Swapping on Interlude

by Steven C. Levi


“Whoaaaaa! Wait a minute! You been here ALL day? Now I know there wasn’t a yellow-out. Sulfur plain’s been hard pack for a week.”

“Ahhh, Dad, come on. I just stayed home.”

“Stayed home? You should be learning something every day. Every day! If you don’t graduate you’re going to end up punching some computer keyboard on some God-forsaken planet.”

“Like here on Cerebrus?”

“Watch your mouth, Leenda. You may be 16 but you still live in my house.”

“Come on, Dad. Ease up. I didn’t spend any money today. I stayed home and watched holovision.”

“Holovision! I curse the day I ever bought that crystal pancake!! Why aren’t you studying calculus or astronomy? Have you done your homework?”

“DAAAADDDD! I just took one day, one afternoon off! That’s not a crime, is it? Besides, calculus and astronomy are sooooooooo complicated. It’s hard for me to understand them.”

“‘It’s hard for me to understand them’, Jeez. You sound like your older sister. ‘It’s hard for me to understand them’.”

“Dad! I thought we agreed that you weren’t going to compare me to Helen.”

“Okay. Okay. Okay. But I want — no, I expect — that you will have finished all your homework by the time you go to bed. Tonight, Leenda. Before you go to bed tonight. Clear?”

“Yeah, Dad.”

“Don’t ‘Yeah, Dad’ me. What are you watching anyway?”

Interlude and I don’t want to talk about it. Can we finish this after the program?”

“Sure. But I’ll tell you what. I’ll watch it with you.”

“You won’t like it.”

“How do you know?”

“Well, it’s not your, your cup of purple.”

“Maybe not. Why don’t you tell me what’s going on here?”

“You REALLY want to know?”

“Sure, why not?”

“Okay. I’ll clue you in to what is happening. But take your boots off the solar table. Mom will think I’m the one that scratched it!”

“All right. All right. There. Satisfied?”

“Yeah. Now, see that Afrisoid?’

“The who?”

“Afrisoid.”

“You mean the black guy.”

“DAD! Be race conscious. He’s an Afrisoid.”

“Okay. What about him?”

“Well, he’s in this hospital and that’s his wife.”

“The white lady.”

“DAD!! That’s a Caucasoid.”

“Yeah. Right. Caucasoid. And?”

“She’s telling him that her sister and her brother-in-law...”

“The bla..., Afrisoid’s brother?”

“No. The Caucasoid’s brother’s male consort.”

“That’s a brother-in-law?”

“What do you call him?”

“Well, I’d call him a faggot.”

“DAD!!”

“Okay. So the Afrisoid’s sister-in-law has run off. Run off?”

“That’s right.”

“Run off with her brother’s male consort. A Caucasoid?”

“No. He’s an Android.”

“Ohhhhhh! An android. So it wasn’t a physical thing.”

“Yes, it was. See he’s, the android has, had this pituitary gland transplant and he’s developed emotions that allow him...”

“So, he can, UH...”

“Have sex, Dad. Have sex. You don’t have such a hard time saying ‘Effing methane-mobile’ but you do have a hard time saying ‘have sex’.”

“Have sex. So he can have sex now. This android, I mean.”

“Well, he can enjoy it now. With the brother-in-law he was just kind of being used as a sex object.”

“I see. Now who’s this? Are these people related to the Android?”

“No, Dad. This is another family.”

“Well, I thought we were following the saga of the android.”

“No. We were following the saga, if you want to use that word, of the Afrisoid and his Caucasoid wife. But this is another story now. There are six of them each hour.”

“And they continue each day?”

“That’s right.”

“Now these women look pretty normal to me. What are their problems?”

“Well, the older Caucasoid is the mother of the younger Caucasoid.”

“Figures. If they’re normal they wouldn’t be on this program. Now, what’s going on?”

“Well, you have to know what’s happened.”

“Well?”

“See, the younger Caucasoid has been having an affair with a Reptisoid...”

“You mean a snake-face.”

“No, Dad, a Reptisoid. God, you are such a racist.”

“I know. It breaks my heart. Now, tell me about this Reptisoid.”

“Well, he had an affair with her and got her pregnant.”

“I see.”

“But she lost the baby — and don’t you dare say it, Dad! I can see you starting to smirk.”

“Okay. So she lost the baby, er child, er, whatever.”

“But she still loves him but she can’t marry him.”

“Ah, the plot thickens. Let me guess. Because he’s already married to a snake fa... er, Reptisoid.”

“Right. But he’s got three wives, one of them is a Caucasoid, and he can’t take another.”

“Got his limit, eh?”

“DAD!!!”

“Okay.”

“Well, because she worked in a hospital as a nurse, in the very hospital where one of the Reptisoid’s wives was also having a baby, she was able swap babies.”

“Swap babies? I thought her baby died?”

“It did. She stole one from the nursery and forged adoption papers.”

“I see. It had to be a part Caucasoid and part Reptisoid baby, right? Otherwise the Reptisoid’s Caucasoid’s wife would know the new baby wasn’t her baby.”

“You’re catching on fast, Dad. That’s right. It was the child of an amnesiac who had died under sedation after having been raped by a gang of Reptisoid street punks.”

“Where’d they come from? They related to the Afrisoid?”

“No, Dad. They were just there, as in, there, you know. In the script.”

“So you never saw them?”

“No. I just heard about them. When the amnesiac came in she had just been beaten and was dying.”

“Well, how was the Caucasoid able to hide the theft of the infant?”

“By forging paperwork. Don’t you ever listen to me?”

“Well, you can’t just ‘forge’ paperwork like that. You have to have name, identification, security code data bank information. It’s not like buying a used, full-auto, laser assault MX-10, you know.”

“She did all that, Dad.”

“I don’t get it. She wanted a Reptisoid baby and got one.”

“No. She wanted that Reptisoid’s baby and she got it. See, by switching the babies, the Caucasoid got the Reptisoid baby from the man she loved. But the Reptisoid wife got a baby that was unrelated. That means that when they do a DNA test — that’ll happen tomorrow — the test will show that the Reptisoid’s wife had a baby that does not have his DNA match. He will immediately assume that his wife has been sleeping around...”

“Having sex.”

“That’s right, Dad, ‘having sex’. He’ll divorce that wife and then he’ll be free to marry this Caucasoid.”

“Ahhhhh! Then when they do a DNA test on this Caucasoid’s alleged baby it’s going to show that the infant has the Reptisoid’s DNA configuration. Very clever of this Caucasoid.”

“Almost. See, there’s a brother who doesn’t like the marriage.”

“Who’s got the brother? This Caucasoid or the Reptisoid’s unsuspecting wife.”

“Actually, it’s the amnesiac. The brother was supposed to have been lost in a crash over the Gelatin Sea but he has now shown up and is looking for his sister’s son.”

“I see. And, of course, he is now looking into the forged papers to trace his nephew.”

“Right. Since all of the paperwork is leading to a dead end, he and the hospital administrators are beginning to focus suspicion on the nurse, this younger Caucasoid.”

“Why?”

“Because she lost her baby and suddenly has one and cannot show where the infant came from.”

“She’s in deep targor poop then?”

“No. Her mother, that’s the older Caucasoid, is going to swear that the baby came from a friend of hers who lives in one of the moon colonies.”

“The hospital is going to check that out, right?”

“Yes. But by the time they get there, the mother will have had her former brother-in-law, who’s a hospital administrator there, juggle the paperwork so that she’s covered.”

“Why would he do that?”

“Because he loves her, that is, the younger Caucasoid that wants to marry the Reptisoid.”

“But the Caucasoid loves the Reptisoid!”

“That’s the eternal triangle, Dad.”

“Yeah. Now, wait a minute. Who are these eggheads?”

“DAD!! Those are Fortrani, watch my lips, Dad, For-Tran-EE. They are not ‘eggheads’”

“Okay. Fortrani. Are there any humans in this saga?”

“No, Dad, just Fortrani.”

“Okay. Why’s he in the hospital — and is this the same hospital that the Reptisoid baby was in?”

“Different hospital, Dad. No. He’s shot himself and he’s blaming his wife.”

“She’s a Fortrani?”

“Yes.”

“No miscegenation here? Darn.”

“DAD! If you want me to explain what’s going on here you have to be quiet.”

“Okay. Sorry. Why’d he shoot himself?”

“Because his wife is rich. See, when they got married, he signed a pre-nuptial which stated he could never inherit any of her money unless he adopted her son.”

“He’s a Fortrani?”

“Well, sort of. He was a test-tube baby with Caucasoid and Fortrani traits.”

“Half-breed.”

“DAD!”

“Okay. So he can’t have any of her money unless he adopts the son.”

“Right. That way she can force him to accept her test-tube baby son as his offspring.”

“This is too easy.”

“I know. BUT, see, he was very greedy so he planned to kill her and her son and inherit all of her money. But he couldn’t do it.”

“Why not?”

“It was too complicated to do in a small colony so what he did was set her up. He shot himself in such a way that the law would think she shot him and then condemn her to a slave colony?”

“He obviously did it.”

“Right. But he made a mistake. He used an earth pistol that had been used in a murder ten years earlier in Cleveland.”

“I’ve been to Cleveland and I believe it.”

“Let me finish, okay? He was a prime suspect in that murder ten years ago, while his current wife was on Io. The gun was never found so he wasn’t convicted. But now that the ballistics have matched the bullet that shot his former wife and the bullet that injured him, the police in Cleveland want to extradite him.”

“I see.”

“So now, while he’s in the hospital waiting for his wife to be convicted so he can inherit all her money, a warrant for his extradition to Cleveland is coming by skyrider.”

“What about the kid?”

“His kid or her kid?”

“I didn’t know he had a kid.”

“Well, his kid helped him with the set-up because he stood to gain money, too. But he balked at the last minute and his father, this guy, in the bed, killed him with the same pistol. If you mean the kid of the woman, his wife, the test-tube baby, he’s run off. No one knows where he is. He’s hiding and no one knows where.”

“I see. Now you’ve been watching these programs for quite a while to know all this stuff.”

“It’s not that difficult. All you have to do is watch one or two of them and concentrate on what’s being said. It’s really pretty easy.”

“Well, then you shouldn’t have any trouble concentrating on other complicated subjects: calculus and astronomy. Come on, let’s go. You’ve had enough holovision for one day!”

“DAAAAAAAAADDDDDDD!!!!”


Copyright © 2006 by Steven C. Levi

Home Page