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17 March 2009 @ 09:55 pm
just for fun - thank you to xxthesentinelxx  


Common Sense

“It’s so quiet,” said the man, sitting on the edge of a rocky outcrop.

Beyond the piles of basalt, he could see the faint line of an ancient beach sweep a curve across the horizon. A blue sky, brighter star and some crabs casually scuttling over the sand and it could nearly pass for an Earthen beach. It would need water though... something distinctly lacking from the planet’s surface.

It was too warm here for the water. Liquid evaporated in swirling clouds of steam but then found itself trapped less than a hundred metres from the ground by the pressure of the noxious gases in the atmosphere. The suites the explorers wore stopped their bones from snapping but travelling over the alien world was difficult and best left to the rovers happily humming over a nearby mound of dirt.

“It’s not quiet,” replied the pilot, “your helmet’s just thick.”

“Lay off. Two thousand years in stasis and you still can’t get over it.”

“You didn’t beat me,” she snapped, throwing a small fleck of rock at the man’s helmet. He would have heard that, loud and clear. “We tied. Not even that,” she corrected herself. “If memory serves correct, you cheated.”

“Listen,” the mist was rising now, blanketing everything but the upmost parts of the lava outcrop. It was like sitting amongst a canopy of angry black rock, well above the clouds. “We’re both here aren’t we – sitting on another world. It may have taken a different kind of intelligence for me to get here, but it worked. Outsmarting the system is no small feat. If you can get it – you deserve it,” he finished.

“Perhaps,” she replied, “but I’d still rather have a real technician with me. What happens if something goes wrong? I suppose you didn’t think of that. You’re in it for the thrill, that’s no use to me or this mission.”

“Relax,” the man rolled onto his side, hindered by his clunky spacesuit. It took a while for him to make it to his feet, unaided by his partner. “I brought the manuals with me. All you need these days is commonsense and a reading certificate.”

“And where are these manuals then?” she eyed him with a glint that he didn’t like.

“The shuttle, Safe and sound.”

“That’s good,” the pilot smiled. “I’d run then.”

What the man hadn’t seen was a trail of oxygen leaking from the back of his suit. A micro-hole, ripped by one of the nasty rocks he’d been determined to lounge on, was busy gushing his precious air and pressure into the hostile world.

He lowered his eyes to it, prodding it with his glove-covered finger.

“How are your reading skills?” he asked frantically.

“Significantly better than your commonsense,” she replied, taking hold of his arm as they made a dash to shuttle.