I can smell bacon frying, but I don't open my eyes yet; it smells great, but I don't want to eat the hickory-smoked flesh of a slaughtered pig. But when in Rome... if mine hosts want to give me dead pig, I will nosh on dead pig. I'm too hungry to resist right now, having not eaten in about 24 hours probably. The cat joins me on Josh and Marie's couch, but jumps back off, continuing its morning rounds.

I feel a warm breath, and open my eyes. It's Marie, kneeled alongside the couch. She brushes back my hair from my eyes and gently kisses me good morning on my newly-exposed forehead.

"Breakfast will be ready in a few. You feeling better?"

I mumble a mm-hm.

"I don't know if you did too much X, or some bad acid or something; I'll debrief you and Josh later. But think about this: you've been exploring inner space all this time, and collecting your little moon rocks and all. Maybe you should bring those rocks back to Canaveral now."

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