Nocturne 9 – It’s Sighing Time Again
Ham had a bit of time in jump space to relax and worry about nothing. Worm holes are strange and mysterious things to travel through. Because of the fickle nature of relativity, traveling one parsec of space took about the same amount of time as traveling six parsecs of space. Jump space, because it was outside the physical boundaries of normal space, was riddled with quantum unpredictability and constants such as the speed of light. It meant that you had to traverse both time and space. So, it would be at least a week before he and the crew of the Leaping Shadowcat had to deal with the terrors and the politics that awaited them on the planet Coventry.
The Madonna had made their mutual cabin aboard the Leaping Shadowcat starship into a very comfortable and homey place. She decorated it in that strange, amorphous way that Nebulons have of making everything look like the inside of an egg, all organic and squishy-like. The foam furniture she had made with the material synthesizer was all blobby, colorful, and very soft to the touch. Jarring to the eye at first, Ham had come to find it quite restful and lovely.
“How are you feeling today, Honey?” Ham said to the bustling little blue woman.
“You is no help, Hamfast. You going nowhere and laying on my home, making me perfect witch in making of home.”
“Love, I have no idea what you just said, but why are you so angry?” Ham tried to make sympathetic eyes towards his small, blue wife.
“You is no knowing! You is big, stupid-fat with no good in your bottoms.”
Ham was mystified. She had always been so affectionate and loving. Why was she now in such a rage?
He wondered how he might help her. He pushed the button on the shipboard intercom. “Sahleck? I think I might need your help with a little cleaning in our cabin.”
“Sure, boss,” came the reply in a child-like voice.
Sure, he had solved the problem and made it up to the little blue woman, Ham turned back to her with a silly grin. “Are you okay now?”
“Not okay! Hokey smoke! You is big, big dumbhead!”
Again, Ham was confused and flustered. His little blue wife was blowing steam out of her nostrils for no apparent reason. She rearranged mushroom-shaped divans with all the elegance of a raging wolverine in a henhouse. Small bits of fluff and foam flew everywhere.
“Is it something I did?”
“You no is talking to me. I still love you, but not kissing you am I ever again!”
“Why? What is the matter?”
“Oh! Grrr I says!” A large green foam cushion came flying at Ham’s head. It bounced off of him with enough force to drive him to his knees. “Dumb! Dumb dumb dumb, I say!”
A large sofa-sized foam pillow whirled over Ham’s head and smashed into the young Lupin boy, Sahleck Kim, as he tried to enter the cabin with an armload of vacuum cleaner attachments and dust bins. It sent the boy flying backwards into the hall, banging his head against the bulkhead.
“Sahleck!” Ham leaped to the rescue. He had come to be quite fond of the puppy-like boy. Fonder even than he was of the more adult-like Sinbadh. He reached the crumpled child in a flash, and tenderly picked him up from the hall floor. “Oh, Sahleck, I am so sorry!”
Sahleck’s furry head was bleeding just a touch, but the boy quickly came back to his senses. “What did I do?” he asked, seeming slightly stricken.
Ham looked at the Madonna, standing in the middle of the cabin with a horrified look on her blue face. She began to weep.
“Everything is fine, boy,” Ham said. “You are all right and no one is mad at you. It was an accident.”
The Madonna looked at Ham and the dog-boy with stricken eyes. “You are good father-man, no?” she asked the air in general.
“I don’t know,” said Ham. “Why?”
“You are going to need be one,” she said. “You will be a daddy soon. You and me, we will have a three.”
A child? Ham couldn’t believe it. He was both shocked and filled with joy. How could this have happened? No, he knew how. It was wonderful. In all his days of traveling and hunting through the stars, he never dreamed that one day he would find both happiness and a family.
“Madonna, my love, I love you!”
The blue-skinned beauty stared at him. It was obvious that if a Nebulon could blush, she would be glowing red.