The morning sun rose, casting a deep orange glow upon the older district. Already, early rising beings had taken off on skiffs or boats if they were too poor to afford the latter. Nets were made ready, and soon, the wharf would become bustling, filled with traders, salesmen, fishermen, and the goings about of daily life. Suresh left his simple home, stepping out onto the docks, smelling the fresh air that had come in with the tides.
Up in the sky hung the familiar immense gas giant, looming over the entire planet. The light of the old star catching on its enormous rings and reflecting off the atmosphere, causing the huge blue monster to take on an ethereal appearance in the right light. Suresh nodded, looking up at the visage in the sky. A few more days, and the Festival of Lights would take place. The gas giant would pass closer to this little world than it ever would in the next 10 years or so.
Suresh remembered the festival, like it was still fresh in his mind like it was yesterday. Always an incredible sight. The gas giant often distorted the atmosphere as the light reflected off its ice rings, causing incredible shows in the sky that reflected off this largely ocean world, giving the vast oceans a light show of their own. Combined with the age old tradition of the peoples of this world, the festival of light was a special event not to be missed.
But today Suresh wasn't preoccupied with such things. He was off to stop by another part of the old wharf district, and say good morning to a friend. It was his and hers day off today. In fact, he wanted to get her something nice. It'd been a while since he'd been able to sit down and take things easy. On the eve of the festival, he was due for some relaxation. He wasn't a fisherman or an aquatic breeder in this district, but his own job was hectic enough in its own way.
Land was sparse on this little world, existing only in small patches. Naturally, every available piece of land was packed to the tipping point with beings. Cities rose higher and higher, level by level, while the shores and wharfs of the land expanded artificially, spreading outwards in huge floating districts like the one Suresh lived on. Despite the distance between one city-island to the next, the governments soon found out that it was incredibly expensive, and wasteful to use larger ships to transport such a small amount of cargo for the planet's smaller population. As a result, on this world, Bamathuast, the courier business was king. And Suresh lived in the fast lane alongside it. Except for today. Today was a day to sit back and enjoy oneself.
How could one not, on the eve of a spectacular planetary event that the entire planet participated in, while the warm light of the old star created tropical weather all year round, and the blue oceans that glimmered in the light of the approaching gas giant beckoned with gentle waves? Yes, Suresh was going to take it easy today. But first, something for his friend.
Suresh walked through the crowds, keeping an eye out amongst the various traders and market stalls. Admittedly, it had been a long time since he actually walked out here among people, and even longer since he'd stopped and enjoyed the city and its sights. Always too busy travelling from one port to the next on his skiff. A fast machine, very fast indeed. It was a wonder he even saw anything while traveling on it.
Suresh continued to pass by shops of all kinds, but it seemed like he was out of luck. His longtime friend was an oddity on this world. With so much water, and most of it consisting of oceans, storms, and tropical rainfall, rust was a problem for many of her elements. Regardless, she was determined to live here.
But that wasn't his problem at the moment. As a mechanical marvel, a living being of metal and wires, shopping for her was hard. And as Suresh passed through more districts, this only became more evident. Eventually though, he figured it out. He knew exactly what he was going to get her. Suresh traveled through the flowing crowds, taking in everything.
It was fun really, out among all the people here. Bamathuast was known as one of the more relaxed worlds, a high traffic world for tourists. Crime and murder, and outside threats that often plagued other worlds were hardly a bother here. And, traveling through the streets, Suresh could see why. Despite being overcrowded, busy, sprawling, and in some cases, very worn down and less modern-esque in the older districts, the clash of colours as species mingled on the streets created a rainbow of customs, appearances, and an atmosphere of friendliness.
Suresh persisted through the ocean of crowds in the early morning, through district after district, until he found himself in the industrial trade district. Parts, ships, metal and scrap, technology galore. Yes, this was perfect. Suresh browsed past whole shipyards, to small shops, all the way down to simple little trade stalls run by simple folk, who only ever used the basics. And it was in one of these little homely stalls, among the vast crowds, that he spotted something keen on the eyes.
Suresh approached the stall, as the man behind it, clad in bright vestments stroked a long mustache, greeting him with open arms.
"Hello my friend! What can I do for you today?"
"I notice you've got a lot of oils here. Some of the names don't register. You're a foreign dealer?"
The man nodded.
"Yes I am my friend! High quality imports to be found here!"
He leaned over his counter, winking.
"And cheaper than all the big boys too."
Suresh smiled, nodding.
"Okay then. Here's a tough one. Got any oil that a cyborg could use?"
The man's eyes widened.
"Are you? No, you look too real my friend!"
Suresh shook his head.
"It's for a friend. Something for the Festival."
The man ran his fingers along his mustache, twirling the ends of it as he searched through his racks, rows upon rows of small cans in hundreds of different languages.
"Aha my friend, here we are! I have just the thing for you!"
The man slid a small can off the rack, and handed it to Suresh.
"Self-repairing oil! Ingenious stuff. The nanomachines inside the liquid feed off rust and repair damaged systems! You can't go wrong my friend."
"250 credits my friend!"
Suresh looked over the small can.
"That's a bit steep. Take 50 off?"
"25 my friend."
"You have yourself a deal my friend!"
The man handed him a small holographic pad over and Suresh distributed his funds. He nodded, smiling.
"If this stuff works, she's going to be coming to see you. Better stock up on more."
The man smiled.
"Oho! A date for the festival! I wish you luck my friend! Compliments of myself, I hope your friend enjoys it!"
Suresh nodded, shaking the man's hand, as he slipped the canister into one of his jacket pockets.
"You enjoy the festival too, take care now."
Suresh left the stall behind, as the simple man waved him goodbye. Things were going well so far. Now it was time to head out.
Suresh traveled back home, through the districts and back to the docks, to his old little stone house. His home rested on the original landmass that had been settled here, among great cliff sides. This side of the district was known for it's easy on the eyes feeling that came with homes being carved and sculpted out of solid rock, ranging from simple to highly ornate. Pale, sandy white stone carved down to a smooth little dome, with a small extension Suresh had since added for his skiff.
On his skiff, it didn't take long to traverse the city or any of the districts among the various skylanes, and the trip to his friends home was short lived, as he pulled away from the skylanes and came back down to solid land. Surprisingly, even though she was a cyborg, she enjoyed the simplicity of stone as much as Suresh did it seemed. Stepping off his skiff, Suresh knocked on the door, to no answer at first.
"Izz! Don't you tell me you've gone and slept in! You don't even need sleep!"
From inside, a quiet voice spoke.
"I'm up! I'm up! I could use a hand though."
Suresh pressed his palm up against the scanner and the door opened to reveal Izz's simple, rather unkempt home. As Suresh stepped in, he looked over to see his friend, sitting on the couch casually. Although sitting wasn't the best term.
"What the hell's this Izz?"
His friend rolled her eyes.
"My arms and my legs decided they wanted to go somewhere else."
Suresh had seen this before. Izz was diagnosed with a condition among Cyborgs known as Phantom Limb Syndrome. Often, when someone underwent complete body conversion, a phenomenon happened to some particular Cyborgs. Experts believed it had something to do with memories. Memories of when said person didn't have augments. Often, body parts or the entire person themselves would get stuck in a sort of feedback loop, their limbs attempting to go or do something related to the old memories.
Suresh looked down to his friend, who favored a largely solid black construction to her body, as she sat there on her couch, no arms and no lower torso. A simple shirt sat overtop of her synthetic replicants. She eyed him up with a smirk across her face, largely still human, but showing signs of metal implants underneath her skin.
"You're not going to leave me alone about this are you?"
"You bug me all the time about being just regular old Human. Now I've got a chance to list some cons every once in a while."
All Izz could do was tilt her head.
"You're a jerk."
"And you can't do anything about it!"
.... There is more of this story ...