Giant monkeys and flying spiders. That’s what life in the city is supposed to be about. That’s why I moved here. Back in the village, I used to watch the news about the big battles over the financial districts, all bazookas, chittering cat-insect hybrids and mind control and hypermagnetism.

And that’s what I got, pretty much. It’s just … not so nice when it’s all happening around you. A week after I came here, I almost got crippled in an encounter between a cyborg and a human boomerang. And the insurance is really shitty here.

I tried to stick to the back alleys, but there’s a whole universe of weirdos back there as well. I kept waking up in dumpsters. My windows burst from supersonic flights. The television reception was always on the fritz.

But I couldn’t go back. I’d talked up the city so much that I’d be a laughing stock if I did that. So when the aliens came for me, I went with them meekly. They thought I was dumb. They dissected me while I was awake, did odd little probes, scraped bits of my brain for cultures. And when I was getting dressed, I talked. And I asked them for a favour.

When I got back, I was … well, if you can’t beat ’em, and all that cutesy shit.