“Alright, let me get this straight,” Telders said, drink swirling. “He came from the future.”
“Through a wormhole.”
“And he’s a fish.”
“Yeah.” I said, scratching my head. “His name’s Spegg. But he’s not actually a fish. He’s referred to as a transgenic. Sort of a hybrid between fish and human. More human than fish I think. That’s the way it looks to me at least. The genetics could be way off. Hard to know.”
“Of course,” Michael said, grinning.
“You don’t believe any of this, do you?”
“Uh, no. But it’s a great story, Wayne. Very creative.”
“Goddammit, Telders. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s real. I promise you.”
“Sure, sure. So, you say this stuff he injected you with, the uh…”
“Lilith, right. You say this pink stuff turned you into, like soul mates or something?”
“Well, it’s not a goddamn romantic thing, but yeah, he became like a brother to me. But much deeper. Like a part of me.”
“Alright, fine. So not too long after that he brought a whole shitload of these transgenics through the wormhole.”
“Nineteen of them.”
“And when their goddamn pods landed they completely destroyed my Array.”
“Yeah, sorry about that.”
“Oh, no, don’t worry about it. Not like it was expensive or anything.”
I lowered my eyes. “Yeah.”
“Alright, so to make a long story short, that’s when the Army showed up and took the transgenics into custody and then some Russian pilot shot down the helicopter you were riding in and you would have drowned, but you were saved by a Navy Seal, who you promptly killed and then took off in his inflatable boat, hopped aboard a whaling ship, nearly killed everyone there, and then you blew a hole in the bottom of the ship with some C-4 that happened to be lying around and dove into Tokyo Bay where you managed to escape a fleet of Japanese police and military ships.”
“Oh, and don’t forget the war.”
“Right, of course. Spegg sort of implied in his latest e-mail to you that he’s responsible for starting World War III.”
“Yeah, that’s about it. So do you believe me now?”
“God, no!” Telders laughed. “This is the craziest fucking thing I’ve ever heard. I mean, the shit about the boat I have to believe because it’s all over the news, but Jesus Christ, Wayne, you’re… I mean… I’m impressed. You should be a writer. Start a blog or something.”
I rolled my eyes, and picked up the bottle of Japanese scotch. I took one look at it and set it down again.
Michael stared at me. “There aren’t any post-human, genetic hybrid fish creatures in Antarctica waiting to give you the love you never had and take you for a ride in their space-time machines. It’s a story you made up in your head to deal with the pressure of a life of solitude. Fuck, I never should have allowed you to take that post in Antarctica. But I was stupid and figured that because you’ve been a loner all your life, it’d be perfect for you. Boy was I wrong. I thought the Husky would take the edge off, but… hey, what happened to the fucking Husky?”
I thought back to the day Buzz attacked and nearly killed Einstein, the transgenic hybrid that Spegg had created from an Antarctic seal and a sample of my DNA. I had reacted instinctively, violently. Almost like a father protecting his child.
Buzz didn’t make it.
I looked at Telders and shook my head. “You don’t wanna know.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right. I don’t wanna know.” Michael hung his head and laughed. “Alright, Christ, enough of this shit, Wayne. Forget about going back to Antarctica and let’s get our drink on, shall we? To new beginnings….”
“No,” I said, kicking the bottle over. “No more. I’m going back. And don’t you try and stop me, either.”
Telders raised his hands and sighed. “No one’s gonna get in your way, brother.”