Station’s Core

Word Prompt: The train approached the platform

Wednesday has come around again and I’m happy to present this week’s flash fiction.

Milana clutched the loose handle on her bag as the train approached the platform. Passengers bolted in mad dash to grab belongings and disembark. She couldn’t fault their excitement. They’d reached Astraeus station, the final stop in the string of luxury stations between Earth and the edge of Saturn’s gravity.

A holiday.

For them.

A mother bumped by towing two toddlers, and Milana glanced away. Opposite the station, the ringed planet glowed. Not a waiver of the field holding the atmosphere in place showed. Good. They hadn’t waited too long.

The compartment stilled. Milana stood and nodded to the conductor as she exited the train.

A man, in a teal uniform stepped forward. “Inspector.” He extended his hand as to take her bag. Milana increased her clutch on it. The man coughed stepping back and gestured toward the staff exit.

Milana nodded brushed him. An escort was unnecessary. Even if the core didn’t pull her, she knew the plans by heart.

She sped up. Reaching the core’s door, Milana punched in her override code.

What should have been a gentle blue glow blazed blinding white. She stepped into the room.

The core didn’t hum. It throbbed. Setting her case on the counter, she opened it and paused, smiling for the first time since Earth. “Hello baby, let’s see what they’ve done to you.”

She pressed her hand flat against the controls. The throb softened, as if it listened. Waited. A splinter of the alien core, trapped for mortal’s amusement. Imbeciles.

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