Okay, so housekeeping at Signal Mountain Lodge in Grand Teton National Park has been interesting, but it has only been about 4 days of it so far. The first day was torture. I was so sore that I went back to my, for now, roommateless room and took a long shower; and the water pressure sucked. *thought at the time. They really mean it when they say conservation:)* I napped and felt so much better. Who knew that sleeping on my stomach would help my back and legs relax. Dinner was good and met some nice people.
The days passed and I did some hiking along the South Landing trail to the campsite there. The next few days got increasingly better. My body is adjusting to the increased physical activity, yeah weight loss, and the altitude it bothering me a little less each day.
So, on to the title. What is a whistle pig? Well, in Wyoming parlance, it is a ground hog. Here I am at the end of my shift and back at the housekeeping lair unloading the days extra linens and cleaning supplies when someone yells “whistle pig”. There is the intrepid explorer sandwiched between us and the housekeeping office; trapped in the endless hallways. Which way will it go? Towards the sudden appearance of myself or the housekeeping office. We know which way we want it to go and it is not toward the office filled with at least three people and full of toilet paper and the all important coffee supply.
Of course it darts toward the office and gets trapped. No one can find it and all assume it is under the shelves behind the housekeeping managers desk. No attempts to lure it out of its frightened hiding spot is successful. Life goes on and we, or me that is, forget about it and go about our unloading duties. I grabbed some clean towels out of the cart and head back to the office hallway when everybody shouts and I look up in time to see the whistle pig running toward me. I don’t know who was more startled, but it halted for a second and made a mad dash out of the office and away from me. Sigh. The excitement of a housekeepers work day.
It has been a long time since I felt like writing anything on here, but life changes and I get to do what I want for once. Traveling is something that I have done, but with constraints. Now, I get to go wherever I want and I get to explore far off lands and landscapes.
Depression deepens with age,
Dark, silent hands sweep aside courage,
Disease draws out life, desire, delight,
Forgotten memories are swept away like snuffed candlelight.
Family binds tighten, but memory slips away,
Forever brilliant, but always fading,
Fear celebrates each slip, each ebbing thought,
Gasping, grasping, holding tight.
Am I family?
Am I still here?
Am I remembered?
Am I counted, loved, seen?
Do I matter?
Is it all for nothing?
Is it forever?
Is it necessary?
Why? What is it for?
Memory, lost memory.
The ship shuddered as the wormhole opened in front of the ship, drawing it in like a sucking black hole. Everyone on the bridge who were not strapped in were thrown around, slamming into consoles and each other.
“Nim, find out where the Captain is!” Mr. Erskin cried as another console blew up sending sparks flying around the bridge. Nim only nodded and ran toward the elevators. She stepped into a world of silence as the elevator doors closed. Leaving all the turmoil and confusion behind. The softly playing music felt surreal to Nim as the minutes drifted by. The doors opened upon chaos as passengers and crew either played bloody or dead in the hallway outside the doors. The luxuriously appointed quarters of the elite of their society, and the Captain’s quarters, were in such disarray Nim had to pick her way carefully around broken planters and prone people.
She wanted to stop and help, but finding the Captain was too important. She thought that something must have happened to him. He would have at least been in contact with the bridge even if he couldn’t get to the bridge.
Walking carefully, but still as briskly as possible, she finally approached the Captain’s quarters. Nim sucked in a staggered breath. The airlock seal was red. She stared at the door in a daze. Her mind would not focus on the though that the Captain could be dead. This must be a mistake. He has to be somewhere else on the ship, injured or helping the rest of the crew and too busy to contact the bridge. He couldn’t be gone?
Her fingers shaking she lifted her Phox, “Nim here Mr. Erskin. Can I get a structural integrity report for the port side of the ship? Heart pounding she waited for the report, but she already knew the answer. He was dead. They were on their own now.
Ah, my work schedule is about to change.
No more sleeping through the daylight,
Days off will actually feel like I have more range,
Without this I would be quite a sight.
Sadness shall pass on,
Those we love are remembered,
The sudden silence of the alarm startled everybody on the command deck. Nim listened to the sounds of the ship, her sensitive ears able to pick up the frequencies of the engines. Heart pounding she looked through her monitors, but nothing showed out of the ordinary. The engines were working at capacity, but they had stopped, as if they were being held by something. “But, there is nothing?” she thinks as her hands dance across views of the space field outside their ship and the area surrounding them.
“Aris, I want continued status updates. Mr. Sykes give me a rundown of any injuries and for God sake will someone go calm Mrs. Helmsley down!” barked out Mr. Erskin.
Nim looked around the deck. Toddy was groggily talking to someone over her Phox, while trying to get ahold of the Captain, who was still missing. Nim’s hands were shaking and she clenched them together. She sensed something was out there, but her sensors were telling her nothing was there. She walked over to the large view screen and stared out at the stars. “Something, I know there is something out there.” her intuition sense picked up something slight, maybe a fluctuation in the space folds, but why else would they have suddenly stopped. She felt like someone had taken control of their ship, but not to harm them, but for some other reason.
Fear slithered down her spine. She didn’t like having control taken away like this. It reminded her of her father, the long nights spent in the hole. Her father’s way of making her stronger. She shivered and pushed that unpleasant image out of her mind. “What if someone has taken control of the whole space sector?” She turned back to her desk and quickly scanned through the images of the past few hours. Frustrated she pushed her cerulean hair out of her eyes.
“Sir,” cried Aris, “the engines are still offline, but we are moving. I cannot explain it.” Suddenly, everyone on the command deck could feel the sudden acceleration. Nim looked at her screen. “Sir, this makes no sense. The computer still says that we are stationary.” The words were no longer out of her mouth than she was forced back into her seat by the sudden forces of acceleration. On the view screen a giant vortex opened and Nim could hear Toddy screaming in terror as they sped through the wormhole.
The Air is so Bright,
Flowering trees are in bloom,
Why is it so COLD!
The explosion cascaded through the command desk sending everyone careening off of ops desks. Toddy slumped to the floor unconscious and Nim looked up just to see that Mr. Erskin bleeding heavily from a head wound, but still calling out orders through the ship’s Conn. Without the Captain there it was mass confusion. Nim made sure that Toddy was okay, she was just shook up, and grabbed her stations med kit making her way over to Mr. Erskin. He quickly slapped on a quick compress from the kit and gestured her toward her station.
As ships navigator it was her duty to make sure that they didn’t hit anything along their route toward New Sienca. The Gennile’s long eight month journey was almost complete and she needed to focus on making sure their last minute calculations were accurate or they could over shoot the Sienca system. Nim knew her last calculations were good and nothing was within a million secs of their track so she was confused by the sudden impact. “Did I miss something? Was an asteroid hiding behind that belt we passed last week?” she though as she furiously scanned the incoming sensor data.
Puzzled she looked through the data again. Nothing showed on the data screens. They had not nothing and she couldn’t seen anything in their vicinity that would account for the sudden crash.
“Aris, what have you got for me?” she called down to the engineering deck. “I need some news. What do you see?”
Ari’s voice crackled through the Conn network. “I don’t know what to tell you Sir. It does not make sense. Nothing on my scans say we hit anything. I’m still running scans of the ship. I’ll get back to you when I have more information.”
“What do you mean you don’t see what we hit? We had to have hit something?” Just then the ship suddenly stopped. Nim grasped her console, but was surprised not to go flying across the deck. She looked at Toddy, who was now groggily sitting at her own station, and Mr. Erskin, but they both were as perplexed as she was.
“What the…” Mr. Erskin said. The alarms suddenly cut off.