Romance Alone

Submitted into Contest #76 in response to: Write a story told exclusively through dialogue.... view prompt

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Science Fiction

"1547 to base"

"Base here. Go ahead 1547"

"I've got the pod about 10 yards away for the 7th crater of the Minares Plain. The probes are warming up for scouting."

"10-4 1547, you may proceed"

"Roger that, Base. There's a good natural hole around here. I even see something that resembles a cave."

"The boss had a planetary survey before coming here, 1547 and the survey team did find a system of caves underneath the surface. No surprises. Just be careful with those probes. They might lose coms if they wander too far down in there. "

"Understood base, btw, Rachel, last night was magical!"

"1547......"

"Yeah?"

"1547, talking about this on an open line like this is dangerous. You know it get us both into big trouble with the boss. "

"The boss, the boss the boss. The great reaper of our harvest of thorium, uranium, radium...etc."

"And he is the most powerful pirate in the Outlaw Zone and his fleet is about a quarter of the size of the Hanseatic League."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah."

"Just stick to the task, 1547"

"Simon. Call me Simon"

"Focus, 1547. How are those probes doing?."

"Telemetry shows them approaching the cave entrance and scanning for traces of ore. They should get in the cave itself within a 5 minutes."

"Very good, 1547. Have them start to burrow as soon as possible"

"What's that? Without doing further exploration of the cave?"

"1547, we are a mining operation, not an archeological team and again, this is Outlaw space, so there is very little profit involved in archeology. "

"10-4, Base. I'll have them start drilling in 5 -- Whoa! what's that?"

"Repeat, 1547?"

"It's (white noise) ....ing hu... "I can't...(white noise)..."

"1547?"

(white noise)...

"Repeat 1547?"

(White noise)

"Simon!?"

"I'm okay.. I'm okay"

"What the f happened, 1547?"

"Not sure. I was setting up the drill procedures for the probes and suddenly, I felt the who pod shake. It was like I was being pulled into the cave. It took me a bit to get control of the pod."

"Some kind of gravity pocket?"

"I guess. I didn't see anything. The instruments didn't register anything. Of course, this pod isn't fully equipped....at least not for this"

"Okay, 1547. How are you holding up?"

"Okay for now. There's no pull at the moment. No readings on this. The probes are digging in now.. All instruments show green. I still have plenty of oxygen and the engines are good."

"Good. Let me know when they hit that vein. I am mobilizing the base to meet you there for the primary drill and retrieval."

"10-4, Base. See you in a bit"

“You had me going for a bit, Simon”

“Rache, I thought you said we were sticking to being professional here.”

“Yeah, well I changed my mind. I may be a repurposed, pleasure droid, but I can still change my mind from time to time and I have grown very fond of your companionship over this past year that we've been on this rock.”

“Aww, thanx, Rache. I would love to take you away from this rock and go somewhere that has a beach and big ocean. That would be a good place to sort of explore our relationship."

“That sounds nice; I'd like that. Meanwhile, what about you? Any plans after we finish with this last draining the last vein”

“I’m a slave, Rache. We don’t actually get much in the way of time off although, I think my debt might be paid off when we finish. There’s no guarantee though. This is the Outlaw Zone and just about anything can happen here and the only law here is the pirate’s law.”

“Yeah, so I’ve heard……”

“Rache? You okay? I thought I heard something”

“Yeah, I’m fine. I seem to have some kind of fluid leak around my optical sensors. It will take me a moment to clear it and I will be fine”

“Anyway, I don’t have any major plans after this.. I will just wait and see what he wants us to do next”

“There’s no guarantee that you would be paired with me again for another job, Simon”

“Yeah, I know… I .. uh oh, here we go again… the lights just went out.’’

“Simon? I’m still about a mile out or more from you. Just hold on until I can get to you, okay?”

White noise….

“Simon.? I’m almost there, Simon, hang tight”

“Base? Rache?”

“Yes, Simon. I’m already near the drill site now. What’s your status?”

“Yeah, I have a headache and I’m dizzy”

“What’s your O2 like”

“Ummmm let me check…. Oh yeah. It;s still reading 100%. Weird. Must be a glitch or something. My eyes, they keep going in and out. It’s like all of a sudden, I lose my eyesight and then later, they come back”

“We may have to make some adjustments once we get back”

“Yeah…. What do you mean, Rache? Adjustments?”

“Yes, to your optical sensors”

“My what? You mean my eyes. I don’t know if we have a vision plan here”

“You’re right. We don’t. I have been living on these opticals for years now, My eyes went bad on my first night on a raiding mission. Cloning eyes, was too costly, so I got these optical sensors instead.”

“Cloning….what are you saying Rache?”

“I am saying, 1547 aka my friend, Simon that I am not actually a repurposed pleasure droid; I’m actually human with some optical sensors where my eyes should be. You, however are the repurposed pleasure droid”

“What?!??”

“Check your O2 again. It’s been at 100% since you left base and it’s been about an hour”

“I don’t understand….”


“Well, I’ll tell you. You see, the boss used to send me out on missions, telling the clients that I am a pleasure droid. I could act the part well enough and he made a lot of credits off of me. As I got older, though, I couldn’t pull that act off any more so he started sending me on other missions such as mining operations. I had to learn everything about mining backwards and forwards just to survive so that’s how I managed to get here. 

This last year, the boss decided that it would be good for me to have a companion on this rock but he didn’t want to use another slave. Instead he sent you- a repurposed pleasure droid.

I'm sorry, Simon. I wish it weren't true. I really do. I would love to go on the vacation with you but sometimes, I have to face the reality of this- even when it's harsh. It doesn't mean that I don't have feelings for you, Simon."

"Getting dark......."

"Simon?"

White Noise...


January 14, 2021 21:40

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