That show was so incredibly good and I don’t even know why. All I know is I feel sad and wish it were never canceled.
He woke up from REM cycle, impossibly disoriented as always.
The capsule dumped him unceremoniously on the floor, his cheek squashed into the dull brown carpet. Tinny alarms buzzed around him, reminding him that he only had half an hour to wash, dress, eat, and report for his work cycle on Access Floor. He sighed, and heaved himself up off the floor. For specialized deep oxygen sleep units, easily costing more than he earned in a year’s work on Station, he had no idea how he could be so tired every time he awoke.
“Awaken, Hadrian,” a voice spoke from the comm port embedded in the room.
He sighed again. “No need to be dramatic, Sabina. I’m up.” The voice laughed, the thin vibrations running up and down he floor he was still collapsed on. “You’re still on the floor, aren’t you?”
Goddammit. He hauled himself to his feet.
“See you in ten at the caf?” she asked, lightly. “Twenty,” he yelled at the walls. “Fifteen, or I promise to have eaten all the muffins.” “Fine! Comm out.”
The room was silent. The only good thing about the blasted comm system was that you could talk anywhere in the room and still be picked up crystal clear by whoever you were talking to. The bad thing was that there was no way to not hear the one trying to speak to you. Every new technology had its detractions.
There was no avoiding it. He threw himself threw the motions - swallowing his mouth capsules and expectorating the blast of foam and germicide, showering quickly, and dressing in the functional uniform of all Station personnel. Sturdy yet flexible dark black plants, dark green shirt, and a form fitting black jacket that buttoned put to mid chest with wide collar that stood up, protecting the sides and back of the neck. Jagged lines tracing from the right shoulder down to the elbow denoted one’s class. His were interweaving silver, denoting him as Engineer. Finally, he pulled on his socks and boots, also black, shin high, with green running up the outer sides. Like the rest of the uniform they were highly functional: in this case, sturdy yet light, grippy, and surprisingly flexible.
He grabbed his satchel and jogged out of the room. He was pushing the fifteen minute deadline, and he wanted his damn muffins. He opened the first hatch and jumped into free space.
Station was splayed out before him. Rising stairways, chaotic transport lines, and paths leading to all the main decks. ANd behind it all, massive transport windows showing Earth down below, burning iridescent green and blue. He grimaced at the red and brown spots that dotted the main continents like sores. The IGU always promised the flares were diminishing, yet to his eyes they grew every day.
He grabbed a trans line before he began his descent. The main deck of station was set to .17 gravitational units, making transit between decks and translines easy but without the chaos of complete antigravity. The translines adhered to his hand and began pulling him toward the column in the middle of the chaos of main deck that housed the cafeteria. As always, Sabina would be waiting for him.
Alabaster skin, iridescent green eyes, and the darkest straight hair. She stood out like a flare in the night sky, a blueberry muffin held lightly in her hand. Aside from adhering to the form of a woman, her uniform was identical to his, save for a slight variation in the pattern of lines on her jacket that marked her as a Comm Engineer. God knows why she had chosen him as a best friend on this station when anyone, man or woman, would have jumped at the opportunity, but that she had. Despite his morning stoicism, he was grateful for it.
“You’re late,” she said, as he lightly landed on the platform. “Am not. I’m never late”.
“Oh? Fifteen minutes and 52 seconds”. “Counts.”
“Does not,” she said, taking a large bite of the muffin.
“You monster!” he yelled, swiping the reminder of the muffin out of her hands. She laughed, eyes sparking as her hair swirled in the low gravity. “There are plenty more today, but you’re welcome to my germs.” He made a point of not giving in and taking a large bite of the muffin.
They walked inwards, knowing they had, at maximum, a few minutes to down some sustenance and head to work. “What’s on the agenda for today?” he asked her, swallowing the last of what had been her muffin. “I’m on Comms for former China, lower Indo Subcontinental Government, and sections of Leosania. You,” she said, swiping two pieces of fruit and an hydrator from the racks, and pointedly grabbing another muffin, “only have six vector robots to prepare for missions to sections of North America”. He nearly gagged on his second muffin. Six robots would take him and his team all cycle, if they barely stopped to breathe. He cursed, and crumbs spiraled in a slow decent down to the floor. “Cheer up,” Sabina said, smiling as always. “Can’t forget we’re -” “Saving the world. Yea, I know.”
She frowned. “You could have at least let me finish.”
“I could have, but where’s the fun in that?” he said mockingly, flashing her his first - and quite possibly only - smile of the day. Downing hydros, they began jogging towards the translines on the opposite side of the platform. They were both team leaders, and lateness was not tolerated. “Have a good one”, he said, giving her a quick hug. He launched himself into space, cherishing the moments of weightlessness of the earth hung beside him.
“Hadrian!” she yelled, as his hand made contact with the transline. He turned in midlflight to face her. Her hair billowed around her face as she cupped her hands around her mouth, projecting her voice into the rush. “I forgot to tell you - there’s been a new engineer assigned to your team. He’s from - ” but the transline kicked in, pulling him away into empty, spiraling space, before her last words could reach him.