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The Little Things

The Little  Things
Security Locker Room

A high pitched screeee echoed through security's locker room, the sound of Ens Stacy Slater twisting and poking at the door to her locker.

“What the hell, Stace!” came from the other side.  “Haven’t oiled that thing yet?” 

“Well, I would oil that if it took oil, Gaz!  Find something that’ll stop the squeak and I’ll owe you one,” she retorted, finally twisting it enough to get her locker to closed as Ens Guido Gazelli rounded the corner and made himself comfortable against the locker next to her.  “Seriously, Gaz,” she said on a sigh.  “You’d think that a new starbase would at least have lockers that don’t attack you when you need ‘em.”

He shrugged.  “Could be worse. And it’s only the locker, right?”

Another exasperated sigh, and she nodded, then straightened her equipment.  “Graveyard’s got me off guard. And our little friends on deck 42, but I got....”  She stopped cold.  “Damn, Gaz.  I left the bars in my locker.”

“No problem.  I got it,” he said, pushing away from the adjacent locker.  One hefty jerk managed to pull the locker open.  He grabbed the energy bars, then closed and secured the door without too much noise.  “So, you’re on 42?” he asked, handing her the package, then continuing “Me, too,” as she slipped the bars into her satchel.

“Awesome,” she managed as they moved out.  “And we’re on two hour rotations, but I’m not sure it’s going to make much difference since it upsets our circadian rhythms, like the chief says.”  She adjusted her uniform and ran a hand through her close cropped red hair. It glistened in the dimmed passageway illumination.  The soft tread of her regulation boots might have been silent for humans, but not for gremlins.  They apparently had "good sniffers", as her mom would say, and she was right.

“So… what’s in the satchel,” Gaz asked as they stepped into the lift.  “Smells great.”

“They’re pretty good.  From my mom.” Handing one to him, she continued, “I wouldn’t call them great.  But our little friends love ‘em.  Especially when they play up and down the passageway.  They don’t make a mess so it’s no big deal.”

The lift opened and she stepped out, but Gaz stared at her until the lift began to close behind him.  “They play up and down the passageway?”

“Yeah,” she said with a nod.  “Sometimes climb the bulkhead.  They play most of the night.”

Slowing his pace, his skepticism echoed in his words.  “They play most of the night.”

“Yeah.” She stopped to stare at him.  “You don’t see them, Gaz?  I mean, they’re right there, coming our way.”

He looked around.  “No.  No I don’t, Stace.  We’re the only ones here.”

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