Hector turns off the lights to the entanglement lab early. The scraggly boy usually works lab-duty under Tatasha, but tonight he’s covering Professor Gavins for one of his buddies.
Along both walls the narrow room buzzes with equipment. A few devices are built into the ceiling. Hundreds of diodes flicker and light the long space a nebulous blue-green. A printer burrs against the corner beside Hector. The mechanical arms busy themselves inside the glass box. The lasers zap in concentrated bursts.
Professor Gavins grumbles to himself a station over. The dark and slender man rifles through his desk in search of his earset. His lab coat hangs open. He and Hector are the only ones in the lab tonight. They’re also running late.
For the leading mind in entanglement physics, Jamu Gavins fell behind a lot. He lost his earset almost daily. Currently it was on the printer. The scouter wasn’t extended, so the earpiece lay flat like a small saucer flipped upside-down. It was camouflaged with the dials on the dash.
The room brightens for a moment. Down the aisle, a sizeable porthole sits in the wall. It glows briefly as the high school wing of the M.S. Aster faces the distant shine of the Bi-Star.
“I got you, Dr. Gee.” Hector taps his professor on the shoulder. The old Ottowin pivots slow. Hector slips behind him in the turnaround. “Your Dessy’s on the dash.” He points to the printer, half jogging backward. “I’ll be right behind you. Forgot my protocol. Need a source-reset.”
Gavins thanks the boy with a wave then heads toward the printer. “Again?” he adds. “That’s three times this week.” His voice is stern, but light. It’s deep by nature, so his high-pitched tone is the one to avoid.
“I know.” Hector huffs. At the same time, he plops himself into the only chair in the aisle. It clatters. His weight flips the magnetics. Once the wheels unstick, he rolls himself down the rest of the lane. “It keeps throwing primes at me. I can’t do primes.”
Gavins chuckles, then shrugs it off. “Yeah, I bet.”
Kelvianna taught him that. Gavins loved primes. If a student could work them into an excuse, he often went easy.
While the professor adjusts his earset, and readjusts his lab coat, Hector reaches the end of the aisle and spins to the computer. It’s not his main focus however. Instead of clicking into his work folder, he inputs a subroutine to get past security.
He glances at his superior. Neck cricked, Gavins checks his reflection in the printer, combing his hair and mustache into matching poofs. His pick’s studded with meteorite.
Without a sound, the computer’s alarm disengages. The interface switches to blue. The status shows “off.” For a second, the processor halts its log.
Which felt unfair. It took Hector an extra week of pod cleaning to earn those few seconds. He had to haggle with Tatasha to get them. He didn’t mind cleaning-duty, but Professor Watts made him clean her personal pod, which stunk. Sometimes she gouged. For sisters, she and Kelvianna had little in common.
Beside him, between the computer and the porthole sits a display of capsules. They’re embedded in the wall, racked like bullets. Quickly Hector flicks out the bottom, swaps it with his decoy, then pockets the real.
That decoy wasn’t cheap, either. Print-time was difficult to sneak on a space station. Not to mention, so was the battery itself. Hector wore the baggiest jeans he could, but on the Aster, clothes weren’t allowed to hang much.
After the boy finishes, Gavins swivels and catches him springing off the chair. He makes it by a sliver.
“Got it.” He taps his temple and nods. “Won’t forget.”
Gavins sighs then returns to his reflection. “This one prime, too?”
Hector listens, rattling off his tag from this morning. In the meantime, Gavins sticks his comb in his hair and hits the pad for the door. It hums vanishing into the wall. The two of them then file into the corridor and split.
“Go, Knots!” Hector shouts. Gavins flashes a hard, sarcastic, thumbs-up without looking back. The boy smirks then takes off before it drops. At his speed, doors pass fast. The squeak of his shoes echoes down the hall. Overhead, streamers ruffle. Frills of blue and purple crisscross the ceiling, celebrating the new school year.
“Come on,” he mumbles. “Be there.”
Although it was evening, Aster High was emptier than usual. The whole ship was. Tonight everybody was gathered at the front. Nights rarely got more exciting. The court-royals from Volden were visiting. A small party made the voyage. They were here to discuss the future of their own space station: The M.S. Empress. The students of Aster High were to entertain them outside. Fully-suited, two teams warmed up for a scrimmage of putty ball. The majority of the ship was already in place to watch. Most everybody spectated from A-ring. Families huddled in windows. Crewmates grouped behind offline docks. Shopkeepers used their portholes. The diplomats were to meet in the helm. The crew set up a conference table at the windows to feel like box-seating.
Hector shivers as the exit doors open and he skids into the intersection. G-Ring and Aster Hall meet at a T. Most corridors do. Here the windows stretch tall and thin, and stripe the entire array of the rear. Hatch doors, suit stations, and solo ports fill between. Some plant stands decorate the gaps. The view beyond chills like the air does. It’s dizzying. The whole station spins twice every minute.
Hector looks up the warping hallways. He glances left to right, then ducks and repeats. Sections over, a single set of boots peeks under the ceiling. The straps are pink. The stance is angled. A heel bounces on beat.
He snorts then takes off for them, tapping his earset to recheck the chats. She’s not in any, like always.
While he runs, more feet appear out of the ceiling. It’s her dock-team: two teachers, three students. At the next port up, they gather around the hatch and wait for entry.
Kelvianna let them go on without her. She preferred to jump from the solo ports. The slots, kids called them. Among the undergrads, only she and a girl named Asarra had clearance. Tonight Kelvianna signed up to help dock the Voldenite craft. The job fell under Debris & Wreckage, but the school awarded credit on top of her hours. She was doubling them up.
Despite Hector approaching up the hall, Kel keeps bobbing to her music. Her helmet’s at hip. Her hair’s tied back. In one ear her bud bumps. Around the other sits her Dodesi Earset. The scouter’s flipped out over one eye. She scrolls through the feed but doesn’t blink into anything.
“Hand in hand in our tandem tangents,” she raps along, drumming on her visor. Hector’s mitt of hair almost bounces with the hi-hat. She still doesn’t notice. “We stand like bandits, stranded and bandaged, abandoned on a damaged landing.”
When Hector finally arrives, she flinches some then chuckles. He does, too. He’s never where he’s supposed to be. Over them, the lamp to Kel’s exit remains a solid purple. No Entry. The screen under it rather, shows blue.
“Hey.” She speaks before he can. “Did you catch that fight out of Aros? I sent you the vid.”
He shakes his head, too winded for much else.
“Damn. It was gnarly.” She swipes into her messages then pans down. “This monster of a kid, and I mean kid, goes up against some dude in a souped-up suit who boosts two—“ She holds up the fingers. “Two boots into his skull.”
“Gees,” Hector whispers, brushing his bangs aside. “He okay? Was it tech?”
“Oh, he’s fine.” She nods. Half her face scrunches to emphasize. “And I doubt he was tech’ed. The kid was Veka. For sure. At least part.” She snickers. “You should’ve seen him ricochet. Rag doll.”
Hector laughs with her, until he remembers the battery. The intercom pings then. The captain announces a quarter hour to Volden’s arrival. The ring resonates with her voice like an airport terminal. The lamp stays purple during.
“Hey?” Hector removes the capsule from his pocket. “I got you something.”
In his palm, it teeters a little then catches the overhead fluorescence. Much of the circuitry shines through. Pole to pole, it’s split in thirds. The caps are metalucent. The middle’s clear and enclosed with solar lattices. Along the bottom, a series of tick marks runs down the side. It resembles the battery display itself.
Kel’s eyes bulge immediately. She snatches it, hugs it tight, and glances over her shoulders. “Are you serious? Is this Gavin’s proto? How’d you get through?”
Hector grins and stuffs his hand back into his pocket. “Your sister hooked it up.”
Kel squawks. “Ha!” There’s just the one. “Of course, she did.” She rolls her eyes and turns back. “She was bitching about him last week. I guess he burned a hole in her favorite apron, but it’s like— why’d you leave it in the lasers lab, Tasha?”
After they laugh, Kelvianna taps the panel box at her stomach and triggers the pack inside. The two chambers spin separately to expose the actual batteries. They look no different from the prototypes, except these don’t have notches. Quickly Kel flicks out the bottom, swaps it with hers, then stashes the extra in her reserve pouch.
“By the way,” she whispers. “Tasha mentioned that call you two took.” With a click, she retracts her scouter. Once it’s tucked away, her helmet follows. The voice box drops her tone an octave. The suit and earset connect automatically. “Have you heard anything?”
Hector winces then loosely folds his arms.
“I know,” she says. “Classified, but come on. If Kanko’s using Vendathu as a death camp—” She latches the neck, hard. It clunks. “Then LiNC needs to step in, full force.”
Hector fidgets. His eyes point down. “Yeah, I don’t know. They said they’re already looking into it. I don’t see how not.”
Chills creep down his arms.
“Yeah.” Kel hangs her head. “Tasha said the same.” She sighs. “I’ll drop it.”
On her visor, a few lines of text blip by. She twists and taps her helmet’s earpiece to toggle. The utility rack on her forearm barely bumps her shoulder plate.
That was recent. A year ago, one of the engineers in the isomeric program graduated with a double-disciple in fashion. Isomeric engineers didn’t really work with suit designers until then. The new models just launched. The ad stated, “Safer, Stronger, Slimmer. Putting the Oh! in Astro-Suit.” Kelvianna auditioned for the teen part. Asarra got it.
The bay lamp switches to blue as Kel wraps up. A couple touches on her forearm interface, and she’s set. The transolar cell locks in.
“Burn it out,” Hector says.
Kel winks and clacks a cheek. “Always.”
At the port door, she stands with a hand on her hip and glares at the camera. Her other hand whirls above her as if to say, “Hurry up.” The doorway dwarfs her. Hector giggles. When the pins unhitch, she flips her frown and flashes such a big smile it seems equally fake.
The first door needs a yank. It folds, exhaling at the pistons. Inside, the walkway’s tight. A couple split-doors break the passage into stages. The last divide is spiraled red and black. Between each unit, screens and sensors monitor the transition. Pressure-check checks. Redundancy-pass passes. The final stage vacuums the space to a vacuum.
Before the jump, the doors swing out and box in a small platform. The handles act as handrails here. Her boots no longer clop while she steps onto the overhang. Beyond, everything spins: the stars, the asteroid belt, the Wake Cluster.
Hector hated the Wake Cluster. It was a big as the station but didn’t spin, so to the inside, space junk just looked to rush by without end. The Aster dragged a lot of scrap behind it. There were old colliders, outdated pods, wings. Tethers connected everything in a web of dense passageways. Lately kids had begun to expand on them.
Hector’s stomach sours. Back through the glass, he props an arm against the panes and taps into the bay’s coms. “How you running it?”
Kel grabs the handrail and twirls herself off the platform. One leg stays. One swings. “Dezdy heels. Twenty hands.”
“Twenty? That low?”
“Yeah.” She leans out fully then looks up. “These new suits are super slick with the bend. I think that’s how Asarra made Pebble.” Far above, her dock-team gathers at the axle. Around G-ring, the stripes of window-light look like thrusters. Many reflect in her helmet. “I bet she’s skirting the governor by muscling through twenty instead of boosting thirty. It must be a bitch on her arms, but—” She pulls herself back onto the lip. “Well I guess I’m about to find out.”
Hector rakes his fingers through his hair. “Yeah,” he mumbles. “I got about half that.”
She snickers. He does, too. Soon the first gate buzzes and relocks. It signals the jumper the go-ahead. The second will be a port-wide pulse of green. Kelvianna steps against the platform to prepare.
“Hey?” Hector interrupts. The glass fogs some. With a hand by his earset, he clicks and wheels his scroller. “You want a spotter?”
The question startles her. Cockeyed she turns back to ask, but… Her whole face furrows just in time to light up. “I can go offline now!”
Hector grins. Her squeals give him butterflies. “Don’t get caught.”
She dances, throwing her hips and head to what’s still thumping in her earbud. Without a move off beat, she squares, squats, and blasts off the blocks. Her timing hits with the bass. The shock wave punches the platform then bursts out in a bubble of white.
It was almost too much. She tripped the impact pad under the platform. Had she launched any more into the rotation, a contingency would’ve triggered, and somebody would’ve ordered her back before she could say, “Hell yeah, I want a spotter.”
As Kelvianna soars with the outside, Hector races down the ring to the spoke elevators. He’s gangly. From her view, the windows flicker with his long stride. The more Kel pulls away, the more the ship’s rotation pulls away from her. Windows shrink and blur together. The floors invert. The entire facet nearly disappears over the undercarriage above.
A spoke slices by. Then another. Along her arc, she red-lines her hands, straining her shoulders to make the bend.
It doesn’t work. Her axis is off. The mishap sends her high, and head-down. She kills the power. Has to. Her classmates are too close. And she’s coming in way too fast. Under her, her team stirs. The students drift wide and off their marks. There isn’t much, unless she wants to miss wide.
Last ditch, she tucks, flips, and twists into place, stomping on her boosters. It wrenches everything to a halt. The suit jostles her. She yelps.
It wasn’t clean, but nobody would’ve called it sketchy. Even Asarra. She did land level with everybody. She was just a hair back.
“Whoa, Kelvianna,” one of the instructors says.
A girl across the circle shakes her head. “Showing off for Hector, huh?” She tisks her tongue. The freckles on her nose and cheeks look like dirt through her visor. “What, too good for an extra loop?”
“Alright now.” The instructor pings into their coms.
“You don’t have to be so obvious,” the girl adds.
“What’s your problem?” Kel points to her temple. “Wasn’t it you who dumped him?”
“That’s enough, girls.” As a warning, the teacher flicks his wrist-rack and pops off two pellets. They stick to each one’s helmet like a spitball. Both cadets sneer. “Don’t make us say it.”
Everybody quiets. Between the Aster’s massive axle and the Wake Cluster, they’re specks. One side’s a multi-deck, multi-dock super-garage. The other’s a floating scrapyard the size of a stadium.
While the team reviews their roles, the tailgate detaches around the rim and starts to slow. Engines along the perimeter jet out in a star pattern. The slab crawls to a stop about as well as a freight train.
Farther out, thousands of asteroids speckle as far as anybody can see. Some pieces are boulders. Most are crags. A few mountains stand out in the distance. Beyond, thousands more blend with the stars. Spacing’s enough for a fleet, but groupings can be ripped apart if a pilot so much as passes bad. The whirlybirds are the worst, spinning so viciously they fling chucks off their surface.
Debris & Wreckage stayed busy. Informally they were known as the Shell. Ever since the ship reparked for the Voldenites, no fewer than a hundred operators needed to guard the exterior. They posted at corners, drove pods around rings, or flew lengthwise along the carousels of corridors. Much to the captain’s chagrin, this site happened to be at the belt’s most active asteroidal maximum.
Once the convoy appears in eyeshot, the instructors gesture everybody to their places. The headlights make a hexagon in a dark patch among the twinkle. Kelvianna zips high. That girl goes low. The rest of the students fan between. Diodes around their wrist and ankle-racks cycle in unison, imitating a lighthouse. Reflectors throughout the Wake Cluster relay the signal.
At the topmost point of the ship, Kel takes in the view. The Bi-Star’s behind her. The belt’s ahead. The upper edge of the Cluster looms to her right, jagged with a field of old fuselages.
On her left is the busiest. Along the outside of every ring, tracks run like a metro. Several pods cruise about. Some fly by with the roll. Others wheel against it.
Before Hector comes around himself, Kelvianna opens the viewport on her helmet. The telescopics center the convoy for her. To kill time, she cranks her music and raps along.
“Not hating on the station, it just ain’t where I’m staying.” Between lines, she peeks at both sides of the ring. Hector isn’t there yet. “Straight up, no raisins for my raising, but my taste was the pavement, craving the payments. Say It, Baby. Inny bakes in the greatness.”
Like in the hall, Hector approaches from behind. For now, he and his pod are centripetally locked, which means he’s whipping around upside-down. When he hits Kel’s periphery, he trips the release, rolls the cabin, and shuts his eyes as the gravity dissipates. The pod engages its track instantly. It freewheels for a bit but eventually trolleys Hector back. It jounces at every junction.
Kelvianna laughs, then double-clicks to connect them. “You okay there, soldier?”
He slumps in his seat. His arms float beside him. “I always forget to pull it early.”
She points at the pod. “And that’s why I don’t race them. Not my gravity.”
They both laugh, kind of. Despite the nausea, Hector sits up, adjusts his steering, then switches the placements of his shifter and keyboard. He’s better on the trigger left-handed. Kelvianna smirks at his hair. In zero-g, it’s a pompom.
“Is that G-Inny?” he asks, catching the lyrics in her microphone.
“You know it.” She links up his pod. “This one’s blowing up the underground. I think he’s getting signed.”
The song blares through his speakers. Bobbing along, Hector opens his viewport on the dome and zooms in himself. “Didn’t he break your brother’s jaw?”
Kel splutters her lips. “Oh yeah. Markus bloodied him good. Spense wouldn’t even let dad operate. Idiot. He still has some scars.”
A buzz cuts over everything. The song shuts off at the best part. Kel huffs. Far underfoot, the rim of the tailgate starts blinking green. Crafts begin pulling out of the upper decks not much later. All of them head in-orbit. Most are solo crafts, but a few mid-sized ships take off in the mix.
The six-seaters were called moon-jumpers. Any bigger and they went by rock-hopper. The Loyallary loved their nicknames. The agency itself had one. In full they were known as the Loyallary of Interplanetary Nations and Confederations. LiNC was short. They adopted the acronym the day they brought in their first moon: Lith. Things were more rigid back then. The name stuck.
After the axle clears, the coms reconnect, but the music stays off. The convoy’s nearing. The headlights are distinct now. On his panel Hector overrides the soft-wall and feeds the song back into their earsets. “That dude jumped ship so fast. Remember that?”
“Day of graduation, wasn’t it?”
“He tried to hijack a hopper.”
She snorts. “Yeah he did. He wrote a song about it, too.”
While the two of them banter, another pod emerges on the ring. This one drives up the reverse side, racing against the rotation. It stunts the speed, but the pilot floors it enough to keep the cockpit inverted. He waves first. The kids reciprocate. It’s Hector’s uncle, his youngest uncle. In passing, the scruffy man shifts down, rolls his cabin, and pings in. “Whoa, Vector. Aren’t you supposed to be on A-ring?”
“Nah.” Hector swivels. “Ms. Watts reassigned me to G.”
“Ms. Watts?” he repeats, like a parrot. “Which one?”
Hector doesn’t reply, aside from squinting. Before speeding off, the guy re-inverts his cabin and makes a face. His nephew still doesn’t respond. Kelvianna on the other hand, she makes a face as well, puckering, cross-eyed.
It unsettled him how well she fit in: less like a girlfriend, more like a sister. If that wasn’t enough, she looked more like a Bennet. Hector and Kel were both darker, and brunette. All the other Watts were fair-skinned blondes.
“Anyway.” Hector sits up then adjusts his straps. When their com is private again, he re-logs in and resumes the song. “So how were you planning on sneaking out?”
The thought half-puzzles her. It’s one of her lesser expressions. She wiggles her fingers counting the exits in her mind.
Back farther out, the convoy constricts. At about a minute away, they bring in their flanks and form an X.
“Spoke ports,” Kel answers. “Go offline there like I’m hanging up for the night, then hard-line the bat and jump disconnected.”
“Sounds sound.” Hector nods. “I’m hoping you’ll stream it, so maybe not entirely disconnected?”
She bites her lip not to smile. “Sure, but no piloting me this time. If you want a tour, you’ll need to suit up yourself.”
He tries to chuckle, but shivers.
With another buzz, the system disconnects them. Far below, the tailgate stops blinking and turns a bright blue. The lower decks do the same. The bays with apertures open. The only square gate remains closed and a solid purple.
“So if I recall.” Hector goes to tousle his hair. The strands ripple, rather than toss. No gravity. He plays it cool by trying to slump against the arm rest. “This is your first live cargo, isn’t it?”
She points at him. “With starboard watch.”
He flinches. “You made starboard, too?”
Kel grins and lifts a shoulder, angling a knee in.
“Congrats.” He giggles. “How’d Tara take it?”
He coughs a little. “I imagine. Shit, you get enough wing watch, you’ll shortcut Pebble without Asarra even realizing it.”
Kel drops her pose. “That’s the plan.”
Education on the Aster was complex. The ship and high school coordinated to create a system of tiers and rankings that promoted competition and strategy. It spanned multiple sectors so every kid could participate. Some treated the tiers like war games. Asarra beat her to Pebble on athletics. Kelvianna was scheming to overshoot her with docking experience.
The final notice comes once the front of the convoy arrives at the rear of the station. The corner escorts flatten and narrow to ferry the Voldenite craft to its dock. The space is tight. The Aster spins. The Wake Cluster doesn’t. The pilots have to thread between to reach the tailgate. Hector confirms their arrival on his panel; Kelvianna, on her wrist-rack. Their music remains off.
“I’ll ping you when I’m out,” she says.
“I’ll be here.” He lounges in his seat, looking over his shoulders. “Probably trying to dodge my uncle, to be honest.” He hears Kel snicker through his speakers. “Please be careful.”
As trained, she tucks, boosts half a back-flip, then lays out and, “Always,” guns it. The jets spray upward in cones. The needle on her accelerometer buries. She’s down the ring on one. Two sees her blow past where most students turn. It’s not until three that she reverses. Like clockwork she cuts the power, aerials, then slams on the brakes. The gauge flashes red. Her arms shake at their sides. The G’s read four.
She makes the tailgate by the node at the tip of her helmet’s antenna. Not a single spoke passes under her. From ring to axle, she shoots the gap without even one slicing by. She whoops as the upper bays scroll in front of her like credits.
Below, the squadron breaks formation and branches off to their auxiliary docks. The solos split wide. The four jumpers tail behind. They creep as if underwater. They’re giant stingrays compared to the diver lowering in. She earns a few looks with how closely she throttles by their stingers.
In reality, she wasn’t that close. The tailgate was huge. Plenty of room. The issue however, was her tardiness.
While Kelvianna lowers into position, the guest craft spurts and putters to the cargo dock. Kel’s team surrounds it right away. The instructors take the nose. The kids disperse to their posts around the gate. For Kelvianna, she slides into her new spot at starboard as if she’s riding a spoke elevator down.
She doesn’t see him, but her brother catches her little entrance. Inside the guest cockpit he stands at the windshield and glares.
Somebody else catches her entry, too. It’s the girl from earlier, Tara. On fin-watch at the top of the gate, she balks to herself then pings into the group to tell everybody about it.
“It’s almost like she didn’t know she was late.”
“What are you talking about?” Kel gestures to the garage, which hasn’t opened yet. “I’m not late.”
“Yeah.” Tara gestures back. It’s a different gesture. “Exactly.”
One of the instructors mutes them both. Behind the rear engines, he does a sweep of the students then signals the other teacher heading toward stern. After her own check, she relays the message to axle control. Soon the doorframe switches from purple to blue.
The gate crawls open.
If they could’ve used another bay, they would have. The court-royals insisted they take their own craft. It was somewhat similar, but the attachments ranged with the foreign models. The cargo dock was the only one with the right adapter.
Before the door raises to her elbow, Kelvianna ducks under and zips to the back. Or starts to. The sight gives her pause. The whole garage is clean. What’s usually a mess of harnesses, canisters, and welding tools is now a tidy shop of cabinets, coiled cables, and retracted hitches.
Slot ports line the back wall across its three floors. Solo-bays and circuit boxes pattern between. At the bottom-middle is where their airlock sits. The hallway-sized collar hangs out of its housing by a fold or two. The walkway holds it better in micro-gravity.
When Kelvianna reaches the airlock, the monitor over it blips to blue. She next keys her protocol on the wall screen. It’s an older board. Her gloves don’t react well. She hits it with her knuckle.
“Piece of shit.”
From there, she unlatches a series of levers around the brim. These go better. Grease coats the hinges from the recent inspection. Many of the joints look polished. To finish up, she re-keys her protocol and boosts out, letting the robotic arms take over.
Although she doesn’t see him either, her dad watches a bay over. He waits to report her progress, but on the other side of the glass, he smiles big.
The instructors guide the craft inside. The students watch for clearance. At starboard, Kel has two wings. The dual fins span wider than she is tall. The engines glide within inches of the frame. She notes an angle disparity, and the pilot corrects. Once the ship’s parked, everybody rounds to the nose for the attachment. During, the teachers explain and demonstrate the fit, fasten, and finalize. Funny enough, one of them jams a dowel and accidentally slips.
“Piece of shit.”
The class giggles.
The kids are dismissed after the airlock re-pressurizes. Everybody scatters to the slot ports along the back wall. Everybody, that is, except Kelvianna. She taps in with her spoke port request, and the operator accepts it.
Operator was generous. Tatasha preferred to play interceptor. At the moment, the older sister was in the helm. She sat at the conference table with her sneakers kicked up on it. A diplomat herself, she worked under Professor Gavins for the school but led the research and development department for Debris & Wreckage.
“Have fun, Babe,” scrolls across the top of Kelvianna’s visor. As the garage closes, the younger sister ducks back out then rockets upward. She makes it by a sliver. In the gap before the door shuts, her exhaust dissipates, fizzling white.