104 – The Arrival of Goofy Dalgoda
The many hours of time separating the arrival of the Leaping Shadowcat and the much later arrival of the First Half-Century was something no one really wanted to probe too deeply for causes. Sometimes it is nice to be able to keep that one particularly “special” friend at more than arms’ length.
Trav “Goofy” Dalgoda was such a friend.
“First Officer Cole! Can you explain why it took us a whole extra day to reach this Outstation?”
“No, Captain Trav… Honeypot… I have no idea why.”
Dana Cole had been working overtime trying to keep the Goofy one’s mind on romance rather than that evil Ancient artifact, the Tesserah, that he had become so obsessed with. The device was constantly percolating with menacing alien sounds and radiating oddly unsettling colors while making everybody but Trav wonder what the evil thing was thinking about. Trav Dalgoda was much more concerned with what he could get the thing to do. Specifically, what he could get the thing to blow up or otherwise destroy.
“Ham, the old jester, will be wondering what happened to us. He arrived at least twenty-three hours ahead of us. You know I can’t leave my one truest friend alone for that long. What if he needs me to blow something or someone up?”
“You know, Trav… beloved… we could take another shower together… or have some wine to celebrate arriving here.”
“Nonsense. Who put you up to trying to slow me down with your evil ways? Was it Ged Aero? I know it wasn’t Ham. The robot T-Bop maybe?”
T-Bop was a maintenance Metalloid. Dana had no idea why Trav might have brought the thing up.
“Shall we take the recommended docking port?” asked a crewman on the bridge.
That was a good save by the nameless crewman in the red uniform. Dana did not know them all by name. After all, many of them were probably going to die in service to Goofy Dalgoda. But she did appreciate any effort anybody could make to distract Trav from the Tesserah.
“Are you sure you don’t want to go take that shower together?” Dana offered yet again.
“Do you know where all the waste water in the fresher goes?” Trav asked, switching his eyepatch from the right eye to the left eye, which made no sense, since there was nothing wrong with either eye.
“It goes back to the molecular processors for the ship’s main material synthesizer units.”
“Exactly. We use it to make the clothes we wear and the food we eat. Do you know what that means?”
“No. What does it mean?”
“It means our food is made from poo. And our clothes we put on every day are made from poop too. Isn’t that an icky thought?”
The Tesserah seemed to like that observation, changing its internal lighting to make it look more like a large, electrified turd.
“Oh, yuck,” said a crewman on the bridge. Dana briefly thought about gutting him with a knife for being unhelpful, but then remembered the red uniform and took pity on the doomed young man.
“Captain Dalgoda, as First Officer, I request we dock at the designated docking bay. We could all stand time away from the ship.”
“I am reluctant to leave my beautiful Tesserah. But I do need to see Ham Aero again, the old jester.”
“Crewmen, please make it so,” said Dana to the doomed.