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Science Fiction

     Deep in space, a lone ship drifts though the shadow of a moon. Alarms blare as the ship shakes from the strain of staying together. Vika flips a switch up and down, her thick gloves catching. She grits her teeth as she tries to pull a wire from the panel. She yanks the gloves off and throws them behind her. Who cares if the cold of space gives her frostbite if she’s dead? The cold seeps into her fingers as she wiggles them through the wires and yanks the one she’s looking for.

     The lights go out.

     “Vika!” Korben screeches from the front of the ship.

     “At least I shut the alarm off!”

     “We’re going to die and it’ll be your fault!”

     “Shut up! I’m doing my best.”

     “This is your best? No wonder we’re in this mess.” She’s going to kill him one of these days. “There’s a space station on scanner. Give us enough power to get there and we might have a chance.” She rolls her eyes and holds two wires, but pauses before crossing them.

     “What’s the magic word?” she sings.

     “What?”

     “What’s the magic word?”

     “Seriously? Now?”

     “Yup,” she says, popping the p.

     “Oxygen at 7%,” the computer says. Vika thought she shut the sound off with the alarms.

     “Fix it,” Korben groans.

     “Say it.”

     “Please,” sarcasm drips from his voice. Vika shrugs. Whatever, it’ll do. Sparks nip at the fingertips as the wires cross.

     The lights flicker back on then die again.

      Oops.

     “Oxygen at 4%.”

     “Vika!”

     “Please, we have enough power to get to the station.”

     “If we don’t suffocate first,” he mutters.

     “Such confidence in your piloting stills.” Korben mutters something that sounds suspiciously like cussing at her. She rolls her eyes.

     Vika is thrown back as the ship dips suddenly, tools crashing across the floor from her open tool kit.

     “Hey! You could have hurt Beep!”

     “It’s a robot.”

     “It’s a he!”

     “Whatever.” Vika picks up the ball-shaped robot. He blinks his one eye up at her.

     “That jerk didn’t mean it,” she babies him. The ship dips forward and Beep goes flying from her hands.

     This is going to be a long five minutes.

OOOO

     The flashlight beams only do so much to cut through the dark halls of the space station. Even the light from Beep’s eye doesn’t help much. Water, at least she hopes it’s water, drips from the ceiling forming puddles on the ground.

      “Man, how long has this place been here? It smells like something died forever ago,” Korben says. Vika shrugs, pointing her light down a hall as they pass it.

     “Longer then you’ve been alive.”

      He huffs in response. Beep rolls across the floor in front of them, his light guiding them better then the flashlights.

    “At least we have enough oxygen.”

    “Hey, it’s not my fault you cut the cord to life support,” Korben replies stepping over a puddle.

     “Well, if you hadn’t banked so hard while I was fixing the weapons.”

     “We were being shot at!”

     “How’s that my fault? You were the one who stole that gem.” He opens and closes his mouth a couple times. Vika smirks.

     “Okay, yeah that one’s on me.”

     A crash echoes though the halls from somewhere on the station. Beep rolls behind Vika and peaks out from behind her leg. Korben unholsters his blaster. Vika follows suit.

     “I thought this place was abandoned?”

     “It’s old and something fell?”

     “If you believed that you wouldn’t have unholstered your blaster.”

     “Neither would you.” They walk in sync, blasters ready and flashlights up. Beep bumps against her ankle. Water drips down Korben’s face. He wrinkles his nose as he wipes it off.

     “That’s not water.”

     “Nope.” He wipes it on her jacket. They continue on, shoulder-to-shoulder and ready for anything.

     They come to a door hanging by one hinge, the not water seeping out from under it.

     “Lady’s first.”

     “Really? Now you’re being a gentlemen?” He shrugs.

     “It’s never too late to be one.” Vika rolls her eyes and kicks the door open. It crashes into the wall then to the ground. A serpent rises up, it’s hooded head nearly touching the ceiling. The not water drips from its fangs to the ground.

     “Saliva, ew,” they say in unison. Korben aims his blaster and fires. The electrical charge hits it in the chest, sparking harmlessly over its purple scales. It roars, lashing it’s tail at them. Vika steps back, while it knocks Korben to the ground. She momentarily drops the point of her gun to put her hands on her hips.

     “Now look what you’ve done; you’ve gone and made it mad.” He scrambles to his feet and grabs her by the front of her jacket.

     “Listen here you little-” The snake lunges at them, shaking them from the argument. Vika hardly aims before firing as Korben grabs her arm and drags her back through the door. They topple through, Vika landing on top him. She scrambles off and dashes down the corridor, not waiting for him to get up. She skids around a corner and into a wall, falling to the ground. She grunts and stands back up. A moment later Korben slides around the corner panting. He puts a finger to his lips and presses back against the wall. Vika does the same.

    The snake slithers by, leaving slime in its path. She makes a gagging motion. Korben narrows his eyes as he mimes choking her. She sticks her tongue out at him before running off to explore their new path.

OOOO

     The control room has about six layers of dust, no snake slime, thankfully, so that’s a good sign. The bad sign is; six layers of dust.

     “Can you make it work?” Korben asks.

     “Not if you keep talking.”

     He flops into the caption’s chair, stirring up a cloud of dust. He sneezes. Vika wipes her hands off, an irritating itch making its way up her nose. She stuffs her hands back into the consoles ancient wiring. How can she fix this? It’s been useless for a century. She yanks the mess out.

     The counsel lights up.

    “Such a mature way to fix it.” She chucks the wires at him. They hit him in the face. He squawks and falls over, out of the chair, surprised. Vika examines the screen.

     “There’s a ship in range of an S.O.S, if you get your sorry butt back in that chair you should be able to send one.”

     She can feel Korben’s glare burn into her back as he climbs into the chair.

     “Hello? Is anyone reading me?”

     “This is the Morra, I read you, do you require assistants?”

      “Please save me.”

     Vika snorts. “From what? Your idiocy? Sorry but you can’t be saved from that.”

     “My partner and I are stranded on the old space station, any way you could give us a lift?”

     “Consider it done. Adjusting course. Morra out.” The line goes dead.

     “That,” Korben says leaning back in the chair, “is how you do it.” He props his feet on the control board, kicking half a dozen buttons.

     Without a sound, the power shuts down.

     “….Oops.”

     “Korben, you might want to run.” He falls out of the chair in his scrambling to get out of it and runs off the deck.

OOOO

     “Welcome to the Morra,” the caption greets them. She’s tall with a spiky blue bob and a warm smile. “I’m Captain Flose.”

     “Vika,” she says sticking her hand out. Flose takes it with a nod. “And this is Korben.” She gestures to a soaking wet Korben. The captain shakes his hand.

     “Thanks for saving us,” Korben says. Flose tips her hat and leads them to the main deck, giving them a short tour on the way. The Morra isn’t large but she’s bigger than the rust bucket Korben calls his.

      “Wow, an actual ship,” Vika comments.

    “I’ve flown that ship for years! She was reliable!”

    “Key word: was.”

    “Oh yeah? I want to see you do better.”

    “It’s not that hard to do anything better then you.”

     “Take that back,” he growls.

     “Never.”

     “Ugh, get a room,” Flose interjects.

      They barely miss a heartbeat before they say at the same time, “Ew, we’re siblings.”

January 16, 2020 21:12

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