Cnsev tormalinas lost, p.4

CNSEV Tormalinas, Lost, page 4


CNSEV Tormalinas, Lost

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  Chapter 3


  “There, all done,” Amy said.

  “Thank you Ma’am,” Corporal Munn said to Major Porter, smiling and holding her eyes closed. “I know I’m going to like it.”

  Amy held up a mirror for Munn to look into. There in the light emitted by the Tormalinas, Amy had set up an area for her version of recreation. She had started this hobby of hers more than 30 years ago and now, two weeks after they arrived, she found it very relaxing and fun. With years of practice, she had developed a solid reputation for hairstyling and she was proud of her art in this regard.

  “Oh my Bleep,” Munn said looking in the mirror. “You are a true artist.”

  She turned left and right admiring the hair styling job Amy just completed on her generous locks of purple hair.

  “You’re more than welcome,” Amy replied.

  “Rogers was right, you have a gift, many gifts. Ma’am, if you plan to go back out, I want to be on your crew. Just tell me where and when.”

  “Cut it out. You’re making me blush.”

  “I bleeping mean it. You’re one of the most optimal and best officers I’ve ever served with. I’d follow you anywhere.”

  Amy took that as an incredible compliment coming from one of the vessel’s junior mechanics. “I may take you up on that offer,” she said, “especially if they ever make me a vessel commander and I need a bleep hot mechanic.”

  Amy took a deep breath. Munn left Amy’s hair shop with a little more spring in her step than before she arrived. Looking up, Amy was surprised to see Gunnery Sergeant Benavides and Colonel Keeghan coming her way. She took off her apron, ready to be recalled to duty when they approached her.

  “Word is you can trim hair with the bleeping best of them Major,” the Colonel said.

  “I’ve cut Melvin’s hair four times since we landed. He seems to like my work.”

  “Love your work, Ma’am. Optimal in all regards. Nothing better,” the Gunnery Sergeant said, smiling.

  “With praise like that, I guess I better bleeping see what all the fuss is,” the Colonel said.

  Amy put on her apron again and said, “I just happen to have an open chair.”

  “Get me next, would you?” Benavides asked.

  “You bet, Melvin. Have a seat Colonel,” she said.

  The Colonel said, “I’ve, I’ve never had a haircut before.”

  “No worries. Neither have I,” Amy giggled. “Just take your shirt off, lean back, and try to relax. I’m so honored you are willing to let me do this for you, with you.”

  Keeghan removed his shirt and leaned back in the chair. Amy leaned in close and made eye contact with him.

  “It’s a secret, but I have had a fantasy of being able to trim your hair for you for more than a few day cycles. You have the only red hair in the entire crew.”

  Keeghan blushed, “I don’t guess I’ve ever come across anyone who gives a bleep about hair like you do Amy. But…,” he said holding up a finger, “but… I am aware of an old Mars custom that says something like never trust a bald barber.”

  She smiled. This was the first time he called her by her first name. That’s all she heard.

  “Okay, I am going to wash and dry your hair and then shave your facial hair. You’ll look and feel so much better for the next two week cycles of recreation, which are Colonel’s orders so I am told. Here. I want you to sip this.”

  “What is it?” the Colonel asked.

  “It’s a portal navigator specialty, honey, lemon, tea leaves, and tequila. Where I’m from it’s called Old Texas.”

  “I’ve never heard of such things.”

  “It’s just a special tonic navigators sip to help them relax and recover from dark space exposure. I bet you like it.”

  The Colonel sipped and then coughed. “Tastes kind of like an old Mexican medicine I tried once when I honeymooned on Europa more than 100 year cycles ago after my first marriage.” He sipped more of the warm liquid. “They told me it would cure a bad case of swimmer’s cough I picked up when I fell overboard while rafting in the Azul Water Reservoirs.”

  “Oh, tell me more,” Amy said. She liked the way his tongue licked at droplets of the drink that clung to the hairs growing above his top lip. She watched his tongue licking at the hair there, darting in and out. It took her breath away. It mesmerized her. She stared at the red freckles on his face and she played with the idea they might connect into some number of stellar constellations if she stared long enough. She wanted to do that, to stare longer.

  She wrapped a steaming hot towel around his face and leaned his head back, over a receptacle where water poured into the thick rusty red hair on his head. Amy let her fingers swim through his wet hair. She added some liquid soap and then worked that into a lather. She rinsed that out and then added a second liquid, something that made his hair smooth and shiny. She rinsed that out and then squeezed the extra water out of his hair with her fingers.

  The Colonel continued, “There’s not much more to tell, the marriage lasted six week cycles, one week cycle into my very next mission. That’s the story of my life, a wife before every mission. I guess I’ve been married eleven times, I’ve lost count. Only two of them are still alive as far as I know. I have more grandkids and great grandkids and great great grandkids than I’ll ever know.”

  Colonel Keeghan sipped the warm concoction again. Feeling extremely relaxed and flushed, he smiled.

  He looks more than optimal, Amy thought. For a 156-year-old man, he looks bleeping optimal.

  He fell asleep.

  Amy let her imagination run. She imagined what it would feel like to feel his lips pressed against hers, to feel the hairs of his face brush against her mouth, her nose, her lips, her chin, her scalp, to feel the warmth of her body pressed against his. She had never experienced sexual relations in 76 years. Something about Keeghan made her want to change that. Something about Keeghan made her feel in the pit of her stomach he was just the kind of person she would find pleasurable.

  She wanted to feel his fingers on her bald scalp, to feel his hands rub her head and pull her close. She wanted to feel him. She wanted to feel him deeply. She closed her eyes while she worked her fingers in his hair. The closeness made her feel more optimal than anything she could remember. Her navigator’s photographic memory allowed her to exercise perfect control of her clipping instruments with her eyes closed. She leaned in close, pressing herself close to him.

  She cropped his hair, taking her time and then shaved the hair from his face. She made sure to take in every feature and every inch of his skin, his nose, his freckles, his lips, his cheekbones, his ears, and his strong neck. Amy whistled a sweet melody while she worked. When she had finished, she checked his shave by touching her cheek to his and feeling the smoothness of his face on hers. Then she opened her eyes and found herself staring into his opened eyes, seeing her browns reflected in his greens.

  “Bleep, I definitely I want to go next,” Benavides said, snapping both of them back to reality.

  “I kind of wish I hadn’t waited so bleeping long to try this,” the Colonel said.

  Amy blushed. “I hope you like it.” She said handing him the mirror. Keeghan looked into the mirror and angled it so he could see her.

  “Lovely,” he said. “More optimal than I imagined. I had better get back to some pre-launch duties or something. Would you like to go for a walk along the tunnels when I finish? I could show you how to play tennis.”

  “I would love to do that,” she said.

  The Colonel stood and walked back inside the Tormalinas, a little faster than usual.

  “Okay, Melvin. Have a seat.”

  “Yes Ma’am,” the Gunnery Sergeant said, smiling.

  Not long after Gunnery Sergeant Benavides sat down, he sipped his Old Texas fast, as if he’d had it before and soon fell asleep too. Amy trimmed and cropped his hair. She enjoyed his haircuts as much as any, but not ever, as much as she enjoyed the Colonel’s.<
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  She closed her eyes and ran her fingers through the Gunnery Sergeant’s hair, whistling while she worked. She washed his hair and dried it. She adjusted her trimmers and leaned in to start trimming, running her fingers through his hair. She paused for a split second because she thought she felt something different on his scalp, something different than what she remembered from a week ago. She felt a soft spot. She searched for it again and felt it again, there, just above where his subcranial linking implant should be.

  She leaned in close to see what was there. She pressed her finger on the spot. To her shock, her finger punctured his skin. Blood erupted out of the hole there in his scalp and splattered into her face. She stood there frozen, processing what just happened, calculating what to do next. She was about to attempt some sort of first aide protocol.

  Then, Amy watched as what she could only describe as a small black alien bug covered in blood and some other bio-slime crawled out of the wound, down and around the man’s neck, down his back, and then up over his shoulder. The thing stayed there inches away from her face. She quickly recalled seeing something similar, a cockroach or a beetle, which she saw after asking the Tormalinas sentient to show her more insects and bugs after seeing the madhumakkhi or bee during her report.

  She reflexively and instinctively brushed away the bug with her hair trimmers.

  “Holy bleep,” she said throwing her trimmers at the thing and trying to stomp the thing. She stomped on it hard, but the thing flattened itself or flexed with the pressure of her booted foot and remained unharmed.

  Then a piercing alarm sounded in her head, the Tomalinas’s bio-hazard alarm.

  The Tormalinas said, “A level five bio-hazard has been detected. All hands are directed to suit up to level five bio-containment protocols. Level five quarantine is now in effect.”

  {Return to Table of Contents}

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