Author: Timothy Goss

Moulju squeezed his hand. Bernard reciprocated as best he could in his feeble condition. Moulju was thankful for the liquidity of her natural state. She wanted to cover him, become with him, aid his breathing and allow him to rest. But she knew it wasn’t her decision and Bernard wanted to die naturally.

Moulju whispered in his ear, “Do you remember when we first met?” she asked with a wicked smile. Bernard smiled too, equally wicked and they remembered together, every moment played out on the tides of her physical form. It was something he loved about her species, something he loved about her, something he had always envied.

As the Moebius Nebula erupted around them, points of light, magnified through liquid, illuminated the room. Each of her movements changed the perspective casting shadows and light. Moulju held his hand in her chest and Bernard felt the warmth of her for the last time. His body became light and airborne as it used to be when they were young and loved in the morning and the night – ‘cause one is nothing without the other.

They met in the hold of a giant KiiK freighter, the Gglokjd Bah, on its way to the Vega gate and the edge of known space – the Nix move closer and closer to the edge. Bernard was hitching a lift he wanted to travel to Tiangulum and the gate was the fastest route. Moulju found him curled up in a consignment of Ref droppings.

They travelled to Triangulum together. The gate dropped them in the nearest system and they were able to ride the ripples toward their destination star. Moulju listened while Bernard explained. She would help him, she and he were one.

A small cloud apparatus above Bernard’s sickbed made an awful noise while flashing red and purple. A nurse drone snaked from the ceiling, connected as it was to the mainframe surrounding them, in the walls, ceiling and floor. It administered medication and adrenalin, fusing them with an eighty volt shock through the central nervous system. Bernard’s body twitched, violently at first, but soon it tired and ceased.

It was an age ago on a planet where time moved in strange, bloated and elongated phases. It was the gravitational distortion brought her closer to the essence than ever before – her soul suddenly moving in opposition, the separation an opening of body and mind. Moulju wanted to share her knowledge her feelings, her clarity with Bernard and covered him where he stood. Bernard breathed her spirituality – they were destined by the universe to be and to become.

Bernard lay still, lifeless. Moulju smothered him him as before, filling his rotten lungs with her oxygen rich liquid, turning darkness into light. He absorbed the gift and took a sudden gasping breath. Moulju smiled at him and Bernard smiled back. He took his final breath holding her image in his mind.

A Jovian vessel scouting for the Lonemire Chemical Corp saw the blaze from orbit. Moulju had left Bernard’s corpse for the nurses and exited quickly. Within hours they were threatening each other with their stink glands – there is something about decomposing humanity. It was an OoLoo technician who finally burned the body before the medical staff bit each other’s ears off, along with other bits and bobs.

At the Vega Gate Moulju thought of Bernard; For all that it was, she mused, there’s a lot that it wasn’t. Moulju joined a KiiK vessel headed for the boundary – she gave the captain of the Gglokjd Bah as a reference.