Remember that flash fiction contest whose deadline I missed last week? Well, I’m in love- with their prompts, and with the idea of naming my characters after my students. 🙂 Also, wouldn’t it be an upset to have my students enter and beat me out of this contest? Consider that a challenge. Deadline’s midnight tonight.
I’m just getting worse and worse, thought Avi. Her life depended on her ability to lie, with finesse.
“Come again?” asked the auditor. He clearly wasn’t going for it, but she couldn’t retract her words. How long had they been at it, five hours?
Avi slammed her gloved hand down on the table, “I told you, the C-line malfunctioned and I never left the system.” She still wore the bulky flight suit. NASA hadn’t even allowed her to change before investigating.
“So how do you explain the 365 days of blank data on your flight recorder and your bio-data?” He asked, challenging her with his gaze, his fingers poised on the stylus, “Stasis would’ve kept you in hibernation.”
Was he playing poker, or did they really have that kind of tech? Every year NASA came up with better pilot tracking. Her friends warned her this would happen. They trained her to lie in every imaginable scenario, but they couldn’t assure success. “The best lies are mostly true,” they said, “But you’ll have little truth to offer them.”
“I don’t… I mean, I can’t. Maybe that malfunctioned too.” Avi was definitely getting worse at this game.
The auditor looked at Avi and sighed. “I think we’re done here, Lieutenant.”
“It’s about time,” Avi tried to keep playing, but her heart told her it was over.
“We’re done, but you’re not. Get the T-95.”
The truth was, Avi traveled to 3016 and managed to come back alive. She wasn’t the first, and she wouldn’t be the last. But the orders were always the same: Don’t reveal the mission. Under any circumstances. She brushed her finger against the tiny steel flake implanted in her suit. Insurance, they said. She had less than a minute to decide whether or not to kill herself.