Monday, August 27, 2012

Braided Wire - Part 1.

The following is the first in a piece of a story born from a single submitted seed.

One glance up at the afternoon sky was all the reminder Pax needed that it was nearing shift change. He could of referenced his own internal chronometer, even called on his systems to calculate a precise time based on his given position relative to any number of variables. But marking the sun's descent from the sky was enough. A small joy he had grown to treasure. Even so, Pax had work to finish. The dock's were a lifeline for the young colony and one single fact he had come to hold absolute was that it was not going to fix itself.

From atop his over-patched perch he directed the sun bleached yellow freight sled to glide over the pebble strew dirt towards a makeshift wall formed from old storage containers. As he adjusted the throttle he could both feel the inertia negators as they kicked in to slow the sled just as he marked the change in octave of the vessel's whisper like hum. About 3.42 hertz off he noted, probably a sign the old work horse would fail in about 4, perhaps midway through 4 shifts from now. Best he make sure to trade shifts with O'Bannon and ensure he was on hand to overhaul it.

Pax had no doubt in his peers capability to handle such repairs. But for him it was a matter of pride, if it was something he could handle he always felt better knowing it was taken care of. Much like the pressing matter of his current task; the cargo lift for this storage bay was out and sorely needed to handle some supplies arriving in a few hours. Didn't take more than a moment to observe the problem - some loose wiring had gotten snagged and become shredded. A routine enough repair, he would just have to run some new wire and splice it in. It was something Pax had done a million times but as he reached for a spool of wire he could hear an old familiar voice.

"Your new here," began the small bearded figure crouched over a length of wires. "So I will give you a piece of advice - always braid your wires. It'll save you some headaches later on," he continued. "But why braid the wire?" Pax replied not aware of the complete lack of understanding written on his face. "Well, son," he began without even looking up from his work, "by braiding the wire we strengthen it. Those single strands, once woven together form something far stronger and durable than their individual parts. Much like people," he added as he stood up to double check his handiwork. "Name's Jerry," he proclaimed, wiping his hands on a scrap of blue checkered cloth before holding one out in greeting.

"Pax, you can call me Pax," he remembered nervously informing Jerry as they shook hands for the first time. And just as sudden as the memory had gripped him, Pax now found himself looking on as he finished braiding the strand of new wire. The thoughts of Jerry had brought to mind so many other things - chiefly the regret that he was no longer around. Something that should of been little more than a footnote in his internal logs, and yet it still hurt deep down in his core.

Only a single spark took his mind off matters and reminded him there was still things to look forward too. Things like as soon as his shift ended he could pick up his pay and visit a little piece of joy in his life. Her name was Vass, and while she worked at the local nightclub, Dusk, she alone could always manage to make him smile. The  thought of seeing her always sustained him.