Tyrus sat at the computer console, it’s multi-coloured screens glowing in his eyes as the same message flashed over and over and over. “INPUT DESTINATION” it said, it’s letters appearing and disappearing with visible fizzling. He stared it down, unblinking, as though the very sight of it caused him some offence.
“I believe the ship requires a course to map” Said Zeke, his small metallic body hovering silently nearby.
“Yes. ” Said Tyrus through gritted teeth “I’m quite aware”. There was a brief pause while he watched the letters flash once again. It was as though they specifically wanted to intimidate him.
“You’re considering Miss Jani’s offer are you not?” said the AI companion knowingly.
Tyrus grunted, in hopes it would count for a reply. He’d be lying if he wasn’t repeatedly replaying that conversation with Jani in his mind. She was an old friend, one he hadn’t seen for seemingly eons now, and that she would be her savior at his time of need must mean something.
“It is because of her that you’re here now” Said Zeke, attempting and failing to not be patronising “She didn’t need to pull you from that prison. She didn’t need to save your ungrateful ass”
“Or so she says” Said Tyrus calmly, finding some doubt within Jani’s actions. He knew all too well how manipulative The Mission could be and he also knew, by her own disclosure, that she still worked for them.
“Why would Miss Jani lie?” asked Zeke, “She was open with you about who she worked for, open with you about how she helped you… She was even honest – and alarmingly accurate, I might add – with her assessment of you current physical condition”.
That was the point that stood out most, Tyrus felt. Jani had said his body was getting old, several decades older than it should be, and then she’d hit her point home, besting him in one-to-one combat in her ship’s cargo hold. She’d been so fast and strong; his movements had meant nothing. Hell, he thought, even some humans could stand up to me these days.
“How long’s it been since the incident?” said Zeke his robotic voice getting softer, “How long’s it been since you returned home?”
“Oh please Z” Said Tyrus exhaustedly, “You know that better than me.”
Zeke bobbed in mid-air to simulate a knowing nod.
“22 Years, 189 Days, 5 Hours, and 27 minutes”
Tyrus turned his head to his small companion, his mouth wide in disbelief; not at the number, but in his complete lack of tact.
“I can drop down into seconds-” Said Zeke before he was cut off with a wave of the hand.
Tyrus turned back to the machine, his new foe. He was fully aware there was a course of action Zeke perceived best, and he was fully aware Zeke knew exactly the right things to say to coerce him in that direction. Well, he thought, I’ll be damned if he gets the better of me this time.
For the next half hour Tyrus sat in the chair, the same lights flashing repeatedly. Zeke counted every picosecond, as he was inclined to do, and kept full track of Tyrus’ vitals. From his scans, he could tell his mind was racing; brain activity and body chemistry alike were off the charts. It wouldn’t just be a product of this decision, his body readings had been getting stranger by the day. His body was failing, he was just too stubborn to realise it.
Finally, after much deliberation, Tryus slammed his fists against the keyboard.
“Fuck it” he said to loudly “Let’s go home”
This is entry #7 for the WordHigh July Challenge of 30 Beautiful Filipino Words! I decided to do something a little different, and wrote a piece based on a Sci Fi series I was once writing. Once again, outside factors are limiting my writing time and I’m not entirely proud of this piece… still! I hope you can find some enjoyment.