The blankets on our bed are incredibly soft. Made from the fabricated cotton that's grown in the southern united states. The fibers are fine enough to stay warm in the dead of winter, but still light enough for the heat of summer. Perfect really, for the weather here in South Africa.

I pull the blankets up to my chin burrowing under them. After staying up late studying our mechanical cacti I'm exhausted. The blankets wrap me up in a perfectly tempered warmth, sleep pulls at my eyelids begging me to stay in bed. Sunlight peeks through the curtains, a bird chirps, telling me I need to rise, see how the fabricated orchids have grown. Feed our cow and see if the milk she gives doesn't spoil, try and tinker with the mechanical plants and see if I can't get them to smell as nice as real ones. Alek and I will also need to walk the two miles to market for foodstuffs as well.

But instead of getting up to begin a day of work I snuggle into the soft mattress. Our daily routine too much right now.

I smell kamut cooking in the next room, the sweetened kind that I like the best. But the blankets pull we under.

"Deryn, I hope you know it's well past seven," Alek says. He places something on the floor, most likely breakfast.

"That's nice," I say absently.

"We should check on the flowers," he sits down at the foot of our bed.


"And we need more rice and tea,"

"We do,"

"And the mechanical daisies still smell like oil and exhaust," Alek tells me.

"You're absolutely right, they're awful," I pull the blankets over my warm cacoon wrapping me up in perfect comfort.

"And you said you wanted to spend some time studying the habits of wolves," he sounds a bit resigned.

I curl up tighter in bed.I know, but don't really care. Sleep seems like the best idea.

"Are you going to do anything today?" Alek asks


"That means no doesn't it?" he asks.

I bury my face in a pillow, answering is too much work.

Alek gets up from our bed and takes the bowl away. I doze off, somewhere between dreaming and staying awake.

It isn't that long, I can tell because the room hasn't become over-warm from the midday sun, until Alek's back.

"So you're still not getting up?" he asks.

"No," I answer.

I feel the other side of the mattress dip under his weight again. For a moment warmer air rushes in as the blankets are lifted.

"Then I won't be doing anything either," he says.

And we both go back to sleep, uninterested in any sort of work.