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Chapter #4

Declan 1.1 (Tawana and The Sea Lord)

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Well, the next morning I got up a little late, but there was still enough
time to brew me up some Cafbuz and try to figure it all out. The sky outside
was way too dark for this time of the morning, so I put my finger in the blinds
and pulled a couple of them down to peek out. They were all still closed up
tight from when I'd pulled them down last night. Looks like the clouds are all
gathering up for a storm. Yeah, buddy, it looks like it’s going to be raining cats
and dogs here shortly.
I sat down and thought about openning the blinds to look out at the
pond, but I guess I was still feeling a bit paranoid. So I sat there in the dark
thinking about calling Rhonda. After a couple sips of caf-buz I decided to put it
off until after class. I'll call her up then and set up a meeting, I really don't
want to talk to her on the phone or in sync world about yesterday’s mishap. I
need to look her in the eyes face to face.
I put on the halo and went straight into sync world. I told Jezzy to take
me to the school’s main entrance. I wanted to walk to class and recheck the
voids I’d mapped out earlier. I did this earlier because I was paranoid but it’s
always been a hobby of mine. It’s getting harder to find these little rabbit holes
of video feed voids in the bigger cities. They have cameras and video feeds
everywhere to recreate the real world online, with almost instantaneous refresh
rates. If I ever do become a hit man for the mafia or the KBD these maps might
really come in handy.
I started floating down the hall checking and double checking the voids
when I noticed that right where the big bat scene happened was a very large
hole in the feed. That’s interesting.
I turned right by the court yard and saw a couple of grays walking down
the hall. They looked like twins and they were both wearing some low rent
exoskeletons. Wow, it’s hard to imagine living in a VR stasis unit for so long
that your body starts wilting away and looking all skinny, and pale ghostly
green like that. Their heads look extra big sitting on top of their wilted bodies. I
wondered how long they’d been out. There’s a lot of freak’n freaks out in this
world. I guess I’m just another one of them.
Just then I saw another freak walking up ahead of me. He was slowing
down as I kept a pretty steady pace stopping here and there to check some
triangulations. Yeah, things aren’t what they used to be. It’s like there’s some
kind of freaky-deaky freak invasion going on lately. I wonder how many I’ve
seen in just the last two days.
There’s the bat freak, the red head at the Funky Buddha last night,
There's Chaz, he's definatly a freak, especially with that belt buckle, Oh, and

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there was that pair of grays walking down the hall a few moments ago, and
now a hunch back just ahead of me. I wonder if he’d be offended if called him
Igor. The halls were packed, and for the most part me and Igor were walking
against the grain, so to speak. His pace slowed down rapidly as I followed in his
wake. I don't know why, but I really don't like flying through people and walls
in sync world. It just doesn't seem natural.
The bell rang and the students filling the halls began diappearing into
the doorways lining each side of the hall. I caught up to Igor and began floating
around his hunched back, when all of a sudden, he spun around. Startled, I
stopped cold in my tracks. I don’t know why; it’s not like I could possibly run
into him. But it was him! It wasn’t a hunch back at all; it was a genuine bat
freak, with his wing in a splint under his shirt, and somehow he could see me!
This is not possible, I’m not really here. I’m in my Mom’s house with a
Sync halo on. But still, there he was looking right at me with those shiny red
eyes, smiling with fake teeth that hid those hideous fangs. My hair stood
straight up all over my body as a chill fell all over me, bringing up the goose
A famous philosopher once said, “I think, therefore I am.” And in that
instant I was one hundred percent, pure lizard brain. My most primal survival
instinct had kicked in, and the lizard took control. I don’t know how he saw
me, and I didn’t remember any of those well-planned, expertly thought out
escape routes. I just ran as fast and as hard as I could. I don’t even know why.
I heard him laughing and saying, “I’m going to get you Declan, I’m going to kill
you just like I killed your father.” And the sound of his voice echoed down the
empty hall that seemed to be shrinking fast. I felt like it was about to suffocate
the life right out of me.
I got out side and I had to stop just to breathe. I put my hands on my
knees to catch my breath. Reality started to sink back in. I said, “Jezzy, power
down,” and I unhooked the isopod link.
Wow, I can’t believe it. He could see me. I’ve heard of Sync World
monitors that somehow detect when somebody in Sync World is close by or
watching you. All the politicians, corporate CEO's, and cops have one, but
nothing like this. I need to call Rhonda right now, I’m sure she’s still in my
contact list. I never delete anyone.
Phone>contacts> Rhonda: and, it’s ringing. I wonder how long it’s been since a
phone actually rang. Come on, come on, Rhonda. I need to talk to you face to
face. Machine voice answers, “We’re sorry, that number is no longer in
service.” I should’ve known.
I called Fassball and rollo-ed over to Rhonda’s. I told them to wait for me
in case She wasn’t home, or to witness my destruction. I knocked and Rhonda
cracked the door and said, “Get out of here. He’ll be back any minute.”

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Filled with angst I shouted, “What the hell is the matter with your
freak'n boyfriend?”
She answered, “Go sit in the cab, and get down. I’ll be right out,” as she
looked up and down the street and ran back into a bedroom. I signaled the cab
to wait a couple of seconds, and Rhonda came back to the door all pissed off. “I
told you to go hide in the cab!”
As I started yammering, “What the hell, Rhonda? What’s going
She pulled out an old style pocket phone and waived it over my infoCom
to get my information and said, “I’ll text or call you later when he’s gone but,
until then be careful. You might even want to get out of town for a while.”
I stood my ground and said, “I’m not going anywhere until you tell
me what the hell is going on! Has your bat brained, asshole boyfriend lost his
mind? Doesn’t he know I was just trying to protect you and that I obviously
thought he was trying to hurt you?”
Rhonda replied, “He was trying to hurt me. He forced me on him when
he saw you because he wanted to shut me up and hide from you. I was trying
to talk him out of killing you. It’s a long story, but for now you have to go. If he
sees me talking to you he’ll kill us both, now go!”
I could see she was serious. Reality started sinking in and I decided I
better go. I better go somewhere safe. I don’t know where safe is, considering
that Bat-psycho can see me even in cyberspace, but I better go somewhere. I
don't have a lot of money, so I can't go very far. So I just told the rolocab to
drop me off on Ocean Avenue and Spanish River. I figured I’d walk down the
beach for a while. I know where there’s a small house the owners rent out by
the week. I’m sure they make a ton of money during holidays. It’s usually
vacant just after New Year’s Eve, though.
I'll hide out under their deck for a while, watch the waves roll in while I
figure out my next move. I just hope there aren’t any renters there playing
outside today. The cab dropped me off and I made my way down to the beach
feeling weird and all alone. Walking down the beach, I can't believe somebody
wants to kill me. I especially can't believe that a Dracula wants to kill me.
Why? And why me? I didn't do anything.
Maybe Mom wasn’t just kidding around when she said Dad was doing
some shady business down at the taco stand. Bat Freak said he was going to
kill me just like he killed my father. Everyone told me that my Dad OD’d on
krain. In fact, I remember seeing that on the coroner's report myself. If Dad
was murdered, it was by somebody well connected. If Dad was working with
mobsters, I don’t think he’d cross them, not even if he was hooked on krain.
What am I going to do? I don’t have anywhere to go, and I'm so broke I
can't even afford to pay attention. Man, I’m so screwed.

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I need to get things back to normal. I really just need feel like myself
again. I mean, it’s a beautiful day, and here I am, just strolling down the
beach, palm trees gently swaying, condos and mansions, sea shells scattered
here there. There’s a nice, cool breeze blowing in off the ocean. I’m outside, and
I’m not all sweaty for a change. Snow white snow-birds are scattered up and
down the beaches. Northerners that will all be red as lobsters by this
afternoon. Seventy degrees to them is probably like eighty-five to me. It’s nice
just walking by their castles in the sand.
I strolled down the beach a little further. I slowed down to watch some
teenagers drawing fish, half naked mermaids, and writing cruelties directed at
each other in the sand, using broken sea shells for pencils.
The rental came into view just as my calves started to tighten, from
walking in the sand. Looks like it could use a paint job. Looks like a shanty
shack next to the monster mansions on each side of it and the towering condos
behind it, but at least it looked vacant. I helped rebuild the deck here some
years earlier, one of my many side jobs. The deck still looks in pretty good
shape. The warmth of the sun felt good on my skin as I settled down in the
sand beside the steps leading up to the house and leaned my back up against
one of the pylons.
I directed my comband to open up a VeeM and tapped into Craigslist,
might as well search the classifieds for cruise ship jobs, and jobs on oversees
freighters, anything to get away from here. Maybe I should ask mom to get me
a ticket to Texarkana to go visit Grandma for a few days. It’s just so weird with
the time lapse and everything. One day for us is like two days for them, it adds
up fast. Last time I was there, she was ranting on and on about how I was
supposed be up there saving the world or something.
For them, the visit is like a remembrance of the past, or a dream. The old
folks that aren’t too far gone that is. I was told that she's on the simulated
reality prediction plan, but I think some wires got crossed somewhere or
something. She's definitely on the fantasy island plan. She is probably over a
hundred and fifty years old, on accelerated time by now.
I wonder how long a head can live hooked up to a reality simulator. I’ve
never heard of anyone in an old folk’s home dying before their plan ran out,
then it’s sayonara, sister. I know in India and China over two thirds of the
population lives in simulation.
Their bodies just turn gray and waste away as they get pumped full of
soylent green, yellow, and red and just lay there living in some imaginary
realm. I’ve heard that some politicians are working with the Social Security
Administration about doing something similar to those on welfare in the states.
Imagine not being able to afford real life. I wonder what soylent green is made
out of. I just don’t know.

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Agh man, what am I going to do? Maybe I should hide out in a virtual
world. How bad could it be? A lot of people do. All the kids are there all the
time already. They say real life is so boring. They’ll probably think that real life
is just another dimension when they grow up. Reality’s getting hard to define.
It’s getting harder and harder to tell the difference. Nowadays, reality is just the
place you eat, breathe, and bleed.
I looked out and around. I gotta keep an eye out, if I want to see my
demise sneaking up on me. The sound of the waves crashing on the beach was
soothing. A couple of young women were walking by in bikinis down by the
shoreline. I could hear them talking but not really hear what they were saying.
They both had nice curves though, and long hair with perfect bronze tans. The
ocean was choppy in the eastern breeze and the waves were giving the sand
quite a pounding. Typical for January I'd say.
I sat there contemplating for a long time. Still, I had no answer as to
what I should do. Getting things back to normal was not going to be easy,
that's for sure. The temperature started dropping as the late afternoon
shadows from the condos started creeping across the roof tops, growing longer.
A lone freighter was the only thing moving on the water. She was far away.
Just a whisper on the horizon fading fast. I wish I were on her right now,
working and eating, nobody sneaking up from behind to kill me.
The buzzing sound of a drone grew louder as it flew by just off the coast
with a banner advertising the South Florida Fair. I guess it’ll be in town next
week. Maybe I can join them. Get me a job as a carney and hide out while
traveling like a nomad all over the country. I’ll let my teeth rot out and forget to
cut my hair and bathe. Yeah, that'd be living the dream.
Looking down the beach a flashing light blinded me. It was an old friend
of mine named Tawana. She was glistening in the sun, like a large shiny
tarpon. No surprise seeing her here. Nobody loves the beach more than
Tawana. I knew it was her even from a distance. Nobody else could look like
that. She was the first genetically modified person I ever met, and a big hit
down at the taco stand years ago. She’s a high end fashion model these days.
Yeah buddy, she’s commanding all the best for her good looks. And those long
sexy legs! She can walk over a yardstick without touching a single scale.
Sometimes I think she’s the one that started the whole craze that inspired so
many to genetically modify themselves and their newborn freaks.
Tawana rarely wears any clothes at all when she is out enjoying the
beach. I guess when you’re a sexy, six foot two, half human, half fish, walking,
talking disco ball; you can get away with it, especially when you’re the biggest
tourist attraction in town. Of course I’m blowing everything out of proportion,
and exaggerating a bit, but not really.
Rumor has it we slept together one night when we were both drunk and
stoned out of our minds, but neither one of us can remember exactly what
really happened that night. I do remember waking up naked next to a sexy

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naked fish lady. I’d have to be pretty wiped out to sleep with a fish. No, no, no,
I could never ever do it, not in a million years. Nah, there’s just no way.
We always did have a lot of fun together, but I could never do that. I
know most guys would, but not me. A third tit might be nice in a fantasy world
once in a while, but I’m not doinking any genetically modified freaks. These are
strange days, strange days indeed.
She was getting closer to where I was sitting and I could tell she didn’t
see me at all. About an hour ago I’d moved from the pylon to the steps that
lead up to the deck in the backyard of the rental. I was kind of waiting for her
to look up, but she kept looking down and walking, maybe looking for sea-
shells or watching the waves roll in across her feet, or something. It was nice
just sitting there and admiring her as she sparkled coming up the beach. She's
good. I have a lot of respect for good people. She makes a lot of money as a
world-renowned fashion model, flying all over in sonic boom suppression jets
and Q-def runway shows, and she still treats people with the same dignity and
respect as always. I bet she still remembers being laughed at and being called a
freak in her youth.
I spoke up when she got a little closer, gave her a “Hey sparkles, what’s
She lifted her head straight up and cut her eyes left to see me, as a sexy
smile lit up her face, she giggled then said, “Mine’s starting to swirl, Dickey
Duncan Declan.”
“Hey,” I said, “Don’t call me that, especially where someone might
hear you.” I always feel like a toon when someone calls me that, I don’t know
why. I’d already gotten up and merged with her stride. I gave her hug and kiss
on the cheek. I asked, “How ya been?”
“Good,” her reply. Then I said, “I love the way the sand and the
water feel slipping under my feet and between my toes.”
She looked down at her fin like feet and asked, “What are you doing
sitting way down here, far away from everybody else?”
I told her, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
She said, “Let me guess. You’re down here hiding from some young, sweet
thing recently deflowered by the famous debonair Declan?”
“I wish,” I said, “but my circumstance is a little more complex than
that. I’m not even sure if I should tell you this or not, but I need to tell someone
or I’m going to explode. The truth is there’s a hit man looking to kill me. I’m not
sure why he wants to kill me, but he said he was going to kill me just like he
killed my dad. It’s a long story. Mom said that Dad might have had some shady
business dealings with some organized crime. I can’t imagine him doing
anything like that, but somebody definatly wants me dead.”

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Tawana looked slightly anoid and replied, “That sounds crazy, but
nothing surprises me anymore. Guys tell me all kinds of things to get into my
heat baby.” She batted her shiny, greenish eyelids at me and continued, “I’ll
play along with your fantasy if you want me to though. Now let me guess. This
hit man is a big, scary-looking guy with a huge phozon scatter blaster, and you
need to hide from him for a few days at my house.” All the while stroking an, huge phozon scatter blaster, if you know what I mean. She's
so cute.
I could see my situation was a unbelievable, especially for a guy
like me. So I said, “How did you know? Seriously though, I am in a lot of
trouble, and I am scared to go home, or to any of my usual places. I guess I
will, though. I have to go home sooner or later. I am supposed go out with John
tonight. Maybe I will find some hottie to run far away with.”
She said, “Some hottie? What am I? Another has been?”
I sharply replied, “Honey, you know you’re too much like family to
me.” I did have a pet goldfish at one time.
She always loves to tease me, and usually I always love teasing back. But
I was beginning to seriously worry about where I was going to stay tonight, and
what I was going to do about my dilemma.
I said, “Yeah, don’t worry about me. I got a gig touring with The
Zoo. I’m going to help them tear down their equipment and put it back up. You
know, roam from town to town with the band. I figure it won’t be long and I’ll
be playing lead guitar, and singing lead vocals, and writing all the songs. You
know, basically doing all the important stuff.”
She smirked, “New songs huh? I thought they were a tribute band for
some hippie group that was popular back in the sixties or when Elvis was
crowned.” She laughed and pushed me into a big wave that just crashed and
raced up the beach. As it rushed back into the sea, she said, “I know one thing
though. You won’t be helping the zoo in this town tomorrow. Declan, that
concert was one night only, last night. It was Awesome. I love that old rock and
roll but, those guys are packed up, and setting up. They’re going to be playing
in Orlando in about an hour.
“Whoa,” she's right. I rubbed my fingers up down my hairy scalp in
disbelief, she’s right. Then I remembered the stage guys laughing when the
director told me to show up in two days. Mom was right too. How does she
always know? Damn it.
Now what am I going to do? Hang out in the sewers and wait for Uncle
Paul to call me? That’s it, I’ll just be a sewer rat until the fair leaves town. Then
I’ll hook up with them doing something stupid, like giving away teddy bears
and gold fish. I’m pretty sure that’s where I got mine when I was kid.
Trying to be cool I said to to Tawana, “Yeah, well, that wasn’t even plan
A. That was just my back up plan.”

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Tawana flashed her shiny white teeth, flicked her tail, pushed her
anemone hair back and said, “Well Declan, I’m going to New York tomorrow for
a shoot. I’d love to have your company.”
I said, “Really? Me? You’re inviting me to go the rotten apple with you for
a photo shoot? Are you just kidding around? ‘Cause I’ll go. Hell I need to go,
Dracula will surely kill me if I stay here.”
“Dracula?” She asked.
“I answered, “It’s a long story. So where and when should I meet you
tomorrow?” I asked.
She answered, “You can meet me at the launch port no later than
nine. Or if you like, and if you’re really in trouble, you can spend the night at
my place.”
I said, “I am, and I’d love to.”
So we walked down the beach a little farther. I was watching a tiny
brown and white bird running away from waves up ahead, and then down
again. I asked, “Where do live these days?”
She replied, “In a condo just up ahead, The Sea Lord.”
I asked, “The big one that bridges across A1A?” Then I pointed at
the building we were approaching and continued, “right there?”
She replied, “Yup, that’s the one.”
Now this was one of the newest and swankiest condos around. And
I said, “Ooh la la.”
She said, “It’s not much but it’s home.” As we walked up the steps and
washed the sand off of our feet in a shower shared by the beach goers and the
pool goers.
I heard a man say, “Hey Wana” and a “Hey” back, as some hunky-
looking muscle head walked by with his carbon fiber surf board in one hand
and his bikini chair in the other.
“The waters great, nice and cool, have fun” Tawana said to him with a
And he replied, “Yep,” while looking her up and down. There was
some part of me that wanted to punch him for some reason, except she was
looking at him a little the same way. I put my head down into the running
shower and asked Tawana, “How long are we going to be in New York?” As a
tan beauty by the pool caught my eye.
“Pretty much all day,” she said. “Our return flight leaves at ten
tomorrow night. We should be back here before midnight.”
Tawana and the doorman exchanged some pleasantries and we headed
over to the elevator. The entire side of the building looks out over the pool and

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at the end of the cooridor there was a sitting area with a bar over-looking the
ocean. We stepped onto the elevator and as I glanced down I noticed she
pressed the PH button.
With a smile she leaned in towards me and said, “Don’t mind the mess.
The cleaner bot is on the fritz, and I had to fire the maid. She was stealing from
me. Can you imagine? And I just don’t know what I’m going to do.”
The elevator door opened and the foyer looked typical but nice, niches
with tall, fresh orchids in matching vases on each side of the tall, glossy bright
red, double doors. You could barely hear them unlock as she reached for the
pulls and pushed both doors inward on their precision-magnetic hinges. They
effortlessly glided open into a large room, that had very little furniture, or
anything in it at all. There was just a long chrome buffet table with nothing on
top of it and the ocean view behind it on one side of the room. A small high top
with two bar stools nestled in the breakfast nook outside the kitchen. The floor
plan was open and the living room had low sleek black couches in an area to
the left.
Now I’ve heard of graphanite paint before, I read an article a few years
ago about it, but I'd never experienced it first-hand. I know its very expensive
and requires special tools to apply it, but I never dreamed I would actually be
standing in a room painted with it. The walls were glowing pink and violet with
bright white lights shining on sleek and sexy silhouette artwork, of couples
holding hands or kissing.
She said, “Declan, the walls are programmed to reflect the mood of my
guests. They seem to be suggesting that you’re feeling a little romantic.”
“That’s crazy.” I replied. “Who programmed that crap?”
Playfully, she rolled her eyes and said, “Make yourself at home, Deck.
There’s food if you get hungry.” Then she said, “Come on, let me give you the
tour.” She grabbed my hand and pulled me down the hall. Then she pulled me
in real close and said softly, “Here is the master bedroom.” Her eyes shifted left
then right then dreamily into mine for a moment. Her voice returned to normal
as she continued, “or if you’d like, you can stay all by yourself in the guest
suite,” while tilting her head side to side and dragging me down the hallway.
“If you feel like changing the scenery or wall color, just draw a triangle on
the wall anywhere and different options will come up.”
She looked me up and down and asked, “What size are you Declan, I’ll print
you out some clean clothes.”
“Are you sure you don’t mind?” I asked.
“Not at all, but you better put on something nice tomorrow,” Tawana
insisted, “I need you looking sharp.”

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“I’ll pick up something nice tonight while I’m out.” I told her, then I
gave her a little peck on the cheek and said, “Thanks Tawana, you’re the best.
I’m going to clean up a bit now and call John.”
She closed the guest bedroom's door on her way out, and I couldn’t wait
to play around with the graphanite paint. I drew a triangle on the wall, and
several options popped up. I picked Lunarscape, the first one. The walls seem
to disappear as a moonscape appeared all around in perfect perspective on the
walls and ceiling. It was as if I was sitting there on the moon just looking down
at the earth rising up in the alien sky. I could see haulers driving by, and
people at the resort. It was like I was really there on the moon, kind of like
being in my Isopod.
I could still see the ocean-view outside of the sliders and windows facing
east. They looked like a queer billboard, out of place, or as if the windows were
video monitors depicting an ocean view.
For some reason, the lunarscape gave me a creepy sense of de’ja vu that
made my whole body shudder from head to toe. I decided to change it to a
setting called plain and the room became a boring, creamy white color with old
family pictures and what looked like tapestry artwork on the walls. This
creeped me out too, because the pictures were of my family but, at least it was
kind of normal feeling.
I showered and got out and began drying off with big fluffy white towl
when Tawana knocked and cracked the door open to hand me the clothes that
she printed out. After taking the clothes, I softly closed it. She craked it back
open letting the cool air in, looked me up and down and asked, “Why did you
change the moon setting? It’s my favorite, it's so romantic.”
I answered, “Oh I don’t know, made me a little home sick,” I joked.
I brushed my teeth with an extra tooth brush she had printed and
brushed my hair. It’s really nice of Tawana to let me stay here for a couple of
days. I’ll have to figure out some way to thank her, that’s not sexual of course.
I walked down the hall to the great room, and as I passed the master
bedroom I noticed that Tawana had a water-bed. Not a water-bed like a water-
filled mattress, but hmmm that would be a cool invention. Then again, surely
someone had to of thought of that before. But anyway Tawana's water bed was
glass sides with water in it. And it looked like there's a thin sheet of ice floating
on top. It was just a glance, and I didn't really notice them when she showed
me the room earlier, but I’m pretty sure I saw some fish swimming around in
there. Imagine that, a fish babe with pet fish.
I made my way into the breakfast nook and looked out a window as I sat
down at the high top. The view was breathtaking. There was a large, full moon
dominating the skyline as it rose up out of the calm dark-blue waters. I could
see the pool several stories below us.

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Tawana was in the kitchen making some weird Tawana food. She said
she was making some secret recipe rue potatoes, that one of her studlier ex-
boyfriends taught her to make. I don’t think I really want to know all of the
ingredients, but it smelled really good.
As she was cooking she said, “I always liked the stars. The lunarscape
setting always calms my nerves and makes me feel at home somehow.”
“So when I changed the setting in my room it changed in the whole
house?” I asked.
“Oh yeah,” she answered. “You can split the areas, but I don’t know how.
I just haven’t felt like learning anything new for a while. I’m usually the only
one here. My roommate travels a lot like me. One of us is almost always gone.”
I said, “Yeah, that lunar thing scared me a little. I don’t know why.
Maybe something to do with that space bus that crashed a while back, but I
don’t think so.”
“Two hundred and twenty-three souls, so tragic,” She sighs.
“Yeah. They said, one of the gyros became unstable just a split
second before the stage intersect with the TFST jet. I wonder what that stands
“Twin fuselage stage transport.' Answers Tawana. “I dated a pilot of one
of those things one time.
You know they fly out of Marathon? I talked to him shortly after
the accident, and he said that there is only a point seven second convergence
And I replied, “Oh I know. I read a whole article on how this makes large
payloads possible. Too bad the anti-Higgs boson was proven to be so unstable.”
She said, “Well, all I know is now we’re left with only one space bus
and it’s getting pretty old. I hear they’re thinking about revamping the one they
retired last year but I think it’d probably cost less to build a new one. I guess
they could pile people into a space freighter but that would not be the way to
start an expensive vacation.”
“I hear some guy is working on an electric rocket that somehow utilizes
vacuum energy, but I don’t quite understand it all.” Then I looked down at the
comband on my wrist saw it was getting late.
“I better call John,” I told Tawana. “I’m sure he’s getting close by now. I’m
surprised he hasn’t called already.”
Before I could finish the sentence his icon popped up. “John
Goldman is calling. Answer / Ignore?”
“What’s up man? Are you in town yet?”

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His enthusiastic reply, “Oh yeah! I’m rolling out of the tunnel as we
“Whoa, man.” I said to him. “You gotta go right, and head north on
A1A, that’s Ocean Avenue. I’m staying with an friend for a couple of days.”
“Ooh la la, Decky Doo's gotta girlfriend.”
What made him think I was staying at a girl’s? Could he tell by my voice,
or was it just a lucky guess?”
“Dude, you know I only date high end fasion models these days, and this
one's the best. Wait till you meet her.”
“I’m going to steal her away from you Declan.”
And I retorted, “Many have tried Johnny boy, but I won’t wish you luck.”
“Dude, I’m parked in the lot. Tell the door jockey that I’m coming
up to sweep your true love smooth off her feet.”
Now Tawana likes to kid around a lot too. She’s listening to all of this
banter and guy BS and she’s right there, “Declan told me what a stud you are
John. Now I’m just wet to meet you,” as she poured a large jar of water over her
And he’s like, “Aghhhhhh baby you sound like my type!”
Bewildered a bit by her action, I watched the bot roll over and clean the
floor but, that was just about all I could take. I mean, what if Tawana really
was my sweet thang, ya know?
I groan. “Oh yeah, this is what I need right now, guys.”
And Tawana said, “Why, Declan, I didn’t know you cared.”
Then John chimed in with, “I think somebody’s getting jealous.”
What could I say? “You know you’re the only one for me Tawana.” I
watched the bot return to its garage. I thought, I guess fish people do fish
people things.