Could This Be Love?

From the Log Files of William Bartlett

     I was watching from the control room when the Captain gave his “Colonist Welcoming Speech” and went down for breakfast after Arte relieved me. We were serving ourselves buffet style from the breakfast bar and I grabbed a tray then headed towards the tables. The room was packed but I scanned back and forth and finally saw Janie Cantarubias sitting at a full table in animated conversation with a guy I didn’t really recognize who was sitting next to her. Joe Fortson was seated across from her on the other side of the table. There were a few seats open near to me but I had been waiting almost four years to talk to and see Janie again and so I headed that way.

     She didn’t notice me as I approached from the right and slightly behind. I paused waiting for a lull in the conversation when Joe noticed me and said in a voice cutting through the chatter, “Hey Bart, good to se ya!”

     Janie spun around and a smile which could have launched a thousand ships lit her face as she said “Bart grab a seat.” Janie glanced around the table, saw it was full, and the smile began to fade.

     Just then Fortson stood up and said, “Here take mine I was just leaving.” His tray wasn’t empty yet but I was not about to argue.

     I went around and sat down and couldn’t think of a thing to say and so just stared at her with a goofy look on my face. She was looking back, smile once more in place, when the guy who had been talking to her interrupted my reverie by saying, “Hello Bart, I’m Frank Turner, tell us about the new planet. Captain Travis didn‘t say much.”

     “Oh yes Please do”, Janie piped in. This wasn’t the conversation I had been hoping to have. But in a crowded room at a full table what else could I expect. You see I think I had fallen in love.

     Everyone else at the table had just gone to sleep and gotten up the next day. For me near four years had passed and Janie was always with me someplace in the back of my mind. But her command “Please do”, sent me to marching.

     I began, “Well the details are all in the Encyclopedia.”, and continued on between bites of breakfast, though never tasting a thing. I think just seeing her again put me into sensory overload. It probably seemed I was talking to everyone but I was really just taking to Janie. Anyway all too soon the meal was done and hearing a background chime I knew I was due back on the bridge in ten minutes. “Sorry folks gotta go.” and then to Janie, “I’ll be off duty in four hours can I catch you then?”

     “Sure, why don’t I walk with you to the control room?”

     “Best offer I’ve had all year.”

     We both stood, said goodbye to the rest, and headed out into the corridor. “Gee it’s good to see you Janie. I really missed you.” Just then I noticed Andy Stewart walking our way.

     Andy saw me at about the same time and immediately said, “Yo Bartlett, Got any idea where Capt. Travis is?”

     I replied, wondering at his hurry, “Hey Andy good to see you. If you need something fast that I can help with, I’m on my way to the Bridge right now.”

     Andy smiled crookedly and said, “Thanks for the offer but, this really needs a Command Decision. I need to wake up my worst headache, I’m sure you know who I mean, in a really bad way.”

     I could not help laughing, “God I can see how that might hurt but, I’ll tell you true, I need to talk to Ash too.”

     Andy’s face went half-way cold, “Bart, you are not going to go for his throat again are you?”

     Not sure if that was a question or a statement and I laughed, “You know that’s over Andy. At least for now. But Travis did mention that the data we pulled from his ship along with your cousin’s “ Plans & Training” background might help in figuring out what the Goonies might be able to send after us. And we did find a few things which could use some explanation.”

      Andy’s look softened a bit and he said, “You don’t know the half of it. That hot shot is a trained spaceflight engineer and I do mean design type stuff. So, if the Capt. Lets me get him up I’ll be sure to let you know where he’s at!”

     Amazed at that potential goldmine, though wondering if I could ever get along with Ash, I said I would like to see him when he got out of the freezer and then told Andy where I suspected Travis might be found.

     Andy said thanks, and then with a small bow, “Pleasure Ms. Cantarubias!” He then moved briskly around the corner. Ignoring Janie like that he must have had an awful lot on his mind.

     Just minutes later, all too soon, Janie and I reached the control room with Arte standing in the door.

     “Glad you could make it Bart.” he remarked.

     I turned to Janie and said. “Four hours in the lounge, ok?”

     “Sure thing.”

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Colony: Alchibah is a science fiction blog novel.
Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Probably.

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