Voices/Future Tense

An Orions’ Arm E-zine

Short Fiction Entry: New Home

“Study!!”, Karpin7 transmitted with exasperation emphasis, “The metals we need are severely limited on the moons! We don’t know if there are any in the asteroid belt! This planet is the only alternative!! You’re suggesting …”

“Karpin7, turn down your emotional centers. You are not looking at the situation realistically.”

“Realistically!? Realistically we need to mine …”

Duzeme held up eir hand, “I will give you time to adjust your emotional settings and to examine at the situation logically. I’m going to formulate my arguements.”

With that Duzeme pulled eirself to the outside of the ship’s hull and adjusted the filter on eir optics to safely view the star.

“Your history with biotech is clouding your assessment of the situation!”,
Karpin7 transmitted with intense anger and frustration emphasis. Duzeme had worked as a habitat biosphere maintenance vec for over a century.

Daliri spread the five long arms e wasn’t using to to hold emself in place and transmitted only to Karpin7, “Leave em to formulate, it will take several hours. Meanwhile we can review the data we have. I just got a message from Bahan5. E’s teleoperating one of the rovers and has already found some promising mineral deposits.”

“Yeah, let’s review the data.” Karpin7 agreed.

Karpin7 and Daliri used handrails to go to the communications center of the ship. Once there they found Bahan5 standing in front of a video display showing nothing but the black and white randomly moving dots of interference.

“What’s the problem?”, asked Daliri.

“I’ve lost communication with the rovers.”

“Which one?”

“All of them.”

“All six? At the same time?”

“All within 286 seconds.”

“What about the dirigibles?”

“Still operating. Now moving them in position to get a look at the rovers. First one should be there in 511 seconds.”

Over the next thirty minutes all six dirigibles were maneuvered near their respective rovers. All the rovers were covered in purple slime. One by one
Bahan5 tried using the dirigibles sampling arm to get a sample of the slime but every time it got stuck and the slime oozed its way up the arm until its weight pulled the dirigible down and communication was lost. E kept the last two at higher altitude and didn’t try to obtain a sample of the slime.

A short time later all the vecs on the ship linked together and debated what to do next.

“It was an attack.”, Duzeme stated. E had added the latest data to eir arguments, with an interesting conclusion.

“An attack!! A ridiculous conclusion!”, Karpin7 broadcast with a disbelief emphasis.

“You still have your emotional settings too high. Please turn them down.”

“On what data do you base your conclusion that it was an attack?”,
Bahan5 asked.

*****

More about the author, Ron Bennett, to follow.

Please rate this story, and the other stories in the Short Fiction contest, http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=p7vf8sw315mq47u53526>here.

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