Chapter 3:

Scene 3

On the Ship (girlxgirlxgirl)

Nono loved Amira. Nono loved Claudia. It brought a smile to her face to see them loving her, and to see them loving each other. And the three of them walking down the corridor in downtown Horus City together, like this, was already the best date ever. Every day for Nono was the best date ever.

It was said that the Komugi family had a long history of love and having a bit too much of it in their hearts. That was probably why her mother had sixteen siblings, twelve of whom were on-board the Horus One, and why most of them had had copious numbers of children when they came of age. Nono had lost track once all her aunts and uncles got married, but at their family reunion last year she had forty-four cousins, and then Aunt Maya was pregnant with twins too.

The colony constructors had built the four Exurb Spheres for emergency situations in case Horus City were contaminated or breached in some way, but enough new families had come about that they had to open up two of them to prevent overpopulation. She wondered how much of an impact her own family had on that.

Of course, she was an only sibling, herself, and her parents had divorced when she was young. That was the exception, of course. And seeing as three of her cousins went to the same school and were in the same class year as her, it was almost like she had some siblings anyway, huh?

With all that overcrowding, you’d think that Nono would be a bit averse to crowding herself in her personal life. But nope, she went and got herself two girlfriends to guarantee she’d never have a moment alone. And that was just fine with her!

They were in the middle of downtown Horus City now, the place where all the best entertainment and events happened. Every weekend there was something new to celebrate, someone or some group performing something, somewhere neat to go. If Nono wasn’t the most talented or the prettiest girl out there, at least she knew how to get around the city!

Of course... it’s not like there were any other cities on Horus One. Just the Exurb Spheres and the Biome Wheels. So after sixteen years of living, not intimately knowing Horus City just meant you weren’t exploring enough.

They had veered off the main street where all the largest businesses were located and were going up some stairs towards a somewhat hidden path into an indoor mall called Tillman’s. The sun was dimming early, as it always did on Fridays, and the twinkling stars of outer space were starting to come into view.

“Where are we going again?” Amira asked

“The movies!” Nono shouted with chipper glee.

“Well, yes, but... where is this?”

“You can’t tell me you’ve never been to Tillman’s,” Nono said. “You’re almost eighteen years old and you don’t know the coolest place in the whole city?”

“Can’t say I have.”

“I’ve never even heard of it,” Claudia said.

“You guys are killing me! Well, time to be a good girlfriend then, because here it is.”

The doors, small and unassuming with only the “Tillman’s” logo plastered on it to give any indication what it was, opened automatically. They entered it, and immediately the two girls gasped upon seeing the strange sight. There were some restaurants and tables set up for a sort-of food court, but everywhere else on this floor and every floor above it were a series of clear translucent tubes swerving every which way.

“Way back when they built this ship the first time it went to New Memphis, this part of the city was actually zoned for warehousing,” Nono explained, taking on a professorial tone. “But after the first trip they realized that this was a bad spot and turned it all into commercial buildings. Well, when Roberta Tillman bought this warehouse and converted it into a shopping mall, she decided to keep the transportation tubes and incorporate them into the building design.”

Amira raised an eyebrow. “So to go to the stores in this mall, you have to...”

“Step into the right tube, yes!” Nono exclaimed. “It’s really fun, seriously. And there’s a really good movie theater

Claudia stepped over to one of the tube entrances to inspect it closely. There were many mall-goers entering the tubes and coming out just fine, but she still had a suspicious look. “These were designed for cargo and produce... but they work just fine for people?”


“And we don’t use them to zip all around Horus City without having to walk?”

“Well, it’s... poor exercise?”

Claudia giggled as she examined the tube closer. “Knowing the City Council, that’s probably why they-- WHOa--”

Claudia took one step too close to the tube and was sucked in, blasted upwards towards whichever store entrance she had picked.

Nono looked at the sign by the tube. “She’s at... Xenon Jewelers? I guess we should follow her.”

“I did need a new necklace,” Amira said.

They both stepped into the tube and shot up. It was probably stupid to have so much fun with this, but Nono was a very stupid person.

They all ended up standing right in front of a crowded storefront full of all sorts of jewelry made with, as the name suggested, gems containing Xenon. With the credits Nono had, she didn’t think she could afford to use the bathroom in a place like this.

Claudia was broken up in laughter. “That... that was really weird,” she said.

“See, I told you!”

Amira put her arm around Nono’s shoulder. “I have to admit, this really is a cool mall. Thanks for bringing us here...” She smiled at her with that half-smirk only Amira could pull off.

It had been a really long week for the three of them, but Nono especially.

She had only ever joined Computer Club because she wanted to use the internet more and her mother had a one-hour time limit every day. But then when she met these two girls... things really took off. That time when she stayed late to help Claudia with a programming project she had. Looking back, it was probably just an attempt by her to get Nono alone for a sneaky kiss, but it all changed when Nono made that offhanded observation.

“You know, I saw that Amira girl staring at you earlier. I think she likes you.”

“Really now...”

“Well, that’s how it seemed, at least. She’s pretty intense sometimes, don’t you think?”

“Nono, do you like her?”


At that time, Nono had hardly even spoken to Amira. Of course... things changed. And now the three of them were together.

Was this actually going to pan out? Probably not, at least from how Nono saw it. A lot of teenagers experimented with this sort of thing, but everyone eventually settled into couples and marriages when they got done with primary education, and the three of them probably weren’t going to be any sort of exception. Not when they would be joining the colonists on New Memphis by the time they were of any reasonable marriage age, that was for sure.

As long as it was fun now, though, that was what really mattered, though.

“C’mon, let’s go to the movies,” Nono said. “Guess which floor that one’s on?”

“Uh, the same as this one and we can walk there?” Claudia guessed.

“Nope. Eight floors up!”