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Banished! — 4: Collaboration

When the others had all gone back inside, Jada remained, looking out over an ocean she had never seen. Right now, the waters were a chromatic sapphire that you could look through for the top several feet before becoming a darker blue and then black below.

By C. L. NicholsPublished 2 months ago 3 min read

When the others had all gone back inside, Jada remained, looking out over an ocean she had never seen. Right now, the waters were a chromatic sapphire that you could look through for the top several feet before becoming a darker blue and then black below.

She walked to the left side, then stepped carefully near the edge where the waves lapped gently over the metal. She lay belly down and extended her arms, scooping up water. Jada pulled her hands to her mouth and let the fresh liquid fall upon her lips, then enter her throat. Cold. It tasted very much like the well water from her youth she’d captured by winching a wooden bucket up from an underground river that ran fifty feet below, then gulping down the precious mineral water in a copper cup.

Jada cocked her head as she waited for any negative effects from the new water supply. After a minute, when no unusual consequence occurred, she repeated her actions. She felt refreshed, and her thirst was quenched. She decided that this source of potable water beat anything available from the city she had resided in for the last dozen years after leaving her village as a thirteen-year-old.

As she lay there, she replayed the Captain’s words. Matt. He seemed like a decent man, but Jada was one of a number on board the ship who hadn’t been a member of the Centrist World Party. Jada actually had not felt she belonged to any of the existing parties, each of which had been fanatical and unyielding. By not swearing allegiance to the New Liberation Party, either, that group had miscast her as belonging to the other. Jada simply wanted to live her life as she saw fit. She didn’t know yet how the majority here would view her beliefs, and whether she would be accepted by her own standards.

It was so quiet out here. A gentle breeze that came and went, plus the lapping of the water against the hull, were the only sounds at this moment. She looked into the black of the deeper water and wondered what other forms of life they would be sharing this world with. When they had gone through a quick and careless briefing after pleading guilty to insurrection and other major crimes, the only way to avoid the death penalty, it had been mentioned that everything on the new world was very capable of sustaining living things. Of course, they had no real knowledge of what actually existed here. Scientists hadn’t gotten that far yet in their understanding of what sort of planet they had discovered.

Jada figured they’d find out soon enough.

When she re-entered the ship, she motioned to the port controller that she was inside and finished and that he could reseal the airlock so that no water accidentally entered.

In her own modest quarters, she opened the cold box built into the wall and pulled out a wrapped sandwich she had brought back from her breakfast in the ship’s galley. She glanced at her wrist. She still had an hour before she needed to be at the Captain’s desk, in the front half of his tiny living/bedroom quarters.

Jada sat down at the edge of her narrow bunk, the only piece of furniture in her quarters, other than a small welded-down table on a swivel arm she could move in front of one end of the bunk, if desired. For the moment, she ignored the table and unwrapped the sandwich. It was some sort of unidentifiable lunch meat with a dressing and some ship-grown greens that she had never learned the name of. She ate it slowly, careful to consume all the vitamins and daily necessities that had been mixed into the meat.

She lay back on the cot with its thin mattress made of some synthetic material, thinking about where all this was heading.

Taking nothing for granted, she was hopeful that she could use her cooperation, or collaboration if necessary, with the Captain to gain a position on one of the leadership committees. Perhaps she could fit in after all. It was always better to be able to make the rules, rather than be forced to simply obey the rules of others.

AdventureScience FictionSagaPoliticsFantasy

About the Creator

C. L. Nichols

C. L. Nichols retired from a Programmer/Analyst career. A lifelong musician, he writes mostly speculative fiction.

clnichols.medium.com

specstories.substack.com

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    C. L. NicholsWritten by C. L. Nichols

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