Storytime Blog Hop: Separate Space

Storytime Blog Hop – July 27, 2016perpetualbloghop

It’s that time again… time for free flash fiction from around the world.

My contribution is another story in the *Space saga. Don’t forget to click on the links at the bottom for more stories, and please leave me a comment. Enjoy!

 

SEPARATE SPACE

We stomped through the corridors, Station Security uniforms warning everyone to give us some space, on our way to the most recent demand for attention from one of Platform Eight’s two hundred thousand residents. I used the privacy—if you could call it that—to tease my partner. “What do you mean, you haven’t found anyone?”

“You heard me.” Luis rolled his shoulders, straining the uniform seams and causing quite a few people—male and female—to sigh as we passed them.

“Platform Eight is huge… you’re just not looking.” I wished I turned as many heads. How did he not see it? “Have you been up to Section Seven lately? They’ve got some pretty ones up there.”

“Would you stop harassing me about my relationships?”

“Whoops, here we are.” I swiped my ID chip across the reader, and since I wasn’t registered to this sleep bay, a soft chime sounded inside and out. “Officer Cordova and Officer Huerta requesting entry.”

Luis waited a half-second, then nudged my shoulder. “You and me both need to find a good man.”

Pinching myself to wipe the silly grin off my face as the door spiraled open, I nodded to the occupant. “You commed for Station Security?”

The woman stepped back and waved us inside. “Yes,” she said. “I’m having a problem with my—”

“You commed State Sec?” a second woman shrieked from behind the first.

They were both tall, the blonde about two meters—in a flashy pink and black skin-tight outfit that left her arms and legs bare—and the brunette a bit shorter and slightly curvier, in a simple blue shipsuit. The brunette held her hands up, fingers spread wide, as she spoke to the other in wheedling tones. “We’re not getting anywhere, Manda,” she said.

Luis and I edged slightly away from each other in case the women went from screaming to hitting.

“Fine, Niss!” The blonde threw up her hands. “You want to involve them? Fine!”

“We’re done.” The brunette held out her left hand, palm up. “I ask that Station Security split the assets.”

My lip quivered as I tried to hid my surprise. I’d been on Platform Eight for two years and never heard anyone ask that. I knew the regs, but… “You’re sure?”

The blonde held out her left hand as well. “Yes,” she hissed. “Let’s do it.”

*

The subtle jerk of my partner’s head told me to get on with it.

“You understand Station Security’s fee?” We were in a nice part of the station—two-bedroom sleep bays, each with a large common room—but the fee was astronomical.

“Just do it!” snapped the blonde. Her fingers trembled.

Shrugging, I pulled the data suck strip from my thigh pocket and held it over her ID chip, then I did the same for the brunette. The strip went into the data port and dueling holos flashed up in front of us. I typed the EnnisCorp regulation ID and watched the information scroll.

The blonde, Manda, flinched as the fee hit both their credit accounts, then she sniffed, and glared at the brunette. Her soon-to-be-ex—Inissa, according to her ID—pressed her lips together.

A holo of the painting on the wall facing me—an eerie jungle at dusk—slid over to Manda’s holo holdings, and Inissa groaned. The matching black anti-grav chairs went to Inissa, who bared her teeth. Piece by piece, their holdings were separated by the AI, until they had nothing in common. The program finished, locking each account and spurting the info to the main computer with a backup to their ID chips.

I swallowed and remembered what came next. “You both have jobs?”

“Yes.” Manda clenched her fist.

Inissa nodded, regret plain on her face.

Sliding the data suck strip back into my pocket, I said, “You have 24 hours to vacate this bay, and another 24 to arrange transit off station or register for another sleep bay. You understand that after 72 hours if you have no registered sleep bay you can be arrested for—”

“Yeah, we got it.” Manda lifted the painting off the wall. “Get out.”

“We’ll be fine,” Inissa murmured, “now that it’s over. And we’ll need every minute to get moved and re-register.”

Luis jerked his head toward the door.

“Good luck. Com if you need us,” I murmured, and stepped into the corridor.

*

“What about Jareth in Section One?” I raised my eyebrows at Luis.

“I don’t date other security officers.” He glared. “Too much like incest.”

I grinned and dodged a kid. “Israel? We met him last week at the Watering Whole?”

“I think he was more interested in you than me.”

“I heard he’ll go either way, and he’s a lot of fun.”

Luis grabbed my arm, jerking me to a halt. “After all that? The relationship we just ended?”

“We didn’t end it. They did.” I searched his face. My partner—the softie!—was sad. “I tell you what.” I patted his arm. “Shift’s over in an hour. I’ll take you to the bar. We won’t try to find anyone for you or me.”

The smile started with the corner of his mouth and ranged across his lips before brightening his eyes. “You’re a good friend,” he said. “Too bad you’re female.”

“You won’t sleep with your partner,” I reminded him.

“Sucks to be you.”

I punched his arm.


Powered by: Holly Lisle’s Free Flash Fiction Class

Find more stories at the links below:
Shana Blueming A Melting Heart
Juneta Key Don’t Drink the Water
Angela Wooldridge Midwinter
Lee Lowery All Aboard
Elizabeth McCleary OverWhelmed
Viola Fury The Day The Cat Got Out
Karen Lynn Dragon Smoke and Wind
Katharina Gerlach Lobster One
S.R. Olson Malakai’s Gift
Wendy Smyer Yu Into The Light
Emily Plesner Time Stops When I’m With You

April 2016 Storytime Blog Hop: Changing Space

8 thoughts on “Storytime Blog Hop: Separate Space

  1. This is great. Very well-written, with some very bold ideas embedded. I like the detail of the AI being what separates the assets. I guess if you can’t make the tough decisions, the computer will do it for you!

  2. I’m beginning to see a really interesting structure with this one! Sort of Episodic, but with a more connected plot between the security officers. I think I like it!

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