SO FAR FROM HOME: Act Three

“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.   Roger and I had dated in the academy briefly, but we both decided it would be better for us to be friends.  Our space careers had to come before romance, especially serious romantic entanglements.  I wonder, if that had been the right decision.  “So long ago in such a faraway place and time,” I mused.  “Back to the log.”  

After an hour I said out loud, “Goodness! I need to wander the ship for one last time.”  First, I want to check on the hydroponics chambers.  The six members of the agrobiologic team are doing an exceptional job in preparing food for the crew.  Three of them are in hyper stasis…

 As I entered the first chamber, I heard laughter.  Walking slowly into the second chamber, I spotted two of my astrobiologists playing in the waterfall pool.  First concern popping into my head was the sanitary safeguards of playing in the main water source for our plants.  As I approached them, they were totally absorbed in their play.

“Crewman Davis and Master Chief Higgins,” I said with my commanding air.

“Captain Lewis,” they said in unison.   Quickly getting out of the pool, they stood at attention with water dripping down their marine blue tee shirts and shorts.

I noticed that their fingers were barely touching.  Michelle had mentioned that Rachelle Higgins and Steve Davis had gotten close over the last few months.  Working together in confined spaces, men and women were bound to be attracted to each other.  I knew how easy that could happen, especially on this voyage.

“Explain what was transpiring when I entered, Master Chief.” 

They both looked at me with side glances toward each other.  Their silly smiles, small to say the least, were evident.

“An experiment, Captain,” Rachelle responded.  Steve looked relieved.  “We were testing the updated filtration system that we installed this afternoon.”

“In addition,” Davis added, “we were doing some needed R & R.  We did not mean to ignore you when you entered.”

I gave them a long gaze before replying, “I have been impressed by the output that you and Crewman Teitoku have accomplished with the gardens.  I was concerned that three crewmen could not keep up while the other three were in stasis.  By the way, where is Teitoku?”

 “Sleeping,” Rachelle said. “He has the shift from nine to seven.  He likes the night routines.  He says, the nocturnal mode gives him a mediated peace like visiting the Horyuji Temple in his native Japan.”

“Would you say Teitoku is doing well, Master Chief Higgins?”

“Like most of us, he is a bit homesick, but he is coping.  He loves his work with the plants and his solitude.”

“You two seem to be coping very well,” I smiled slightly.  They both looked at me with a bewildered expression.

“Yes, Captain, we are doing well,” Rachelle responded with a controlled grin. 

Davis bowed his head in full agreement.  He touched Rachelle’s hand ever so gently with his right hand.

“I will expect a full report on your progress when I awake from hyper stasis.”

“You are going into hyper stasis?”  Rachelle asked with too much excitement.

I noticed the wide grin on Davis’ face.  “Lieutenant Hill will be checking on you daily in my absence.  Any questions?”

“No, Captain,” they both stated in unison once again.

“Carry on,” I replied and continued my walk down the coordinator.  I had to smile.  “Young love,” I breathed softly. 

To Be Continued….  

 

G. D. Williams       © 2011

 

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