The bridge was lit up with activity as Joakim approached its entrance. A goddamn cocktail party, the tall billy goat said to himself.
“I said husband, not ombudsman!” the captain delivered the punchline to roars of laughter when Noah stepped foot in the ship’s command center. As the laughter died, the red-haired captain acknowledged Joakim. “Mr. Joakim, how are we today?” he said boisterously with a big smile.
“Very well, thanks,” Joakim answered. Looking around the bridge, there was nothing but incompetent followers loafing to be seen – save for the first mate in the corner, hard at work. “If you could spare a moment, captain, I have a question or two you may be able to help me with,” Joakim said cordially.
“Sure thing. What is on your mind?” With those words three of the four idle-minded visitors left the scene, sensing that the festivities were over. The lone remainder was a shaggy looking man in a crumpled suit.
Joakim took a few steps farther into the quarters and casually leaned against a wall. “Have you gotten anywhere with the Mike Jimmy case?”
The captain looked bewildered. “The… I am sorry, what is this about?”
“Mike Jimmy. His disappearance from the ship two nights ago.” Joakim was mildly annoyed, but hardly surprised at the captain’s lack of knowledge.
The captain’s eyes lit up a bit, “Oh yeah, the Mike Jimmy case. Lu, where did we ever get with the Mike Jimmy character?” he asked the first mate.
Lu turned from his station. “I gave you the completed form yesterday, Captain Scal. Only the acting captain can call in the missing persons report.”
Scal’s eyes eyes darted about. “Oh, yes, yes. I am sure I called it in,” the captain responded. The turning gears were visible as he searched for his next move. “Uh, Lu, why don’t we hit the radio and see what came of that.”
“Check the score of the Derby della Capitale, if you get a second,” interjected the forgotten shaggy spectator. His words were ignored by all company present.
Lu turned back to his station and got to the radio. Slipping on the his headset and grabbing the microphone, Lu barked, “This is the Rosso Chien calling base, do you copy?” Lu’s face remained unchanged. “I repeat, this is the Rosso Chien calling base, do you copy.” Lu was a statue for another twenty seconds. Then he turned to the other three occupants of the room. His face was perplexed. “I think you should hear this. I do not know what to make of it.”
With that, Lu took off his headset and flipped a switch. There was much static coming over the speaker. Over the static was a robotic voice repeating, “Sun is shining. Birds are singing. Flowers are growing. Clouds are looming and I am flying.”