Chapter Twenty Seven




Destiny and me woke up at the same time the next morning. We cuddled a while, made love again, then started the coffee pot and took a shower together while the robots made us steak and cheese omelettes and toast and hash browns for breakfast.
Destiny said that when space travel first started way back in the nineteen sixties, it was a tradition that American astronauts had steak and eggs in the morning of liftoff, because all they had to eat in space was really crappy. I guess back then, eggs and steak was like pork or something is now, I don't know.
She put on the news. There was something about a problem in one of the company's boat factories; some machinery had something wrong with it and killed a guy. I sure took notice of that! They didn't really have much information about it, though. They said something about trying to build in safety laws into the robots' programming. I think I heard about something like that once or twice before.
Astronauts and their expensive breakfast made me think of the pork sausage Destiny had mentioned, and something occurred to me. “You can afford pork but it makes you feel guilty? I didn't know astronomy teachers made that much money. Pork is really expensive!”
“We don't,” she said. “I should have told you, I don't just work for the charity, it's my charity. I started it and I run it.”
“Sorry, I never give my money any thought, I was born into it. My dad's Dewey Green.”
I almost fell out of my chair. “Your... dad...” I was almost speechless. “Uh, your dad's my CEO? That Dewey Green? No shit?”
“Does it matter?”
“I don't know,” I said. I was dumbfounded. “I can't support a CEO's daughter on a boat captain's pay!”
“You don't have to, silly, I pay my own way. Didn't you say you were going to retire and live on Mars with me anyway? Didn't you say you wanted to tend bar?”
“Well, yeah, but bartenders don't make much money either.”
“No, but bar owners do. At least successful ones, you'll have to take some business classes on Mars, of course.”
“I was going to go to college anyway, can't have a high school grad married to a PhD. What's your dad going to think?”
“It doesn't matter, he has no say. I'm not dependent on him and I won't be dependent on anyone. I got my endowment when I was twenty one and invested it. I have more money that he does, even.”
“Holy shit,” I said. “I would have thought I'd have heard of you, being the daughter of the CEO of the solar system's biggest shipping company and head of a charity and all that.”
“I keep a low profile, and so does the charity. I don't want to be famous for anything but astronomy. That's why I'm going to Mars, there's a new kind of telescope I want to build there. Computer,” she said, “what time is it?”
“The present time is seven fifty eight.”
“Oh shit,” I said, running to the pilot room.
Except for a slight course correction everything was fine, and that only took a minute. The computers do the work, I just make sure they all agree with each other and the readings are what they're supposed to be.
The commons only had the fat blonde in it. These girls almost never ate breakfast, except for the blonde German woman. She was always in there eating, it seemed. Inspection was easy.
Cargo was easy for a change, too. Every single one was asleep, which was a relief. Tammy was keeping the animals under control and even keeping them human, apparently.
It was the passenger section that was a pain – R15 caught fire. Why in the hell are robots programmed to clean unoccupied quarters? Rooms that are never occupied shouldn't even have any air in them. Air is a fire hazard!
Anyway, there was nothing I had to do except log it. Another maid would come by to clean the mess after another robot dragged it off and repaired it. I thought of something, then thought better of it. I almost told the computer not to use parts cannibalized from other broken machines, but at this rate we would run out of maids. And probably other robots as well.
The sick bay was empty but I had to inspect it anyway, mostly to make sure its drugs were all secure, especially with all these drug addicts on board. Since there was nobody sick or hurt right now it didn't take any time at all.
Now it was time for my daily exercise routine, my five flights of stairs down to the engines and generators, and my long walk from one generator to the other, stopping at all those huge ion rocket motors.
All the engines and the lone working generator checked out and there weren't even any robots working on any of them except seventeen, twenty four, and sixty four so I was done early for a change. I was glad of it, as busy as I'd been lately I could use some time off. I trudged up the five damned flights of stairs and walked back to my quarters.
Destiny was reading as I walked in. “Johnie! You're home early!”
“Easy day for once. Computer, what time is it?”
The stupid table said “The present time is eleven thirteen.”
“Want to eat lunch early and watch something?” Destiny asked.
“Sure,” I said, and grinned. “Ham sandwiches?”
She laughed. “Yeah, with pork bacon and a side of caviar and truffles and a hundred year old bottle of French wine to go with it! How about a cheeseburger and shike?”
“How about a pizza and beer again,” I suggested.
“Well, we did just have it last night but it still sounds good to me. Computer, a medium supreme pizza and two beers. We can eat it while we're watching. What do you feel like?”
I didn't care. “I don't know, pick something.”
She put Spaghetti on. Huh? It's an old science fiction comedy from the first part of the twenty second century about a normal man in a world of incredibly stupid people. Destiny said it was one of the last two dimensional movies, holograms were finally getting cheap enough to produce for them to start being popular.
When that was over we watched some short old gray movie about international spies, Uncle something, I don't really remember the name.
We had spaghetti and meatballs and garlic bread for dinner and put on a modern holo, a really bad holographic recreation of one of the old westerns. It sucked. She shut it off after fifteen minutes and said “We should watch a spaghetti western.”
“Huh?” I said. “What's a ‘spaghetti western’?”
She said that a “spaghetti western” was a movie about the ancient American west that was filmed in Italy. No, I don't know why where a movie was made would matter, either.
Instead of a spaghetti western she put on an old two dimensional shades of gray horror comedy. Huh? No, I never heard of a horror comedy before either, but it was about the Frankenstein monster and it was hilarious. Destiny said the movie studio had balked at its not having colors, but they were making fun of the horror movies from fifty years earlier when none of them had colors.
When it was over we shut it off, put on some music, cuddled a while, and went to bed.
Huh? None of your damned business! Assholes...


Chapter 26
Chapter 28

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