A New Day - Part III

Ben was surprised by the girls’ sudden ability to speak, though if only a scant few words. He regarded them with a more friendly smile than he’d originally had before. Whatever had happened when he put on that translator had clearly floored him, and they all had helped him in some fashion so he felt less inclined to be antagonistic with them. Plus, Ell seemed to be on good terms with them.

“I’m still not sure what happened.” Ben said. “I remember hearing you all… then nothing.” He shrugged. At Ell’s mention of potentially trying the translator again he was surprisingly eager. What he did recall of the incident was pleasant. The sensation of the girls’ voices on his mind had left quite an impression on him. It had been a surreal experience, beyond anything he’d ever tried before. Even the time he took LSD as a pre-med couldn’t quite compare to telepathically communicating with a bunch of excited eloi…

As he ate he nodded at this idea enthusiastically. “I’d like to try again, actually, yeah. Hopefully soon it’ll be to the point I could have a proper conversation with all of you without having to go through you, Ell.” He shrugged then noted the look of shame on Ell’s face. He leaned to her direction at the table and looked her in the eyes. “I know you’d never hurt me intentionally, Ell. It was just a simple mistake, and everyone’s fine. I’m fine.” He smiled at her. “So don’t go beating yourself up over it, please?”

For a time the five of them just sat and ate. Though it was silent, and despite the fact Ben wasn’t able to hear them, he couldn’t help but note how loud the others were being despite not speaking. Their looks and gestures belying the inaudible dialogue just out of his reach. Though he just smiled and ate his breakfast, amused at where he was. Having breakfast with barely clothed women in a very posh estate situated in a literal utopia. From where he’d started just yesterday, about to board a C-130 to exile in some godforsaken bush to treat urethral parasites day-in-and-day-out, to this…

Life was looking like it was finally turning around for him.

Then Lux’s memory link began to flash and things started to move fast. Before Ben knew it, Ell was getting ready to leave, leaving him with Po and Yu. Admittedly he felt anxious at the thought of Ell taking off, but he shrugged it off. If Ell trusted these eloi, he’d trust them. His gut, again, told him he could trust Ell.

Soon, he was left alone with Po and Yu and an awkward silence fell across the dining room. Suddenly he was aware of the fact they couldn’t actually speak to him, and though he’d heard them say single word sentences on and off before Ell had departed, now he was more than a little unsure of how to communicate with them. He grinned sheepishly and gestured to the small pile of dirty clothes he’d put on a nearby shelf near the bathroom.

“I don’t suppose you two know if this place as a washer/dryer combo do you?” He asked. The fact he was still in nothing but a towel, with two girls nearly as naked as he, was beginning to make him a little self conscious.

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