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FFF: Dying in a cold dark place.

January 25, 2008

I’m not exactly happy how this ends and I might end up revisiting the story again at some future date.  A bit rushed with all this Friday deadline thing and all that.


[Why didn’t he just die?]

[It’d make everything so much simpler.]

[I mean I could kill him, but that ain’t me. ]

[I mean who would know…]

[Dammit!]

JEKO had found the escape pod among the cold wreckage. Everything else in the salvage op had been cold and dead. Circuits…dead, water…frozen, fleshies…corpses. Except for the one guy that had made his way into an escape pod and then had his escape pod malfunction; un-launched.

Safe and secure, he was, inside the capsule. They were designed to keep a fleshie alive for months, even years, in happy hibernation.

[Fleshies! Why do they want this cold dark place? It just kills ‘em.]

But this war wasn’t JEKO’s, he was a businessman, a scrapper. He’d contracted for this heap, he had MONEY invested in this operation.

[Dammit!] And then, [Fuck!]

[Why me?]

He knew what he had to do, even though he hated the decision.

[Fucking profit! Gone!]

He jetted around the cold escape tube, inspecting the walls. There didn’t seem to be any blockages that he could make out. He summoned some of his mins.

They came as he called and flew into the tube like a flock of sparrows. Swarming around the marooned capsule. Becoming a hundred eyes and fingers for JEKO. Still he couldn’t see anything blocking. He set them to work then.

JEKO reached in with one of his type 3 arms and grasped under the front edge of the heat shield.

He placed his only type 8 arm out on the perimeter of the escape tube and then with coordination between his mins and himself he pulled [pushed]. JEKO felt the silent screeching of the metal on metal torment through the sensitive tips of his type 8.

It came free and JEKO carefully slowed its mass until it hovered a few meters from the surface of the blasted hulk.

He’d lost 3 mins in the process, crushed under the pod as it ground its way clear.

[More profit gone!]

It all came down to income versus expenses. And time…and energy.

He contacted one of his meds. [Profit, profit.] It came around the top of the structure, a little perturbed, the med had much of the same persona and intelligence as JEKO, but was bound to him.

They spoke…such as it was.

“I know! Don’t even start, this will chew into my/our profit.” Said JEKO.

“Damn right.” Answered JEKO-MED5.

“You concur with my assessment?” asked JEKO.

“Of course, I would not be of the sameness otherwise.” Answered JEKO-MED5

“Very well, rendezvous at mark 8987453923.3873463.34876.6”

“Confirmed.”

JEKO didn’t really expect to see his MED5 again. That was the conclusion he had reached immediately when he had done his profit analysis. The revenue from this salvage would barely cover the cost of a replacement MED. Add that to the cost of resupply for the next venture and he was in a hole!

[Fuck!]

****

JEKO-MED5 sent the signal. He wasn’t sure if the Fleshies would recognize/acknowledge/respect the truce message, but he had to try it.

It had taken him a week to push the little capsule through the fighting to a quieter location where the chance of getting blown up was diminished. There he found a lone fleshie ship out on patrol and decided “now or never.”

****

“Commander,” the lieutenant called from his station, “I have a bogey trying to make contact sir.”

“Readings.” Said the Captain in a short voice.

“It appears to be a small reconnaissance droid of some sort. “

“Weapons, any nukes, anti-matter, what’s he got.”

“Well sir, that’s just it. He says he has a man.”

“Shit. A man?” The Captain didn’t like unexpected events, “So…what does he want?”

“He says he wants to give us the man.”

“Obviously lieutenant, but what does he WANT?!

[Why this?] Thought the Captain.

[Why couldn’t he just die?]

[I could kill ‘em, who would know?]

[But that ain’t me.]

And then [Fuck!]

“Let it come within our defenses, but have weapons systems fully armed, you know these mechs! Don’t trust ‘em, not even a small one.”

[Crap!]

****

“Jackson?”

“mmnnh?”

“You’re coming out of hibernation,” The fuzzy white blur standing above him seemed in good spirits, “You’re lucky to be alive, just you wait until you hear your story.”

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