“No,” said Taz.
“No choice!” sang February. “It’s been mandated by the Commander. A special celebration of all of the fabulous women aboard this starship. No boys allowed. Just popcorn, chick flicks, gossip, makeovers – it’s going to be so much fun!”
“I don’t like any of those things,” said Taz. “And who’s idiota idea was this?”
“Mine!” February said proudly. “I told the Commander it would be a great morale booster!”
“I am going to kill Up,” said Taz.
“There’ll be tequila…”
Taz sighed, and February knew she had won.
“Truth,” said February.
Taz and Specs eyed each other. “What’s it like to kiss a bug?” Taz said finally, and they both collapsed with laughter.
February looked thoughtful. “Kind of… dry,” she said. “And clicky.”
“Clicky,” repeated Specs.
“Well, you know, the mandibles,” February said defensively. Taz laughed harder. “Fine, it’s your turn,” said February. “What’s it like to kiss a man with a moustache?”
Taz sobered immediately. “I have no idea,” she said airily.
February and Specs crossed their arms. Taz crossed hers back.
“For Lieutenant Taz to know what it is like to have kissed a man with a moustache, it would be reasonable to assume that she would know what it is like to kiss Commander Up,” said Megagirl helpfully, breaking popcorn into pieces and dropping them back into the bowl. “As he is the only male on this ship who has such distinctive facial hair.”
Specs smirked. Taz became intent upon her own popcorn. “He doesn’t always have a moustache,” she mumbled.
“Sorry, what was that?” February said.
Taz was saved by a buzz at the door. Specs looked around. “I thought you said no boys were allowed,” she said.
“Well…” said February. “This one’s an exception. Here by my special invitation.”
The door burst open.
“Hold your applause, please, ladies,” a familiar voice announced. “Your salvation has arrived.”
A look of horror crossed Taz’s face.
The women of Starship 15A-2 were unrecognizable by the time Alejandro was done with them, even Megagirl, whose sensory strands had been styled into an elaborate updo (which she complained was affecting her systems, but admitted had a pleased aesthetic effect). He also brought with him all the gossip from the galaxy- the latest Galactic Ball, who ex-Mrs. Dr. Space-Claw was dating now…
“And you?” February said coyly. “Been seeing anyone special lately?”
“Oh well,” Alejandro said, grabbing a handful of Taz’s popcorn. “There might be someone.”
February let out an ear-piercing scream. “Who?”
“Let’s just say he’s in my line of work,” Alejandro said lightly, though a hint of red had come to his ears. “Really exemplary work, though of course he could learn to be even better from me.”
A knock at the door caused them all to turn around. “Who else did you invite?” said Taz.
“No one,” said February.
The knock came again.
To be continued…
While Megagirl did not need to indulge in the inefficient human process of eating food to produce energy, she was a fixture at mealtimes in the mess hall aboard Starship 15A-2. She called it research, a part of her ongoing project to understand just what it was that made humans function the way they did. Tootsie called it “trying to fit in.” Either way, she was there each morning, 700 hours sharp.
Today she was frowning. Her crewmates’ behaviour was not following expected patterns at all. February was gigglier than usual. Taz surlier. Specs unusually red-faced. And the men of the starship – Up, Krayonder, Bug – they all seemed a little – subdued.
Only Tootsie attacked his corn flakes with his usual gusto.
“Tootsie,” she hissed, taking her volume down a few degrees. “Is there something I have missed? Some event taking place today? The crew’s behaviour is not consistent with my standard observations.”
“What’s that. Megagirl?” her husband asked loudly. “Ya see, I started listenin’ but then the talk got all technical and I got distracted by yer big beautiful eyes.”
“Optical sensors,” she corrected him softly, but she smiled anyway.
“Anyhoo, I’ve got to see to this leak the Commander found in the holodeck – see you at lunch, darlin’!”
Tootsie gave her a great smacking kiss and took his leave. Megagirl took a moment to collect herself.
“Like, you two are just the cutest, I can’t even – any big plans for today, Megs?”
“I do not understand what is so prominent about today,” said Megagirl. “And please do not call me that.”
February gasped. “You don’t know! Oh, this is a tragedy!”
“It’s Valentine’s Day!”
Megagirl accessed her database. “An ancient human holiday celebrating a saint who died millenia ago? Why should that matter to me?”
“What, no, V-Day’s not about dead people, yuck, Megs, I don’t know where you come up with this stuff. V-Day’s about love… showing how much you love someone by showering them with expensive presents! Like diamonds,” February said loudly, with a significant look in Bug’s direction. Bug gave a weak wave. “Specs already got flowers from a secret admirer. And Taz is cranky because Up didn’t give her anything yet.”
“No,” said Taz quickly. “I just think this holiday is estupido.”
“Does that mean I should expect a gift from Tootsie today?”
February pursed her lips. “I’m not sure if they celebrate Valentine’s Day on Farm Planet. Maybe you should do something romantic for him instead!”
“Romance is not among my accountable skills,” said Megagirl.
“Oh, but I can help you!” squealed February. “It will give me something to do while I wait for my gift.”
Bug sank a little lower in his seat.
To be continued…
Okay, I’ll admit I took some artistic license with this one. It was fun, though. Hope you enjoy. :)
Up entered the mess hall with a bit of a stupid grin on his face. Krayonder nudged Specs, who paused, fork poised in midair.
“Hey man, take a look at the Commander.”
Specs pushed her glasses up on her nose. “He looks happy. He usually looks happy. Is there some unusual factor in his appearance today that is escaping my notice?”
“No, man,” Krayonder said. “And look - Taz too. You can’t tell me that’s her usual look.”
“Agreed, usually the Lietenant seems a little more - morose.”
“So what do you think, Specs? You’re the smart one. What could make our two favourite commanding officers look so blasted happy all of a sudden?”
Specs turned back to her food. “Well, obviously they have just engaged in coitus.”
Krayonder nearly spat out his mouthful of mac and cheese. “That’s sick, man. Sick.”
“You have another idea? Logically-“
“You and your logic. Naw, it’s not that, Febs and I were just in the gym and so was Taz. The Commander came to see her, and it seemed like a pretty intense conversation, if you know what I mean.”
“OMDG, I know, right?”
February joined them, smacking her tray down on the table with gusto. “There’s totally something going on there! I mean, there’s always been something going on there, but today there’s something new…”
“What’s new, Rangers?”
The three of them looked up to see Up standing above them. “Budge up a seat, there, Private.”
Krayonder and Specs exchanged glances as they made room. “Hey- hey there, Commander.”
“So you were saying? Something’s new? Not a problem with the ship, I hope.”
“Nope, not the ship…” Krayonder said.
“It’s Outfits with Alejandro!” February burst suddenly. “I don’t know where I’d be without that webcast, my fall wardrobe is going to be all wrong! Alejandro always knows when there’s a new trend in Europa…”
Up looked at her skeptically.
“Hola, idiotas,” Taz said casually, slipping into the seat beside Up.
“Hey, Taz,” Krayonder said weakly.
“Easy, Krayon-dair, my knife’s safe and sound in its sheath, see?”
Krayonder chuckled uneasily.
Taz looked around the table at the unusual silence, and then turned, frowning, to Up. “What did you-“
“My sensors indicate that an awkward situation is occuring at this table. What is the nature of the awkwardness?”
MegaGirl and Tootsie had joined them.
“I have no idea,” said Up.
“Lieutenant, your core bodily temperature is 3.4 degrees warmer than the human standard. Has something happened recently that has caused you excitement?”
“I’ll warm your core temperature if you don’t shut up,” Taz muttered, but her cheeks were flushing red.
The Commander put a hand on his Lieutenant’s shoulder and February made significant eyes at Krayonder and Specs. “Calm down, Taz, MegaGirl’s just being MegaGirl, you know her.”
“Hoo boy!” shouted Tootsie, taking a seat. “Noodles with cheese, my favourite!”
“You idiotas are all loco,” Taz said, pushing her tray away. “I’m heading back to the gym.”
“I’ll join you,” said Up quickly.
Krayonder, February and Specs all turned to watch them go. Just as the door to the mess hall slid shut, they heard Taz start in on Up.
“Did you tell them? Did you tell them that nos vamos a casar?”
“Ah,” said MegaGirl. “That is a logical explanation.” They all turned to her expectantly, and she looked at them in surprise. “I forget that humans do not come equipped with universal translation software. The Commander and the Lieutenant are getting married.”
They stared at her with gaping mouths.
“Boy howdy! Does anybody mind if I eat these noodles?”