Shall We Tomorrow?
ひじりしんりしん
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When she woke up, the first thing she heard was the sound of cooking. Soon the smell of oil and bacon passed her nose. In her opinion, it was still too early to get up, but she couldn’t help it since she was hungry and her mum shouted “c’mon, it’s morning!”

By the time she went into the kitchen, her mum was still cooking breakfast and her dad was about to turn the TV on. The whole house became loud. This was why she hated mornings.

Morning news was on the TV about a star far away in space that was crushed with a meteorite last night. The last time this happened was ten years ago when the same size of star exploded.

Her dad hurried out for work after he had a fried egg, a sausage, and a piece of toast. He hadn’t spoken to her for a few months and nor she has. He must not be happy about her current situation.
Her mum finished cooking, brought her a plate of breakfast and a cup of milk.

“Mum, how many times do I have to tell you I hate milk?” she said, but her mother pretended not to hear it. Sigh. When she picked a slice of toast up, she found a cat looking at her on the other side of the window. “Are you hungry too?” she thought and poured the milk into an empty bowl that her dad left, opened the window and put it outside. The cat was still watching her.

“So, are you going to school today, finally?” asked her mum.
“No, I’m not,” she answered without looking at mum.

The cat slowly came close to the bowl, licked the milk, but as soon as she tried to touch him, he ran away. She could only hear that the cat was trying to retch.

*****

It was the day before I started work when we discovered the meteorite was coming to our planet Txplsm. Soon MOTHER the central computer found that our planet would be hit by the meteorite within a third generation-time. Fortunately, we were capable of building a spaceship which would contain most of our population, therefore the plan was put into practice immediately after the news. Since I was employed as a member of tactic operation in the National Organization, it was unbelievably busy from the very first day of work.

The meteorite had physical contact with Txplsm a fifth generation-time after we moved into the spaceship, exact date, time, and place as MOTHER had determined. In the meantime, we discovered the third planet in another solar system had a suitable environment for us to live. It would not be time consuming to travel there with our technology.

*****

She liked going out in the morning since everyone’s gone to school or work so she didn’t have to come across them. Technically, she went to the school quite often although it was just seeing it from the outside, hiding from teachers.

“It’s Thursday today,” she thought and went to peep into the music room. She spotted two girls who once had been her friends were chatting under the text book.

Suddenly, she heard a cat’s voice. She looked around then found a familiar cat.

“Do you come all the way to this place?” she spoke to the cat and slowly walked towards him. The cat sniffed her hand and stared at her eyes. Then, he started walking away from her, but his eyes were still on hers, like saying “Follow me”.

The cat brought her to a corner of the school building. It was a place she had never been, in fact, it looks like a place nobody has ever been, but there was a girl.

“What are you doing here?” she said, couldn’t help it. The girl jumped, but smiled when she noticed it wasn’t by a teacher.
“...skipping classes can be addictive, you know,” said the girl.

Not knowing the reason, she found something congenial in the girl which was why she sat next to her. The cat climbed on her thigh and cleared his throat. “Is that your cat?” asked the girl. She shook her head.

“You are like me,” she said. Again, something made her honest in front of this girl.
“Am I?”
“I don’t come to school since my friends started ignoring me.”
“Well… I’m not brave enough to skip a whole school day.”
“You don’t need to be brave to skip school.”

She stood up, holding the cat. She had to leave before her mum came back from daily shopping.

“Wait for me here tomorrow. I’ll show you how.”
“Ah...Alight,” the girl grinned and so did she.

The cat sneaked out from her hand and went somewhere else.

*****

Right before reaching the solar system, we researched the planet well. The planet had a fairly similar environment to our planet except it was incredibly larger. As we had presumed correctly, there was intelligent life already which they called themselves “human” and they called their planet “Earth”. Humans were still developing, their technology was behind ours approximately a hundred generation-times.

According to MOTHER, we would use less energy and time if we melted into the society rather than invading the planet. Since we have found that the humans are tend to have a quadruped creature as their life partner (they call them “dogs” or “pets”, investigating the differences could be a further task), we thought this might be the way. Hence we conceived the most efficient way to settle on the Earth. It was made with the element which most of the creatures on that place were structured - protein. A face shape was copied from human infants; a hairy body which they would wish to take care of; ears and beards should be big enough for receiving information from MOTHER; we added a tail for showing emotion understandably to humans. We should be known as another friendly life partner to humans. Thus inserting a created history between us and them into all of their recording medium was the last thing we did. This was the easiest part since humans had an interesting feature that they do not doubt “facts” in information sources nevertheless they have never seen it. Hence our new body was formed. The only defect of this outfit was that intaking carbohydrate, fat, and protein was essential to keep the body moving. However, they were plentiful on Earth.
We should call our new form “CFP Archaic Txplsm” by borrowing their language. They seem to like one syllable word name thus the name is shorted to “CAT”.

And it had been a half generation-time since we landed.

*****

In the evening on the same day, she found the cat outside the house. The cat used to come only in the morning, but he came here anytime of the day recently. It seems she gave him enough food for that.

“It’s you again!” she said, opening the window.

She took the bottle of milk from fridge and poured some into a bowl. It helped reduce the milk so that she might not have to drink it in the morning. She gave the bowl to the cat and he started drinking. She touched his head. He didn’t run away this time.

“Mum?”
“Hello?” answered her mum from the living room.
“Can we keep him?” she asked while patting the cat’s belly.

Her mum came next to her, it was the first time in a few months that she saw her daughter was smiling.

“I think we should,” said her mum.

*****

An important piece of information was sent by MOTHER. As the new result of MOTHER’s calculation, the resources on this planet would be exhausted in three generation-times. It should have lasted three thousand generation-times when MOTHER calculated before we arrived to Earth. However, after observing humans for a half generation-time, the new result did not surprise me. Their consuming was beyond our imagination.

MOTHER did not stop calculating. By the following day, a new information was sent and told us that it would be more efficient to take over human bodies than be protected by them. Auspiciously, it wasn’t a problem since our new outfit was made by the similar protein as theirs.

Although we have left our planet Txplsm, I still am a member of tactic operation in National Organization. It must be I who proceed this operation firstly and learn more about humans.

*****

The moon laid beautifully on the sky at that night. She was rolling again and again on the bed, eyes closed, still couldn’t sleep. She was thinking about the girl who she met today. “What shall we do tomorrow?” she thought, like singing in the mind.

The cat climb on her bed soundlessly and looked in her face. Retched. The fuzzy ball went into her mouth which made her jump up from the bed. She quickly took the ball out from her mouth and was disguised.

“Hey!...oh,”

She almost yelled, but had to stop because the cat was sleeping besides her innocently. “Well, maybe he didn’t want to do it either,” she sighed and went into the blankets again. This time, sleep came on her as fast as fainting.


The sun came out. She woke up before the smell of breakfast, changed, and got her backpack ready. By the time she went to the kitchen, her dad was still in his pyjamas.

“Good morning, dad,” she said. Her dad stared at her with confusion.
“Would you mind if you drive me to the school?”

He still looked so shocked, but managed to say in the end, “Oh... oh yeah, of course.”

Her mum brought a plate of breakfast and a glass of milk. She picked up the glass of milk and sipped.

“Yack! What the hell is this taste?!”
“… Are you going to the school today?” her mum said, looked half confused, half happy.
“Why not?” she chuckled, “There are so much to learn.”
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