazed at how good our meidcs have been at understanding that. You wouldn’t think they could after all those disease-free years. It must be all that work they’re doing with the Zandrian scientists. Who would have thought it?  Terrestrans and Zandrians working together. Terrestrans and any other planetation for that matter.
The toxins from the Normal Zones were so bad that they caused brain damage, and also some damage to the other organs which partly explains why they aged so quickly. I don’t know enough about science to really understand it completely, but I do know that we must not let it happen again.
The funeral was so sad. The other Adulkis were so upset. They did understand that she wouldn’t be coming back, but they didn’t seem to understand that she had stopped living. They couldn’t grasp that.
They sang at her service. They really can sing well. I’m so glad we decided to teach them about music. Music does make them happy, and even on this sad occasion it seemed to be uplifting.
I cried buckets as did all their carers. And I was on my own, and I wished Julien had been with me. That’s right. Julien. Not Kaleem. That shocked me as well at first, but I think I wanted Julien more than Kaleem because Kaleem would have been also extremely upset. Julien would have been a better support. I only had myself in the end.
The sadness became almost unbearable as they lasered her coffin. They showed stills and played some sweet but solemn music. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a lump in my throat.
Such a shame that there had to be this sadness, because everything that's happening in the Zone is so positive. All Z Zoners now have intelligent housing. All households with children under eighteen have the very latest technology, so they’re actually better equipped than most Normal Zoners. They’re making so much progress, because they’re so used to managing with a lot less. It’ll be interesting to see them gradually take on powerful positions. I guess when I’m middle-aged I’ll be competing with Z Zoners – and they’ll probably be winning.       

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Day 68 3520 Social Animal

I am a reformed creature. I went out the other night, just as I told you I would. I bumped into some of the crowd I used to go around with pre-Kaleem days. They knew all about me going off to the Z Zone with him. I think they’ve been dabbling in Hidden Information, but they wouldn’t admit it.
They used to read the Glog before I made it private. Mind you, they didn’t half complain about it being in Wordstext. The funny thing is, I don’t actually notice it. I can key it in really quickly now. I don’t notice the letters or even the words any more.
But anyway, I’ve now invited them in.
And they’ve invited me out.
They go to one of the nectar bars or to one of the holoscenes every evening for a couple of hours. Yes, they drink some nectar, but never enough to get out of control. Well, they can’t really can they, what with the way it’s rationed? That makes me feel even more guilty about Julien that time and the bubbling nectar. Okay, so now I know he’s on the right side. But how did he do it?
So, I’m going out with the girls everyday this week. It is good having some companionship. They’re a nice bunch, actually, and I had forgotten that. They’ve had their ups and downs too. Sophia and Ben-Alki Mazrouth have split up, too. He’s missing the switch-off ceremonies and she says it’s making him too dull. Plus she’s also questioning whether we should have switch-off back. Della has always been single and still is, though I think she flirts around a bit and has had some one-nighters.  Marina’s man is working away from home. Renate just says she has “gone off men”. Jayne has also just split up with Thomas and Margiet has never had a boyfriend. She is actually a virgin and proud of it!
And interestingly enough, the main two topics of conversation were Razjosh’s avoidance of switch-off and the integration of the Z Zoners into the Normal Zones.
So, they’re not the fluff-heads I thought.
It was nice being with them again. I’m going to get out as much as I can now.
Oh, Louish. You are always so right.   

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Day 65 3520 Life Goes On

Well, yes, it is now confirmed. Julien is definitely at the Citadel. He is being trained up – or rather, he is completing his training – for a secret mission. Just like Kaleem all over again. He spent time at the Citadel before he went to live on Zandra secretly. Anyway, Julien has now communicated with me from the Citadel. He can’t tell me much about what he’s doing, what he has been doing or what he will be doing in the future. But he did say that I’m not to worry and that anyway, he’ll be known as Julienne from now on. And he will come back and explain when this is all over.
“When’s that likely to be?” I asked.
“That I don’t know,” he replied. “And I’m not just saying that because I have to. I really don’t know. And, yes, of course, I wouldn’t be able to tell you even if I did know.”
Well, I am relieved. But I’ll miss him.  I guess Louish is right. I do need to get out more, meet more people my own age. So, that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll start tonight. I’ll find out what social meets are going on and tag along.
I’ve to go back to the Z Zone soon as well. I’m to go and meet some of the students who have progressed well though their schooling. Sadly, I’ll also be attending little Sarah’s funeral. But I think it will also be good to see the other Adulkis again.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Day 64 3520

Well, now I know a bit more. Amazingly, through Louish, but indirectly. For once it wasn’t her who knew all the gossip. Well, I suppose she knew the gossip, but she didn’t really know any more than me in the end.
Louish arrived yesterday.  She didn’t use the communicator. She just turned up at the apartment, and I said I was to pack some clothes for the beach. She cleared it with my boss. We were going to the Holo Riviera for a day or two. Honestly! That woman. But you have to give it to her. It was exactly what I needed. We’ll be heading back tomorrow. It’s been great.  Just relaxing. Swimming.  Sunlight-bathing. And talking to Louish. She is good company – even though she fusses a bit.
“You really must get out more, you know, my dear,” she said. “And it’s all very well you being here with me, but you need some company of your own age.”
Then she gave me one her looks.
“You’ve got to find a replacement for that silly grandson of mine,” she said, peeking at me though her eyelashes. “He is mad. Letting a gem like you get away. Stubborn, he is, like his mother and grandfather.” Then she wagged her finger at no one in particular. “Now, don’t get me wrong. I have every respect for Razjosh, and, well …” She hesitated and a faint frown crossed her face. “I'm glad h they’d get the switch-off stuff sorted before… before…. Well yes, I have every respect for him, but he may have gone just a bit too far with this Peace Child nonsense. Do you know, I have to pull Frazier up now and then? I think that’s why they let the attachments stay. To bring those big-headed Elders down to Terrestra occasionally.” She gave me a hug. “And that’s what Kaleem needs to recognise. But he won’t. So give him a lesson. Find someone else … and if that other person makes you happy, well, Kaleem’s loss.”
She had a point, I suppose. I suddenly thought of Julien. And then she came out with it.
“Do you know,” she said in one of her whispers. “They’ve even captured a new young man.  Like they did that time to Kaleem.” She looked round and started speaking even more quietly. “And they’re keeping him at the Citadel because he’s so good at disguising himself as a woman that they’re going to send him out somewhere as some sort of spy. After they’ve fully trained him.” She nodded and drew away from me.
I felt so relieved. So, that’s why he’d been taken away  to the Citadel. I’m mean, I’m presumig she must be talking about Julien. And perhaps even the whole Julienne thing had been about him getting ready to work as a spy. I was relieved again.  I’d found Julienne so convincing and thought she was funny, she was only funny because Julien was. Not kinky, then really.
“What’s this guy called?” I asked.
“I can’t quite remember,” said Louish. “John? Jay? Jules? Yes, Jules  and the woman is Julie.”
That must be right, mustn't it?  
Then I was surprised at how worried I’d been and then how relieved. Was Julien perhaps replacing Kaleem?
But oh no! If he was, he was another boyfriend who was being sent on a mission.
“So what are you thinking about?” asked Louish, waking me up from my daydream. She was grinning.
I felt myself  flush bright red.