Petrolea 13c

“Hm,” she said after another while. “Could you fabricate a razor and shaving cream with this still?”

He shook his head. “I shouldn’t need to. I’m done with the radio.”

Ah, the radio. “Victor,” she said, “have you considered what you want to say into the radio?”

“I already did. It wasn’t complicated.” He still had his handshake gauntlet on, whose fingers he fluttered. “‘We’re alive. Everything on Petrolea is programmed to kill humans. Please rescue us.’ I’m waiting for a response.”

Feroza settled herself against Victor, considering how to put this. Pragmatically, probably. “We have a new still. We have much better access to resources. We have everything we need.”

He drew back from her, head shaking. “We’ve determined that the entire moon wants to kill us.”

“Pah.” She jerked her chin toward the suits with their macabre decoration of rusting corpses. “Once we find the tripwires, we can avoid them.”

“And live as squatters in someone else’s mining facility?” Victor shook his head. “And anyway I don’t want to die on Petrolea. I want to go home.”

Feroza sat back on her haunches. “We won’t be going home, but to prison.”

“Just how is that different from staying here?”

“Because there will be other people there.”

Feroza didn’t ask whether he’d prefer the company of a bunch of criminals and prospectors to her. That would be unfair. People needed the company of other people. Like any other social animal.

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