The faceplate dangled by it’s cords, and I had NO IDEA how to fix it. I wasn’t even supposed to be in the area, it was restricted access and I was the one whom it was restricting. My heart started racing with all of the possibilities and consequences.
*”We’ve lost all power! Evasive maneuvers!…” as we wove in and out of the asteroid field.
“How could you have done this to us, Jack?” The Captain glowered at me as I skulked away…*
*”I can’t get anything to work properly! What did you do this time, Jack?” the Captain aimed the accusation from across the ship.*
*”NOW WHAT!?!” the Captain growled from his chair.*
The Captain walked past, reached across my shoulder, and popped the plate back onto the electrical box. He looked calmly at me, grunted, and moved on.
I guess that’s how it gets fixed.
“But our tools, captain. How can we do anything without our tools?” The ensign seemed a bit out of breath, just from exasperation.
“Not exactly, ensign. The one thing I’ve learned about warfare, hide a knife where they won’t look!” The captain then proceeded to reach his hand into his pants and produce a small pocket knife. He had the biggest grin on his face whenever he pulled one over on his enemy. This was a face I’d seen multiple times. I just sat back waiting for the show.
These kids were green behind the ears, still. They were new recruits from back at the base, and this was the new program to keep the army brats out of trouble.
“We are surrounded by tools, we just now have to make them!” And he proceeded to hack at the bamboo that was growing rampant outside our human cage. I was silent as he eyed me for back-up. I figured he’d put himself in this mess, he should get himself out of it.
“A little help here, mate?” He looked in my direction.
“Hey, man, YOU started this!” I said, walking towards the front of the crowd, feeling my own pocket knife in my pants.
She just stood there looking at me quietly.
“Hello, sir, how are ya today?” she cooed.
Her movements were slow and purposeful. I was wary of the black box in her hands, but it didn’t seem to be harming her. I stood still, waiting for her to do something that would compromise my boundaries.
I’m always wary of new people because I’m shy. I’ve been hurt before. People try to put me in a certain box and tries to figure me out. It’s not that I’m difficult to categorize or something. I don’t know why this is so fascinating for some.
“I’m a nice lady, you don’t have to worry about me. I’m just here to take your picture.”
“You know, these things are on algorithms according to the flow of traffic and time of day and population in this neighborhood and… ” she didn’t hear the rest of what he was saying because she’d already decided to push the button anyway.
They stood in the cement island sanctuary of a 6 lane thoroughfare going both directions. She had her camera in hand, and he was meant to be her eyes while she gathered evidence, not his own mouth.
“I don’t remember asking for your mathematical input on why crosswalks work and don’t work within city limits. I’m only asking you here to make sure no one sees what I’m about to do. Can you do that for me?” She had turned her face up towards his, he’d not really stopped talking, until he noticed her stance. He then looked down.
“Yes, Princess Paranoid Pants? You rang?” He smirked. She returned to her notes.
“It says I have to hit this button 4 times, pause for 1 second, then 4 more times. And if I don’t get it just right, it won’t work.” She started to stance herself like a golfer.
The ground dropped out underneath them, even though their feet were still on the ground.
“OOOOH goodness, can we stop?” I implored the driver.
We had been at the beach for the day and driving back home, but we passed a 1959 Chevrolet Apache Fleetside, sitting as decoration at an antique store that was closed for the day. I spent an hour and a half drenching the rusty truck in shutter clicks.
It was wonderful.
“Down in front… down in FRONT!” He growled.
“Oooh golly, sorry!” I ducked down, making sure he could see ahead of me.
“The director says to sing to the cement. If we sing, we will grow taller! I think I need to be taller!” He said.
I looked at my sister, she gawked back at me with disdain. We were already bored. This was usually the time we’d start planning our escape. I had a few things dinking around already, we just had to get dude talking for a long period of time…..
and Bingo! Idea!
“So, what’s your theory on our purpose here in this grass bed….” I almost giggled with pride at my genius.
“Well, the dandelion poof has been around since the beginning of time, helping spread the word of our species through germination and other some such………”
We were minutes away from escape…