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But it didn't. It felt light as the words in his mind, soft as the lead between his fingers. It felt fine and funny, like setting text for field voles. I have become. Let my wings open.

Breaking the Fall

Let it always be spring, and I in it, he thought. I did my best. Rat scuttled between metal legs, used to the robots getting in the way. Ever since they'd taken over and killed all the humans, they acted superior. Pretty uppity for man-made creatures, Rat thought.


Rat was unconcerned. Rat was a creature of God and his children's children would still be here long after the robots industrialized themselves into extinction. Same thing had happened to the dinosaurs and humans, after all. The only thing that bothered Rat was that robots didn't keep organic food around. He was positively famished. Life was better in the good old days when humans ruled the Earth. Rat jumped over a couple metal toes, sniffing and searching for food, but stopped when he heard the robots talking.

For the first time, he regretted not being a cat or a dog, an animal that humans would find cute and take in, no questions asked. But Rat had evolved too and the radiation had helped. He was no longer like the stupid rats humans used to kill. If he could make himself useful, maybe the humans would let him stay with them.

The Daily Cabal: April Archives

Finding the explosives wasn't hard; mixing and transporting them was. Rat enlisted all his friends and even a couple hamsters that were strolling by. Humans would dig the explosions, specially if they killed robots. Rat set the counters while his little army stole an old Blackberry from the Human Artifacts Museum. We come in Peace," he typed into the rat-sized screen. Now, he only needed to find the humans and show them the message. He hoped the humans hadn't grown too stupid to understand that alliances were a give and take and that Rat and his friends expected to be paid.

In food, preferably. Behind him, a dead woman lay on a bed. She lay as if asleep -- but too empty of life for that mistake to be made for long. Most likely heart failure. Except for the water on her window and the secret words it made. Marcius glanced between them and Cimber, torn. If he revealed the truth, he risked seeing another artist contained. In her condensation-words a trusted water interpreter might find a clue to the artist's identity -- and that would mean containment, imprisonment of another man or woman who could help Marcius. But every case he helped solve earned a reduction of his debt to Cimber.

As Cimber requested a pick-up for the body, his eyes moving across the screens embedded inside them, Marcius said, "That's not why she died. She says that she was bored, and now she's leaving in her new body.

Soon she'll be floating through the city, playing with the rain, the rooftops, the undersides of weather balloons. He could not keep longing from his voice. Neither could he ignore the look of displeasure on Cimber's face. Cimber had not approved of his little brother's decision.

And when he realised that Marcius had left without repaying a debt, disapproval had turned to action. Running down metal roof-tiles, along drainage pipes, gutters -- like slides at a child's amusement park. He remembered it with painful clarity. Some people worried that too many citizens bought water bodies, and made the act illegal. Marcius worried that too many artists would be contained before he'd repaid his debt. Later, outside the apartment, Cimber acknowledged the debt reduction.

Forty-six, he thought as Cimber began silently walking home, until I can be water, until I can play with the rain again. The Bonobo King paced the marble floor of his bedroom in his crimson silk pajamas, unable to sleep again. His spider monkey lover, Flamenca, stirred in the massive canopy bed. Parthenia Rook. I've tried every approach conceivable--an android toddler, zombie photographers, an opposite gender identical twin raised to evil, unbalancing her fruit Someone or something is foiling them.

And no one could foil your plans unless he were as clever as you are. The Bonobo King stopped short as an ugly realization came to him. Flamenca must have noticed, for her toe froze in place, and she said in a very careful tone, "What is it? For some reason I cannot fathom, I am sabotaging my own evil schemes.

Sacrifice and the City : Administration and Religion in the Eastern Mediterranean Bronze Age

Flamenca gasped and the Bonobo King turned and leaped onto the bed, where he crouched over her tiny form. The Bonobo King screeched with fury and indignation. Snatching a heavy gold candlestick from beside the bed, he struck at Flamenca with it, smashing it down on her fragile body until she was little more than a smear of bloody fur.

Bits of brain stuck to the candlestick, and the Bonobo King threw it aside in disgust as he hopped calmly off the the bed. He resumed his pacing. Mildred Fondren stomped her way across Europe. England, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Greece had been dealt with in three days each.

April 29, 2008

Now it was Italy's turn. In Venice, Pompeii, and Rome she'd get off the bus, get her picture taken, buy a commemorative spoon, and embark for the next set of ruins. Until her feet rebelled. On her way from the Vatican to the Coliseum they tingled. From the Coliseum to the Trevi Fountain she got pins-and-needles. And when she got back to the hotel they refused to carry her a step farther. They floated up to the ceiling of the bus, exposing her to ridicule, to indignation, to astonishment, and to the crosswind coming through the windows. It is not proper to stand on the roof.

That might be how folks in Akron behave, but when in Rome--". She floated down a few inches, but when her arms tired she floated back up again. Awkwardly pushing her dress up her legs, she walked to the door. And there she stopped. She spoke to the bus driver, who pulled a pair of heavy suitcases from storage under the bus. He frowned. Mildred grabbed each handle as it was offered, and found herself pulled to bus's floor.

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She maneuvered her way out the door. Once on the ground, she walked the bags to the door of the hotel, both relieved and mortified that her dress had once more fallen over her face so she could not see the sky above her legs. Doctors could find nothing physically wrong with Mildred. It was not as if all of her was lighter than air, only that her feet exerted a powerful upward force. At the first tentative suggestion of amputation she firmly shooed them out and made reservations to return early to Ohio. Beneath Highway 5 and the thousands of cars speeding by, the insubstantial hatchling cracked out of its insubstantial egg and floated up.

It rose through the cars and the oblivious humans driving them. And if they could see the hatchling they would think it looked like some sort of giant jellyfish.

The hatchling rose higher and at the cloud line rendezvoused with an elder.