Chapter Forty Six

Engines

 

 


We'd be in orbit around Mars and landing on the surface tomorrow. Only one more day of this horror movie! We might all live after all!
Destiny was still asleep. I got out of bed and went to the head, went in the kitchen to start coffee (stupid robots) and put a robe on.
Yeah, in that order. Fuck you.
Anyway, I told the robots to make me some breakfast. Destiny got up and went in the kitchen while I got dressed. The robot was almost done frying my eggs and sausage and had started cooking hers.
“Good morning!” she said. “Been up long?”
“'Mornin', sweetheart. Maybe ten minutes. Computer,” I said, “What time is it?”
The table said “seven thirty three.” I hate that table.
We ate our breakfast, then drank coffee and watched the news in the living room as the robots cleared the table. They were still trying to figure out what do do about Venus. It also had something about the battle the fleet fought, but Destiny said that they didn't mention me or her charity that the company was hauling for but they mentioned Bill's boat and its sabotage; I didn't get to see the whole thing. They had an interview with Mister Osbourne, but I had to go to the pilot room and I missed that part, too.
We didn't need a course correction, but there were red lights on engines sixteen and eighteen, right next to seventeen. I shut those two down and the two next to them as well and went to inspect them, stopping at home to fill my coffee. There was some politician talking about shipping and pirates on the news while I was there.
“Trouble?” Destiny asked, seeing my frown.
“Only a little, we have two more broken engines right next to seventeen. I'm going down to inspect them now.”
I was astonished when I walked past the commons and saw Tammy talking to the German woman, and the German lady was actually wearing clothes!
I trudged down the five damned flights of stairs and inspected engines fifteen through nineteen first. Sixteen and eighteen had shorted out like seventeen, so I left fifteen and nineteen shut down as well in case it was something spreading from one engine to another like they seemed to have done on that Titan run, and I ordered the computer to leave all five alone. The book doesn't say to do that and I don't know how those engines work, but I saw a pattern here and I wasn't going to take any chances, anyway. I plugged repairbots in diagnostic mode into the four I'd shut off, hoping they wouldn't burn up and melt like the two that had tried to fix the dead number seventeen, but maybe they could record something engineering could use.
I logged it all, but the rest of the motors and the working generator were exactly like the tablet said they were supposed to be. Busy morning!
I trudged up all those damned stairs and took off my nasty boots and went straight to the shower. UGH! Damn but it was nasty down there.
I put on clean clothes and inspected cargo next. Yesterday's inspection was two days late, so I had to do it again, thankfully for the last time; no more inspections. Tomorrow morning we would dock at the repair facility and Destiny and me would leave on the houseboat, and the company's boat and the stench downstairs would be somebody else's problem. I couldn't wait to get off of that damned boat!
The only ones who were in their rooms were all asleep, and the rest were in the commons, maybe thirty or so. It was noon, I was hungry, and decided to finish inspections after lunch.
“Done already?” Destiny asked.
“No, I was downstairs longer than normal. I still have to inspect the passenger section and the commons and the sick bay. Want to go for a walk with me after lunch? I'm starved.”
“Sure,” she said. “Robot, two rare ribeye steaks, mashed potatoes and gravy, and coleslaw.”
We ate, and she came along as I finished my inspection. I did the commons last, and by then the only two people in there were Lek and the German woman. Lek was drinking coffee and the blonde was eating some kind of sandwich, and both of them were wearing clothes. I guess the blonde didn't want to be an animal, either. It was nice seeing people in the commons and nobody was naked for a change.
Destiny said “hello, ladies, I like your dresses.” Lek said “Cup coon mock; oops, that Thai for ‘thank you very much’.”
The heavy German woman said “thank you” in her heavy German accent as well.
We were due to enter orbit around Mars the next morning, so Destiny came in the pilot room with me as I watched over the computers for our final approach. “You're going to be happy and the droppers are going to hate it,” I said. “We'll be weightless when we enter orbit and dock tomorrow.”
We had walked slowly and by then it was almost suppertime, so when I finished getting us ready to go into orbit we went home and had the robot make pizza and bring us each a beer. I'm getting used to Newcastle, I might keep drinking it on Mars. Well, I was going to have to drink Newcastle for a while anyway, because I still had an awful lot of it crammed in my houseboat. I don't get many chances to drink much of it on a journey. My boat's half full of beer!
After supper we moved our luggage to the houseboat, and Destiny put on the third Lord of the Rings movie and we ate the pizza while we watched the beginning of the movie, then we cuddled while we watched the rest of it.
Those are some a long movies! We listened to some Vaughn and then went to bed. I told the computer to wake me up at six.

 

 


Chapter 45
Index
Chapter 47

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