Writing Prompt

Writing Prompt #7 – If I looked into your fridge right now, what would I find?

Eve’s Sacrifice

The Steady Matron settled into high, geosynchronous orbit above the Arecibo Satellite Museum., or thereabouts. Earth stopped spinning inside its reinforced magnetic field. It shimmered as it contained the roiling battles between methane clouds and water hurricanes. Captain Morgan fought the urge to spit. Instead, she just scowled at the ruined planet.

“Captain, Grandmother has sent word. Forty minutes until rendezvous, and 10 more for orbit matching and docking.” She smiled, feeling warmth relax the knots in her shoulders. Gloria was so excited. She waved internal coms open.

“Any special needs that we can satisfy for Grandmother’s crew?” She unbuckled, checking over the ship-to-ship docking equipment for damage done by the Trade Commission.

“No, Captain. They run with Earth atmo, but insisted on wearing breathers. I offered to cycle our life support, but Captain Gyeong read me the riot act, and would have none of it.”

Captain Morgan’s eyes narrowed. “Gyeong is captain of the Grandmother? What happened to Captain Sullivan?”

“You didn’t hear? Arrested six planet months ago.”

“Thanks, Gloria.” She waved the channel closed and sighed. This hand-off would be both easier and harder than she’d expected. She wouldn’t have to deal with Gloria and Sullivan glaring daggers at each other over her. But Gyeong? She was perfect for the Grandmother. Just paranoid enough to keep her compatriots safe operating in the midst of the people they were leaving behind, but too paranoid to take the hand-off without lots of double-checking. They’d be docked for a while, but not long enough to arouse suspicion. It’d be tight. She brought up the system’s power distribution system and powered up the lab equipment in the garden. They’d have to stop and recharge on their way out of Earth space, but it’d be worth it to shave seconds off the transfer.

The air shifted in the room, and the scent of sandalwood beat Gloria into the cockpit. She knelt behind the chair, her clothes rustling. Her hands gripped the Captain’s shoulders, and kneaded tense, stressed muscles. She opened her mouth to ask Gloria if she would be prepping for the docking, and chuckled as she realized that was exactly what was happening. “That… is just what I need.”

“I’m sorry that you heard about Sullivan from me.” Gloria pushed into a knot next to the Captain’s shoulder blade, and smiled at the repressed scream. “Although, I’m sure you’re relieved that he and I won’t be at each other’s throats.” Another knot, this time met with a whimper. Gloria’s hands moved up, kneading mercilessly. “Gyeong is no dummy, though. She’ll see us through this.” Next the upper arms, muscles squeezed and released. The Captain noticed that her eyelids had slid shut without her permission. Mutinous bastards. “She’s got a botanist on board, who wants to adopt our greenhouse idea for the Grandmother.”

Her head lolled forward as Gloria’s hands moved to her neck. “In an Earth atmo ship? Won’t the plants clean out the crap that make it what it is?”

“Apparently, that’s the point. They figure that it’ll happen slow enough to condition the crew to non-Earth atmo in prep for a move. When the exodus happens, they want to use it for the colonists.”

“Huh.” Gloria draped her arms around Morgan’s neck, fingers brushing her collarbones. “That’s a fantastic idea.” Gloria’s breath was warm, tickling the back of her neck. “We’re going to have to recharge when we reach the Kuiper Belt. When we’re drifting, you and I are going to have some one-on-one time.”

“Is that an order, Captain?” Gloria had shifted, and her lips tickled Morgan in the most wonderful way.

“I’ll make it one if I have to.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Gloria gently kissed the back of her Captain’s neck, then sighed. “you’d better get to the galley, if you’re going to meet them in the lab.”

Morgan released the pilot’s harness and swung out of the chair. “Right, as always.” They stared at each other, smiling, and then Morgan left. Two hallway segments and a right turn took her to the refrigerator. She reached to the back of the top shelf and pulled the red and green apple out. It’d take a bit to calibrate the lab instruments to verify and decode hidden within the seeds’ DNA. She should have it ready just as Gyeong and her people boarded. Timing would be everything.