Space Balm

“If I’d have known we’d be doing stake out, I’d have brought my non-sedative ones.” Ameer grumbled from the small kitchenette area of the motel suite they had booked to watch their suspect. In his hand was a small bottle of Space Balm, ‘Protection From The Extremities of Space’ the label read, and printed boldly and proudly underneath was ‘A BIOGEN Product.’

“I still can’t believe you actually drink that stuff.” Astrid replied by her spot near the window overlooking the quad that all the suites were situated around. Police Issue surveillance equipment was set up to peer through the blinds at Suite 23. They were situated the other side of them in Suite 5.

“You mean you don’t take additional supplements, Detective?” He replied while looking thoughtfully at the small bottle in the palm of his left hand. His prosthetic right arm was currently hanging idly by his side, set on power-saving mode.

“Well, yes, but Space Balm?” Astrid scoffed, unable to keep the amusement out of her voice. “The adverts are about as hokey as the product probably is.”

Ameer grunted and tucked the bottle back into the mini-fridge, before pulling out two cans of VitaBrew. “Would it surprise you if I said I’ve drunk it for forty-four years?” He asked, passing her a can as he joined her by the window. The HMI port on his left wrist slotted into one of the free sockets on the surveillance equipment, pulling up a window in his vision to monitor the feed.

Cracking her can open, Astrid took a long drink before nodding. “It would, actually. I didn’t even know they sold it back then.”

“Not under that name.” Came the reply from her partner. “Back then it was Soldier Guardian A1. Then again, back then BIOGEN was Glausten Biological Engineering Solutions.”

“Pre-UN Control?” Astrid blinked.

“Yeah. The formula has changed a bit since then, but taste-wise, it’s still the same.” Taking a long gulp from the canned fruity beverage, he chuckled. “Back then it was packed with more Biological and Chemical protection agents. Nowadays it’s all about radiation, vitamins, calcium and things to make life in space more bearable. Got a huge following among the veteran population.”

Shifting her position a little, Astrid gave the former soldier a long look before speaking. “The sedative side?”

“Uh-huh, but it’s also got anti-anxiety and anti-nausea properties too.” Ameer said, looking right through her, staring off through walls he couldn’t otherwise see through. “At first we drunk it to get to sleep when hell was raining down on us. Then we drunk it to stop the thoughts keeping us up. Now? Some drink it because they can’t sleep any other way. For whatever reason.”

“And you?” The question came in a surprisingly gentle tone of voice.

“I just like the taste.” He lied with a smile, settling in to keep watch.


One thought on “Space Balm

  1. Pingback: Thinking Tuesday: Lemon Balm | With That She Wrote

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