Javros sighed at Mala. “Why do you let it sit with us when it doesn’t eat?”

“You know that’s just how things are for now. That’s the way they have to be with her.” Mala was worn out, tired from Javros’ badgering. “And it’s a ‘she’. You know this.”

“OK, well she doesn’t talk. She don’t even eat! What does she do?”

“Why are you acting out like this? What’s your issue tonight?”

“My issue is that we’ve been takin’-a care of this thing for four months, Mala! When will you take-a responsibility for it?!“ Thick white spit and crumbs of cod spattered out from Javros’ mouth and onto the dinner table.

“Unbelievable.” Mala pushed her chair away from the table.

“And now you-a leaving?”

“Yes. Now ‘I’m-a leaving’.”

“Don’t make-a fun of me. Where you goin’?” Javros’ question wasn’t rooted in insecurity, but in concern. He was sincerely curious.

Mala didn’t respond. She walked out of the kitchen and up the small staircase to her bedroom. Javros’ heard the door shut close from upstairs.

He looked over at the massive green being sitting to the left of him. He craned his neck upwards and to the right so that he could see her face.

“You look-a like one of them aliens on those old Earth TV shows.”

The large, olive-colored figure stared ahead into the empty space of the living room. Her hairless head knocked gently against the lamp above the table. She heard Javros speak, understanding none of it. She wasn’t there.

Javros looked away from the being. He shifted his seat so that he could catch a glimpse of the television that sat under the cabinets.

He shoveled a hunk of cod into his mouth. He chewed slowly and with his mouth open; the sound from his mouth was very similar to the sound of someone trudging through a swamp.

Javros raised the volume on the television. He adjusted it with his mind.

“Approximately 2,000 more émigrés arrived today at Commonwealth Isle. These refugees, like most others over the course of this past month, come from lower Jord. Citizens of Commonwealth Isle are expected to report to the Provisional Emigré offices at the beginning of next week to sign off on housing at least one more refugee.”

The oversized other-worlder still sat in a catatonic trance. A few moments later she passed wind, violently. Brown and green shit dripped down her long leg and onto the kitchen floor.

Javros stared at the alien for five seconds. He then looked straight ahead and shoveled the last piece of cod into his mouth.