Looking for Friendship, Maybe More

By Corie Ralston


003.19:23:12 Are U my Soulmate?

We shared a drink on High Earth Orbit Station, then I find myself tied up in a space alien costume in that smelly zero-g commode. Anyway, I had a great time. Ping me.

--Helpless Romantic

003.19:35:00 Just One Night

I am a scientist (specialty: alien species) on leave at the Station for twenty-four hours. I can give you the most amazing experience ever. Also, I pay well. Self-holo attached.

Research Scientist

003.19:56:01 Call to Arms!

Fellow Station residents: The D'ohrahd are here to subjugate the human race! High-Earth Station is only their first conquest!! Earth will be next!! Stop them now!!! Join us at the protest at the D'ohrahd Welcoming tonight!!!!

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-                   HumanOnly                 -  

-           Live FREE or DIE A SLAVE          -

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003.20:10:55 Re: Just One Night

dear research scientist

i am available for your amazing experience. . .do u have any special requirements? rates attached. . .

--can-do

ps. . .love your hunky holo. . .

003.20:26:01: Re: Call to Arms!

Hey everyone, a Protest sounds fun! Will there be dancing?

--Helpless Romantic

003.20:42:30 Seeking. . .

. . .a ride off this miserable station. Took a leave off planet. Did a little gambling. Next thing I know I'm stripped of bioware and penniless in high earth orbit. Will do anything in exchange for ticket back to earth. Anything. Please help.

--Penniless

003.21:03:12 Hire Me

I am a fix-it-all kind of guy. Space elevators, pods, implants. Nano. Good rates. References.

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-                  HandyMan                   -

-              I can fix anything             -

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-High Earth Orbit (HEO) Station Public Announcement-

HEO Board Administration apologizes for the interruption in service between 003:22:00 and 004:06:30. During the D'ohrahd Welcoming, several EM bombs were launched, resulting in the disruption of all electronic signals at the station.

004.07:27:20 Re:Re: Call to Arms!

Nice job, HumanOnly. You succeeded in sabotaging your own race. Next time see me about properly working equipment.

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-                    HandyMan                 -

-                I can fix anything           -

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004.07:52:20 Re:Re: Just One Night

research scientist

u weren't joking! that ring on your thing. . . u know what i'm talking about. . . will do that again anytime. . .in fact, accidentally took the ring. . .hope you don't mind that i used it again later. . .

--can-do

004.08:16:01 Re:Re:Re: Just One Night

Can-Do:

You must be mistaken. I still have the ring. But I'm happy to meet again before I leave.

--Research Scientist

004.08:34:50 Re:Re:Re: Call to Arms!

humanOnly

i would be willing to role play as a d'ohrahd. . . i have the costume, very realistic. . .skinfeed works with almost all bioware. . .

--can-do

004.08:35:50 Re:Re:Re:Re: Call to Arms!

Can-Do: you are not taking this seriously! The D'ohrahd are here to kill us all and take over Earth!!

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-                   HumanOnly                 -      

-           Live FREE or DIE A SLAVE          -

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004.08:45:40 Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Call to Arms!

Hey Can-Do, I'm interested in that costume. When&where?

--Helpless Romantic

004.08:47:40 Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Call to Arms!

Don't do it, Helpless! Do not betray your race!!

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-                   HumanOnly                 -

-           Live FREE or DIE A SLAVE          -

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004.09:02:50 Re: Seeking. . .

Can-Do, you Just Did. No longer want a ride off-station. Love it here. That ring. Even without biofeed. Wow. Thanks.

--Penniless

004.09:25:46 Re: Hire Me

handyman

i have a few things you could fix. . .what kind of uniform do you wear?

--can-do

004.09:35:40 All Tied Up

Hey Can-Do: Last night we took a naked pod ride under the stars and danced in zero-g. Would love to do it again. Anytime. Ping me.

--Helpless Romantic

PS You left your ring.

004.09:42:51 Re: All Tied Up

helpless

i still have my ring. . .thanks for checking. . .happy to meet again. . .

--can-do

004.09:54:11 Re:Re: Seeking. . .

Actually I have the ring. And in fact, for some reason I have two rings now. Anyone want one back?

--Penniless

004.10:14:18 Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Call to Arms!

Hey Can-Do: I had no idea it could be like that. However, I think there might be something caught in one of my orifices. I might not be able to meet you again for a while.

--Helpless Romantic

004.10:15:04 Re:Re: Hire Me

Hey Handyman, I just saw your post. Maybe you can help me out with an implant problem. Actually, not exactly an implant. As long as you are discreet. Need help soon.

--Helpless Romantic

004.10:38:41 Re:Re:Re:Re: Just One Night

Can-Do:

About that ring. I need it back. Urgently. Please.

--Research Scientist

004.10:49:45 Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Just One Night

Hi, for some reason I now have 4 copies of that ring.

Penniless

04.11:19:26 Re:Re:Re: Hire Me

Helpless, I'm really sorry you will have to read this from the hospital. That ring was inducing a pleasure-resonance in one of your implants and you passed out while I was extracting it from your orifice.

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-                 HandyMan                    -

-             I can fix anything              -

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004.11:24:12 D'ohrahd Group

Do you distrust the D'ohrahd but have been afraid to speak up? You are not alone! Join a group of like-minded people who are willing to fight for freedom. We plan protests, track D'ohrahd ships, and prepare for the day when they will attempt to subjugate us.

PS Helpless Romantic: I enjoyed meeting you at the protest last night. Do you want to join our group?

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-                    HumanOnly                -   

-            Live FREE or DIE A SLAVE         -

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004.11:30:37 Re: D'ohrahd Group

HumanOnly: Helpless is in the hospital, in case you didn't see my last post.

PS. The D'ohrahd are not planning on taking over. Take a reality pill.

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-                 HandyMan                    -

-             I can fix anything              -

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004.11:49:09 Give Them Back

Handyman, Penniless, Can-Do, Helpless:

It looks from your posts that you all have come into contact with a very special ring. I can't go into details, but it is vitally important that you send all copies of the rings to me AT ONCE.

--Research Scientist

004.12:08:31 Re: Give Them Back

Dear Research Scientist,

I'd like to keep this ring for a while, if you don't mind. I can't identify the metal it is composed of. Can you tell me more about it?

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-                 HandyMan                    -

-             I can fix anything              -

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004.12:30:16 Re:Re: Give Them Back

Are you crazy? These rings are the best thing ever happened to me. WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!

--Penniless but HAPPY HAPPY

004.12:51:08 Re:Re:Re: Give Them Back

keep your smarty pants on research scientist. . .

why should i give up my rings unless you tell me why it's so important? . . .i'm having quite a bit of fun with it, and i know you know what I mean. . .

--can-do

004.13:28:43 Re:Re:Re:Re: Give Them Back

To Handyman and the rest of you space monkeys: You have no idea what you are dealing with!! Everyone with a copy of the ring must send it to me now or there will be SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES!!

Research Scientist

004.13:38:02 Re:Re:Re:Re: Hire Me

handyman? yoohoo. . .would love to get together with you again. . .u and i both know what about. . .

--can-do

-High Earth Orbit (HEO) Station Public Announcement-

Due to unexpected severe understaffing, service may experience frequent interruptions.

004.15:30:55 Good God

Wow. Dragged myself out of bed to post. No longer need food, water. Feel great. The ring is duplicating itself in my bathtub. Splitting and splitting, like cells in the womb. I will give copies to everyone. I will be a god. Maybe I am a god.

---Handyman---

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-                   HandyMan                  -

-               I can fix anything            -

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004.17:35:17 Alien Relations?

Just got out of the hospital. I heard that one of the research scientists at the station was arrested for having "relations" with a D'ohrahd. Anyone else hear anything?

--Helpless Romantic

004.20:35:29 Anyone there?

Hey! No posts in four hours?! Where is everyone? Hellooooo. . . ..

--Helpless Romantic

004.21:47:00 Re: Anyone there?

Why didn't anyone show up at the meeting tonight?!?

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-                   HumanOnly                -

-           Live FREE or DIE A SLAVE         -

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004.22:50:02 Re: Good God

Handyman, You are my god. Love your bathtub.

--Penniless

-High Earth Orbit (HEO) Station Public Announcement-

If you find a ring-shaped object in your possession, do not touch it. The D'ohrahd have warned that the ring is a living being and will reproduce under humid conditions. It is also a sacred component of the D'ohrahd religion, and should be treated with the utmost respect. For humans, contact with the ring causes hallucinations, dizziness, and severe dehydration possibly leading to death.

004.23:45:10 About that Public Announcement

They forgot to mention the feelings of massive euphoria and the addictive qualities.

--Research Scientist

004.23:47:16 Re: About that Public Announcement

Scientist- are you out of jail? So what is it? A virus? Are they trying to kill us all?!!

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-                    HumanOnly                -

-            Live FREE or DIE A SLAVE         -

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004.23:48:50 Re:Re: About that Public Announcement

Obviously, you do not scan the news feeds. From HEO E-REPORTS:

". . .the ring-shaped object, which grows and shrinks according to its environment, is an alien organism that lives in symbiosis with the D'ohrahd in the ecosystems of their bodies. The surface proteins are intoxicants to humans and are absorbed through the skin. They will not survive away from the D'ohrahd."

In case you did not get the point:

If you have a ring you should RETURN IT AT ONCE before it dies!

--Research Scientist

PS I was not "in jail." I went voluntarily to the police to help in their investigation of the ring problem.

004.23:49:46 Re:Re:Re: About that Public Announcement

So how did you come to be in contact with this alien organism in the first place? "Special" alien relations?

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-                    HumanOnly                -

-            Live FREE or DIE A SLAVE         -

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004.23:50:19 Re:Re:Re:Re: About that Public Announcement

How dare you make that implication! This board is clearly the refuge of rude space monkeys. I will not be posting here again.

--Research Scientist

004.23:51:27 Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: About that Public Announcement

Good riddance. We don't need any alien buggers here.

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-                   HumanOnly                 -

-           Live FREE or DIE A SLAVE          -

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005.03:35:09 Help!

anyone:

my ring is no longer functioning properly. . .anyone have a copy?! will pay!!!

--can-do

005.04:34:20 Re:Help!

Mine isn't working, either. I'm sooooo miserable.

--Penniless

-High Earth Orbit (HEO) Station Public Announcement-

The D'ohrahd have issued a public statement that they are profoundly offended by the illicit use of the ring organism at the station. They have warned that they will abandon the station and Earth and never return unless the humans return all the sacred organisms at once. Please note that the organisms will die unless returned to the D'ohrahd. If you currently possess one, return it immediately to proper authorities.

005.06:33:20 Re:Re:Help!

need ring desperately. . .please. . .anyone. . .

--can-do

005.07:00:42 Watch Out for Fakes

. . .bought a "ring" from someone claiming to have a source. Should have known better. All it did was give me a massive headache.

—Penniless

005.07:10:08 Re: Watch Out for Fakes

Thanks, Penniless. I almost acquired one of those as well. I only got to use the ring once. Sigh.

--Helpless Romantic

005.07:37:26 Fucking aliens

--can-do

005.07:44:05 Re: Fucking aliens

Exactly. That was the problem.

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-                 HandyMan                    -

-             I can fix anything              -

-         Specialty in ring-removal           -

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-High Earth Orbit (HEO) Station Public Announcement-

It is with the deepest sadness and regret that we bring you news of the D'ohrahd Goodbye Ceremony. The D'ohrahd have stated that they will not be returning to our solar system again. In respect for our alien friends, HEO will institute a time of e-silence and will suspend board postings for one hour during the Goodbye Ceremony.

005.09:11:54 Alien Departure Ceremony

Celebrate the alien departure! Speeches, music, food!

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-                    HumanOnly                -

-            Live FREE or DIE A SLAVE         -

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005.09:20:03 Re: Alien Departure Ceremony

Hey, sounds fun! Will there be dancing?

--Helpless Romantic

005.10:05:51 Ring Recovery Anonymous

Don't let the loss of your ring ruin your life. Please join us in a meeting tonight to share recovery stories.

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-                 HandyMan                    -

-             I can fix anything              -

-         Specialty in ring-removal           -

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005.10:08:25 Re: Ring Recovery Anonymous

Hey everyone, I only got to use the ring once. Can I still come to the group? Will there be dancing?

--Helpless Romantic

005.08:35:00 Seeking

. . .a ride off this miserable station. Played out, exhausted, ringless. Will do anything for a ride off-station. Anything.

Penniless (once again) in High Earth Orbit


Corie Ralston photo

Corie Ralston is a scientist by profession, although sometimes she wonders what on earth possessed her to go to graduate school. She writes in the spare precious nanoseconds of her busy life, and has sold work to Strange Horizons, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, and a variety of other venues.