Tag: dragonfly

Dragonfly: Foot of the Mountain

Zoey took a second to breathe as she massaged her legs. She sat down on an oddly-shaped rock near the upward-sloping side of the path up Mt…she would have to double-check the name when she left. Her legs burnt with lactic acid, real lactic acid, and it made her smile, but then groan as they hurt to even massage.

“It’s good exercise, just take each step as it comes. Wes told you what was at the top. Just got to go up there and get it, right?”

Zoey looked forward, toward the other side of the path and past the railing. The slope cut down sharply, but past that ridge was a sea of trees blowing and shifting in the wind. Near the edge of the woods was a line of residential buildings, followed by medium-rises, and then skyscrapers barely bigger than the nail on her little finger. She checked.

Zoey searched through her backpack, pushing aside a first aid kit, a flare gun, and a copy of a book she didn’t remember bringing. At the bottom was a cell phone.

“There you are. Let me just…” She took a picture of the landscape that unfolded before her. Beneath the photo she captioned it, “Absolutely gorgeous landscape, can’t believe the work that goes into making this place beautiful. Already looking forward to coming here again and just staring at the forest. 5 stars!”

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Dragonfly: Goodbyes

Sean stood in the door frame and crossed his arms. He looked in and stared at the back of Ricky’s head, tried to open his mouth to speak but stopped himself before he said anything stupid. As he leaned against the old wooden door frame, it let out an audible creak. 

Ricky turned around and Sean finally saw his fresh black eye. It wasn’t the first one he’d seen on him. Ricky paused for a second, looking at Sean’s tightened jaw and freshly crew-cut red hair on pale freckled skin. 

The two young men just stared for a second, considering the first words of what would assuredly be a difficult conversation.

Ricky spoke first.

“What are you doing here?” Ricky turned his head so his black eye was no longer visible.

“I…” Sean paused.

“Yeah? Spit it out.” Ricky’s eyes started to dart across the room to find something, anything else to look at than the man in the doorway.

“I…I’m going to leave. I just wanted to let you know.”

Ricky forced a laugh. “Then go. No one is holding you here, Sean.” Ricky flicked his wrist to shoo away Sean as he said, “The door’s that way.”

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Dragonfly: Rescue

It had taken some time, but by now, modified versions of Maya’s hand were commonplace. When she lost her hand, almost a good decade ago, her new hand was more of an experiment than a product. She wanted something that could grasp, something that could feel. And that took trial and error. It also took money. Her payment came in the form of working on a dragonfly.

The Dragonfly Project hadn’t reached out to even the far corners of the solar system yet, so Maya was lucky and got to work in a relay floating just past Mars. Within a few years after she’d been assigned, the project sent out relays out as far as Eris. Now her relay directory had listings named after gods she most certainly never heard of.

Her hand was clamped to her work table while its inner workings were carefully placed  across the table’s surface. A spring or two had worn themselves down to useless. 

“Maybe I can get some lighter plates next holiday,” she mumbled as she screwed her pinky back into place with her good hand. The newest model weighed even less than a similar sized human hand. Maya’s, however, felt more like carrying a medicine ball at all times, one armed. 

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Dragonfly: Static

Jenny flipped the switch to start the rotation of her dragonfly’s habitat module. The spinning allowed the structure to simulate light gravity, which, even if it was nothing compared to Earth’s, was much better than nothing. She removed her hair tie, let her hair fall to her shoulders, skipped over to the fabricator and popped out a warm meal. 

“Too tired to cook today. I’m sure you understand, Fab Fab.” She patted the fabricator right above a crudely drawn face she made on the front, above the screen. The machine did not respond.

Jenny glided across the habitat and sat herself into her chair, ready to set up a call with Sammi, her sister, still back in the states. “Did that girl change her lock yet or not?” Jenny said to herself while popping a bit of the breading into her mouth. 

After pressing the call button, Jenny sat back and waited, expecting the call to take a minute before being accepted. Instead, the call was immediately accepted, shocking Jenny forward and forcing her to drop her meaty pastry.

“Shit! Hold on a second, let me get my food.” Jenny got off her chair and crawled under her desk, quickly finding the pastry before crawling back to her chair. “Stay there, I’m almost back.”

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Dragonfly: Relay

Edwin set the applicator back onto the magnetic strip on his belt, causing a satisfying ring in his suit. The reaction of the hull patch was still working, but he knew it should be fine from here. Soon this part of the relay will be fine to work in again without protective gear, and every little bit of room was a luxury.

He pushed away from the relay and slowly floated backwards. He floated loosely, freely, and took in the sight of the whole structure. The whole thing reminded him of a dragonfly, with solar arrays for wings, and the tail itself as the actual relay. If he needed to move the thing, the wings could open up wider into solar sails, but its orbit had been stable as long as he worked there. At this point in his orbit, the relay was angled just right to catch the light of the nearby star, the body glittering as the wings absorbed the light in full, highlighting the veins of circuitry that ran through them.

The tether caught tight, reminding Edwin to come back in. He gripped his belt and the tether started to drag him back towards the airlock. Slowly but surely moving towards the entrance of the dragonfly, he took a deep breath and smiled. A good day’s work was rough on the body, and sometimes the mind, but at the end of it he felt satisfied. Tired, but satisfied. A healthy exhaustion. Although, to be fair, he couldn’t always tell what counted as a day anymore. 

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