“Thissss ssshhuttle llloooksss liiike a trrrraaaiiiinn”
“boooounnnd fffforrr nowhhhhhereere.”
The Twins from the Southern Arm bowed low at their superior and continued to bow as the manager clicked their heels and walked away.
As the Twins were bent over, feeling the sting of their reprimand, they were in no state to notice that the floor of the hangar they now stood in wasn’t even a floor, but a barely cleared bare surface of moon dust, the hangar itself a popup quonset hut of solar microfiber, placed squarely across the moon’s only border, with their entrance in the adret, and the exit— where the shuttle’s launch ramp pointed— already within the ubac.
The Twins raised out of their long kowtow as they heard their manager’s rover pull away, and they went to work. One twin inspected the dull green outer hulls of the segmented shuttle, while the the other set to work on the internal components. Torch arcs flared and electrometers blinked and buzzed as the pair worked into the hours.
In time (longer than you would expect), they stopped, crawling out of and out from under the rocket’s modules to clean themselves off, straighten their uniforms, and prepare themselves for presentation as they heard their Manager return— not alone, this time.
Three Managing Officers and two green service droids disembarked from the lunar tank that had trundled into the hangar. The droids treaded into position on the left and right of the ship’s main fuel segment, while the Managers took position around the Twins. From their vantage, the Left Twin could see that one of the flanking Managers didn’t bear any Branch Standard they recognized, but the Right Twin quashed their questioning with a sideways glance— their mission did not include questioning the Corporate Partnerships, their mission included only themselves, this pea-colored rocket, and the Rings.
the Twins signaled.
“The sssshiiip issss rrreeeadyy fffffooorrrr launnnnnch,
Weeee willl deeffffeat thhhheee faaaallllsssseeehooooddds,
Weee wiiiil desssstrrroy
thhhhhe fffffounnnnderrrr ooff
Ten Thousand Lies.”
[Keep reading: Chapter Five]
[Or, go to: The Beginning]