Tag: scifi

The Accident on Titan

Do you know about the motor pub? The one on Vine Street? It’s a little hole in the wall, but it’s popular with people just passing through the area. 

I was there last Thursday, a bit early in the night. I had finished my research for the day and decided to celebrate before the place got too many customers. Well, when I was there I saw a man sitting alone at the bar, and you know me, I just had to chat with him. I love to chat with anyone I can and there is no one better to talk to than someone drinking alone. 

He looked like he was passing through. I had never seen him at the bar before, so I didn’t think he was a regular.e had a suitcase sitting next to his stool, with his foot wrapped around one of the handles. I admired his determination to keep his belongings safe, but honestly, all he’d get out of that situation would be a broken foot if anyone with any determination tried to take his stuff. But I digress.

I sat next to him and offered to buy him a drink. He thanked me and ordered a whiskey straight. He drank the whole thing in one gulp. Told him, “You didn’t wait for me, but I’m not buying you another.” I laughed.

He didn’t.

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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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Ripple

Passing by a picnic bench, Elise leaned a little to the side so she could run her hand across its rough wooden surface. She continued toward the pond just past the pavilion she was walking through. As she left the pavilion’s cover she began to feel light rain kiss her skin.

She stopped at the water’s edge and sat on a large stone. Taking a deep breath, she could smell the smoke of charcoal grills burning close by. The smell of the rain mixed with the smoke made her smile. She took off her shoes, set them on the stone, and stepped into the pond, wading just deep enough to let the pond reach her knees. 

She turned to the grills running along the side of the park’s pavilion and stared at the smoke gently wafting from the unmanned stations. Elise tilted her head and frowned a little before closing her eyes tight. She thought of her father and uncles before opening her eyes.

Standing before the grills were now a row of men wearing khaki shorts and brightly colored button up shirts laughing and waving to each other, repeating the same basic movements of flipping burgers, turning hotdogs, and looking back up to wave again. At the edge of the row stood a nun doing the same synchronized cooking routine.

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Remember, Me and You

Bea woke up and blinked. She took a look around her room: cold and sterile, fake wood panels and linoleum floors. She blinked again, rubbed her eyes, and tried to orient herself. The bed was…comfortable, but not her own, or probably not her own. She sat up and felt a tug on her chest.

A cord ran from her thin, white and blue dress to a screen of some sort propped up on a metal stand. The idea, the words, the thoughts, the meaning of the screen, it tickled her brain, begging her to think just a little harder, a little longer, but the purpose, the meaning, it slipped past her. 

Next to the stand was an end table, sparse and utilitarian, matching the fake wood panels that ran along the wall. Sitting on it was a picture frame. In the picture were two figures, laughing. The one on the left she knew, or was fairly certain she knew. It was a woman with short cut hair and prominent laugh lines around her round dark eyes. But thinking about it for too long upset her, caused the tickle to grow.

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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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921: Part ???

Edgar opened his eyes. He wanted to blink, but couldn’t. He took in the scene in front of him. He heard the sounds of a robin chirping outside, saw the sunlight filter in through the shades, and felt the smooth fabric of the couch beneath him. Likely mid morning, definitely the living room, but why he was there was coming a bit slowly. Orienting himself, the remaining furniture slid into place into his mental map, with the stove in the connected kitchen coming last. He wished he could smell. He missed smelling breakfast. Edgar tried to stand up and start his day, but found his legs unwilling to listen, so he sat there, confused.

Edgar felt a weight shift to the right of him, but found himself unable to turn his head to look. Then, a hand was placed on his shoulder. “Eddie, honey, we need to talk about something.” He recognized the voice. It was Tina, his wife. All fear melted from him, and if he could have released the tension in his shoulders, he would have.

Tina took her hand, gently placed her thumb and forefinger on his chin, and turned his neck so he was looking at her, unblinking. “Your eyes are open, so I’m going to assume you can hear me.” Tina’s makeup was slightly smudged and smeared, she clearly had been crying recently, with small streaks of her eyeliner under her eyes. She took a sip of her deep hickory-colored drink. 

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Tomorrow, Cowgirl

Kaori focused hard on her hand. Sweat beading down her face, she put every ounce of effort into moving her little finger. The other fingers were a little easier, but moving her pinky took considerable energy. 

And then it twitched.

She exhaled.

Dr. Aman wrote something down on her clipboard and then looked up at Kaori. “That’s a good sign. You’re progressing quickly.” She moved over to the IVs and checked their levels before continuing. “It usually takes a bit longer for patients waking from cold sleep to get, well, any motor control back.”

Kaori continued focusing on her fingers, trying to move her hands into different shapes but instead only twitching the tips.

Dr. Aman continued, “If you keep progressing this quickly we should be able to start working on moving your arms by the end of the day.”

“When do you think I can leave?” Kaori asked.

“You’ve still got a few days here, maybe more.” Dr. Aman turned her hand palm up so she could look at her watch. “But, good news, you have a guest on the way.”

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Shining Chariot

“Ugh, I brought the wrong shade, can I borrow yours?” Selene was applying her eyeliner, holding herself to the wall with her feet wedged under the stabilizing bar. Cynth angled toward her and held out their hand.

“Here babe!” Selene underhand tossed the tube of lipstick to Cynth, who had wedged themself to the opposite wall of the pod.

Cynth grabbed the stick out of the air, as it slowly glided towards them. They slowly applied the lipstick, savoring the moment and feel of the pigment brushing up against their lips. “I’m really glad you have the right shade. It’s just too far to turn back towards the ship, you know.”

Selene finished prepping and released herself from the bar and pushed herself towards Cynth, holding them tight as she got closer. “It’s okay babe! Just be more mindful in the future. I swear, you’d forget your phone if you didn’t have to swipe into the pod.” Selene looked at the console. “Oh shit! Hurry up. We’ve almost connected.”

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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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