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A boomerang of sand. Gold bars stretch a sky. A cylinder’s lopsided in the sand. A panel slides. Inside, a human babe. Lequila rushes hot and stumbles forward, draws out the babe. Eyes open, bottom lip quivers. Lequila draws it to her breast, feels it root for her nipple, and with force suck. She squats, nurses the babe, rocks back and forth. Croons. The babe lolls and relaxes. Eyes stare about. A tautness flits its face. Programmed, Lequila stands, lifts the baby to shoulder level, massages its back. A burp. Lequila’s naked on a beach. She holds a naked babe she’s just fed. She’s never seen this babe before. Never birthed a babe. Never breast-fed. One breast empty, the other full. Play with babe, jiggle it around. Hoo-hah. Smiles, burbles. A belly laugh. There’s a thread around the babe’s ankle. A greeting card attached. It reads: The day that will never be yours. A cold wind whips the beach. Sand stings. The sea begins to moan. Lequila puts the babe back in its capsule and closes the panel. Now the wind howls. Surf pounds. She runs towards the trees that fringe the beach. Her full breast bounces, leaks. From the shelter of the trees she peers out. The sea surges over the beach, the capsule rocks, floats, and is drawn out as the waves recede. Lequila runs back down the beach and plunges into the waves. She strikes out toward the capsule which is being pulled away in an off-shore current. Several times Lequila is dumped by waves, thumped down onto the sand, roiled in the surf. Then she is in the smooth current racing away from the shore. She moves at the same speed as the capsule now and in a few strokes has drawn alongside and is thumping the panel, trying to open it. An ancient image flashes in her mind. Way back, when the first humans first returned from the earth’s moon, their command capsule bobbed in the ocean and divers swam alongside to open the hatch. Dazed creatures in silver suits emerged. The capsule panel slides open, just out of the water. The baby girl is asleep. Droid hands stroke her brow. A lullaby thumps. A monitor on the ceiling shows all is well. Perhaps this baby was dropped to earth for a day. A gift for Lequila, a magical moment, a memory of what will never be hers. Lequila grabs the rim of the hatch, hauls herself up and leans in. She kisses the baby’s forehead then drops back into the water, closes the panel, slips out of the current and swims toward the shore. The wind has died, the sea is calm and after a hundred strokes she staggers on the sand. She is weeping. She knows this is at Huan’s behest, coded by Bryan. She is being prepared for something. A man is walking along the beach toward her. She stands there, not knowing what to do. She feels ridiculous. Her hair straggles over her face. Her eyes sting. She’s conscious of drops of seawater in her pubic hair. The breast that’s full of milk sags. She cups a hand under to support it and watches the man approach. He’s black. Completely black, except for sunglasses like mirrors, faded blue jeans, and a white towel he holds in one hand. When he reaches her he gently wraps the towel around her and leads her up the beach to the trees. They lean against a rock while she shivers in the towel. When she turns her head toward him she holds her breath. He’s so beautiful she can hardly bear to look. He says: ‘You don’ have to explain nothin’.’ Shadows lap for silent minutes. Her milk leaks into the towel. The bars of light in the sky smudge into crimson. In the last light the beach burns like stained steel.