Kyla sat in the same window seat every time. The view from her faded leather stool showed off every crack in the scarred landscape of Mars. Phobos hung in the sky, immune to the noise of drinkers playing pool, and throwing darts. Every glass had the logo of a Martian shooting a ray gun, but the beer inside remained the same as back home. The last smokers for 225 million kilometres infected their imported air with tobacco.
Her Imagination Bear slumped on the tabletop, one leg missing, fur soaked in stale whisky and dust. He imagined that they were space detectives, and this was a drinking hole infested with star pirates. To stay undercover it was crucial they remained silent. This fantasy explained why Kyla did not speak to him any more. An Imagination Dog with one eye and a snout infested with threadbare holes glared at him, and he pushed back further against the glass.
Three hours later Kyla stumbled out of the pub, down a tunnel with red sand gathering in mounds along the side. Her Imagination Bear sat on the shoulder, barely holding on with his remaining three limbs. Thousand of stars burned above them, reminding each person in the colony how lucky they were to be here. Kyla did not look up much any more. She was usually asleep within ten minutes of crawling into her unmade bed.
But her Imagination Bear stayed awake, Although their mission, nigh on impossible there was always a chance of success. That one day Kyla and himself would retire from undercover, and return to the police station, and toast their success with coffee and cake.
He waited for the sun to rise, and dreamt of a thousand different scenarios on a billion different worlds.