Based on a spaceship, Kristina starts to learn the flaws in the system, noticing small changes here and there. She starts to suspect someone is taking command, and not with orders.
Lush green meadows, full of tall grass that pushed and pulled with the wind. The trees restless and wanting to share the song of their leaves. The brook running beside me with the clashes of water on rock. Crisp, clean air that I can deeply inhale and feel weightless. The sky was a blindingly brilliant blue with little puffs of white that looked like pillows, were nudging their way through the sky. I spread out my palms in front of me, fingers wide apart. A familiar bug flew above my hand. it had a small slender body with great wings that flapped gracefully. It landed on my middle finger of my right hand. It's wings flickered slightly and I could see the dark, tattoo like markings on it's wings with a single large orange dot in the center, one on each wing. It started to wail. Loudly. Then Louder, and louder. How is this possible?
My eyes opened. I was in my room, laying on my bed. My morning alarm screaming to wake me up. I reached my sluggish arm over to turn it off. I'm still n the ship. I took a deep breath and sat up from bed. Time to get dressed for morning chow.
"Good morning Kristina" boomed a robotic voice fro the room's speaker.
"Morn' Ian" I replied as I stood up, placing my warm feet onto the harsh, cold metal flooring.
"Coffee?" the voice boomed again.
"I told you I was quitting that habit, Ian."
"Yes Kristina, how could I be so forgetful." I rolled my eyes as though the computer program knew what meant. I walked over to my closet and pressed the opening latch. A small hiss and the door was open. Inside the small closet were 4 different types of uniforms. There were the dailies, work, athletic and formal. I had two contraband outfits, both dresses from home.
"No work today, Kristina, report to chow in 'dailies'" the voice said.
"Ian, I've told you, you do not give me orders. But thank you for the monologue." I reached for one of the four daily uniforms to change into. "Of course" Ian replied.
Dailies were pretty plain and boring, like most of the uniforms. Dailies were a dark gray all over, shit and pants with two thin half inch thick strips that were right blue. They ran from the neck, down the sleeves, and down the side of the shirt. Once the full uniform is on, the blue stripes continue down the side of the pants on both sides. The material was almost skin tight, but allowed for some movement under the material.
After getting changed, I walked over to the bathroom and as I walked in, Ian began to squawk again. "Would you like to hear the daily announcements, Kristina?" If his voice wasn't a robot, I would swear he would be giving me attitude right now. I reached for my toothbrush, "Sure Ian, give me the useless log the Captain calls announcements." I started brushing after applying toothpaste when Ian began. "Heading: 32.82 Gamma Quadrant. Speed: 272 AUs daily. Artificial Gravity: Normal. Artificial Atmosphere: Normal. Water Recycling: Normal. Trash Accumulation: 68%. Date for Docking: 14 days, 9 hours and 8 minutes. Announcements completed."
I spat my toothpaste into the sink, and I did it with authority. I did it because I know full well what will happen to that spit. It will be processed and recycled and cleaned then sent back through the system again and again until it was nothing but clean water again. I combed my hair then slipped my shoes on but paused at the door. "Ian, notify me on my watch once the ship's time has struck 10am." I opened the door and began to step outside when Ian replied, "Very w-" I slammed the door shut before he could continue.
The walk to chow took exactly eight minutes. I glanced at my watch and it read, "07:32". I'm two minutes late. not a big deal, I just like to get my chow at 07:30 because that is exactly when the second breakfast is placed in the buffet line. Its the closest thing to fresh as I can get. I got in line and grabbed my tray and silverware. Synthetic waffles, oatmeal, grits, bacon and sausage. Synthetic food is food made with a nutrient rich goop that gets added into all of our food items. Everything to sustain a healthy person was inside the goop, sadly it tastes like shit. So the cooks add it with the batter of the waffles, in the meat of the sausage and so on and so forth.
Unlike most people on this ship, I still remember real home cooked meals prepared by my mother in the kitchen. I was born on a farm, and I was born illegally. Once a couple becomes pregnant, they are suppose to report for testing on the baby and the moth. I don't really know what they do exactly but they determine if the baby is to live or die at that moment in time. If it is to live, the couple return home and enjoy normal lives until she goes into labor, then she must report to the hospital. But if a child is deemed to die, the mother is unwillingly taken away to have the baby removed.
My parents never reported. It wasn't until I was six years old that I was discovered by the authorities. My parents were convicted and were forced to work at a mine for three years labor. They have since served their time and we now write to each other as often as we can.
Most of the people on the ship are "Jackals". Which is when the newborn is taken from the parents at birth and are raised by the authorities. Never knowing what grass feels like or what the crisp wind smells like. They have lived a life similar to the one I am living now on board this ship. I took a bite from my waffle and stared straight ahead. I should be expecting Mark to show up any moment now.
After a few more bites of my waffle, Mark sat across from me at the bench style seating. "Hey Kris!" he erupted like he had not spoken all day.
"Hey Mark." I replied simply, still staring at nothing straight ahead, trying to avoid eye contact with Mark. I took another bite of my waffle as he began talking again.
"So, what are your plans for today Kris?" he said as he started to dig into his own try of food.
"Simulation practice at 10:00, don't know how long that will last." another bite of food being chewed slowly as I wait for his inevitable reply.
"Oh really?! I did SIMs yesterday. Kinda easy if you ask me, but hey, what do I know right?" Not much apparently. He started laughing a deep bellowing laugh and a wondered for a moment if he could read my thoughts. Once e stopped laughing I said very dryly, "They are not realistic. The gravity is off, the sounds are wrong and they physics of movement in the background need adjustment."
"Oh yeaahhh! You are a 'Nomad'. I totally forgot." he facepalmed himself with his left hand.
"I'll never understand why you think that's a bad thing." I looked at him blankly, refilled my fork of food and continued eating "Well, its not bad, I just know nothing outside of life in the school." Damn right you don't.
"Lets cut the shit Mark, what do you want?"
Stunned, Mark fumbled for words, "I...uh...um..."
"Spit it out Mark. I don't have all day."
"I was wondering...w-would you want to go out sometime?"
Now I'm stunned, I also was at a loss for words. "13,000 people on board, 42% of them are women, and you want to go out with a Nomad?"
"Little bit risky don't ya think?"
"Nah! I'm good friends with a lot of people."
I sat there staring at him, thinking of all the possible outcomes to any one of my answers I could give. "You aren't going to leave me alone until I do, are you?"
"Nope!" he sat up proud with a stiffened back.
"Fine. Tonight, at 1830 sharp, meet me in this chow, got that?"
With a grin that could be a satellite he said, "Absolutely! I'll see you then!"
Mark stood up and turned on his heel, walking off he walked with pride like he had just won gold in the Olympics. I finished eating and put my tray in the dirty pile of trays. I made sure my table was clean and clear of any crumbs. I checked my watch, '0812'. I sighed in knowing that today is going to be a day full of surprises.
I started walking towards the hallway to head to the Rec room when I heard someone call out my name. "Kris!" I tuned around to see the last moments of Rose running towards me. "Hey Rose"
"Kris, I just talked to Mark, he told me about your guy's date tonight."
"So?!! Come on, was that his doing or his? You know he is the most available right now."
"Rose, do you really think that I would ever ask anyone out for a date? Let alone Mark of all people?" she chuckled.
"You don't see the type to want to pair with anyone in the first place."
"Agreeing to the date was the only way I was ever going to get him to leave me alone" I chuckled a little but I tried to stifle it. She grinned at my attempt. "How are you and the grizzly bear?" I asked, trying to change the subject.
"Would you stop calling him that?"
"Ugh! Drew and I are fine, he's been up in control a lot lately. Why do you call him the grizzly bear again?"
"Short temper, hairy, scruff face and beard, large barrel chest and he is never around. A grizzly bear is best when it is not around, but when it is, it causes havoc."
"So Drew is like a grizzly bear to you. Whatever, call him what you wish, just don't let him catch you." I smiled a stupid grin. Stupid bear.
"Hey, I'll see you at simulation this morning right?"
"Ha! As if I would miss it!"
"Good, I could use a steady hand like yours Rose."
"See ya then!" she turned on her heel so fast that her hair flipped in her wake. Rose was a Jackal but she had managed to slip away for a couple months to her parents home. Although she still identifies as a Jackal, her escape opened her eyes to the real beauty of the home world, even if it was short lived. Rose was stunningly graceful, and far more beautiful than myself. Her genes were almost perfect. If she scored only one point higher on the aptitude exam, she would have been gone to officers school and then to command training. She could have retaken the exam but her emotional exam showed she was more sympathetic then the average commander.
That's it so far. More to come! But first, lets hear some comments and suggestions!