Waste Land: A Free Sci Fi Short Story(7)
Author:Michael McClung

    “Because things happen.Superluminals cut out. AIs develop issues. Very, very rarely, butsituations arise. Think of me as travel insurance.”

    “I don't think we aregoing to be able to collect.”

    “The insurance wasn't forus, anyway. It was for the Company.”

    That killed theconversation for a while.

    “What are you thinking?”he asked me, but kept his eyes averted.

    “I'm thinking of all thethings I'd give for a bottle of bourbon,” I lied. “You?”

    “I'm thinking I wishyou'd left me frozen,” he said. But had the decency to look me inthe eye when he said it. Hard for him, I know. Brilliant exocologist.Had Asperger's syndrome. Really not good with people.

    “I needed you.”

    “I know.” Not pride.Just truth.

    “You wanna go backunder?”

    “Yes.” He carefullyarranged the slain pieces along the side of the board. “And no.Eliot is... bizarre. I need to know more.”

    I sighed. “All I need toknow is if it's habitable.”

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