Miners 28

Kaylee parked the LUFAW station wagon in the pitch black lot of Franky Espada’s at 12:03 in the morning. The darkness would protect it from prying eyes and cameras on most drones. She convinced herself it would be safe to leave alone, at least for a few minutes, since the crowd inside wouldn’t start spilling out of the bar in their rage for at least another hour. She fast-walked across the street to Motel Cielo.

She walked past what was once Concha’s room and plugged the old Coke machine into an outdoor socket. It made no indication it still worked, no rumbling of coolant or humming of electrical parts, except one button lit from behind. She added a Byte into a rusty slit and hit the button to the right of the lighted one, counted to four, then hit the button below it. A cassette tape clinked into the retrieval bin.

Back inside the station wagon, she booted a small console and glowscreen, slipped the cassette into the tape deck and turned the volume up. The cabin filled with static and blips.

The microphone on the console picked up the sounds and initiated a program, which began decoding the audio into text:

Target metabolite profile: normal

Target genomic profile tissue sets 1, 2 and 3: normal

Target methylation profile tissue sets 1, 2 and 3: normal

Outstanding mutations related to suspected psychological or physical or developmental pathology: none

Have a nice day!

We appreciate your business.


“God. Dang. It,” she said. Had they really botched capturing a dud again? Jorge needed a spanking or something. Matteo couldn’t be a dud. He was genetically as average as anybody else.

Then she envied Concha for having such a cool name that happened to look just like a standard keyboard character “@” and wished she was clever enough to think of one that looked like “Kaylee”. Maybe some pseudonym that ended in “-ly”.

She hoped that Concha would reconsider being part of the team.

Miners 29

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