The rainy season has begun on Akua, so I’ve been able to work in my lab for several days. Our space mining endeavors haven’t been particularly successful because our suits aren’t designed for activities outside of a spacecraft. The slow progress and bad weather have both been frustrating for Timo, so I invited him to tend the garden with me. I was working on an experiment with fermented alien honey when he came into the lab saying, “It’s not the plants–whatever caused our temporary madness.”
“Then what do you think it was?” I wanted to know.
“To begin with, I don’t think it was something new we were exposed to,” he replied, but I was confused. He continued, “What if it was rather something we don’t have exposure to anymore? Dreschner could’ve been drugging us through the food, water–anything–to suppress our emotions.”
“That’s absurd,” I told him. “Why are you always so willing to believe the worst about Dreschner?”
He raised his voice, “Why do you refuse to even consider anything but sunshine and rainbows about them?”
“Because they’re like family to me. They’re all I have–”
“Oh, thank you! Thank you very much,” he interrupted me, then he cursed and turned away from me. “Whatever–I’m going–bye!”
He walked out without allowing me to clarify what I was saying: Dreschner Corporation is all I have to go back to; they’re the only reason to even try to leave this solar system. I was abandoned when I was a baby–because I was sick–so I was raised by them, but I could happily stay here with him. That is if I haven’t ruined our relationship…
Timo returned home in the morning. “You came back!” I exclaimed when I saw him, and I ran down the slope to greet him.
“I don’t want to fight with you,” he said with a soulful look in his eyes. I agreed and asked if we could just carry on like it never happened, and he answered, “I don’t want things to be exactly the same. I want us to be united… not only as a team, but as husband and wife.”
I was stunned. “Married? But how? There’s no one to perform the ceremony.”
“We don’t need that,” he insisted, “it’s just you, me, and God here, and that’s all we need.” We both smiled and I accepted his proposal. We exchanged vows to each other before God, and now we’re married.
Afterward, I pointed out the sunshine finally returned, and he told me, “Yeah, and I feel a lot better too. Last night I went and mined an asteroid–I just kept the ship powered up and jumped back in to warm up whenever it got too cold for me. I got us enough materials to make another ship that we can both fly in. Plus, I scouted the planet some more, and I located a drone base!”
I was thrilled to hear that news. Timo revealed that there’s another research or medical facility near the drone base, and we decided to visit that location right away. He explained, “The drone base has those turrets like the spaceport, so we’ll need rockets to take it down. As soon as the new ship is ready, we can retrofit it with rocket launchers.” That plan sounds great to me.
We went by motorbike to the research outpost, and enjoyed some hunting together along the way. We encountered one of the Slimes that live around lakes, and I realized that I no longer see this world and its wildlife as alien; it’s nature, pure and simple. It’s a nice feeling. I know we shouldn’t stay here, but I wouldn’t mind if we can never leave.
It was late in the evening when we reached the outpost. Timo watched out for drones while I looted the place. I found some of the typical medicines and supplies we’ve found in every medbay so far, but then I located two suits of armour. “Oh my God!” I said to myself, but my communicator was open and Timo wondered what I reacted to. “I found us some of those suits we saw on that shipping order. I have no idea what they’re doing here–in a closet at an abandoned alien facility.”
“We’ll sort that out later, but we have to take them,” he replied.
I chuckled and responded, “Yeah, of course. I have to leave a few things behind so I can carry them… but oh my God, these are fantastic–you’re going to love them!” We hurried back home and tried on the new suits. It was then that I realized those little data chips I found before fit into slots in the new suits, and enhance their features even more. I do wonder what’s going on because it makes no sense to me that human products are here on this supposedly uninhabited planet. I hope Timo’s right and we will find the truth sooner rather than later.
*** This story has been rebooted, due to big changes in the game. The reboot incorporates new game mechanics in a more natural way, I hope. ***
© 2017, Starwing. All rights reserved.