“The Boy on the Spaceship” (Morning Fiction 5/5/2018)

The boy sat up from his chair, gazing softly out of the porthole window.

“So many stars…”

The ship rumbled quietly through the dark of space, pincushions of light piercing the infinite blackness.

“ATTENTION. Battle duty will commence in 10 minutes.”

The boy breathed a sigh and wheeled his chair around. He stood up and walked to the dress chamber. The apparatus whirled like a clockwork carriage, robotic talons jetting from side panels to snap the metallic armor on the boys rivets.

A black helmet with diamond embroidery fell from the ceiling, pushing softly atop the crown of his head. The visor in his helmet flashed a bright green light and then, the boy saw everything.

“Simulation engaged.” A voice spoke softly in his ear.

“Proceed down the hallway towards the conversation chambers.”

The boy stretched his arms and legs, testing the weight of his armor, and exited the relaxation room.

Mechanical men and dwarvish buggers scattered purposely up and down the hallways. The boy smiled as his simulated senses awoke inside him. He watched as trails of white light led people, following their own pathways towards purpose.

He looked down at his chest to see his own. There was nothing there.

He knew he was different. He knew he wouldn’t be able to see his own path. He was in training. He hasn’t acclimated to the system he had been birthed in. A system of solar exploration and discovery. The Cosmic Collective. He was still learning.

“Just trust your instincts. Trust your intuition. You’ll get there”, the voice spoke in his ear.

The boy let out a frustrated breath as he continued his journey toward the conversation chamber.

Yesterday, the discussion had been planetary risk mitigation, today, they would be discussing interspecies communication.

He was to be a representative for his kind, and he knew nothing of the responsibility. He didn’t even know what he could do, why he was chosen. He didn’t even know what he would do with all the knowledge. He only knew he had to learn.

“What are you doing boy!!! Get your ass in gear!”

A dwarvish bugger hollered from the porthole above him, face sunken and scaly, eyes beaming frustration.

“Shit, my bad sir, I didn’t realize I was holding up the line.”

The boy looked behind him and saw the problem.

He looked forward and saw the future, robots and buggers following their beaming paths of light.

He looked down at his feet and saw where he stood. The platform he was on. A porthole to The Pit.

He hadn’t been down there in days, and he for sure didn’t want to go back. Quickly, the boy shuffled off the platform and continued his pace.

He patted the scimitar strapped to his belt. It was positioned comfortably in its sheath. He breathed a sigh of relief and continued moving.

One foot in front of the other, he proceeded to the conversation chamber.

He stood at the entry way and waved his wrist monitor at the porthole scanner. The gate slid open and the boy stepped inside.

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