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Diary from the Rim

A Kindle e-book

 

Three science fiction stories from writer Joan Lennon.  A diary turns up in a deserted space station … a forgotten water world is about to be visited by a stranger … and ‘the Scottish play’ is re-enacted with a difference (think Shakespeare in space!)

... Tay had had her turn being her parents’ baby.  It was some one else’s turn to breathe the home air with them, to be the centre of their love, to belong.  Air.  Love.  Belonging.

It was all rationed on Planet Rannoch.

“It doesn’t mean we don’t love you,” said Mum quietly, as if she’d heard her daughter’s thoughts.  “It just means it’s time for you to move on.”

Suddenly, Tay couldn’t stand it.  She couldn’t stand them – her parents – with their oh-so-concerned faces and their careful voices and their horrible power.  She had to get out.  I won’t cry, she told herself.  I swear I won’t cry.  But she was already sobbing as the airlock sealed.

The voice in his ear made him jump.  He coughed nervously into his breather, and answered.

“S1, this is S7.  I’ve found something.  Bringing it in now.”

Even as he spoke, the Ensign was manoeuvring the loose page back between the covers of the diary and into the steri-bag.  He sealed the bag and hurried away with it.

After he left, the room returned to its silent state.  A bunk, a chest, a toilet cube, an entertainment-screen – there were trillions of rooms just like it, in stations on asteroids, planets and moons all over the Known Universe.  What made this one so different?  That was the question an entire Search Squad had been sent all the way to the Rim to answer.

What had happened here?

“I’m knackered – when do we have to report back again?” Mack asked.

Ban turned to the nearest console and typed the names Bett, Mack and Kwo, Ban.  Then they waited.  And waited some more.

“I swear that computer gets slower every year,” Mack grumbled.

“Nothing’s happening,” said Ban.

“Here, let me try,” said Mack.  “Sometimes you just have to tickle it right.”

He took Ban’s place and tried again.

Bett, Mack

But it wasn’t the duty roster that came up on the screen.  It was a file neither of them had ever seen before.

“Private Profile,” Mack read aloud.

“What’s all this then?” said Ban, peering over his friend’s shoulder.

Bett, Mack – Officer

Bett, Mack – Number One

Bett, Mack – Captain

“Wha – hey, try my name!” Ban exclaimed.

Mack typed, and a second Private Profile appeared below the first.

Kwo, Ban – Officer

Kwo, Fleance (son of above) – Captain

Mack flopped back in the chair and the two stared at each other.

“You’re going to be Captain?!” said Ban.

“Your son’s going to be Captain!” said Mack –

- and the computer crashed.

"Joan Lennon always succeeds in surprising me - as well as producing some jolly good reads. Really enjoyed this - especially the final story - you'll never view the Scottish play in quite the same way again ... Nuff said - go read and enjoy!"

Amazon review