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Chapter Thirty – Girl Talk

Back to Chapter Twenty Nine

Trays in hand, Hwang guestures to Beth to join her at a far table. “So, what do you think of this place?”

“It sure didn’t turn out like I expected. So much for the glamorous life of exploring a new world.”

Hwang picks at her food with her fork. “You haven’t been missing out on much on Earth. 好吧 .”

“What was it like on the way out?”

“A Sausage Festival with a large side dish of Testosterone Poisoning.


“I didn’t have to hurt anyone, but I came close.” Hwang chews a forkful of Hamdinger philosophically. “I wouldn’t recommend being the only woman with five men in a space the size of a large tent for months on end.” She rolls her eyes.

“The guys here are neither good nor bad for the most part, but it’s no romantic get-away.” Beth is taking a close look at the Hamdinger chunk on the end of her fork. “There’s Mars-i Gras, but that’s more of a crazy party than anything. Bad Decision Theater material. And the shortage of personal hygiene products.”

“This conversation is not going to pass The Bechdel test. Yet I am not looking forward to being locked in a tin can with those four again.” She forks up some mashed potatoes. “I’ve been wondering, what would people think if I jumped ship and stayed here?”

Eye-popping surprise. “You, what? Give up your ticket home?”

“What home? Q-nuts burned down my apartment building looking for satanic pedophile hampsters.”

“You’re kidding me, right?”

“I wish I was. Just because they don’t exist doesn’t mean The Deep State isn’t…” she’s waving her fork “isn’t, you know, genetically engineering them deep under the Earth’s crust.”

“Say what?”

“Kray-kray is as kray-kray does. They think shadowy figures put these hampsters in pet shops to prey on small children. What do you think I could get in trade for my seat back to Earth?”

“Name your price.”

Onward to Chapter Thirty One