Sunday, October 23, 2016
“We didn’t know it was the crew,” Sabrina admitted.
“'Hey, Rizzo, how about you don’t eat the piles of ash that are strewn about the ship.’ That was too hard to say?”
“I don’t think we should have to tell a guy in his late 20s to not eat stuff off the floor,” Cardy said.
“This isn’t important right now,” Sabrina spoke up. “We need to figure out what to do.”
“What do you mean?” Rizzo asked.
“Well, we’re out here on a mission. Do we complete the mission or go back to Earth? Do we go back into stasis or take turns so someone is keeping watch?”
“We don’t need to take turns. Robot can keep watch while we head back to Earth,” Rizzo said.
“So we want to head back to Earth?” Sabrina made sure.
“I think that is a logical decision,” Cardy said. “Can we radio ahead and let someone know what happened?”
“I have been trying to radio Earth since we came out of the wormhole. I’m getting no response,” Robot-2 said.
“That’s the first thing we need to do then,” Rizzo said. “We need to figure out some way to communicate back to Earth to let them know 1,300 people just died. Come on, let’s go to the communications deck.”
“I say we go to the Captain’s deck,” Sabrina said. “His comm signals are on a private feed and he has his own line. We’ll be able to quickly get ahold of someone without having to wait to be answered.”
“Who died and made you captain?” Rizzo snidely replied.
Sabrina looked around them at the piles of dust. “Everyone.”
For nearly two hours they attempted to get ahold of somebody but all they got was static. Robot had made the remaining crew something to eat while they sat despondently in the captain’s quarters in silence.
“You know,” Robot said. “It’s just a thought. Everything on the ship was in the wormhole so everything technically aged millions of years. Maybe the wires to the comm link have degraded.”
“That may be what the problem is,” Cardy said. “Who knows how many other things are falling apart because this ship is now millions of years old.”
“The vending machine on Deck 9 is broken,” Robot said.
“I guess we’ll have to go to one of the other 100 or so vending machines on this ship,” Rizzo said. “We can’t contact anybody so what are we going to do?”
“We got our first mission done,” Sabrina began “so instead of going to our second and third mission which would take five years, I say we turn this thing around, place ourselves back in stasis, and head back to Earth.”
“That sounds like a good plan,” Cardy said. “It’s weird being out here all by ourselves.”
“I don’t want to,” Rizzo said.
“We’re light years away from Earth. Why don’t we do our next missions and then go back like we planned. Or, we take this ship and see what’s out there.”
“First of all, that’s illegal. Second of all, we don’t really know the first thing about the Ipomoea,” Sabrina said.
“You know enough. Cardy and I can start repairing some of the malfunctions it got while lost in the wormhole for a million years. Most of the ship runs on autopilot anyway. Robot can do all the other stuff.”
“No, we’re not doing that. We can’t do that,” Sabrina shook her head. “We’ll all be sent to federal prison. I’d probably be court-martialed.”
“Fine,” Rizzo said. “It’ll just be Cardy and me. You can go into stasis while we finish up the mission and do some exploring then we’ll chart a course for Earth. If we get caught, you can disavow any knowledge of what happened and you won’t get in trouble.”
“Why do you want to do this?” Sabrina asked.
“I don’t like stasis,” Rizzo said. “I want to be awake when we go through space. I’m tired of having my life put on hold while everyone else’s goes on like normal.”
“We have to have stasis or no one would survive these trips,” Sabrina said. “We’re turning the Ipomoea around and heading back to Earth and we’re going into stasis.”
“I’m not going either,” Cardy said.
“What?” both Sabrina and Rizzo said at the same time.
“What do I have? I don’t have a family, my best friend is right here, and I don’t think my girlfriend is going to want to date me when I get back.”
“No, probably not. Her husband probably won’t like it if you start dating her,” Rizzo said. “So it’s Rizzo and Cardy: Space Cowboys. Unless you want to stick around, sis.”
“I’m going into stasis,” she sighed. “I hope you’ll join me soon.”
“We’ll see you again in fifteen years,” Rizzo said and hugged Sabrina.
Sabrina left the captain’s deck and walked down the spacious corridor to the stasis chambers. She went to her chamber and opened the door, setting the timer for fifteen years. She stared at the chamber and prepared to go inside.
“I’m going to miss her,” Cardy said.
“I will too but it’s her choice. Now, should we complete our mission and maybe see what else is out there?”
“Aye, aye, captain,” Cardy growled.
“Now, what is our next mission?” Rizzo asked himself as he began searching through Capt. Bonaparte’s things for the itinerary.
“It’s a planet called Scotia-799. It’s about the size of Jupiter. It’s about two years that way,” Sabrina pointed as she came back into the captain’s deck.
“You changed your mind?”
“Yes, I changed my mind.”
“All right. Robot, set a path for Scotia-799, two years that-a-way,” Rizzo pointed as he shoulder hugged Sabrina. “Let’s go exploring.”