Tom was in the Security and Logistics Command Center, known to the townsfolk as the SLCC, when the alarm sounded. He watched on Ellie’s main window as Clark and his security team rode to intercept.
“Ellie” he said not turning from the screen, “what do you see?”
Through the visually imperceptible bud inserted in his right ear he heard the familiar, almost childlike voice. “We see ten.”
Tom was puzzled but knew with her superior vision, even if he didn’t understand how she could do it, she was right. “Ellie, I see seven. Three small, possibly children and four average sized all dressed as woman. Where are the other three?”
Calm voice in his ear, “we are unable to determine the ages or sexes of any of the seven you refer to. The three you cannot see are behind trees on the edge of our sight.”
“Ellie, what can you tell me about those three.” He asked.
“They are larger than any of the others in the sight.” She was referring to the three children and four women that Clark was exchanging mock pleasantries with on the edge of the marsh. “We can see nothing else.”
“Ellie, inform Clark of the three in the trees. We’ll want him to be aware in case this diversion isn’t as subtle as they want us to believe.” And have two additional security teams station in the cornfields. Have them prepare for covert watch.”
“Yes Leader Tom,” he heard in his ear, “we understand.”
He knew that Ellie would contact the citizens that needed to be deployed to the task of staking out the southern fields. Although there were only three men permanently assigned to the task of security, anyone could be called to duty to protect their village. Those dedicated to security spent their days in other tasks, caring for the horses or tending to the fence lines meant to keep their livestock safe. In the village there is no crime, no theft, certainly no murders, and no internal threats of any kind. Occasionally they were pressed into service to investigate an accident or fire so that Ellie could determine how to prevent its re-occurrence. Or as in today’s case, meet and interrogate ‘visitors’ for Ellie to process.
Tom watched as the window view changed to the great hall. He didn’t have to ask Ellie to change it, although she always saw all her windows, she knew where he would need to see next.
In addition to ‘eyes’ in the Great Hall, Ellie had ‘ears’, one of the two locations in their town she could hear. The other being throughout the Rook tower; and more importantly for Tom, she could share what could be heard.
Tom watched as Clark and the visitors walked in. Shortly after Rita arrived, he saw Clark huddle together with her and the two young assistants. “Ellie,” Tom always spoke her name when addressing her directly. He found that it helped avoid confusion when a group was gathered within one of the areas she was accessible by voice. “Please isolate Security Clark and Healer Rita’s voices.”
In his ear, “As you wish Leader Tom,” he cringed at the title. ‘Why must she always call me that?’ He thought, although he knew already what she would say. ‘That’s who you are Leader Tom and that is how we should address you. It is the way.’ It’s what’s she has always said anyway, and he was sure she always would.
Tom listened intently as Clark told his story; he noticed that although he addressed all the women, his feet pointed directly at Rita no matter how the group moved. Rita in turn, kept her legs slightly open, feet angled slightly outward as if ‘inviting’ Clark’s scuffed boots in. Tom watched as her body angled towards Clark’s. She stood relaxed, shoulders back, as if to display her full bosom squarely, or rather roundly, pointed at Clark’s muscular body. At six foot 4 inches tall, Clark was one of the tallest of their community. One of the few men ‘voluptuous’ Rita had to look up to. A fact not lost on diminutive Tom, he loved Rita but knew Ellie would never approve of their mating. Although she allowed free will and could prevent impregnation by controlling both sperm and egg production, there was no ‘logical’ or productive reason for her to suggest or approve their union.
He knew there are only two reasons for copulation; making love to produce a baby for the continuation of their community, and screwing for the pure joy of mind blowing sex. He knew Ellie would never allow the former, Tom’s defective DNA assured him of never having a blood heir. And Rita with her incredibly good looks and body that even some of the straight women of their society lusted after, would never want the latter from tiny Tom.
Of all the many things Ellie could control in her people, sleep, strength, pain…, none of the seven deadliest sins were on her puppet-master list. Lust and jealousy were running rampant in Tom’s mind and there was nothing Ellie could do about it.
“Leader Tom,” Ellie spoke in his ear, “we sense heightened blood pressures and raised heart-rates in Healer Rita and Security Clark. Are they in danger, do we need to allocate additional security forces?”
“No, I mean… Ellie, no. They’re not in danger, just horny.”
“We do not understand.” He heard in his ear.
“Ellie, I don’t expect you would, disregard the elevated levels. Playback the conversation between the visitors and what’s the status of the three hidden from my view in the forest?”
On the top center of the six smaller windows that frame the main view screen, he watched the four women huddle together as Rita’s helpers escorted the children away. His first impressions of the group dynamic were confirmed when he observed that the only woman that spoke was the one they called Charlotte. He was also not surprised to hear her speak only in a language that was not familiar to him.
“Ellie, identify the language and translate.”
He was shocked by the reply that buzzed in his ear, “we do not understand.”
“Ellie, clarify what it is you don’t get. The request or the language?”
“We cannot translate into English from a language we do not know ourselves.” ‘Interesting’, he thought. ‘That’s a first.’
His gaze moved around the remaining sub-windows and then back to the larger center screen. He watched Rita move between the children, checking their pulse, blood pressures, looking at their eyes, ears and at their teeth. He saw them laugh, completely at ease with this beautiful stranger poking and prodding them for probably the first real medical checkup of their lives. She was lovely…
“Enough of this.” He mumbled. “Ellie, windows off, I’m going down there.”
“As you wish Leader Tom.” The screens all went dark as he hopped from the chair in front of the wide main desk, stood and walked towards the door.
“Ellie, and alert me to any change to the people in the treeline, they’re probably the men of the group waiting for the scouting party to report back.”
“Yes Leader Tom.” He cringed again at the name.