Dinner Plans Develop

“Have a seat.” Janice said. She pointed toward the table in the corner of the room. There were three canvas backed chairs attached to it. I sat down.

“You furnished your own room?” I asked.

“Let’s just say I got my pick of what furniture there was. I’m going to tell you a little secret. But you can’t tell anyone. I’d never hear the end of it. I’m trusting you.”

“Sure. You can trust me with anything.” I said. I was a little bit nervous.

“Okay. The captain is not just the captain.” She laughed at my puzzled expression. “He’s also my uncle Jack.”

“But his last name is Armstrong. Your last name is…”

“Fletcher. Right. But he’s my mother’s brother. You can’t tell anyone. I want to succeed on my own merits.”

“But you’ll take dibs on the best furniture?” I laughed. “Your secret is safe with me.” Janice visibly relaxed.

“Ellen should be here in a few minutes. Maybe she’ll know more what’s going on.”

“Does she know?”

“That I’m related to the captain. Not exactly. I think she suspects though. I’ve been going to tell her but the opportunity never arises.”

The ship’s intercom came on. “This is the captain speaking. Everyone needs to put on their survival suits. We have reason to believe there may be more incidents like we had in Cartography earlier today. Everyone should wear their suits and keep all hatches closed when not in use.”

“That’s weird. I wonder what’s up.” I mused. The intercom chimed. Janice answered it.

“Did you make it back to your quarters okay?” the captain asked.

“Yes. Dave and I just got in. I expect Ellen any time now.” Janice said.

“She just left the bridge. I had the bridge personnel suit up before they were relieved. We think that maybe the meteorite or whatever it was may have come from the planet. If that’s the case, we can’t rule out the possibility that someone might be taking a shot at us.”

“Do you need me on the bridge, sir.” I asked.

“No, you both stay there. I think it’s good that no one be totally alone right now. By the same token, we shouldn’t cluster up too densely either. I’ll make another announcement when we figure anything else out for sure. You kids be careful.”

“Yes, sir.” Janice said. The hatch opened and Ellen came in. She was carrying a duffle bag.

“I grabbed a few things from ship’s stores on my way here.” Ellen said. She started taking ingredients out of the duffle bag. She had the makings of a delicious meal stashed in it.

“Do you need help cooking?” I asked.

“No, I’ve got things under control. You can help set the table and clean up after we eat.” Ellen said.

Janice and I logged on to the ship’s computer and tried to find out what data had been collected on the meteorite.

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the people you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.