Thursday, March 1, 2012

Extinction Event

Henry Mahuta fastened his belt, attached his sidearm and left the compartment he’d decided to call the head.

Its original function was an enigma to him. Its chief value to Mahuta now was a shallow basin into which he squatted and shat when the need arose. Age had stolen from him the ability to predict his bowel movements, so the old Marine did plenty of squatting and waiting, just to be sure.

Mahuta could no longer do the calisthenics that kept him hale and sane at the start of his long voyage. Instead he practiced yoga and tai chi, long poses that shook his limbs and made his swirling tā moko tattoos stand out from his blotched, leathery skin. On bad days, he settled for walks through the ship.

Today was a bad day.