By Enola Jones

John grinned at the man crashed out in the second hotel room bed. He had accompanied Rodney to a physics convention in San Diego, and in return Rodney – and the others – were going to accompany him to the Who concert tonight.

John finished dressing and smirked, proud of himself for talking Carter into two more days of R&R on Earth.

He glanced over to see the tiny little crystal jumper on his nightstand shimmer and dissolve back into the air Rodney had made it from. He knew Rodney had made it right before he’d finally relaxed, which meant he’d only been down an hour.

John looked at the quilt, and it rose into the air and settled over the exhausted scientist. Rodney made a little snuffling noise, and settled down again.

John wrote a note telling Rodney where he was going, and headed downstairs. Catching a taxi, he went to a surf shop. Then he caught another taxi, and he and his surfboard got out at a shady, private stretch of beach.

The waves were perfect, and soon John was riding them like he was born from them.

The waves were a fickle mistress, though. The board went flying from under his feet, and he landed flat on his back in the water. Before he could blink, the board came down on top of him.

He felt all the breath go out of him in a WHOOSH. Dazed, John began to sink.

He saw a huge fish coming toward him, fast. As the fish grew closer, John’s eyes widened, convinced he had lost his mind.

The huge fish wasn’t completely a fish – it was a merman! The merman grabbed him and hauled him onto shore.

“Board…” John gasped out. The merman’s head tilted, and he gasped, “Rental….not…mine.”

The merman nodded and jackknifed back into the water as John crawled further onto shore. He returned moments later with the runaway board. Only then did John let sleep take him.


When John woke, he found a note in the sand. You will be fine. Just got the wind knocked out of you. Get some rest, you’re exhausted.

“Huh,” he mused. “Merman speaks English….”

When John returned to the hotel room, he had a hell of a story to tell. He was shocked when Rodney believed him.

“Hey,” Rodney shrugged. “This is us, remember? I create crystal. You’re a telekinetic. We live in another galaxy. After all that, mermen aren’t such a stretch.”

John had to agree. They got ready for the Who concert.

Second-row seats to the loudest band in the world – John was in heaven. Rodney had brought earplugs and passed them all round, and he was enjoying himself, too.

But, still, John wondered about the weird looks drummer Keith Moon kept shooting him.

Looks of… recognition?


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