Tom Brady gripped the cold doorknob. The rusted metal seemed to fuze with his sweaty hand. Seemed. It didn’t actually fuze of course, that would have been uncomfortable for Tom.
Tom turned the handle and pushed. The door moved a milimeter, the clicked and stopped against the locking mechanism.
The old, wooden door buzzed, “Unauthorized personell do not have permission to access the central core room.” The dark, silent corridor Tom was in swallowed the tiny voice. Tom didn’t like the corridor. It smelled of ancient clay pottery made by primitive men when they were still living on the moon.
Tom pushed against the door again, and it once again buzzed its. He sighed, “Yeah yeah unauthorized people aren’t allowed. That’s why they’re called unauthorized.”
He gripped the cold doorknob with his other hand. The rusted metal fuzed with his sweaty hand. This time, it actually did. Good thing his left hand was made from a synthetic material bought off the Rainbow Market(TM) (previously known as the Black Market before a disgusted and horrified anomynous group sued the company for defamation of their name. The crowd that shops at Rainbow Market are a shady bunch [but they have a great deal for their Organic Organs (C), 50% on your second purchase, offer ends this Sunday].).
Tom looked around both sides of the corridors. He was alone, good. Using a very scientific method of probing the locking system with his soul and also magic and stuff, Tom forced the door open. He withdrew his hand, which melted back into its original shape, except with an extra finger because Tom wasn’t so good at managing his hand formation yet.
The room he entered was just as he had left it a few days ago. The lights were off, but he could still see because of the millions of blinking LEDs coming from computers, terminals, screens, routers, processors, and other hardware junk scattered everywhere. The tangle of wires in the mess was like that one scene in The Lion King when Simba chases after Rafiki the babboon through the forest before he stares at a reflection of himself. But Tom knew the layout of the room very well, better than someone of his status should know, and clambered through the room quite unlike Simba and more like Rafiki without the singing.
He had to find what he was looking for, and get out without anyone seeing him. So the faster, the better.
“Hmm, I think I dropped it in here…” Tom stook his arm into a bin filled with electronic parts. His synthetic hand gripped something pink (his hand can feel colors), and his heart filled with joy.
Tom jumped and screamed, nearly tipping over the bin. He looked behind himself to see his coworker Stevgilbern smiling goofily.
“Christ man, you nearly gave me a heart attack,” Tom complained. He hid his hand holding the pink toy behind his back.
Stevgilbern ducked under a cable as thick as a 6 cm diameter neck of a full grown man should a man with such a skinny neck hypothetically exist. He strode towards Tom and clapped him on the back. “Hey haven’t seen you in a while, man! I noticed the door to the central core was open, so I wandered on in in case something was up, but it was just you. So what are you doing here?”
Tom broke eye contact and muttered, “Captain Rozencratz wanted me to repair the navigation module.”
“Really?” Stevgilbern leaned in close and scanned Tom’s face with his rapid eyes. “I didn’t know you knew how to repair a navigation module.”
Tom fidgeted uncomfortably. He wasn’t afraid Stevgilbern could see through his lies, but rather, he felt Stevgilbern’s foul breath on his lips. His face was too close, and it made Tom feel gay. Tom was homophobic and also unaccepting of people who are different, especially if they were the nomads of North Detroit Moving Space Station Circus. This prejudice later severly hinders Tom later in his life, but for now, it doesn’t really matter.
“You know,” Stevgilbern continuued. “It requires extensive knowledge of forghes particle and signit programming right?”
Actually, Tom knew how to repair a navigation module, and recognized that Stevgilbern was lying like a fat kid who was normally a nice boy, but lied like cheetah when threatened, who was normally a nice kitty, but lied like Stevegilbern when threatening Tom Brady (assuming the space cadet rumor that cheetah can lie is true). But, Tom couldn’t reveal he knew knowledge privvy only to the Captain’s personal cabinet members.
“Well, umm…Captain Rozencratz told me to come here…”
“Really? I find that hard to believe,” Stevegilbern said. He pulled on his hair, and his face grotesquely stretched. It fell to the ground, by Captain Rozencratz’s feet, who stood there with a smile on his smug mug. “Because I am Captain Rozencratz.”
Tom sighed. Everyone on board this ship seems to have a bio-disguise now. He faked a weak voice, “A-actually…” He stretched out his hands, revealing a pink bunny doll. “I just came back to get this.”
Captain Rozencratz squinted at the doll, and laughed a low, flamboyant laugh. “Haha really?! Oh man, never thought you would like those things! Wow and I thought I knew you. Nevermind then,” Captain Rozencratz stomped out of the room with authority.
Tom, having got what he wanted, followed him out. They said their goodbyes, and Captain Rozenratz took a left, while Tom walked right down the corridor.
Out of sight, Captain Rozencratz took off his mask, and was once again Stevgilbern. Like, actually. He really is Stevgilbern, no more disguises underneath that. He cursed loudly, “I can’t believe that fool Tom has the Ultra Rare Pink Patty plush toy! That’s the only one I’m missing from completing my Ultra Rare Animal Friends collection.” Stevgilbern thought for a moment, then smirked. “I have to get it from him…somehow. Heh heh heh.”
Tom Brady yanked off his face and was actually Captain Rozencratz (who interestingly enough, was disguised also as Captain Rozencratz. But yeah, this guy for real is Captain Rozencrats, who just happened to disguise himself as himself as Tom Brady). Captain Rozencratz felt a glow of accomplishment. He managed to complete the Ultra Rare Animal Friends collection in time for her daughter’s birthday, while keeping it a secret.
Sinewave, Captain Rozenratz’s unfortunately named 8 year old daughter, lay in her bed, staring at her ceiling. She had figured out that her father was collecting the Ultra Rare Animal Friends. She wished she never jokingly pretended to like those childish toys.