Canto Eight – The Stolen Golden Wing
“We can’t steal a spaceship!” complained Davalon. “That just isn’t right.”
“Well, they are not just going to give us one!” said Brekka hotly.
George Jetson ran the security card through the lock and popped open the rear hatch to Golden Wing Sixteen. He turned and smiled at the other tadpoles. “Will you be satisfied if I get permission from Mister Studpopper? We are using his security card, after all.”
“How are you going to do that?” asked Davalon.
“We will ask him. Studpopper is really stupid for a green-skinned Telleron.”
“We really shouldn’t be doing this,” recommended Alden Morrell. He was trying his hardest to sound like a reasonable adult, but his twelve-year-old reconstituted body betrayed him, making him squeak like a frightened child.
“Don’t be such a baby, Alden,” said Gracie Morrell. “We are both responsible adults. We can watch over the children and make everything come out all right.”
Alden looked at his beautiful child-wife. She had the slim young body of a ten-year-old child. But she was right. The intelligence and wisdom of a thirty-eight-year-old were there in her beautiful brown eyes. She had been through so much… she had even died back on Earth. How could he not believe that she was a capable adult, even in a childlike form?
“We will be okay, Dav,” said Tanith. “We are not experienced, but the knowledge of how to do this is implanted in our memories by our electronic education. We will be careful, and we will do things right.”
It looked to Alden as if Davalon was unconvinced, yet swayed by Tanith’s beauty even more so than her reasonable confidence. Tanith, Brekka, and Menolly took hold of Davalon and pulled him into the wing after George had already disappeared inside. Gracie guided Alden up the ramp and through the hatch after them.
Golden Wing Sixteen was just as inspiring on the inside as any of the other spacecraft had been. Alden was in awe of a vessel that could safely transport them through outer space. He remembered watching Carl Sagan on PBS in his series Cosmos. It was amazing that he now had the chance to live what Sagan had talked about, exploring new worlds that humans from Earth had never seen before. The metal craft was shiny even on the inside, glowing with electro-magnetic energy and other-worldly radiance.
“I can call Studpopper from here,” said George Jetson from the pilot chair. He reached down to the com-panel and flipped a toggle switch. “Mister Studpopper? This is Golden Wing Sixteen, requesting that you cycle the vehicle airlock on flight deck ten.”
“Wait, what are you going to say to him?” Davalon cautioned.
“Oh, any lie will do,” said George with a grin.
“Why is flight deck ten active?” came Studpopper’s voice over the com. “Golden Wing One already left from deck four.”
“We’re flying back-up. You know, just in case something goes wrong and we have to bring the crew of One back on board because of some unforeseen emergency,” lied George.
“Which Officer am I speaking to?” asked Studpopper.
“This is special cadet Jetson,” replied George. “Captain Xiar populated the back-up wing with expendable tadpoles for a crew.”
“Oh, okay,” said Studpopper. The atmosphere in the flight deck vehicle airlock immediately began to be sucked out by the recyclers. The force field that separated the wing from open space disappeared and let the cold dark vacuum of space infiltrate.
“What did you mean when you told him Captain Xiar populated this wing?” Davalon asked.
“All the Tellerons on board this wing are children of Xiar,” said George. “He literally populated this space ship.”
Alden nodded. This adventure was going to happen, and it looked like a very bad end might be looming in the very near future.