Sorry for the absence, guys! I'm back for a little while and am in the process of formulating a reply. Give me a few hours to get back into the swing of the story, and I should have something on here by tonight. A series of bizarre events has left me with limited access to a computer. Life is weird like that, I guess.
He dreamed he was vacuuming. The archaic gizmo in his hands droned its nasal lament, fantastic whorls of dust roiling from every seam in its quaint, plastic body. It was everywhere! The dander, the mites, the insurmountable layers of lint! Surely, someone would find him preserved beneath it all, fossil frozen in his prehistoric struggle with this extinct species of household cleaning appliance.
Weeeeerrraaaaaaah! Waaaaaaaaa -
Kit wrestled his eyelids apart, the dream and its allergenic clouds dissipating. The blurry vista before him now was just that of his living room, awash in mote-speckled columns of morning light. It was exactly as he had left it before dozing off with the baby.
Oh, right. The baby. It was crying again.
"Fine, I'm awake." He groused, shifting the infant upright. He hoisted it up groggily, a hand under each armpit, and gave it a long, dour frown. "Look, I'm awake. Now whaddaya want, huh? Food? I bet it's food. Yesh it is. Itsh food, isn't it, you widdle ball of - "
A glint out the window caught his eye, sunlight flashing off of a scuffed metal hull. What was a shuttle doing here? Perhaps irrationally, he assumed the worst:
They were onto him.
Mr. Destroyer-of-Worlds Jr. continued to caterwaul as the unidentified craft swung near. "Oh pleeeeaaase," Kit implored, bouncing the chua hastily on his knee. "Shhh! There you go. Nice rodent. Good rodent. We're going to play a little hide and seek, okay? Whee!" He shrewdly scanned his surroundings. Cardboard box? Potted plant? Couch cushion? There was no time to lose. About as deftly as he could hefting this well-fed, noisily-objecting sack of potatoes around, he stuffed the bewildered kid into the back of his shirt and tied the loose fabric firmly around his waist so that it wouldn't slide out. Then, noticeably hunch-backed, he prepared to answer the door.
As the craft landed in the designated area, a blue spur for a moment lit up the surrounding. For a good while silence instilled itself in the air. Only ship's presence looming out of the window. A glimpse that it all might have been just a dream. Perhaps it was?
Knock knock knock
Three precise knocks on the door, with precise three seconds in-between each.
Kit answered the door like a thing emerging from a sepulcher, a rickety, stiff shouldered wheedling-into-the-light, about as natural and wholesome as a taxidermied clown. A restive panic was taking shape just beneath his skin.
Mental checklist time. Greet whoever-it-is, get rid of whoever-it-is, and move on. Get the following points across in as graceful and unassuming a manner as possible:
1. That there is nothing contraband here.
2. That this is not a good time to be dropping by unannounced. Maybe they can schedule a later meeting, something civilized and with forewarning, over tea and a warrant or something.
3. That one must not, under whatever circumstances, pay any mind to the thing on his back.
"Hello, officer!" he announced to the very official looking woman waiting impatiently on his porch. A rigid, helpless grin escalated across his face. It was as though this was all occurring in the third person. He watched himself practically hover there, speaking nonsense. "Everyone here is fantastic. There is no need to look around. I have a hereditary condition and staring at my grotesquely malformed shoulders would be impolite."
The aurin woman made a quick assessment of the picture - the very scared, very muttering young man with angular features, looking like he just ran a marathon, a cozy(?) looking apartments. And whatever gibberish he said that set an uncomfortable silence between the two.
Keeran could barely contain the amused grin, letting it spread on her porcelain pale face briefly before re-aligning herself. She after all had to think of an excuse herself as to why she, the Supreme Commander of Blue Phoenix and another series of self-assigned titles, is here. The answer came in the man's statement.
"... Right." the sentence came off more cunning than she expected out of her low mellow voice. "Actually the condition is what quite intrigues me, if I may say."
"Yes, well, uh" Kit was attempting to wrest what quidbits of language he could from the swampy depths of his fear-inundated brain. The lump on his shoulders issued something like a hiccup or a quack, a high-pitched wet noise. "It's really flaring up today, let me tell you! Wow." For only a beat, a smooth, cinnamon tail flicked up from beneath his collar before slipping out of view.
Even as he spoke, he was closing the door between himself and the dark haired officer. She had a designing look to her, astute and dangerous, and there was as much chance of her buying any of this as there was of him ever escaping this calamity. "Listen, this isn't a good time, but feel free to come back, you know, with a warrant and we'll chat -
Keeran shoved her foot between the door frame and the closing door.
No doubt, the young man was right. Warrant. Paperwork. The aurin woman was familiar with it. She was trespassing after all. Legally, she had no reasons to be here and if by any chance Peacekeepers saw her here they would, if not arrest, definitely present her with lectures. Such was the price for the curiosity.
But when she saw a flick of the cinnamon tail under his shirt, her foot moved to block the closing door. Tail. Peacekeepers. Law. Eureka.
"Neighbors been complaining about the suspicious noise!"