“Vacant Spaces”

From Clarkesworld #77

“Eighty kilometers above Earth’s moon, Caine and Shepard abandoned the cockpit for the tug’s passenger cabin. All but two facing rows of seats had been removed to make room for the biology of the engines. Like the roots of a tree, piping and conduits ran from floor to ceiling and all along the bulkheads. From inside, it seemed the engines had not so much been bolted to the tug, as grown into it. When stoked, they would sweat something like a mucus-blood mixture, which stank like burning fat, and sizzled on the floor.”

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