Enjoy all! Love, Katie
Cindy, Carl, Libby and Sheen followed Captain Greg out of the room into a long white hallway. It reminded her eerily of a hospital.
"What do you guys think so far?" Greg asked.
"It is pretty cool up here!" Libby gushed.
"That it is. We make new discoveries every day! It's thrilling."
"You don't miss earth at all?" Libby asked.
"There wasn't anything there for me. Most of the others go back occasionally. But once you've come to Galileo it's pretty hard to leave again."
"This is boring," Sheen said. "Carl, do you want to go to the arcade?"
Then the two disappeared down back through the door they had just come through. Libby's jaw dropped. "There's an arcade?"
They passed by a rather large window through which the Earth was visible. Cindy couldn't help but stop and gaze at the amazing view.
"Isn't it beautiful?" He asked as he joined her near the window.
"It's nice, I guess."
"The first time Jimmy ever brought me up here, this is where he brought me."
This brought her attention back to Jimmy. "What was the deal back there anyway?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean all of you guys seemed really surprised when I started bad mouthing him. I want to know why."
"'It's a long story."
"We've got time," Libby added.
"This place, it's all his design. Every hallway, every inch all came from his mind. We were just shocked because usually people know this and are very impressed. He's a shoe-in for the Nobel Prize if this project goes well."
She felt her breath hitch in her throat. No wonder everyone was acting so weird when she was bashing him. This place was pretty incredible no matter despite what she wanted to make them think.
"Wow," Libby whispered, bringing Cindy's own secret thoughts to reality.
This brought out of her silent reverie. "Now we are all sure to die! Why else would he run off? Something is malfunctioning, right?"
"A place like this is going to have some bugs. But no, nothing is wrong he just always goes and checks the main computers to make sure everything is okay. If something ever should go wrong, he would know how to fix it."
"You have complete faith in him?"
"I have to, don't I?"
She nodded as she pulled herself away from the window and followed him down the corridor.
"Where are we going next?" Libby asked curiously.
"The core," he answered.
"That sounds important."
"It's very important."
They passed several doors. "What are these?"
"Our living quarters," he answered.
"Which one is yours?"
"The one at the end, it's right next to the core. That way if something were to go wrong, I'd be the first to know."
"You mean when something goes wrong."
He rolled his eyes as he ran his pass through a machine and entered several numbers. The door unlocked and then he opened it.
Inside was a huge room filled with computers and a large round tube running up the center of the room. "This is Vox, she runs the place."
"Whoa!" Libby commented.
"Did you have to bring them here? I am trying to concentrate!" Jimmy scolded. Cindy noticed that he was sitting at the one of the computers typing furiously.
"They were curious."
"Of course they were," he sighed but then went back to furiously typing. She crossed the room and went to the center where the large tube was. She reached out and paused for a moment.
"Can I touch it?" Libby asked.
"Please do," Greg encouraged.
She reached out and touched it. It was surprisingly smooth and cool.
"Hello, Libby Folfax of Earth."
"How did it know me?"
"She read your DNA."
"I'm sure anything Neutron built isn't that advanced," Cindy hissed.
Jimmy sighed in frustration. "Greg, I told you not to say anything! Now she won't shut up!"
"It is that advanced. She's the smartest computer in the entire world. Aren't you Vox?" Greg added.
"Answer, yes. Thank you Captain Greg," the voice answered.
He smiled at Cindy who was trying to hide how impressed she really was. She had never seen anything like this in her life.
"This is," she paused. Jimmy was making eye contact with her. "Definitely something," she finished.
It wasn't a compliment, but it wasn't an insult either. He shrugged and went back to typing.
"Want to see some more?" Greg asked.
The girls both nodded and followed Greg towards the door they had come in. She stole a glance at Jimmy who was obviously enraptured by whatever he was doing. Then they were back out in the hallway. Greg was gesturing to door to their right.
"This is my room!" He opened the door to show a surprisingly large space. "Of course the Captain gets the biggest room."
Libby and Cindy laughed as they walked into the room. There was a computer, a large bed, a table and even a TV. "How do you get TV in space?"
"Vox," he answered.
"Wow, that's incredible!" Libby marveled, but Cindy would not be so easily impressed.
She walked over to the table and sat down in one of the chairs. "So what do you guys do all day around here?"
He sat on the bed in the corner of the room. "Mostly read and do inventory. We send invitations to different planets. Most of the time, they go unanswered. But sometimes we get a race interested in trading. Then there's the arcade when I get really bored."
There was a silence as Cindy studied her surroundings. A picture of a boy and someone who was obviously his father caught her eye. She stood up and walked over to it.
"What is this? I thought you said you really don't have a family."
"I don't. That's my dad. He died a few years ago. He was the only family I had left. I didn't have any siblings, and mom left."
"Do you think I could be married? I live in space, remember?"
"Some of the others were married!"
"Well, they are, yes. But they aren't the Captain."
She found a picture of a younger Greg all dressed up in an Air Force uniform. She only knew it was air force because her grandfather used to have a uniform just like it.
"You were in the Air Force?"
"Yep, that's how Jimmy and I met. He was doing some projects for us at the time and we got along so well and then he saw how good I was. When built this place he made me Captain."
"That's pretty cool, Greg."
"Word," said Libby who was sitting at the table looking kind of bored.
"When was the last time you were off this ship?"
"Five years ago."
Cindy's jaw instantly dropped.
"Don't look at me like that, I promise this is what I want."
There a knock at the door. Greg reached over and pushed a button and Jimmy came into the room.
"Are you ready to go guys?"
Both girls nodded but Cindy gave Greg a smile. "It was nice meeting you, Greg."
"It was nice meeting you, Cindy Vortex."
As they walked out of Greg's room, Cindy turned to look at the man next to her. He was a mystery, that was for sure. What other secrets was he hiding?
"Why didn't you say anything Jimmy? This place is cool!" Libby excitedly added.
"He knew that I'd find something to criticize."
As they finally pulled away from the space station, Cindy waved goodbye to Greg who was standing at the large window.
She wouldn't tell Neutron this, but Galileo was very impressive. She smiled secretly to herself as she relaxed back into the seat. Maybe she could even get him to bring her back sometime.