The newly appointed Captain Dorus gazed at his new crew, each one interviewed and hand-picked by him. The not-so-hotshot pilot, Orson, who retired early after she was nearly killed flying into a star during a practice maneuver. The experienced engineer, Rekha, whose tendency to tinker a little too much got her booted off the first four ships she was assigned to. A doctor, Shade, who had no specialty because she kept getting distracted by new discoveries. And the actor, Kellu, whose purpose there no one—including himself—quite understood.
Sammy read the card at the top of the package she’d just hesitantly opened.
Happy Birthday! The perfect helper for the one who helps everyone else.
This week’s story will be posted soon. This is the anniversary post for Storyfeather’s sixth year!
The Year of Definitions is done! That was the theme for Storyfeather Year Six.
I am only a student. That’s why she came to me, trusting that I would have a sufficient balance of knowledge and naiveté to serve her desperate need.
And I am woman. That’s why she came to me, trusting that I would not mark her concerns as mere hysterics.
What was this strange and destructive condition she bore? She spoke of hurting her husband and fleeing from her children so that she would never hurt them. She spoke of being pursued by authorities in dark garb.
It was a simple procedure.
A simple procedure.
I would be admitted to the hospital overnight. I had to be fasting. Except for some clear liquid that the nurse would have me drink every four hours. It contained some stuff that the doctor called “fixers.” She explained that they were meant to help boost the efficiency of the procedure and help my recovery go faster. Then she joked that they would “fix” me.
“At least no one died or was seriously hurt,” Dani said as she worked open the huge garbage bag that our faculty supervisor had given us.
Ameena nodded. “I hope it stays that way. I heard there are still a few people missing.”
“Why’d it have to be the computer lab?” Jon said. His shoulders slumped as he looked at all the scattered papers and wrecked computer equipment in the room we were assigned to clean. “Why couldn’t it have been the gym?”
“Or the cafeteria,” I added. That made everyone chuckle and we started picking up the pieces according to the instructions that Ms. Quince had given us.
“How long has it been…since I closed my eyes?” I asked.
The medical technician sitting beside my cot offered me a business-like smile and said, “Just about thirty-seven minutes.”
I frowned. It had felt longer to me. Almost two hours. I had a crick in my neck. The cot wasn’t very comfortable. They didn’t want me to accidentally fall asleep. I sat up and swung my legs around so I was sitting at the edge of the cot.
“Is there such a thing as hallucinogenic moss?”
Seyyal raised her brows as she asked the question, and watched her cousin’s fork freeze in mid-air. They were having their usual monthly brunch and catching up with each other. And Seyyal had already somewhat updated Yalanda about the subject that had been occupying her mind since she’d gotten back from vacation, her left foot.
“It’s about time,” Kret said, grinning and nodding. She put her hands on her hips and turned to the captain. “My team have reported more sparking and glowing over the past few days. The sooner we switch over the better. But this one is not from the original plant, so I want to run some more field tests.”
What if you knew that you only had twenty-five years to live, safely and surely, but you would be alone, watching your death approach, unable to escape it?
And what if you knew that whatever you did or accomplished in that time would most certainly never be known by the rest of your people? So you won’t be leaving behind a legacy of observations and musings. Not even raw data collected by the sensors will make it out. What would you do? Who would you be?
Do you think you’d last?
Do you think I will last?