The Beast, Pt. 51 (Chapter 16c)

Convincing the staff of the Libretto that we want to go on a space walk at once is surprisingly easy. Even by the standards I was quickly becoming accustomed to. Just a quick call on the old Conncomm and a few questions and everything’s arranged. Yes, we can get you some suits. No, it’s no trouble at all. Yes, we have staff on hand to ensure your safety. No, they won’t overbearing. No, it’s not an issue that the Libretto in no way connects to the exterior of the meadows.

The longer I talk with the pleasant androgynous voice on the other end of the line, the more questions occur to me. I’m aware in the back of my head that the other person should be telling me no, that there must be all kinds of risks and liabilities with what I’m asking, but somehow I’m getting away with it. If nothing else, what kind of maintenance would possibly require a human touch? Wouldn’t it make more sense for there just to be regiments of specialized bots doing the repairs and upkeeps?

Maybe these requests are just as common as the ones for a big hairy French maid. There are probably entire systems in place to keep people from getting drunk and doing something stupid and floating off into the void of space. Trained professionals, specially programmed bots, things of that ilk.

Our sizable wealth is also technically stored within the Libretto’s vaults. If we die doing something stupid without withdrawing it, it might just stay there. I have no idea what the legalities of the matter are on the Meadows, but it’s probably something I should look into.

After the space walk.

The hardest part in enacting the idea is convincing everyone else to go along with it, and even that’s not all that difficult.. Monk is excited just by the prospect (a space walk is part of basic training for the USSMC, after all.) The brunette girl that seems to have taken with him, a little shorter than he is, pretty in a plain girl-next-door sort of way, nods happily, content to go along with his plan. Googe is feeling it too, but the redhead (funny that they’d both be redheads) isn’t as much. Papa Chub begs off and so does the blonde. Erb shrugs his shoulders and decides to join us. Everyone voices an opinion except for the caramel-skinned girl. She watches me, something cat-like in her gaze, distant and mistrusting.

“Oh, what the hell,” she finally says. “Why not? It’s not like I’ve ever done a space walk before.”


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