Afemi: Prologue

Prologue

***

“Hello?”

She blinks into consciousness and stares in the space occupied by the voice. The voice echoes in her head for a brief moment before clicks of recognition begin. Speech. Conversation. It is a capability which she possesses. The space occupied by the voice lacks a body. Perhaps that is normal. She speaks in its direction, at a black box hanging just below some form of  shining cylinder with a red light coming from it. “H-hello.”

She can hear the box and the cylinder whirring in her head, and reaches up to silence the sounds. A long finger first tentatively touches at her temple, then another, and another, until the entirety of her left hand rests just below what should be a hairline. But there is no hair. Has she always lacked hair? Isn’t baldness a male trait?

Maybe she’s not a she? For confirmation she reaches her right hand to her chest. She is not a man.

Who doesn’t know their own sex?

What is her name?

“D-do you…” A pause to consider the fact that she is having so much difficulty with words. “Do you know my name?”

“Do you?”

That’s not a real question. She blinks. “Is this mocking?”

“Do you feel mocked?”

She is confused. “What is my name?”

The voice does not respond right away. Instead there is a click and a brief moment of static before another voice comes from the same box. “What do you think your name is?” This voice is kinder, softer. She thinks she remembers it from before she woke up in this room. Where was she before this room? No matter. The voices seem to think that she should know her name, and so she should. Concentrating on the concept of who she is, there is mostly cloud and confusion but slowly sound emerges.

“A… Fem… I.” She has heard herself be referred to with that name before. “I am… Afemi.”

The click. Static. Click back. “Yes! That’s your name.”

Afemi looks to her confines. She is in a spacious room, too well lit. The bed against the right wall shows signs of use. That must be where she slept. Why is she here? “Why am I here?”

The click. The static. She waits for a response but none comes.

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