“There you are,” Nessa said when Guy walked into the apartment. “I was worried you’d have trouble finding it.” He took off the coat and looked around the place, his eyes skimming over some things, resting perplexedly on others. She hung his coat on the rack and wrapped her arms around him.

“Home,” he said tentatively. Then he kissed her behind the ear and buried his face in her hair. He breathed in deeply and said it again, with more confidence. “Home.”

She took him by the hand and led him to the kitchen, where she had set out scallops and other ingredients. He immediately began to cook, visibly brightening as he did so. There had been very few of Guy who didn’t love to cook. “Is it much different in this universe than the one you’re from?” she said.

He made a face. “Let’s not compare notes again. We always do that. Some things are the same, some things are different. Although I think the government’s better in this one than in mine. It got very dark there by the time I started traveling.”

Despite what he’d said, this launched them into a conversation that carried them all through cooking, dinner, and cleanup, right onto the couch after dinner, where they sat drinking little glasses of sherry, a taste she had developed specifically because it wasn’t natural to her. Guy always seemed to enjoy when she was a little different. She leaned back against his chest, and he wrapped his arms around her.

“I love the beginning,” she said.

“As if we ever have anything else,” Guy said, smiling.

“I’ll miss you when you go on to the next me, though.”

“Me too.”

They sipped sherry.

“I hope I never see the first you again, though,” she said. “Three years with that bastard …”

“I know. The first you was awful after a year or so.”

“Somewhere, I bet he’s saying that about me,” Nessa pointed out.

Guy nodded, but neither of them was really unhappy about it. When you love someone, they both felt, you find a way to stay together regardless.

Spacenews. Alien spacesuit found orbiting #BetaChiarus3. This planet is the backup choice for the #terraformingproject.


“Did you see this?”

“Since I’m looking over your shoulder I think you can assume I did.”

“Pretty cool, huh. A dead alien is even better than a live one! Don’t have to worry about conquering hordes.”

That’s what the talking heads were saying too. The desiccated corpse inside the suit had been about 3 m tall when alive. As to why the corpse had been left at Beta Chiarus, or whether any aliens would come back for it, there were no facts but plenty of speculation. It had been a solitary explorer, a would-be mutineer, victim of a successful mutiny, or something so alien we could never understand it. After the autopsy, the body was analyzed chemically six ways from Sunday, and shown to be based on a molecule very similar to DNA. Its proteins were different from terrestrial proteins but they were proteins.

“So it couldn’t have eaten our plants or our livestock…” began one of an endless parade of interchangeable “experts”.

“or us,” interjected the show’s host, laughing.

Und so weiter.

True enough, as far as it went. But when the rest of the nine-foot aliens followed our ships home and began their xenoforming project on Earth the media parrots didn’t seem so smug.


TUCKER’S GALLERIA – New Acquisitions
(catalog continues)

4. Potted Plants, A Trio (Artist: Jess Irwin)
Plants in terracotta pots, $153,000

Working in a faux bonsai style, Irwin presents us with immaculate cuttings from Ygdrassil, the Bodhi tree, and the Chankiri from the Cambodean killing fields. While not strictly bonsai, the artist has moulded miniature versions of these infamous trees into the timeless style. There are some responsibilities attached to the ownership of this installation as follows:

Incorrect trimming of Ygdrassil the World-Tree could result in various natural calamities, while destruction of the plant could possibly trigger either Ragnarok or a similarly destructive world-event.

The cutting from the Bodhi tree also needs some care. If the plant is butchered or neglected, specific knowledge will become forever lost to humanity. If the plant dies, a new Dark Ages will ensue.

The Chankiri must remain part of the set. It is only the influence of the other two cuttings that keep its malevolent nature in check. Previous owners have reported disturbing visions when sleeping in the same room as the plant.

For these reasons, it is a requirement that the purchaser be skilled in the arts of bonsai, or at the very least have a college-level accreditation in horticulture.

5. Chuck’s Diner (artist: Chuck McKenzie, under licence from NecroWares)
Reanimated homo sapiens x 5, kitchen appliances, furniture and fittings. $98,500.

This new installation from up-and-coming necrotiste McKenzie is a delicious exercise in irony. The reanimated corpses of former NecroWares employees continue to fulfil their contracts in this fully functional diner. The undead staff retain enough functionality to prepare and serve meals, maintain the equipment, operate the till, and can (albeit with some difficulty) engage in smalltalk.

The installation can be shipped holus bolus and reassembled in any location world-wide, though local laws may prevent you from running this as a business concern. Our legal department advises you to check with your local health inspectors, and to ascertain that your labour laws allow the undead to hold jobs that could be filled by the living.

6. Lyn Battersby (artist: Lyn Battersby)
The artist herself, the use of a neurotechnician, $67,000

What with the imminent tragic death of her husband in this very gallery, conceptual artist Lyn Battersby has pledged her own memories to this collection. She will take on a completely new identity, as determined by the purchaser.

The memories she is erasing are as follows:
a) Knowledge of all family and friends.
b) All memories related to her husband, Lee Battersby.
c) All skill-sets acquired since the age of 16.
d) All popular media ever experienced, including books, movies, and TV.

Purchasers must agree to be a party to the documentary crew filming Lyn’s amazing journey.

It’s the broken hum after a hovercraft crash. The chrome-plated policemachine, with black helicopter blades chopping out its back, prints out a traffic violation from its mouth. The craft steersman jabs a thumb toward Pandora, rocking on her feet at the street-corner in her green, knee-length pleated skirt–pretty as a picture–as though she were a guileless fold-out child in a forbidden men’s magazine. “Jail-bait,” says the wild-haired man, panting, “enticing the weak-willed with illegal proclivities, crossing at a green light just as I’m supposed to stop at the red! A green skirt means go–go for it now!” The cop processes this, inhales his ticket, and chops over to the girl.

Archive for the ‘David Kopaska-Merkel’ Category

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