1. Return to home
Captain Red was no longer a captain. At least that was what he thought that night. A real captain certainly I am not he thought. A real captain should have a crew and some little respect. He was floating in his room in his no-gravity ship looking at the window. He had arrived home. He had arrived Earth. After ten months traveling between space stations and rocky worlds located in the middle of nowhere he was back at home. He floated again, leaving his room and reaching the pilot's cockpit. He reached his less-than-captain chair, put on his belt and turned on his radio.
"St George Station, this is September 10th, asking permission to land at 2013 on hangar AS100," Captain Red said.
"Permission granted. You may proceed" a robot-like voice said on the radio after five seconds. Captain Red directed his ship to the fabulous city of San Diego, the only place in universe where he felt at home.
After landing the ship, the Captain took a brief shower and went to his car, his old Audi A40 and drove to The Nightingale. He entered and took a deep breath. "This place stinks as usual," he said to no one in particular with the smile of somebody that feels at home. He took a seat and saluted the barman. "Hello Johnny, give me a fucking scotch," he said in a friendly tone.
"Hello Red, long time in the outside huh?" the slim barman said. "Here you go," the barman said while serving the Captain his scotch.
After three scotchs (the scotch supplies in the September 10th had perished long time ago), Johnny said to the Captain. "Saw your chick the other night, want to know?"
The Captain looked annoyed to Johnny and said "Of course I don't want to know, I don't give a fuck".
"She's pregnant again, looked happy" the barman said sardonically.
"Fuck you. What's wrong with you people! Why the fuck do everybody in their enlightened wisdom suppose that I want to know what my ex-girl is fucking doing with who fucking knows or if she is giving birth to little creatures like a fucking bunny!" yielded the Captain. "I don't give a fuck, do you understand?"
The barman, a little scared said to the Captain. "No needs to get mad, you know, just trying to make some conversation, take this one for free." the barman said and gave another scotch to the Captain. "The other day a guy came looking for you, did you tell somebody you will return?" Johnny asked.
"I don't think so Johnny, who was this guy?" the Captain responded, less angrily.
"Dunno, I think he was some militia guy, not many around here lately".
"And what did he say?"
"Just looking for you man, didn't say anything else," the barman said. "You were a militia guy, weren't you? They say that the militia is recruiting people from here and there. They say that the fucking Moles are getting tougher every day. They say that they have found these ugly creatures in some crazy world and that they have altered them and feed them with rage," the barman continued as if speaking of sorcery. "Maybe they want you Red. Are you interested? Why do you left the militia?" the barman asked.
The Captain doubted for a moment, then said, "I wanted to settle down, to get a nice woman and get married. Have children, watch soccer in the weekend, you know."
The barman suddenly got a burst of laughing. "HA HA HA, give me a break man, you wanted to get married! And what happened? Do you wanted to marry that chick who is pregnant again? Did you leave the militia for her?" The barman continued laughing and left the Captain, giving him no chance to shout him again. After a few seconds, the barman returned, still laughing, with tears in his eyes and a bottle of scotch in his hand. "Here you go, you made my night. Long time no fun, take this one".
The Captain, no longer angry took the bottle (it was a small bottle and not a very good one, but what the hell!) and said thanks to the barman. He paid his bill, left the Nightingale and went home.