“I wanted to be a farmer. Back on Earth, on one of the reservations.”
Seven swung the pickaxe into the baked soil, breaking up clods of dirt. The suns were out. Beneath the light tunic his skin burnt and regrew in endless cycles. Only the deep scars running along his arms were visible, white streaks that wouldn’t fade or hide.
Beside him, Four swung her own axe, working in shorter strides, chipping away at the ground. He’d been in support; the big guns, come out swinging and take down the enemy with single blows. Four’s actions were delicate, precise, methodical. The indoc had taken her mind, take the surgeon from the Towers back home and turned her into a scalpel. She didn’t say much these days. She just worked beside him.
“My grandfather had a plot. One of the caverns out west. Always used to say the lights weren’t right, made the crops grow all funny.
“When I was drafted he gave me a bulb. Little hydro-corn synth thing. ‘Tough as an old boot, and just as tasty’ he said. I carried that little thing across a dozen systems. Remember,” he laughed, leaning on his axe, “remember when we were on Carillion and I went back into that nest because I thought I dropped it? And the Gunny dragged me out and threatened to Captain’s mast me if I didn’t forget about it?”
Four just kept on working, wiping the sweat from her brow, but he knew she would be listening. Her scars were deeper. More extensive. They’d taken everything that made her human and wrapped it in ceramic carbide.
“And after all that, I found it in my locker when we got back to the Betty.”
Seven sucked on a go-pill, getting the water he needed. Sleeping, drinking, all things his body needed less of even after the corporate bigwigs had reclaimed their property. It seemed the only things they couldn’t take were the memories.
“Remember all that?” Seven said.
He cried as he swung the axe. Four wouldn’t answer him. She hadn’t said a word since she put her service revolver in her mouth and blew pieces of her reinforced skull across the field.
She didn’t get to be a surgeon. Wasn’t a soldier anymore. She’d had no life of her own. Seven hoped she could find peace in the stars.
Prompt originally posted by supersonicpotat0 on reddit and received 4 upvotes.