“Wait for it,” Harvey looked at the timepiece on his wrist and counted, silently, but moving his mouth. “Ten, eleven, twelve,” he said out loud, “now!”
Sally pushed the silver lever until it stopped abruptly. The vehicle leaped ahead.
“Gently,” Harvey said quietly.
“Sorry,” Sally replied sarcastically, “when you shouted NOW! it sounded urgent.”
“Listen, young lady, this is the only ship our family has and we need to take care of it,” he knew it was the wrong thing to say as he said it but he couldn’t stop his mouth.
Sally’s eyes started to water, “I never said I wanted to pilot this thing anyway,” taking her hand off the main guidance ball and letting the spaceship decide its direction.
Harvey quickly put his hand on the ball and nudged the light speed ship back onto course. “Look, I’m sorry, I’m just a little anxious about plunging into a star or black hole,” he tried to keep the nervousness out of his voice.
“Oh, Daddy, there’s not a star for a hundred light years and as old as this thing is it still has a black hole deflector. I couldn’t hit something if I tried.”
“You’re not going to try are you?”
Harvey permitted her to take the guidance ball and leaned back into his padded pedestal seat. “You’re just growing up too fast. I can still see you taking your first wobbly steps and now you’re going off to school at the edge of the galaxy.
“Dad,” she took her hand off the guidance ball for just a second and touched her father’s hand, “at least I’m staying in our galaxy. We can still holo-communicate with almost no delay at all. Mom’s set up the emitters so we can even appear to have dinner together.”
“See if you can slip it into hyper drive.” Harvey said, looking with pride at his grown daughter.
“You never let me go into hyper drive before!”
“Be gentle, if you do it right we shouldn’t be able to feel it.”
She pushed the second lever on the console until it clicked into place. There was the slightest bump but Harvey chose not to notice it.