REUNION - III - Interpretation (z)
Monday, October 24, 2011

Sometimes a Working Girl needs all her talents.


Inara’s visit is even more interesting…

A green-eyed Android is standing by the side of the pad as she lands – he comes forward as she gets out, looks her over very strangely, and then says, “Good afternoon. Lady Inara, I presume? My name is David. Please follow me, and please excuse me in advance if I say anything out of place. I am not familiar of the protocols between humans. The Master rarely receives visitors.”

Inara says, “So I have been led to believe. I’m quite honoured that he wishes to meet me.”

The Android looks quizzical; “Honoured?” but says no more. In fact, David avoids all chances of errors in protocol, whatever he may have thought them to be, by simply being silent for the rest of the walk.

They step into an absolutely immense hall with a lone man at the extreme far end behind a desk, so far away it’s difficult to make out much about him, even his size, and David A announces, “Master Allen, I have the honour of presenting Mistress Inara, as you have requested.” He then turns and hurries away, leaving the two humans staring at each other from a distance.

Inara begins to walk toward the man, who immediately seems to shrink into the wall behind him before saying; “Please, come no closer. I know you are used to this degree of intimacy, but I am not. I find another human so close very disturbing.”

Inara cannot help but ask; “Close? Intimacy?” This room is larger than that used for formal balls on most worlds! With hundreds of people!”

The man shudders, and looks like he’d shrink even further into the wall if such a thing were possible; “Please, don’t talk – of such things – and please stop where you are!”

Inara has been walking closer, but she’s still further away than the length of Serenity’s cargo bay. She finds a chair, and sits. “Alright, I’ll sit here. I gather I’m not here because you want to hire me at my profession -” The little man shudders; “so what would you like us to do while I’m here?”

Allen shudders again; “Well, maybe this is a bad idea.” Inara shrugs her shoulders delicately, then gets up and turns to the door. Allen reacts; “Wait – wait – I’m sorry, I spoke in haste. I really do want to talk to you – understand you and your society better.”

“What is it you want to know?”

“I need to know about your feelings. Do men pay to actually come in direct contact with you? Why do they do it? And why do you put up with it? I have read part of your history from Derrial Book’s stories, and I know he found you a very intelligent, learned and talented woman. You are obviously quite capable of going into many fields. Why choose this demeaning line of work?”

Inara rises gracefully and begins to approach him again, moving as she has learned at the academy many years before; “It’s not considered ‘demeaning’ in my world. And I do it because I enjoy it. And men pay me because they find me attractive, and also enjoy what I do. Do you not find me attractive?”

Allen does not want to be rude, and she really IS attractive: “Yes, you are quite beautiful, like a fine piece of art. But I don’t normally want to touch art, just find a place to leave it to be admired, from a distance.” But even as he says this, his eyes cannot leave the willowy form moving toward him.

Inara smiles slightly, “That’s the difference then – fine art doesn’t need to be touched to be appreciated – a woman cannot be fully appreciated unless she is.” By now, he’s fully mesmerized by her, and as she rounds the desk and steps to him, she touches his shoulder and bends to put her face closer…

The temptation is too much, and he is drawn to her by emotions he has never before experienced, kissing a woman for the first time in his life!

But the act is too foreign, and years of conditioning boil to the top in a rush of complete revulsion! He breaks free, pushing her away, screaming and accusing her of dishonesty!

He screams, “You witch! Is that how you make your living? Hypnotizing men and then robbing them? David! Come in here! Take this woman to her shuttle and make sure she leaves immediately!”

As the Android guides her back to her ship, he whispers; “I’m sorry that it turned out as it did mistress, but I’m not surprised. I cannot imagine any way that this could have turned out well.”

After he is sure Inara has left, Allen puts in a call to ‘Bot Central to get those subversive elements off the planet immediately!

He then sends a Broadwave to all other Eremites that all future off world contacts with other humans should be ended as potentially subversive, including corporate importers. “We can make anything we need right here!”

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Hans gets the word at about the same time Inara returns, and glumly passes it on to Serenity’s crew. “I personally am very unhappy at this turn of events. I have become fascinated at the concept of humans actually living together by choice. I was going to talk to other ‘Bots and Androids about altering Eremite education to return Oasis to a more normal human society.”

Inara catches the underlying fact; “Do you mean Eremites don’t even raise their own children?”

Hans is amused that she finds that amazing: “How could they? That would require personal contact!”

And that leads Diana to a further question; “If you handle their education, and run all their systems, doesn’t that mean the Androids actually run this planet?

Hans smiles mysteriously; “Oh, we would never disobey an order from an Eremite – besides, there’s always the ‘Bots…”

Hans has one last question for Inara; “Speaking of orders, My Lady, what did you say to Allen that has made him want to sever all his contacts with off world corporations? We’ll have to set up several new factories to supply the exotic goods we presently import.”

Inara is at a loss; “Corporations? We never even mentioned them. I have no idea.”

Hans looks puzzled, but finally gives up. “Oh well, somehow we’ll turn it to our advantage. They weren’t nice people to deal with anyway.”

He then turns to Mal; “Captain, one more thing: Would it be possible for your ship to stop at Sentinel? I have not heard from any of the Books there in a long time. I could give you their names, but I don’t know if it would help, as I have no idea where they would be by now, or if they’re even alive.”

“Also, the weather on Sentinel has become very bad. There have always been more storms there than on Oasis, but telescopic monitoring shows storms are much worse recently – it seems like the terraforming machinery must be failing.”

Mal asks; “Why haven’t you sent ‘Bots to check it out? And have them fix the stations if there’s no – “Friends” – who can do it?”

Hans tells him; “The ‘Bots are not welcome, as the Eremites attempted to take over Sentinel about 250 years ago, using ‘Bots of course, and the memories are still strong.”

Diana asks, “How would the people there recognize androids? Do they have the same sense as the Indies?”

Hans says flatly, “Androids don’t leave the planet.” No further explanation.

There’s a bit of a pause while that settles in, then Kaylee volunteers; “Shiny – that would be interestin’ wouldn’t it, Captain? We could meet new people, maybe help them out.”

Mal is not quite as enthusiastic; “Well, I dunno - I guess we could see what we can do.”

Hans springs into action, “That would be wonderful. You are all fine examples for our Eremites to learn.” and soon Serenity’s hold is filled with Terraforming spare parts, plus “miscellaneous” bits “you just might need.”

By the next morning, it’s time to go, and the ‘Bots seem genuinely unhappy that Serenity must leave.

Hans brings it up again. “I was hoping that at least some of you could stay, to act as models to explain the advantages of advanced humans interacting. I can’t use the Indies, the Eremites think of them as subhuman – perhaps we may try to change that too.”

The departure is almost tearful... Inara says thoughtfully; “In many ways the ‘Bots are more human than the Eremites.”

Mal adds; “Yup, one powerful piece of strangeness on this planet. But we’re not about to stay where we’re not wanted.”

“It’s time to go, River.”

As they leave Oasis’s atmo behind, Simon says out loud what many are thinking; “Friendly people, at least the robots were, but it’s good to be flying again.”


Tuesday, October 25, 2011 5:45 PM


I'm concerned about how the reaction of Allen will tint the other Eremite reaction. But on the other hand, I'm not sure I trust the androids, and I'm wondering what all happened that resulted in the populations of humans being split and one population deliberately isolating themselves.


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