Billions of tiny black ants swarmed around the delicacy that was a crippled ladybug. She tried her best to fight back, to survive, but like a shark sensing blood in a pol, the army of a billion sensed her disability and were nipping and biting at her with their small venomous pinchers. Such was the way of the world. One minute you were at the top of the food chain and the next, you were on someone’s dinner plate; one minute the hunter then the next the hunted.
Simius, the third planet from the sun, harbored an infinite amount of life forms with the most formidable being the two legged, upright, hairless chimpanzees formally known as humans, the only animal that actually preyed on its own for sport. Humans were so corrupt and full of ego. They believed they were the best, the smartest, and the biggest. However, they were the most obtuse and pompous of all creatures that walked, crawled and crept across the planet. So arrogant were they that Simius almost faced its doom more than 1,700 years ago. Pollution hung like a fog of death across the globe, the poles were thawing out, severe weather abound, droughts, low levels of fresh water, genetically modified food stocked in every store and the list goes on and on. In addition to this, poverty spiraled out of control with the introduction of robots and androids who could perform tasks faster and with more precision than their human competitors. Robotic engineers got richer, the government got richer, food manufactures got richer, but the citizens, the ones that actually mattered, got poorer and poorer and that was when it happened. The Survivors War began in the year 6015 and lasted till 6115, ending with complete environmental and governmental reform. However, there was nothing to help this poor ladybug. The ants were carrying away her limbs. She was dying, she was exhausted, she couldn’t fight the billion menaces that were swarming her. She was like a fallen giant among ravenous dwarves.
“Excuse me,” a voice pierced the air and Thomas Ullian adverted his gaze from the besieged ladybug to the person standing before him.
The male had a face as pale as chalk with matching straight hair that fell to his shoulders. Purple eyes peered down at Thomas with their odd glimmer like cuts of amethyst. The male had a proud exotic face with high cheekbones, a sloping nose that was full at the tip, and smooth wide lips. He wore the traditional colors of his kind which many no longer wore. Except for his black laced up tall boots, he wore blue, purple and white. The pants and vest were midnight blue made of what appeared to be an expensive fabric, of what type, Thomas did not know as he paid little detail to clothing. Under the vest the male wore a white three button Henley and over everything he wore a cotton, dark purple, cargo style coat that was fit for the fall weather. Across the male’s chest was slung the strap to a bag that hung at his side.
Sitting back on the stone bench, Thomas nodded to the male and asked, “Yes, how may I help you?”
“I’m looking for the Arts and Humanities building. Is it down this way?” The male asked as he pointed a pale finger down the walkway that stretched across the courtyard.
“Yes, it is,” Thomas nodded to the Draigonnian, the species that the male belonged to. “Just keep straight and make a turn to the left where the paths intersect.”
“Alright, thanks,” the male smiled and nodded his head. “Sorry to bother you again,” he offered as he readied to leave Thomas’ area.
“It’s alright,” Thomas said, “I know how it is being a junior at a university, and Guhillachula is quite a large campus.”
“Oh, I’m not a student,” the male shook his head. “I’m a new professor.” He then put one foot in front of the other and began to walk away.
Thomas started to say more but before he could recover from his shock the male had moved out of hearing range. Looking back down to the ground to examine the state of the ladybug, he found that she and her devourers had been smashed beneath the young Draigonnian’s foot. A few crippled ants frantically scampered around in a circle, others were frantic as to what had transpired.
Sighing, Thomas stood and picked up his briefcase that sat beside his foot. Looking at his watch, he saw that his class was going to begin in a mere 15 minutes and he decided to head to the classroom. As Thomas headed in the direction of the Arts and Humanities building, he heard the patter of small feet against the pavement and heard a muffled and frantic call, “Waaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiitttttttttttttt!!!”
Frowning, Thomas turned and saw the most glorious of all beast racing toward him with a brown paper bag held ever so delicately in her mouth. The wind swept up the beast’s white and very light tan hair making it whip in the air. Finally, when she reached Thomas, she dropped the bag at his feet and reaching up, she pressed her front paws against his legs and stretched.
Grinning up at him and showing her crooked top teeth and bottom teeth missing four in the front, she said, “You forgot your lunch! You made me run all the way here to give it to you! You know how much work that is?” She huffed, took one paw and swiped it over her short muzzle to display how annoyed she was.
“Dana, you did not run all the way here,” Thomas said as he knelt down to her level and scratched behind her floppy ears. “Thank you, but I really didn’t need a bag lunch today.”
“I’ll eat it!” The Shih Tzu perked up.
Thomas took the bag and stood up, “I bet you will. Tanya sent you all the here with the lunch?”
“Yes, she did,” Dana replied as she sat down on her rump with her huge brown eyes gleaming up at him with a grin plastered on her face. “I caught three buses to get here. One driver made a fuss about me getting on with food and I threaten to bite him on the ass and then he let me pass.”
Thomas shook his head in subtle amusement, “Well, go on, go back home, Dana. Thanks for the lunch.”
“Humph!” The dog snorted. “I’m not going all the way back home on a bus. Tanya packed my lunch in there too.”
Peering inside the bag, Thomas saw an apple, peanut butter crackers, a carton of orange juice, a turkey sandwich and a bag filled with long beef jerky sticks. “You call that a lunch?” He asked about the jerky that was for the dog.
“Well, of course you will share with me by default,” the dog replied.
Thomas shook his head in subtle disbelief at the dog’s antics and started off toward class, “Very well, be quiet in class, please.”
“My lips are sealed,” the Shih Tzu said as her tiny legs trotted behind the very tall man to keep up.
Entering into the Arts and Humanities building, Thomas moved through the sea of bodies and their personalities that flanked by their sides. He watched as one girl handed a stack of books to one personality who then handed them over to the other who in turn handed them back and they repeated this behavior over and over again. Thomas in some ways was thankful he was born without personalities as they took up a large amount of space. However, the downfall to that was the disorders that developed in people without them and he was not an exception.
Stepping into the classroom, he passed the personalities seats and heard one female personality whistle and say, “Sexy.”
Next, Thomas heard Dana growl and bark at the being and he was sure she was bearing her teeth. Sighing, Thomas continued on to the front of the class and sat his briefcase on the table top. Gazing around the classroom, he saw that the room was full and not only with students and their personalities, but with their animal guides. Some animal guides were under their owner’s seats, some were perched on top of the tables, and some were perched on their owner’s heads.
“Good morning,” Thomas greeted the masses as he pushed his long, dark, coffee colored mane over his shoulders and adjusted the glasses on his face. “I am Prof. Ullian and this is Anthropology 2017. I will now go through the roster. Please answer when your name is called.”
Removing the electronic pad from his bag, Thomas scrolled through the documents until he came to the roster. Sitting the pad on the table, he then pulled the chair out from under it and instinctually, Dana hopped up on the chair and then onto the desk. Walking over to the pad she began to call out names while Thomas began to pass out the syllabus for the semester. Once that was done, he moved back to the front of the class.
“We will be covering early N’Sombatan culture before Winburdish influence,” Thomas announced. “In the syllabus you will find the books that you will need for the class, please have them by Wednesday.”
“Are we going to cover the early N’Sombatan personalities as well?” One student asked.
“You very well can’t study the culture of a people without studying how their personalities affected them,” he answered.
“Personalities are not conducive to the development of human culture,” another student replied.
Looking over toward the student who made the comment, Thomas froze for a moment. The young man sat there with a large python wounding its way around him and his dark eyes going through Thomas, leaving him with an icy, cold chill.
“Would it be wrong of me to assume that you are without personalities?” Thomas asked.
“You guessed right,” the young man said with a smirk on his face and his animal guide seemed to grin at Thomas, “and I don’t need them. They’re all stupid and get in the way!” The young man snapped as he shot a contemptuous look back at the personalities seats who began to mutter amongst themselves. “Who needs two freaks following them around and wiping their asses all day long? I can’t even take a piss without the guy next to me having his personalities hold his dick.”
“You shat the fuck up!” A personality yelled from the back row.
“Alright! Alright! Settle down, please,” Thomas said as he waved his hands at the class attempting to maintain order. “No one knows for certain why personalities developed. There are some who believe that humans evolved to a higher level of consciousness so to say, but you will have to take Personality Studies to find out more about that. This is Anthropology. So, shall we begin?”
Stepping onto the fifth floor of the Humanities Department, Thomas made a beeline toward the lounge room with Dana right behind him. It was the afternoon and he needed a cup of coffee after he thought he might have to break up a fight in his morning class. Jameson Howe, the kid with the snake who questioned the need of personalities, was really a character to watch. Forgoing the coffee and sinking down into a leather chair with his back to the window, Thomas groaned softly to himself while Dana hopped up onto the seat next to him, her chin resting on the table while she eyed the brown lunch bag.
“What’s wrong, Thomas? Bad day already? The semester just began,” Kanja Dolemann asked from across the table.
Thomas looked over at his best friend. She was Amarian as was evident by her dark brown skin and her kinky hair twisted down her back in dreadlocks that were dyed a dark cherry red. Thomas couldn’t imagine a better friend than the Planetary History professor. He remembered when she first started working at Guhillachula University. Kanja was completely green and lost. Kanja’s blue, yellow and green parrot, Dundrofy, sat perched on her shoulder grooming himself while her organizational personality, Donald, was hard at work straightening the cabinets and Theodor, her relaxed and easy going side, was standing behind her and giving her a massage.
“Yea,” Thomas said in a response to Kanja’s question as he reached in and took the turkey sandwich out of the lunch bag. After looking at the sandwich for a moment, he simply gave in and unwrapped everything, sitting it out in front of Dana. The dog became ecstatic and started in on the meal.
“You’re going to let her eat all of that?” Kanja asked with wide eyes.
“She knows when to quit,” Thomas replied.
Kanja looked back at Dana and then shook her head, “Not eating?”
“Then why bring a lunch?”
Kanja looked to the dog as she gorged on the food and asked, “Tanya?”
“Yes, Tanya,” Thomas replied. “Goddamned sack of bolts and cods thinks she’s my mother.”
“Well, she is equipped with a nanny and housekeeper program,” Kanja replied.
Thomas snorted and sat back in his chair with his fingers folded over his midsection.
“What’s eating you up, Thomas? Come on, spit it out,” Kanja pressed and Theodor leaned down to whispered in her ear, causing her to clamp a hand over her mouth in an attempt to keep from shooting coffee all over the table as she laughed.
“I heard that, I heard that,” the parrot chortled as it bobbed its head.
Sneering, Thomas said, “Please inform your sooty minded counterpart that I do not need, nor do I want to have sex.” He had not heard what Theodor said but he knew how Kanja’s mind worked.
Recovering, Kanja said, “Are you sure? You are a man, you know. How long has it been?”
“I don’t care to keep count,” Thomas replied.
“Well, if that’s not it, then what is it?”
“Someone murdered my ants while they were eating,” he replied.
“Oh, you and those damn ants. What happened this time?”
“Kanja,” Thomas started as he looked over toward her, “no matter how small a thing is, it deserves to live.”
“What about that turkey on that sandwich that Dana is scarfing now?” Kanja asked.
“That’s different,” Thomas replied.
“Alright, alright,” Kanja said then waved Theodor away and he went over to inspect what Donald was doing. “What happened to the ants this time?”
“I was watching them eat. They were swarmed around a ladybug, she was crippled and at their mercy when a Draigonnian came over and CRUNCH!” He grumbled. “People should watch where the fuck they are stepping."
“My apologies. If I had looked down I would have seen the bugs, but I rarely look down. Perhaps I will take notice of where my feet land next time,” a voice said from the doorway.
Looking to the doorway, Thomas saw the young Draigonnian. He wasn’t going to apologize for his outburst and he simply nodded his head acknowledging him.
“Don’t mind him,” Kanja said. “He always get fired up about nature, even if it’s something as small as an ant.”
“Noted,” the male said as he made his way over to the counter behind Kanja and poured himself a cup of coffee.
At that moment, the personalities took it upon themselves to exit the room as it was becoming crowded.
“Allow me to introduce myself,” the male said as he turned around to regard them again, “I’m Orokio Musoxee. I teach Personalities Studies.”
“No surprise there,” Kanja said.
Orokio smiled and then joined them at the table, taking a seat beside Kanja.
“Yes, not at all a surprise,” Thomas said as everyone knew that Draigonnians were very intrigued by personalities.
“You’re kinda young to be a professor,” Kanja noted.
“Yes, I’m just 21,” Orokio replied.
“How is that even possible?” Thomas asked.
“I was put up a couple grades in school,” Orokio explained.
“Oh, we have a brainiac,” Kanja said with a laugh.
“Well, we’re all brainiacs,” Orokio said. “That’s why we’re here. Only the best teach at Guhillachula,” he smiled and looked around the room. His eyes then fell on Dana, who was on the table passed out on her back in the middle of the food that she was too full to eat.
“You’ll have to excuse her,” Thomas said.
“Oh, it’s fine,” Orokio shrugged. “So, what are your names?”
“I’m Kanja Dolemann, professor of Planetary History, I specialize in Draigonn Prime,” Kanja offered her hand to him for a shake.
“I’m Thomas Ullian,” Thomas replied not offering his hand or what subject he taught.
After shaking Kanja’s hand, Orokio looked over to Thomas, “Mind my intrusion, but are you without personalities or do you just keep them in?”
Thomas took in a sharp breath and his lips skinned back from his teeth as he said, “That’s none of your damn business.”
One of Orokio’s alabaster brows arched over one eye, but other than that his face remained unmoved.
“Don’t take any offense to Thomas,” Kanja said. “He’s a tad bit touchy on the subject of personalities.”
Thomas grumbled to himself before snatching up all the uneaten food on the table and dumping it in the trash, waking Dana in the process. He then moved to the door with the loyal dog following him out.
The G4-560 whizzed through the air at a steady speed. Thomas sat behind the control panel in the car with Dana lounging on his lap as the car flew on autopilot toward the high school. The G4-560 was a luxury class car that sat five passengers with their own entertainment panels at their reach. The car cost 45,000 mumuks and like all automobiles it ran on a hydrogen fuel cell engine. Mumuks and qumuks, simply referred to as mumiis and qumiis, were the currency of Simius, although 90 percent of the population chose to move their money electronically from their bank to another account. Mumuks were the paper notes and qumuks were the coins. There were three modes available for moving currency electronically, a retina scan, a DNA scan or a person could have a microchip beneath their finger with their information stored on it.
Sitting next to Thomas in the car and listening to pop music was his second daughter, Gabriella and in the seat behind him was his youngest daughter, Monroe, watching a holographic cartoon. It was silent in the car as the girls never talked to their father. They loathed him and blamed him for their mother being locked away in an asylum and having her personalities removed. The fact that their mother’s personalities tried to kill him and that she paid a priest physician to release their personalities at an early age, which often resulted in an angry person later in life, meant nothing to them.
Reaching the high school, Thomas pressed the buttons on the touch screen panel which enabled the car to go into search mode as it began to look for a parking space. Finding one, the car moved into position over the spot and eased down until it landed on the ground. Looking out the window and scanning the crowd for his oldest daughter, Lana, he waited.
It was hard being a man and raising three girls but Tanya was good. The android was equipped with a female child growth and development program so she was able to get through to them. Sighing and looking at his watch, Thomas began to wonder where Lana was until he spotted the back of the girl as she was walking away from the car in the direction of Emily Forest with a group of her friends. Wasting no time, Thomas hit the door release on the panel and the exit, located on the right side of the car, lifted.
“Wait here,” Thomas instructed his other daughters as he waved Dana off of his lap.
“Not like we’re gonna be going anywhere else,” Gabriella said in a snide manner.
Ignoring the comment, Thomas stood and moved to the door with his back bent and head low as not to hit it on the ceiling of the car.
Ducking out of the door, Thomas heard Dana say, “Go easy on her,” before he swiped his hand on the outside panel that read his DNA and then closed and locked the door. In the event of an emergency, the doors could be unlocked from the inside.
Moving through the crowd of teens, Thomas’ long legs moved him across the pavement and his face was contorted into a scowl. This wasn’t the first time Lana tried to take it upon herself to get home on her own.
Lana and her friends stopped just at the end of the forest where the path through them began and moving in on them, Thomas called out, “Lana! To the car now!”
Looking up at her father, Lana scowled and muttered to her friends, “Good grief, here’s The Royal Giant of Dorkism coming to rain on my fucking parade.”
“I heard that!” Thomas snapped as he stood before her.
“I got to go,” Lana said to her friends before starting off pass her father saying, “So humiliating, I wish you would disappear from my life.”
Thomas narrowed his eyes at Lana but he did not respond as he did not want to cause a scene in public and he started back to the car behind her. Swiping the panel, he allowed Lana to enter the car first and she took a seat behind Monroe while Thomas closed and locked the door before sitting behind the driver’s seat. Starting the car, it lifted into the air and moved off toward home. The car knew the path home and Thomas sat back and relaxed as it flew on autopilot and Dana crawled back into his lap.
“G4, Murder by Midnight by Tomorrow Dies, volume on ten,” Lana instructed the car and out of the surrounding speakers the death metal band began to play at an ear shattering level.
Thomas did not understand Lana’s new obsession with death and dying, wearing all black, and the loud overbearing music.
“Dad!” Both Monroe and Gabriella called out wanting Thomas to do something about Lana’s ruckus that was interfering with their entertainment.
“G4, disable all controls in seat three and ignore all orders from Lana,” Thomas ordered the car.
The instrument panel in Lana’s area powered down and she kicked the back of Monroe’s seat. “You suck more than a sissy in drag!” She shouted to Thomas.
“Lana, you keep talking to me like that and you’ll never make it to homecoming,” Thomas informed her.
“I don’t care. Nothing but a bunch of pretentious jerks gonna be there. Pretentious jerks like you.”
“Don’t hit her," Dana advised.
Thomas never resorted to physical discipline, not even spanking on the hand and he knew that Dana’s advice was just to say don’t lose control.
“Alright, Lana,” Thomas began, “when we get home, all of the entertainment systems in your room will be disabled and you will be sequestered to your room for two weeks and you will not be able to go out with your friends on the weekend.”
Lana sent another kick to the back of Monroe’s seat but other than that she remained silent. Monroe also remained silent and continued to watch her cartoons.
The rest of the ride home was in silence besides Monroe’s cartoon and Gabriella’s pop music that were played at an acceptable volume. Reaching home, the car hovered above the carport that was situated on the roof of the house. Thomas keyed in instructions on the control panel and began to navigate the car down into the structure after the doors parted. Putting the car in the parked position, he shut off the power and after hitting the door release, he, the girls and Dana unloaded out of the car. Stepping over to the wall panel, Thomas called the lift. Once it arrived, he stepped inside with Dana and the girls and rode it down to the house level.
Stepping out of the lift and into the alcove, Thomas was greeted by Tanya. She was an android made in the semblance of an elderly woman and had been purchased five years ago when Thomas was able to get custody of the girls from his ex-wife’s parents. The year before, Thomas had been released from a mental institute, which he had been admitted to after suffering a mental break down during the fiasco of the release of the girls’ personalities. Thomas was twenty-nine and found himself a working single father with a busy schedule as a college professor. To help out, his parents gave him Tanya as a gift. Tanya was equipped with a compassion and understanding emotion chip and the mandatory morality chip that the government required for all androids equipped with an emotion chip. Her program was full of parenting and homemaking manuals and she did an outstanding job keeping the house in order and most of all, the girls liked and respected her.
“Hello, Thomas,” the android’s wrinkled face smiled at him with the blue eyes peering at him through the round frames of the spectacles.
It was amazing how lifelike the robotic engineers had made Tanya. From the wrinkles to the bad eyesight, the slightly hunched back, the slow walk, and the silver gray synthetic hair pulled up on her head in a bun. It was just remarkable.
“Hello, Tanya,” Thomas said as he gave her his briefcase and pulled off his long wool trench coat and handed it over so she could do away with it.
“I trust you had a good day,” Tanya said as she moved to the closet and hung his coat, but kept the briefcase in hand so she could store it in his office.
To her statement, Thomas snorted.
“Well, that’s not good,” Tanya said. “Why don’t you settle down and watch some TV. The Journey of the Junglei Tiger is coming on right now and I can bring you a glass of dunjraberry wine."
“That sounds good,” Thomas said as he peeled out of his suit jacket and handed it over to Tanya, he then loosened the tie around his neck.
After work, Thomas enjoyed a nature show and a glass of dunjraberry wine to unwind. The dunjraberry was a berry from Draigonn Prime that was grown in the north of Simius and was highly regulated. Foreign vegetation was not permitted to be grown in the grounds of Simius due to the fact that it might alter the ecosystem. Therefore, dunjraberry bushes were grown in storehouses in large planters. The penalty for growing foreign plants in the ground was 15 years in prison plus the fee of 15,000 mumuks.
Moving into the entertainment room, Thomas settled on the couch while Tanya went to do away with his things and fetched his dunjraberry wine. Dana padded into the room and took up a position on her round pillow on the floor.
“Gapsy,” Thomas spoke to the computer system that ran and monitored everything in the house from the sprinklers to the security system.
“Yes, Thomas?” The computer answered in an unemotional male voice.
“The Journey of the Junglei Tiger, please.” Thomas then added, “Please disable all entertainment in Lana’s room."
The small blue light of the holographic televising imager (often called a HTVI or simply HTV) at the top of the wall and across from the couch blinked before the holographic image began to play out in front of Thomas. This was a new show and although Thomas knew all about the Junglei tiger, he never tired of seeing shows about it. Across the room ran the orange and black striped tiger stalking and chasing its prey through the verdant and wet jungles of southern Junglei. Thomas smiled contently to himself as nature was the only thing that put his mind at ease. Nature was beautiful, nature was pure. Ever since he was a child, Thomas had always longed to live a simple and basic life like wild animals did. However, he was human and unfortunately he had to live by societal rules.
“Here is your wine, Thomas,” Tanya said as she brought in the glass and handed it to him.
“Thank you, Tanya,” Thomas smiled at her and lifted the glass of deep purple liquid to his lips and took a sip of the sweet nectar.
“I see Lana is not happy with you today,” Tanya said as she looked to the holographic show.
Thomas snorted, “She’s never happy with me, neither is Gabriella and Monroe.”
Tanya sighed, “She’s at that age. She wants to be able to make her own decisions and be able to have more responsibilities."
“More responsibilities are not letting her walk through Emily Forest after school,” Thomas said. “No teen girl, or woman for that matter, should be walking through Emily Forest alone.”
“No, but maybe you can allow her to walk another way home with her friends,” Tanya suggested.
“Yea, like I trust her friends. They were heading to Emily Forest as well.”
“Not all of them,” Tanya shook her head. “Hanta and Marie walk down Remy Avenue, which is a main street with many people around to bear witness if anything goes afoul.”
“And that’s it,” Thomas replied. “I don’t want anything to go afoul. Lana doesn’t listen. Hell, Monroe and Gabriella listen more than Lana does.”
“That’s because they are children and Lana is a teenage girl.”
Thomas twisted his lips and kept his eyes on the show as two Junglei tigers were engaged in mating.
“Teenage girls need space, just like I’m sure you did when you were a teenager,” Tanya said.
“Yes,” Thomas said as he looked to Tanya, “but my parents could trust me. I don’t trust Lana.”
“Very well,” Tanya said. “Dinner will be served soon. Cornish hens, mash potatoes and green beans.” With that, she left the room.
Lifting her head up from the pillow, Dana said, “It is wise of you, Thomas. Lana insists on doing things her way and will not listen. Believe me, if she is given an inch, she will take a mile in the wrong direction”
Thomas sat in silence in the courtyard on the same bench that he sat on every day. It was near the end of the day and he had just one more class to teach. In his hand was a piece of bread that he was tearing apart and tossing to a flock of pigeons that had gathered in front of him. Next to his foot, Dana lay with her eyes watching the pigeons keenly. Thomas was thinking that he needed a new routine when a pair of black lace up boots came into view and being frighten by the new arrival, the flock of pigeons took to the air. Looking up, Thomas saw Orokio standing there. Today he was dressed in a pair of blue slacks and a blue loose hoodie under his coat and under that was a soft light blue shirt. On Orokio’s head was a blue beanie, which was much needed as today was a chilly fall day. The day was so chilly that Thomas had a scarf draped around his neck, a pair of gloves on his hands and on Dana was a light purple sweater that Tanya had crocheted.
“Can I help you?” Thomas asked.
“I was wondering if I could join you?” Orokio asked.
Thomas wanted to tell him no, but instead he said, “The courtyard doesn’t belong to me.”
“Very well then,” Orokio said and pressed his lips together as he took a seat on the bench to Thomas’ left.
There was a moment of silence that Thomas was actually enjoying and even though the pigeons had left he continued to tear the bread and toss it on the ground. Orokio’s purple eyes watched him as if studying his actions.
Clearing his throat, Orokio finally said, “I wanted to apologize for my intrusion yesterday.” He was referring to the question he had asked about Thomas not having personalities or was keeping them in.
“OK,” Thomas said.
“It’s just that I am always in awe of those who have personalities and I have tons of questions to ask,” Orokio continued.
“Yes, we Simians are freaks for you Draigonnians to study,” Thomas said as he looked over at the young male. “I find it hard to believe that a person who evidently studied all there is to know about personalities and have become a professor of the subject has not had all of his questions answered.”
“Even the text books don’t answer all of the questions,” Orokio said. “No one actually knows why the personalities developed and why only males can be born without them. All there is in the text books are hypothesized theories.”
Thomas looked at him for a while before saying, “I don’t think I really care.”
Orokio pursed his lips and said, “There might be something in the male Simian gene pool.”
“Or,” Thomas said as he sat back, “perhaps it is that men just don’t need them. You ever think of that?”
“Well,” Orokio shook his head in disagreement. “I’m not sure about that. Even men have personalities without representations. The representations, the two beings, of a person’s personalities are there to just reflect the self to the owner so that they can edit and alter their behavior as they see fit.”
“Men are born without personalities because they don’t need them,” Thomas repeated. “Women have this innate desire to express themselves and display their feelings, men don’t.”
“Is that why a large number of Simian murderers and rapist are men?” Orokio asked in a sarcastic manner.
Thomas shot Orokio a look of ill content.
“Think about it,” Orokio said as he examined Thomas’ fair skinned face not bothered by the angry gaze that pranced around in his steely gray-blue eyes. “Males without personalities keep their emotions bottled up. It is not to say that males without representations do not have innate personalities because they do. It’s just that they cannot channel those emotions, they can’t release them and when that happens their minds break, they can no longer control the emotions and they self-destruct. This is why men born without personalities are mentally ill.”
Thomas twisted his lips in anguish to signify his dislike of what Orokio said.
“Personalities have nothing to do with a person’s ability to control their emotions. One can be unemotional and have personalities or one can be emotional if they don’t have personalities,” Thomas said.
“That is true,” Orokio agreed, “but here is the fact, a person’s emotions dictate their personalities, rather it is innate personalities or the represented personalities. Even a homicidal person has an emotional response to a killing. Satisfaction, relief. Those who may display unemotional behavior to the populace also have emotions, they just repress them, which may be the case with you, Thomas.”
“What the fuck do you know?” Thomas snapped vehemently as he tossed what was left of the bread to the ground alerting Dana in the process and enabling her to stand up. “Keep your philosophical bullshit to yourself and preach it to the choir of your classes.” He then stood up readying to leave.
“Thomas,” Orokio said as he looked up at him, “I am not the enemy. I can see that you are suffering and if you would just let your personalities out, rather innate or representations, you would not be as miserable as you are.”
“Yea and you know me so well, even though this is just the second time you have met me.” Thomas then pointed to an ant on the ground who was carrying away a bread crumb and he said, “Don’t step on any ants,” and he left the area with Dana trotting behind him.
“You hate him, don’t you?” Dana asked as she looked over at Thomas from where she lounged on his desk in his home office as he was busy typing away at the blue keyboard outline that was built into the panel of his glass desktop.
“Hate who?” Thomas asked as he looked over at Dana momentarily before going back to the holographic display that hovered just before him and reflected what he was typing.
“Hate is too strong of a word,” Thomas muttered. “I don’t hate anyone or anything.”
“Yet you get angry when he is around,” Dana noted.
“That’s because just like his kind, he is arrogant and haughty thinking he knows every damn thing about Simians.”
“Would that be a bigot remark?”
“No, just an observation.”
“You don’t have any Draigonnian friends.”
“Doesn’t mean I’m a bigot,” Thomas replied. “Besides, they usually keep to themselves in their little suburbs in the north where it’s cold as they like it.”
“Could be you’re prejudice against their kind and that is what is causing anger between you and Orokio,” Dana replied.
“What? You like him or something?” Thomas asked as he looked at the dog.
“He is cute,” she smiled. “Wrong species though.”
“Good, ask him out on a date and leave me alone,” Thomas suggested.
“A word of advice from your animal guide, Thomas,” Dana said as she lay on her side. “Make more friends, you only have one.”
“And that is all I need,” Thomas said as he ended his typing and saved his application. He then dragged his finger from the top of the document down enabling it to disappear and close. “Gapsy, display all info on pre-Winburdish N’Sombatan culture.”
“Absolutely,” Gapsy responded and the documents rolled out in front of Thomas and he began to read them.
“Gapsy, play Teron Lugor, Symphony 7.” Looking to Dana, Thomas said, “Not much of a bigot now, am I?”
Teron Lugor was a popular classical Draigonnian composer of the seventy-sixth century and Thomas found his music to be enjoyable.
“That doesn’t mean anything,” Dana said. “In the 5920s, Winburdish bigots frequented music clubs in Amarian populated cities where they had the privilege of the front row seats and the Amarians were left to the back seats even though it was Amarians who were on stage performing.”
The dog smiled at him, “Just an example, my friend, but perhaps having a male friend is what you need, male bonding or something. Please listen to me, Thomas, I am your guide. Kristine never listened to me and look what happened.”
Kristine being Thomas’ ex-wife of whose animal guide Dana used to be.
“Yea, whatever,” Thomas said to the dog. “If you don’t mind, I need to work on tomorrow’s lecture.” He turned his attention back to the text in front of him and began to type out notes as he did.
Snorting, Dana lay on her side and let it pass.
© 2016 L. M. Stephens