16: Brainbox (part 4)

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16.4 Dates

Conradville, the Moon: 24 October 2126

"Are you still trying to nail it down? Today, of all days?" Melissa gasped in astonishment.

"Eh?" Andrew replied, his fingers continuing to flick through the holographic display.

"Duh, wake up, brainbox," she said, walking through the display causing the figures to scatter.

"Oh, yes," he grinned, sheepishly. "Anyway, I'm not supposed to see you today until Keifer officially hands you over. Isn't it supposed to be bad luck or something?"

"It will be bad luck for you if you don't get your head out of this stuff for once and get your arse into your suit."

Melissa smacked the aforementioned backside hard which propelled Andrew across the room. She laughed as he bounced off the wall, and then shrieked as he took advantage of the momentum to return and haul her off her feet so that they were both carried across the hallway tube and into their shared bedroom.

Coming to rest on the bed he kissed her hard on the lips.

Playfully, she pushed him away, "Not now, Romeo. Save it for tonight. Mum and Dad will be here any moment."

On cue, the front door buzzer sounded and she slipped out from under him.

"Get changed, and don't go back to the computer. That's an order."

She answered the door to her parents, and then barked one final order before departing, "Don't be late – that's my prerogative!"

The registry office was only a few passages away. Andrew managed not to be late, mainly because best man, Sven, a friend since early schooldays, had also been given specific orders by Melissa.

Keifer delivered the bride only a minute after the due time and the simple ceremony went without problem. Kissing her new husband in front of the assembled families, the new Mrs March flung the bouquet of artificial flowers high where it bounced off the ceiling to be caught by Keifer's nine-year-old nephew, Sigge, to the amusement of everyone.

An hour later both families along with several friends packed themselves into a hall, once a small natural cave thirty metres below the Moon's surface, for the dinner and speeches.

As Keifer delivered a humorous, anecdote-filled ramble about Melissa's life, the subject noted the slightly distant look on her new husband's face.

"Hello, Moon to Andrew. Are you actually listening to this?" she whispered.

"What? Yes, of course," he whispered back. "Only..."

"Only what?"

"I figured it out. Approximately."

"Huh? Oh, you did go back to the computer, didn't you!"

"Sorry, but..."

"Maybe you should have married the computer instead of me!"

"End of May 2128."

"What? Oh. About a year and a half then."

"Yes," he replied.

"And what will happen? Is it still 'bang'?"

"I really have no idea."

"Worst case?"

"No more Earth. At all."

"Could it take the Moon with it?"

"Possibly."

"Oh."

Andrew sighed. "Not quite the wedding present we might have wished for."


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