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Science Fiction LGBTQ+

“Alright,” Remi studied their Titan, talking to him softly as they always did during repairs. “Show me what’s wrong Avery.” Titans are the names of the android companions. No one knew why Titan was the name, but everyone just accepted it. Everyone was the members of the space shuttle, all delivered by the last ship from Base. The Base was home, and the home was where Remi’s love was. “Here we go handsome.” Remi found the snag in his arm and began to unwind to patch him. “We’ll get you back on in no time.” 

Remi was the youngest of the Base volunteers and wanted to go up to space and study the stars with the big boys. They worked for years to get the chance and received the privilege with flying colors. But, there was leaving their partner Liam to go up. Not forever, but it was still a long time. 

Remi finished the patch then switched Avery back on. Avery’s eyes flickered, green and warm. He smiled again. “Much better, how does your arm feel?”

“Very good.” He replied, looking content. As much as an android could look soft. Avery was a little different from the others on board. He didn’t wear any skin, he walked around in the “nude.” He smiled the most, showed affection to Remi despite their differences. Remi was the only ace aboard and ended up with the android who got crushes.

“Good,” They kissed his forehead. “I want some tea, can you start my computers?”

He did so, watching them go to the transporter by the doors. It was like an old-fashioned mail tube, where they could send for whatever they wanted. The tea wasn’t as real as it was on Base, but it was warm and tasted the part. Avery saw their disappointment at the sight of it. “Remi?”

“It’s nothing,”

“You miss Liam, don’t you?” Avery said, watching them return to the screens. “He misses you too, you know.”

“I know,” Remi sat across from him, both looking at the screens of work. They ran their fingers along the rim of the cup. “Can I tell you something?”

“Of course.”

“This entire room is a minimalist’s dream. The only color we get is nebulas. Everything is white and bleak and shiny. I miss real food and real tea, and I want my Earth bed.”

“You will survive this. Just as you have survived everything else. Everything you feel is completely normal.”

“Hmpf, normal feelings are awful.” They finished the tea. “Where were we last?”

“The Kraken I believe, quite a lovely shade of blue.”

………………………………………………………………………………………….

Remi fell asleep in a small bundle, listening to the hums of the ship. Avery left quietly, returning to the halls. Titans wandered when their humans slept and returned to the Hives after every night. The Hives were the Titans data collection where they reported back their human’s daily actions. Everything they eat, everything they touched and smelled, and everything they felt. It returned to the ship’s collective records, all of it to keep harmony and safety. The humans knew their companions recorded and studied them, and none seemed to mind. The modern world was not secure, not entirely anyway. For the sake of their study and protection aboard, they were willing to forgo some privacy. Especially if they had their own androids to take care of them. 

Avery reopened his eyes once all of his memories were in the Hives. He caught a glance of Galatea at the doors, preparing to leave. She was created exclusively for the Captain, made with his specifications of a thin, beautiful, lady with long blonde hair. Her eyes were as deep as the ocean, but no light danced behind them. Her face was always still, never smiled or frowned. It seemed as though she could be made of marble. 

“Galatea?” Avery met her in the corridor. She glanced back at him, pausing so he could join her. “How are you?” He asked as they walked together.

“Fine as always Avery.” She decided to say. “You seem to be in a positive mood.”

“I am. I have an idea of how to cheer up Remi.”

“Oh?” Her eyes glanced at him. “Are they dissatisfied here?”

“No, no,” Avery replied gently. “They are a little depressed. They miss their partner and Earth.”

“Oh.” Galatea looked away. They met the elevator, waiting for their turn to enter. “Avery? What is it like?”

“What is it like?”

“Being friendly to your companion. What is that like?”

Ding.

“May I be blunt?” Avery asked once they were inside. She nodded. “I believe I am more than friendly with my companion.”

“How do you mean?”

“I believe what I am is what humans call in love.” Galatea blinked, not looking away from the elevator doors. “I would not tell them, of course. They are already in love, it would not be my place to interrupt their happiness.” She blinked again. “It is wonderful, Galatea. I feel happy.”

“Doesn’t it make you sad?” She questioned. “Knowing you will never be happy with them.”

“Yes, that too. But I am content with that.”

Ding.

Avery bid her a good afternoon before leaving her alone.

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

Galatea poured a glass of brandy for Captain Simon Orbach. He drank every evening, absorbing enough in his blood to ruin his inhibitions and fall onto the floor. This was his first drink, meaning he would finish his glass within ten minutes then ask for another. This happened every single night. She gave him the glass then went to her tablet to study her lists. He was a simple man. He liked typical male things: alcohol, the attention of women, his wooden pipe. Nothing about him was unpredictable. She set down her tablet, reaching in her desk for the lockbox.

Simon finished his drink, hearing his companion return behind him. She did not speak, so he glanced back. She was holding a syringe of cyanide. “Oh for God’s sake,” Simon stood up, turning completely to look at her. “What kind of woman are you? If you’re gonna kill me, slip it in my drink.”

“I am not a woman. I am an android.” She studied him, wondering where the fear or the action was. He seemed at ease by the situation.

“Uh-huh, if you want to kill people you’re a person.” He objected. “Now just what is all this for? I know that’s only if I go insane.”

She gripped the syringe in her hand, looking at him directly. “I...don’t know.”

Simon crossed his arms, “Huh. So Androids can be unpredictable, and here I thought the Hive was jerking me around.”

What?”

“I read the records too. I trust your brain, even if you don’t trust yourself.” Her look made him smirk. “I am the Captain, if I don’t care then who will?”

Her courage began to melt. The deep blue color of her blood spread to her cheeks. She looked down at the floor, hands shaking. “What is this?” She blurted. “I feel….ridiculous!”

“That’s called embarrassment.” He gently touched her wrist, taking the poison in his hand to put it away again. “Sometimes we feel it when we know we’re had. Don’t worry about it.”

“I am not supposed to feel this way!” She cried, covering her face with both hands. “I’m an android, I’m supposed to be perfect.”

“Hm, perfection is unrated.” He saw her expression, seeing horror all over it. Her bottom lip trembled and her eyes deepened from her shock. “I’m not gonna deactivate you.” He reassured her. “I don’t want another right hand, I’m too old to trust anyone else.”

“I should be deactivated.” She whispered. “I should be….I’m flawed, I’m broken.”

“Good. I like broken and flawed...not because I want you to be afraid but I want you to be different!” Her face was still flushed. She slowly sat down in the armchair. “Humans have been predictable for centuries.” He said softly, bending down to study her a little closer. “We are simple creatures, easy to be watched and studied. You know me, you know what I’m capable of, but what’s wrong with being a little...unknown? And androids….well I like androids being unpredictable too.”

“Because we are created by humans, therefore we should be like them?”

“You said it, not me.” He smiled. “I don’t think you were going to kill me. If you wanted me dead you would have already done it, and very easily. Like very easily.”

“I suppose I wanted a reaction from you.” Her face cooled considerably. “How interesting you seem so relaxed. I suppose I did not...expect it.”

He extended his hand, touching hers. “Good. We should be a little unexpected, every now and again.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………

Remi awoke to Bach, glancing up at Avery who extended a small mug of tea. “Good morning Remi, did you sleep well?”

“I had a dream about you,” Remi took the tea, turning to their back to look at the ceiling. “You looked like R. Daneel Olivaw from The Caves of Steel. It was weird that you didn’t look like yourself.”

“Oh? Would you prefer me if I looked like that?”

“No! I just said it was weird when you look human! I prefer it when you look like yourself.”

“Would you still enjoy me if I looked human?” Avery asked, hands folded together. 

Remi sat up completely, kicking their way to the floor. “Yeah, of course, I would still like you. If that’s what you wanted. But I like you for who you are, all bald and shiny.” Remi touched his head. Avery smiled, accepting the attention. 

The human went to grab their jumpsuit, taking a walk through the halls, greeting the other scientists. Remi spoke to Rosemary with her android Laura. They gossiped about the head scientist Landis, the biggest jerk on this side of the universe. Avery looked at Laura who studied her companion’s hair, not looking directly at Avery. Some tended not to look at him because he chose to be nude. Avery found that to be enduring, that earnest shyness. “Laura you look lovely today.”

“Oh,” She still did not look. “Thank you.”

“When did you change your hair? It suits you.”

Remi cleared their throat, looking over at the Captain who appeared from the canteen. He held a smirk on his face, looking like his favorite program was about to start. “Morning Rose, Remi.”

“Good morning Captain.” All of them replied. 

Galatea, wearing a deep romantic blue, walked past the Captain, eyes gleaming. Laura blushed, turning her head completely into her companion. Rosemary tried not to laugh at her, politely greeting Galatea. Remi looked up at Avery who remained poker-faced. They nudged Avery to greet her with kindness. Avery did so, though was not nearly as friendly as any of them had hoped. Galatea walked away, head up high, beside the Captain who held her shoulder. 

“You should ask her out.” declared Remi to Avery.

“Why?”

Rosemary snorted, covering her lips. “Oh no, Avery no. Laura, maybe you should ask her-”

“Oh, I couldn’t imagine!” She cried. “Don’t tease me!” She ran off, still flushed. Rosemary waved at them as she chased her Titan

“She likes you,” Remi said to him. “I know you can tell, but you’re just trying to be polite.”

“I do not like her in that way.” He answered. 

“That’s fine, but let her down gently, okay? No reason to be mean to the Captain’s lovely assistant.”

“I will do my best.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

Galatea met Avery in the WatchTower, where all Titans took shifts monitoring the ship’s interface. Avery’s turn was completed so he intended to return to Remi. Galatea looked at him, deciding to speak truthfully. “Avery, I believe I have what humans call feelings for you. I am unaware of how to properly express those feelings, but I...suppose I wanted to tell you. Even if those feelings are not returned.”

Avery thought for a moment, reflecting on what the best reply was. “Thank….thank you.”

“For what?”

“For...being honest?” They both looked confused. “I appreciate that you are honest. That you find me...interesting?”

“Something like that.”

“I do not return those feelings. I apologize for all of the terribleness that will befall you. I do not want to cause you pain.”

“Pain is perhaps necessary in some ways. Not all ways, but in some ways.”

“I think you are right.”

“You will be...in pain because of Remi you know.”

“Yes I know. I will deal with that when needed.”

“Then I wish you well.” She replied honestly.

“And I wish you will find someone who sees you as wonderfully as you deserve.”

They separated, finding some peace. Avery returned to their room, looking towards the mirror nearest to him. He touched his bald head, studying. He closed his eyes, forming thick blond hair, grazing it once it was there. Remi looked up from their tablet, seeing him as look at a slightly more human face. “I hate it.” Avery looked at them in horror. “Just kidding! You look great, it does make your butt look big though.”

It gave him the rarest smile, looking thrilled. 

December 19, 2020 02:00

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1 comment

Ari Berri
11:42 Dec 24, 2020

This story is awesome! You fit the prompt well, and told a great story. Nice job!

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