This week, I’m afraid I ended up with 188 words. I just couldn’t cut enough to reach 100 words without removing too much information for the background situation to make sense. Well, failed experiments provide data too – in this case, that complex backstories take longer to explain. Who’d’a thunk it?
Feedback would be appreciated! Here’s the current Friday Fictioneers photo:
I look out at Mars. Cold, dry, barren. Milewski climbs up into Observation from Mainstation underground. “Any tumbleweeds today?”
“I’m on duty, Milewski.”
“Okay. Whatever.” Milewski doesn’t understand discipline. “Man, I’m sick of being cooped up. I say we trash the experiment.”
“There’s no provision for a retrieval mission yet.”
“Retrieval mission? From where?”
“Mars, of course.”
“Jim, you’ve cracked. That’s Arizona out there. Earth. All we have to do is open the door and walk out. Sure, it aborts the self-contained environment, but failure’s an experimental result too. You don’t really think we’re on Mars, do you?” She crosses to the door. I have to stop her.
“Milewski, look!” I hold the protocols shoulder-high, release. “Would earth gravity let things fall that slow?”
“It’s paper, Jim. Air resistance.” She’s at the air lock, entering codes. She’s opening the door.
“If you’re suicidal, at least spare the rest of us!” She shakes her head sadly, but seals the inner door. Sirens. She’s out in the killing oxygen-free cold.
It’s been two days. I keep hallucinating that Milewski and a bunch of cops are outside the viewport, grinning and beckoning.
* * *
(My story for today was inspired by experiments in self-sustaining closed ecologies like Biosphere-2.)