Peggy McFarland and I crafted story called ‘Claims’. The story took place in the near future on Mars. Recently, we decided to revisit the Red Planet and fashion a few flash fictions to flush out the setting and some key characters.
So using the 3WW web site weekly prompt (hidden, roam, noble) and Friday Flash, I offer part 4 of my Prelude to a book idea I have.
For now… Enjoy.
Prelude Part 4
The screensaver came on with the Iglesia Corp logo twirling and roaming around a black screen.
Victor stared at his dark reflection. One finger rested on his lower lip, his eyes unblinking.
He reached over and tapped the screen. The logo cleared revealing Julia lying in a hospital bed. A small inner screen in the lower left corner displayed vitals. Her head was wrapped with bandages. The leaking turned out to be brain fluid. “It happens from time to time. Nothing to worry about,” Dr. Lang informed him.
Victor had plenty to worry about. He was the sole person responsible for Iglesia Corp backing the first attempted deep space colony ships, now lost beyond the Kuiper belt. The press wanted someone to blame and Iglesia Corp pushed him forward. First, he tried the noble approach about taking full responsibility but the press wasn’t buying it. If it wasn’t for his improvisational idea about a substantial cash prize for exploring or creating a route though the belt, his career would have ended right there.
He stood up and looked out the office’s panoramic view of the fourth tier. The tinged red sky highlighted the lush green parks, the half-shell Theater and the lake in the center of the Tier. Various new age buildings surrounded the lake in perfect architectural harmony. The true name of the lake escaped him, everyone just called it T4.
A light chime sounded.
“Mr. Vaudeville? Your two o’clock is here.”
“Send her in.”
The double doors to his office swung outward and an older woman wearing an a light green EVA suit and matching poncho walked in.
Victor’s patented smile came to his lips. He extended his right hand.
“Captain Tate. It is a pleasure to see you.” Her grip was strong and confident.
“Hello Victor.” She sat down a high-backed chair. “How is she doing?”
He swung his computer screen around. “Julia, I mean Dr. Raymond will be fine according to Dr. Lang. A few days, max. Is the Pathfinder ready?”
“Derek says we’ll be good to go.” She lightly chuckled to herself. “Oliver is overly excited about flying around in the belt, crazy fool.” She straightened her poncho. “We have thirty-five series two bots to direct without, “she points to the screen, “that Boyar. We need him back.”
Victor leaned over and noticed the Boyar in the room for the first time. It held Julia’s hand looking her over.
“I didn’t realize it was still here.” He turned off the screen. “I’ll have him sent over immediately.”
Captain Tate stood up to leave. “I’m not happy about using your Halo tech with my ship. Look what happened to the Goth Fleet.”
Victor hated when people referred the three lost colony ships as The Goth Fleet. He wasn’t a religious man by any means but the hidden joke about them finding God was a bit tasteless, even for him.
“I’ve always agreed with the theories about the size of each ship being a bit beyond one Halo user to control.”
“And the Pathfinder is just right?”
He reached down and turned the screen back on. He watched the Boyar holding her hand.
“For her it is.”