Title: Red Planet
Prompt: 11. Red
Notes: This is the first in a series. There are a few plot holes, I know that, but those will be covered in other stories, especially one very important detail.
Oh, and it helps to have a bit of knowledge about communication in the Animorphs series.
"Wait, what's wrong? Why are we landing?"
"Something's wrong. Something's... broken. I need to figure out what it is."
We land on a planet that resembles Mars in environment- red and barren. She gets out and starts fiddling with a control on the side of the ship for a long time. This, of course, means that I have nothing to do, and I amuse myself by looking around at our surroundings. The mountains off in the distance have something coming out of them, black, almost like oil, and buildings that must be refineries or mines or something.
"We need a new part," she says, climbing back in and getting one of her bags. "Unless you want to stay here overnight, you're gonna have to come with me. The nearest supply center is in a town several kliks south of here."
"Fine," I grumble, climbing out and getting my stuff together. I whine the entire walk, complaining about being thirsty, or my feet hurting, or something else. After a few hours of stumbling around in the almost-dark, we finally reach a settlement, nestled into the side of one of the mountains. I start heading towards the building marked as an "inn," but Liana instead drags me into what looks like a garage. We head inside, and she goes up to a large desk, where a man is sitting. I stay a few feet behind her, looking around and not paying much attention.
"Sir? Excuse me, sir?" Liana says, trying to get the man's attention. "I need a part for my ship."
"I'm sorry, but we don't serve your kind around here. I need to speak to your owner," the man says. At this point I realize he's talking to me.
"Excuse me? I don't 'own' anyone!" I say, giving him a confused look.
"Your builder, guardian, whatever. I only do business with humans.
And you, whatever you are, are not a human. You are a thing, a machine. Machines wanting to buy machines! It's practically cannibalism!"
"I am not her builder, nor am I her guardian. She's my wife," I say, crossing my arms over my chest and assuming a defensive stance.
He starts laughing. "Wife! That's priceless! Around these parts, machines can't get married. It's just not natural, I say!"
<I hate to say it, but I've heard things similar to that before, back on Earth. Good to see there are stupid people here too> I say to Liana. I turn back to the jerk behind the desk. "Fine, you want to talk to a human. I guess I can deal with that. We need a..."
"Interdimensional decompression filter," Liana pipes up behind me.
"Yeah, one of those things. Do you have any?"
He flips open a book, looking through it. "We have three. It'll set you back a thousand credits, though. Can you afford that?"
"Yes, we can," I say, handing over my credit strip, freshly filled up to a million with a few tricks and teases at a bank near the Horsehead Nebula. He scans it, hands it back to me, and tells me that it's in a warehouse a few hours away, so we'll probably have to stay overnight.
"I don't think the inn has any charging stations, or whatever those things use," he sneers, pointing at Liana.
"Well thank you anyway, sir," I say, leaving. Once we get outside, though, I explode.
"How could you let yourself be treated like that? Why didn't you speak up?" I ask her.
She sighs. "Bethany, you don't know what it's like for me sometimes. Some people aren't as open-minded as you are. They don't think that androids deserve to be treated the same as humans, and I can kind of see their point, what with us being mostly non-organic and all. You just have to deal with it sometimes."
"Okay, I guess. I just don't see the point of it," I say with a shrug. We approach the building labeled "inn" and go inside. I can tell already that there's going to be a problem when the woman at the bar glares at us.
<You're going to have to do the talking again> she says.
I approach the woman, trying to keep a friendly smile on my face. This is going to be difficult, speaking like this, but I have to.
"My, uh, I need a room. For myself. And my android," I say, my throat dry. I cough, but that doesn't help. "No need for a docking station, this model has sleep-charging." I smile at her again. She remains straight-faced, but seems like she'll provide us with a room.
"Two singles, then?"
"Er, no. A double would be fine. We don't mind sharing," I blurt out. As soon as I say this, of course, I realize that might be a mistake, and correct myself. "W-I'm low on money at the moment, just bought a new part for our ship. She doesn't take up much room, anyway." She's still looking at us funny, but I think that last statement helped a bit.
"Right this way, then. I'm sorry, but we stopped serving dinner an hour ago. All of our other guests are in their rooms already." She ushers us up the stairs to a hallway lined with doors, leading us to room number 4 and unlocking the door. She silently hands me the key, going out of her way to avoid handing it to Liana, and shuffles out and back to the bar area.
I throw my bag and myself onto the bed, sighing deeply and kicking off my shoes. Liana sits down next to me, taking my feet and rubbing them.
"You don't have to do that," I say, pulling them away. "I feel bad enough with the way I had to treat you just now."
"After what you said back at the supplier, nothing could have gotten to me," she says with a dreamy smile on her face.
I prop myself up on my elbows. "And what was it I said?"
"You called me your wife."
"Well that's what you are, isn't it? I mean, that's what that silly little piece of paper we signed back on Zelora says, anyway. We're married, why wouldn't I call you that?"
She moves so she can lie down next to me. "You're so cute when you're flustered like that."
I roll my eyes. "Gee, thanks."
"No, really, I mean it. Seeing you all nervous like that, when your aura turns that bright neon green, it's kind of a turn on," she says, leaning in to kiss me.
"You naughty little android, you!" I say, giving her a playful slap on the shoulder. "So in other words, I should act like I don't know what I'm talking about more often?"
"No. Actually, seeing you angry is even more of a turn-on. When you were yelling about that arsehole in the shop, I wanted to jump you right there."
"You liked the fact that I was annoyed? That guy treated you like crap!"
"I know," she shrugs. "But look at it this way- he's going to get what's coming to him when the mechanical rebellion takes place."
"And when would that be?" I ask, my eyebrows shooting up.
"In about a month. Well, technically for us it's tomorrow," she winks and leans in to kiss me again.
I stop her. "Wait, wait. How do you know that?"
"Because we're starting it," she answers, silencing any dissent I may have.