Saturday, February 11, 2017
“Shut up!” she yelled at the duct.
The duct responded with a Thuhp!
Everything on the ship was now over a million years old. It was pure luck that most everything still worked but the ducts were much more rattly now. Sabrina sobbed and then buried her head under her pillows. She began calming down and released her grip from her pillows. She sighed and began drifting off to sleep.
Whoooooooaaarrrp! the duct squealed again.
“You two are up early,” Sabrina said as she went into the navigation room. Her hair was a mess and she was still in her pajamas. She also still had a hold of her childhood teddy bear that she had brought with her.
“Early? It’s after ten,” Rizzo said.
“You look terrible,” Cardy commented.
“Thanks, Cardy,” Sabrina collapsed into a chair. “I barely slept last night. The air ducts in my room are driving me to kill. Or suicide. Not really sure which way I’m leaning.”
“Just move to another room. Corporal Robbie has a corner barrack but not against the HVAC corridor,” Rizzo said. “I moved into Captain Smith’s room because I knew it would annoy him. Haven’t worn pants since.”
“I moved into one of the medic bays,” Cardy said. Rizzo and Sabrina looked at him oddly. “What? I like the way hospital beds feel.”
“That’s a good idea but it’s not my barrack. It belongs to Corporal Robbie,” Sabrina said.
“I’m sure she won’t mind,” Rizzo said.
“I don’t know,” Sabrina hesitated.
“Here, I’ll ask her,” Rizzo leaned down to a pile of dust near one of the navigation consoles. “Hey, Robbie. Do you mind if Sabrina moves into your room? She said that she doesn’t care because she is dead.”
“Fine,” Sabrina smiled.
“I don’t know if you should take Blue Dwarf on another mission so soon,” Robot-2 worried. “It hasn’t been refueled.”
“Look, Robot, all the other modules are a million years old now. Blue Dwarf is the only one that isn’t. The planet is small enough and we’ve calculated that we have just enough fuel to get there, do our job, and come back,” Rizzo said.
“I don’t even know why you are still continuing to do your job. We should be heading back to Earth,” Robot-2 said.
“Robot,” Rizzo stopped and turned to Robot, “take yourself out of C3PO mode. Everything here runs on its own. If we don’t do what we came out here to do then all we’ve done is waste time, money, and progress. We’re at least getting Scotia-138 done.”
“But there is a 67% probability that Blue Dwarf will run out of gas while you’re down there,” Robot-2 said.
“I think you are making up that number,” Rizzo said.
Rizzo and Robot arrived at the docking bay where Sabrina was waiting next to Blue Dwarf. “Ready?” she asked. “I calculated that we can get this done in four hours.”
“Ugh. Four hours. Maybe we should just head back to Earth.”
“My thoughts exactly,” Robot-2 chimed in.
“Scotia and then we can go back,” Sabrina said.
The Rizzoes flew from Ipomoea to the frozen, barren wasteland of a planet named Scotia. As they approached the surface, the winds blew the Dwarf to and fro. Visibility was below nothing due to the snow. Sabrina hovered several feet above the surface.
Rizzo was lowered down on a platform where he placed a terraforming charge on the surface and then went back up into Blue Dwarf. They did this several hundred more times and was nearly finished when the Blue Dwarf fell to the ground.
“What happened?” Rizzo asked, running into the cockpit.
“Don’t tell Robot, but he was right. We’re out of gas,” Sabrina said.
The ship began powering down, trying to save its limited fuel source. “We need to radio Cardy and Robot to come down here and get us,” Rizzo said.
Sabrina grabbed the radio but only heard static. “I think the snow is blocking communications.”
“Of course it is,” Rizzo shrugged.
“They’ll get suspicious when we’re not back soon. We estimated four hours. They’ll figure it out,” Sabrina was hopeful.
“I hope so,” Rizzo said. “Because it’s going to start getting very cold in here very soon.”