Liam crunched into the apple. Juice ran from the corners of his mouth and stuck in the bit of stubble he called a goatee. “That is so good.” He sat hard on the curb outside the store, held the apple high, and marveled. “I think I’ve found it.”
Emma shouldered her pack. “Congratulations. It’s an apple. You ready? We’ve got miles to go yet.”
“No listen. I read about this fruitarian diet and…” Crunch. “It could be for me.”
“That’s fine. Will’s grilling burgers tonight though.” Emma began walking.
Sammy knew what he had to do. It wouldn’t be easy, but if he could mange, it would be worth it. He hoped it would anyway.
He pulled in a deep, steadying breath and went for it, peeling the plastic from the tray and attacking the contents. All the nutrition he needed and no taste. It all went down with hardly a chew. Hardly a taste.
“Very good,” his mom said smiling. “Slow down for dessert. You don’t want brain-freeze.”
She needn’t have worried. He would savor this. His favorite with none of the nutrients and all of the taste.
The airlock clanged jarring Sarey from her thoughts. It was a months long trip of stars and blackness, and she was both happy that it was over and apprehensive at what awaited her. She already missed the color of Earth.
Heavy doors hissed open. The Captain greeted her in the gray tube that ran from docking to Control. They walked gray corridors, wore gray uniforms, and lived on a gray, lifeless world.
She would change that.
Her workstation was gray and barren. She stuck a photo to her monitor.
Slim hit the floor with a thud that was concealed by the explosion of what they called a Carnage bomb. The resulting wall of flame sent plaster dust, mortar and masonry shrapnel speeding in every direction.
He crawled, bleeding, ears ringing, and covered in white dust, to where the explosion had hurled Bobbi. She lay in a heap of wrong angles. Tears cut trenches in Slim’s grime covered face as reality set in. She was gone.
They would come for him, just as they had come for everyone else.
Let them come, he thought. I’ll show them some real carnage.