Author's Note: This story is set in a parallel universe where the Space Age dawned much earlier than it did in our timeline. Slang words used will be explained in the notes at the foot of this chapter.
Holorecording Entry - Tyce:
My name is Tyce and I want to tell you all of my great fortune. I sit making a holorecording, but all the while I think of my true better half. Cathrytt is my true love. It's perfect, like an old Earth story. I know her because she is the daughter of my supervisor from my time spent working here on the Rosasphere, millions of miles from Earth.
Perhaps I should go back to the beginning.
The little sphere was a new body in the solar system. It arrived since the dawn of the space age. It now orbits our sun. I decided to enlist in the cystal mining expedition there because work was so hard to come by on Earth and I had been having trouble with Hrarna, my ex-girlfriend, who had taken to stalking me.
Why couldn't Hrarna just accept that we were no good for one another? I was worried that she would send me as crazy as she is herself. It really disturbed me the way she kept following me around, whether on the hoverbus or dogging my footsteps in her little hovercar. I had been getting really jumpy, always having to worry about looking over my shoulder and seeing her ogling me with those unblinking grey eyes and smiling her frozen smile, like some homicidal cheerleader. Once she even sneaked into my little apartment during my designated sleeping hours and I had the sight of her grinning at me through the mesh of my wardrobe door to give me a shock when I woke up.
The Rosasphere was a complete change of scene for me and it was what I needed. It was once a space rock, but got pulled into our solar system by our sun's gravity and now orbits between Earth and Mars. It developed its own breathable atmosphere when the frozen gases on its surface thawed out. When I arrived, I marveled at the sight of the blue-green speck of our Earth in the pinky-violet sky. The air tasted cool and crisp and the weaker gravity lent a new spring to my step.
Zarlex, my new supervisor showed me the ins and outs of crystal gathering pretty quickly. He was a good boss really and a decent conversationalist too.
In the caverns beneath the surface of the sphere, one could find little crystals of all colours imaginable. They could serve as raw materials for various functions. We always had to be on our guard and have our blasters ready, for sometimes there would be rockfalls and then there were other lifeforms in the twisting network of caves and tunnels...
Huge white worms would wriggle through cracks in the rocks and we would come upon hideous monsters made of writhing organs wallowing in pools of viscous liquid.
The work was hard, but at least this turned out to be a job I could do and Zarlex complimented me on how I made a fine junior partner.
Once, when I returned to our miner village beneath the dome on the surface of the sphere I decided to take my 168 hour leave allowance and by sheer chance, Zarlex's daughter, Cathrytt visited us. Zarlex had talked about her often. She had become part of the Space Corp, the outer planets division to be precise, although she was still in training and had yet to be on a real mission in the outer solar system.
The moment I saw her I was struck by her perfect beauty. Such a gorgeous face, framed by glorious red hair, with perfectly proportioned nose and cheekbones - not even Hrarna had such a fine physiognomy.
Where Hrarna was very pale with an almost flawless complexion, Cathrytt had fantastic, vibrant freckles over her entire face; all over her nose and rosy cheeks, covering her forehead and even her ruby lips...
She smiled at me, her full lips forming a special smile that I felt was just for me, her emerald-green eyes sparkling as she looked me over. She looked so alluring in her green-bronze Space Cadet uniform that hugged her figure, showing off the shape of her buttocks and firm breasts...
"Hi Tyce, Daddy's told me so much about you, how you are such a comfort to him while I'm not here. Thank you."
Her voice had the musical lilt of the Patagonian isles.
"Thanks. That is... I'm glad to see you too and that I have a job where I really fit in. And that's kind of your dad to say." I realised I was gabbing and felt my face flush.
Cathrytt beamed at me, "now we've both got leave coming up, let's plan something fun. It's always good to meet nice people."
Nice! She thought I was nice as soon as we met!
Over the days that followed, Cathrytt, or Cath as I came to call her, showed me fun new sports, such as hoverboarding high in the purple skies of the Rosasphere. The weaker gravity allowed us to reach great heights after I became accustomed to the new equilibrium.
"That's great Tyce, don't worry, I'm not going to let anything happen to you," said Cath once we had ascended so high that the tall, spindly mountain ranges of the Rosasphere were laid out far below us like a map.
The feel of the strange winds at this altitude made my blood sing. Cath circled me, the rosy sunlight shining off her freckled nose and glinting off her fiery hair. Even wearing heavy padding, she was still gorgeous.
A small shadow approached us, moving so quickly that I couldn't make it out.
"Don't worry, it's just an airfish," said Cath, linking her arm through mine. The ugly, puffed up thing hovered near us for a moment, sort of like a living grey balloon. Suddenly it expelled all its air and darted away.
That evening we swam in the amber pool beneath the dome that encompassed the living quarters of the crystal gatherers.
The amber solution we swam in was thicker than water and the computer that monitored the pool could create waves at any given time. Currently it was set on creating waves every hour. Now they started up again and washed us both up towards the bank of the pool. The amber solution went into my mouth and up my nose. It had a silky metallic taste. I forgot to ask Cath about its chemical composition.
She was laughing as she caught me before I could be hurled onto the bank.
We both rolled over onto the soft clay like surface of the shallow end of the pool. The rays of the setting sun bathed us in a violet light. I don't mind saying that at that moment, Cath's closeness was making me aroused. Her firm breasts were pressing into me. My erection was pushing against my bathing clothes. I hoped she wouldn't notice. It would have been so embarassing if she had.
"Those waves were a bit rough," said Cath, chuckling, her green eyes sparkling.
"That's nothing," I said, "it doesn't compare to having to avoid a shower of rocks. And even the cave monsters aren't as scary as Hrarna was, back on Earth."
I had told Cath all about my disastrous first relationship - with the one who I had thought was my true love, but had turned out to be a maniac.
Cath smiled, her green eyes lingering on my face. Was her expression both fond and a little sad? My mum was always better than me at reading people's faces. She could have told me.
"I've been thinking Ty, now that you've got experience as a crystal gatherer, I might be able to get you a job for the outer planet division. Perhaps then we could go on an expedition together when I am fully enlisted," she said.
I felt a swell of elation. Working for her dad had been OK, I had no complaints, but working with Cath the whole time? Better than I could have hoped.
"Oh yes!" I exclaimed and then wished I had been more reticent and felt my face flush.
Cath beamed. Her smile filled me with a warm glow.
Holorecording - Hrarna I
Hullo peeps, my name is Hrarna. I'm just a normal Space Age girl, don't let any rumour mongers tell you otherwise, alright?
I'm still keeping my diary, but this time my entries are in this holojournal. Today, I'm going to talk about my true love. I really don't care who knows it. It shouldn't be a secret. I'm going to get him back, so everyone might as well know about it.
His name is Tyce StarChaser, although I call him Ty. He was the delicious sort of boy who needs a strong woman to look after him. Frankly, his mum was too protective and smothered him. Moving in with me had been the best thing for him. I showed him what life should be like.
Ty is a perfect boy and I think anyone would agree. I always had to worry about buzzards wanting to steal him away from me. His eyes are blue, like the Antarctic sky. His hair is pure gold, like the kind of golden hair in the archetypal Antarctic colonist. He could actually be the poster boy for an ad to make other dumb terrestrials live out here on the Antarctic continent. We're both Antarcticans born and bred. My hair's just a dumb brown, but everyone says I have a fantastic face, so clearly we were meant for each other.
I mean come on, you could see it at a glance. We complemented each other for Xar's sake. His rich warm tan and my pale, flawless complexion - I see our faces now in the hologram of us together, side by side. Ah the nostalgia... but it's out with the old and in with the new. I'm moving on. The past is gone, but the future is nothing more than what I will settle for. I'm getting him back and that's final.
I had thought our relationship was working out so well at first. We made love with such passion - we were so compatible. We went everywhere together...
Why did we have to bicker? I admit I should have controlled my temper. I should never have hit him, even if I was frustrated. I admit it. No decent woman will invoke the gender double standard that says it's OK for a girl to be violent and I'm not going to. But he hasn't let me make it up to him.
He said he didn't want to live with me anymore, but I knew he would change his mind. I wasn't letting him out of my sight. I was right to tail him, incase he got into trouble or some unworthy buzzard snatched him up.
I admit that hiding in the cupboard of his garret room freaked him out, but I had only wanted to give him a nice surprise and show that I still loved him. Besides, I wanted to take some underclothing as a keepsake. He owed me that much. He didn't need to threaten me with the settlement law enforcers for Xar's sake.
Well now I have enlisted in the Outer Planets Division, in the Space Corp. We're based in a special station right at the south pole, where the land is still frozen and barren - no land modifications have ever been made for areas this far south. We train indoors at all times in the bare halls and the artifical terrains.
I knew I would show a special aptitude for this kind of work. They say I have endurance and emotional resilience. I do have determination, anyone could tell you that. I'm prepared to get up at a ridiculous time and do drills and gruelling exercises for hours on end because I have my ultimate goal in sight.
I signed up for the frontier missions, because those that do receive special powers, as long as they are willing to sacrifice something else in return. Once I am sufficiently empowered, Ty will be mine again. Nothing in the universe will stand in my way.
Holorecording - Hrarna II:
What did I tell you? I have done it. It's amazing, but I have done it. I'm going to tell you what I have accomplished, what I have gained and what I have sacrificed.
I pushed to be enlisted for the mission on the frontiers of the outer planets. To go to the most dangerous places that the Space Corp is looking to colonise and to lead the fight against GEBs that are out of control.
A fine idea, to engineer these weird monsters that like to eat rock and spew out oxygen or CFCs into the atmospheres of the moons of the outer planets. But at the drawing board stage, no one guessed that they might go wrong and want to attack colonists. That is a reason why there must be those like me that volunteer to have metahuman powers. We can be the ones to fight them.
After I signed up, these poker faced officials ushered me into a room with shiny onyx black walls, floors and ceiling. The whole place was bathed in an ultra-blue light - I can see colour better now and the lighting is not just blue as you peeps know it.
I'd been given this new, silver uniform and a hitec battle armour that fits like a glove, but I knew that I had to have metahuman powers to deserve to use them.
I was told to strip and go into a chamber where I would receive a symbiote - an organism genetically engineered to fuse with me and grant me more power than I had when I was just a human girl. I went into a pitch black cabinet that was so narrow I couldn't move, even though I am thin - then a clamp came down down and enveloped my head.
I'm telling you, that hurt like nothing I had ever thought possible - freezing cold and burning hot all at once, my skin on fire and my hair feeling wrenched out... Xar ... My whole head was wrapped in this thing so I couldn't move and couldn't even scream.
It burned and burned - my ears felt like they were coming off. I couldn't see. My lungs were bursting. And then the clamp lifted and the cabinet opened and I was in a room with gleaming white sterile surfaces, like a hospital. I felt fine again and the mirror showed me what I am now.
My whole head was really bright green, several shades brighter than lime green and so smooth and completely bald, like an egg. My long brown hair was all gone. That must have been why it had hurt. Every single hair has vanished. I touched my cheek and it felt really smooth to the touch. It felt good too, stroking my face. Pleasurable sensations coursed through me as I rubbed my cheek. When Ty kisses me again it should feel better still. And he had better want to. My lips are so different - such a dark green that they are almost black. This symbiote is now the skin of my whole head.
That's not all that's different. I can see better - colours are more vivid. I don't have my old ears, but I can hear better through these little holes in my head where they used to be. And I can smell new, exciting smells. I wonder what Ty's scent will be like when I next get hold of him.
I'm going to get you back Ty. I have the power. You are coming with me to the outer planets, make no mistake about it.
Author's Note: Slang used
Buzzard - Needy woman
GEB - Genetically Engineered Beast
Xar - Mythical alien being