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6th December
posted by amber

Ship Cat VII

Cutie’s kittens are gone, so are Colleen’s kittens. In their place is a new Brad, but Colleen’s shipmate is nothing like he was before.

Cutie likes him better now. She can tell he isn’t going to kick her any more. There’s a sense of niceness and power around him that certainly wasn’t there before.

At the moment, even if Brad was inclined to kick her, he’d be too busy. When he reappeared after being gone for several days, an alarm was sounding in the command room. He and Colleen are trying to deal with that now, as Cutie hovers anxiously in the doorway. Since the birth of her kittens, she’s known that outside this ship is a deadly lack of everything she needs to live. Possibly the kittens could live there – whatever brought the kittens to her had to travel through it – but, as a mother, she isn’t prepared to take that chance. After all, she did contribute something to their being.

“Crap!” Colleen cries. “No way can we make it to Kepler-II now. Half our fuel bled away. I’m sorry. I went into a funk after you disappeared; I should have been paying more attention.”

“Don’t worry about it,” says the man who looks like Brad. Cutie isn’t sure he should be called Brad any longer. “Let’s see where we can go. There’s got to be an inhabitable planet around here somewhere.”

But Colleen is curled up on the floor, shaking. “Don’t bother. If there was something nearer, that’s where they would have sent us. There’s nothing.”

“Yes, there is – come look at this. And we have just enough fuel to get there.”

As he says this, Cutie sees a pink halo, a nimbus of kitten-essence, above his head. She enters the room and rubs against his legs, purring loudly.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section of any story.

To see all the Ship Cat stories, click on the tag “Ship Cat,” below.

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