When will things get back to normal around here?

When: Before the meeting

Seymour crawled out of the filthy bed that he hated, in the hippy's room that he hated, and looked into the mirror which was surrounded by stickers of Bob Marley who he hated. He'd already ripped off the psychedelic posters from the walls and thrown the lava lamp into the bin, along with the ornamental ashtray which contained a preposterous figurine of a man with dreadlocks smoking a big spliff.
Seymour hated this room and couldn't wait until they unquarantined the decent living quarters level so that he could go back to his own apartment, or at least one of the officer's quarters which was half decent.

In a foul mood, Seymour trudged to the meeting after preparing the agenda. It was the same old boring stuff, rations, Huzards, the lack of water, Chodmonsters (who the hell came up with that name anyway?) but it was all extremely important and he needed to hammer it home to the others, even if they didn't want to listen.

The emptyness of his life was really starting to get to him now, and as sad as it sounded, these morning meetings were the only thing he had to look forward to any more. Before he entered the meeting room (a temporary squalor that had once been a public toilet, and 3 million years of Chodmonster residence, but now was one of the only safe rooms they had, until the other decks were declared safe. He made a note to his agenda to mention that too.

Seymour walked in, expecting the room to still be filthy after last night's meal prepared by Davie, where they'd tried to add excitement by making it a “Come dine with me” game where they gave each other ratings at the end, although the scoring system eventually turned into how many times you vomited. Surprisingly the room was sparkling clean, and Efof was sat down beaming, and waving his four arms around going “Look what I did, do you like it?!”

“The desks are neatly arrange, the smell of vomit has been replaced by lovely fragrant lilac, and the pipe of last week's minutes is completely perpendicular – well done Mister Yu'Wankar!”
It was almost enough for Seymour to smile, but he didn't, life wasn't looking that good yet.

As more people attended the meeting, some still looking groggy after last night, Seymour decided to push on, even though Cassandra and their Captain-wanabee Chrysler weren't there. “Typical”. Seymour muttered, and started reading through his boring agenda. “I think we should bulldoze the Aquanauts city down on the low cargo deck.”
“What? Why?” Were the cries of confusion from the others. “Haven't we got better things to do?” Said Phil.
“Yes, but it's a constant reminder of our failure.” Seymour said morbidly. “We failed them, and they died. I don't like knowing there's a deserted city down there haunted with the ghosts of our failure. It's depressing!”
Efof raised a cautious hand. “Maybe... when everything's back to normal, we could sell tickets to it as a tourist attraction. Like that Earth city 'Up Pompeii'.”
“'Pompeii' was destroyed by a natural disaster, not by some idiots who weren't good enough... Seymour's voice trailed off as he heard himself. “Sorry... I think everything's just depressing me lately. The 3 millionth Queen jubilee just went by and we didn't even have a street party. I've got absolutely nothing to look forward to except more of Davie's tinned asparagus and custard surprise, which incidentally was only a surprise when it came up again.”

He pulled himself together again and pushed on with his agenda, expecting bad news on ever single item on his list. “Item 3, I assume the crew decks are still under quarantine?”
“No. All done.” Said Alex. “Me and Davie did a final sweep yesterday, we can declare they're free from all monsters, aliens, or polymorphic lifeforms. We can move back in.”
“What?!” Seymour was shocked, he had been ready to cross a line through the item on his list, but instead drew a very positive tick, and even a smiley face next to it as one cracked across his face. “Splendid. That is truly amazing news! Maybe things are looking up after all! Any other good news? What about the Promenade? Still infested with giant rodents?”
“Oh.” Seymour frowned, and started to cross it off.
“The rats have started manning the shops and selling all the tinned foods they found on the supply deck.”
“What! That's... good, I suppose.” Seymour said, imagining rodents selling things in the corner shops, and donning an apron in the supermarket. “Next you'll be telling me Parrotts is open-”
“It is!” Said Efof.
“What?!” Seymour said sceptically.
“Yup. I saw a big rat man putting a sign out front today that said 'opening for business next week'.” Said Efof. “They're an enterprising bunch, those rodents!”
“It sounds a bit suspicious to me, but... well I'm pleased they're pulling their weight! Maybe things will get back to normal faster than I thought.”

That was when Jay and Cass walked in, derailing the meeting and annoying Seymour. Leaving him with only Pancake in the room, who left not long after imagining the water world might be inhabited by hot mermaids, and Efof, who had his constant grin on his face.
“I do wish they wouldn't ruin my meeting like that.” Seymour said angrily.
Efof shrugged. “Who cares. Things are getting done. We'll soon have food, water, a place to sleep, and even a place to get a pint.”

Seymour walked out of the room and saw everyone busying around. He just stood and grinned.

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