The Karmora Papers

Part One: Delayed Conquest

Chapter One


By the third blim Treflin Karmora’s deliquescent, glimmering, encrusted eyes were flickering open and she was reaching for the Telemind switch. By the sixth blim she was swearing somewhat absently through anoduck down that, probably, she should probably have grafted a Memoryphone. Real differences between them? None that she could detect, but it seemed that this absurd graft was always depustulating and the Telemind shops were never open or even newt-connected. Those unpleasant (and sharp) little wispwafer recordicts never remembered your message as they so nasally promised to do. Blim; reach; it was too far. Brushing ano-ferns, she stumbled across the room to shut it off. Who could consider buying a new unit now? The economy had begun to slip after the second Scandinavian Earthwars, and Treflin knew that it was a time for buying bricks, not plants. She had a plant, it was true, a rather extravagant purchase she’d made as a tribute to Melin and Forsander. Her younger brother and sister had both been killed fighting in those Scandinavian battles and then been processed into Excrecrackers, and she herself had been forced to leave her homeland for Francanada after the collapse of the Eastern United States four years ago. Plants served.

"Only four years ago," she thought, smacking the Telemind sharply. It reluctantly agreed to breathe gently. "Now if Melin and Forsander had joined with the Carp Minority Tribe supporters they might be alive today, or at least employed."

Slowly, she shifted her skin-grafted Smegophone to a more comfortable position in her lap, absentmindedly stroking the alarm orifice. Her fingers twitched spasmodically as a Sensory Seven pill erupted in her secondary abdomen, signalling that a pneu-alien force had taken up space in the neighboring time-floss zone.

"Conlog, conlog!" screeched the Telemind, drawing her attention back to the first sentence. "Your Key to Proximity pneu-rated at ‘hopelessly overmulled;’ suggest reevaluation of Karmora, Treflin, credit rating. You thank me."

Chagrin welled up inside of her plastonose as she discovered that, sure enough, her Proximity Key, which she had left coconsciously to the Disaporasor for an extra Earth-week, conspicuously registered ‘hopelessly overmulled’ in glowing white numeralphics.

"Well, there goes the neighborhood," she thought bitterly, "unless I can get Paroofa to put a lien on my plant."

Anxiously, she hummed his number into the Telemind.

"What’s your Key to Proximity?" buzzed a distant mechanical voice.

"Overmulled," thought Treflin.

"Is that ‘almost,’ ‘very,’ ‘inconsiderately,’ or ‘hopelessly’?"

"Hopelessly," thought Treflin, with some embarrassment.

"Somewhat sorry, but your communication cannot be completed at this time. Please prepare for electroshock penalty."

And before Treflin could degraft and discard the Telemind, her head and nose rocked from the impact of a long-wave Miserizer. ‘This simply will not do,’ she thought, as an overwhelming longing for a Memoryphone gave way to grumbling, troubled unconsciousness. next

The Karmora Papers is Copyright ©1976,1993,1996 by Dennis Báthory Kitsz and David Gunn. All rights reserved. If you enjoy this book, an appreciation fee of any amount may be made to Dennis Báthory-Kitsz or David Gunn at Malted/Media Productions, 176 Cox Brook Road, Northfield VT 05663.

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