by Stanley Lieber


Maude always got her cut.

It wasn’t child support, exactly, as her child was now a grown man, and anyway, her marriage to Plinth Mold had nullified such quotidian considerations as money out of hand. Alimony was technically disqualified on similar grounds. No, Maude’s interest in TAB2’s plan to save present day Earth by scooping drugs out of the future and depositing them back into the past had been established by sheer force of will. After her Dad had died, she knew that someone would have to look out for Antigone. And knowing was half the battle.

Her sister. Perhaps unemployable, she too was approaching middle age, whatever that might mean for all those who’d enjoyed sustained physical proximity to members of the curiously long-lived Mold family. No one in her household had aged visibly since the abandoned shopping mall they called home had finally revealed itself to be the submerged carcass of one of Plinth’s former space fleet. A variable-sized, giant pink triangle everyone in the food court called the RAGNAROK. Residents of the mall were abruptly obliged to GTFO, with no advance warning, and no prior arrangements made for WTF they were supposed to go. Dad just sat down on the curb outside and started crying. Maude found that it was her responsibility to step up and take care of the family. And that required resources.

Going on a hundred years ago, now.

Plinth must have seen it all coming.