Friday, December 28, 2007

1. Miss Semipalatinsk's Extraordinary Spasm #2

“What’s happening to her ?”

“Her molecules are seeking lower energy states, but you don’t need to worry about that.”

“How?” Mangels’ voice is frail in the attenuated atmosphere.

“A little way back we passed through a defensive sphere of microshells armed with homebrew nanoculture. Shabby. Fucks one up atomically. Reformats carbon into a crystal lattice, but Mangels...”

There are glowing orange patches of decay in the polyfluid hull; broad sections can be seen to sag as stricken machinery fails to maintain thresholds.

Yet Mangels will not leave.

“Two minutes now.”

He pays no attention to the peripheral. Single-mindedly, he makes hard work of collecting the jewels, which scatter like wilful insects.

“What are you doing?”

He makes a wild leap at a fizzing emerald, misses, rebounds painfully off an exercise rig.

“They’re not worth anything, if that’s what you’re thinking.”

“Help me.”

“Besides, you didn’t love her anyway.”

“Help me!”

Bolex considers the firm set of his jaw, and capitulates. With brisk efficiency, she begins to scoop up the gems with Ms Semipalatinsk’s vacant bodyglove.

The scent of freshly sharpened pencils fills the thinning air, indicating terminal deterioration in the hull material. The emergency tones grow strident.

“That’s all you can have,” says Bolex.

Circumventing Mangel’s awkward attempts to negotiate freefall, she cages him with her legs, speeds to the airlock and shoves him roughly into a zodiac. She secures him, then clambers in herself, punching the emergency release code with a slender, nervously quivering effector.


Ann O'Dyne said...

Dr.Mangeles Ode To Judy.

You can have her
I don't want her.
She didn't love me, anyway.
She only wanted someone to play with,
and what I wanted - was Love To Stay.

Sam Sejavka said...

You're a bit of a resource, I must say. You really know how to root out the information