Sunday, July 12, 2009

Entry #80

Companion
by David Neuhoff


The last globule of water floated and pulsed as he gently rotated the bulb in his hand. Savoring the moment, Will closed his eyes and slowly squeezed the contents of the bulb into his mouth and swallowed. With a sigh, he tossed the empty bulb over his shoulder to join the rest of the floating debris littering the Hab.

"That's the last of it. It's just you and me now," lamented Will.

"The mission was originally 3 years. Supplies had to run out at some point," remarked his companion.

"Has there been any contact?"

"None since the Event."

Will frowned at the casual reference to just "the Event", yet understood that his companion was attempting to spare him added worry.

Present circumstances permit release of the contingency supplies...if you concur."

Will closed his eyes and considered this. The time had come. He nodded. A small compartment opened, revealing a bottle of wine along with two glasses. Will smiled wryly and asked "Spin the Hab, please."

"Of course."

As the Hab gained speed, the constellation of debris swirled and slowly fell to the walls. In time, the illusion of gravity was complete, permitting Will to pour himself a glass, pause for a moment, then carefully fill the other and slide it toward his companion.

Will savored his glass, then issued his last command, “Terminate life support systems, please.”

"Goodbye, Will." his companion responded, shortly before shutting down its processing core.

The companion’s glass remained untouched.

18 comments:

Sarah Laurenson said...

I love the contingency supplies. Good job.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I like the idea of the Hab and shutting down the processing core.

The Preacherman said...

Love sci-fi.

2009 a Space Oddysey in 250 words or less.

Bloody marvellous old bean.



Four Dinners (in awe)

Catvibe said...

Nice one. I guess the companion was the computer, a la Hal in 2001? Sad ending though...

Laurel said...

This was top notch. Terrific! Good details, scene setting, exposition, and satisfying story in 250 words or less? Who says it can't be done?

Boo-Yah!

laughingwolf said...

gotta teach the new cyborgs how to drink!

wrath999 said...

Great job here

alex

Ello said...

Oh I really liked how we got so much from this little vignette! It was like a whole movie there! Very nicely done!

desiderata said...

David:
Thanks for a story setting quite apart from most entries I have tasted here to date Still spinning the numbers to read at random -- sci-fi is my good cup of tea, YL

Chris Eldin said...

This one totally drew me in! At first I thought this was a dystopia piece, but dark sci-fi is pretty close, eh?
Good job!!

Beth Harar said...

I thought about this piece long after I finished reading it. Nice job.

Aniket said...

In the words of Vesper, 'Give me good sci-fi and you've won me'.

Hailing frequencies open!

Great setting and description.
Now I feel I must go back and pick up an Asimov.

BernardL said...

A very good sci fi take on the wine.

pjd said...

I was unaware the companion was the ship/computer until the very end. I even missed that the compartment slid open without him touching it, but I figured it was activated some other way.

Very well done. I love it when nouns are capitalized in dialog. I've known people who speak with capitalized nouns. Really, you can hear it in their voices.

The Event was, I assume, a nuclear war perhaps? Or some other event that wiped out the home planet's ability to save him?

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Wow, so much in so few words - brilliant job. Rich and clever piece of writing. Excellent story!

JaneyV said...

Great story. I love that life was celebrated before it ended.

Jade L Blackwater said...

Wonderfully constructed. An excellent collaboration of human and machine in historical context. Love the "contingency supplies" - marvelous.

jason evans said...

Sounds like the end of a long journey. Time to rest. The fatigue weighs.

High marks for pacing.