An Extraordinary Vehicle

Krash krash-sideways

Published on April 4th, 2013 | by Krash Sideways


7. Something Nuclear

I crashed sideways through the doors to the vast space at the base of the semi-assembled rocket.
“Don’t light that cigarette!” I roared in a rage that could have ignited the place by itself.
“Cigarette? What cigarette?” The silhouette stepped out of the shadows. Blue. Her hair was blue. “Do you think I would sully my young lungs with filth on the eve of our maiden mission?” She flicked blue hair from her eyes. It crackled to the touch.
“Just beware of that fuel,” I insisted, trying not to inhale the fumes.
And then I connected.
And then I said something extraordinarily impolite.
“Krash,” she said. “Long time.”
“Who the bloody hell let you in here?”
“A very sweet young man from security. Simon, I believe. I think he liked me.”
Purple liquid dripped from the engines suspended overhead, and pooled in a thick spill at the feet of Pernicious Kiss.
“What is that?” she wanted to know. “Fossil? Synthetic? Bionucleic?”
“Stay away. It’s a treacherous cocktail of methane, youthane and dark stranger concentrate. One stray spark and we and that rocket will be in a parallel latitude in bite size pieces. What the bastard buggery do you want? I’m busy. Can’t you see I’m busy?”
Pernicious uncurled her peculiarly long tongue in a way calculated to antagonize me. “How’s Miriam?”
All the oxygen was sucked from my lungs. “Fine,” I croaked. “Alright. I don’t know.”
“Didn’t last? How sad.”
“Yes it did,” I said. “It’s just a mutual, you know, trial, well, time to breathe, some space.”
“She wanted some space? I’m not surprised.” She said it softly, an exquisite kick to the guts.
“No, I wanted space. To go into space. You know.”
“Nobody’s buying it, deary.”
“So what? It’s my business. Let them think what they like!” I was shouting, I realized. A bit. It annoyed me even more. She had made me shout a bit. What in the name of piss was she doing here anyway? I’d explicitly said she wasn’t to be told, talked to, or allowed inside.
She took a long look around the rocket silo, littered with pieces of ultra-hi-tech crazy-expensive heat-resistant carbon-poly-laminate-aluminum or whatever the catalog called it. “Where would you like me to start? Something nuclear? I do love to tinker with something nuclear.”
“I want you to go away,” I said, distracted, confused, intensely annoyed, and suddenly horribly afraid I understood.
“But sweety-pops,” Pernicious said, a silvery lash of malice smothered in sugar. “I’m afraid that’s not what it says in my contract.” And she stroked her crackly hair in a casual way.
Her hair was blue.

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