Dec 5
Our meeting with
General doesn't go so well

I wake up so sore from walking and working late last night. Buddy, the Elite boy in our dorm, notices.
    “What were you up to last night?” he asks. 
    I don’t answer him and luckily none of the others have put on their headsets, as he asked telepathically, but he seems to consult with the computer and get an acceptable answer.
    “You finally got an assistant. That must be nice.”
    I shrug as if stretching, a sign he would perceive. I am just avoiding the inevitable. Once they find out I have a girl as my assistant, there will be no end to the ridicule. I desire to procrastinate it as long as possible however. 
    After getting ready for the day, I head for the terminal. When I make my connection to the train to Sector 1, I find Amanda. I step into the car behind her so that we can ride on the way to General’s together. She looks awfully tense.
    “Morning, Amanda. You look a little nervous.”
    “Hi, Jess. I’m not nervous . . . I was just wondering what they are like,” she responds.
    “They’re vicious, but sensible. Grotesque but funny. Just be glad you don’t have full telepathy,” I suggest.
    “What do you mean full telepathy? You mean that terrible surgery didn’t give me everything?” she demands.
    “No. You only got Elite functionality. Their telepathy is limited to semiotics. They can’t express their feelings or thoughts directly like Superiors, like me. That’s why Elites have an easy time learning English, while Superiors rely heavily on images and other sensory communication to assert their ferocity and superiority. Trust me, you’re going to be glad you have limited telepathy. In fact, I’ve heard the Superior antimatter placement surgery is typically a deadly procedure and hasn’t been approved by most councils,” I clarify.
    Amanda stares out the windows and takes in the city. It must seem so grandiose compared to whatever she was used to seeing on Earth. 
    “How does Earth compare to this place? What does it look like?” I ask her. 
    I could simply ask for pictures or a movie to see various parts, but I want to get it from her perspective.
    “It’s changing slowly. The councils are rather contested events. But there’s something about its modulation between this builtup and finished world, per se, and its past complexity and spontaneity that makes for an interesting environment. It makes these ideas seem less inevitable and more just a pleasant sort of ideal. They aren’t so sure its right there. Some people are having a really hard time with it,” she reminisces. 
    We get off at the terminal and walk from there as General doesn’t live far from Golden Mountain. Amanda has yet to look straight at where we are walking, trying to take it all in. She’s fixated on the gold edifice behind us. 
    “What is that giant building for, Jess?” she asks.
    “From what I gather, it is a symbol of equity and justice. It’s been around for millennia, so I’m told. They hold congresses inside from time to time, and sometimes they hold celebrations. It is empty mostly, though.” I surmise.
    We enter the building that looks like a cave by walking underneath the cover and then stepping down some stairs leading deep into the ground. Faint lights from the residences shed some definition to the contours of the building. Amanda clings close as we weave in and out of hallways and anterooms. I open General’s office door. 
    “Behold, the girl!” I announce happily.
    General growls from the corner of the room. I flip the lights, half to annoy him, half to help Amanda see him. He’s wedged in the corner of the room such that you can barely tell arms from legs and neck from tail. I try to steal his vision temporarily; he’s relatively ecstatic to see us. Amanda locks up in the doorway. I lead her in and help her into a seat. Then I walk over to him and give him a swift kick. I suggest that Amanda is learning that one kicks a Superior as a normal greeting, and show him instead a Superior which sits up when there are visitors and greets them like a gentleman.
    “Are you a couple yet?” he asks.
    I look over to see Amanda blushing. He gets up like unfolding origami. A leg pops out and then a tail. Eventually the whole thing unravels and he gets up onto his reclining bench. He reveals to me in detail his plot to kill me: he’s going to teach Amanda well enough to replace me and then he is going to slice my throat with his claw in the night. 
    “Love you, too,” I wink at him. 
    “What are you guys talking about?” Amanda asks.
    “We’re just talking about how the best mates make the best meals as well,” he laughs.
    I tell him to shut up or I’ll shoot him out to space where he won’t be able to breathe; he’ll suffocate slowly and painfully. He responds that he won’t kill me, just stuff me in a small container and feed me scraps like a pet. I try to growl. He laughs. 
    “Your boyfriend wants me to stop joking with you. Are you going to let him fight your battles for you? Are you human females treated this way? Our females are much more vicious that our males,” he explains, “We tell them we are going to rip their throats out before we would ever protect them or tell them we like them.”
    He assures me all he wants to do is pet her, reaching out to touch Amanda. She panics and by some power shoves his hand back. Even General is stunned by the sudden display of force. I did not see her push back or even reach out in defense. The only reason why I think it came from her is the fact she turned away in fear precisely when his hand shot back violently. 
    “What is this? Is she a special human?” he asks.
    I shrug telepathically. Amanda looks up, confused. 
    “What did I just do?” she wonders.