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Patrick Walts: the short fiction collection

The flat, barren landscape was dry and cracked as far as Pliur’s opts could trivis.

“How did thems survive these in atmospheric conditions? Everything qree know about humans indicates a low tolerance for extreme heat or cold.”

Xillilik’s faces were grim. “They didn’t. And qree won’t either, if qree stay here much longer,” nid voices said, as always with one trailing very slightly behind the other. Ne decompressed to the ground and brushed the sand from an embossed metal sign that had been baking in the unforgiving heat of Earth’s sun for many, many cycles.

“What’s that say?” asked Pliur. Vee’d never seen anything like it.

“Chili’s,” ne said. “That’s the inscription. There’s also an engraving of an extinct form of edible vegetation known as a pepper. A chili pepper, to be precise. Perhaps this is where thems procured its.”

“With currency, correct? Why would thems not simply harvest this…

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