Chapter 38: Shuttle Serenity
“OK… nearly there… no, the other leg… that’s right…”
“I’m down!” shouted 426 from the roof of the shuttle.
“K, my turn!” replied 419, and with that she jumped through the hole in the vent.
“What does this say?” asked 426 as he slid down the shuttle’s outside.
419 landed with a plump and pushed her glasses up her nose.
“I’m not sure, but I think it means ‘the ship with a door’,” she replied, helping herself off the ground.
426 looked at the hole in the vent.
“Shouldn’t 626 be here?” he asked.
As if on cue, the shuttlebay doors burst open.
In rushed Jumba, plasma blaster in hand; following him was Pleakley, panting as if he had just run ‘Round The Bays.
“Er… hi, Dr J,” greeted 426.
Jumba gave the two experiments a puzzled look.
“419? 426? What are you doing here? Where is 626?”
419 and 426 exchanged glances.
“Er… well… we were just…”
“626 is… um…”
“Meega nala queesta!”
419 stepped backwards as 626 fell face-first onto the floor.
“Hey, 626, ya made it!” said 426 excitedly.
“426!” snapped 419.
“What?” quizzed 426.
“Teresa Bamez? You seem to be in perfect health, you’re free to go.”
Teresa thanked the EMH and exited the sick bay.
She tapped her comm. badge.
“Teresa?” asked Jameston through her comm. badge. “How are you?”
“Fine, fine,” replied Teresa. “The doctor just gave me a clean bill of health.”
“That’s excellent! Y’know, ops has been lookin’ kinda empty since you’ve been in sick bay… how about, on your break, you and I have lunch together in Ten-Forward?”
“That’d be great!”
“Well, I’ll see ya there. Jameston out.”
Teresa smiled to herself as she strolled down the corridor towards the bridge.
On the bridge, Ming had just finished tapping out her report, and was handing it to Jameston.
“It’s all here… and if you check screen 42, there’s some supplementary…”
“You had something else to report?”
“Oh, yes… we’re nearing the end of the conduit.”
“Ah… yes, good. Well, tell all decks to stand by, we may have a rather bumpy ride on our hands…”
“Yes ma’am,” said Ming monotonously as she slowly turned to tell comm. what to do.
“Oh, and Ming?”
“Bamez and I are having lunch on Ten-Forward in our break, it’d mean the world if you and Malo could join us.”
“Yes, ma’am!” she replied cheerfully.
“…and then we took the ventilation system to here,” explained 419 to Jumba.
“Why’d ya come here?” asked Pleakley.
“To steal a shuttle and rescue Little Girl,” squeaked 426 in a high-pitched excessively innocent voice.
“Jumba… I think he means Lilo,” whispered Pleakley to Jumba. “They’ve been hanging ‘round you too long…”
“So,” continued Jumba sternly, ignoring Pleakley, “you thought you could sneak here, steal highly experimental shuttle, defeat Borg, and rescue Little Girl?”
“Yes, exactly!” replied the three experiments together.
“Then… what are you waiting for? We should be getting in shuttle!”
“Whell, you want to be helping Little Girl, no?”
“Er… yeah,” stammered 426, “but we… ow! (419 had elbowed him) OK, I thought you would say no, so we… ha, ya missed… oomph! I made up a plan, and she thought you’d be all ‘blah blah disappointed’ if we were caught, but she came anyway, and… ya.”
“Er… no. We were just a little… preoccupied. Isn’t that right, Pleakley?”
“Oh, sure, turns out that Nani’s on board and when she wakes up she’s gonna skin us alive!”
“Wakes up?” enquired 419.
“Well, she had… er, shall we say, a little run in with a toaster,” explained Jumba tentatively.
“You knocked her out with a toaster?” asked 426.
“Yes, but that’s not important. What is important is that 426, you don’t accidentally open the air locks like in the simulation!”
“It was an honest mistake!” said 426. “How was I supposed to know that the big red button wasn’t the MP3 player’s ON switch?”
“Because, I had about five ‘do not touch’ signs pointing at it! Besides, you should know, never ever push the red button!”
“OK, OK, no touchy the button, I get it!”
Jumba glanced around the room. Pleakley was gnawing through his fingernails. 426 looked bored. 419 was writing something in her pad. He wondered what it might be, then wondered if anyone was going to break the silence.
He decided he would.
“Okay… let us be, how you say, getting show on road!”
 ^ ‘Round The Bays is a annual community race thingy where several thousand people jog/run/walk/pant down the motorway from North Shore to Auckland CBD.