One Way Ticket on a Moonbound Train – James Edward O’Brien

The EMP Line’s trajectory spanned Nanosuelta’s three moons – an electromagnetic propulsion train that hopscotched from Point A to Point C. Back where humanity came from there had only been one lonely moon, so A, B, and C seemed the most practical way to label them.

Fabulosa was half in the bag already. She’d downed a fifth of potato hooch while camped out in the hollow of a giant cable spool, waiting for the lunar transit police to pass her by. Fortunately, the rail yard was a big place, and the transit cops were not paid enough to be thorough.

The two officers made a beeline for the tarpaper bunker where the train crew smoked stogies and bartered away any unclaimed and/or misplaced contraband.

Fabulosa hit the ground running. She’d drunk too much; Point C and Nanosuelta trembled blearily in the pea green sky above. The ground beneath her boots seesawed to and fro as she tore toward the open train car.

Fab never freight hopped before; her boots never left Point B when it came down to it. She knew there was a bustling multiverse just beyond the great silence, and figured Point C –– with a pit stop on Nanosuelta –– were frightening enough steps to take before committing to the great big scary plunge into whatever lay beyond that.

The train car smelled like a windowless bathroom where the flushing toilet and ventilating fan were on the fritz. Her boot soles played a tremolo against the corrugated titanium floor as she scrabbled toward the car’s darkest corner.

A psychic alarm sounded off in Fabulosa’s head. Fab was “touched” psychically. Nobody knew if it was something given off by the lunar soil or something in the atmosphere, but heightened empathic abilities were common among those born –– or stranded for too long –– on Point B. She had a shrink once who likened it to the way spending too much time in the water makes one’s fingertips prune.

Fabulosa sensed someone coming. She felt their muddled thoughts crowding her brainwaves.

Getting caught meant a hefty fine and a return to the life she so desperately sought to shed. Her parents had been spaceniks –– travelers on a planet caravan in search of Eden. Maybe it had been the psychic abracadabra emitted from Point B that lured them there.

All Fabulosa knew was that Pops was out to lunch. He peddled hacked avatar mods out of some next age phrenology shop to support his psychotropic implant habit. Moms had tucked tail for Nanosuelta before Fab was out of diapers.

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