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Delta 88 was all Pia had ever known, she was born there and she was sure she would die there never having touched anything but the synthetic soil onboard. She spends every spare second dreaming of breathing real, unrecycled air and looking up at the stars with her feet planted on a place where gravity wasn't simulated. But dreams are useless, aren't they?

Scifi / Romance
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

Thin rivulets of blood red dripped between her fingers, she cursed under her breath and quickly brought her lips to catch the droplets - but she was too slow in her approach, too distracted. This was the third time this week that she had stained her DHS (Delta Horticulture Sector) uniform jumpsuit – Pomegranate were her one true weakness. Pia huffed, gently threw her book to the grass; out of the splash zone, and dabbed furiously at her murder scene of a sleeve to absolutely no avail. Apus was going to get the chance to chastise her once again and it wasn’t even midday yet, this was shaping up to be a very long day.

Pia, annoyed with herself, quickly packed her book and fruit up into her Delta-Pod. She hoisted it onto her back with ease and got to her feet, spotting her supervisor out of the corner of her eye. She quickly made her way out of the Orchard and got to work harvesting tomatoes, cucumbers and berries in the Farming Sector – maybe if she made quick work of the harvest today she could leave fast enough to avoid Apus' lecture.

Several hours and exactly 6.5 boxes of produce later – her work for the day was done. Pia scuttled to the iris scanner to clock out as fast as her tiny 5”2 legs would take her. Somehow, miraculously, she had managed to end her day early and was looking forward to meeting her grandmother for canteen prep duty. Cooking and meal preparation was something Pia definitely didn't want to do for a living but that her and Calliope bonded over nonetheless.

‘Cassiopeia?’ she turned around in fright, Apus' weary, wrinkle lined eyes were staring disapprovingly at her as they always did – Pia hated when people called her by her full name, it was her mother's name not hers. ‘Orion wants to see you' he said through pursed, angry looking lips – was he actually angry? Pia wasn’t sure, but he definitely had a permanent scowl and had for as long as she had trained under him.

‘Uh, will do. Thanks. Stars be bright, Apus' she said, smiling sweetly and nodding obediently. He grinned back, revealing his eerily white, perfect dentures to Pia – she shuddered a little. He went on his way out to the field with a curt nod. Pia threw on her jacket, turned on her heels and headed right for Delta Bridge – no use keeping Orion waiting, he was an impatient man and Pia hated confrontation. She knocked gently on the frosted glass sliding door to Orion's office and it opened with a quick, mechanical thunk – Orion locked eyes with her and made a soundless ushering gesture with his hands. The door closed as quick as it opened.

‘Ca- Pia; I’m so glad you came' he said warmly, with a smile that betrayed none of the choiceless nature of his summon. Pia was pleased that he corrected himself when he addressed her however, he must be in a good mood if he cared enough to think. ‘Sit, let’s talk' She sat politely with her hands in her lap and smiled at Orion.

‘Of course, Orion. What did you have in mind?’ He usually called her to pick her brains about farm productivity but he had a different energy about him today.

‘I have a proposition for you.’ He grinned. Pia was intrigued, but instantly nervous.

‘Oh? What did you have in mind, Sir?’ She squeaked nervously, Orion was still smiling, it almost looked as though he wanted to laugh at how nervous she was.

‘In 3 days, we’re making human contact with Eden as you know. We’ve been looking down on her for 2 years, waiting and preparing.’ Pia nodded, she knew. She was excited to watch the shuttle launch from the star viewing lounge and had been counting down for months.


‘I need you.’ Orion looked her dead in the eye.

‘Pardon me?’ Pia's throat was dry, she tried to swallow but failed.

‘I've been talking with Apus. He has reluctantly agreed to relinquish his place on the Horticulture Team, you and I both know he’s much too old to finish a project as big as Eden.’ He continued, gesturing and talking with his hands. Pia's heart stopped, she couldn’t believe her ears.

‘I'm sorry?’ She said incredulously, blinking at Orion with wide eyes. Orion got to his feet and walked around the table. He held his hand out to shake Pia's, she took it reluctantly and stared at him blankly.

‘Congratulations, Pia. You’re going down’

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