Le chapitre 66
Jean slumped deeper into the metal chair, pushed the controls to return the computer monitor to the old black and white sitcom then turned to give Zara a look bordering on mischief but slightly leaning toward general mayhem.
“Your name should have been Alice” he said to Zara with a smile that only Jackie Gleason could comprehend.
“Why” Zara innocently responded while stowing her air suit onto the rack.
“To the Moon Alice. To the Moon” was all that Jean breathed as if he were reciting a biblical quote of the deepest meaning. Yet his smile then extended a bit further back past his ears and seemed to wrap completely around his head.
“I still don’t get it” replied Zara. “Is it a plumber joke or something?”
“Or something” Jean answered without dropping any hint. “Let’s just power up the Haven’s human ergonomics. I rather like the stucco ceiling effect with countryside windows and a faux shag rug. OK with you?”
Zara paused for a moment. Collecting her thoughts she responded, “I think that sounds somewhat 60’s-ish. Isn’t that a bit before your time? As long as we wake up with no walls, a floor that resembles the outback and one side showing the gentle rise of Ayers rock then I’m happy.”
Zara strode past Jean to start the accounting of the stored supplies.
“I don’t know why Xu wants us to do this every time. It’s not like there are thieves in the neighbourhood. We’re actually missing neighbours of any sort. And as for rodents, there’s not even been the hint of a mouse” she joked.
Still she took her electronic notepad out and verified each package and each box. If there was any dust then even that would not have moved. But the air filtration system kept the air as clean as any biocontainment facility.
“Say have you ever thought that the mission specialists were Mormons or something? Like why this exact amount of food? No more. No less” she continued. “There’s this little gremlin inside of me that’s speaking. It says,”just report one little box is missing. Just one!” and I know that if I were to do that then Xu would have us searching every nook and cranny. Non-stop. No prospecting. No eating. No anything until that box is found. Or the error on the checklist discovered. Still, I can see that gremlin sitting on my shoulder.”
Jean laughed. “Maybe I’m the one that should be sitting on your shoulder. Then I would be as mischievous as any gremlin that you ever knew” he proclaimed with all the false bravado he could muster.
It was Zara’s turn to laugh. “Not so fast my little gigolo.
That wasn’t the only reason I requested you to join me in the Haven.”
“What?” questioned Jean “I’m hurt.” He added a disco ball effect to the room’s walls and began playing the old hits from Saturday Night Fever.
“I packed my special white suit for this overnight rendezvous and now you get ol’ Cold as Ice. Seems somewhat foreign to my views on seduction.”
Jean stood and in his best soprano he belted out “You’re as cold as ice and you’re willing to sacrifice our love” which of course brought laughter and tears onto Zara’s face.
Perhaps it was the contrast between Jean’s singing and the team’s unofficial anthem “Stayin’ Alive” playing in the background. But in any case Zara dropped the account checklist on top of the counter. Did her best Sandra Dee strut over to Jean and wrapped her arms warmly around his waist.
“Let’s change up that song and bring on a little Sinatra” she whispered in his ear. “I think it’s time we closed that feed to mission control and used this Haven the way it was meant to be used.”
Jean could feel his body warm to the embrace of Zara. The thoughts of him being a father were far away as the lights dimmed and the communications channel stopped its incessant blur of white noise. He was looking forward to a little entertainment that no TV show had ever envisioned when he was growing up.