I’m up in the air, feet dangling, frantically grabbing for purchase.
“What…? Lena! Gravity is gone!”
From the kitchen, Lena comes floating towards me, more graceful in the air than I ever could be and effortlessly using the walls and furniture to steer herself as if she has done this all her life.
“Seriously Chris? Didn’t notice.” If looks could kill, my life would be in serious peril right now.
“Must have been that fancy boy you brought in. You know, the one who stole our emergency escape pod? This is probably his goodbye gift.”
She’s right, of course. Still, her crabbiness makes me even more on edge.
“You’re just jealous he wasn’t your pretty boy. I kicked him out, didn’t I?”
Lena makes her way towards the engine room.
“Not my point, and you know it. He was pretty alright – pretty annoying and a pretty big asshole. And when he told you it was him or me, you hesitated. You were about to kick me out of my own fucking space ship just to get a fuckbuddy, just so you could get laid by some shifty ASSHOLE!” She kicks off a little harder than necessary and has to keep herself sailing past the engine room. I follow along sullenly; I hate it when she’s angry at me, and even more so when she has the right to be.
“Well, whatever, I’m going to check what the damage is in the steering cabin.” A subtle hint is given by the loud clanging noises coming out of the engine room, drowning out anything else I might want to add.
“Okay, we’re royally fucked here. Are you going to send out the S.O.S.?” Lena comes in over my intercom.
“No, I am drinking a cup of tea with my imaginary friends. Of course I’m sending an S.O.S. you dolt!” I sigh, close my eyes and take a deep breath. Getting angry won’t get us out of this faster, but it takes a lot of effort to be patient and positive here.
“What has he done to our poor engine?”
“He seems to have pulled some cables loose, I can easily fix that. But loverboy also stole our main power converter, and that blew up one of the navigation units. We could go on, but I’d say we have about 80% chance to blow up the other one too unless we replace the converter.”
I mentally prepare myself for the outburst.
“And we don’t have replacements?”
“NO WE DON’T. We can use the second navigator, but without the converter that will give us the speed of a rowing boat on a stormy sea. If the second navigator blows too, we will also have the directional control of said rowing boat. Woman, if I could, I would’ve just fixed it wouldn’t I?” Lena sounds as defeated and frustrated as I feel.
“I sent out a signal. All we can do is wait.” Silence.
“At least we’re in occupied space, it shouldn’t take more than an hour or two for the authorities to reply to our signal.” More Silence.
“But hey, he was a good cook.”
Lena lets out a short burst of laughter.
“Chris, compared to you, everyone’s a good cook. Compared to you, I’m a good cook. And I am incapable of distinguishing more spices than salt and pepper.”
“Well, that’s why we have a Foodinator, don’t we?”
“If you can make anything good come out of the Foodinator, I’ll make sure we don’t die before help comes.”
In quiet gratitude I move myself to the kitchen, no need to sit and stare at a blank screen, if any response comes the ship will send it through to my wristband.
When Lena joins me, she’s covered in filth and grime. Somehow every engine anywhere will be covered in filth. I offer her a glass of wine.
“With my sincerest apologies.”
She takes it and laughs.
“We’ll be fine, we’ve got engine capacity for like a month without thrusters. In all fairness, I may have made some bad calls myself with regard to partners. Remember that girl who ended up sneaking into your bedroom in the middle of the night?”
“Hmm. Or that one who turned out to be wanted on four different planets?”
I raise my glass.
“To choosing better partners, and always sticking up for each other, sisters before misters.”
“Hell yeah. Hoes before bros”