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Snow White

Stardate 49252.4

Jones neared the planets surface. It wasn't his first time to Fiera but it was quiet possibly the most memorable. He'd had more than a couple games of hide and go seek with a group of pirates, and he was starting to wonder if the cargo was worth the price.

It had been three days since he picked it up. The contact gave him fair warning that the delivery would be dangerous. But there is something about the weight of palladium, the real stuff, not just a bunch of credits, ones and zeros entered into the galactic bank that no one ever seems to question, but you'd be hard pressed to find someone who will sell you anything more than rations and water with it.

As Jones entered the atmosphere of the desert planet he could swear that the heat was raising in the cockpit as he looked over the vastness of the Eternal Desert. He was sick and the fight between the ships gravity and Fiera's was not fairing well on his gut. He was thirsty, his mouth felt like the desert he was flying over, probably just the space flu. Just to think, barely 20 cubic kilometers of water and it belongs to the frakking resort.

“Please identify craft and destination.” It sounded like every other wasteland planet, one of the perkiest bots in the colony, some simple message, when lord knew they've already scanned the ship and are just checking to see if you're an honest sailor.

“White Dragon six-one-six, permission to land at Hearts Alliance.” The name came with the ship, Jones hated it, at least it was easy to remember. The ship was in fact blue.

“White Dragon, this is Hearts Alliance tower. You're clear to land.” Scratchy and gruff, it was hard to tell if it was the signal, or if the operator had just finished a pack of sillibeen. “Would you please lower your shields for a preliminary scan of your hull?”

This was an oddity that he couldn't say he remembered going through last time. Most ships landed with full shields for safety reasons, although he'd never heard of any major mishaps coming from not. As Jones lowered the shields he almost immediately heard the computer go into cycles.

“Looks like they're preforming more than a standard hull scan...” Jones was talking to himself, a habit most space jockeys picked up over the many lone days between ports. “...what are they going to find?” He was almost more interested than alarmed.

The ships general controls were abruptly ripped from Jones' hands as the computer took over. Not his first time experiencing an automated docking sequence, although he was always uncomfortable with it. You could never tell if the computer was going to abruptly open your airlock several inches away from the docking man-way and blow you, your air, and most importantly your cargo into the great vacuum. All the same, being in the atmosphere Jones didn't have to worry about the lack of air, just the fact he had no idea where he was landing. Worst case scenario he still had his pistola on his hip.

“I'm looking for Dr. Wenger, I have an urgent delivery.” The ship was still being piloted closer to the ground, but Jones felt the urgency to get the cargo out of his hold.

“He has already been alerted of your arrival, and will be waiting for you at the dock.” The towers voice sounded agitated. “Please hold off on com traffic until your ship is fully docked.”

The sudden lurch alerted Jones of the ground. Figures that a computer could never be as smooth as a human, but all the same he was happy to be on solid ground again. The artificial gravity in his ship and the last couple stations were a poor substitute to the real thing. Perhaps it was due to the fact that they all had gravity set identical to a place called “Earth”, somewhere that no one he'd ever met had even seen.

Jones slowly opened the hatch to see a small mousy man wearing steel rimmed glasses and a lab coat. It felt like a scene from a movie.

“Jones I presume.” The mousy man held out his hand.

“Dr. Wenger, where would you like me to offload?” The handshake felt surprisingly firm coming from that small of a man.

“Don't worry about that, I'll have my men take care of it.”

Jones vision started to blur, this was one bad case of the space flu. “Of course Doc... if you don't mind I think... I think I need to...” And with that Jones fell to the ground.

Re: Snow White

Stardate 49254.8

Jones' head was pounding when he opened his eyes. As he swung his legs over the side of his bunk he realized he didn't have any, well none that would listen to his brain. This attempt to move resulted in a halfway controlled tumble off the bunk to the floor. The mere motion of this procedure sent stabs of pain deeper into his eyes. Crawling, he made his way to the ships dusty cantina. Not much there, a couple day rations, but most importantly water. Space flu was always the same, it felt like you had been drinking all night with a Tooburn barfly, and you could never get enough water into your gut.

The entire process of getting water and then back to the captains chair took almost a half hour. Rather impressive since the craft was only ten meters long. Punching his access code into the ships logs took three attempts before he got his fingers to cooperate with his wishes. Once he was logged into the system he could use primarily voice commands.

“Computer, please verify date and heading.” Jones usually preferred doing this by hand since he hated the voice that came with his ship. He felt it sounded too sing song and cheery for space. It sounded like an Irish girl with her new pony.

“The current Stardate is four-nine-two-five-four point eight. Currently no heading.” Nothing seemed wrong to the computer, at least her tone didn't inflect anything wrong.

“That can't be right. How long have I been asleep?” Jones wanted to kill the computer's pony.

“Your life signs have been at a restful state for the last 34.8 hours. I can only assume you were asleep.”

This wasn't right. The last thing he remembered was meeting Dr. Wenger and falling down... Jones fought the nausea trying to overtake him... He knew the space flu could be bad enough to put you under for a couple days, but even so he shouldn't be in a stationary heading, lord knows where. He struggled to punch a couple buttons and confirmed everything the computer had told him, the movement draining all his reserves. He had one last glimpse of his location a full days travel from Fiera before he lose consciousness.

Stardate 49256.2

There were bright lights this time.

“Doctor, he's coming to.”

“Quick make sure we don't lose him!”

“His vitals are stable, heart rate within normal levels.”

“What about the device?”

“The bomb is attached to his heart, as long as that remains stable we should be okay.”

This seemed like a more likely place for Jones to be, on some doc's table after falling unconscious on the landing pad. That whole thing in his ship a days journey from Fiera was just a dream. Right? But what had the nurse said? Something about a bomb attached to someone's heart?

“You there lad?” This was the doctor, Jones could barely make out his shape with the bright lights in his face but he could clearly see the 5 o'clock shadow on the doctors chin, odd for a surgeon.

“Mmmhhm...” Apparently Jones mouth didn't feel like participating in today's tasks.

“Just relax, we'll give you something to chase away the thirst.” This was the nurse. She sure did look pretty.

“Jimmmhhnn” Nope that wasn't going to make sense either, Jones felt himself beginning to fade.

“We're losing him! Keep his heart rate stable! We don't want to lose this ship!” Doctor or nurse it didn't matter Jones was headed somewhere else.
Last edited by kabuku6 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Snow White

A nice field of flowers

The grass smelled like it had just been cut. Not that Jones knew what the smell was, but he enjoyed it nonetheless. It felt very warm and homey. Slowly he opened his eyes and saw a blue sky. This really confused him, he'd seen plenty of green, red, and white sky's, but blue was different, it was nice. He slowly stood up to see what was around. Besides the old apple tree about 12 meters away the closest thing was a snow covered mountain. As Jones inspected the tree a little closer he realized that it was swarming with ripe apples! What a treat, the real thing! Not some sort of genetically modified strain that grows on a vine in someones cargo hold.

The apple fell off the vine as if the only reason it existed was to be picked by Jones. The sensation was like nothing he had ever felt before. The deep red of the apple, the firmness in his hand. He dug his teeth into it not caring for the lack of mouth size, he waited for the cool succulent juices to spill down his cheeks.

Oddly the juices weren't cool. They were quite warm in fact. Jones took the apple away from his mouth and starred at the blood dripping out of the open face of the apple. He slowly chewed, trying to decide if it was best to spit out the portion in his mouth, or go ahead and swallow. He looked closer at the apple and noticed slight movement. Thousands of tiny legged insects running around as if trying to hide from him. Suddenly he couldn't feel his tongue, he raised his hand up to investigate only to notice those “insects” had quickly started eating away his hand. Reaching for his throat with his other hand he could feel the warmth of his own blood running down his chest. He was being eaten alive.

Jones tried to scream, but everything that would allow him to do so was gone. His heart was racing. He started to feel a warmth in his chest, that increased into the only pain he could feel, then there was nothing.

Stardate 49257.6

“Dr. Wenger, this is Dusty Rose. We've found the debris...” This was some pretty bad wreckage, it appeared that something had ripped the ship apart from the inside out. “...there are no signs of life in the area.”

“Dusty Rose, I read you, please commence salvage operations. I repeat, bring me back everything!” The doc sounded anxious over the com. In all the years of salvage the Dusty Rose's crew had never had someone insist on collecting all the debris.

“That's a copy doc. Would you mind telling us if we're looking for anything in particular? It might make this salv op a little faster.”

“Nanites.” There was gloom in the doctor's voice as the com went blank.

Re: Snow White

A nice short story so far. I can see it going further if you follow Dr. Wenger or Dusty Rose as you go on to explain why the nanites are doing what they are doing. I'm rather intrigued to be honest.

Please keep writing. I'd rather like to know why Mr. Jones met such an unpleasant end.
May the Schwartz be with you

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