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Lucky encounters (standard:science fiction, 4454 words)
Author: David LambAdded: Jul 03 2006Views/Reads: 1821/1063Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A man with nothing tries to start a new life with the help of the union goverment, but things are not as they seem... With the help of a fugitve woman, will he be able to survive?
 



Lucky Encounters by David Lamb 

Do you believe in luck...? 

“And in the Union government's galaxy, there is a place for everyone...”


Steven sat on the bench and let the electronic blare of the tele-board
rush across him. He took a moment to look up at the 20 foot high sign, 
the sparkling woman on it speaking as she pointed out the central 
planets of the galaxy, with huge cities, their skyscrapers reaching up 
into the sky, long beaches, clear blue oceans... 

“So come, and live in the beautiful face of Lady Universe...” 

Steven smirked. If those places were Lady Universe's beautiful face,
where he was sitting now was her hairy armpit.  He took another moment 
to take in his dire surroundings. The shuttle port was riddled with 
damp; the walls were cracked, and covered in graffiti. The glass roof, 
once a wonderful view of the stars, was now rotting after too many 
years of the pigeons using it for target practise. Everyone else in the 
port with Steven fitted the same description: Poor, no direction, and 
solitary. They were travellers, and they were proud of that. Steven 
scowled as the smell of what a tramp was doing in a plot plant nearby 
him reached his nostrils. Before he could ask how someone could 
possibly vomit that loudly, a stark voice came over the speakers: “All 
ticket holders for the shuttle to Posiris please come to the admission 
desk.” “Finally”, Steven growled, and walked up to the queue with the 
other people, everyone letting out grumbles as they tried to push their 
way to the front. Eventually, a single line was formed, and Steven 
waited. The man in front of Steven was big. Not just big. Huge. He 
looked like a shaven bear, and about half as intelligent. A strong 
smell of nightclub toilets was hanging around him like an extra piece 
of clothing. When the man reached the terminal, his baggage was put 
through a machine that soon alerted into a large amount of high-pitched 
beeps. When the huge man was told that he was not allowed to take his 
37 flasks of Extra strength whiskey, he elected to drink them all 
instead. Not for the first time in his life, Steven wondered how his 
life had ended up like this. As the huge man stumbled over and spilt 
whiskey all over Steven's trousers, the tramp in the corner went on for 
an encore. 

She loved the chase. The thrill of escaping, of evading, of outwitting
her enemies.  She laughed as she skipped round the corner; it was just 
like when she was a child, with her dear brother chasing her round the 
farm. Except of course, now the farm is an industrial shuttle port, and 
instead of her brother, she was being chased by high-level security 
police. But the differences didn't matter really, along as she was 
having fun. “And oh what fun I'm having!” she thought, and let out a 
cry of laughter as the bullets skimmed her head and shattered a window. 


“Please make sure all luggage is safely concealed in the overhead
compartments...” 

Steven sat down and sighed. The shuttle was about in the same state as
the rest of this damn planet.  He sat back against the broken seat, and 
weighed up the chances of the ship disintegrating as it hit atmo. 
Travelling the universe wasn't working out the way Steven had planned. 
There had been no glorious adventures, no damsels in distress, and no 
civilisations in his dept for his amazing heroics. Well maybe that was 
a little over ambitious. But nothing had changed since he'd left his 
home on Io, Except that now he had even less money, and a much lower 
sense of personal hygiene. No, being a space-hobo was not how he had 
pictured his life. 

The girl ran round the corner, brushing sweat of her brow. The police
squads on this planet matched the rest of it: old and decrepit. It 
would be more challenging for her to outrun a weight watchers club. Now 
if this map was right... Perfect. In front of her was a huge spaceship, 
two stories high. This shuttle would fly up and dock with a mother 
ship, a huge metal goliath, six miles long, that would take the 
travellers to their next destination. If the cops thought it was hard 
chasing her round a shuttle port, the humongous ship in orbit would 
bring a whole new meaning to the phrase: “needle in a haystack.” As she 


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