Space, near the Draconis Colony

After two days on a cramped shuttle to the Draconis Colony, nerves were getting frayed. Everyone was crammed six to a tiny room with bunk beds, a sink, and nothing else. Lines to the bathroom were terrible. Nobody was sorry that the shuttle was soon to land.

Draconis Colony

It was a pleasant, sunny day as the shuttle landed on the pad. As the engines gradually whined into silence, the access ramp to the shuttle descended to the ground and the weary students on board staggered stiffly and squinted into the daylight.

Jaze: Two days on that horrible thing! You'd think they'd at least put a shower on it or something. My tail's all oily now.

Mitani: Best part is, it takes two days to go back too.

Adell: It would have been a hell of a lot better if you didn't spend most of the trip being rude to the shuttle attendant!

Mitani: Don't start that again. You saw what happened. I asked for a turkey sandwich. She brought me ham!

Adell turned away and muttered something under his breath in a language nobody present understood.

Adell: Olet perse.

Mitani knew that he was meant to hear that. He turned and shouted at Adell.

Mitani: What was that?

Adell: Oh, nothing.

Kaoru sniffed several times and rubbed his nose.

Kaoru: Is Carpathia City really that humid or is the air on the shuttle just that dry? My boogers are crusty.

The biology teacher was the last to step off the shuttle, besides the pilots. He turned to the crowd of disembarked students and raised his voice to get their attention.

Biology Teacher: Attention everyone! Your stuff will be taken to the hotel, so no need to worry about that. There are buses over by the road and they'll take you to the diner up the hill. After lunch, the rest of your day is free. I shouldn't need to remind everyone to stay near the colony. If you venture too far, you'll set off the proximity sensors. If any of you are caught outside the proximity grid, you will be confined to the hotel for the duration of the trip! Be sure to get a good night's sleep. We meet together at Draconis Park at 9 a.m. sharp!

Draconis Colony, Diner

As they rode the bus up the hill to the diner, everyone was amazed at how developed everything looked. Even though the colony was only a few years old, the roads and houses looked just like the sort of thing they'd see at home, but only on a smaller scale.

The student group took up the entire diner, which was reserved especially for them that day. At one table sat six students arranged in pairs: Toma and Jaze, Adell and Mitani, and Kaoru and his new girlfriend, Muffy. They were surprised to find, on such a small colony, a perfect rendition of a traditional diner, complete with copious amounts of chrome everywhere, formica countertops, and a jukebox.

Toma: I thought the trip was okay. Tokkastrian ships are usually cramped like that anyway, so I'm used to it.

Kaoru: It was cramped, but it was my first space trip, so I'm still kinda excited! It was Muffy's first space trip too, isn't that right, Muffy?

Muffy: I'm an astronaut!

Mitani: Will you shut it? You've said that fifty times already!

Adell shot Mitani a scathing look.

Adell: Neige! Just let it drop for once.

Before Mitani could retort, Jaze suddenly jumped in to get the conversation back on track.

Jaze: Toma told me that Tokkastria is cramped anyway. I guess it makes sense that their ships would be too.

Toma: It's not so bad. We have lots of huge parks, so it's kind of nice, really.

Adell: I did a little reading. Is it true that males outnumber females there?

Toma: 81% male, 19% female, the last time I checked. Population is around 9 billion. Reproduction is strictly regulated though. Since females usually have eight to twelve children at a time and they can do that 4 times in a year, it could get out of control very quickly.

Adell: Holy crap...

Kaoru: I'm just glad they put us in the back of the ship. That's the best spot!

Mitani: Are you kidding? That was the noisiest place!

Kaoru: Hell yeah! Those are Equilibria Griffon V1710 engines! I could sleep forever listening to those beauties! I hope I can take another tour of the engine room when we go back!

Jaze smiled.

Jaze: Heh. To each their nerdy passion.

Just then, the waitress sidled up to their table, tablet in hand, ready to take their orders.

Waitress: So, what'll you guys have?

Adell: I'll have a hot dog with fries and a cola.

Toma: I'll have potatoes and cabbage with an orange juice.

Jaze: Steak, rare, with hash and a root beer for me.

Kaoru: How about a cheeseburger with lettuce and onion and coffee? Cream and sugar, please.

Muffy: I shall feast upon the unborn!

The others leaned as far away from Muffy as possible with looks of horror on their faces. The waitress raised an eyebrow.

Kaoru: She'd like fried eggs and tea with lemon.

Mitani: Liver and onions with coffee, black.

Adell: Dude! No good-night kiss for you!

Before they had a chance to say anything else, the waitress turned and yelled in the direction of the kitchen.

Waitress: Hey Henry! Paint a bow-wow red and give it frog sticks and a shoot from the south, a murphy carrying a wreath and hug one, a slab of moo on the hoof, sweep the kitchen, and a 55, burn one with wax, take it through the garden, pin a rose on it, and a blonde with sand, flop two and a spot with a twist, and put the lights out and cry and draw one in the dark!

The waitress walked over to the next table as everyone stared at her in general astonishment.

Kaoru: I think I lost a little of my appetite.

Jaze: Well, I'll give them this. They're nothing if not authentic.

Commissioned art in this episode from:

All city images from SimCity 4.
Shuttle images from SimCity 4 and modified by Jporter

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