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LDR: Bad Finite Query (Kabla)

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When you're alone, it's sometimes easier to talk to yourself aloud.

Kabla shut her eyes. It didn't make much difference, the darkness didn't go away. It was still there, curtaining her off from whatever else was out there, lurking. She was still feeling the lurch of the chair disappearing from her grasp, and the floor she was standing on was taking far too long to smack her in the face.

I'm... not falling?

She reached out with her senses. No air buffering her face, no wind tossing her about, no turbulence... no floor...

Kabla opened her eyes again. There was still nothing to see.

Why did I think I was falling? Because the chair was there and I was leaning on it, and suddenly it was gone again. I would have been off-balance, I would have fallen.

She blinked her eyes a few times, not that it changed her view. She couldn't see herself blinking, only feel it. And she didn't actually feel like she was falling, only that she expected to be falling. She closed her eyes again.

Okay, so stop thinking about falling. Replace it with... oh, I dunno, flying.

She opened her eyes. It was so dark that she couldn't even see her nose in front of her face, she was pretty sure it was still there, but wasn't sure. And she couldn't seem to feel herself either. She had hands still, pretty sure of that too, and thought she would feel them at the end of her arms...

This won't do. I need a frame of reference. Okay, forest, trees, bright sunny day.

Still darkness.

Maybe that's too hard. My shipboard cabin then.

Still darkness, but she sensed something waiting, just behind the darkness. Kabla stopped trying to imagine the whole thing in one solid picture, but instead painted it in her mind.

The bed there, the hinges broken where it's supposed to fold back into the wall, converted into a shelf. A couple of books, actual paper books, my coveralls where I left them after stripping to climb into my hammock, strung between two corners, once bright pink but now faded and stained. The walls mottled with periodically leaking pipes for water and waste and air. The ladder to my door to the hall...

And she found it fading into focus around her.

And there was a knocking at her door.

"Who is it?"


"Lin? Linzamin? What is this?"

"I come in?"

"Of course."

Lin descended the ladder with surprising grace, almost as if she had more limbs than she was letting on, and looked around the space. "Would you like job?"

"What kind of a job?"

"Everybody fall. They fall until they cry help. Not you, you create this. Retter needs help. One man and me can't save enough. Thirty percent too small. With you, I think we save more."

"What do you need me to do?"

"This, more."