About The Laws of Space
The Laws of Space
Chapter 8: One Glove
Susa Burke was in serious need of calming agents. The message never seemed to go away. She was wearing a glove on her left hand to cover it up; sometimes that was the only way to get on with things. No doubt there would be hundreds if not thousands of messages waiting on her Worldviews when she got back home—she almost didn’t want to go back. When she first arrived at EF 25, the Spacer was heavy with dread and apathy. Now, waiting for her transport back home, the burden remained, albeit from a different source.
It was a strange scene to behold. There were hundreds of Spacers lined up all around her, columns and rows of uncomfortable creatures. The arrival and departure of an educational facility was a singular event (hopefully) in the life of her kind. In no other circumstance were they forced to be so close; their proximity chips had to be powered down to do the work of training Charges. Though brief, the experience was a stark view into the world of the 95%. She resolved herself to create a better transport system when she got back home. No one should have to go through this.
A hover shuttle took off in the distance, taking another member of the elite back to whatever reclusive nest they came from. The process was slow; one at a time, one at a time. At the sound of a bell they all took two steps, some to the right, some left, some forward. It was the way of things. Finding her new spot, she stood as still as possible. The Spacers in her midst tried to do the same, but Susa noticed them fidgeting about, trying their utmost to avoid invisible malevolent microbes and pathogens. It was almost comical, exposing the unexposed to the world, the world left behind by the people from before.
While others wrestled the unseen, Susa stood relatively still. Many of them were looking at her, for they knew what she knew. Her body was the rigid subject of a strange voyeurism. No doubt their Charges had told them the same news as hers told her. The Administrator’s announcement was giving Susa her first sense of Fame. It was disquieting, disgusting, disruptive. She looked down at her palm again, unable to circumvent the habit. Though it was covered she could see a faint red light—no doubt more Calming Agents. She ignored the light and thought about thicker gloves.