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life together ?

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January 23rd 2013  |  3  |  Category: Fiction  |  Author: Peter  |  741 views

“What the hell was that Frank?” he heard Viola shriek through his helmet comlink.
“I, I don’t know” he replied groggily “I can’t see a blasted thing through my visor its covered in dust, I can’t move my arms to clear it” He felt like he had a whole pile of asteroid rocks sitting on his body stopping him from moving, he guessed because it’s the only thing that made sense to his foggy brain. All he could recollect was that there had been a sudden silent flash of light followed by what felt like a giant fist punching him off his feet. The next thing he recalled was being woken by Viola’s voice.
“Where are you? I can’t turn my head to see you it’s, it’s like my whole body’s gone numb I don’t feel anything” Viola shouted, Frank heard the surge of panic that was to overwhelm the shock that had initially been in her voice.

The desperate panicked tone in her voice reminded him of when they had first met in that miserable back street in ‘New Hope’, the city that had sprung up around the Star Bright Corporation’s spaceport in Brazil. New Hope as the name suggested was a city of new hopes but more often lost dreams, a city where you were either hunter or prey on its streets, a place where rich kids came from their grand mansions on the upper side to the slums of downtown for their sport and ‘daddies over paid lawyers’ helped them get away with it. He remembered that fateful starlit night in the city three years ago the horrific night that they had first met, she the young maiden who had blossomed into womanhood; the slim athletic curve of her body and long dark unkempt hair which blended with her youthful looks and olive skin made her seem like a Greek goddess out of a romantic historical Greek saga, a figure which always attracted attention from both sexes, attention which often as on that first night was for the wrong reasons. And him the broad shouldered, thick browed, deliberate to anger hero with his thoughtful way of looking at life, a man who had saved her from the fate that befell many of the young women of the slums.

Frank had beaten the group of rich kids savagely after hearing her screams echoing off the walls like those of a desperately lost child calling for its parents, Violas desperate screams for help. Screams which most of the slums inhabitants did not to hear due to the sounds common place occurrence or those that chose to ignore them through fear that it could be them attacked next. Frank felt it was thanks to this first hopeless sound, and the act of fury at many wrongs which Frank had felt deep to his core, these and the intentions of the group of over indulged rich kids, which had ultimately taken them to where they were now, and the fact they were now trying to survive by mining Titanium on this desolate rock floating through sector seven of the solar systems outer ring.

Frank and Viola had been assigned to the asteroid X27386 by Bright Star Mining as their own private enterprise, the salesperson had quoted a sales pitch which Viola had emotionally bought into, mainly through a desperate need to escape the slums, and she was always repeating the corporate slogan “The start of a brighter life with bright star industries” which always made Frank shake his balding middle aged head like a parent laughing inwardly at their child’s mistakes while encouraging them to get up and try again. They both agreed that fleeing the planet was the best hope of avoiding the vigilante groups of rich thugs who were hunting them after that fateful night, and this start-up scheme being offered by the mega corps mining arm seemed perfect for that. As an escape route from the slums it had worked, as a dream of a bright future it was unfulfilled which Frank believed it never would be but kept quiet about it because Viola deeply needed to believe it would.
Because Frank could barely concentrate, he could only guess at what had happened, that something had blown stranding them in their current state of immobility and that it would probably leave them stuck in the infirmary for an unknown period of time, unable to work, running up medical bills all the time and falling further into debt with the corporation. The thought of that did not cheer him in the slightest he just hoped the paralysis was temporary and they could get back to their mining quickly.

“What’s that?” Viola shrieked suddenly bursting with curiosity and hope like a little child on Christmas day.
“What was what?” Frank grumbled like a bear being awoken early from its hibernation.
“That sound!” Frank listened for a second but could not hear a thing; he knew the closest living beings were at least an hour away on the next habited asteroid, and that was if they noticed anything was amiss.
“It’s probably your imagination there’s no body anywhere near here” he hoped that his gruffness would not spoil her hope of rescue but he knew that they both would just have to wait it out.
“No Frank” she said defiantly “I’m positive I heard something like footsteps” just as she said this Frank heard a boot scuff on the ground, but that should have been impossible in this airless environment, could it be that he was hallucinating? How could both of them have the same hallucination? Something felt wrong to him but he could not place where his unease was coming from, this thought was interrupted by the helmet comlink hissing, and then a voice came through like it was just entering into range.
”Hiss lo hiss body hiss ere”.
Frank started shouting trying to get the attention of the searcher “help over here please help us please help us we are over here” he was hoarse by the time he had finished his plea and could hear Viola pleading as well, he was overcome with hope that the situation was not as bad as his demons had been whispering to him ever since he had gained consciousness.


”No answer over the coms lets go find them” came the voice again.
“Hissss done the job”.
Frank assumed there were at least two people now but could not understand what the last statement meant, he could hear Viola sobbing in the background and he noticed how clear that sounded unlike the hissing he was getting from the comlink again that feeling of unease returned but he did not think about it, these thoughts were just his own doubts resurfacing he thought.

“Over here help us please” he repeated. Frank was getting more and more desperate as the silence extended he wondered if the com link was faulty; are they out of range; why are they not answering him? But no answer came; he could hear the strangers talking amongst themselves as if they just couldn’t hear him. They were searching through the rubble moving through the rocks and fallen tunnel supports.
“There’s one over there” somebody shouted suddenly “it looks like the girl” his heart lifted. “Well that looks like a successful job” another confusing statement? What was going on here they were searching for them but they sounded like they wanted to find them dead, it was getting stranger by the minute?
Frank heard the excitable voice again “over here, he is over here Rick, Rick” he had been found, at last help had arrived.
“Ok, ok I heard you hang on I’m coming over, did it work?” Gone what did this Rick mean work?
“Don’t know let me check”
“No leave it to me move out of the way you idiot, go and find all the incriminating evidence and bag it up” another strange comment? Frank felt this Rick arrive then kneel down beside him, and then a gloved hand removed the dust and debris away from his visor revealing a smiling youthful face that had a red scar across his upper cheek passing his left eye, a scar that was marring his face stopping him from being considered handsome. Frank noticed that this face was vaguely familiar to him “good” Rick sneered “found you both at last, see this” he said pointing to his scar “your handy work you bastard and I’ve been waiting a long time for payback” he started laughing but the laughter did not reach his cold blue eyes, they remained as unwelcoming as the deathly cold of space while they looked at Frank.

Frank suddenly realised where he had seen that face before with its cold superiority, it had been three years prior in the slums of New Hope smirking at Viola like a wolf who had cornered its prey, a hunter hunting with a group of likeminded youths, he remembered pounding his fists on that face and others like it in a desperate fight to save Viola from her fate, to at least allow her the chance at living a normal life, a chance he had wasted himself. Her voice came through to him again then “what’s going on Frank I still can’t move all I can see is the roof of the tunnel? Frank, are you there Frank?” the panic was back “Frank it’s one of the boys from the slum the ringleader I think; the one who was egging them on; can you hear me Frank? I’m scared”. The fear in her voice was evident to anybody who would listen, even Frank who always missed the subtle hints that people dropped “I know Viola; I know I can see him this is all we need when we can’t fight back”.

“Got it all let’s get out of here before we are discovered by security” came the voice of the man that was with Rick “don’t you worry about things like that my dad runs this show so we won’t suffer for this, it’s just another one of them unfortunate little accidents that happens out at the edge of space all the time nobody will miss them back home” Rick stood as he said this revealing to Frank the tunnel in which him and Viola had been working before the bright flash had changed everything, just Beyond ricks leg he could see Viola’s suited body, but what he saw sent shivers down his spine “no” he screamed “Viola What have they done to you”. Viola’s suit had been shredded by the flying debris her helmeted head laying at least a foot from her torso surrounded by little globules of blood gently resting on the floor in the low gravity, like red jelly discarded by a child “what is it Frank, what’s wrong? Tell me Frank please” Frank was shocked how was she talking to him she couldn’t be alive what’s going on? “Frank talk to me, please talk to me what do you mean?” he heard her pleading voice but could not understand, everything seemed to be wrong, but still he found himself answering “your dead Viola your dead you can’t be alive”. Frank just could not comprehend what was happening to them it was like reality had stopped working and the whole world had just changed.

Frank shut his eyes hoping the nightmare would stop, but instead a bright light pierced through his eyelids like the first rays of a summer morning rising over the horizon. He could feel the warmth of it and it felt like the comforting touch of your mother just after you had woken from a bad dream, it was soothing away his worries and had a sense to it that just felt right and wholesome, a feeling of welcome and belonging unlike anything he had felt before washed over him and the fresh smell of a summers meadow was teasing his nostrils in complete contrast to the tinned recycled stale sweat filled air of their suits “what’s that light Frank it feels so wonderful I just want to go to it” even Viola sounded at peace, and finally it was all falling into place for Frank. The trap had been set to kill them and it had done its job well, they had been dead all along that’s why they couldn’t move. Frank felt light and was floating free from his body, he opened his eyes and saw his suited corpse below him it was in just as bad condition as Viola’s had been, he turned and saw Viola’s shimmering figure looking down at herself. She turned to him with an enquiring quizzical look, he smiled at her “let’s go we don’t want to be here anymore” they both turned and entered the light together hand in hand like Frank always hoped they would.

 

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3 Responses to life together ?

  1. Avatar of Ami Ami says:

    Nice Story Peter. Keep it up. Looking for more from your side

  2. Avatar of meenu meenu says:

    Nicely expressed, great story :)

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