Human Connections

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Ren watched the multi-colored burganees diving in and out of the cold water of Barton Springs; like dragonflies with wings one hundred times the size of their bodies, and long, plush filaments they used as appendages. The bunganee species had adopted Earth as their new colony in May of 2032, and by 2052 nearly 25% or the human population had been claimed by a burganee. Humans had yet to decipher where the small, winged aliens had lived prior to this, and the majority of people had stopped caring a decade ago.

Ren huffed at her current situation. Why did she get herself into these things? She had no intention of doing more than dipping her toes into the frigid pool, and even less intentions of taking her coverup off. Ponce and the rest of the burganee splashed across the surface of the emerald lake, gliding with their expansive wings that glittered in the summer sun. Ren watched a topless woman being lifted from the waters by her burganee companion and admired her ample breasts as she bounced to a landing beside her on the pavement.

"It's so great to see so many pretty burganee. I feel so empowered being surrounded by them." Ren would have none of the cliche banter. They were just another group of boring 30-somethings that showed up at this burganee gathering in an attempt to trick themselves into thinking they were superior to all the unclaimed. The whole thing had only succeeded in proving to Ren that she prefers being home alone with Ponce. Ren's burganee sailed over to where she sat with her feet dangling in the pool. The woman with the large breasts had moved on after being ignored.

Ren leaned into the multiple thin filaments Ponce reached out to caress her with, and was calmed by the silky fibers. Ren had easily convinced herself that she did not need emotional support from a human, but Ponce couldn't do the things Ren was currently imagining doing to the brown skinned girl surfing towards her on the wingspan of massive burganee. For that kind of attention, Ren would have to move past the message boards. "Your burganee is huge." Was the best she could do as the girl's muscular frame began to pass her by. The girl smiled at getting Ren's attention. She hopped off her burganee's wings, splashing Ren as she cannonballed into the water.

The girl's dark braids burst through the surface. She was laughing, and Ren was hooked. "You needed to cool off; I could tell." She lifted herself out of the water with toned arms. "You'll get a funny tan if you keep that thing on." She tugged at the strap of Ren's coverup.

"I won't tan at all." Ren dove into her bag and fished out a large tube of SPF 90.

"Damn, girl, you're serious!" The girl snatched the bottle from Ren's hand and examined the medical level sunscreen. "But smart. I'm Lily, and you?" Lily handed the bottle back and waited for Ren to reply.

"Ren. There hasn't been any scientific evidence about them curing cancer, so I'm not going to risk it" Renn nodded to Ponce and hoped Lily wasn't another burganee extremist.

"As you shouldn't." Lily gave her a sly smile. "The burganees aren't going to magically solve all our problems the way they say. I love Saden, but they're not a cure all. My life still sucks the majority of the time." They both giggled at this truth.

"Yeah." Ren was starting to relax. "I wish more people in the population were open to their link. Maybe they'd stop making such stupid assumptions about how a burganee affects our lives."

"What's the weirdest thing you've been asked since your... what's your burganee's name?"

"Ponce, it showed up about two years ago, and... Well," Ren hesitated. This Lily girl was mega cute.

"Come on! Mine was," Lilly made air quotes and mimicked a bro's demeanor. "Do you think your burganee has moved you past racial profiling?" She laughed, throwing her thick, roped hair. "I replied, obviously not, douchebag!" Lily exploded with laughter and Ren was pulled further into lust.

Through laughter Ren answered, "A guy actually asked me if Ponce could make me cum, if I was going to marry my burganee." Lily stopped laughing long enough to give Ren a you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me look, and then they both fell over in giggles.

"Oh my god, it sucks, I don't even want to hang out with unclaimed anymore. I know it's pretentious, and completely falling into the stereotype the world has given us, but they just don't get it."

"No, I get you, but lots of owners I've met are the same way."

"Exactly, that's why I hate these things." Lily watched their burganees circle each other for a few moments. "So, you're seriously the only person I've met that I've wanted to talk to longer than thirty seconds since I've been here." Lily looked Ren straight in the eye without a hint of irony. "Want to go? We could grab some tacos and head back to my place. Are you a fan of Obsidian?"

"Holy shit, I love Obsidian! I've already watched the third season, but I will totally rewatch it with you." Ren was saying the words before she realized it. Now she had to follow through and actually spend some alone time with a human being. The prospect made her start to sweat.

"Sweet, I'm behind. Let's hit it." With that Lily stood up and whistled to Saden. "Come on, cutie. I'll buy the tacos." Lily stopped at the food truck parked outside of the park entrance and got Ren two beef tacos, and some churros for dessert. It all seemed so easy for her that it started to feel easy to Ren. "Follow me, but here's my number just in case. I don't want you slipping through my fingers." With a wink, Lily put her info into Ren's phone and hopped on her lime green Vespa.

The confidence melted over Ren and she suddenly couldn't tell if she wanted to be with Lily or simply be her. Either way, she was already in her car following Lily's scooter toward Riverside. Ponce curled up in the seat beside her, wings wrapped around its tiny body; like a glowing burrito of light and black rope.

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