Space Opera 100
Published on / 2 Chapter(s) / 0 Review(s)
Stories of a space station, not exactly run by the galaxy's finest, orbiting a planet sometime in the future.
Chapter 1, Thanksgiving
There were a number of disadvantages to living on a space station, Doctor Leslie Eugene Adams was rapidly discovering. Oh, there was the obvious--the isolation, the monotony, the occasional pirate raid. But the worst parts, he found, were more cultural.
It wasn't that he disliked living with and treating aliens; he had grown so accustomed to be sent scrambling for an anatomical diagram or biological information for whatever secretive species that turned up at the infirmary that humans were almost boring to him. The fact that the station's chief engineer(s) was effectively one personality in two bodies fascinated him endlessly. He eagerly awaited the challenges of treating Hrrfrr, the seven-foot second in command of security whose body was constantly hidden by a foot of thick orange fur.
No, the worst part was spending the holidays alone.
As holidays went, Thanksgiving wasn't exactly golden. Rather unsettling origins, only really celebrated by those with American origins, and all you did was eat food. Those three qualities had virtually nixed his chances of celebration with most of his friends on the senior staff--the first removed Deklo, who, coming from a persecuted race on her home planet, would definitely not appreciate any mention of smallpox blankets, the second took out most of the humans on the station, and the third most of the alien population--Airc'len had politely declined on the grounds that they couldn't digest sugar and Phorill had reminded him that she had no need to eat.
"But I grew up with it, dammit," he sighed to Doctor Daronyeta, who was looking suspiciously glassy-eyed. "And sometimes I just can't resist my urges to throw you down on that table and ravish you." She 'hmmed' in mild agreement, and he gave a frustrated groan. "Have you heard a word I've said?"
Now she blinked her wide, solid green eyes and managed an affronted look. "Of course I've been listening, doctor. Why would I want to ignore your cultural history of Thaksgivn?"
He simply sighed again.
Dinner was relatively spartan; even though he could technically spawn any meal his mind could conceive with the maker's terminal in his quarters he stuck with the basics--potatoes, corn, turkey, and a bit of pumpkin pie for after, all arranged neatly on his table set for one. Truly, a pathetic sight.
His communicator suddenly bleeped, and he was briefly torn by the warring impulses to whack it or be thankful for the interruption. "Doctor Adams here," he answered after sliding it open.
"Leslie! So your door is on the fritz again. You'll have to mention that to Airc'len. I was afraid you were still being sulky about that noodle incident last turn." The bright voice of his commanding officer filtered through; he could almost see the flippant smile on her dark bronze face.
"Parmi? I mean, Commander Jones?" he asked dumbly, momentarily thrown off balance. 'Parmi' was technically a mispronunciation of her full name, Parminder, but she'd never admonished him about it, the same way he never reminded her to call him Gene.
"I hear you've been driving my senior staff up the wall. You want to open up?"
He crossed the room and thumbed the door panel, and it slid open, revealing the slight, but solid form of his commander. She was still dressed in her duty uniform, although she'd let the red and black jacket hang open over her maroon shirt. More interesting than that, though, was the wine bottle in the crook of her arm.
"I hope you like white, this freighter captain wouldn't part with anything heavier in his collection, was charging these ridiculous prices..." she rambled, stepping around him and making for his cabinets, removing two stemmed glasses and a plate as though she'd been invited.
"What are you--" he started, but she waved him silent and handed him a glass, juggling her own until she had the plate shoved under one arm and was working at the cork on the bottle.
"There's supposed to be a toast, right?" she asked, giving an exasperated look like she'd already explained everything. "Toast. Wine. Sit?" she gestured to the table with an elbow, still battling ferociously with the cork.
"Let me." He took the bottle and sat at the table, opening it much more efficiently than Jones.
"Show off," she grinned, pulling up a second chair and offering him her glass.
Maybe Thanksgiving wasn't so bad, he thought as he poured.
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