30ShortsIn30Days: Duality

Note: This is posted “as is”, no editing or proof reading involved, as part of the 30 Shorts In 30 Days project. During April I will be attempting to write and post a new short story everyday.


  Matt and Hugh stood on the runway and looked up at the star ship they were soon to pilot. Their exams were a year past and they were now out of their probationary period. From today they were able to choose their own navigator, and choose their own commissions.

  It took six years to train as a star pilot, six years of long days studying star charts and logic circuits, honing bodies and minds to the point where they could manage the dual controls of these extraordinary ships.

  The duality ships were the pride of the planets, they could in theory be flown by one person but they were designed for three, two pilots and a navigator. The speed that the ships could fly was too fast for a single pilot to manage with no errors. So the duality ships were designed, two pilots that flew together with a computer picking the middle path, and the best pilots were twins. Two minds that could think together could fly together, less margin for error, less chance of hitting an asteroid or a planet. The chances of hitting other ships were still high though, which was where the navigator came in. The navigator sat behind the pilots and monitored the flights of other ships. Between the three crew members, the ships could fly fast. Not as fast as they were capable of flying, the speed of the engines could still outstrip the speed that the twins could think at, and the engineers were oft heard to remind them of it.

  As Matt and Hugh climbed into their pilot chairs and started their pre-flight preparations their chosen navigator arrived with their commission co-ordinator.

  “Gentlemen, this is your navigator, Clare. This is Matt, and this is Hugh,” the commission co-ordinator introduced the navigator to the pilots who nodded to the new arrival. “As for your commission, it seems you’ve chosen a freight pick up from Calliope, at the edge of the system. A bit remote and long for a first run isn’t it?”

  “Not really,” Matt replied.

  “Gives us time to get to know each other,” Hugh replied.

  “Sounds fun,” Clare added.

  “Right, okay, I’ll leave you to it then. Good luck,” the commissioner added as he left.

  Matt, Hugh and Clare looked at each other as Clare took her seat directly behind them.

  “Well,” Clare said. “Fancy seeing you two again.”

  “It’s been a long time,” Matt replied.

  “Sister,” Hugh finished.

  “Shall we take this ship out then?” Clare asked, the sooner we’re off the ground the sooner they might realise that we’re not intending to bring it back.”

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