A Ostranauts Tangential Story
1. This came into my head when I was working today, and would not get out.
2. I have been gone for a VERY long time, to be honest.
3. I also haven't been writing short stories so much lately, so bear with me...
Tall, short hair, the kind of jumpsuit a spacer wears; she’s like the rest of us. Except, not really. I don’t mean to say we aren't all slaves to Ayotimiwa, but Jazz is crazy. A lunatic that’s going to get herself killed before she ever becomes this idealized Robinhood figure she has set in her mind. “We’ll do it without you then,” adjoins a flick of the wrist as she walks away, her cronies in tow. Those cronies used to be my friends, now they’re just thugs for her ‘cause’ and will probably die right along with her. She has this idea that she can take her three man coffin of a salvage tug, dock onto a law enforcement ship- an honest to god Vector III -and take control. Does she seriously think she can overpower the crew? With what, some weber cutters? Maybe a crowbar? Walk them out the airlock? And the worst part is that she’s serious; the trio did a ‘High G Drill’ the other day, and when flight control asked what the hell they were doing, she claimed they were having ‘navigation glitches’ and ‘contact echoes’ like the nav was seeing ghosts or some bullshit, and control bought it.
Tony came to visit me in the Mescaform, because the living dead are apparently allowed to ambush you in the few moments you find reprieve. I squeezed some coffee into my mouth, taking that final moment to focus on the burnt taste. It’s not the material for once, but the machine. I swear it’s been busted for the past decade, and nobody can seem to find a replacement.
“Are you still moping around about this?”
“What do you want me to say? You know how I feel about this half assed plan,”
He just shrugged, and drank some of his own coffee. I assumed it was coffee, but I’ve never seen someone swish coffee around in their mouth. Not this coffee.
“At least it’s a plan,” Tony sighed, “Why not join us? You were the one who planted that seed in her head!” he said in a hushed exclamation, not quite loud enough for the other shipbreakers to hear.
“I didn’t mean like this. I was talking about…” I stammered, “Ughh, god Tony, I don’t know. I didn’t mean this. Smaller things, like hacking a manager’s accounts, or selling unlisted salvage. I didn’t mean murder. And that’s what this is,” I stole a look into his eyes, and found them cold. A wall I’d never seen before.
“They have all the money, Mason, all of it. And no hacking or stolen cargo is gonna change that. They put up a show, fine you, put you behind bars, but they don’t care. Not really,” and he kept my gaze, stole it back, and held on like a dog biting an intruder. “We’re gonna do this, with or without you. This is what it comes to. We’re going to make a real stand now. The one you dreamed of but couldn’t get, so you put it on some little girl seven years ago when YOU,” he accentuated with a poke to my chest “Needed a crew to run a job. Well we got one seat left, and it’s for THE job.” he ended it. Stood up and started walking away. “Just show up Massy”
A crowd gathered in the entrance berth: a long corridor with interspaced docks and mass-loading bays for the bigger haulers. I wore my pressure suit, and arrived just in time to hear the click of helmets as Jasmine, Tony, and Moses finished prepping for their journey. Jazz, her helmet still off, raised a brow when she saw me in the crowd, with my helmet under my arm.
“I guess you can dream big,” she said with a wicked smile. Nodding to a man in the crowd nearest to the junction leading to the shuttle service, she finally gave her order: “Distract control. We do this fast and as clean as we can, and maybe we even get away with it,”
One demure salute and the man was off; now she addressed the crowd.
“I know your fears if this gets out, if we are found out too soon. If the managers hear about what you did and what you knew before we have finished. But what we dream is for us, not them, and they are scared of what will happen when their power disintegrates. When we are free like them, really free with the power to decide our own fates. When we have taken the reins out of their hands; They fear how they will look weak. They will fear how easy it was for us, when we finally stopped just dreaming. They will have fear, because they see us as animals; They see us as their beasts of burden to work into dust. But we will show them our future. I know some of you have doubts about our plan. That get snagged on the details, and I assure you. I do not appreciate what it has come to either,” a chill went down my spine as her eyes fell on me, ”But it is necessary. And when we are through we will show them what they should have feared in us. Because we are not their beasts! We are not beasts!”
Some cheers, fists raised to the ceiling, and finally a dispersal when Jazz donned her helmet. They went about their tasks, no doubt assigned by Jasmine herself, in an attempt to get this desperate plan to succeed. And we went about ours.
I hope you enjoyed this story as much as my brain enjoyed not letting it go. Also, I was going for 'well-meaning charismatic' with the Jasmine character, with just a dash of 'all or nothing psycho poker player' if that makes sense. Well, it makes sense to me, and my opinion can be trusted because I monologue.
Rar! Rar rar rar! Thanks for reading :)