Thursday, December 26, 2013
Okay, I know everyone keeps telling me that having a child will only enhance my status with the clans, but this is just ridiculous.
I finished the questionnaire and submitted it a week and a half ago. Candy stopped by this morning and suggested I check to see if any of the clans had responded. I rolled my eyes.
“Isn’t there some kind of lag time between here and Kalquor?” I asked. “They probably only received it yesterday or the day before.”
“Those boys are desperate,” Candy loftily informed me. “I had over 200 offers for a first appointment in less than 24 hours after my questionnaire went into the system. Trust me; you’ll want to weed out a few every day or you’re going to fall way behind.”
So I signed into my computer and accessed the offers. I was actually afraid I wouldn’t have even one. Not that I wanted to be deluged by 200 eager clans, but I didn’t want to be embarrassed either. A nice dozen would have suited me fine and kept my ego from being shattered.
The vid in front of me suddenly came to life, filling up with line after line of clan names. My mouth dropped open.
“Holy cats,” I said. “There must be fifty clans here!”
Candy’s eyes were huge. “That’s only the first screen, Shalia. You’ve got eight more besides.” She pointed at the indicator in the right hand corner of the free-floating hologram. “With 72 clans per page that’s – that’s –” her mouth puckered and her eyes rolled as she did the math in her head. “—648 clans. And your offer page went live only seven hours ago.” She pointed at another indicator.
“There has to be some mistake,” I said, my voice wheezing from the lack of air in my lungs.
“Open one and see what it says.”
I clicked the first name on the list, Clan Seot. Their introduction came up, along with additional files that gave still pics and other information.
Candy squinted at the words on the screen. “Greetings, Matara Shalia. Dramok Seot, Imdiko Cifa, and Nobek Larten wish to express our delight that you have chosen to make Kalquor your home. We are assured we can offer you and your soon-to-be-born child a comfortable home—”
“Okay, so they got the part where I’m pregnant,” I muttered. “Jeez, Candy, do you need your eyes checked? You’re practically snorting that vid.”
“Maybe,” she said. “Stuff is kind of blurry. Hey, they’ve got a home by the sea and a mountain retreat on a moon near Kalquor. Nice.”
“Let’s see some of the others,” I said impatiently. “I can filter out all the ones that aren’t aware I’m going to drop a hot package in a few months.”
Candy giggled. “Drop a hot package? From that description, I don’t know if you’re giving birth or pooping.”
I brought up another offer. “Pooping? What are you, seven years old? Who the hell at your age says poop?”
She ignored me, choosing to read the next introduction through her narrowed eyes. Someone needs to get her a seeing eye dog. I decided to rat out her bad eyesight to Betra so he can make her go see Dr. Tep. That’s what she gets for saying ‘poop’.
“We look forward to the opportunity to get to know you and your child when you reach Kalquor...” she droned.
“Well, damn,” I said. “Is there a faster way of figuring out who mentions my bun in the oven than reading through all of these?”
“That’s a much better euphemism,” Candy said.
“I’m so glad you approve.”
“There is a faster way. Main screen of file.” The computer obediently went back to the first page of suitors. “Highlight all files that contain references to child, baby, or pregnancy.”
The whole damned list highlighted. “You have got to be kidding me,” I said.
We went through all the screens. Out of nearly 650 clans, only slightly over two dozen had no reference to me having a child as part of the package.
“Wow,” Candy said. “I guess Kalquorians like kids.”
“They like knowing the chick they’re spending all their time and energy trying to seduce can have kids,” I sighed. “I’m a sure thing, apparently.”
Candy smiled at me cheerfully. “So make out your wish list with every dream and desire, and make them jump through hoops. What the hell, you’re a proven commodity. Your womb is your passport to paradise.”
Yeah, I’m going to tell Betra she’s blind as a bat. Right now.