Chapter 10: Battlefield – 3

She rotated the once-red flower on her table. The battle was almost over. Though One Forty-Five had tried everything to keep this plant alive, it looked like it would be ending momentarily.

Probably for the best.

The door swished open and Nine bounced in with a pad in her hand.

“Guess what?!”

Her face was all one big smile and two wide eyes.

One Forty-Five turned to her, pushing the potted husk aside.

“What?”

“I’m getting released!”

She jumped into the chair next to One Forty-Five, sliding the datapad between them.

“Look! There’s this transport coming tomorrow, headed for a colony. They need farmers and they said that I can use some of my land to grow flowers if I want.”

She hit a button showing an obviously doctored photo of a smiling man standing next to a field of grain with a pre-fabricated colony house in the background. Various impressive farm equipment stood next to him.

“And while right now you can only get single-dwelling houses unless you have a family, you can put two of the singles together.”

She changed the image to a moving schematic of two of the single dwellings being combined.

“See? So you can get one when you come and we’ll just attach it to mine.”

One Forty-Five sighed.

“Nine…”

Nine ignored her, continuing with her presentation.

“Of course they have lots of other things to do, you don’t have to be a farmer of course. Though seeing you in overalls would be pretty funny.”

She smiled and let out a giggle.

One Forty-Five did not pursue her sentence for a moment. She wanted to take in the smile on Nine’s face before she was forced to destroy it. She felt like a murderer, holding the knife in the air above her oblivious victim.

“…I will not be coming with you.”

Nine shrugged.

“Well, not now of course. Not like I’m going to smuggle you off the station. But when you get out-”

“Not then either.”

Nine tilted her head to one side. Her expression quickly moved from elation to confusion.

“Why not?”

“I have other plans.”

“What plans?”

One Forty-Five looked down at the pad and back to Nine.

“I intend to join Starfleet.”

“Oh, well I can do this for now, and then I can come join you when you get out.”

One Forty-Five placed her hand on Nine’s. It was time to stop evading the issue.

“I cannot be with you.”

Nine’s eyes flashed with understanding and immediately started to turn red. Down the knife came.

“Why? What’s wrong with me?”

She paused for only a brief moment before firing off another round. The tears had started to form and were positioned for escape at any moment.

“Did I do something to make you mad? Is it because of last week? I’m sorry, I won’t do that again.”

All One Forty-Five had to do was lie and this would all come to an end. Tell Nine that she’d changed her mind and they would be together when she got out. But that wasn’t going to happen. This lie had to be stopped now. There was no ‘them’ outside this station.

One Forty-Five rubbed Nine’s hand softly. She wanted so badly to cry with her, show that she was sharing in the pain. But, like every other of her ilk, she was all but forced to keep the same flat expression she always had.

“There is nothing wrong with you and you have nothing to be sorry about. You are very pretty and very sweet. You have been a good friend, and helped this one through many things.”

Nine looked at the bed as she took the pad from the table.

“But we…”

Nine didn’t complete the next word. She stood, wiping her eyes frantically to remove the tears long enough to see. The struggle to stop the crying was written all over her face.

“I have to pack.”

Before One Forty-Five could respond, Nine took off through the door, leaving the heartless drone, hands covered in blood, and a dead flower.

One Forty-Five moved slowly to the bed, where she laid face down into the mattress as comfortably as she could. She took her small pillow and calmly placed it over her head to muffle every tearless, screaming sob.

NEXT>>

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