“I’m gonna eatcha, eatcha, eatcha, eatcha,” I chanted as I folded the parchment paper over my sandwich, bouncing in my excitement. I didn’t even care who heard me. I was hungry, and I was getting the food I’d been craving for the past several weeks.
We so rarely were able to have food this fresh on the space station, but I’d worked through my break to be the first in the kitchen after the supply onload. I’d missed out with the last three, and I wasn’t going to let it happen again. What else was there? The tiny tins of lumpy “exotic” food we were supposed to appreciate?
I grimaced. No thanks.
“I can’t wait to put you in my mouth,” I said to the package as I started toward my workstation. I winked at the fellow passing me in the P-way, who gave me a sly grin. It was boring in space, despite what we’d been told, and sometimes we had to make our own fun through innuendo.
I yelped when my feet lifted from the floor and the klaxon reverberated through the passageways. I let go of my sandwich as I instinctively tried to grip the wall. “No!” I reached for it, it slipping just out of my reach.
The artificial gravity must have failed again. The engineers had better get it together and get that fixed. I don’t care what everyone else said about floating being a pleasant experience; it made me dizzy.
I pushed off the wall toward my floating food, increasingly grateful I twisted the paper into itself so it wouldn’t open if I accidentally dropped the sandwich—and now, without gravity, I wouldn’t have to put it back together when I caught my lunch. I brushed the edges of the paper with the tips of my fingers, and it spun away from me.
“Hey!” A man reached toward the package. “Free food!”
“Ensign, if you touch my sandwich, I will eat your hand instead!” I yelled.
He immediately pulled his hand to his chest, looking at me wide-eyed. “Ma’am.” He pushed away from the wall and as far away from me as he could, eyeing me as he passed. “Sorry, ma’am.”
I glared at him. That’s right. Best stay away, Ensign. A hangry Lieutenant Sheppard is a Lieutenant Sheppard to avoid.
My sandwich! I frantically looked around and saw my lunch drifting into another P-way. I had to grab it before I couldn’t find it anymore. I pushed off the wall just in time for the engineers to fix the gravity, skidding into the next passageway on my stomach. The *one* time they work quickly. I groaned and rolled on my back, spotting someone picking up my food.
He unwrapped it and let out a delighted noise, biting into it.
That son of a B! “Hey, that’s my…” I deflated as the man turned around.
He raised a brow. “Your what?”
“Nothing, Captain. Enjoy.”
My stomach growled. Lumpy exotic food it is, then.