For Earthlings who were neither rich nor well-connected, the lottery was the only way to get on the Lunar Habitation Programme. (This was the Earthlings’ name for it. The moon people said: “those fucking immigrants”.)
Every few day-cycles, it receives hate-scented lace in anonymous packages. It opens the bland plastic envelope to pull one out, holding the delicate fragment between two forelimbs. Contemplating it before folding it again to put away in a drawer. Four drawers filled so far; the fifth is halfway there.
“Traitor,” say some of the smells, rotting fruit and acid. “Betrayer. Turncoat. One who eats their own young.” Others are simply soaked in emotion: hate and anger, and underneath the odor of fear. It lets the thoughts, the smells, the tastes fill it, set its own thoughts in motion. Then it goes downstairs and sits with the other whores, who make room uneasily for it.
Another child was born in the great Mother, excreted from the tube protruding from the Nursery ceiling. It landed with a wet thud on the organic bedding underneath. Papa shuffled over to the birthing tube and picked the baby up in his wizened hands. He stuck two fingers in the baby’s mouth to clear the cavity of oil and mucus, and then slapped its bottom. The baby gave a faint cry.
“Ah,” said Papa. “She lives…”
This episode of the Drabblecast is about awakenings and transformations. In the drabble, not all its memories of a man’s life make sense to an undersea creature. In the feature, generations ago the survivors of a ruined world struck a deal with their Mother, an enormous creature merging flesh and technology. They live symbiotically within her, helping her do everything from navigating to digesting food while in return she provides them safety and sustenance. When Mother is injured beyond repair, starved for both food and fresh genetic material, she passes on a dying gift.
“I’m in serious trouble here,” I said to the pale man. “Give me some words of wisdom.”
This episode’s Drabble details a disturbing beginning. The feature is a haunting tale of desire and eternity. Norm Sherman gives us more information on the Mega-Beach Death-Match, which contains a squid with tank treads, a giant wasp, and a robotic tanuki. Feedback is from Episode #96 “The Story-Teller” by Saki.
Once you start to see them, they seem to be everywhere…
The Drabble News report, of a 5-year scientific study which showed staring at women’s breasts prolonged the lifespan of males, inspires a now-infamous skit. Norm details the riot among medical test subjects when the non-boobie control group was chosen. The feature story continues with theme of close observation of the Creator’s handiwork. The author, whose work has appeared in “Alien Skin” among other places, presents a disturbing tale of a crusty old misanthrope discovering a crude shortcut from an Impressionistic God, harkening back to the world’s creation. Is humanity ready for that knowledge? Feedback for Episode #39, “The Bee-Keepers,” was accidentally erased by Norm, but the forum comments were very positive, and stimulated a great discussion about parasites. Finally, the Drabblecast New Year’s Resolution is a raise in the submission pay rates.