The Cat and Her Ship

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 12 (v.1) - The Cat and her Ship - Chapter 12

Submitted: May 12, 2014

Reads: 29

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Submitted: May 12, 2014

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Lunch, such as it was, went fairly normal.  The group discovered several more containers that disagreed with them enough to put them into the ‘no way’ pile.  While they were tasting and judging, the group became aware of Bernard, who was sitting at the far end of the table, snuffling as he forked gobs of pureed ‘green stuff’ into his mouth as fast as he could.

“Bernie?  What the heck are you eating?”  Asked Peeta with a peeved tone.  “Nothing we’ve tasted here is that good.”

He reared back very defensively.  “Mine!  I found it!  It’s mine!”  He cried, forking more of the stuff into his already filled mouth.

Peeta approached the open container in front of him with a spoon.  He hesitated, almost knocking her hand aside, but relented and let her lift a bit of it.  She stuck out her tongue and touched it to the stuff and moaned as she pushed the rest into her mouth greedily and reached for more.

“What the hell...?”  Said Cookie, reaching for the very last bit in the bottom of the container.  He managed a tiny scraping after nearly losing it all to Peeta’s armlock.  He smiled as he closed his mouth over the fork.  “Oh, wow!  This is delicious.”  He groaned, trying to lick the fork clean.

By now, Bernard had wrenched the container away from Peeta and was licking it completely clean.  Everyone else sitting around the table stared in amazed silence and wondered what could possibly be that good.

But it was gone now, polished completely out of the container.  They searched among the other containers but couldn’t find anything even the same color.

Captain (No Kidding) Bly stood with his hands on his hips and addressed the general crowd.  “Okay.  What did it taste like?”

“Fried chicken!”

“Cherry pie!”

“Hot fudge sundae!”

He snorted.  “Don’t be silly.  How could something taste so differently to each of you?  That’s ridiculous.”  Receiving no answer, he snorted again.  “Well, it’s gone now.  Let’s get back to whatever it was we were doing.”

Mason, Larry, Verne, and Ernie, the four original explorers had decided to go back over to the cat’s ship.  They were in the crew’s lounge discussing that very venture when Peeta passed the open door and looked in.

“Can I come too?”  She asked.  “I want to see the inside of their ship.”

Mason rubbed his chin.  “I dunno, Miss Peeta.  Your mom or dad might get a bit riled up if we were to let you go with us.”

“Oh, pooh!  I’m not worried about that.  My dad thinks they’re okay, so why shouldn’t I go?”

Mason looked at the other three crewmen and cocked an eyebrow.  They slowly nodded.  “Well, okay.  But keep it quiet.  We don’t want everyone to know about it.”  He stood and executed a parade ground salute indicating he actually meant the Captain.  Peeta giggled.

“I’ll be right back.  I want to change into something with more pockets than this old thing.”  She said, heading back out the door.

“I’d take her in ‘this old thing’ any time,” mused Vern.

“Now, now.  None of that, Vern.”  Said Larry.

Peeta tried her best to be discrete as she headed for her room, but caught the eye of Bernard as she passed him and entered her cabin.  “What’s up, Peeta?”  He called.

She evaded the question by asking one of her own.  “Aren’t you late for your chess game?”

“Nah.  It got canceled.”  He watched her as she grabbed clothing off hangers and stepped into the tiny head.  Puzzled, he asked “Where are you going?”

“Oh, nowhere in particular, Bernie.”  She said with a deep sigh.  “Some of the crew are going to see if the gangway will let them cross over into the cat’s ship.  I’m just a bit curious about it.”

He brightened up.  “So am I!  Do you really think that you shrink as you go over there?”  He chuckled.  “That’s insane!”

“I don’t know.  I’ve never been over there.  How else do you explain what Mason and the others told us?”

“Bah!  I don’t believe any one of then.  I bet they were smoking some of Mason’s weed all morning and just dreamed it all up.”

She whirled on Bernard.  “That’s not true!  Mason wouldn’t do that.”

“I bet it’s all baloney.”  He said stubbornly.

“Then come along and see for yourself if you’re so convinced of that.”

He thought a moment.  “Okay.  I will.”

Peeta came out of the head and tossed her other clothing on her bunk.  “Let’s go.”

They left her cabin and went to the main lounge where the others were waiting.  Mason told them he’d checked and the whatever-it-was that kept them from crossing the gangplank wasn’t there any more.

“I guess we can cross now,” he said.

They trooped up to the gangplank and stood around it in a circle.  Larry stepped up and placed his foot on the metal plank.  When he moved off down it, the rest followed; Bernard was the last one over.

Peeta looked back and yelped.  “Holy cow!  We did get smaller!”

Bernard wheeled around and goggled at the huge sideboard of the yacht which now towered over them.  “Looks like it’s at least a hundred feet tall from this angle.”

“It’s that big from any angle,” said Vern, who was just ahead of Bernard.  “Come on, let’s go.”

They reached the entrance hatch and this time Mason manipulated the locking wheel easily.  They stepped inside the austere ‘waiting room’ and waited while he tugged the hatch shut and spun the wheel.  The four who had been given collars slapped them onto their upper arms and headed towards the far hatch.  Before they had taken three steps, it opened and three Dwee’num came through it; Loopy, and two others.

“Yeeek!”  Said Bernard, eyes bugging out like a cartoon character.

One of Loopy’s companions walked towards Bernard holding out a spare collar.  Bernard, who hadn’t seen what the other four had done to their own collars, began to freak out.  He hyperventilated immediately as his face turned almost chalk white.

“Whaa, whaaat?  Is that a collar?”  He gasped.  “You’re going to put a collar on me?”

“It is purely for your own good, Bernard,” said Loopy, chuckling.  “You don’t have to put it around your neck at all.  Just slap it around your arm like the others.”

Bernard, still in a state of shock at seeing a cat as big as a Volkswagen approaching, took a step backwards as the cat held out the device.  It was evident that he was shaken but he gamely allowed the cat to show him how to put it on his arm.

“Has Mason told you all how they work?”  Asked Loopy.

“I wasn’t present when they explained them,” said Peeta, playing with the collar – snapping and unsnapping from her arm.

“No problem, Miss Peeta.”  Piped up Larry.  “They just let you go through doors and stuff.  If you aren’t supposed to go through them, they just don’t open.  I also remember something about security, but not all of it.  Loopy?”

“Quite correct, Larry.”  Loopy said, stepping over to the viewplate in the wall and activating it.  “As you can see here, this is what the security drones look like.  If they approach and stop in front of you, simply touch your collar.  It will identify you to the drone, and it will go on about its business.”

“What if it doesn’t ... identify, that is?”

“Then it will keep you from moving about.  Oh, it isn’t painful or anything like that, but you just aren’t allowed to move.”

“Weird.”

Loopy gestured to his two companions.  “Let me introduce these two crewmen to you all.  The first— “Indicating an almost solid black cat, “—is ‘Noo’.  The second is ‘Hansu’.”  The grey and black striped cat nodded amiably, showing quite a few teeth (to which Bernard flinched noticeably).  “They have been taking English lessons, and although they can speak it quite well, it would probably be best if you spoke slowly to them.”

“No problem, Loopy.”  Said Mason.  He turned to the other two cats.  “Noo, it is nice to meet you – and you too Hansu.”

Both cats reached out and tapped his hand with their paws.  “Awfully nice to be meeting with you,” said Noo.  “Oh, fer shure!”  Said Hansu.

“So,” said Mason, assuming the leadership of his merry band, “Let’s go see what there is to see.”

They headed out the door and began their adventure.

 


© Copyright 2017 B Douglas Slack. All rights reserved.

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