“Father, are you sure this is what humans look like?”
“You’re going to have to trust me on this, Juan.”
“I seem to remember them having two of everything. And use my real name, not that Earth name you chose.”
“For now your name is Juan. Here, don’t forget your hat.”
Juan looked at himself in the mirror. He was seven feet tall with an arm protruding from all sides of his body. He looked at the reddish brown hair covering his body and wondered why he remembered things so differently from the last time he visited Earth. Did humans really have four eyes and four ears as well as four arms and legs? Juan simply shrugged and put on his bowler hat.
“Come on, son. Get in the portal. You have a schedule to keep.”
Juan stepped onto the green platform in the middle of the room and looked around. He rarely used the portal room anymore, and so it was as if it was his first time seeing the various screens depicting the various planets in this solar system. He watched as his father pressed one of the screens to bring Earth into view and located the designated country. Juan looked at all of the countries that existed now that did not exist the last time he was sent to Earth. I’m here to talk to all of them, Juan thought to himself.
“The portal is fully charged. Until I see you again, Son…”
Juan felt the electricity jolt through his unfamiliar body and watched as the interior of the portal room disappeared and was soon replaced by the interior of an Earth building. Inside this new building were a great many tables and chairs. Three fourths of the building’s walls were made up of windows which showed cars and buses driving by on an apparently busy street. “Welcome to Subplots, can I take your order?” said a voice from behind. Juan spun around and saw a long counter on top of which was a pair of cash registers. At the moment, only one of them had a person taking orders, and she wasn’t facing him. Once he saw the menus on the wall behind the counter, Juan’s suspicions were confirmed. Of all the places to portalize, Father chose a fast food restaurant, Juan thought to himself. He sighed and exited the restaurant.
In addition to the cars and buses seen earlier, there were buildings all around. Most showed a certain polish indicating they were well kept. “I’m in a city,” Juan declared aloud. This was so unlike the world he had known in the past. It was then that he glanced at the people. “Oh dear, they have two arms. Oh no, two legs as well.” By the time he noticed the two eyes and two ears, Juan was ducking under the doorway to the restaurant. “They are also shorter and not nearly so hairy. Now what do I do?” Juan whispered. “What’s the phrase they use here? Sore thumb, that’s it. I’m going to stick out like a sore thumb. I also have to put on more clothes than just this bowler hat.”