Well, this is a pleasant surprise. With Will’s permission, I get to follow up my previous post in order to give you a glimpse of the NaNoWriMo project that I am working on. The story is likely a Space Opera. The protagonist isn’t exactly a nudist, but he will shed the very little he wears as time goes by. In this snippet, the protagonist has just left his spaceship at a spaceport. Life on most spaceships is lived either nude or wearing just briefs that are compostable. Clothing clogs the filter systems and the long distances and time don’t allow for washing clothing. Life in space is a minimalist thing. Now, for the snippet.
“Good to see you back in civilisation, Firg,” the manager of the hotel greeted. “Your room is ready. I took the liberty of setting out some new clothes for you, the latest style of course. Ari bought them. Actually, she charged them to your account,” he added with a laugh. “I assume that you’ll be meeting Ari at the bar later.”
Clothing at the station was optional for the most part. Clothing was made from material that could only be worn four or five times. This short life span for clothing was deliberate as it forced styles to be constantly changing.
“Yes, Ari will be here later, along with a few of her friends no doubt. Thanks, Phog.”
The manager was a humanoid from a distant planet that had found a home here at the station. Like almost everyone, Phog had his own story. And like everyone else, he kept that story to himself. Firg liked Phog.
Firg went up to his room which was on the eighteenth floor carrying a small bag over his shoulder which contained the few essentials he needed. Reaching his room, he opened the door using his palm print and an eye scan to have the locks disengage. Then, he stripped off his space suit and headed to the shower. Unlike the cleaning facilities on his ship, the hotel shower had water pressure. On the ship, electronic pulses replaced pulses of water to achieve basic hygiene. There was water on the ship, but it was used sparingly.
“Ah! Now that is what I call a shower,” he said to himself. He set the flow to maximum and raised the temperature to a hundred degrees. There was a shampoo dispenser which he didn’t use as he didn’t have any body hair. He had long ago undergone depilation to make life aboard a spaceship easier.
Once he shut off the water, he activated the sonic dryer. There were no towels in the hotel. The cost of laundry was too prohibitive. Stepping out of the shower, he moved to the console to check for messages.
There was a message from the port authority confirming that the manifest and the freight within the ship matched up. The twenty-thousand credits were already added to his account. He wasn’t rich, but he had enough to restock his ship and take on new cargo. He decided that the search for cargo would wait until the next day. With a few hours remaining before he was to meet Ari, he sent messages to his older brother in the military are of the United Space Federation, and to his younger brother who was at a university studying the latest advances in terraforming. A final message was sent to his parents who were medics on their home planet of Wintergarden.
With the messages sent, he decided to go for a meal. There were a number of food emporiums along the passageway between the Stardust Suites Hotel and the more upscale Pantheon Inn and Suites. He was hungry for something spicy and greasy, food he didn’t get while on his ship. He slipped into the basic clothing found in all space stations, a form-fitting one-piece that went from his shoulders to mid-thigh. Firg looked in the mirror and shrugged his shoulders, unimpressed with what he saw.
* * *
“Ah there you are,” chirped Ari as she greeted Firg. Beside her was a young woman Firg had never seen before. It was obvious from the way the woman looked at Ari, that they were in some sort of relationship. Firg had made friends with Ari three years earlier on his first trip to the port. The fact that Ari was only interested in other woman made it easier for Firg to be friends. He wasn’t interested in complicating his life with the drama of relationships.
“Do you like?” Ari asked as she pointed to the outfit she had chosen for Firg. The outfit, like almost every article of clothing that could be seen, was form fitting and very sheer. There was a mock tail made with a few discretely placed feathers, and a few intricate designs in extravagant colours in critical areas that left something to the viewers imagination. About two-thirds of the people in the bar were wearing similarly styled outfits. The rest didn’t bother with anything other than briefs. Nudity was not allowed in the bar.
“It’s a bit too colourful for me,” Firg commented with a grin. “But the tail? What’s with the tail?”
“You look delicious,” Ari stated, ignoring Firg’s question. “Doesn’t he, Suz?”
“Mmm,” was her friend’s only response.
Firg noticed that the woman only had eyes for Ari. He was basically invisible, and that was just fine.
The next few hours disappeared in a haze of a smoke and noise. Firg had spent enough time with Ari and her lover to allow him to escape. He preferred quiet. Yet at the same time, he craved the company of others. Life alone on a ship was okay, but sometimes he just needed to be with people.
“Gotta go girls,” Firg shouted out in order to be heard above the noise. “I’ll call you tomorrow, Ari.”