Freefall 3001 - 3010 (D)
Freefall 3001

The wolf at the door

Winston's house. Is this a mistake? There's still time to go back.
There's always a point where being different species is too big of an obstacle to overcome. I don't want to be alone. I don't want to lose Winston's friendship by asking too much.
Where there are wolves, people will occasionally look out a window and see one standing in the yard. The reason they can see it is because it's afraid to go to the door.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3002

The wolf at the door

It's late. I thought you might have changed your mind.
I needed to let Sam know I'll be living with you when we're planet side.
Are you as nervous as I am?
You're nervous? I'm surprised I made it to the door without fertilizing your lawn.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3003

The wolf at the door

Why are you nervous? You own this house and the land and you even have your own laboratory.
I work with parasites, I'm a bit of a geek and I kind of have a hard time connecting with people.
You're smart and funny and you look out for other people and I'm afraid I'm going to say something stupid or insensitive and you won't want to be with me anymore.
Well, you don't need to worry about that. I want to be with you and when it comes to not judging or taking offense, you aren't going to find a better listener than a canine.

Color by George Peterson

N‿‿YA ! I mean gaff! (Robot Spike)

Freefall 3004

The wolf at the door

Why are you nervous?
I'm a genetic proof of concept. The shapes and smells you're hardwired to respond to, I don't have.
Nothing is going to come as naturally to us as it would to a human couple.
Hey, civilization is a list several thousand years long of humans doing what doesn't come naturally. Like giving ear scritchies to wolves.
Definitely not natural, but I approve.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3005

The wolf at the door

Do you need anything?
May I borrow a shirt? After the closed life support of the ship, I should take a shower and everything needs to be washed.
This won't take long. You don't have much stuff.
I have more than I used to. When I was a pup, all I needed was my dish and my ball.
Now, I want clothes and shoes and my own toothbrush. Fair warning, I've gotten very materialistic as I've grown older.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3006

The wolf at the door

That's everything. Thanks for the towels and the shirt.
You're welcome. See you after the shower.
Okay, time to wash away the old smells and make room for new ones.
And be very sure to get dry because the smell I don't want Winston to remember this night by is wet dog.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3007

The wolf at the door

It's the microorganisms living in my fur that make the smell when I get wet. Their little byproducts dissolve and go airborne.
I should see if the pet shops here do cosmetic reflorastation. Change out the feral yeast and bacteria that grew during my cold sleep for domesticated versions that produce nice smells when I get wet.
Thing is, pet ownership isn't a high priority for a new colony. If the only domesticated yeast they have is for the brewing industry, my choices might be smell like a wet dog or smell like a beer.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3008

The wolf at the door

Hey, Beekay. Hi, hi. Yes, I'm excited to see you too. Yes, this is Winston's shirt.
Why? Well, I lost a set of clothes in a hurricane. I had a robe destroyed when a robot tried to laminate it. Then lost my pajamas to preserve a corporate secret.
I'm wearing this because Winston's clothes don't share my karma and I would like to make it through the night with my modesty intact.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3009

The wolf at the door

Would you like something to drink?
Water will be fine. Maybe with a little honey or sugar if you have it.
Sweet tooth?
Every now and then. Side effect of adding an energy hungry brain on existing wolf infrastructure.
You don't suffer from mental brownouts or anything?
No, though that would make a good excuse for when I do something really stupid.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3010

The wolf at the door

Since you've spent time in space, was anything done to make you more resistant to radiation?
Radiation. The great destroyer of cells once you leave the atmosphere. Yes. My safe yearly limit is five sieverts.
Same here. Spacer genes. Modified Laron syndrome. Basically, I'm a giant dwarf.
Who would have guessed the answer to living in space lay in Ecuador?
Mother nature is a very creative engineer. Too bad her instruction set is so hard to read.

Color by George Peterson

A hundred times less than Florence's is considered the safe limit for normal people. Armored doggy.
Laron syndrome is a genetic trait that leads to dwarfism but gives resistance to cancer. Found in pygmies in equatorial Africa, inhabitants of Israel and a mountain village in South American Ecuador.

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