Space-suited on the hull of the ship, Ginny repressed a snort. Her ex-husband, Thomas, had finally replaced some items on her tool belt, before following her out the hatch. At least he was trying to win her back. It was almost enough.
“Long-handled spanner?” she asked.
Thomas shrugged, spinning goofily on his tether, almost adorable.
Ginny gripped the shorter wrench, unleashed her tether, floated the few inches to the repair job.
The reluctant bolt loosened, drifted away. She grabbed, twisted, eye caught by Thomas’ antics. Momentum took over, she sailed off. Thomas shot her a short safety line. Almost enough.
Author’s Note: I’ve found that some people will always let you down. And you have to learn to let go. Or not.
The robots awoke Kyle and the other thousand students from stasis. A dusty orange planet loomed in the viewport. Kyle grinned.
A new world! Soon they would start terraforming it. What a terrific undergrad course!
The ship landed and the lock cycled open before any of the students had their suits on. Robots pushed them all out, against their protests. They would all asphyxiate in minutes. Kyle fell to his knees on the powdery alien soil.
A robot, unloading oxygen-producing machinery, glanced where Kyle lay gasping.
“Lesson Number One: The easiest way to terraform is to use organic fertilizer.”
Author’s Note: I’m well aware that, these days, universities are desperate for funding, as well as for student bodies. Let’s hope that’s never taken to its logical conclusion!