Periodical Installment 3
It was time for Jane 6 to meet her colony. The Utiiud were a highly advanced society of bio-bacterial sentient beings. 30,000 would thrive inside her body, populating and continuing their alien species while she got to enjoy living in a new world of unlimited water, but what would it be like? Jane 6 had no access to previous "Hosts". She used to know girls in the "TenLawn" that chose hosting, but they always moved right after implantation into their new living quarters in the "DieManHeights". She heard it used to be a hill, but San Francisco 2222 had no topography that you could see. It was an ocean of buildings and myriad people swimming among them. The outside world was a lot like what oceans used to be like, you couldn't breathe without an apparatus in either. Jane 6 wondered how the Utiiud would breathe inside her.
Kim 12 gave Jane 6 something called a book. It was like a still screen of pictures and symbols sewn together. The screens didn't move unless you pulled them apart with your fingers. She couldn't swipe anywhere and had a difficult time figuring out how to turn the first page. How delicate it was, this paper. How decadent to have a thing that was yours that you kept and moved around and looked at whenever you wanted. Almost all the walls in the "TenLawn" were touch screen activated for information. Any pictures they wanted to look at, they could, but these strange blocks of symbols with small breaks between them were mesmerizing. What did they mean? And these pictures were unbelievable. Cute, whiskered, four legged animals in baskets, with yarn, in "pastures". Jane 6 had heard that these fluffy creatures existed before the Water Wars of 2121 and were called "cats", but "cats" as an earth dwelling species became extinct shortly after the first alien invasion in 2099 of the Lupine.
The Lupine were space wolverines that confused the feline species as a food source. Humans didn't seem to mind because they were originally targeted as the primary food source. The Space Federation declared humanity a fine source as they were over populating and didn't seem to want to stop despite vastly dwindling resources. An inter-universal study by the Federation concluded that if the Lupine took out 95% of humans, they'd be able to share their advanced water conserving technology with the remaining 5%, save the planet from further degradation and remove the threat of war and destruction from humanity.
Unfortunately for all cats, the Lupine landed in a repository where humanity relinquished their non-breeders, non-sexers, and non- workers. 2099 was still a time where people got something called "old" and had to live somewhere far away because the smelled funny, moved slowly and got sick. The Lupine were told that humans were virile, quick and tasty morsels, opposite to the decrepit grey haired hunchbacks in walkers and wheelchairs they discovered. The cats on their laps, however, were delicious, and these old people had a lot of cats.
The Lupine developed a taste for feline rather than human and decimated 95% of their population. There hadn't been any "cats" on the planet since 2100. Their only memory existing in pictures and legends. Would Jane 6's implanted alien colony be as ruthless? The reason Jane 6 chose to be a host was to keep Jane 6 intact. She wasn't willing to compromise whatever Jane 6 was for the lush comforts of being a "sexer", and she was worried about the contract she'd have to abide by to become a "host". Jane 6 refused to be exterminated.
Pam Benjamin is the director of Mutiny Radio. She has an MA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry from SFSU because she likes fancy framed pieces of paper on her kitchen walls. Pam likes to do stand up comedy because it is poetry that people actually listen to, and she does an excessive number of weekly podcasts: