Author : Jae Miles, Staff Writer

“Did you see them? Silver streaks through cumulus, probably an Andorini scout formation. It’s not like anyone here would recognise them.”

Officer Peters looked over at the shuffling, muttering figure. Taking in the irregular gait, the handful of carrier bags stuffed to overflowing with obscure things, the neck of a bottle protruding from the brown paper bag clenched in the other fist, he nodded sadly. Another crackpot left to wander the streets due to cuts in the mental health budget.

“Second stage flare this morning. Guess that’s when they gated in. How many more can they get through before someone notices?”

This one had been out for a while, given the dishevelled nature of his layered clothing. He’d give the shelter over on Pasadena a call.

As he reached for his radio, a cat yowled from nearby and he jumped at the sudden sound. Peering about for the enraged feline, he forgot all about making that call.

*

Officer Fuentes sighed. Another muttering loon on the loose. This one smelt like a pickled sewer, too.

“You stupid angshor, how could I see them? I’m on another continent!”

She shook her head. Just what she needed, a care-in-the-community failure right at the end of her shift. She checked her watch. Five minutes. Enough time to start the process.

“They’ll not notice until it’s way too late. We’ve known that for ages. Just keep moving so the volkfängers cannot get a line on us.”

Fuentes flipped through her notebook looking for the Church Homeless Programme’s number. It flipped past her searching eyes like it momentarily didn’t exist. With a sigh, she noted where she’d seen the derelict and headed for the station to clock out.

*

On a rooftop far away, something with stealthy gossamer wings and hungry red eyes sniffs the air and clicks mournfully at the waning moon. It will find the shuffling ones eventually. They cannot keep moving forever.

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