“Oooooh,” Martellus groaned as he rolled out of bed. He was utterly dormant during the overnight and it appeared to have taken a toll. “My aching joints. It’s bad today.”

“And how’s your head, dear?” Roweena asked from the navigation panel.

Martellus’ wife’s back was turned to him but he could tell she still looked amazing after all this time. Her bob didn’t have a single bright red hair out of place against her chestnut skin. “How do you do that?” the older of the two asked. “You always look so good.”

“Precision, dear. You should practice it more often. Perhaps you’re not well suited for it, though.” She swiveled the chair around to take a gander at her husband, all six-feet-eight, three-hundred and seventy-five pounds of him. “How’s your head, dear?”

“A little foggy,” Martellus answered. “I might be off to a slow start today.” Martellus felt like the circuitry in his head wasn’t quite making all the necessary connections.

“That’s to be expected,” Roweena comforted him, “That was a long space walk before bed. The cosmic radiation exposure can have effects similar to alcohol poisoning from what I understand.”

“Well, it’s definitely not alcohol poisoning,” her spouse informed. Martellus stood up and took a good long stare out the window. The spiral galaxy X-7889 loomed before them. “When did you get up? How long was I asleep?”

“I got up last year, dear. You’ve been asleep for precisely four-hundred and six years, seven months, nine days…”

“Understood,” Martellus waved her off. “What do you recommend?”

Roweena swiveled her chair towards the window and looked at the swirling mass of stars dubbed X-7889 and then back towards her husband again. “In what context, dear?”

“I meant for me, to shake off the cobwebs.” Martellus started for their supply cabinet.

“Coffee, the elixir of life. Records indicate that’s what they used to say about this liquid stimulant on Earth, correct?” Roween could really sound mechanical sometimes. Martellus didn’t like it much but she had so many other good qualities.

“You can finish what you’re doing, honey, just remind me how you make the coffee. You always make it so well and I can’t recall right now.” Martellus took a fat mug from the cupboard along with a few thick cans and some aerosol spray.

Roweena returned ninety percent of her attention to the navigation controls. “Simple, dear. Exactly three part motor oil to one part WD-40 with a dash of nano-bots. Afterwards, you should probably hardwire yourself to the main frame and give yourself a nice shock to the CPU. And I needn’t remind you to back up your memory before you start the rest of your sub-routines.  Can you also please update the logs since last year and transmit them back to The Station? Your antenna has a stronger connection than mine. Then you can get started on the life-form prediction algorithms. Oh, and can you double-check the terra-forming experiments since you’re up? You might want to take most of today mapping this comet swarm over here, though, and make sure we won’t require any course corrections…”

Martellus blew warm air from his fans and he let his titanium chest fall. It was going to be a long day. Ten years, four months, eight days and thirteen hours to be precise.



All Rights Reserved © 2016 John J Vinacci

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