Mess HallMature

Staff Sergeant Karen Liu
Eos II Scouting Mission: Two Days before Planetfall

I hate off the shelf bodies.

There’s always something off about them, it’s almost as if those in charge of EDEF body banks got all the bodies they gave to enlisted by buying them off whoever they’d come across while walking down the slums. Or maybe I just had shitty luck.

Headache, anxiety, slightly depressive feeling and bouts of irritability. I knew the feeling, it wasn’t the first time I’d experienced it. Whatever jarhead had worn this body before had gotten it addicted to nicotine.

And I fucking hate smoking.

Officers had it good, custom grown bodies just for their enjoyment, with all the features they wanted so Karida was always this tall and bulky arab woman with the big nose. She was a spacer and wasn’t big on Earth stuff, but she was proud of what culture her parents had given her.

As the cook handed out the food, and I use the term lightly, I started wondering what I’d look like if I was given a custom body. I’d choose a Hmong genestock definitely, but the features I had no idea.

“Can you believe they make us eat this shit?” Someone asked. It was one of the Privates, Honda. Despite what his name implied, he was wearing a hispanic body.

“Just eat it.” I said.

Space food sucked; it came in bar, paste, noodle or bread-like forms all made of the same unidentifiable protein thing with artificial flavor that always tasted almost right but just off enough you could tell something was wrong. Flavor wasn’t the highest priority when you had to make food last sometimes years for the time it took to move between the stars.

Being in space was the worst part of the service, being planetside was usually more interesting. Eos II sounded like a nice place, better than my natal New Shanghai or my last post on New Mumbai.

I wasn't worried about the mission, the locals had probably just had a small outbreak that had the FTL beacon trashed and had subdued it months ago and were waiting on a delivery. If I was lucky, two days later I would have been eating real food, getting drunk planetside and going to my quarters with a nice local lady or two…

What could possibly go wrong?

The End

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