There was a light scratching of two hands pulling at a handle, and the cover to the conduit open off. Light spilled inside the machine and two disapproving human faces looked inside to survey the mottle tangle of wires and burnt-out circutry.
" I know that ugly things needed to be done to maintain the circutry on this station in the great war, but.... " one of the men pulled out a fork that had been used to connect two circuits because the wire had disintegrated. " Who'd be dumb enough to use a spatula for a wire to the shield perimeters? " he grumbled.
" Ah, um, " the woman next to him grunted as she looked over her clipboard, " A gaitori named Phallus was in charge of this area when it was under attack by the Cantharans. He was the head chef, so this is obviously his 'maintainence'. Shall I get him? " she inquired.
" Yeh, Sabrina, get that bloody bug in here. He has some explaining to do and he better fix this quick." He grumbled. " We've got a freighter coming here at oh-nine-thirteen to pick up a shipment of.... " he checked his freight roster " chronon instigators?! " he exclaimed in surprise. " 'aven't seen any of those in a while! "
" Whatever. I'll be back in a jiffy. " Sabrina said, walking off down the maintainence shaft. As she turned the corner into the hallway, she could see there was a very hairy fat man wearing sunglasses blocking her way. Politely, she sidestepped to the right to walk past him, but he also sidestepped right to block her. She stepped left, he stepped left.
" Ekshcuse me, " said the man in a slightly slurred voice, " Could I assk a favor of you? My ship is docked at the loading bay but the robotic loading dronesh are malfuncthioning. Shinche you are a tecknishion, I wash wondering if you could help me, ash I am unfamiliar with Gaitori technology. " He held out a hand full of coins worth upwards to several thousand credits.
Sabrina's eyes looked hungrily at those coins, quite a rich sum, and nodded. " Sure, docking bay seven can wait a while "
" My ship'sh docked at that bay. That'sh why we're having trouble. "
I guess I don't need to fetch Phallus, then. Sabrina chuckled to herself as she led the man to robotics bay seven.
" You are mosht kind. " a man behind her said as Sabrina, covered in oil, reached for a sonic screwdriver. She tinkered with a few wires, then flipped the switch to watch the CargoBot arm movel a few crates jerkily. Several other men stood around the cargo bay, watching her.
They are all fat, hairy, and have sunglasses. I hope it's just a uniform and not some gang thing. Sabrina worried. She finished adjusting a few of the coils and flipped the switch again, hoping the robotic arm would function properly this time.
It activated, picked up an empty crate, and for a moment it seemed to work well, but then it flipped over, hurling the box at a few of the men who were leaning against the freighter's hull. With amazing quickness, they dodged the crate with slightly exaggerated looks of surprise on their faces. The crate splintered a few inches before it impacted the hull, as it hit an invisible shield that seemed to darken on impact.
" Oops! Too tight! " Sabrina exclaimed, loosening the coils a little. She flipped the switch and the arm started moving crates again. " It's a little buggy, but it'll do. " she said, putting her tools away.
" Thanksh! Here'sh your payment the bosh wantsh you to have. " A different man piled several coins into her toolbox while the rest left the bay. He had a slurred voice just like all the others.
The bay was empty and silent, except for the humming of the CargoBot (and the occasional WHAM of a crate's contents being slammed by the erratic movements of the arm). She crept closer to look at the spot of hull smashed by the empty crate. Nothing. Not even a Dent!
Just as Sabrina turned around to leave, she heard a loud WHAM and blacked out.
(This message has been edited by moderator (edited 07-12-2000).)
Sorry this took so long to put out, but I've been pretty bogged down with a few other things. I did a little editing, but it was all just spelling errors.
Throughout their history these "unenlightened" beings have continually opposed and fought abuses of power wrought by their own bretheren. We, as the prophets would do well to learn from these Humans.
-Final statement of the Salrilian reformist Sirthis shortly before his execution.