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The second episode of my latest sci-fi work in progress.
Here's the next piece from the upcoming Brent Bolster book. The first episode is here.
If you're not familiar with Brent and the others, this is sci-fi comedy with elements of Star Trek, Douglas Adams, and more. The first book has been 99 cents/ 99 pence for quite a while now, and there's a link after the chapter below.
Rawlgeeb ran his fingers across his scalp. Wrinkles, he thought. I’m getting wrinkles. Wringing his hands, he crossed the office to the small mirror he’d hung by the door, then he pinched at the normally smooth skin of his cheeks, staring in dismay at the creases forming between his fingers. He’d been on Earth too long. He needed a bath: a proper Gloabon bath with a good head of mucilaginous foam and swirling threads of slime, the warm water seething with the bacterial glyphoforms that would work their way into his skin, making him feel fresh and alive. Making him feel whole. “Symbiosis,” he sighed. “Who would have thought that I’d miss it so much?”
Squeaking on its hinges, the door swung open, and Brent marched inside. “Miss what?” His gaze flicked from Rawlgeeb to the mirror. “Talking to yourself? It’s the first sign of madness, that’s what Freud told me. At least, I think he was talking to me. It was kind of hard to tell, what with the white beard, and the cigar, and all.”
Rawlgeeb blinked. “You believe you were having a conversation with Sigmund Freud, and you think I’m losing my grip? I’ll admit that my knowledge of Earth history could be better, but even I know that Freud has been dead for well over a hundred years.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Brent said, shrugging out of his trench coat and hanging it from the coat rack. Catching his reflection in the mirror, he tilted his fedora back, his gaze meeting Rawlgeeb’s via the smudged glass. “It wasn’t the real guy. It was an android. AI. You know, ten credits and all your problems solved. Seemed to me like a real sweet deal. I got my money’s worth, that’s for sure.”
“Oh really, Brent! You should know better than to waste your money on backstreet auto-shrinks. They’re no better than funfair sideshows dressed up as qualified therapists. On Gloabon, they’d be–”
“Save it,” Brent interrupted, heading for his desk and sitting down heavily, swinging his feet to rest on a convenient stack of files. “You’re not on Gloabon anymore, Toto. Get used to it.” He sent Rawlgeeb a grin, but his smile faded as he watched Rawlgeeb hobble to across the office, heading for his own, pristine desk. “What’s up with your leg? You’re walking like that second-hand robot that made such a lousy job of brewing the coffee. What did you do to yourself? Fall off your high horse?” read more…