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Science Fiction

She felt sick, spinning around in her Venus Raider.

It was 3908, in human years, but in Saturn years, it was 239, and it was 7654 in Jupiter years.

She groped for the safety bar the scientists had placed for cases like this, when the gravity was off.

"Walker. Come here", she said through her suit's speakers. Syma wondered into the pod room, all most lazily.

"What?", she replied.

"Did Phase Four work?"

"I don't know. I said I'll tell you when I find out."

Kaylee finally grabbed the safety bar, and looked out into space, annoyed.

They had been here for, in human years, 9 whole years. Just working on Phase Three and Four, while the scientists back on Earth got to sit back and relax, doing Phase One.

Syma looked at Kaylee, and seeing her frustrated expression, floated out.

Phase Four is never going to work. And then the scientists will blow up the ship, saying it's an 'accident' 'cause nobody 'needs to know what will happen' because everyone will just panic. And Syma and Iris and I will be floating in space, while our bodies quickly freeze, Kaylee thought grimly to herself.

She never should have accepted the invitation. Neither had her friends. But there was no going back. The scientists had placed trackers in their throat, of all things, so they couldn't take it out, and the scientists could see if they died. Sick, but smart.

Kaylee floated, lost in her thoughts of her family, Phase Four, and the scientists.

She snapped her head up, realizing something. They only had one year left to finish.

Only ONE year!

They had to finish.

She pushed off, and shouted, "Iris! Syma! We need to get started!"

But nobody answered.

She launched worriedly around the ship, searching. She finally found them standing around the barred down eating table.

But they weren't moving.

They were standing still, as though they were deep in conversation, but there was no noise.

Kaylee had heard of this happening, but still, her hair felt matted and sweaty when she realized what it was.

There was a story Kaylee had loved hearing. Every night, back on Earth, of course, she begged her mother to read it to her, and when she agreed, Kaylee would yelp happily. The story was about a little boy who grew up to be one of the most famous astronauts. But one day on the ship, he was searching for his crewmates, and they had stopped moving. Apparently, there was this thing called TS, which stood for something she didn't know, so she liked to say it stood for Time Stop.

This was surely what was happening, right?

---

She waited for years in space. She stopped trying to wake her friends up. She stopped crying at night. She waited for her friends to return to their normal state, waited for the scientists to kill her, and waited-no hoped-to find that this was a dream, and to wake up to her loving family cradling her like a child again.

Soon, she grew sick of it. She assumed the Earth was the same, and if not, then the scientists wanted her to die like this.

She took off her suit one year, and pressed the release button. A chute opened, and she was sucked out, without even getting to say goodbye.

She floated for a minute, but when she tried to breathe in, she couldn't.

Her lungs felt like they would burst.

Her eyes had the moisture sucked away.

And her brain felt as though it was splitting in two.

But she saw something unusual.

It wasn't a flower, but it looked like it.

It wasn't solid either, nor was it a liquid or a gas.

There was no color to define it, either.

It was simply there.

Kaylee got one look at it, eyes wide, mouth open in a silent O shape, before she died.

---

Year: 4057

The scientists stood on the planet, entranced.

The body of the experimenter was found, along with another.

It was still intact, but just barely. It looked as though an astronaut had either fallen out of her ship, been pushed out, or did it herself.

This was caught the scientist's attention. She had been found holding something.

Something unexplainable, as the finders said. They had been exploring space, searching for the lost rescue team, when they found the body.

They said it was female, and eight feet, so that meant space had strung out her body over time.

When the finders came back to the planet, the scientist took extra measures to make sure the new thing was safe. They had no idea what to call it, so they just called it 'X-RE' .

The scientists said not to worry about the body, and to leave it in the Dumpster Removal place.

They took as much caution as they could, and placed it in one of the smaller pods that was oxygen tight.

---

Year; 4798

The whole space knew not to touch it.

Not to touch 'the flower'.

Not to touch 'X-RE'.

They some kind of evil work was at play.

X-RE was everywhere, and nowhere.

It was like a ghost.

It would be talked of.

But never to be seen.

The scientists kept at it, though, ignoring the snide comments of those brave enough to stand up to them. The scientists were the ones who ruled now.

No kings.

No queens.

Only science.

They tried to find where the flower could have come from, but nowhere seemed to have the right conditions.

The thing that most people were scared of was the fact that the flower seemed to actually listen.

One fool thought to cut it, to see what it was made of. He boasted, and planned, but when it came time, the flower was gone.

It would alway go near a dumpster, like it was waiting for something.

But it would only wait, floating in the air, as though it was watching.

Everyone was scared of its true power, so they stayed away.

Parents threatened children into obedience.

Children told tales of it, brave in the daylight, but at night, they trembled silently in their beds, frightened of the fact that an an unknown thing was among them.

Any houses near the science research station were cheap, no matter the size.

---

Year: 6673

X-RE was under control. At least that was what the news said.

Natiy sauntered down the iron platform of the music stage, and waved at the imaginary crowd.

(If you want to get technical about it, Natiy was Kaylee's sister's great-great-however many times-granddaughter.)

Natiy had heard thousands of stories of the flower, but she found it almost interesting.

Her mother was at the research station, so that gave Natiy time to think.

She was interrupted by her friend Flare sitting next to her.

"What's up?"

"Nothing" Natiy said.

"Okay, but I heard that the flower really IS still out there. People are just wusses and don't want to get caught, or killed by it!"

"Really?"

"Yeah! And Tida SAW it! Like she got a video on her Rader 2000! It's SO cool! I was all like 'Omg, no way girl, you're such a liar, supernova pants on fire', and she was all 'No look!' It's like SO cool!"

"Yeah?"

"Yep! Oop! Gotta jump! Bye!"

"Bye."

Natiy looked at her Radar and sighed.

She was interrupted yet again by a small noise.

Natiy looked up to see something not quite solid, nor gad, nor liquid.

It had a color that was indescribable, and a shape that was fluid.

March 25, 2021 21:06

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