Harmony Chapter 30: Delays and taking a bath

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This entry is part 30 of 31 in the series Harmony

I explained to Mark that I might not sleep in his house tonight, that in my new temporary share of coordinator, I might often sleep out in the dining hall but I told him I was still available on my night and would still eat with them over supper. He understood, but both Cassiopeia and Tiffany seemed saddened by it, in very different ways…

I returned to my apartment and saw that the management console was filled with error messages. Oh oh… what happened?

I began reviewing them only to discover that the main problem was the lack of space on the upcoming ship. I was trying to export too much metal compared to the past little exports the colony was making, and the computer didn’t know what to prioritize.

I began shuffling things around and realized I had exactly eight containers I could send. That was it. Only eight containers. All of the rare earth elements and other such minerals took about half a container, so I prioritized that.

I was about to ship all of the Tungsten but I realized that it could be used in an automated factory to build ships. Would Sigma 8 ever become a ship-building planet? I doubted it, but we had enough Tungsten to build three ships. Perhaps, one day, I would like to build or buy 2 ships: one for a direct route between Sigma 8 and Earth, which was the cash cow, and another, if I ever build myself an empire, between the other colonies I would have bought.

Because I will buy other colonies… My father’s family built an empire making about 5% of the revenues of each colony they manage in taxes, profits, etc… The other 95% of the revenues were used to pay citizens, import luxury goods, make the economy go round. I would be making 90% of the revenues of this colony… with the remaining 10% being for improvements like better mining equipment, better farming equipment, etc… This would allow me vast resources: once this colony would be mature enough, it could make as much profit for me, than all of my father’s colonies, combined.

So, I shipped 50% of our Tungsten, which took three containers.  It was scary: it took them 60 years to mine that much so I was putting my own reserves in jeopardy but the problem was that if I didn’t manage to send enough to secure our independence, my father’s company could seize our reserves.

Right now, the cost of independence was low because it was based on the import/export balance over the history of the colony. That balance was about to change and make us one of the richest colonies for about a year while we liquidate several decades of unsold goods no one knew about. I had one shot to secure our independence, and I would sell the material as a one time bid for independence: in short, I would announce that my sales were a fire sale to secure our freedom.

I only returned one of the helicopters, one of the monorail trains, some of the useless electronics, and one container of good exchange gold bars: the de facto standard currency. According to the computer, our financial reserves and the new export would be enough to pay roughly 103% of our independence, and I still had one container to go.

I loaded it with silver bars and used their value as a deposit to buy on credit a few more solar vehicles: tractors, dump trucks, even an all-terrain “bus”.  My idea was to open a few mines or farms in other directions than north, east and west. To venture away from the monorail.

I did place the order for the cargo monorail train, but the backorder was too long. I had another idea: why not convert one of our unused trains still in storage?

I checked the schedule: our independence request would be received in five months, and we would get confirmation eights months later. Good…

I drew myself a hot bath and regretted not having a bubble bath, but when I was about to get in it, I had a change of heart.

Instead, I went downstairs and found Laura who alone in the kitchen to finish cleaning.

I didn’t hesitate and stole a kiss.

“Hello Lover”, I told her. “Need help?”

Laura confirmed she was almost done and only needed to finish up for a few minutes.

“I drew us a hot bath in my apartment… wanna share it with me?”

“Why?”, she asked, puzzled.

“Yeah, that’s something I found odd. On Earth, sharing a bath or shower is something rather intimate and sexual, but here, it’s nothing.”

“But aren’t they just for washing up?”, she replied, still not getting it.

“I guess the fact that women are always naked changes things here, but in short, it’s a moment where two naked people are close to each other, in an enclosed space, touching their skin, often in a warm environment. it’s perfect for some sexual tension.”

She was starting to see it.

“So, on Earth, there are 2 types of showers? For washing and for intimacy?”

“No, you still wash your body when with the other person, or rather, you wash each other. It’s just that on top of the washing up, you add some spiciness. Some sexuality.”

I could see gears turning in her head.

“So you can add Sex to other activities?”

“Yes! Finally! Someone sees it! Here, it’s like sex is apart of everything else. Like, when you bring me a plate in the dining hall, you smile at me. It’s not purely non-sexual. I mean, I wouldn’t go and have sex with you on the spot in front of everyone.”

“I guess I do… I did put my secret ingredient in your pastry”

Oh yeah.., I remembered.

“What was it?”

Laura blushed…

“I remembered how you used your tongue down there, and how you said I tasted good…”

“no, you didn’t…”, I laughed and kissed her.

We eventually made it in my bath, where I sensually washed her body, and where she sensually washed mine. But we first had sex on the kitchen counter, in my bed, and caressed each other leaning against my bathroom wall.


Series Navigation«Harmony Chapter 29: Talking about PigsHarmony Chapter 31: Cities?»
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