The Adventures of Capitan Zach Harrow; (Part IV)
"Here, here!' came the collective voices of from the various tables about the banquet hall, which was paired with an uncountable number of clinking glasses. Many began boasting and calling out from around the table, all to the various deeds and bodily monuments performed by the one and only Captain Zach Harrow. Followed by laughter and conversation which filled the air with jubilation.
Dariun looked out amongst the crowds, taking in all the numerous faces and only just by chance caught a pair of blue eyes looking back at him. At first, he continued to survey the tables but, not for long. He launched into a search for those blue eyes, this particular pair had something about them. He found her and to his momentary shock, he found her staring at him with a hungry predatory look only a Snow Leopard possessed. In her mind, he was the prey. He soon snapped out of the shock and came to recognize the eyes belonging to Harley, her stare was a result of her impatience.
"Pardon me captain, but I shall take my leave..." He said, rising and slapping his friend on the back shoulder, ...Scotty, as always a pleasure to be in your company." He said earnestly.
"Likewise," responded the smaller balding fat man. A jolly little fellow, who enjoyed his wine very much and as tonight would have it, a testament to his talent in that area. For he had drowned multiple pitchers without repercussion. An evolutionary advantage some said jokingly, but almost seriously, if looking at his lineage.
Dariun bowed his way out, smiling and waving to a few of the guests. He took the time to shake the hands of a few of the Coordinating Officers and sought out his temptress. He started by looking back at the table in which Harley had been sitting, but she had gone.
For an instant, he felt a pang of panic, a rare occurrence for him, he normally was very chill and collected. He searched the hall and saw her wink, then duck through a side door leading to the storage facility area. The side passage she took was a small hollow captured to the dining hall, but as she danced her way down the hallway he felt a desire, a fiery passion, a drive to change the world... or at least the world which was now a giant spaceship. she led him around for a good chase. He nearly lost her as she again ducked out of sight here, then back in again a moment or two later. All he caught were the tail wisps of her nightdress as it fluttered around the corner.
When did she change into that? He thought, picking up his pace in order to gain valuable seconds on his lady of the night. Which he rather needed, as seeing he barely saw a split second of her figure leaving to be out on the observation deck.
As he stepped into the outer bubble habitat, a loud cheer rose up from the banquet hall, and it was there that she surprised him. He had almost forgotten that he'd pursued her outside until she jumped from a top a few stacked crates and knocked him over, to which he laughed heartily. She the opened a small latched door, that was on the far side of the observation deck which surprised him, again. The pursuit and his curiosity forced him to go down into the small square room. The room only contained a small amount of light and not much could be seen, when she closed the hatch.
Scotty watched Dariun pursue his lady prey, if you will, for a while. She was silly in the way she enjoyed it. The way the courted and played when he chased her around the ship. Most of the time, she got him in the end and not the other way around. Turning away from the live version of the National Geographic, Scotty returned his attention to the conversation at the Captian's table. To which he found out was a rabble about the cost of being sent out into endless space. "It could cost everyone their sanity, no-one has ever done this before. We are like the eldest child for a new family, not having really been in this circumstance and no true or real knowledge of how to handle this upbringing." said a gentleman with a quite simply, as a matter of fact, tone sitting opposite the Captain on the far side of the table. Rather to the fact man, but his point of view was deemed valuable by the Captain himself, so.
"That is quite possible," came Doctor John, an elderly man with great knowledge of psychology, anatomy, general health needs, as well as a variety of other tidbits in other areas of medicine. "That has been accounted for, we installed these mood-lifting blue and Christmas light-like ropes to maintain good moral amongst other efforts to make this ship feel more fun and exciting. I mean think about the history we are making, that in of itself is exciting"
"I worry more on the daunting vastness, how will we keep the crew focused and fear free?" came the security coordinator for public health and navigational decks, "It cannot be as simple as turning on a few blue holiday lights." A few around the table muttered their concurrence, "That is why we must celebrate our triumph's together. Also, we have kept a few earthly traditions." Captian Zach stated, "For instance, we have kept a 24 hour a day cycle and also the Roman and Chinese calendars for a regular earthly year of 365 days." "We may want to make a simple change of making it 400 days," Doc John added, "Sleep cycles will be very crucial to crew health and sanity."
The table seemed satisfied with these conditions. "Plus," interjected Scotty, "we have sporting venues; Indoor soccer, hockey, and basketball teams. Not to mention the Honorable Fighters League, volleyball, and various shooting events. Also... Not to mention, the nonathletic challenges and events to keep the community strong, healthy, focused, and generally overall happy."
"I think it would also be beneficial," came the Martial Arts instructor / religious coordinator, "I mean the best form of relaxation is contemplation, meditation... For instance, I find myself by the duck pond often contemplating their existence, how long will their generations last? Why dive to the bottom of the pond, there surely isn't any algae on the rocks yet, or are there tasty morsels down there outside of algae?" He paused momentarily, "I find along with that type of mental stimulation, a little prayer and faith help promote good morals and ethics," he continued," always good to have moral structure and back boning, faith or not, but whatever the belief. If it is for the good of all that live on this here ship, then let there be temples built, dances held, celebrations held, prayer sessions allowed, martial arts to be practiced." He finished rather suddenly, as he always did.
There was plenty of agreement from around the table about that. A few generals nodded also, "Well," interrupted Captain Zach, "We should not bring down the joyous mood with such talk, let us be rid of these serious conversations. For the sake of our health enjoy yourselves, gentlemen. Ladies, I must retire to my quarters and stay fresh for the journey and adventures ahead."
Many waved him out, he pushed in his chair and gave an elderly woman a hug, being the person in charge of happiness, he did this without hesitation. Plus, he loved this older woman. She was his elementary school teacher. He turned and as he began to walk to the exit, he could go no more than ten steps before getting stopped by another banquet attendee. Then, as anticipated, the masses were on him. They offered drinks, reminisced over stories past, and asked questions of various different topics. What should have taken but a few minutes took over 43 minutes and upon returning to his room, he collapsed onto his bed without hesitation. His fatigue caused him to fall asleep almost immediately, but sleep didn't last long. For the Mrs. had other ideas.
Scotty was a big fan of the charades. Never did he think that the mission would get this far. Ever since he got his first Telescope when he was 7, he'd dreamt of traveling and exploring space. He'd reach for the stars and from his imagination created a few awesome tales of discovery, adventure, and suspense. "Hello," came a voice to his left. Shocked, Scotty turned to find the resource coordinator over his left shoulder. Holding what appeared to be a pair of martini glasses.
"Shaken, I hope." He replied. She smiled, "as my double-oh-seven like's it." He turned to look at her, scooting his chair across the floor rather quickly and replied, "Not that'shhh my girl!" He said with a Sean Connery accent. She leaned in to give him a kiss, only to have both of the martini's spill all over the pair of them. Which just so happens to be the perfect excuse to leave the formal dining party, "oh my," Scotty exclaimed, standing up suddenly and knocking dishes about and causing some to slide their seats away from him.
"I'm so very sorry, " Barbara half shrieked, half squeaked, "We must hurry if we are to prevent there being a stain." They rushed out together, many eyes gawking as they ran out.
The theme of Barnum and Bailey circus should have been playing as this went on. Many of the ball guests burst into laughter at the sideshow. Tereena saw Scotty and Barbara playing their same old game, trying to leave early without saying the goodbyes. She knew how much those two disliked the after party, even more, the endless goodbye bullshit. She laughed when seeing the martinis splash all over Scotty's uniform.
"What's so funny?" The bartender asked.
"Nothing," she paused, the wanted to tell, "well, okay. You see those two over there all concerned with the martini's being spilled?"
"Yeah," the barkeep replied looking over his shoulder and across the room, "What of them?"
"They pull this stunt every banquet."
"Did they have to waste my proper dirty martini's?" He asked jokingly. Tereena chuckled, "Now that is some bullshit." They both shared a hearty full body laugh, she slammed the bottom of her whiskey and ordered another. She was the kind to shut the bar down.