Thursday, November 4, 2010

Movie Night

“There is something I do not understand.” Carbon’s brow creased in concentration, lips pulled back in a thin line. They had watched three movies on the enormous display that unrolled from the ceiling, locked in place on the wall across from the fold-out couch. Alex had turned the lights down while the screen was on, the room now dimly lit with it turned off.

“What’s that?”

“You said he was supposed to be a bad ass, but clearly he was not.” She turned the phrase carefully. It had taken Alex the better part of a half hour to successfully explain ‘bad ass’ to her as he though of it. There was no direct translation into Tsla, apparently.

“What... How can-” Alex sputtered, unable to believe the shot she just took at one of his childhood heroes. He looked down at her, still leaning against his side. Personal space had gone out the window for her at some point. She had settled down shoulder to shoulder with him at first, leaning ever harder into his upper arm. He had scooted as far over as he could, then finally just tossed his arm over the back of the couch. Curiously, she looked a little smug for a few minutes after that. “But he’s- he’s awesome!”

“He was defeated by a blinded man waving a stick indiscriminately. That is the antithesis of your explanation.”

“That was an accident, the jetpack malfunctioned.” He got defensive for a moment, then grinned at the absurdity of the conversation.

“A properly designed jetpack will not malfunction when with struck with a stick. It apparently lacked basic safety features and the overall design was deeply flawed.”

Alex made a dismissive sound, waving his hand to go with it. “What do you know about jetpacks, anyway?”

Carbon stared at him, mouth agape. “What do I know about jetpacks? The current combat issue jetpack has three hardware refinements I submitted as an apprentice Lan. I could still strip and rebuild one in the dark if it were required of me.”

“Well, yeah. That’s a pretty good background,” he admitted before taking a different tack. “The supplemental television shows and books really give a better view of him as a character than this movie...”

She stopped him with a narrow look.

“So, I mean, what did you think of the movies?”

“They were entertaining. Simplistic, but I still found myself engrossed in the story. I can understand how this would have caught your attention at such a young age.”

He smiled, glad that she actually did like them. “Good. I keep expecting that the next time I watch them I’ll realize just how terrible my taste in movies was when I was five, but it hasn’t happened yet.”

“It does appear you chose well. Most of the entertainment from my childhood would not be something I would return to as an adult.”

“This is about the only thing that made it out of mine.” Alex covered his mouth as he yawned and unclipped himself from the couch. It was after midnight ship time, the latest he had intentionally stayed up since coming on board. “I’m going to bed. See you in the morning.”

Carbon worked her jaw silently for a moment before managing a weak protest. “I am still not sure that is safe.”

“What, the life support? It’s fine, the cabin has had all day to air out and there’s a vent blowing right in the door.” He had slept without issue the previous night, which was proof enough for him that it was safe.

“I just- I do not think it wise considering the sensors in the room also do not work. You were just released from the medi-board a few days ago, if something was not repaired properly...”

He considered that one, at first only because she hadn’t brought it up last night when they had almost this same discussion and then because it really creeped him out. The medi-board was supposed to be fool proof as far as fixing injuries was concerned. This did not stop him from playing a game of what-if with the various horrible things he knew could go wrong with the human body. What would a blood clot traveling from his femoral artery into his brain feel like? He actually shivered at that thought.

“Yeah, ugh. I’ll grab a scanner and give myself a once over really quick.”

“But- That is not-” she started and stopped repeatedly as he unlatched the screen and rolled it back into the ceiling. “It- it is not sufficiently safe.”

“I’ll be fine. It’s only a couple of hours, nothing will go wrong. Besides, where would I sleep? On the couch in here?” Alex laughed and tapped the door control, lighting himself with the soft red light from the passageway.

Her reply was so soft he almost wasn’t sure she had spoken. “You could stay with me.”

3 comments:

  1. Ha! That's much more direct than the fake yawn maneuver. This made my Friday.

    Also, I have this strange urge to go watch some Star Wars.

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  2. Yeah, it seemed more fitting of her to take a more direct approach to get what she wanted. Glad you liked it!

    It has been a long time since I've seen the original trilogy.

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  3. Alex had turned the lights down while the screen was on, the room now dimly lit with it turned off. with lights already mentioned you could cut 'dimly lit', maybe 'with it off the room was dim.'

    He was defeated by a blinded man waving a stick indiscriminately. Ha!

    She stopped him with a narrow look. Are they still sitting with her pressed to his side here? This would put their faces awkwardly close. At least probably still awkward for Alex.

    He considered that one, at first only because she hadn’t brought it up last night when they had almost this same discussion and then because it really creeped him out. This line is a little unclear. In the rest of the paragraph he sounds like he has given it some consideration. In this sentence he sounds like he's just thought of it. Also, 'He considered that one, at first only because she hadn’t brought it up last night...' could be cut down for flow, 'She hadn't brought it up last night...' would be just as clear.

    As always, I'm looking forward to the next installment.

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