Beauty and the Fleet (Intergalactic Fairy Tales Book 2)

Beauty and the Fleet (Intergalactic Fairy Tales Book 2) by Robert McKay Read Free Book Online

Book: Beauty and the Fleet (Intergalactic Fairy Tales Book 2) by Robert McKay Read Free Book Online
Authors: Robert McKay
and water, like it has been every day after the first."
    "Leave her alone," said Pickle, her voice more forceful than Beatrix would have expected. "She's just trying to find something to do. Trying to stay sane."
    "You're one to talk about staying sane," he retorted. "You don't think I see the way you stare at these flight suits like you still want to put one on?"
    "Gadget," warned Torch.
    Beatrix frowned at the way Pickle's eyes glazed over. This line of discussion wasn't doing her any favors.
    "I had a really bad game of croquet one time. I don't like being in strange places without a helmet on," said Pickle, her voice distant.
    "Gadget, why don't you come over here and make yourself useful," called Beatrix. She had a really stupid idea that she was sure he would love to naysay. To her surprise, he pulled himself to his feet without argument. Boredom was a powerful motivator. While he'd been really negative, Gadget had been right. The box only held food, water, a bar of soap, and a roll of toilet paper.
    She didn't say anything when Gadget approached. She simply closed the box, looked up at that circular hatch above and placed it very meticulously before going over to the massive pile of empties and grabbing another. By the time she placed the third box, the whole group was standing around staring at her. When she place the fourth box next to the others, she stopped and gave them all an impatient look. "Are you all just going to stand there and watch, or are you going to help?"
    "Help with what?" asked Hands.
    Gadget looked up at the ceiling and let out a groan. "She's trying to stack these up to the hatch in the ceiling."
    "Ding!" said Beatrix, pointing at Gadget. "Give the man a prize."
    "Sounds like a plan to me," said Torch, falling in behind Beatrix when she went to retrieve the next box. Pickle and Hands were close on his heels.
    Gadget crossed his arms and stood there grumbling. "It's never going to work. I was an engineer before I decided to join the flight program."
    "Which is why I asked you to make yourself useful," said Beatrix, dropping her box at his feet. "If any of us can build this thing strong enough, it's you."
    Gadget's chest puffed up and Beatrix saw a small grin before she turned away to schlep more boxes. He didn't grumble so much once he was in charge of placing the boxes. He had them build a slightly modified triangle shape. Two weeks in captivity hadn't given them enough boxes to make it as structurally sound as Gadget wanted, but it still looked impressive by the time they had it built up high enough that she and Hands were the only ones able to place boxes on top. Any further building would have to be accomplished by someone standing on top of the makeshift structure.
    "Any volunteers?" asked Gadget when they'd placed the last box.
    The words were barely out of his mouth when Pickle began to climb. It wasn't difficult. The way they'd stacked the boxes made a stair pattern along the edge. They were tall steps for someone of Pickle's height, but she scrambled to the top in no time. "I think this might work," Pickle called from the top, her voice ringing with laughter.
    "Pickle, get down from there," shouted Torch.
    While they'd all been looking up at her, he'd had his eyes on the base of the structure. It was starting to buckle under her weight. They all lunged forward to place themselves between Pickle and the hard deck, but Gadget got there first, and just in time. Pickle lost her balance and pitched forward right on top of him. They both went down in a heap. Beatrix and the other two men stared down at them, their mouths agape.
    Pickle looked up and started laughing again. "That was quite a ride. Thanks for catching me, Gadget." Before he had a chance to respond, Pickle leaned down and planted a long kiss on his lips.
    "Uhhh, you're welcome," said Gadget, his brow furrowed in pain. "Also, I think my hip might be broken."
    The rest of them helped Pickle up and she immediately started pacing, her

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