So, when poking around my Documents directory, I found this incomplete short piece of Science Fiction. Might as well share it…
I wake up to find him still sitting at the workbench he’d been hunched over hours ago when I’d given up for the night. He hears the rustle as I search the nearby floor for the cleanest of my uniforms and asks, without turning around, “You awake?”
I am, barely.
He makes a little motion with his hand, and the beeping sound that had awoken me was replaced with music; some woman singing in a language I didn’t understand. The tune was catchy though, and I’ve slowly grown used to his style of music.
“I had a little breakthrough last night, I think I figured it out.”
He only says that when something’s broken. You’re paying to fix it, you know.
I roll up the mattress I’d been sleeping on and stuff it in a corner of the room, out of the way. Grabbing my glasses off the top of a nearby plastic crate, I walk over and took a closer look at what he’d been doing. A couple empty foil wrappers beside him indicated that he’d taken a break at one point, but I bet he would have worked straight through the night if such worldly desires could be avoided.
“Not every time! You sure? Well. Um, don’t worry. I’ll take care of that.” He looks aside nervously, then back down at the table in front of him. “Anyways, you see this?”
He had mounted some sort of circular coiled wire device to an chassis he’d been working at for a while. A familiar brownish colour; what is that, copper? That much would be worth a couple months of utilities if you sold it.
“You think? Maybe. I found it last night. It’s an induction coil, can do wireless power transfers. Tech’s been around for a while, but they never really took off. Bring it close to an AC power line, and you can run something off of it.”
So, a power tap? Those were outlawed years ago. They’d better not track it back to this place, it’s in my name, you know.
“Don’t worry, don’t worry! It’ll only pull a few milliwatts, it shouldn’t even show up on a power drain scan. They probably lose more power than that just in the crappy wiring they use in this area anyways. Besides, she’ll be moving around enough that they can’t pin it down to just one spot.”
I sigh, and check the time. Eight minutes until the next car with connections to my work; I must have slept through the beeping alarm for a good 20 minutes before I finally woke up.
You’d better fix whatever it is you took apart to find that by the time I get back.
“Yeah, yeah. I’ll get—” I hear as the door shuts behind me. If I walk quickly, and use the stairwell around the corner to the right…
And down one more hall to a larger open area. It’s suspiciously empty. I hold my hand out over the scanner as I walk onto the platform, and check the time again. Damn. Just missed it, and the next one’s not for another 15 minutes. I’ll be late.
I pick a bench near where the door will be when the car stops and sit, looking down the tunnel for the lights of oncoming traffic. Within a couple of minutes the crowds have returned; everybody has somewhere to go. One car passes by without slowing. It hits me with a blast of wind as it passes, heading on: it’s an express, destined for greater travels and deigning to stop here.
I spot some familiar people entering the room. In an area this big, names are ambiguous; it always seems like a distinct lack of creativity goes into naming, with patterns and trends changing from year to year. A name could tell you a little about someone, but it won’t uniquely identify them. So I don’t call out their names; nevertheless they notice that I’m here and walk over.
Jant makes it here first (her generation had an odd habit of dropping the last vowel in a name—it’s pronounced “Janet”), as Han is slowed down trying to negotiate his bulky mass through the crowd. It’s amazing that he could afford to be that big, but I hear that he’s making a little extra on the side doing something. I’ve never bothered asking what that is.
I told you it was incomplete. Sorry, no conclusion or ending here!