Beyond the Darkside, 29-7 to 11


Shower

Aldric stripped down until he was naked before the shower. He turned his head to look at the mirror and appreciated his appearance. If not for all of the blood he could have appeared on any health magazine. The lower gravity of the moon made movement fare less stressful on the body, and there were plenty of people who took advantage of that and let themselves devolve into soft, squishy people, as featureless as they were boring. “Evan is one of those people,” Adlric thought aloud. “Was. Was one of those people,” he corrected himself. He was glad the little nerd was dead, but he wished he could have strangled the runt himself.

Aldric never let the gravity differential get in the way of staying in good shape. The use of artificial gravity fields and resistance bands allowed him to remain lean and strong. Well defined muscle stood out beneath his taught skin. The accident and his subsequent recovery had limited Aldric’s time at the gym, but his appearance defied suggested the opposite. He was in the best shape of his life and he felt as healthy as ever.

He shook his head and grimaced. He was amazing and Evan was a simpering dough-boy. Why had Margaret chosen him? Why had she come back? Couldn’t she have just died like she deserved. It was bad enough that Aldric couldn’t shake the feeling of Evan still being alive, but to be confronted in his building by that slut was just too much for a man of his superiority to swallow.

A twist of the knob sent a torrent of steaming hot water into the tightly sealed shower stall. The custom ceramic walls, door and floor of the enclosure remained comfortable as they absorbed the heat and recycled it through a series of cells he had designed for use in the massive cooling towers that were part of his first attempt at power without attachments to Terra. The monstrosities still stood like ancient monoliths outside of the city proper. The expense of tearing them down made it easier to leave them in place, no matter the eyesore they represented.

He stepped into the water and grunted as the water poured over him and instantly scorched his skin a bright pink. He let the water roll over him as he placed his hands against the shower wall beneath the shower head. The heat shunting properties of the ceramic cells were impressive, and while they were obsolete in terms of his energy programs, the military and the Terran Space Authority both found uses for them by the freighter load. The TSA used it for climate control on several of the space stations in orbit around Terra and Aldric was negotiating a contract to provide a larger version of the cell that could be used in the planned construction of an orbital ring around the earth. The military preferred the smaller cells which could be used to baffle the heat signature of their soldiers. Their stealth suits were good, not as good as his next generation suits, but they were better than anything the government of earth was using.

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