Chapter Thirty Four




I got woke up early again, about five thirty this time. Fire in passengers quarters number forty seven. God damned drills, but I had to get up and inspect forty seven anyway. I put on a robe and trudged down there.
Yep, just a stupid drill. I noticed that Tammy was in the commons with the German woman as I walked past on my way back home. It was still early enough that I could still get another hour's sleep or so.
Nope, as soon as I got back there another damned alarm went off, this time a fire in engine seventeen. This one might be real, so I hurried down there and told the computer to deliver some nasty robot coffee.
The computer wouldn't let me in at first, it must have been in a vacuum. The door finally opened, and the robot that had been working on it was charred and still smoking a little. I unhooked it from the engine, and another one rolled up for me to hook up, and a third dragged the smoking robot to the repair shop.
I logged it and trudged back up the five damned flights of stairs towards home, but by then it was too late to go back to bed, quarter after six. I made a pot of real coffee and put a game on, but it was almost over. When it was over I switched it to the always old news.
Nothing new, of course, they were still trying to scare people about the Venus virus. Destiny came in, kissed me, and poured a cup of coffee. “You're up early again,” she said.
“Yeah,” I replied, “fire drill in the passenger section and a burned up robot down in the engine room. I was up at five thirty. I'm sure glad we went to bed early!”
“Did you eat yet?”
“No, you hungry?”
“Yeah. Computer, make a cheese and turkey omelette.”
It replied “affirmative,” of course. I said “Computer, a turkey Denver.”
The stupid thing said “Error, no Turkish dishes named Denver are listed in the database.”
God damned stupid computer. “A Denver omelette with turkey meat you dumb computer.”
“There is no meat from that country.”
I sighed. Destiny giggled. “A Denver omelette with bird meat,” I said.
“Please name the bird.”
“Fuck you.”
Destiny laughed. “Had your shower yet?”
“No,” I said, “Want to take one together?”
“Sure,” she said, with a twinkle in her eye. God, but I love that woman.
We had a pretty long, really fun shower and ate our breakfast. By then it was almost eight, so I kissed her and took a cup of coffee to the pilot room. We were going the right way and all the computers were agreeing with each other that everything was cool.
After that I had inspection. The German woman was eating in the commons and the rest were asleep, except Lek, who was in her quarters reading, still dressed. I complimented her on her clothing.
“Thank you,” she said. “I want Doctor Winters to cure me.”
“So do I,” I said. “I want her to cure all of you.”
“I want that too,” she said.
I went down those five damned flights of stairs again to the bottom of the boat. The good generator was still good and the busted generator was still busted. So was engine seventeen, with the robot I'd plugged into it still working on it.
It had been an easy inspection. I made my long trek back up all those God damned stairs. There were fifty or so women in the commons, pretty much behaving themselves.
As I went in my quarters Destiny said “You're a little early. Done?”
“Yeah, I hope so. Are you hungry?”
She said yes, and laughed. “Computer, ham and beans.”
The computer replied, of course, “There are no pork products on the menu.”
I laughed, and said “I wonder if there's a kind of bean named a ‘Hammond Bean’? I'll bet the robot couldn't serve them even if they were listed in the database! I think I'll have prime rib, baked potato and a glass of wine.”
“Sounds good to me,” Destiny said.
Right then a light lit up on the map. “Damn it,” I said, and went to the pilot room to listen in. Thankfully it wasn't pirates, it was just a boat from a different shipping company about five light minutes away.
The robot was finished cooking lunch right after I got back, so we ate. Then we watched an old two dimensional movie called “The Blues Brothers”, and I loved that movie! Funny as hell and it had some really great old classical music. Some of the musical greats from the time, like Ray Charles and John Lee Hooker and Aretha Franklin, were in it.
The closing credits were rolling on the screen when an alarm went off in cargo nine. I hoped it was a drill. “Is cargo nine occupied?” I asked the computer.
That was Lek's room; she was in the commons. The light on her door was solid red, so I went in to investigate; there was no fire.
I went to the commons to talk to Lek. “Here because of the fire drill?” I asked.
“Drill? I thought my apartment really on fire! Scared me when the alarm go off.”
“Yeah, it was just a drill, you can go home if you want.”
“Thank you, Captain,” she said.
I went home myself and we had Polish sausage and sauerkraut with shikes for dinner. Destiny put on an old two dimensional western, True Grit. She said that there were two of them and each of the movies were better than the book, which she'd read and said “wasn't very well written”.
We'd each had a glass of wine with lunch and finished the bottle watching the western, since it would be sour by the next morning if we didn't. No sense in wasting it.
We listened to a little Clapton when the movie was over and then we went to bed. It was still early but Destiny had gotten up earlier than normal and I'd gotten up way early, and I was just plumb wore out.


Chapter 33
Chapter 35

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