Give Travis One More Chance
Dreamed 1980/10/13 by Chris Wayan
I'm a woman in love with a hard-boiled, lone-wolf private eye named Travis McGee. But he never stays long with anyone. After two hundred pages or so, they always die. And my novel is ending.
Crossing under a boulevard, in the tunnel, it finally happens: he says he's leaving. Kind, I guess. Giving him up and getting out of state, out of the plot, is my only chance for life, and we both know it.
But I love him. I beg him to stay.
Travis walks away.
I'm beside myself with rage and hurt--literally beside! I watch myself, from beside myself...
Watch myself pull a gun on Travis, and shoot him. Twice. In the back. And leave him.
I start regretting it right away. Too late now, isn't it?
It wouldn't have worked out anyway. Aside from the plot problem, and the fact he's a confirmed loner, I'm not a real woman. I'm from another world--not an alien, but a mere experiment in colloidal chemistry and bioengineering. Cold, bald-headed humanoid aliens cooked me up and dropped me on earth as a probe. A probe it's time to collect.
They'll kill me of course. Not to punish me for murder--what do they care? Nor for getting over-involved. I'm not a person, just a data-scoop ready to empty.
Only I want to live. So instead of waiting for collection, I sneak onto their spaceship with my gun, hoping to get at least one shot at the alien assigned to kill me and drain my memories.
Curious how the starship is disguised, while on Earth, as my parents' house.
In my own builder's lab, I stumble on a list of probes to collect... a death list. My name's at the top, but at least one of my Earth friends is on it too! Is my friend really a spare probe, or just in the way of their mission? Fortunately, lots of my friends are leaving the area for various reasons. Good--maybe the aliens will miss them. I call up two friends and warn them to ride away on horseback--maybe that'll confuse the aliens. Another party sets off in another direction to help confuse the hunters. Hope they escape unseen.
I find out Travis McGee lived! I'm so relieved. I go up and insist on speaking with the alien captain. I beg him to let me try just one more experiment before he kills me: have a child. I was built to be cross-fertile with Earth humans. I want to have a child with Travis.
So I leave Palo Alto, on a bike, chewing aluminum foil and spitting bits of it out here and there, to foil the starship's radar. Everyone says it works... I hope so. Because I want to find Travis and tell him all, and hope he can protect me.
Even if he won't love me, he's tough enough and honorable enough, he might just do that.
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