Challenge #01680-D219: Rockit Launch 'n' BBQ
Actual thing said over the ruins of a test engine that had found a new fuel mix too spicy for it: "Whall, rocket fuel is kinda like a chain saw. If it warn't dangerous, it wouldn't be very useful." -- RecklessPrudence
People make assumptions. That much was natural. You see the way someone dresses. You hear the way they speak. You assume things about the rest of them. Most of those things are wrong. Katie Walker had learned this and used it to her advantage. Keeping her Welsh accent was part of it. So was wearing Mary Janes and the socks with the frills on top. Combined with loose jeans and a nerdy shirt, it threw everyone off their guard.
And then she met Professor Eugene Skrunk. She was lost. He was taking rocket parts out of a trailer covered with warning stickers. He said, "Hey, li'l lady? Y'all got a minute."
He talked like he'd just had a big ole helpin' of 'Momma's Possum Surprise Stoo' and washed it down with a quart of genuine moonshine. On the other hand, he dressed like the biggest nerd on the planet. Black-rimmed spectacles and all.
Katie checked her watch. "I got half an hour if ye tell me th' quickest way tae th' Advanced Physics labs."
He grinned and laughed. "Yer a student here. Well grease mah grits an' call me Alice." He gestured her over. "I got me one hum-dinger of a rockit 'spuriment. Tryin' me a new fuel that can be or-ganic'ly sourced frum corn."
Katie couldn't help smiling in return. "I ken yuir playin' oop tha' accent tae see how I judge ye. Let's ge' on wi' it, aye? Ye want I should carry th' milk crates?"
"Yer gud, kid," this, she would learn later, was the highest praise from Professor Skrunk. "Y'all ever wanna shoot fer Mars, look me up."
There was a clearing where the burned patch surrounded an area of concrete that had turned into glass. Several other nerds had apparently appeared for the sadistic appreciation of the oncoming spectacle.
"Y'all got hands, move your asses an' help set me up in hyar."
Two dozen of them swarmed for the trailer. A further half dozen took parts and begun assembly. One remained in his deck chair and swigged his beer.
That was the one who said, "You got that from your brother, I bet."
"How much ye bet?" challenged Katie.
He pulled out his wallet and counted his notes. "Got me... hunnert bucks. Names and ranks of the Enterprise Bridge crew."
Katie took a deep breath, "Captain James Tiberius Kirk, Lieutenant-Commander Spock, Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, Ensign Pavel Chekov. Ask me a hard one."
"Awright. Name four shuttlecraft on the Enterprise."
"Columbus, Copernicus, Einstein, Galileo." She didn't miss a beat. "I said a hard one."
"Sarek and Amanda." Katie held out her hand. "And me brother's eight. He'll be gettin' this shirt from me."
He handed the money over. And complained to everyone who wasn't listening about how this 'little kid' scammed him for a hundred dollars.
Professor Skrunk escorted her to her ultimate destination because the dude started to follow her and demand his money back.
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / s96serg]
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