When Lulu woke on the third day of the seventh month of her fifth year of being kept by the House, she stared at the white ceiling of her room, rolled over, and went back to sleep.
Some half hour later, she was dragged from her dreams by the soft but insistent knocking of the hall’s attendant, who she snarled at before swinging her feet over the edge of her bed and donning the gauzy robe she favored whenever she wasn’t on official business. She had a showing later, but she’d be damned if she was going to strap herself into latex one instant sooner than she had to. The display screen on the wall opposite came softly to life in response to her movements; words scrolled up it, listing her tasks for the day, the weather (not that it made a great deal of difference), the names of her opponents. She gave it only a cursory glance before settling in with her breakfast and her book.
Two hours into it, the attendant returned and fetched her out of her reverie and into the cold, white present.