In Space

Day 97.

“Morning, Kez.”

“Mmm, morning Track.”

“…Any change?”

“No.  No change.”

“Oh…  Any word?”

No, God damn it, Track, no, there has been NO, WORD.”

“Jeez, Kez, I was just—“

“You’ve been ‘just’ for the last month already, drop it!  It has, not, changed.  Do you think I wouldn’t tell you if it had changed?!  D’ya I wouldn’t come running through this damn station to your bunk and drag you out of it if had changed?!  It’s dead, Track, dead.  Ninety-seven days, almost ninety-eight, we haven’t heard a damn thing from anyone closer than Uranus, haven’t seen anything, and you know what?  They, haven’t, either!  What do you want me to say?!”

“Look, I know you’re—“

Don’t, Track.  Just don’t.  You know what, you sit in this damn chair and look at the screens.  I’ll even read over your shoulder if it’ll make you happy, just, God, I am sick and tired of sitting here waiting for something to happen.”

“Fine, okay, fine, fine, look Kez, I’m sitting down in the chair, just, take it easy.”

You take it easy.  You can take it easy all the way out the airlock, which is where you’re going if you’re just going to sit here and waste your share of the rations.”

“We’ve got three years worth; I highly doubt food will be our greatest concern if it takes that long.”

“Do you even want to plan for the long term?!”

“I’m a little too preoccupied with the short term, thank you very much.  Such as, oh you know, figuring out why every bloody satellite, camera, transmission, energy reading of any kind has simply stopped coming from the center of the solar system.  And let’s not forget our, oh yes, delightfully ironic little problem of not having a telescope on hand with enough magnification to even see the station around Neptune!  Oh no, there’d be no way we’d simultaneously lose control of every remote telescope in orbit at the exact same time; what the hell could we possibly need a manual telescope that strong for?!  You want me to get angry, huh?!  Look, here I am, I’M ANGRY!”

“Don’t you dare effing patronize me, Track.  I am NOT in the mood.”

“If you are about to blame this on ‘that time of the month’ I swear I’ll ask you if there’s been any change every five minutes until you make me stop.”

“If I put out would it get you to stop?!  Is that what you’re gunning for with all your damn platitudes?!  Shouldering up to the only woman left in the galaxy?!”

“Oh please.  As if I’d want to bring up children in a world like this…”

“Like WHAT?!  Damn it, Track, all you’ve been whining about from Day 1 is how we don’t know what happened!  And here you go jumping to conclusions again!”

“I DON’T know what happened!”

“Then get in the damn shuttle and find out!”

You get in the damn shuttle.”





{In space, no one can hear you scream.  But you can’t hear them scream, either.}


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