T'Skala and Vivian Steal a Rocket (Part 1)

Submitted into Contest #94 in response to: Start your story with someone accepting a dare.... view prompt


Science Fiction Lesbian Teens & Young Adult

“You want me to skip school?” I scratched my head with my cyborg arm, touching the back of my neck. “I don’t know.”

“C’mon, it’ll be fun!” T’Skala looked at me with three wide, pleading eyes. “I used to do it all the time on Taurus Prime! You just have to pretend you’re sick.”

“People do that on Earth too, T’Skala,” I said, rolling my eyes. “That’s like the oldest trick in the book.”

“Well do people on Earth also have custom androids to take their place and act sick?” the foreign exchange student asked.

“Come on, you know Earth is light years behind Taurus when it comes to realistic looking android technology,” I said. “People only use those things for weird sex stuff. It would never fool anyone, and then I would have to explain to my parents why I have a sex doll.”

“That’s where I come in,” she said. She took my hand in her purple tentacle and led me into the closet of her room in her host family’s house, where I had come to pick her up in my beat up flying saucer and drive her to school, NOT to be dragged into another one of her schemes. 

All of a sudden, it was like looking in a mirror, if that mirror had a blank expression on its face. 

“How the hell did you do this?” I asked in wonder, circling the android and touching its skin and hair, running my fingers over the robotic arm and leg. It all seemed a hundred percent real.

“Like you said, Earth is light years behind when it comes to androids,” T’Skala said. “It took a lot of fiddling around to make my old droid look like you. The hair in particular was hard, because we don’t have any. And your skin is a different texture.”

“But how good is it when you turn it on?” I asked.

“Even better,” she said. She touched something on the back of its head. It started blinking and breathing and sort of swaying patiently in place. “Act sick,” she commanded. All of a sudden its eyes got puffy and sunken, its skin turned a pallid greenish color, and it coughed and sniffled.

I pressed my hand to the android’s forehead. It was just the temperature of a human with a fever.

“You can ask it anything,” T’Skala said. 

“What are you doing home already?” I asked.

The droid moaned and held its stomach. “I don’t feel so good. I think I might -” It retched, and then ran to the bathroom. 

I nodded at T’Skala. “That’ll probably work. Could’ve fooled me. What are you going to do though?”

“Don’t worry, I brought two droids with me from Taurus just for this purpose,” she said. “Mine’s already in bed.” She gestured toward the sleeping pod in the corner of the room.

“You brought a droid just so I could skip school?” I said. 

“Well, to be honest, I always wanted to make a human android, but before I came here, I had never seen one of you in real life,” she explained. “So I was sort of...studying you to make this android more realistic.”

“I guess I should be flattered,” I said. “You could’ve chosen any human to make into an android, but you chose me.”

“I’m glad you think so, because it is a little creepy,” T’Skala admitted. “But you’re my best friend! Who else would I choose?” She pulled me into an embrace. Being hugged by a Taurian was an experience. All four of her arm tentacles wrapped around my waist, and she pulled me close to her warm, invertebrate body. I could feel her heart beat against my stomach, and her skin was smooth and also slightly damp.

It was at times like these that I wondered if we could ever become more than friends.

“Although to be honest,” she said, still clinging to me, “The fact that I could just buy cyborg parts for half of it made it a lot easier.”

I laughed. “You little -” I picked her up and started spinning her around, which was easy not only because of my enhanced limbs, but also because T’Skala, though the weight of a normal human, was about half my height. She squealed and pushed me with her tentacles so we both fell down in a heap on the floor.

When we stopped giggling, I sat up, sending her tumbling to the floor again. 

“So what do you say?” she asked. “Are you in?”

“You went through all this trouble to make a bot of me so I guess now I have to,” I said.

“C’mon, let’s go to your house to drop her off then!” She gestured to the android to follow us, and to my surprise that was all the instruction it needed.  “Your parents are gone by now, right?”

“Yeah…” I pulled out the keys to the saucer and we all climbed in. “Sorry about the mess,” I said habitually to the android. 

“I’m an android, I don’t care,” said the bot.

“No, you’re not,” T’Skala said, turning around from her shotgun position to stare down the android in the back. “You’re Vivian Zhao, and you’re home sick from school.”

“Yes ma’am,” the android said. It sounded exactly like I did when I was being sarcastic.

“So what are we going to do next?” I asked T’Skala.

“Road trip, road trip!” she chanted.


“Orion system!”

I shook my head. “There’s no way this old thing’s gonna make it. I’m not getting stranded on a remote planet somewhere because my ship broke down.”

“Well….” she started, and I could tell she was scheming again. “What if we didn’t take this ship?”

“We’re too young to rent,” I said. 

“Well….” she said again, and this time I caught her drift.

“NO,” I said slamming on the brakes. We were only a few hundred kilometers from my parents’ house. “My mom will kill me if anyone even TOUCHES the rocket.”

“She doesn’t have to find out,” T’Skala said. “It’s so fast we can get there and back before she comes home from work! It’s perfect!”

“There’s so much that could go wrong with this.”

She pouted at me with those big purple puppy-dog eyes. “Please? I triple dog dare you!” 

I don’t know what it was about those eyes. The fact that there were three of them meant they were 50% cuter than a human’s, maybe.

“I never should’ve taught you that one,” I grumbled, and she grinned because she knew she had won. “Fine, but if it gets so much as a scratch…”

T’Skala unbuckled herself and launched herself through the air gracefully, wrapping me once again in an embrace. “Okay, okay,” I said. “I need to drive, we’d better get going if we want to go to Orion and back before my mom gets home.” I blushed as her facial tentacles, almost like whiskers, grazed my cheek.

The rocket was parked underground in my parents’ bunker. It only took a minute to grab the keys from the nightstand in my mom’s room, where I knew she hid things from when I went looking for my birthday presents. 

It was glorious, pane of the elevator revealing, as we went down into the bunker, more and more of its sleek gray exterior, its aerodynamic fins, and of course the huge rocket thrusters at the bottom.

I pulled out the keys and pressed a button, and the lights went on, and a panel slid open revealing the luxurious interior.

T’Skala was already halfway up the stairs. “Wait,” I begged her.

“You’re the one who’s in a hurry,” she teased. 

“You’re gonna mess something up,” I said, following behind her to make sure her leg tentacles weren’t leaving any residue on the velvet carpet.

She hopped in the pilot seat but I said “Nuh-uh, if anyone’s going to drive this thing it’s going to be me” and plucked her out of there. She settled for shotgun, the copilot seat to the right of me, tucking the tentacles into the leather harness that would keep her and me in place when we re-entered zero-G.

I clicked the button and the garage door opened, the large metal panes of metal on the ceiling telescoping open to reveal a blue sky. Then, strapping in, questioning in my head again why I was doing this, I put the key in the ignition and turned the spacecraft on.

The engine roared to life beneath us, hissing clouds rising like smokestacks into the skylight. Slowly, I eased the rocket straight up and out of the bunker, but T’Skala smacked my hand and said “That’s no way to pilot a rocket ship.” 

Before I knew what she was doing, she had punched the gas and sent us shooting up into the stars like - well, a rocket. I could feel the fluids in my body dragging me toward the floor with inertia from the sudden acceleration. T’Skala whooped and threw her tentacles in the air. I screamed and clung onto the control sticks for dear life and prayed we didn’t hit a satellite.

Once we had somehow managed to safely exit the atmosphere and were at a cruising pace, I turned to T’Skala and smacked her back. “I can’t believe you! Are you trying to kill us? You didn’t even check where we were going, I could have crashed it!”

“But you didn’t!” she sang. 

I glowered.

“Come on, you know these luxury ships have all these safety features,” she said. “You probably couldn’t even crash it if you tried.”

“Let’s not test this theory, shall we?” I said through gritted teeth. My heart rate still had not returned to normal.

T’Skala put her tentacle on my shoulder. “I’m sorry.” Then, she grabbed onto my harness and undid her own so she floated up in the zero gravity environment, tethered only by her grip on my harness. 

“What are you doing?” I said, instinctively grabbing onto her and trying to hold her in place.

She moved fluidly through the air, like a space octopus swimming, and grabbed onto more of me until she was wrapped tightly around me again. “I’m apologizing.”

I wanted to tell her to stop, that it was dangerous, that she was distracting me. But I just hugged her back and savored her warmth, feverish to a human, against my skin.

Her face tentacle gently caressed my cheek again, then my lip. Her eyes were so close I could see myself reflected in her pupils.

All of a sudden the seat buzzed, warning me of an upcoming asteroid just in time. I swerved out of the way, throwing T’Skala off of me and against the wall of the ship.

“Sorry! Are you okay?” I said, but I couldn’t help adding, “That’s why you wear your seatbelt.” I extended a hand to help her up. She took it and gingerly climbed back into her own harness.

“So, what are we doing on Orion?” I asked after a long and kind of awkward pause.

Her eyes lit up like a three-bulbed vanity. “There’s this bar I want to go to…”

I sighed and shook my head. “I suppose it’s useless telling you we’re too young to drink?”

“Do you think,” she said in a sardonic voice, “I would go through the trouble of making an entire human android replacement, and I couldn’t even come up with some fake ID?”

“You have a point,” I said.

“If it makes you feel any better, I’m not going there for the drinks,” said T’Skala.

“Then what -”

“First of all, they have some bomb ass fries,” said T’Skala. “Second, my friend works there. He’ll comp us. He’s the coolest, you’ll love him.”

She told me some more about her friend the bartender, places he’d been and people he’d met. The way she talked about him was so reverent, I started to get jealous of the guy. I hoped he was really as good as she made him out to be, or i would have a hard time pretending to like him.

I was rehearsing what I should say to him in my head when the melodic chime of a incoming call pierced the air.

“Shit, it’s my mom.” My thoughts spiraled quickly out of control. Did she know I took the rocket? I was dead, so dead.

“Just answer it, you’re home sick,” whispered T’Skala urgently. “She might not know yet.”

I gave a fake cough for good measure and put on my most pathetic, nasally sick voice. “Hi mom.”

“Where are you? They just called me saying you were not at school.” My mom’s tone was even; it was hard to tell if she was worried or suspicious. 

“Yeah, I decided to stay home,” I said, sniffling. “I’m not feeling well.”

“Why didn’t you tell me first?”

“I didn’t want to bother you at work,” I said. T’Skala mimed texting, and I added “I was going to text you later.”

“Are you all right? What are your symptoms.”

I looked in panic over at T’Skala. She mimed rubbing her nonexistent neck. “Well, my throat hurts and I have a headache and I feel nauseous,” I said, following T’Skala’s charades.

“Do you need me to come home?”

“No,” I said, trying not to sound too anxious. “It’s okay, I just need rest.”

“Well, make sure you make up the work by tomorrow,” my mom said. “And drink up on fluids, I don’t want you missing more than one day of school.”

I gave a sigh of relief as my mom disconnected. “I think she bought it.”

“Of course she did, you have like a perfect attendance record,” said T’Skala.

“Thanks for the help,” I said.

“This is gonna be easy,” she said. She looked at the dash. “We’re more than halfway there and it’s only been an hour.” She unbuckled her harness once again. “C’mon, fly with me.”

She looked so at peace, like she just belonged there hovering in the air like a wisp of smoke. 

“One second,” I said. I pressed some buttons and Frank Sinatra started playing through the high-end surround speakers. I unclipped myself from my seat and launched myself gently in her direction, catching her in my arms and pulling her into a half somersault spin.

Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars

We swayed in our zero gravity dance, twirling and spinning around each other’s bodies.

Let me see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars

My hands were around her waist, her tentacles were everywhere: my shoulder, my hip, my hair. Her lilac irises sparkled in the starlight. I leaned in, and she pressed her lips against mine.

In other words, please be true

In other words, I love you

May 17, 2021 21:27

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.