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The Story About The Glasses (Tales Told Around The Bed Pans)

Posted on Wed Aug 2nd, 2017 @ 10:51pm by Lieutenant Arkady Sjet Dr

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: Mission Day 99, 0130

“I do not know why you wear these things,” Mallady said, plucking the glasses up off the table in her snicker-snap claws. She held them up to the lights, spinning them through a single rotation. “Poly alloy frame, simple fused silica not polished into a functional lens. You don’t need eyes that see into infrared and ultraviolet to see that.”

“Maybe wear for sake of fashion?” Arkady mused as he swiped another report from his padd, his eyes scanning back and forth as he assimilated the text. “Perhaps am vain?”

“I’ve seen your shore leave ensemble, trust me the only vanity project you worked on was the reconstructive surgery for that kid during the Battle of Asteroid X,” Mallady commented, sitting in the only chair in sick bay designed for her back canted legs and lower thorax.

“You compare work to reconstruct orbital socket of left eye with my snappy knowledge of tropical shirts. Am honoured,” Arkady sighed and put the padd down, nodding towards the door of his office. “You know, perhaps is thought that instead of question my choice of optics, you should terrorise the nurses? Is job no, as head nurse?”

“Its oh-one-thirty you big rusty Martian, I ain’t got no one to terrorise save you and Nurse Julin. And I make it a point to only cause so many near cardiac events in one day,” Mallady said innocently, holding out the glasses but holding onto them, “Come on, we’ve known each other since the USS Tachi came apart above Hallard’s World. I think for that sort of heroic perseverance I should get a medal or a story.”

“I will have gremlin’s make you medal with pointy bits, hammer it into thick chitin of your skull,” Arkady reached out and snatched the glasses from her claw. For a moment that seemed to be the end of it. Then he turned them over in his big calloused hands and leaned back into his chair.

“On Mars, there is ancient fairy tale, a myth. From the years of The Found before the Third World War. Russia, one of the largest nation states of Earth saw the migration to Mars as tool of most usefulness. Where as other nations sent their best, their brightest, Russia gathered her disaffected and rebellious sons and daughters and sent them on most certain death,” Arkady recited, closing his eyes as he remembered the old stories the miners had bantered about in the dark tunnels.

“You humans are pretty messed up. I mean I thought loosing your waste pellets over your progeny was twisted but that’s going somewhere special,” Mallady commented.

“Perhaps you would prefer I recite medical report I was reading? Is fascinating study on renal functions, very moving,” Arkady said wit a raised eye brow, his eye lids firmly shut to the world. After a moment he continued. “They were sent with the most basic of tools. No fancy domed habitats, or EM shields. Like children my forefathers buried themselves in the bosom of a new mother land. Many died, starving, dying of thirst…my first time in the tunnels I was with crew who broke the seal on a small cavern. Ancient cosmonauts were there, seated against the back of the wall, their helmets raised and preserved faces a glow of the agony of asphyxia. But, that is not the story.”

He held up a hand.

“One of the first settlements on Mars, a town more than city, was Russian. New Odessa, a garden of hydroponic gene tweaked plants and fish. Richest of the Martian fiefdom’s when the clouds of mushrooms rose on Earth. That signalled the end to any hope of home, of any chance of resupply. It gave permission for demons to arise. Small settlements went quiet, larger ones roved for air and food and water like traibes of old. But New Odessa survived, trading, protecting its own. Towards the end of this trouble, it is said that a white rover rolled to a stop on the horizon, its lone passenger standing by its side in view of the camera’s on their high masts. They watched as the lone space man removes his helmet, his air puffing from his suit and lungs in shorted lived cloud.”

“I should have gotten pop corn.”

“Hush. Is good part now,” Arkady chided. “The settlement sent out a crew to salvage the rover for parts. Machines tools, fabricator plans, consumables: chocolate was most desirable. They found little and found less on the astronaut's body: an American. From a science outpost in Arabia Terra. He was just knelt on ground, peaceful, with glasses still over frozen eyes. It did not take us long to know where exactly this outpost was, and what was found proved quite enlightening. Blown air locks, stabbings, brutality…and a plan to attack and kill all of New Odessa. You see the American team had no greenhouses, had little food, had now two less of their number after…nutritional incident. Maybe man in rover had seen this, had partaken and knew dangerous things were arising within them.”

“A lot of human myths end in cannibalism, I’m just throwing that out there,” Mallady chimed.

“You ate your twin sister,” Arkady grumbled.

“I was sentient yet. Besides she tasted GREAT, very filling. So please continue your story about how your first space explorers went cray-cray and ate long pork,” Mallady clapped her pincers together.

“Anyway…story goes that one of the Americans, the man with glasses, knew what was to come. Knew that it spread, a madness, terrible things. SO he killed everyone at the little American science outpost. He made sure they would not come to be grace,” Arkady tapped the glasses on the desk. “Is I wear these.”

“So that one day you can brutally slaughter the crew so they never embarrass themselves on shore leave? Because if that's so, for the defence, I present your wardrobe selection. Your shirts have colours that only my species has names for.”

“Is almost true,” Arkady smiled. “These glasses present an image, a camouflage to others. They see the glasses and they see bookish man, man of mind. They do not see man of steel beneath.”

Mallady was silent.

“They do not see,” Arkady said firmly.

Mallady for her part stood up, nodding slowly, and left the office. Arkady just frowned, eyeing the glasses in his hands and slipping them over his nose. He glanced at his reflection in the powered down padd screen.

“Is good disguise.”


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