It was Tuesday. That meant lunch with the Irish chief. When Maybelle started having lunch with the crew, it was difficult at times, especially with Mr. Jacen. People said she had ants in her pants but Mr. Jacen never sat down. Lunch with him was always sandwiches because he complained he didn’t have time to sit and eat. Walking down the hall, Maybelle pondered a career in engineering. Of all the departments, they had one of the coolest layouts. Stairs, ladders, and turbo lifts meant one could pop up and down the levels anyway they chose to go. Very few places had stairs on the Atlantis and even fewer had ladders. This was why Maybelle used them every chance she could get. Sticking the brown paper bag in her mouth, she began to climb down the level to reach the chief’s office. She could have done it one-handed but the adults just hissed and moan like she was on a trapeze instead of a metal rung. Using two hands she was also able to practice her ladder slide. This is what she called the emergency move all engineers did in a crisis.
Twice the warp core burped, as Maybelle called it, sending all the adults into a frenzy. It was not that Mr. Jacen was old but he was old enough not to horse around in the halls like some of the other crew. On one day , however, when the warp core burped, Mr. Jacen showed he could not only run but probably would have been a state champ in track and field events. The day was like any other until the burp. One second they were eating and chatting. The next, Mr. Jacen hurdled his desk in one leap for apparently no reason. It was then Maybell noticed someone yelling Jacen’s name as warning lights flashed and klaxons began to ring out. Maybelle, close on his heels trying to see what was going on, watched as the chief deftly lept over two crew bent over fixing a console, slid under a panel like a baseball player scoring a home run, and jumping over the floors safety rail. Her heart stopped for a second before she saw Jacen catch the rail to the ladder and slide down it like a fireman. It was well worth the detention skipping school for the next hour as she watched Jacen and his men scurry about the warp core as it made burps, gurgles, and what sounded like hiccups. If Mabelle hadn’t mentioned that the bizarre colors the core changed into during the hour-long emergency was something Jacen should keep because it looked so cool, she was positive Mr.Jacen wouldn’t have thrown her out of engineering.
Sliding down the three rungs, Maybelle pushed away the hope that something fun would happen today again in engineering. She had important business and didn’t need something dumb like a nacelle sparking pulling Jacen’s attention off of her. Reaching his door, Maybelle walked in without knocking. That was another awesome thing about Mr. Drayke’s office. The entire wall was glass so it wasn’t like he wanted privacy. If he did he would have real walls like the rest of the officers.
“Hey, Mr. Jacen. Today is your lucky day. Iiiiiiiiit’ssssss Tuesday lunchtime with Maybelle Spunkler,” she said happily plopping down in the large chair across from his desk.
© 1991-2021 STF. Terms of Service