Mauritania, Richatville, Bottom of the Pit. Or the end of the optical nerve beneath the Eye of Africa. AD 2191, August 20th. On the timeline.
The old man looks at his young love. “One hundred and seventy years. One day. Seventy-seven years. How long have we been together? One hour? Ten minutes? A second?”
“A second is an eternity, Rolf.” Points Rebecca with the kind of cocksure voice characteristic of a twenty-something know-it-all lass.
“You have changed. You never talked to me like this.”
“Look who’s talking about change. Oh, Rolf, your hair is white as silver. Your face is, hum, the same, more or less. And you keep wearing a uniform. Take it off, for heavens’ sake!”
The old man looks at her stupefied. Unzipping the beige camouflage overalls, tossing them on the grey ground, he stands naked in front of her. “Content now?”
“Yes, sure. Let’s move on. I want to see Astarte. Take me to her.”
Rolf senses a bitter answer trying to make it out over his tongue, but he manages to strangle it about the middle of his throat. “Sure, let me take you to Astarte then.” Opening the hide, grabbing his glisseur out of it, he invites Rebecca to join him for the ride. “Hold my hips.”