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The Amazonian Technology


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Date: January 15th, 2009 (Thursday)

A cold day, Lullaby frowned, shivering. She was dressed in her usual tatty clothes due to her lack of any real amount of money, cradling a black hold all like it was her life.

Little did people know that it was her life, her only chance of keeping a life.

Lullaby reviewed her plans mentally. She wanted to know more about her dress. It....it changed her every time she wore it and while she was able to witness what she did, it was hazy and unclear. She didn't know and she wanted to know.

So she turned to Viktor Archville, the scientist of renowned skill with technology.

Lullaby trembles as others pass. She knew this was little place for a rag-clad teenage girl to be walking down, but she had the right. Briefly, she wondered if walking down in her dress would work better, but probably not.

She knocked on the door to Archvilles place, hoping he would reply.

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The small path leading from the sidewalk to Archevillle's front door was flanked by gaily-painted garden gnomes, four on each side. Each stood about a foot and a half tall, with blue shirts and red pointy hats. As Zallaro walked up, she almost thought she saw a pair turn towards her, but when she looked at them they were still as statues.

The door opened quietly a few moments after her knocking, seemingly of its own accord. The room beyond was fairly dark, though she could just make out some movement, some glints of metal, off to one side of the room.

"Halt!" a voice from nowhere commanded. She had heard Archeville speak a few times before, sound bites on television, and this voice did sound like his, but it also sounded very distorted, very mechanical. "Please state your name and the nature of your visit."

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Lullaby jumped at the metallic voice. One thing the Television didn't mention was such a strange machine. Lullaby trembled slightly, her plans almost ruined before start off. However, she held her up head up high and answered in the firmest voice she could muster, a timid squeak to normal hearing.

"Erm, my name is Zallaro. You see Mr, erm, Archville, I have this dress. It, well, to be honest, I don't know what it does to me, but I can tell you that it doesn't just stay on my body. I...its hard to put in words sir, but the dress changes me, possibly mutates me. I blank out when I wear it and when I wake up, people pick on me" Lullaby stammered into the machine, trembling a bit more.

"See, I just want an experts opinion on what this costume is. I don't even think its modern" Lullaby finished, hoping she had done enough.

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"Doctor Archeville," the voice from nowhere corrected. "Archeville did not spend six years at the Hanover Institute of technology to be called 'Mister'."

Just as Zallaro thought it odd for the super-scientist to refer to himself in the third person, the source of the voice appeared, and she realized she had not been speaking to the man. In fact, it as not a man at all, but rather what appeared to be a silvery metallic gorilla in a butler's suit. "Please follow me, miss," it said, still in the mechanically distorted mimicry of Archeville's own voice, then turned and walked off without waiting for a rely.

When she stepped over the threshold into the house itself, lights came on, showing that the inside of the house was far different than what the outside indicated. Outside, the house seemed to be a completely ordinary light gray one-story housing unit, the sort that's sprung up all over Hanover in the past few years. Inside, it was quite nicely decorated, with beautifully stained wood paneling along the walls and a tiled floor depicting an odd mandala-like design. Three hallways lead off from the entryway, left, right, and straight ahead; the robo-gorilla was heading down the middle hallway. As she looked around, Zalloro saw a sparkling chandelier hanging from the ceiling.

The ceiling which was far too high for the building, based on the exterior dimensions. Come to think of it, this entryway alone seemed big enough to take up half the house....

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Lullaby jumped in shock as the mechanized butler appeared. What manner of inventor was this? the thought flashed across her mind briefly, before replaced with awe and shock at the size and interior of the house. Lullaby glanced around as she took in the whole house.

"Mi- I mean Doctor Archville has a lot of money" sighed Zallaro, looking at her own empty pockets. She knew she needed to stop donating money to the poor and needy, as she was technically in that class herself, but she couldn't stop herself. She was too nice, she knew it.

Lullaby banished more unwanted thoughts and followed the Butler down the center corridor, occasionally and very briefly removing her eyes of the butler to take in the wondrous spectacle of the house.

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As they walked down the unusually long corridor, Zalloro began to get the feeling she was being watched. As she looked around she still saw the occasional glare of light reflecting off of... something, and got the sense of numerous things moving about her, either beyond the walls in adjoining rooms or within the walls themselves, but she never saw anything definite.

Until the silvery metal rat scurried past.

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Zallora screamed as the metal rat came charging past. She was pondering if this was a smart thing to do now.

What a way to go, I'm supposed to make this place better, and I end up getting defeated by a technician I came to seek advice from" whimpered Lullaby. Her hand instinctively started to unzip the hold all to reach for the dress, but Lullaby forced herself not to.

"Not yet, dearest Gabriellor, not yet" Lullaby murmured to herself, realizing for the first time her best friend Gabriellor was powerless to help her if she got into trouble with robotics. Singing worked wonders against organic foes, but against robots, Lullaby doubted singing and dancing would work. She sighed, trudging forward with the butler regretfully.

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If the robo-gorilla-butler detected her scream, it made no sign of the fact. It simply continued on down the hall, towards a set of double doors. "The Doctor will see you now," it said, opening one of the doors.

Beyond the door was a very large study, one decorated in a surprisingly quaint and traditional fashion. Leather-backed wooden chairs were scattered about, each with its own small table with a glass lamp. Shelves crammed with books lined the walls, though a closer look also revealed the presence of LPs and film reels, cassette and video tapes, cds and dvds, and most every other form of recording imaginable... and a few that defied identification. Some of the tables held what appeared to be iPods or portable DVD players, though one had a film projector and a screen set up in front of it.

Perhaps most surprising was what was at the far end of the room. Facing away from the door, a man in a labcoat with long hair was bopping along to... jazz music?

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Lullaby smiled as she heard the music. It was exceptional music, of the highest quality. She was momentarily confused of what the doctor was doing. It was...odd, but it was pleasant as well, shows that the man she was seeing wasn't as insane as she thought, the metal rat still fresh in her mind. She nodded to the song as it played.

She opened her mouth and sang the ending of the song in her exceptional voice and abilities.

"Are you Mis- I mean Doctor Archville sir?" Lullaby asked, summoning the reserves of her courage.

"I erm, I like the music you listen to" she added, hoping to not sound offensive.

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Bah! Who dares disturb us?!

Quiet, you, we're trying to not be so distant, remember?

Archeville twirled and smiled at Zallaro, "ah, a fine voice you haff, madame! You are a professional?"

Before she could reply, he had walked towards one of the bookshelves and was looking over a collection of records, tapes and cds. "Ja, ja, I am Doktor Archeville. Zhough I cannot promise to be of much help: my tailoring skills, they are not so good, so I may not be able to help you mit your dress." He was still grinning.

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Lullaby sighed as the fabled Doctor still didn't get it. Then, she couldn't blame him, she didn't understand the mechanics of the dress herself.

"Tailoring isn't the problem" she replied timidly. Unzipping the hold all and placing a hand into it as she walked around the bookcase.

How many people would gasp as a completely different woman emerged from behind the bookcase. Instead of her tatty, ragged clothing, Lullaby seemed to have managed to don stockings up to abdomen, where she wore latex pants. She wore a white dinner jacket underneath a black dinner jacket with a bow tie. Her figure was curvier, her breasts slightly larger, her lips fuller. She was taller from both four inch heels and from her natural size increasing. She crossed her arms as she gently and calmly walked over to Archville.

"So, my dear doctor, is my dinner jacket torn? Is there a whole in my stockings? No, then I don't think tailoring is my issue" she giggled.

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Lullaby performed a graceful twirl, stumbling a little but recovering well.

"Sorry Doctor, I'm not used to dancing" Lullaby smiled, "I prefer singing. I am miss Gabriellor, and yes, the odd pronunciation is actually the correct pronunciation."

She walked around to the bookcase she had transformed behind.

"I share this body with miss Zallaro. Such a nice girl doctor, but I am afraid she is pretty scared of practically everything" Gabriellor giggled. She stepped behind the bookcase and the regular Zallora emerged, kicking off over sized heels Gabriellor wore.

"Well, Doctor Archville. The dress is nice, but I was hoping you could tell me who made it?" Lullaby asked.

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Great, another nutjob.

Now, now, she could just be someone in need of help and understanding.

Archeville took the simple-looking outfit from Zallaro and looked it over, "interesting. It appears quite well-made. Vhere did you get it from, und vhen? Vas it a gift from someone?" He seemed particularly interested in some of the stitching.

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Lullaby smiled as Archville examined the dancing dress, gently stroking a finger down the intricate stitches.

"Well Doctor, I was erm, taught to sing by my mistress. At the end of the training, I was the most successful apprentice and she gifted me this dress. I don't know if she knew its origin. Actually, I need to see her again..." Lullaby informed Archville, placing a finger on her chin as she remembered to make a phone call to her mistress.

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Mistress, hunh? Hurm.

What're you thinking now? Or do I want to know?

Archeville looked up at Zallaro, "'mistress', eh? It is mein experience dat dat particular vord can haff many meanings. Vas she merely a... music tutor? Or more? Und did she tell you anyzhing about de dress, vhere she got it from?"

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Lullaby blushed as Doctor questioned her on her spiritual savior. She completely forgot mistress could actually mean more things less pleasant than just "Woman in charge of you." She shuddered, hoping Archville didn't think ill off her.

"Doctor, I didn't mean anything in that word" she hastily blurted out, trembling with anxiety as she focused on her inner demons.

"My mistress is just a tutor, who saved my life from hell. As for the dress, she mentioned nothing on the dress. Just that she had it, and it now belonged to me" Lullaby added.

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Homeless girl taken in by a kindly woman, who gave her this dress to replace her tattered rags, but she doesn't want to accept so sad a background so she develops multiple personalities? Maybe she even had the personalities before being found.

That could explain the different voice she used when she shifted, but what about her drastically different appearance?

Archeville laid the dress out on a table, and brought a reading lamp over to get a better look. "Saved you? How? From vhat?"

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Lullaby trembles as the legend interrogated her with yet another question. She came her to find out about her dress, not recount her life! Lullaby sighed, another sacrifice she would have to make just to get some answers on who she was.

"Well Doctor, I was on the streets as a young girl. Never mind a decent job, I was lucky to survive. It was hell out there, and I was always on the negative side. Then, she found me scouring and said something about I'm the one and took me in. I don't know much else..." Lullaby stuttered.

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Heh, there's part of my hypothesis confirmed.

But by no means all.

Archeville nodded as Lullaby replied, becoming more and more interested in the dress. "You're quite lucky, den; not everyone in dat sort of situation is able to find such help. Dis voman, you vouldn't be villing to share her name mit me, vould you? I vould very much like to talk to her."

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"Erm. Zanora, I believe. A bit odd I know, but Zallaro isn't exactly the most common name of all kind" Lullaby replied in a meek voice.

"I think, actually I do have a phone number here if you want to speak with her. She said that this is a special number, and only I know it. If it rings, she will answer no matter where she is" Lullaby added, handing Archville a scrap of paper with the numbers 07312 529721 written in a neat handwriting.

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Okay, she's got to be making up these names!

I don't know, they sound plausibly Italian.

Archeville took the paper and stuffed it into a pocket on his labcoat. "Danke, I may do just dat. Now, as for de dress: vell, I'm not findink anything unusual here... but den mein eyes are not de best in de vorld," he said with a smirk. "So ve vill need to take dis down to mein laboratory for some further tests. Some of de tests vould involve you vearing it, by the vay: is dis a problem? Do you haff anyvhere you need to be, any appointments to keep?"

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What was that? Keeping her alive? Oh, dance for us, monkey! Dance for your dress!

Cut that out!

Archeville looked up at her, apparently having heard that last part. "Keepink you alive? Howso?" He quickly gathered the dress up and offered it back to her, and seemed genuinely concerned, "do you need to put it back on now?"

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Lullaby smiled weakly, gently covering her hand and nudging the dress back to Archville.

"Well Doctor, I wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for the dress. It keeps me alive because it gives me something I can do, something that makes me special. Its not actually vital to me Doctor, I just think it has saved my life because it has given me a future. I just want to know why it came to a poor girl, broke, with no actual danc8ing or singing skills. It's enhanced mine beyond belief!" Lullaby smiled nervously, gently rubbing the dress.

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