Atrast finished scrubbing another pot. "I haven't met any of the residents," she said. "It seems like they're only allowed to come up to the dining-hall window and put their trays up there, and then we take them and wash them. At least you get to have some contact with the human beings who are locked up in this flat and sterile place." She rolled her eyes. "Seriously. I hope I get '86'ed' before I get that old. Better to go on to a better place than to be stuck here." She had a thought. "Unless the food is good." An involuntary giggle escaped. Gel-A-Tin and tapioca pudding. Ni-i-ine!
Turning to Dream and polishing off the last of the fortified water, she said, "It's not that I was accidentally implanted with the sweat glands of a pig instead of a human being, no matter what anybody else says. The fact is--I'm pyritic." She saw blank stares on the faces of her classmates. Thus Atrast continued, "It's a mosquito-borne disease, like malaria. I caught it 3 years ago. It makes your body temperature rise higher and higher over a short period of time." Her voice grew soft. "I have another year. Two, at most." Grinning ruefully, she added, "I guess I don't have to worry about growing old. If I did, my basal body temperature would be in the thousands!"