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A Keflin of a Different Color
708 words

A Keflin of a Different Color

Welcome to Gnarflax. Do you have your boarding pass? Is your implant loaded with enough units? Might we take you to the cabaret, where beautiful Lupkins will remove their Lupcovers and show you their Lupudders? One swipe of the fore-appendage, and your units will transfer you wherever you want to go.

Do you have the proper documentation to be in a place like this? We must scan your makeup bag to ensure you have brought nothing with which to harm the Lupkins. The Lupkins have their own built-in defense systems, of course, but the release of such neurotoxin in such a small room will destroy all of the other patrons as well as the staff of Naflecks who are simply here to serve and protect your methaholic beverages.

Well, how about that? Your genetic makeup bag has passed inspection, you may reingest it.

Enjoyed your share of Lupudders? Aren't they wondrous, the way they spray nourishment in fountainous rhythm as she vibrates against your thorax and caresses your carapace? Come into the back room, then, we have a proposition for you.

My partners and I have been watching you, and we've decided you must be a Keflin of a different color. Don't worry, this is not an exploitation like you've seen in the newsflesh webwork. The truth is, we've come across transmissions, strange ones from a distant green and blue lump long eaten by its own lightball.

There is the culture of an odd race of aliens in these data, and strange words they use to describe things. Concepts we scoff at, like “vanity,” and “honor.” If you are beautiful we display you, and if you are brave we put you to war. Questions abound in this strange stream of consciousness, such as “What is free will?” and “Why are we here?” Useless questions with obvious answers.

We'd like to loan you a box that will play these transmissions, a small cube that emits radiation. When you look into it you will discover that these beings are interminably ugly, and it may become necessary for you to evacuate the contents of your feed sack.

But we see lots of potential in this new world, the currently dead world across the galaxy. So if you can steel yourself against the disgusting creatures and their strange way of undulating in disposable skins to distasteful noise patterns, we'd appreciate it to the tune of twenty-thousand units every twelfth of a lightball rotation if you could make notes and discover just what sort of adjustments might be made to our cabarets and methaholes that these 'humans' have suggested. They are primitive, but we think they might have some ideas. Even more than that, in the future we believe that it's possible for us to grow to love these ugly beings. They might become something of a sensation among the undergrounders, Keflins and Hujmuggers and Naflecks and Riskawens and Lupkins and Buarns alike.

We will only require your notes every so often, and you may feel free to distribute them to us whenever you come to Gnarflex to collect your units. Do you agree? Yes? Wonderful. We would do it ourselves, but our feed sacks are sore from all the evacuations. Nothing can be uglier than these things, we have come to conclude. Will your pincers and fore-appendages be enough to carry the radiation cube back with you to your ship? Yes? Wonderful. Don't lose the box. Tonight, if you can stand it, there will be a production of a sort of myth, a story these creatures take very seriously. It is about a human who accumulates disciples along the path to a great city where a king holds this human's fate in his hands.

It is called “The Wizard of Oz.” The disciples, one made of metal and one made of grass, are infinitely less ugly than the human with the head tentacles. Perhaps it would be a good story to get started on. Prepare your notes. Remember, twenty thousand units.

Go, now. Tap a Lupkin on the way out, so she can absorb a cred or two. They can't help that their genetic makeup bags fit them only for one occupation.

Neither can you.

Pay what you want!

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