Monday, October 24, 2011

Ale O’Clock

by Grace Bridges -

Eleon McManus loped through the lush open area of Zirconia’s sector B3. The curved window to his right formed a sky beyond, which glimmered with occasional schools of fish in the murk.

Passing a fruit tree, he longed to snag an orange. But these plants passed down from Earth were too rare, and he didn’t want the Enforcers to chuck him in the slammer, not when he had some time off tomorrow.

He slipped through the last of this sector’s forest and reached the stairs to the residential pods that overlooked it. After climbing up to the third level, he swung onto the walkway that rattled with his steps. He paused a moment, then raised his hand to a buzzer.

Half a minute later, the door unsealed with a whoosh and Gryphon Sylt looked out. “Mac! Sight for sore eyes. Come in!”

Eleon passed through the thick rubber-rimmed frame into his friend’s abode. “How’s life, Sylt?” He peered at the other man’s haggard face. “What’s going on?”

Gryphon shrugged, a wild, flailing maneuvre. “System’s down again. All the history’s inaccessible. And I have no apprentice to help write down what’s in my head.”

“Can’t the system be fixed?”

“It’s not graded as essential. There’s not enough spare manpower from the IT department.”

Eleon didn’t know what to respond, so he wandered to Gryphon’s kitchenette and poured two lavabush ales from the plastic barrel in the coolstore.

Gryphon sighed. “Maybe they’re right. Maybe it doesn’t matter, as long as we survive.”

Eleon pushed a glass into his hand. “We’ll lose our identity if we don’t remember where we came from.”

“Oh, I’m writing down what I can, never fear. It’s not a lost cause. Only almost.”

“Well then.” Eleon lifted his drink and the two clinked together. He took a sip and grimaced at the slightly bitter taste. “Here’s to happy writing!”


  1. Good one! I was going to say more, but the main core just went down and I can't remember what else I was going to say.

  2. "Maybe it doesn't matter, as long as we survive."
    *shivers* That line really opened up for me the aspect of Avenir Eclectia's isolation from Earth, which was really the only lifeline they ever had. All they have left of that connection is history and memories, and now even that is starting to slip away.
    Great story!