Thursday, May 19, 2016

5/19/16

DANCING QUEEN
By C.E. Gee


Marie bit her lower lip as she paused at the hatchway to Dave’s studio. She was wary of Dave. His lecherous staring was off-putting to someone as shy and young as Marie -- she was 17.

Marie had a boyfriend, Ron, who was also on the moon. His company had contracted to install an improved environmental control system to the Moon’s prison. Marie and Ron were living in one of the compartments used to house transient workers.

Marie pressed her right forefinger against the I.D. pad mounted to the right of the studio’s hatch.

The audio transducer above the hatch said, “Hello Marie. Please wait while Dave gives his consent.”

There came a buzz and a snap from the outer hatch. It swung open. Marie stepped through the hatchway, continued on through the airlock. Automatically, both hatches closed.

Marie opened the visor of her pressure suit. Though the corridor was pressurized, it was on Luna’s surface. With no internal airlocks the corridor’s entire length was always in danger of a blowout.

Dave was waiting at the other end of the studio.

As Marie walked toward Dave she once again marveled at the size of the studio. Leasing such a spacious facility on Luna was expensive.

The studio’s overhead was a half-dozen meters above the deck. The studio’s deck-space was more than 500 square meters.

In addition, there were storage closets, an office, restroom, all arranged around the studio’s perimeter.

As Marie neared Dave he said, “I’m all set up for our next take; start whenever you’re ready.”

Marie nodded an affirmative, climbed out of her pressure suit.

Marie was wearing a pale pink tutu.

Marie approached Dave’s platform, where all the equipment was, slid her pressure suit under the platform.

Marie strolled to the center of the studio. Cambots affixed to the overhead and bulkheads followed Marie’s every movement.

Just beneath Marie’s skull, atop her brain was an implant, constantly transmitting her brainwaves.

Dave announced, “I’m getting your output Okay.”

Dave said, “Now recording.” He then pushed a button just before he cued the music, a compilation of Rachmaninoff’s most danceable works.

Marie began to dance. Dave’s own implant received the monitoring feed from his recording equipment. Dave rubbed his hands together, chuckled in glee at the quality of Marie’s output. The royalties from this performance would be huge.

Quickly, as usual, Marie got into the music.

Fed by the transmission of Marie’s implant, recorded by Dave’s equipment, the Solarian internet would soon deliver to appreciative fans spread throughout the Solar System all of Marie’s current dancing experience –- her near ecstatic appreciation of the classical music, her youthful joy of soaring high up off the deck for long distances as she executed low gravity variations of classic ballet moves and postures.

Most of all, her audience would experience love. Marie’s emotions were at full flood. Her youthfulness, her love for her art and her love of the moment was deeply tinged by her love for Ron.

The dance, once considered an obsolete art form, a holdover from the past, had been successfully revived thanks to cerebral implants and dancers such as Marie.

Marie smiled to herself as she considered her primary audience, which mostly consisted of older women who were reliving emotions of their past, combined with young girls who were experiencing perhaps for the first time emotions they would someday greatly cherish.

During her dance, Marie stole glances at the view screen suspended above the equipment racks. The screen displayed a count down of the routine’s remaining time.

The music consisted of several of Rachmaninoff’s most stirring concerts, which Dave had edited down to short bits. The dance went on until there was just one minute left.

A few more seconds passed. Marie threw herself into a pirouette. Almost three meters up from the deck, Marie spun and spun, expertly timing her landing so that she directly faced the platform.

Marie delicately placed the forefinger of her right hand under her chin, gracefully executed a bow as Dave cued recorded applause and cheers.

Dave gathered up an armful of flowers, grown in a local hothouse, threw them over Marie. A red rose landed in Marie’s hair. Smiling, she picked the rose out of her hair. Holding the rose in her left hand, Marie used her right hand to throw a kiss to a cambot.

Marie then held the flower to her nose, in an exaggerated action, drew in its fragrance. Her smile broadened as she looked directly at the cambot.

Dave slowly pulled down a T-shaped lever mounted on an equipment case. The overhead monitor screen read “FADE.”
Dave said, “And we’re out. Good take. Man, we’re gonna make a bundle on this one.”

“It’s not all about the credits, Dave,” scornfully said Marie.

“I know,” replied Dave. “I enjoy it just as much as you. In a different way, certainly. But still, you can’t complain about the credits.”

Marie climbed into her pressure suit.

Dave asked, “See you Tuesday? I got a jazz routine I’m working up. I figure a coupla rehearsals, you’ll nail it.”

***

Ron had ended his work day, was back at their quarters when Marie arrived.

Ron, sitting at the desk, asked, “Wanna hit the dining hall?

“Sure.”

Marie climbed out of her pressure suit, removed her tutu, changed into yoga pants and a bulky sweater.

As Marie changed, Ron, eyeing Marie’s sleek, slender figure, commented, “You know, I gotta be the luckiest feller on Luna.”

Marie couldn’t conceal her wicked little smile.

The dining hall was located at the center of the habitation dugout. Being deep underground, no pressure suits were required in the corridors.

Marie walked to the hatch, turned, asked, “Ready?”

Ron rose, went to the hatch, opened the hatch for Marie, followed her through the hatchway.


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