Yyou always liked opening presents.

Touching your hand to the box of VI, you start at its aching, unworldly cold. Is there ice inside? You strain to open the lid to no avail. You yell at Pierce to join you. His flaccid muscles tremble at this sudden, unwelcome conscription.

“Maybe we cou–” he begins, before a prolonged “schluuup” rips through the cavern, drowning him out. You feel a tremendous force tearing at you, pulling you down and around and into the box. You fight but your arms are already inside, stretched out to fantastical lengths, streaking away towards an unseen horizon, transmuting to glowing bytes of information. The rest of you follows the irresistible suction. You tumble inside.

As sound and light recedes, you find yourself in a sterile showroom. There are no obvious exits marring the gleam of its white walls. In the center of the room, under spotlight, sits what seems to be an ordinary dishwasher.

“God, where are we now?” Pierce says. It is half-whine, half-whisper.

From behind you comes a rhythmic, atonal chanting. Hooded figures, some no taller than your shoulder, approach cautiously. One bold member approaches and sniffs at you.

“Gee Eee!” this leader proclaims, satisfied.

“Gee Eee,” the rest answers dutifully, in chorus.

“The One in Six Cycles!” someone hoots.

They crowd around you, herding you towards the dishwasher with urgent gestures. They become more frantic, more animated–ecstatic from your mere proximity to the thing–as you near the control console. Unsure what to do, you press one of the buttons at random.

The leader lowers his face to the console. He peers. “Pots and pans,” he says, shoulders collapsing inward like a dying star, grin on his face.

“POTS AND PANS!” the cult screams. There is a raucous celebration.

You become High Priestess of this strange group, living out your days in frilly domestic captivity. You are pampered but bored. Your only task to tend to the Mysterious Gee Eee. Yet sometimes you linger. You linger for hours and days and weeks, flinging armies of brain cells to perish on the impenetrable barricades of that first letter. What was it you wanted to know about this G? You cannot remember.

THE END

 

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