Jackson3 walked home from the factory in knee deep snow, although the snow bothered him about as much as the sun did in the summer, which was not at all. The water couldn't penetrate his joints, and a thin layer of laser warmed air kept the moisture away from his lenses. He dragged his boots as he walked, using his heavy angular feet to clear as wide a path on the walkways as possible for the people who might travel there after him. Most people weren't weatherproof.
As he passed by the scaffolding where the workers were refacing the old Drake, he stopped, unclipped his carry-all and fished inside.
"Hey Jacks. Some crazy snow. How's the fact
When I came to your world, when I stumbled into your city on the edge of the desert, you paid me no mind.
Your guards bullied me like any other vagabond in the streets, laughing as they tripped me, pounded their chests in fits of bravado.
Your peasants took pity on me, a weary traveler, fed me, gave me water. They knew what it was like to have nothing, and they happily shared what little they had.
When I showed them how to pull water from the ground, when I showed the artisans how to make steel that would never dull, how to fashion glass from the sand, you took notice.
When I talked to them about equality, and rights, and justice, they to
Darlene remained in her body through dinner, Jocelyn having prepared Osso Buco, and a strawberry flan for dessert, so it was worth listening to Arnold's self-indulgent rantings about his business to enjoy the food in person.
She uplifted somewhere between coffee and his fifth or sixth scotch in the study, leaving the auto-assistant she'd configured to drive her flesh while she occupied herself with other things.
Once she was fully present in the estate system, the fog of too much wine evaporated, and she stretched out to monitor all the tasks she'd been spawning since she first figured out how to circumvent Arnold's security systems.
Ten kilometers out we dropped to below a hundred meters, sea-skimming and churning the water behind us as we split the night. We made landfall and proceeded to fly nap-of-the-earth inland down the mouth of what once would have been a raging river, now a dry dusty wound in the landscape.
Outside the cockpit the canyon walls loomed above us, leaning in as if to try to block out the sky, to swallow us. If there were any threats, they'd come from up there. In this chasm cut into the surface, our presence would only be known by the thundering rush of the air we displaced. Unless we slipped, caught a wall or misjudged a change in elevation, then t
Christopher swore if he ever set his feet back on solid ground, he'd never put them back in a spacecraft again.
He'd been assigned to this mission for a one year tour, but that had been extended five times, and he wasn't sure how much longer he'd last without completely losing his mind.
Actually, he swore quite a bit.
Sometime in the third year, he'd instructed the ship's AI not to speak to him unless his life was in danger. Not a word. He'd get status updates the old fashioned way, via textual readouts. He didn't want a 'buddy', and the omnipresent ship's systems had seen fit to chat to him in the most inappropriate times, reminding him t
When they first met, it wasn't the clumsy exo-rig she was using to navigate the university halls that caught their attention, or the baggy tie-dye jumpsuit her body was hidden inside. It wasn't the way the students parted around her as the red sea, respectful and yet indifferent to the alloy and carbon fiber elephant in their midst. It was the determination of will that creased her face, in stark contrast to the brilliant tranquility in her eyes. She was undeniable in the space she took up, and yet still somehow invisible to everyone around her. They alone, however, were transfixed. She had to stop in order to not mow them down, and they stood staring at each other for what seemed like eons before either of them spoke. That was twelve years ago, and they've been, quite literally, inseparable ever since. Her rig allowed her to exact coarse motor control over her body, a body that disowned her before she was old enough to form memories of anything different. Her mind was