Come to the Valentine’s Dance and find out, @Emma Dale
The posters also say something about a “slugball dance.” Maybe it’s like a snowball dance? Sounds gross but I guess I want to see what it is.
slurp. slurp slurp slurp slurp slurp slurp SLURP
"You sincerely thought I'd bust in here with a Psy Corps tactical team, and, what, start throwing salt around?"
Buffy Chan showed up at the Valentine's Dance, along with most students, and all of the Giant Invasive Intelligent Slugs. I asked her to slow dance because, you know, that would be the most clandestine way for me, as a Psy Corps undercover operative, to communicate with my handler.
"You're not an operative," she reminded me. "You're an intern. And besides, the slugs have diplomatic immunity."
The slugs really seemed to be having a good time. They started with their line dance, snaking through the crowd and leaving a silvery slime trail all over the floor of Limacidae Hall. Then some adventurous students joined in, and then more, till it seemed like everybody was part of the big slug line. That really helped break the ice for the Slugball dance, where more and more slugs adhered to particular students until they were completely covered with them, and looked like a giant ball of giant slugs with a pair of human legs sticking out. A few of them were swaying in the slow dance crowd around us.
"They're just hoping to get to know us better," Buffy whispered in my ear. "Psyhigh seemed like the best place to let them roam free where we could still keep an eye on them. Hey, this fog is a great effect."
I looked around, and saw the other couples being slowly enveloped in a thin mist. Had the slugs rented a fog machine? I hoped they didn't use my debit card. I looked around the edge of the dance floor, and there, against the wall, was one of those Emission Tank outlets. The kind they use to power the school. And the fog was pouring out of it.
Wait, was it on fire? @iXlrshnoo
, and @uGilgamoo
were slithering over it, working the knobs and levers. More and more vapor bellowed from the Emission Tank.
And that's when Buffy and I passed out.
On behalf of all the Giant Intelligent Slugs, I’d like to thank everyone for such a great turnout at the Valentine’s Dance last Friday. And formally apologize for the “lost time” some students may have experienced near the end there.
I think everybody can agree that the limbo contest and the hokey pokey were great fun, the slugballs were a fantastic “get to know you” time, and that we all learned a lot from the mucus excretion dance-off.
We just thought that releasing a little bit of the slug-enriched vapor from the Emission Tanks would add a “special something” to the night, and hadn’t considered any of the potential side-effects, neurochemical or otherwise.
No need to visit your school nurse!! We’re sure any lingering little quirks will be fading real soon.
So I guess I got a free slug tattoo during the “lost time” at the dance. Did anybody else get one of those? It’s still kind of swollen—big giant slug all across my leg. It’s a temporary tattoo, right?
"My tattoo is... moving."
"Yeah, it's not really a tattoo," said Buffy Chan. "That's just a cover story."
"A cover story?"
"Well, we didn't really think that saying 'Hey we're going to let intelligent slugs absorb themselves directly into your body' would really fly."
"A slug is absorbing itself directly into my body?"
"Yes. It was part of the deal. But it's perfectly safe."
"Of course. I absorbed mine months ago. Zero noticeable after-effects. The only way you'll be able to tell it's there is with a very specialized scan."
"Part of what deal?"
"The slugs are dying out. They're super ancient, migrated through thousands of different interstellar systems, yadi-yadi-ya. But they needed a way to preserve their genetic history, and after a lot of study, Psyhigh students turned out to be the best shot."
"Against our will?"
"We ran some focus groups and it was clear that there wouldn't be enough volunteers. And really, there was too much at stake."
"Too much at stake?"
"They've got maps. Maps of wormholes. Star-spanning, galaxy-spanning maps."
"So you traded us..."
"Not exactly traded."
"By absorbing the slugs, their genetic information gets integrated with our own. But it's more than what we generally consider 'genetic.' Think of it more as just 'information.' Information on a quantum entangled level. Entangled with memory, entangled with space."
"Yes. Now we're the map. And the territory."