When it rains in my city, tiny lifeforms sprout on car hoods, brick mortar, and a wet dog’s fur. Each raindrop shudders as crystalline structures build, the air permeated by the data transfer hiss. I close my eyes and see them catalog the inhabitants of their temporary world: microbes, humans, animals, and ghosts. The ghosts see them as a pervasive metallic sheen, and the squirrels instinctively avoid the tiny filaments. Human bodies react imperceptibly, bellies subtly churning at this biomechanical intrusion, but sometimes the children will wrinkle their noses and say, “It smells weird out here.”
When the final drop falls, these delicate bodies rust away before the last puddle dries, their data evaporating back to the alien atmosphere. The magnet of an ethereal intelligence pulls it effortlessly out of our world, where it will never exist again.