Friday, July 28, 2017
Who's ready for a Snippet? Here's #02 from the upcoming Space Cadet book.
To me the hanger bay looked twice as big as it did the last time I stood here. I tried to remember when that was exactly, time seems to be moving a whole lot faster now that the we were loosing the war. “Artemis do you know when I first came on board this station?”
The CATT at Lina’s feet looked up at me and cocked her head. “When the Paney docked the first time after the mutiny. Records show that you and the other internees were transported to the colony from here via shuttle. You have been ground side since that time. Is there a problem?”
“No, not really. The hanger bay looked really large to me that’s all.” I waved at the ceiling and walls around us. Everything was decorated in bunting and welcome signs. This was the first time Admiral and Ambassador Athena Lee had been home since the attack upon Earth.
“This facility was enlarged by more than fifty percent during repairs to the station following the asteroid attack. The progenitor says that you humans are very inventive and creative to take something so broken and reshape it to your needs.” Artemis pretended to clean her non-existent fur.
“The progenitor is Wilson, right?” Looking down I could see that Artemis was walking away from us. CATTs!
Frustrated I complained to Lina. “Why does she do that?”
Lina only laughed at me. “You’re asking me why a robotic cat programmed by another robotic cat created by a slightly crazy artificial intelligence would ignore humans and do what it wanted?”
“Well, when you put it that way. I think she does it on purpose just to annoy me.” I searched the floor for the imperious female AI finding her next to Admiral Lee and Merlin.
“Just accept it and move on. Why do you think we were invited to this shindig?” The New Texas cadet smiled up at me.
“Another assignment maybe? I didn’t like that last one. I had to buy a brand new set of space boots after that one!”
“That was your own fault listening to that Ensign. Just because you thought he was cute wasn’t a good enough reason to go into that pipe after I told you not to!” Lina laughed.
“How was I to know it was the liquid waste disposal tube?” I stomped my new boots a few times.
“I don’t know, maybe the sign on the wall and over the door? The room was plainly marked, Tis. Just so you know the lieutenant in charge of the section told me that guy does that to every newbie.”
I groaned. “I figured it was something like that. That really stinks and not just my boots. We didn’t cause harm with our hazing rituals in the old Empire Navy.”
“You’ve mentioned that a few times. What sort of things did they do?” Lina turned in my direction and stared up at me. Her red hair peeking out of the stupid dress caps they made us wear for this event.
Smiling I remembered some of the funnier ones. “I had a Master Sergeant that used to make new boots to his unit put on a suit and go outside. He would tell them to count the number of meteors and OUD that floated by the ship. According to him, the lidar the targeting systems used was old and needed calibration periodically.”
Lina looked puzzled. “OUD? What is that?”
“Other unidentified debris. The Paney was the only place I’ve ever heard that one. The funniest haze I can remember happened to me. I was wise to the counting thing so they did something else. That Sergeant hand cuffed me to the rear wall of the main cargo lift. Most ships have a small rail that runs about waist high along the wall. It’s there for support and to hold onto if the ship loses gravity. The problem is it’s just far enough away that no matter how far I reached I couldn’t hit any of the buttons or reach the help speaker.”
Lina smirked and covered her mouth.
“Yeah. I was there all day until someone from engineering needed to move something and let me loose. According to the Sergeant it was a new record for the ship. At least unofficially.” I shook my head in remembrance.
“Did you ever take revenge on him?”
“Not officially. He was old school and liked everything in a certain place for every task he did. One night when he was on liberty, I may have used engineering cement to secure every object in his office.”
Lina gasped. “You what? Tis that stuff is like, permanent! The only way it can be removed is with a special solvent that is kept locked up in engineering. He must have been livid!”
“It was pretty funny. He ranted for a full day before he laughed with the rest of us. I never owned up to it. The engineering department had to replace about half his office fixtures. It was the great mystery of the ship for a long time. Who cemented the Sergeant’s office?”