Daring to be noticed for the first time in her life, she pushed her chair back and stood up.

"Ladies? Gentlemen? Entities?" Helen paused. No response.

Helen glanced around. The large workroom -- some schizophrenic combination of retro and avant0-garde -- was loud, clicking and warbling and chatting in a very large number of tongues.

Helen cleared her throat. It should have been for effect, but it was because her throat had suddenly dried, as if she had swallowed the entirety of the Sahara back on Terra. "People! And non-people! Listen!"

To their credit, many did. Many didn't, but that was fine.

"Listen!" Helen shouted that last. And they did, or at least became silent. But she hadn't quite figured out the next thing she was going to say.

But they were listening, in any case. This was a first.

She swallowed again. Tried to. Throat clicked. She tried to clear it with a quite cough. No going. Talking might work better.

"OK, on Terra? 20th century, I think? Jonas Salk? Faced with a problem? A plague. A plague worse than ours. You know what he did?"

No response. Maybe they did, maybe they didn't. But they were silent. So, go for it!

"He injected himself! With the pathogen! After he thought he had devised a cure!"

Silence. Still. Still silence. And still stillness. Finally someone spoke.

"And you've found a cure?"

"Um..." Helen said.

"And you are going to ... infect yourself?"

"Well," said Helen.

"Well, what?" a voice came. It sounded loud, in the silence.

"Well, she said. Well -- I want to be noticed."


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mcgees.org about 10 years ago

"She tried to clear it with a quite cough" should be "She tried to clear it with a QUIET cough." And the punctuation in the last line was NOT supposed to suck.

(This was a VERY short six minutes this time.)

mcgees.org (joined about 10 years ago)
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Daring to be noticed for the first time in her life, she pushed her chair back and stood up.
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