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Mine

A Tragedy

By Isaac Haldeman Published 6 months ago 5 min read
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Present

Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. Io can still hear Axium's in her internal comms unit, and his screaming sobs were all she could hear from their last exchange. She has a record of all NCOMMs between Axium and her, from back to the FISU(Forward Inter Solar Unit) academy. He was in her first Ceribal Hacking Ethics course, and they became best friends instantly. Axium was kicked out of lectures on more than one occasion for pushing back on some of the professors' statements. He was the most harmonious source of contrast in her life.

Minutes before, she watched him expand, rupture, and freeze just before he saved their lives. He didn't scream then; he only choked out blood and vapor, and the light from Oriobus made the frozen spray a pink ora around his body. I should be the one suspended within the frozen debris field, not him, Io thinks. Axium shouldn't have made the sacrifice, but he would say, "What is my big love for Io? for keeping my love alive, so make my death matter, Captain. My Big Love. Oh, and make sure you give them hell or send them back there."

45 minutes prior.

The blinding light of Oriobus floods the inside of the solar skidder cockpit. The Pilot's helmet reflects the flowing currents of molting gasses the ship flies through like a fish in water. "What's this reading near the station?" Io asks her co-pilot.

"I see it. Bet the data's a false face. It's another boarding attempt." Axium says through repressed excitement, "Get to test these upgrades again sooner than I expected."

"Only internal comms from here. Look at its subheading. That's into Oribus, right to the gate."

"Cap, we can't trust any of their data. Get me close, and I will get out there. I want to see how my Augs synch with the suit anyways. Your brother is excited to have some hard data from the field." Axium playfully adds.

"As long as you treat this like a potential threat." She commands.

"Aye, Aye."

IO clicks a few buttons, sets a course, and the entire ship forms what looks like a water bubble around it that disappears, leaving the gases to fill their void.

An f-class Astroid with a ship built into drifts toward the Rear Solar Station. A mile behind it, the water bubble forms, and the bright light of where they just came from flashes for less than a millisecond.

"If they have any sense, they know where they are here. I'm out." Axium says as he shoots out the back of the ship through a personnel deployment shoot, now dawing a Breacher Class Mech suit. "I'm locked and loaded and will be on them in less than four. Love. You should shift to the Station, guns up."

Io's face shield is d0wn now, and a clear look of concern is on her face. "This feels different, and I think you need to get back onboard." She says.

"Is that an order?" Axium chides. "I've trained for this, and as your co-pilot, it's my job to be the prob. The probing spearhead if needed."

Io uses a camera outside the skidder that can bring the ship up close and personal.

"This barge looks abandoned, but it is on a specific course," Io says.

"Let me get closer...Hold up. You see what am I seeing?" Axium's tone has switched from his predictable casual tone to grave. "These are not pirates. I have three suits in a scramble coming towards me. Have you seen these before? I'm recording."

Io locks on to three glowing black suits flash towards Axium, all with a bright white saber in front of them. Their suits dwarf his by at least 150%.

"Those are Destroyers! Get away from them! I can't shoot with you this close!"

Then over the radio, "You served our oppressor. You will now be burst like the countless civilizations your kind have sucked dry and left in piles of culture-washed scabs."

"Don't respond. Just get back to me. I can't jump this close without frying you." Io commands.

"I'm engaging. Get to the Station, IO! They are on me in 10 seconds." Axium, now recomposed, says. "What's my Big Love for?"

Axium's HUD display shows his options on where he can move, but he ignores them and stays put, "Come closer my new friends; I like to play. Rough"

As they are within a few meters of him, he fires his body thrusters towards the suit on the left; he holds a saber down and behind him. The middle and right suit shoot over the other, but only after Axium has already sliced his saber through the suit's saber welding arm. "AHHHG!" a cry over the radio.

"You won't need that!" Axium taunts, breaking radio silence. "Now you pretend pirates want to earn your place in the ranks of forgotten zealots!?"

Still over, NCOMMs IO pleads, "Baby! Draw them towards me! I can pick them off."

"It's for keeping my love alive," Axium says.

He is in a spiral with a suit in front and behind. The one behind him is missing a hand. One suit has been cut in two, frozen, charred blood drifting away from the wounds. The face shield of the suit is cut out, revealing a tattooed, nonhuman face.

Io watches what she knows will end her husband's life, and she is powerless to help. Their skidder only had space for one suit this trip, and her cannons would undoubtedly kill him if she hit her intended target.

"So make my death matter, Captain. My Big Love." Axium strains to say. He exits the spiral, and both suits are on him as he does. He manages to impale the one-handed suit, but the other slices of his saber wilding are off at the shoulder.

"Ahhhhhhhhhh!" Io is screaming. "Baby! NO!"

Axium doesn't scream. "So make my death matter, Captain. My Big Love. and please, can her middle name be Danger?" Axium flies away from his assailant, firing his wrist cannon as he does. The shields of the black suit deflect the bullets. "Oh, and give them hell or send them back there." He's then impelled and has his helmet ripped from his suit. It sees up close what the vacuum of space does to a human body. Anyone with ears can hear her screaming sobs in the emptiness.

The suit is now making its way toward Io. "Your husband? The father of your daughter? Captain Everdeen, stand down, and we will let you and your child live." This message was delivered via her NCOMMs. "You have no route of escape."

Multiple bubbles of vastly varying sizes scattered around the area, then, in the blink of an eye, an Armada surrounds Io's skidder.

... t.b.c..

Sci Fi
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About the Creator

Isaac Haldeman

NYC

I try and try.

I enjoy stories and attempting to tell them.

I’m a rich father before I am a poor artist.

@isaachaldeman

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