PanGalactic Liner – Evac Flight 1701

David sat in his passenger seat.  The liner had been appropriated for the emergency evac of the majority of the crew of the Proxima Astrometric Station to Earth’s Armstrong Station medical facility on Luna.  He was the only one in the front passenger section; the rear had been turned into a large triage facility for decompression sickness life support.  Still in starjump transit, a flight attendant stopped by to check on him. “Mr. Knight, is there anything I can get for you?”

David seemed to snap out of deep thought and shook himself. He started to speak before he looked up. “No I’m fine, thaannk Yew.”  His you came out more than a squeak as he looked up at the flight attendant. He blushed and then looked back down at his hand. “I’m aaaaa fine thank you.” David tried for a more normal tone of voice; unfortunately it came out a little brusque.

“Are you okay sir?” she asked.

“I’m, (cough…Cough) fine.”, David Squeaked out. “I ummm havetogotothebathroom.”

David Franticly started to fumble for his restraints and panic started to set in when he couldn’t find the release where it was on a normal Auroran ship.

She leaned in, “Here you go sir” unlocking his belt.  Her eyes were very pretty, but David’s panicked shyness couldn’t see them.

David all but ran past her, throwing himself into the bathroom and locking the door. He retched into the small sink but nothing came up. David caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror. “The great hero, David Knight, (Sigh) why can’t I just talk to people like they were bots or droids. Why do I get so malaking nervous.” He thought silently to himself. He started to calm down. “Well at least I didn’t passout or hyperventilate that’s got to be progress.  She probably thinks I am an arrogant jerk or space sick now. A jerk or a Pansy, great. The Great Proximus Prime, stuck in a bathroom, oh hell, the Great PP stuck in a bathroom. That’s it I go by Proximus. I wonder if they will let me stay the rest of the flight in here. Quite homey actually could get quite comfy, thank the stars I am not claustrophobic too.”

David’s comlink went off.

David heard the beeping of is comp but tried to ignore it, just wanting the world to go away for a little bit.

“Master David sir, I noted your heart rate has gone up by 53.5%.  Are you okay?” asked Jander 12 from the other end.  Jander, the Earthers considered him luggage, was in the hold.

“I’m fine Jander, it just my shyness acting up again and then I had a panic attack.” Everything felt sort of surreal to David right now. “I’m trapped in a bathroom. How are you doing?”

“Sir, I am in a crate.  Very undignified.  But oddly I’m not alone, there is some kind of conversation going on in the cargo bay.  I can’t quite hear them, but at least I know that there are other androids suffering my
indignities.”  Jander dourly replied, “But my situation is nothing compared to yours sir.  I thought you were the only one in the forward passenger section, the rest being for your colleagues?”

“I’m sorry about that,” David said, “Maybe if I were a little more forceful. But you know the trouble I have when I am face to face with someone, I always give in. If you want to uncrate yourself and you can do so with out endangering yourself or the ship go ahead. If you can try and get my things together, so I don’t have to be too long among all those people, I would appreciate it.  But if you would rather join in the androids gossip, maybe you can pick up something helpful.  As to being the only one in the forward section, I am the only passenger in the forward section. A flight attendant asked if I needed anything. Although come to think of it, I don’t remember seeing her before, maybe she was helping out in the triage.”

“It is a 98.3% chance that she is likely only being helpful sir.  You are the only conscious passenger other than doctors and nurses.  I don’t think I can uncrate myself without causing quite a ruckus sir.  Do you wish me
to?  Or do you wish me to listen in on the others?  Or do you wish me to go over your potential itinerary on Earth.  You know the consulate will want to see you.  Oh my, I nearly forgot, I’ll have to do some shopping for you and get all your laundry ready…” replied Jander.

“I know she was only trying to be helpful… its not helpful knowing that it makes me feel worse actually. Maybe she was bored and wanted to talk. Don’t uncrate yourself; I didn’t know if it would be easy or not. If you want to listen in on the others feel free. If you want to join in the conversation you may. Yes, go over the itinerary. When we get in contact range make sure they know I am coming and make sure a car is waiting.  Check our reservations and subscribe to the some newscasts so we know what’s going on and what the current spacer and robotic sentiments are locally. If its bad, on my credit, contact local protection agency and hire some body guards.  Be ready to uncrate immediately if the situation warrants it. Also see if there are any recent articles with either Proxima Observatory or my name in them.

If there is anything important or anything you feel I need to know, contact me via Comm.” Now that he had something else to think on other than his nervousness, he was feeling a lot better which was probably why Jander had mentioned anything.

“Jander I am really glad you could come with me I am sorry you have to be in a crate.” like a boy that was about 11, not the man he had become, then the moment was past and he said in a completely different tone, “Nearly forgot, very funny Jander, I laugh. HA, HA, how droll. You know was well as I do all my luggage has books and memory cubes. I suppose you should get some clothes just to hang where ever we go. And look through the latest fashion magazines so I know how to make clothes, appropriate to my age group and position.”

“Of course sir, I’ll take care of it.  I’m listening to the conversation now sir.  Listening, listening,  listening.  Sir, sorry to interrupt but I do think those are not androids in the hold with me.” Jander replied.

A loudspeaker went off, “This is the captain, and we’ve just linked with the Shackelton Gate Director and are now on autoguidance to the Stargate. Please fasten your seatbelts for warp field cut-off and v-drive impulse
acceleration in five minutes.  PanGalactic is honored to assist in this mission of assistance to the scientific community at Proxima.  Captain out.”

David took a deep breath and prepared to leave the head, “What do you mean you don’t think they are androids? Why do you say that?” David said as he started to open the door and head back to his seat.

“Well sir, I don’t mean to pry into other’s business, but it sounds like they are going over some kind of planning session.  It’s hard to tell as their voices are muffled, but I think they are saying that one group is
ready to visit the Station’s Guild Director.  Must be a tour or something? A second group is looking forward to retrieving something from a cargo bay, maybe the crates next to me?  No, they have something in the
station’s cargo bay, Bay 6.  A third group is going to meet with the girl. Something about her being a back-up, the fourth group is…oh my. No, no I wasn’t listening in…okay I was, but I’m just an and……”

Silence.

David stopped what he was doing and then stepped back into the head as he started to transform, then he uttered the words still famous after all these years, “Houston we have a problem.”

Proximus stepped out of the head and saw the startled flight attendant, “Wh, wh, who are you?”

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