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The Six Degrees of Marcus Sansome

by Edd Vick

It's really beyond the purview of this narrative to tell you how the alien got into Marcus Sansome's body. Suffice to say it involved a meteorite, a nearsighted chicken, a national chain of grocery stores you'd certainly recognize, and two eggs he cooked over easy with bacon and an english muffin.

The alien ate Marcus Sansome from the inside, growing carbon nanotube tendrils through his body to manipulate his fingers, his mouth, his neck and back and legs. The alien's distributed memory recorded everything it found: Sansome's DNA and the nucleotides of which it was composed, his cell structure, the varied compositions and purposes of his many organs. Reaching his brain, the alien slowed to savor its complexity, to encompass its entirety. Holographs reproduced its synaptic structure, and the alien spent delicious microseconds unravelling as much as it could of Sansome's memories, his sensory perceptions, his thinking processes.

Tendrils reached the limits of Marcus Sansome's body, and encountered anomalies. Hair and nails, dead tissue, were they part of this body or not? The alien consulted the analogue it had built of his self-image. Yes, it thought, and pushed air from Sansome's lungs to say it out loud in a breathy whisper. "Me."

Clothing presented the next challenge. Their construction differed from that of Marcus Sansome's body, and there were many anomalous substances in them. Yet they obviously served as a second skin. Once more the alien referred to its reconstruction of his brain. Then, satisfied, tubes furcated a million times, assimilating cloth and leather. "My clothes," said Sansome's voice.

Why stop there? The alien found in Marcus Sansome's consciousness the concept of possessions. Ownership extended to this house, to these furnishings, to all these belongings. Tendrils grew from the soles of Sansome's shoes to spread throughout the house, interpenetrating and cataloguing all they found. "All mine," the alien made him say, in a tone approaching wonder.

The doorbell rang. The alien heard it with Marcus Sansome's ears and felt it from inside the bell. It swiveled the body's head and made it walk to the door. Thousands of tubes parted as the body lifted each foot, thousands connected for the second his foot again touched the carpet. He turned the knob, pulled. Outside the door stood a being. The alien consulted Sansome's memory once more. Then, delighted, it extended a hand.

"My friend!" it said.


Creepy! In a good way. A kinder "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." But I guess the original's still destroyed.

Posted by: LH | May 28, 2007 4:11 PM

Well done.

Posted by: Les | May 29, 2007 1:10 AM

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