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Frigid

Posted on Sun Feb 12th, 2017 @ 3:06am by Commander Tyro Adina
Edited on on Sun Feb 12th, 2017 @ 3:18am

Mission: Winter Shoreleave
Location: Illecom
Timeline: Prologue

:: ON ::

"Hold onto my hand. Eyes up. Don't try going too fast. Woah! Fuck."

The scratching of metal on the ice made a nearly inaudible hiss from outside their suits. Tyler had let go of his sister and was on his hands and knees. Above them, a spectacular aurora hovered close enough, almost to feel as if they could reach out and touch it. Beyond were thousands of stars, one of which might have had Earth in its orbit. Tyler adjusted himself onto his bottom, sighing in frustration. He felt upset and hungry.

"Hold on." Haven took off across the ice. The way she moved, even encumbered by the old-fashioned space suit was poetic. She swerved the length of the ice, gliding across it like a low-flying bird, seamlessly retrieving something from her belt at the same time. Her legs braided one over the other as she pushed herself to an astonishing speed, her strides more than any species was capable of as she transitioned one blade to the other. As she curved her way forward, a wide cone of red energy blasted over the far snow bank. She slowed herself with one foot, sailing on the other as she used a handheld phaser to melt the snow into ice, cutting her way out under the falling snow.

Tyler watched, having set himself on his knees. He could still barely stand, yet his sister moved like a falling star over the ice. He heard his stomach growl and whimpered, barely able to see his sister from so far away.

"I'm here, just wait a second," her voice crackled through their comms. She was hauling something out of the snow, and was soon on her way back.

Illecom had not seen a ship in eighteen months. The installation had a single replicator, but the auroras above them brought darkness as well. Much of the power grid had been damaged in a series of solar storms that the Adina father had not predicted. Repairs were slow, and the geothermal was struggling to keep all the vital systems online. The store of food was rationed for now, and they were just waiting for a ship to transit by. Out on the frontier as they were, it was just one other thing to overcome.

"Dad?" said Haven, kicking her way back. She was pushing a hovering skiff which had a load of snow inside it. It hadn't been useful, or taken into storage. Light snow continued to fall on the flats where she skated.

"An hour still. Your suits still have oxygen for longer than that," offered Hugo. Haven didn't bother responding, instead starting slowing down as she approached her little brother with the skiff. It was huge compared to him. She skated in a circle around them both. "Ty, take hold. Get up, come on."

"I'm already exhausted," he complained. Tyler was attending holographic classes, relayed to the colony by passing starships. For months, they had no signals, and he'd been repeating lessons. Haven picked up speed, drawing a lemniscate into the ice and slicing through again as she dove back toward Tyler. She stopped so hard that shreds of surface ice splattered into him, and she had to take a step before coming to a full stop to keep from tripping. Then she got down to pick him back up to his feet.

"You aren't giving up," she insisted. "It's hard, and that's the best part." She helped Tyler despite his protests to take hold of the edge of the skiff. It kept him steady, and she pushed it a little bit until he was awkwardly wobbling forward behind it in his ill-fitting space-suit.

"You're getting it..." she reassured, moving slowly beside him.



Tyler woke up on the skip as the sun set. He woke op to contractions in his belly, from a dream that he'd been inside the installation having dinner with his mom, during a time she was at home. He stood up, looking around him in confusion for a moment. There in the distance was the outline of the installation, dark on the purple-blue horizon of packed snow and ice. Movement caught in the corner of his vision scared him for a moment, and he rocked the hovering skiff turning to investigate, but it was just his sister. Haven was moving ponderously across the ice. Then, after a controlled and deliberate increase in speed, she lifted off her feet and twirled in the air. She landed, leaning back, extending her arms. The way she moved made Tyler think of solar flares, caught somehow in slow motion, distorted and extended to trick the senses. Haven pulled her arms in close, straightening like a beam of light, spinning rapidly, then slowed yet again as she spread and pulled up into another gravity defying jump. Haven wanted to be an Olympic figure-skater. She'd been to earth, met with professionals. It seemed all but certain that she would achieve her dream, and she wanted Tyler to experience some of her joy.

He slid off the side of the skiff, looking down at the ice as he struggled to find his balance. But he began to skate, steadily, toward his sister. He was still hungry, tired, but the suit was warm and over they hours they had been out he'd managed to learn the basics of skating. It was just like his sister said. He felt more and more comfortable and weightless as he sped toward her, only until he had to stop that is, and slipped onto his back.

He heard Haven dying of laughter through the comms, and she was soon next to him on her knees, patting his stomach to make sure he was alright. She pulled him by the arms into a sitting position, when the lights of the installation came on. They were bright, even from as far away as the two siblings were. Over the comms, they both heard their dad invite them back.

"It's working again. How are you doing out there, little-bird?" Haven replied, helping Tyler to his feet and keeping him steady with a hand on one of his shoulders. "Roger, Dad. Did you get the replicators too?" Haven started pushing Tyler toward the facility, and he was slow to pick up pace. She matched him every stride.

"We caught a hail from a benzite captain ...maybe a day or so away. He's agreed to resupply us on the batteries that blew out, so Felicity says to save the power a little longer." Tyler heard the conversation, and lost balance a moment. Haven stabilised him. "Okay Dad... we're on our way back. That cargo skiff's still out here, by the way. It has some juice left."

"Hmm, I'll send Tyson out to get it. We don't want to fiddle too much however, or we could blow the fix."

"Alright. Talk to you in a little. Out."

When they got back, oxygen was filling the habitation pods of the facility again. Tyler ate a portion of Tyson's dinner, after some persuading. Two days passed, then after helping them with repairs on the facility's power-plant, the benzite captain shared the first real dinner which the family had had in months. The entire research team was there to celebrate, and nobody wanted to miss any gossip from the passing captain. He explained that few ships were venturing out so far from the Federation core because the route took them too close to the Cardassian DMZ. Someone had signed an ill-advised treaty, and terrorism was on the rise. Petty politics, he believed, yet... he warned them that trade and supplies might be scarce for a little while. What harm could it do to be prepared for worse than an outage of power?

:: END ::

 

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