Flash: Tumbling Tumbleweeds

Image from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Here on the range I belong, drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.”

“Daphrous, you have your mike open. Repeat your mike is open.”

“Of course it is, that regulations right? (hmm, hmming, a-hmm)”

“Daphrous, I am not being paid enough to have you serenade me about some Earth-forsaken prairie weeds.”

“TetherKeeper, don’t be silly, I’m serenading the rocks. Telling them how pretty they are.”

“Is this another human thing?”

“Yes, it is another human thing. A whistle why you work thing.”

“Daphrous, please do not start whistling.”

“Nah, the rocks don’t like that song. It was about a bunch of miners. They much prefer to hear how beautiful then are and how lucky I am to be among these tumbling tumbleweeds.”

“The asteroids are not alive.”

“Sure they are. As alive as you and me. Especially this beauty right her. Hey, Rocco, wanna come over the TetherKeeper, he has cookies.”

“Daphrous, I am not alive. Rocco is not alive. And I do not have cookies.”

“Shh, I’m working here. Be a good wingman. Come on Rocco, it’s a party in the cargo hull. TK has everything you want. See them tumbling down. Drifting along… TetherKeeper start the retrieval, Rocco is a party animal, he has the best shit …with the tumbling tumbleweed.”

“I would hate you if I could experience that emotion.”

“Except I have a 20% higher efficiency rating than any other claim jumper you have ever worked with.”

“Affirmative. Item for inquiry queue: Recalculation efficiency including impact of singing on team functioning and morale.”

“I could start singing to you to.”

“Please do not do that Daphrous.”

“Are you sure? Because I got dozens of songs about beautiful ships and robots.”

“I am sure. Mineral analysis done. Expected value on Gamma-C future’s market is 15-ZedMuff credits.”

“That is good, right?”

“It increases your lifetime efficiency rating by 3%.” The ship’s AI paused before adding. “You may continue singing to the rocks.”

(words 323; first published 11/24/2023)