Freefall 0811 - 0820

Freefall 0811

The inspector cometh

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Could the Inspector have failed us?

Yes. Our ship is provisionally certified. He doesn't have to give us permission to fly until we're fully certified.

How do we get fully certified?

We have to fly the ship. It's bureaucracy that dates back to earth. It's known as a catch-22.

A catch-22. Sigh. Human beings have so many wonderful things that I want to introduce my species to.

Catch-22

The inspector cometh

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It will be good to get into space. The people here are getting to know me too well.

Like that Inspector. He tried to take off all his valuables before coming here. Probably has them locked up back at his office.

Which means it should be at least half an hour before he's sure his watch is missing.

The inspector cometh

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Okay, ship. You've passed your inspection. Let's go!

Request denied. The engineer has not yet approved conditions for take off.

Nuts. I'm the captain. But it's Florence who really controls if we can fly and what we can do.

I've got to find out what trick the humans used to convince the people who build and maintain the machines that they're the ones with no power.

The inspector cometh

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Ship, where's Florence?

She is in the cargo bay establishing ship to satellite pod communications.

We're not flying until Florence is ready. Well, desperate times call for desperate measures.

I'm going down there and ask if I can help.

The inspector cometh

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Hi. I came to see if there was anything for me to do.

Hi. *sniff* Odd. The Inspector's smell is back.

Sniff? Snuff, snuff. Sniff!

Uhm, yes. I don't think he knows it's gone.

Helix. Go. You can catch the Inspector before he's gone too far.

I come to help and this is what happens? When will I learn not to listen to those urges that tempt me to do the right thing?

Is that the Inspector's watch?

The inspector cometh

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A watch is… tiny! How were you able to smell it?

The Inspector was sweating and the watch case was metal. That doesn't hold scent well.

On metal, the volatiles boil off very rapidly. It makes for a strong scent for a very short time. If the watch had been here a day or two, I wouldn't have noticed it.

Florence puts out a lot of fluff when she talks. Things like safety, flight plans, life support. But every now and then she says something I really need to know.

Return of the watch and obligatory chase scene

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Thinking about it, Florence had the right idea about giving the Inspector his watch back.

But her timing and execution are off. I should be the one who gives back the watch after the Inspector has returned and settled into his office.

He'll be so surprised that I'm trying to give his watch back, that I bet I'll be able to get his wallet.

Return of the watch and obligatory chase scene

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At the train station. Now everything depends on me catching Helix before he catches the Inspector.

WHAT THE?!? HELIX! AIIEEG!

WUMP!

GET OFF OF ME, YOU BUBBLE BODIED BOOBY!

This scheme almost got started before it blew up on me. I am getting so much better at this planning thing.

Return of the watch and obligatory chase scene

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Hi, Sam. I caught the Inspector.

Oh, no! You're here, too? Hey! Is that my watch?

It is! That's my watch! You took my watch!

I was going to give it back.

Sheesh. That sounded pathetic even to me.

Would you mind waiting here a bit? I'm going to organize an angry mob to beat you senseless.

Return of the watch and obligatory chase scene

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Excuse me. Would you like to join an angry mob to savagely beat Sam Starfall?

Let me check with the wife.

… an angry Mob. … Sam Starfall. Well, yes. I'm pretty sure there'll be another one.

It must have been so much easier to organize angry mobs before cell phones.

I'd like to think of this as my “Head start” time.

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