Saahna dragged me down to the cargo bay today to show me what she had come up with. She had moved some of the containers around to create a maze, complete with tunnels and places to climb over.
“What do you think?” she asked.
I sighed. “I think it’s going to be a mess when it comes time to unload. And Jami won’t forgive you for making her run a maze to get to Engineering every time she comes through.
She shrugged. “The computer knows where everything is, so it can unload just as well this way. And Jami can deal with it.”
I frowned. “Is there something going on with you and Jami I should know about?”
She hesitated, then shook her head. “No. No. We’re fine. But she’s mostly monitoring engineering remotely lately so it shouldn’t affect her.”
I paused. Something wasn’t right, but I trusted Saahna to tell me what was up if it became important. “OK, I guess. I’d still prefer if you got everything moved back to where it belongs before we exit Jump.”
She paused for a moment, a brief frown crossing her face. “Of course, Captain.” I heard the slight emphasis on the last word.
“So,” I said, trying to change the mood. “What have you set up?”
“A basic obstacle course,” she said, sounding a bit less enthusiastic about her changes than she had a few moments before. “Practice in moving through a crowded, restricted environment.” She paused, then smirked. “Think you can keep up with me?”
I laughed. “You think I can’t?”
She looked at me for a moment. “Try and keep up then.” She immediately turned and ducked into the maze.
I sighed and took off after her. I was able to follow her through the first tunnel and over another container, but when I dropped back to the deck I didn’t see her. The only way to go seemed to be to the left, so I ran that way.
I only got lost once. Well, maybe twice. I kept climbing over and ducking under containers until I found myself in front of the entrance to Engineering. Saahna was already there, casually leaning against the wall and looking at her comp.
“Oh, you finally made it?” she said with a smile.
I shook my head at you. “You set the thing up. You knew which way to go.”
She stood up. “Well, you’ve seen it now. Head back?”
I didn’t respond, just turned and ran back down the corridor. She passed me as I was climbing over the first container, and I dropped off in time to see her diving into the first tunnel. I didn’t see her again until I got back to the crew lounge.
She was standing there, shaking her head. “You need to be faster than that. Suppose we take a hit and our cargo gets knocked around. How are you going to get to those pirates in Engineering?”
I laughed. “I’ll climb out on the hull and go in through the vents. That’s how Captain Spaceways does it, right?”
She laughed at that too. “You’ve been watching too many net vids.”
I shrugged. “Not much else to do in Jump.”
“Well… not much else we can do all day,” she replied with a wink.
I smirked. “You haven’t tried me yet.”
“Yes I have. And you snore now too.” I laughed.
“Why don’t you try it in zero gravity?” came a voice from across the room. I looked over. I hadn’t noticed Dr. Korvusar sitting there. I stood embarrassed for a moment before realizing she was talking about the obstacle course.
“Sorry!” I said, automatically. “We didn’t mean to disturb you.”
She shook her head. “Not at all, Captain.” She shut down her comp and stood up. “I’m glad to see you run drills. We did them all the time in the Navy, of course.”
“I suspect yours were a lot more advanced than ours.”
She raised a hand. “Not really. There’s only so many possible scenarios for dealing with a ship invasion.” She turned to Saahna. “So, why not try in zero gravity? I’m sure you can shut off the grav plates in your cargo bay without affecting the rest of the ship.”
Saahna shrugged. “Didn’t want to worry about having cargo containers floating around?”
“Then tether them down.”
She thought for a moment. “Yeah, I should be able to do that.” She looked at me. “Wanna try in zero g?”
I smiled. “Bring it on!”
Dr. Korvusar spoke up. “If you do, if I may, I’d like to join you.”
I looked at her in surprise. “Really?”
She nodded. “Yes. I may be retired but I don’t want to let myself get completely out of practice. I’d appreciate a chance to practice my zero-g training.” She paused. “If that is agreeable with you, Captain.”
I hesitated, then nodded. “Sure. You’re welcome to join us.” I turned to Saahna. “You think you can tether everything down enough to let us turn off the grav plates?”
She shrugged. “Easy enough. I’ll have to rearrange the obstacle course to allow for zero-g, but that shouldn’t be too difficult.”
I nodded. “Great. We’ll try it.” I paused. “And we’ll run the entire crew through it, just to make sure we’re all good in zero-g. Haven’t run practice in a while and it’ll probably be a good idea.”
“And your passengers, Captain?” Dr. Korvusar spoke up.
I nodded in her direction. “Sure. We’ll let them join in if they want.”
“I’ll be happy to join in,” she said. “Though I doubt most of our other passengers will.”
“I suspect Amada will,” I said. “If only to be with Jami if nothing else.”
She nodded. “You are probably right, Captain. Well, let me know when you have everything set up.” Without another word she sat back down and re-opened her comp.
I looked at Saahna, who shrugged. “I’ll set something appropriately challenging by tomorrow. Mind if I move a bunch of containers around?”
I shook my head. “No, not now. Just put them back where they belong before we exit Jump. No need in taking chances.”
She nodded. “Yeah, got it.” She walked up to me and put her arms over my shoulders. “So… want to spend some time doing other things in Jump?”
I put my own arms around her. “Sure. How about in zero-g?”
She smiled back at me. “I can deal with that.”