The teleporter sounded like someone was shaking a canister of Bone Mend while undocking from a rocket port. Unlike the rocket, however, the teleporter occupant was not headed to some distant pleasure world or an interplanetary adventure. Instead, the woman wearing hand-spun cloth and a fine layer of dirt was headed down to the surface.
“Did you see the look she gave you right before heading down?” Todd asked Lucy.
Lucy clapped her hand to remove some of the dust she gathered in from shaking the woman’s hand. “It was a little unnerving, for sure. Our cousins are normally a little uppity but she was different.”
“Almost as if you were the… wait, what’s the word for it? Bog man? No… Body man? That doesn’t seem right…”
“Boogeyman,” Lucy said as she opened the door from the facility and walked out with Todd close behind her.
“That’s it!” he picked up the pace. It was about eight hours since his last meal, and he already felt the grumblings starting to build up in the back of his head. “Could you imagine if we had to fear something like that? How primitive!”
“Eh, they have wolves, and other things to contest with for food and space down there so it’s perfectly rational that they would begin to give their fears a name like boogeyman.” The dining hall was a short walk away, and the line was short at this odd hour, much to Lucy and Todd’s delight.
“Well good thing we moved beyond that. Thank the slug for elevating us to the skies and beyond,” Todd said.
“Thank the slug,” the eight or so people in the room said simultaneously with unblinking eyes before returning to their meals.
“You think they’ll come around soon and join the rest of civilization? We have plenty of space for them,” Todd asked Lucy before plugging a food spout into the back of his neck so his slug could get at it.
“Maybe if we keep lasering their crops and calling it lighting,” Lucy said with a chuckle.
Lucy took another food spout and plugged in. She might have wished that she was eating real food instead of a nutrient slush, but she did not know any better. The slugs had been in her family for the last hundred years since they first came to Earth; she had been born with one.
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