Monday Morning Commute: Dust & Rust

My bones’ve been ground down to dust & rust.

Been on this goddamn station, three wayposts-past where anyone but daredevils venture, for goin’ on five years now. Sure, it can be okay. Stable, at least. We’ve managed to get the radiation shields up-and-runnin’, with only the occasionally blip lettin’ the sun’s dark beams through to do their dirt on us.

Food replication’s strong and we get all of the spacecast signals and when we’re feelin’ real nostalgic we’ve got arguably the finest library on anything post-Pluto. Bellies full and minds engaged, we know there’re folks far worse off than us.

Hell, seems like couple times a quarter we even get to host a crew making their way to the Beyonder Fringes. Scientists and explorers and artists and even goddamn pirates, all of `em welcome to help themselves to some food and drink and dancin’ in the humble station we call home. And when they come, it’s goddamn glorious — factions and rivalries forfeited in the name of taking a breath and enjoyin’ themselves.

And we love it.

But those moments, while sustaining, are few and far between. Most days, even when we’re just peacefully orbiting, carry the potential for disaster. Shields can blip out and gamma rays can bludgeon and air-processors can spark and water can run out.

Y’ever find yourself desperately touchin’ down upon an unstable volcanic moon ’cause your water system bitched out? Y’ever hit the sandy gray soil of that satellite and frantically rover over to the emergency well that your forefathers established when they were pioneerin’ this sector? Y’ever beam with the promise of hope-fulfilled as you pull and pull upon the rope of that well, feelin’ great cause the bucket’s weight promises water? Y’ever curse your life because the bucket is filled, for sure, but not with water and definitely not with gold?

Sometimes when y’need water and you’re open to gold, all y’get is dust & rust.



My name is Rendar Frankenstein and my job is to get everyone discussing what they’ll be spending the next week or so watching, reading, eating, hearing, or smoking. Now that you’ve survived my indulgent attempt at a science fiction vignette, it’s time for us to show off our wares.

I’ll start!

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