Two days later it had been officially decided that I was the worst Trivial Pursuit player ever. I sat down in my chair and did all the official things for the day. It took about a minute and a half.
“What do you suppose they do on other ships all day long?” Carter asked.
“Not a clue,” I answered, shaking my head. “How long until we reach the ABP?”
“Twenty-nine hours and twelve minutes,” Carter answered.
“Do you know where the moose are?”
“No. We’ll have to look for them,” he told me.
“All right, so we’ll take care of the squid first,” I decided.
“If the moose are in the Borderline we won’t be able to get to them at all,” Batnter said.
“Do you know which planet in the Borderline is closest to Trepidusk?” Rimana asked, rubbing her scar. He shook his head. “Terra-Nee.”
“We’ll be dealing with the moose,” I summed up. “By the way, where’s Twitchy?”
“I don’t know.”
“Carter, find Twitchy.”
“Ok.” He started typing. “She’s in sick bay.” I walked over to the comm station. The amount of buttons there staggered me.
“Carter, help?” I asked. He came over and looked at the panel. He shrugged. Rimana and Batnter joined us.
“I think it’s this one,” Batnter said, pushing an unmarked button.
“Hello?” I called.
“Hello?” Gazook answered.
“Wrong button, sorry,” I said.
“It should be the one next to it, then?” Batnter said, reaching towards it.
“I can still hear you,” Gazook said.
“How do we cut the transmission?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” Gazook said.
I didn’t ask you, I thought. “Carter?”
“Try the red one?” he guessed. I pushed it.
There was a soft ding. Rimana waved her hands and pointed to the screen. It read “shipwide speakers enabled”. I hit the red button again. The ding repeated itself, and the message flashed. Carter hit one of the green buttons. The screen told us that the volume was up. Batnter hit the button on the top-right corner. “Speakers off”.
“Thank you,” I said. “Which button were you going to hit?” He hit it.
“Hello?” Rimana called.
“What?” Nevir demanded. We all cringed.
“Sorry,” I said, hitting the top-right button. Three tries later we got it.
“Hello?” Bayou asked.
“Finally!” Carter said. “You have no idea how hard it is to use this comm station. Where’s Twitchy?”
“She has a headache,” Bayou answered. “She can’t work today.”
“Why can’t you just give her an aspirin or something?” I asked.
“It’s a telepathic headache. Different thing.”
“So we have no communication officer for today?” I asked.
“Great. Thanks. Bye.” I cut off the transmission. We went back to our seats.
“Now what?” Batnter asked.
“Have you ever noticed how much the viewscreen resembles a television screen?” Carter asked carefully.
I looked at him. Rimana looked at me. Her eyes were glowing. I rolled my eyes.
“I presume you know how to set it up, right?” I asked.
“The admiral would not be happy if he found out,” I muttered.
“In other words,” Rimana said, “go ahead.”