The jungle west of the former Fort Lauderdale hosted a mixture of garden plants gone wild and swamp vegetation from the reawakened Everglades. Near the edge of the growth, six hotels and their supporting outbuildings and transit platforms occupied clearings that the alien Krith had carved out. There was plenty of space for expansion, as the entire peninsula of Florida was reserved for Krith and other species under the Use Treaty of 2045.
At 1900 on the day they arrived, Sarah Berthode and nine other newly-employed humans trekked from their dormitory to the Workers’ Entrance of the Nice Hotel for Curious Travelers. A short man with thinning black hair stared at each of them in turn, pausing at Sarah. Without a word he pointed across the hotel plaza and led them to a damp, overgrown dirt path.
Walking single file down the path, Sarah tried to make conversation with the man behind her. “I’m a post-doc at–“