No Such Thing as Being Alone - 3

Yeah, you're not alone.

–Beginning Basic Expressive Narration of Recording 25–

This recording starts with Lapadj and Anna, along with the Goddess and Sarela with them, angling to enter a room.

“So this is where we are meeting Mark for lunch?” Lapadj asks as they step into the room and settle into place.

“Yes,” Anna answers, wandering slightly about the space. “He’ll be here soon.”

Inside the space there is a vacant table and chairs, along with an expansive view of the outside world through a pane of windows. That part of the planet Earth is bright and filled with other primitive buildings and strewn about with ignorant mortals. Above them all is the Distortion Field, ever vigilant, ever watchful of the movements of them and the Empirians that have found insane pleasure in pretending to be them.

Empirians like Lapadj and apparently the individual going by the name of Mark.

Sarela’s invisible form flickers and she makes a gasp. Grapefruit vibrates herself in Lapadj’s pocket as he stiffens and spins in place to look at Mark. They have sensed his Empirian presence.

“Hello, Harrison,” Mark greets with a knowing smirk on his Human countenance. He glances at Lapadj and at the place Sarela is occupying.

“Hello, Mark,” Lapadj grits out. “Or should I say ‘shalaeyah?’”

“Idiot,” Sarela hisses.

Mark’s eyebrows raise and he cocks his head. “Well I suppose you could say that and I suppose I could say shalaeyah in return.”

“Hi, Mark,” Anna says, striding over. She looks at both of them. “What is ‘shalaeyah’? Is it some reference?”

“Yes, it is,” Mark answers. “It’s a reference to this game set in an Empire. The people of this Empire greet each other with ‘shalaeyah.’ I play it sometimes in my free time, and apparently Lapadj does too.”

“Ohh,” she drawls out. “That makes a lot of sense. I knew you two had something in common like that. I wish I was into video games so I could be in on all these references.” She laughs for a few seconds. She claps her hands together. “What do we want to do for lunch? Do you guys want to order something?”

“You know, there is this new Mexican place near here,” Mark says, “I’ve been wanting to try it. We could order some stuff.”

“That sounds pretty good to me. I think I know where you’re talking about and it looked good,” she says. “Probably a quick delivery too. What do you think, Harrison?”

“Many things, but, yes, that is a good plan,” Lapadj answers awkwardly.

Mark huffs once and takes out his phone. He is swiping at the Empirian device that is designed to look Human. “I can order from my phone. Should I get some guac, chips, and some tacos for all of us?”

“Sure, I’m game for whatever,” Anna says. “But Harrison can’t have beef, right?”

“Humans of the Hindu faith cannot have meat of the animal know as the cow,” Sarela quickly tells Lapadj. “Say you cannot and that chicken is fine.”

“Yeah, but I’m fine with chicken,” Lapadj says to Anna and Mark.

“Alright,” Mark says, smiling slightly. “All set and ordered. Should take about ten to fifteen minutes or less to get here. They are fast, from what I hear.” He moves over to the table and gestures to the seats. “Shall we sit?”

“I suppose we shall,” Lapadj mutters as he takes a chair for himself, opposite to Mark. Anna sits between them.

“So you started here not that long ago, yes?” Mark inquires.

“Yes, I’ve been here for a few weeks,” he answers.

“It shows,” Mark replies. “I’ve been here for many years. Transferred to this office many months ago, however.”

“I’ve been here almost two years now,” Anna says, “but everyday I’m learning something new. That’s why we’ve come to you, actually. Harrison has some questions on the bigger scope of the project we’re working on. No idea if you know anything about it, but we thought it could be helpful to get another perspective.”

The round, Human eyes of the Empirian ‘Mark’ blink for a few moments as he nods. He crosses his arms across his chest and Lapadj mirrors him a few seconds later.

“Ah,” is all that Mark says. He stares at ‘Harrison.’

“We are working on a blog of sorts,” Lapadj says. “What is the greater goal of this structure?”

“You know, sometimes one should not be ashamed to use technology for something they are not very good at by themselves,” Mark says pointedly. He pauses. “From what I understand that is one function of this blog. For writers to submit their content through it and then for another part of the company to market it effectively.”

Anna makes a sound of understanding. “Oh, that makes sense. That is why it was so simple. It is just a place for people to submit their post title and content. Authentication and all the other stuff happens outside of our scope.” She smiles at both Mark and Lapadj, lingering her gaze on the latter. “That makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?”

“I suppose that it does,” Lapadj murmurs. He shakes his head.

“Did he really casually insult you for not cloaking your speech as well?” Sarela remarks through the safety of their technological filter. Not even Mark would be able to hear her. “He did it while engaged in a Human conversation. This Empirian is skilled.”

“We shall see,” Lapadj responds to her.

“Be careful,” Grapefruit caution from the unseen dark of the cloth garment.

Due to her utterance, Lapadj removes her from his pocket and places her upon the table. Mark glances at it and his head jerkingly tilts just a minor amount. Enough to notice.

He stares at it, which Anna notices. She says: “Oh yeah, Harrison has a special phone too. A Grapefruit model or something, right?”


“Fascinating,” Mark whispers. A ping echoes through the air and he pulls out his own phone. “Good, it has arrived. That was quick. The delivery guy is waiting at the entrance. Would you like me to get it?”

“Nah, I’ll do it. So you guys can get to know each other more.”

“I’ll grab some drinks first,” Lapadj states quickly as he rises up from sitting. “Water, yes?” Unanimous nods answer his questions.

“Good idea,” Anna says and she gets up too. “Well, see you guys in a few.”

“Same,” Mark echoes as his blue eyes track Lapadj and Anna’s exodus from the room.

“Sarela, Grapefruit,” Lapadj begins, “we need a plan.”

And then the recording ends.

–Ending Basic Expressive Narration of Recording 25–

Will Mark, Lapadj, and Anna turn into a love triangle? Will Lapadj suddenly gain chill? Will face and honor be lost by one of our stunning protagonists? Find out next time on ‘All My Recordings.’