Episode 19

         Brick bounded from the dining area as giddy as a schoolboy. Xinxa could hardly keep up, especially after getting a late start from grabbing Todd. Brick stopped for a moment, realizing that Xinxa had fallen behind. First going to the bathroom, then eating, Brick wondered what fun activity would be next. Upon seeing that Brick had stopped, Xinxa breathed a sigh of relief and stopped running to catch up. Brick was almost hopping by the time it reached him.

         “Alright, Brick,” said Xinxa, prodding him towards what it was told that it would be doing with him. “I think we should probably look at the engine room now.”

         “Okay,” said Brick, with a dopey smile on his face.

         Xinxa gave Todd back to Brick. “This way.”

         Xinxa started down the hall back where they had come before Brick went to the bathroom.


         They finally arrived back in the engine room. This time, Brick had the presence of mind to say “Ooooh!” at all of the pretty lights. Xinxa looked back at him.

         “Oh, you noticed? Yes, it’s a (insert really complicated and technologically advanced sounding name). Every time I wake up, I always tell myself how lucky I am to have the honor of working with it everyday.”

         “Pretty,” said Brick.

         They stopped for a minute by a railing overlooking the chasm of energy that stretched below deck after deck. The pulsing light would change colors as it shot down the tube. Brick peered down precariously.

         “What you are seeing is the chain reaction from the (insert really complicated and technologically advanced sounding name),” said Xinxa. “It works through a process similar to cold fusion. It’s not exactly cold, but if it were allowed to continue unregulated the ship would be melted from the inside out in a matter of seconds. I like to call it lukewarm fusion.”

         “Luke?… Luke… warm?” queried Brick. The words brought about a feeling of familiarity to Brick. But he wasn’t sure where he had heard them before. His thoughts drifted back to Space Academy for Boys. He was seven years old. He remembered hearing somebody say: “Put his hand in lukewarm water…” But he was still half asleep, and couldn’t remember who it was who said it. He just remembered waking up with a warm, wet spot on his bed and pajamas.

“Brick don’t like lukewarm,” he said, after several minutes of pondering. Xinxa didn’t remember what he was talking about.

         “Well, okay,” it said. “Come along, let me show you the reactor control room.” Xinxa led Brick to a stairway down.