On track thus far (thankfully; it’s only day 1…). Of course I hate the first thousand words or so but it got better eventually. I probably won’t post much of the story here, but every once and a while I’ll give a passage. Today, I present Female Stereotypes in the World of Tomorrow.
“I realize I have not been very—friendly—to you this past week,” she said at last. “I have been—well. I think we might do well to start over.”
I didn’t know what to do with this. I didn’t know what to do with her.
“It seems like everybody’s asking me to do that lately,” I sighed at last, sinking down onto my bunk.
I thought the commander looked a little guilty when she said that. She sat on the edge of the bed beside me, reaching up to pull the pins out of her hair.
“I know things must be difficult for you right now,” she said as her hair fell down around her face in long, coffee-colored waves. “And I know I haven’t been doing much to help you. This is all quite new to me, as well.” She stared at her lap, fiddling with the pins she had pulled from her hair. She transferred the pins to her left hand and held out her right.
“My name is Karen Amelia Hristopoulos,” she said.
A little confused, I took her hand. “Catherine Manuela Tecuatl,” I said.
“It’s nice to meet you, Catherine.”
“It’s nice to meet you, uh…Ms. Hristopoulos,” I replied, a little bewildered.
“Lieutenant Commander,” she corrected automatically, then grimaced. “Sorry. Habit. It’s been a long time since anyone called me ‘Ms.’ But I’m not your commanding officer. I guess you should call me Karen.”
“Karen,” I said slowly. “It doesn’t feel quite right,” I decided with an apologetic sort of wince.
“I suppose the uniform doesn’t help that,” she said, dropping my hand at last and looking down at the green-and-gray skirt and jacket layered over her gray station suit.
“At least you get a uniform,” I replied. “I just get—this.” I waved my hands vaguely at the gray jumpsuit which left none of my adolescent body to the imagination.
Karen’s eyebrows drew together for a moment. “Oh—I suppose they don’t wear ’suits much on Earth, do they? Most people out here are used to it. So many of us live in artificial environments, we practically grow up in these things.”
“I live—lived—in a controlled environment,” I told her. “One of the enclaves in North America. But it wasn’t completely artificial, and I got outside to real air and whatever pretty often. Nobody wears ’suits except…well, it’s a good way to get people to leave you alone. Earthers wear real clothes.”
She raised an eyebrow at that. “Spacemonkeys wear station suits. Like it or not, you’re a Spacer now, Lithy.”
“I may be a Rockhead, but at least my fashion sense isn’t stuck in the Stone Age,” I retorted, trying and failing to hide a grin.
Karen was grinning too. “Gray is a very—oh, let’s face it, nobody looks good in that color. I guess that’s why the Corps chose it—it’s equally unflattering to all.”