“And at that point the holographic imager is supposed to kick in automatically. It didn’t. I don’t know what to say. This never happens. Ever. Luckily, we have redundancies built into our process that safeguard against any older residents learning about what’s going on.” At that moment, a small light blinked on the white-haired man’s wrist.
“Oh, they’re here. Would you like to meet your new prospective neighbors?
“Why not,” Joe laughed heartily. “I always like meeting new people.”
At that point, there was a knock at the door. Joanna opened it to two lovely looking young people, one in a suit and the other in a pink blouse and skirt. They obviously had just walked over from the crater next door, for their shoes were covered in red, muddy dirt. The young man was gushing.
“Your lot….is, like….fantastic.” he said.
“Don! Dora! Welcome to Terra-3!” Zorbitron said. “I like to introduce you to the first couple to move into this neighborhood, Joe and Joanna. They’re urban pioneers, you know. People like them and that wonderful garden in the front lawn are what makes these classic neighborhoods feel more like home”
“Pleasure” Joanna said as she and her husband shook hands with the new arrivals.
“We are so excited” Dora in her pink dress replied. “This place is wonderful. I love what you did with the drapes”
“Ikea” Joanna said. “Learn that name. It will save your life when you’re first starting out.”
“I was telling Don that everything is so perfect here, we can’t stand it.” Dora continued.
“Can you believe there used to be a BBQ place and a Latin nightclub two streets over?’ Joanna exclaimed. “Not anymore. And having a yoga studio and and Starbucks virtually next-door now is soooo wonderful. This is a perfect place to raise a family”
“By the way, now that we’re inside, would it be alright if we turned off our personal holo-disguises?” the young man said. “My battery is running low and we left our charger at our apartment.
“By all means,” Joe said. “Make yourself at home. We do.” At this, Joe tapped a little dial on his watch and smiled as he melted into pixels. He rematerialized into the exact same alien Kyle had seen on all those episode of The X-Files. Except this time, Kyle knew this wasn’t a man in a rubber suit. As everyone did the same, the room was filled with a floating, green-glowing, ghostly figure, another X-files figure (this with a slimy egg incubating on her stomach) and two creatures that looked like walking, purple tigers with the sharpest of claws.
“Of course, we had some questions.” the one with Don’s voice continued. “Will this neighborhood continue to evolve and change to suit our needs and make us feel home as you claim? How did you start moving outsiders in without the locals realizing? How many other are already here? Etc, etc.”
“Naturally. We have plenty of time to discuss those things this afternoon.” Zorbitron answered in soothing tones. “Our firm is always accommodating. For example, Crylothians are specific types of carnivores am I right?” At this point, the glowing ghost motioned to Kyle, squirming and gnashing on the dinner table as Joanna places the two plates and forks and the large knife next to Kyle’s head. Zorbitron smiled and continued talking:
“Let’s discuss your concerns over our firm’s complimentary meal, shall we?” he said as everyone confidently approached the dinner table.