The reptile is splayed in a harness, stretched like a frog on the dissection table. A steady stream of soldiers-in-waiting leaves the line, jabbing an electro-prod through the bars of the cage to a chorus of jeers.
Eliot’s father had been entered into Ononeida Psychiatric Hospital ten days ago, for a religious conversion in which he saw the clear image of Zeus on a strawberry toaster pastry.
She’s sitting at her desk already, reading the student handbook. I double-check the room number. 317. I’ve got the right place. This is my roommate.
Christ, I thought. And then: Of course—P.K.: Preacher’s Kid. Should’ve caught that earlier. I finished off the Yanjing, then opened the cooler and unscrewed a jar of whiskey. I’d heard of harrowers before, but never met one alive.
Of course we moved into the cities of the planet we now know we must call Zobranoirundisi when Worlds Federated finally permitted a colony there.
I fell asleep in Dr. Olga’s big room, in the red university building by the Botanical Garden. I had a helmet on my head stuffed with wires. There were lots of lights and noises.
“It’s only a career,” said Tsuyoshi, sitting up on his futon and adjusting his pajamas. “You worry too much.”
The fog crawled out of the water and over his body, colonizing his pores, permeating bone and tissue, bleeding off his ability to yell or fight back. He was on his side in a convulsion before the Vosth parasites took his motor functions and stood his body up.
She wears a smile. I like her smile, nervous and maybe a little scared, sweet and somewhat lonely. She wears jeans and a sheer green blouse and comfortable sandals and rings on two fingers and a glass patch across one eye.
There was a stream where I had been fetching water. A flow station was built nearby and now the stream was rank and filthy, with an oily film that reflected rainbows. Cassava and yam farms yielded less and less each year. The air left your skin dirty and smelled like something preparing to die.