A satire of dysfunctional politics and economic disparity.
Chapter V: Day/Page 46 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . . The control room engineer takes a deep, steadying breath, taps the audio icon again. “Ok, Fleezer, do you see the panel your right hand is resting on?”
“And do you see the panel to the left of where your right hand is?”
“This one, sir?”
“Yep, Fleezer, that’s the one. Good boy. Now open that panel and take the old circuit board out, and put the new one in.”
As soon as the new board is installed a series of numbers materialize and scroll past in mid-air in front of the control-room engineer. Pils recognizes them as the new landing coordinates for the Blue Planet.
“That’s it, Fleezer. Good job. Now why don’t you come back down here to the control room; we’ve got some really important things we need your help on. Sinclair—Out.”
The engineer taps the audio icon again and turns to his colleague. “At least get that nitwit off my launch pad. Assign him to the stasis room instead. No! Wait! He’d probably cross the air hose with the waste hose and end up drowning the Major in his own piss before the rocket even leaves the pad. Just—just get that idiot as far away from me as possible, and make sure he can’t hurt anyone. Goddamn brass nepotism.”
The engineer turns to Pils and Sofia. “You two from LAAC?”
“Yes, hi, my name is Sofia Song and this is Pils Thornston.”
“I’m Special Officer Sinclair,” he says, shaking hands. Then to Sofia, “You the one who found the missiles and the planet? Are you that Song?”
He does a quick scan of her from head to toe. “Mm… Impressive,” says Sinclair, a smallish Hawk with quick, intelligent eyes. He was neither trying to be flattering nor polite. It was a simple note of respect and admiration.
“Follow me,” he says. “I’ll show you around. As you can see, it’s a real rat’s nest here today. The launch pad and observation deck are up on the thirtieth floor, which is where we’ll launch from tomorrow, after we get everything set down here. I got a call from Major Bedlam early this morning telling me we had to be ready to go by oh-nine-hundred. You’re both welcome to join us tomorrow, if you like, but just between you, me, and the rats, I don’t see how in hell we’re going to be ready by then.”
(I knew it! See, I told you so.) Sofia throws Pils an I-told-you-so look.
Pils averts his eyes.
“But you didn’t hear that from me,” continues Sinclair. “We got the coordinates from your team about twenty minutes ago and just loaded them into the ship. We should be ready to send the test probe by noon.”
“Noon!” exclaims Pils. “But that means you won’t have the results back until around ten o’clock tomorrow morning. How in the world are you going to be able to launch by nine?”
(This calamity is getting worse by the minute.) . . .
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW. . . .
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2013 by Gregory James
All rights reserved