Chapter Thirty Five




I woke up about twenty after seven. I put on a robe and trudged bleary-eyed to the kitchen to start a pot of coffee, and Destiny woke up just as I was going to the head. I still think that's a stupid name for a bathroom.
She had the robot make French toast and sausage and was in the living room drinking coffee and watching the news when I went in there after I got dressed. “I wish we had some pork sausage,” she said.
“You should have brought some,” I replied. “I wish we were on Mars!”
“Yeah, I should have,” she said. “Oh, well, I ought to be able to get it on Mars when we get there.”
“It's four times as expensive there,” I said. “Shipping costs, you know.”
She smiled. “That's okay, I can afford it even if it does make me feel guilty.”
“Why does it make you feel guilty? I could see it if you were spending the rent money on pork.”
“I don't know,” she said. “I'm just frugal by nature. I hate spending money even though I'll never run out. Maybe I'm just crazy.”
Huh? I don't know, we were gabbing and not paying attention to the stupid news. We ate our breakfast in the living room, and the map lit up just as I was finishing eating. I went to the pilot room, mug in hand. It was about ten 'til so I'd be in there a while.
The blip was a cargo ship from another shipping company. I wondered why other companies didn't have radar absorbing coatings and passive radar and all that other stealthy stuff like ours did. Our boats are easy to hide and hard to find unless we want to be found. Good thing, too, or Bill's goose would have been cooked when he ran across the pirates I rained on, and they would have had his boat.
Eight o'clock finally came. Funny how long it takes ten minutes to pass when you have absolutely nothing at all to do. It looked like this was going to be a really easy day; no course corrections and the only red light was engine seventeen, and I didn't have to inspect upstairs today.
I stopped by our quarters... yeah, our quarters, she was living with me and we're getting married. So shut the fuck up before I walk out of here, asshole. Anyway, I stopped by our quarters to fill my cup, kissed Destiny, and started my trek to my dungeon, with its torture equipment. Huh? The stairs, of course. I hate those God damned stairs.
The German woman was, as usual, in the commons eating. Tammy walked past and said “hi”.
I went down the torture equipment, which isn't as bad as coming up it, to inspect my dungeon.
Everything checked out, all the lights were green and all the readings were normal and the only robot doing anything was on number seventeen. I hauled my aching back up the torturous stairs.
The commons was just starting to fill with droppers and was still pretty empty. I must not have spent much time at all downstairs. Destiny wasn't home, probably in Tammy's quarters, I thought. “What time is it?” I asked the computer. Wow, only eleven! I was home really early today.
I turned on the video and checked listings on my tablet. All right! A zero gravity football game was just starting so I switched it to that.
About five after, Destiny came home. “Wow!” she said. “You're home really early today!”
“Yeah,” I said. “I haven't had a day this light since the first week we were in space. Cross your fingers! Want to watch this game with me, or do you want to do something else?”
“I like football,” she said. “We'll watch the game.” Right then the map lit, but only for a second.
“I'll be right back,” I said. I went to the pilot room to see what the light was, but it hadn't been a good enough signal to even tell what kind of vessel it was. I went back home. A robot was cooking hot dogs and french fries and making potato salad.
Huh? How the hell should I know what the damned hot dogs were made of, except I know it wasn't pork.
I missed a goal while I was checking out the blip, St. Louis had scored against Novosibirsk. One nothing, and it was really early in the game.
We moved to the dining room when lunch was done cooking and turned the game on in there. By the time we got the video turned on and on the right channel, it was one up; Novosibirsk had scored. Wow, two goals this fast?
Destiny said there used to be a very violent game called “American Football” but it eventually died out because so many of its players got dementia from head injuries. Weird.
The cook wheeled over with our lunch. When we finished eating we moved back into the living room. Two to one Novosibirsk. Damn, I'd missed all three goals.
When the game ended it was still two to one. Novosibirsk had beaten St. Louis. St. Louis had two great baseball teams, one Earth and one zero gravity, but their football teams both really sucked. They were almost as bad as Chicago's and Paris' teams, two cities that seem to lose at every sport they play.
We watched some old short gray movies; two episodes of Rawhide, part of a silly serial called “Buck Rogers,” a different Untouchables movie that wasn't nearly as good as the long one that had colors in it that we'd watched quite a while ago, and one with colors called “Emergency!” about a fire department and hospital in the second half of the twentieth century.
Destiny asked “How about burritos for supper?”
“No way in hell,” I said. “If I eat Mexican food my asshole is on fire the next day!” She had a burrito and I had beef stew.
She put on Hardly Ever After, a new holo. I fell asleep on the couch, and she woke me up when it was really bedtime. You would think I'd have stayed awake after such an easy day.


Chapter 34
Chapter 36

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