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She just laughed at me. I was a little surprised but it only took me a moment to realize that this was Earth in it’s twenty-first century. I’d been there before, but it had been a long time before and forgot how little they knew of the universe beyond their atmosphere.
“I don’t know why I would lie to you, Ms. Church. I just wanted to return the favor you paid me by giving me that item. You don’t have to repay me by laughing in my face.” I stood up and started walking toward the door. “Good luck transitioning to adulthood on your own!”
“Wait, what?” she said, suddenly sounding like she was about to miss out on important information. I stopped walking.
“The green film. It’s a lubricant for a metamorphosis.”
“You said I was becoming an adult?”
I turned around to face her. “Yes, you are–an adult elucidite.”
“But that makes no sense–I’m in my late twenties. I’ve been an adult for eight years.”
“But you’re not human. Elucidites live longer but take longer to mature. You’re parents really should have told you all of this. Were they stricken with amnesia or some other memory-robbing Earth disorder? Altimeters, maybe?”
“I think you mean Alzheimer’s.”
“Oh, right. So it is.”
“No, they were in a car accident.”
“So, that’s how they lost their memory?”
“No! That’s how they died.”
“Oh. I’m sorry.”
She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. I sat down on a chair next to the couch. “How old were you when it happened. In Earth years?”
“Eighteen. Just about to go to college.”
“College?” I said, in a tone of voice that betrayed my ignorance more than I had meant it to. I ran my finger over the triangle and circle tattoo on my left palm that worked the Conveniencer nano-device incorporated into the body I was using to quickly remind myself that college was a form of school–attended as a final training for life on Earth as a human adult. “Ah yes, your preparation school for life.”
It sounded like I’d still gotten the definition wrong. I quickly brushed past it. “So, you don’t have any other family members here?”
“No, I don’t. I only got to go to college because my parents had life insurance and I was the only beneficiary. I was lucky like that.”
“But no one who can help you.”
“Yes, with your transition. In two or three spins of your home world, Elucidea Prime, you will begin to really ooze that green stuff all over yourself. You’ll grow a cocoon around you and, in a couple more Elucidean spins past that, you’ll come out a literal new person.”
She stared off at the wall with a look on her face that told me she was horrified.
“Don’t worry, Ms. Church–you’ll still be you. Your memories intact, your body will look nearly the same.”
“Nearly the same?”
I tried to remember what the changes were when an Elucidean adults for the first time. I had to resort to the Conveniencer again. I ran my finger over the ring on my left palm and felt the menu knowledge write to my short term memory. I erased everything in the list but Eluciditian biological processes and then tapped the triangle inside the ring and felt the memories write.
“Ah yes, your eyes will brighten, literally changing color, usually to a brighter color. And you will grow a tail.”
“Oops, sorry. You’re a female. No tail for adult Eluciditian females.”
I really needed to finish reading before opening my mouth.
“How long is a… Elucidean spin?”
“Oh, it’s about one and a quarter Earth days, roughly.”
“So, you’re saying that in two-and-a-half days I’ll start oozing myself a cocoon, and another day or two I’ll come out of it a new person?”
“That’s nuts, lady,” she said. I shrugged.