For all my glib jokes about it bein' a long walk home, for all the times I have been in bad situations a long way from help, not until now had I really been convinced of my own mortality.
Irene was going to kill me and I wasn't even sure why. Maybe silence wasn't the best policy. "Irene--" I squeaked, started over, geesh, think, "Irene, how can I make things better?" It sounded fake even to me.
"Oh, do shut up." It hadn't gone over well with her, either. "You grubby people, with your grubby ships and your miserable, uncivilized planets. There is dirt everywhere! You have no idea; Wiitherspoon Processing was clean. It was orderly. Things made sense. This is all chaos and barbarism." She emphasized the important parts by yanking on the lanyard attached to my wrists."It's a good thing I kept up my militia training. Those contractors--" She meant Mil/Space. The Federation of Concerned Spacemen is as close to a real government as the Edgers get but it's not that close. "--They are good enough for routine but I have always known it was just a matter of time before you people attacked us again."
Right over the edge. I am dead, just as dead as Katrina. "They should have just let your 'Federation of Concerned Spacemen' kite off with an entire Moonbase?" She snorted and gave the lanyard another painful jerk. Geez, I'm so good at this. Gotta calm her down. It was hard to think what to say. "Irene, they pretty much did. All that was over a long time ago. We're all friends now."
"Friends? Friends? You're helping take our Founders back to the dirt and carrying Nazis right beside them, too!"
IT'S A KLUGE
2 days ago