Gaslight (Part 6)

“You bet I do!” Serena said. “One cake, one coconut cream, then you can go an’ make a good impression. I do impressions sometimes too. You wouldn’t survive the Gorram Academy! -- That’s the lieutenant. Ah think you should have anothah cookie…. That was Mr. Cortez. I am sooooooo good lookin’. That’s Drake. He doesn’t actually say that, but he should - all the time,” she nodded.

Patch nearly spat out the mouthful of cupcake at the young girl’s impressions. “I dunno who this Cortez fella is, but that’s a pretty good Lieutenant!” He choked a little bit from laughing with food in his mouth but managed to fight it down, moving it along with a healthy gulp of fizzy drink. The old man let out a few heavy coughs to clear his airway before he was interrupted with a surprisingly loud burp from the soda. He looked momentarily embarrassed, his eyes still tearing from choking on the cupcake before finally letting out laugh. “You tryin’ to kill me, kid??” he protested, simultaneously laughing and coughing.

Serena slapped the man on the back between his shoulder blades. “Nuh uh,” she said earnestly. “On account of we don’t have much luck with mechanics as it is! Are you okay? I can go get a bottle of water if you need it.” Suddenly it made more sense. The vending machine sold water just in case of choking. Smart.

Patch caught his breath and waved a hand at the offer for water. “I’m…” his sentence punctuated with one last cough, “...I’m good.” He took a moment to catch his breath and let out a big “Whoooo!” of a sigh before digging right back into the rest of that cupcake. “Honestly, I thought you was gonna be wearin’ that cupcake, kid!” he teased.

“I suggested that once to Gil, only he turned redder than the Crew Chief’s soda,” she confided. “An’ speaking of, we gotta go so you can make your good impression. “

Patch stifled a chuckle and considered clarifying what he meant to the girl, but decided to just leave it alone for risk of finding out the exact details of this cupcake encounter with Gil. “Lead on, lil Miss!” he said happily, gathering up their remaining loot to head back to the docking bay.

Serena happily led the way back to the ship, a sugary skip to her step. The corridors all looked the same.. One-two-three-four, she counted making a left turn. One-two-three, another left. One-two-three-four-five… was it five? Four? Wait, six? She furrowed her brow.

Patch followed behind the happy teen. After a few minutes, however, it felt like it was taking longer than it should. “You sure we’re goin’ the right way, kid?” The old man looked around at corridors leading to the other loading docks, but, frankly, they all looked the same. Gorrammit! I shoulda checked the bay number before we took off!, he cursed to himself. He turned in the opposite direction of the girl and called down the hall. “Crew Chief!” He waited for a response. Nothing. He turned back to Serena. “I dunno...maybe we got onto the wrong side of the station? Can’t be that big, right?”

< Prev : Gaslight (Part 5) Next > : Gaslight (Part 7)