There is not much to say about Beauty that has not already been said. Ultimately it’s a subjective concept though society tries very hard to sell it to you in a bottle. I’d certainly never cared if I was thought attractive by others standards, at least I hadn’t until now. Looking at the other women seated around me, all most likely from small farming moons like myself it was hard not to feel self conscious. True we were all dirty and stained and reeked of hard labor, but that could be easily washed away leaving something somewhat polished underneath.
“Excuse me,” one of older woman said waving over a passing droid. “How long until we get to Firma?” The machine stopped in it’s track and took a moment to process the question. I leaned over my seat so that I’d be able to hear the answer. It felt like it’d been an hour at least since we took off.
“We should arrive on Firma at 11:45 am F-Eastern Standard time,” the droid said jerking slightly before turning around and continuing on it’s journey to the cockpit. The woman seemed satisfied with this answer and readjusted herself before shutting her eyes. I on the other hand still had no idea how much longer we’d be in space. I’d been picked up from my home planet around 7:00 am J-Pacific standard time and for the life of me I couldn’t remember how to convert the time differences.
“Any idea what that means?” the girl sitting across from me asked clearly in the same boat. I shook my head.
“I can’t see the clock,” I replied gesturing towards the front of the ship where the only time piece was being covered by a different droid who was surveying the group. The girl rolled her eyes and reached into her pocket pulling out a pack of gum.
“You want some,” she offered noting that I was staring. Embarrassed I nodded and murmured ‘thanks’ before taking a stick. “I’m Kay by the way,” she said reaching out her hand.
“Lyra,” I said shaking it. It was then that I finally got a good look at her thanks in part to an outside star lighting up the dimly lit ship. She had long thick black hair that contrasted my short curls and multicolored hazel eyes that went from brown to green as the light changed. Her skin, underneath the grime, was a deep olive color only a little bit lighter than me and her hands were rough like mine.
“Well Lyra,” she smiled revealing dimples in her cheeks, “it’s nice to meet you. Of course you and I are going to be competitors in a few days, but until then…” She trailed off shrugging.
“It’ll be nice to know at least one person,” I said. “Even if it’s only a little.” Kay nodded and twisted herself to face me.
“Where are you from?” She asked before blowing a bubble.
“Jaru,” I answered adjusting myself to face her as well.
“I’m from Cantu, although you were already here when I got on board so you probably noticed that.”
“What’s your main crop?”
“Mostly wheat, it’s fairly boring shit.” I nodded. I hadn’t minded it much, but farm life could get pretty monotonous.
“We dealt with fruits,” I said before attempting and failing to blow a substantial bubble. Kay smirked before reaching over and peeling off some gum still stuck on my nose.
“Firma’s gonna be a completely different world for several reasons,” she noted flicking the gum bit onto the ground. “It’s going to be the first city I’ve ever seen.”
“I’m guessing it’s the first city any of us have ever seen, unless the raffle’s been expanded to wealthier planets.”
“True,” Kay said thoughtfully before looking out the window. It was hard to tell if this excited or scared her, but the confident energy she’d exuded early seemed to fade. We were after all about to stick out like a sore thumb amongst all the glitz and glamor. How anyone was going to turn a bunch of Moon famers into beauty pageant contestants was beyond me.
***to be continued.