I read enough science fiction. Thought I'd try writing some. Not that I'm scientific enough to carry off anything longer...
The older crewmen were used to his informality. He was in charge; they knew it. He didn’t care if they called him by his name, in fact he preferred it. They had long ago forgone with the formal recognition of salutes. As long as the job was done, he didn’t care. They were a mining outpost, and military protocol was irrelevant.
It was dark here, always dark. Humans found it oppressively so. For the vampires, it was home. The Company found them cost efficient. Oxygen could be kept at a minimum, along with power. Most did their jobs single-mindedly. They were good workers, and good team players. The crew bonded as family.
He entered his quarters and opened the refrigeration unit, pulling out a pack of pseudo blood. They were cost efficient too. High protein, high fat vegetable derivatives, with all the nutrition of real blood. A necessary thing, with no other life forms but other vampires working here. And they weren’t really life forms, were they?
He lay on his cot. Their body cycles were artificially manipulated, with no real day or night. He was about to slip into his coma like sleep state when his door beeped. “Bloody hell, what now?” he asked himself. He rose. “Enter.”
“Excuse me, Commander.” She stood at the door, nervous about entering. She hated to intrude.
“I said, come in, lieutenant.” They were so different, these voluntarily chipped vamps. He understood why they did it; a chance for a somewhat normal existence without fear of staking. They’d be hard pressed to find any real wood in The Facility, though. Still, without the chips they’d be inclined to tear each other apart, eventually. His prototype was the only one not engineered to react to vampires and demons. The later models had generally controlled aggression. The Company couldn’t count on all vamp behavior to be tempered by love.
She stepped just over the threshold and stood stiffly. He was so attractive, but he was her commanding officer. Besides, she’d never known him to show any interest in the female crew. He kept himself distant. Social enough, yes, perhaps more so than any other officer, but distant nonetheless. “The human delegation will arrive in five hours. You said you wanted to know their progress.”
“Thanks, lieutenant. That gives me three hours to try to rest. Luck’ly, I’m used to the lack of sleep.” Even on earth, he had been able to go on very little downtime. He was one of the few who spent almost as much time out and about in day as night, thanks to his ratty old blanket. “You can go.” He watched her as she left his chamber. Pretty girl. Not his type. He doubted he had a type anymore.
He lay down on his cot for the second time. The human delegation, here to check on the progress of the work. Been a while since he’d seen a human, much less had to charm one. Still, he had the ol’ magic, he reckoned. Magic. There was precious little of that here. Not like the old days, on the Hellmouth. Here everything was cold hard metal, plastic and science. No place for magic. Even the vampires were treated like just another alien species.
He closed his eyes, and as always, saw her face. Big eyes, sweet mouth, golden hair. Two hundred years, and her face shone bright. He missed her still. Saw her lying on the ground, this time never to rise. Too many mornings when he almost walked out into the light. Staying around just for Dawn, until she passed into history. Sunnydale was too full of painful memories to stay, then California, the United States, the planet. Everything reminded him of her. Even in this far off world, with nothing of her in it, she was still in his heart.
He smiled at the good memories, until he slowly shut down and slept the sleep of the dead.