My reverie was broken by the door chimes. “Enter.”
Lieutenant Michelle Hill entered with a smile and two cups of tea. “Captain! Thought you might appreciate ginger tea with a drop of honey.”
“That would hit the spot, Lieutenant. Have a seat.”
She sat down across from me. A chess board was between us. “Been playing with the computer, Captain.” She smiled wryly.
I replied matter-of-factly,
“The computer has been playing with me. Countless games! I still can’t beat the infernal machine.”
“Perhaps you try too hard. The computer is programmed for logical anticipation. My Grandmother Hill would say – toss some emotion into it and see what happens..”
Detecting sadness in her voice, I asked, “You miss your family, Michelle?”
Michelle smiled, “I have my memories, holoimages and digital recordings. I love space. Always have. As a little girl I lay on the beach at night and counted the stars over and over again each night. By age ten I knew every star name. I knew that my destiny was space. How about you, Captain?”
“I miss my family, but from an early age my father could tell my heart and soul belonged to the stars. On my eighth birthday he set up a telescope and computer in the barn loft . I used to spend hours looking at the live space images from the space telescopes. I knew one day I would be here. No regrets.”
“We are the first humans to visit this region of space. It is so exciting to be here.”
“Excitement. Indeed! Michelle. Thank- you for the tea.”
“You are welcome. I have a special meal in preparation for you before hyper stasis.”
“Oh? What is it?”
“No, no, Captain, my Grandmother Hill never revealed her entrée until the table was set, and we were seated. We will have a grand meal.” She laughed as she got up and headed for the door.
“Thank you for coming with me on this voyage. I know Roger Widner wanted you as his second in command.”
“Captain Widner is an excellent officer, but he and I could not do what we can do together, Captain Lewis.”
“What’s that, Michelle?”
“Talk and cook.” She laughed.
“Roger is an excellent cook,” I replied reflectively. “However, talking is a different matter.”
“I see, Captain,” she smiled and left my cabin.
What did she find so funny about that, I wondered.
To Be Continued….
G. D. Williams © 2011