“Sorry about the sensors but I have no control over that and have no idea why it is happening. I can stand next to a computer and the computer will stop working. Regularly blow out light bulbs in my house. Do my best to avoid elevators now. I need to get out of this bed. Does this spaceship have a coffee maker? Can we just get out of here and go for a walk somewhere?” I pleaded with her.
She reached out to grab my hand while studying me carefully. Why does she seem so familiar? I’ve seen her somewhere before, but if what she has told me is true, then that would be impossible. And here comes the pain like an anvil falling out of the sky. I may have a clean bill of health but I still feel like pain’s favorite punching bag. Vertigo decides to jump on board because this train is going places.
“Easy now. Do not pass out on me,” she said with a worried look on her face.
“No worries, I’ve got a lot of practice in not passing out.”
“We can walk to the lounge. Hang on to my arm. It’s not far and we can get you that coffee.”
It’s nice to be moving but the body is not happy about it. Keep pushing forward. That’s what you do when everything hurts. The hallway seems like forever. It wasn’t far but it felt like a million miles. A door labeled “Lounge” whooshes open in front of us and all the doubts I had about being on a spaceship are wiped away. The whole far side of the room is the largest window I have ever seen. And beyond it, without a doubt, is space. Right outside the window is the massive hulking remains of some crazy looking starship. This can’t be happening. I feel my legs start to give out as Dr. Sophia quickly slides me onto a gigantic overstuffed couch in the middle of the room.
“We found you in there. Wrecks like this are common after the trade wars of 2174. Once earth began trading with the stars, giant corporations from other galaxies started sabotaging and attacking competitor’s ship in an attempt to keep all the business for themselves. Gigantic space freighters were turned into floating wastelands. Many of them filled to the brim with Earth products headed for other planets. The salvage is extremely valuable and it funds our exploration of deep space. Vintage Earth products fetch an even higher price,” she said while settling herself into the couch.
“I think I’m going need that coffee now. And then probably three for four really stiff drinks. This can’t be happening.”
She reached up and touched a small metal shield on her lapel, “Zap-Zap, I need you in the Med-Bay lounge”.
The door whooshes open and through it comes a ball of frenetic energy. It looks like one of those small man cave refrigerators, only with arms, and a bowling-ball-shaped head that was bouncing around as it rolled towards us at tremendous speed. The method of travel appears to be some sort of omnidirectional ball drive mounted at each corner. “Coffee! Who wants hot coffee! Hot coffee right here! Get your fix!” it said rapidly as blinking lights flashed over its body in disorienting waves.
“Zap-Zap, this is our new patient. He’s experiencing significant body pain, confusion, and elevated anxiety. Strong black coffee and something for the pain.”
“Right away Doctor!” it said as the blinking lights increased while he spun around in a circle. The robot’s arms started moving around furiously in what I can only describe as some sort of futuristic Tai Chi. Gestures and signs who’s purpose were not completely clear. A small bright green orb appeared, as if by magic, out of one of its hands. As the orb hung suspended mid-air a spout appeared out of its chest. Coffee began pouring out of the spout onto the green orb. While this is happening Zap-Zap is working more magic. A large mug, with the words “Property of Steve” printed on it, appeared in his hand and he caught the coffee as it was falling. It was an astonishing sight. Zap-Zap had not lost a drop. The coffee glowed a shimmering emerald green for a moment before returning to its normal color. “Medicine for the traveler!” he bleeped at me while holding out the mug.
“That is some damn fine coffee Zap-Zap,” I said while sipping at the mug. He raised his arms over his head and began spinning around furiously. Out of this celebratory maelstrom floated another cup of coffee for the doctor and then Zap-Zap raced back into the hallway with another whoosh. The couch had begun to pull me into its warm cocoon. “I think he and I are going to become good friends. Talk about high strung though.”
“He is a mobile, coffee reactor driven medical assistant with state of the art artificial intelligence and allnet connection. Zap-Zap dispenses medications automatically according to your condition, but making coffee is his favorite thing, and he’s good at it. There is an extensive collection of liquors available along with numerous extracts from the Biolab. Ensign Cole keeps him stocked up with the latest medical breakthroughs from the science team. The Biolab has a vast inventory of plants and fungi from all ends of space. It’s been a wonderful resource for the Med-Bay.”
“Just leave me here with a button for Zap-Zap and I’ll be better in no time. I just need to rest. Can I see the rest of the ship when……?” The couch was swallowing me now.