For seven-ninety-nine a month they’ll rent you back your memories so that you don’t have to struggle to make new ones. I’d bought one of the first gen A.R. projectors. It ran interiors at four-K but had difficulty properly rendering weather. For the most part, I overlooked its shortcomings. It ran a maximum thirty minute nostalgic rendering so whether the clouds looked 2D up there in the big blue was of little concern.
Daniel crawls through a mixture of mud and clothes. The pungent smell of jet fuel and acrid smoke fills and burns his nostrils. There is something else in the air. Something he tastes as he breathes: a human smell. He spits, before he continues to crawl past open suitcases and broken, twisted pieces of metal. He hears the sound of a gas issuing from somewhere, the crackle of a fire, and then a woman’s moan. He looks over his shoulder at the fuselage. He hears another moan. He stands, turns, and staggers back to the wreck.
People are acting like this is a party. All dressed up like it’s Mardi Gras, in their kookiest outfits. The people who have home DNA splicing kits have been playing around, giving themselves leopard-print skin, rhinoceros horns sprouting from unexpected places, or chameleon eyes that dart off in different directions – one looking right at ya, one directed hopefully to the sky, waiting to catch the first glimpse of the aliens arriving. It’s pretty unconventional for a little outback town like Tanloch, but it’s like everyone wants to be more than just human, now that extra-terrestrials are arriving. Some are holding up signs, saying things like “Please Save Our Whales”, “ET take us home!” and “I, for one, welcome our new alien overlords.”
Nova reared up on his haunches and waddled after his prey. As big as an astronaut’s helmet, he had the tan, short-haired head and paws of a Boxer, but from nape to ankle he resembled an Apatosaurus; long in the neck and tail, hunchbacked, potbellied, and girthy in the lower extremities. He dropped to all fours, broke into a sprint, and gained on MR, the outpost’s Maintenance Robot.
A NEW PLANET HAS BEEN DISCOVERED CIRCULATING AT THE FRINGES OF EARTH’S ORBIT.
Karl’s hand landed solidly onto Lola’s cheek.
She woke up abruptly.
“What was that?”
“Nothing. There was a fly on you. I wanted to get it before it bit you.” Lola sat up in her chair and rubbed her face.
“There aren’t any bugs in space, Karl. They can’t survive out here. Nothing can survive out here.”
1st Leap Year
“Happy 10th birthday, Alton,” Aloise Sputnitter said as she sat at Alton’s kitchen table. “It must be fun to be born on Leap Year.”