84 \ 172

This stash-dump of overstock toilets quietly occupied half a small valley of construction site ruins. Toledo Vadr addressed them. “There’s something bodily about a toilet that makes it seem like a personal extension. Each of those could be up against someone’s ass, and excretion passes through it like another organ, which it resembles. This looks like a very large assembly of individual organs.”

“We’re taking as many as we can carry.” Random Arriba turned to scrutinize the cargo trailer that their little-but-mighty tech ship would tow to a location they hadn’t yet received. “I wonder if these are for the aliens we just met.”

“Aliens?” Toledo asked. That was an archaic word that had fallen out of favor. Other sentient people hadn’t been commonly called aliens since longer than fifteen generations ago, but that was also the last time that the Imperium had met and integrated another sentient, the Aquarii.

“You know… sentients we don’t know yet. We’ve only just met, and wisdom is a deep lesson to demonstrate. Okay, they’re obviously people, who look astoundingly similar to us Humans. And they were actually as easy to work with as anybody who doesn’t say a word to you.” They had a tread-sled, which went with them from loading point to loading point. It wasn’t the fastest work, but they made a difference as time passed.

“Do you think they use toilets?” Toledo wondered aloud.

Random half-smirked. “If they did, they wouldn’t need to lift some from us, would they? They could get their own.”

“I really hope we’re not furnishing our own prison cells.” Toledo continued peppering this conversation through the gradual filling of the cargo load.

“And… what if we are?” Random selected the next toilet she hoisted with a little more care.

“Then, maybe we’d have to do something about it. For now, second life ain’t too bad. Besides – apparently they’d have enough courtesy to provide toilets. Even though this is a lot of toilets to people like us, I think we’re only taking about as much capacity as a middle school or a medium hotel. Prisons are either smaller or bigger.”

Random snickered. “Maybe they’ve just now discovered our amazing technology, and it’s the new art fashion sensation. Just to have one. Could be. They’re like push-to-operate fountains.” The link module Arriba was carrying brought up a transmission. “We’ve got our location,” she announced. “It’s totally different, and also nowhere near anything.”

“Alright,” said Vadr, opening his hands wide towards their unusual carry load, “Big delivery on its way.”

 

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