Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tentatively named: Fishbowl - Science Fantasy - Day 2

Mistance was wearing her off duty uniform. There were two varieties. The ones with pants and the ones with skirts.  She was too girly for pants and her skirts were cut shorter than others.  With single women out numbering single men 70 to 55, it was no wonder she tried so hard.  She had to know he was watching her on the other side of the door, which is why she bobbed back and forth in such a way to show off her perfect genetically tailored chest.

Nolan smiled and rubbed his right finger into his cheek.

Mistance chuckled suddenly and said, "I bet you are rubbing your cheek."

Nolan slapped his hand down on the table and stared at it with angry squinting eyes.  "Come in." He said.

The door opened and Mistance came in, with all the swagger and confidence of a gold metal winner. Nolan turned his chair to stare back out into the stars, ignoring her triumphant entrance.  She cocked her head to one side and surveyed the room.  When she was satisfied with her assessment of the situation, she sighed and sat down in the guest chair in front of the desk.  She crossed her legs, leaned back and stayed silent.

Nolan rubbed his cheek, happy to be out of her vision.  There were a million thoughts and emotions running through his head. He didn't want her to see the struggle he was fighting. He tried to focus on the stars beyond, when suddenly he noticed a motion of strange light. He focused on it and saw Mistance's reflection as she waved at him.  He drew in a deep breath and exhaled his tension away.

"Do you ever wonder if fish feel like prisoners?" Nolan asked abruptly. He could see her reflection as she shook her head silently. "We are no match for beings born in space.  Our race can only experience the amazing vastness of space one fishbowl window at a time.  And our fishbowls are getting smaller."

Mistance nodded, but remained silent, and listened.

"We can no longer afford to enjoy the luxury of a moon, starbase, or asteroid belt.  No place is safe from our enemies, when their playground is all of space.  When Earth, then Mars, then Eden were destroyed, it was obvious how weak we were.  They always find us and break our fishbowls.  The only way to escape is to be where they are not.  five centuries of running, and we are the last. How far will our fishbowl take us?"  Nolan shook his head then rested it in his hand propped up on the arm rest.

Mistance was silent for a few minutes. She stared intensely at his reflection.  Finally she said, "How can we survive? How can we be where they are not?"

Nolan turned his chair and positioned himself back at his desk.  He picked up the wine and produced an old fashioned cork screw from one of his desk drawers.  The computer Materializer could have uncorked it for him, but he enjoyed the ceremony of pulling off the cork and smelling it. The smell was always the same, and the taste never changed; unlike the wines made on Earth that would change by how it was stored, and how old it was.  All wines ended in 2120, the year the Earth was destroyed.

Nolan worked happily uncorking the wine bottle.  This menial task was important to him.  He used it to imagine what it would have been like to live on a planet.  When the cork popped out of the bottle mouth, he wafted it under his nose and savored the woody butterscotch aroma. 

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