Chapter 3

Chapter 3

A Chapter by Jake Staffeld

Remember guys, there is meaning behind the archetypes and word choice! See if you can weasel any of them out!


                Harris was a mechanic, which meant she was the lowest on the totem pole. Bottom dog, some people said. These people were completely accurate. Of course, most mechanics moved up the food chain in short enough time. Rachel Harris wasn’t most mechanics, though. She actually knew what she was doing. Her skill at her job had sentenced her to a small paycheck and the crappiest jobs for the rest of eternity, or at least until she retired.

                Which explained why she was the one suited up, dragging unconscious idiots into the ship. All three of them had been wearing absolute zero suits, self contained space survival gear. It would keep you alive for weeks, supposedly. Why you would want to float through space that long no one had ever been able to figure out. Which meant that the space suits sold like dark matter.

                Harris reached the first of the floating bodies. She wondered what the chances were that their ship had exploded with another so close. She figured it must have been pretty damn low. After all, you didn’t hear of mid space rescues too often. She shook her head and grabbed the first body. It vaguely reminded her of someone, but the helmet made it too hard to see the persons face. She could figure it out later, though, since she still had two others to “save.” Poor b******s.

                She hooked up the first person to her tether, then set about grabbing the second. This was one of the only sections of the ship not totally destroyed. She could see monitors, some kind of scientific gear, perhaps. It would fit for the person she was saving at this very moment. Skinny little prick, she thought. She hooked him up to herself. One more to go.

                The last body was floating out away from the ship. It was attached by a tether of its own. As she cut it, she realized it was a he. As were the other two people. It was strange to see so many men in outer space. Not that it was unheard of, but men tended to avoid this kind of dangerous situation. That wasn’t the worst thing, though. On this last persons chest was a patch that exactly mirrored one on her own suit. It identified him as a Senior Mechanic of the Intergalactic Space Workers Guild. She hadn’t been aware that any guys had ever gotten one of these.

                A spark of disgust lit behind her eyes. Men were selfish creatures, but male mechanics were the worst. Especially if they reached the higher echelons of the profession. They became full of themselves, self important b******s through to the core. Not that narcissism was a rare quality in other job fields, but Harris didn’t have to deal with them at every turn.

                The thought of the torture that having these three aboard would certainly bring caused her to sigh. She started dragging the three useless men towards the ship.



                Captain Selene watched as the mechanic dragged the three survivors back into the ships airlock. They would be taken to the sick bay, where she could question them later. She wanted to know why exactly their ship had exploded, what kind of experiments they had been running. She didn’t really care very much, but it was the law. She glanced quickly at her star map. She knew they couldn’t spend the time to check out the gate, though the energy pulse the ship had been rocked by suggested it was back online anyways. She turned the ancient beast around, heading back towards Earth.



                There were no nurses or doctors on board the ship, so the job of caring for the patients fell to the scientists. Which meant that it fell almost completely to Loril. Not trusting anyone else to do the job right, she had banned the other scientists from the ward. Captain Selene had forced her to allow the mechanic inside, arguing that, a, Harris would know how to use all the equipment, and b, that she was the ship’s captain, and thus in control of all personnel. She had been carrying a rather self fulfilled smile as she stated her second argument.

                Grumbling, Loril finished administering to the first of her patients. It was strange, nothing seemed to be wrong with any of them physically, but none of them had woken up, even after four days aboard the ship. They all looked slightly familiar, but it was ridiculous to think they were. Or that’s what she told herself, at least. Though it was a little ironic how much they reminded her of the others aboard the ship. She hoped they wouldn’t act like them too.

                The first patient done, she moved on to the second. This was the one that reminded her of the lazy mechanic. He was a little taller, wider in the shoulders, slightly stronger seeming, but he shared her muddy brown hair, cropped short. He also had the same general face shape as his female counterpart except for the chin. His was strong, rather square, while hers was softer. But these were just minor biological differences. All in all, Loril almost thought the mechanic must have a long lost fraternal twin. For god’s sake, they were even both mechanics!

                These thoughts had occupied her while she had checked on the second patient. Satisfied, she moved to the last. The mechanic had quipped that this one looked an awful lot like her yesterday, but she didn’t see it. Sure they both had blond hair, but so did a lot of other people. Of course, if her eyes were the same or similar to his, that would be a shock. She had a strange mix of green, blue, and brown almost cutting her pupils into thirds. It was a rare genetic tweak, but it affected nothing else as far as her tests had concluded.

                She was distracted while checking the last of her wards, causing her to miss him opening his eyes. He looked at her slightly confused at first. It was clear he thought he was viewing himself in a mirror of some kind, before he saw her move. That was when it Lowry- this seeming twin of his wasn’t just a reflection, but an actual human being.

                “Hello, miss? May I ask your name?”Lowry asked in his steadiest voice. Loril turned to look him in the eye slightly slower than she normally would, tight lines around her mouth. Lowry recognized this as his own reaction to surprise or stress. Making a mental note of the strange reaction, he filed it away for further observation. He then proceeded to look in his counterparts eyes. They were tricolored, just like his own.

                He had barely had time to observe any of this before he felt something strange in his stomach. It was a slight uneasiness, a minor unsettling. He stopped focusing on that as he started feeling other unusual reactions in his body. His heart rate had kicked up from its usual resting rate of 87 beats per minute to what he approximated to be 90 beats per minute. Though anyone untrained in medicine would probably just assume this was the difference between sleeping and wakefulness, Lowry new better. He couldn’t explain the physical reactions, however. He had never really done much research into psychology.

                Though Lowry was unaware of it, concerned as he was with his own internal changes, he and his reflection both had slight blushes. Even stranger, Loril was observing the same changes inside herself as he was. Unable to come up with a satisfactory answer for the reaction, she concluded she would have to check any psychology or physiology books she had on board the ship, as soon as was convenient.

                “Miss? You haven’t answered my question.” Lowry finally found himself able to speak again.

                “Oh yes,” a voice almost exactly an octave higher than his responded, causing another little shock to Lowry’s system, “you can call me Loril. That is my last name. What is your name, by the way?”

                “Lowry,” he stated, hiding his distraction rather well.

                “Hmm,” Loril muttered to herself, “Similar names… interesting.” She took a quick note and put Lowry’s chart back in its spot. “I have various tests to perform elsewhere. While I’m gone, the ships mechanic will be watching you. Her name is Harris. She is despicably lazy and, I believe, slightly stupider than average. I apologize for that. I will be back in a few hours.” With a nod, she turned her back and departed the medical ward. She felt her own eyes in the others head boring into her back the entire way.

© 2011 Jake Staffeld

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Wow, this a great chapter, enjoyed it:)

Posted 12 Years Ago

A entertaining story. I had to read the first two chapters again. The new people on the ship are giving the story a new direction. Thank you for sharing the story. Are you going to write more. A excellent chapter.

Posted 12 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on December 11, 2011
Last Updated on December 11, 2011


Jake Staffeld
Jake Staffeld

Bend, OR

I'm in college, whoooooo. I like all kinds of rock, and songwriting. That's how I got into Poems in the first place. Some of these will actually be songs of mine I've modified. more..