Survival Instincts, Chapter 1/2
Posted By: GLADIATRRR3000<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 31 August 2004, 4:57 AM
Travis Keller woke up early. So early, in fact, that no one in his household had woken up yet. He blinked his eyes, clearing his vision, then looked at his digital clock. "Damn," he muttered to himself. "Looks like I have to start breakfast."
He slowly kicked the covers off his bed, then stood up. He walked over to his dresser, which automatically opened up when he was near it, displaying several drawers of clothes. Travis grabbed a pair of jeans, a blank white t-shirt, and his hat and walked out his room. Sunlight was creeping in through the blinds, and Travis squinted at the light. "Open blinds." He said.
On cue, the home computer system opened the blinds, recognizing Travis's voice. He walked into the kitchen, tapped on a monitor on the wall, and pressed a sequence of buttons. "A dozen eggs, scrambled, salted and peppered. Six pieces of toast, butter, no jelly. Twenty-four pieces of bacon. And three glasses of orange juice, if we have it." Travis said clearly.
The computer beeped twice, acknowledging the order, and began cooking the food. Travis heard someone walking down the stairs, and he turned to see who had woken up. His older brother, Tom, on a one-week vacation from his reconnaissance vessel on the moon of Seta VI, grumbled at him, then sat down at the couch facing the windows overlooking the city. "TV down. Channel... Thirty-Seven." He said to a computer on his right. Seconds later, the TV screen rolled down over the window and turned to channel 37.
Travis heard a loud BING! noise behind him, turned around and opened the food container. He pulled out the bacon, eggs, and toast and slid them across the counter towards the liquid dispenser. Three cups were pulled out by mechanical arms, which then retreated into small slots in the wall when orange juice dripped out of the nozzles above the cups. "Breakfast is ready." He said to his brother, who leapt over the couch and shoveled eggs onto a plate.
"Man, the computer on our ship never made food like the home models here on Seta." Tom said happily, as he munched on his bacon. "Dad's night job ends in an hour, right?"
"Yeah, but he won't get back for about two. After work he grabs a coffee down at that coffee place near the boatyard. Remember that place?" Travis asked.
"Yep. After breakfast, what do you say we go hunting?" Tom said.
"Sorry," said Travis, now somewhat depressed. "I told Kristy that I'd go on a hike with her. If I backed out, she'd kill me."
Tom laughed, but didn't say anything. He pushed his plate to the center of the counter, which opened up and dropped the dirty dishes into the dishwasher. "Well, I'm going to go see a movie. I'll be back in about three hours. When should your little date be over?"
"Should be over by then, if I'm lucky." Travis mumbled. "But, with her, you never know if she's going to..."
"If you hate her so much, why don't you leave her?" Tom laughed. "I mean, that girl across the street seems pretty nice. Then again, she might just want your TV."
Travis laughed, grabbed his boots, and headed outside. From his house, he could see the boatyards several miles away, and further than that, the place his dad worked. He looked out at the ocean, which was bright yellow with the rising sun, and sighed. "Well, maybe the hike won't be too bad." He said to himself, walking down his steps.
Transmission from Warship VI. Receiving.... Received.
Shall I display the message? Message displayed. Forever is the Covenant's Glory.
Closing in on human colony, Excellencies. Several reconnaissance ships were spotted, but we destroyed all in our path. No human radio signals were detected. We are unexpected, and all simulations show that the Ancient Artifact will be obtained within several cycles.
Forever is the Covenant's Glory.
End of Message.
Travis met up with Kristy a block down the road. They said their hellos, then headed into the mountains which were behind the city, only a few blocks down the road. Travis looked to the right, saw his house, and sighed. "Grav-Wrestling is on..." he thought to himself, as he picked up a walking stick.
After several awkward minutes, Kristy said, "So, I hear your brother is back from space?"
"Yeah. Who told you?"
"Your dad. I saw him down at the docks this morning, unloading cargo. He seems like a nice guy." She was obviously trying to start a conversation, sensing that Travis was bored.
"Who? My brother or my dad?"
"Your dad." She said. "The trail I want to show you is on the right. Right here." She pointed to a small pathway leading up further into the hills.
Travis looked up the mountain, his eyes following the trail, and sighed. This was going to be a long, long date.