Military Command Headquarters
4th November, 2071 AD
Me : Today I’m chatting with Commander Alistair Moody, the bad-ass military general in the Military Command and the appointed Commander of Starship Samudram. I hope to know what the Commander is feeling at this pivotal moment in the history of mankind.
Me (looking towards the opposite chair) : Hello Commander, I hope you don’t mind me getting late for the interview by two minutes. I was stuck in the horrible traffic just outside the HQ.
Commander Moody : Funny you should ask this question because just a few minutes back, I was lecturing my Officers on how a small delay can lead to so many things going wrong in the long run. And here you come along and talk pretty casually about being late.
Me : Uh oh! Apologies from my side. But can you please enlighten our readers about this delay thing being so high on your priority.
Commander Moody : Imagine crossing the sun during a solar flare where a margin of few seconds can make the difference between navigating safely or turning into a roasted pack of not-so-tasty human flesh. You won’t even get a chance of explaining why you got late.
Me : Er—but what’s that got to do with normal folks getting late here and there in their day to day lives. I mean—it’s not like we’re travelling near the sun or something like that.
Commander Moody : Civilians won’t understand what I mean, anyways. So what’s the point of elaborating?
Me (looking around sheepishly) : Um—is that why you and your son don’t gel up that much? I mean—he’s a civilian, after all.
Commander Moody : Jonathan Moody is none of your concern. Wait, is this even an interview? We’ve been talking for like 5 minutes now and there’s not a single question of intelligence you’ve asked me. If that’s what you are going to do, I don’t think I can continue.
Me : Sorry Commander—if you got offended. We didn’t start on the right note, I suppose.
Commander Moody (puffing like an angry tiger) : I hope so.
Me (clearing my throat) : Let’s try again, then. So, Commander—what do you feel right now considering that the launch of Samudram is just a week away?
Commander Moody : Well—to be honest, it’s a small step for mankind but a star-jumping, planet-hopping step for me (breathes slowly). Oh—I think I got it wrong. It’s the other way round. Star-jumping planet-hopping step for mankind. Oh, I guess I’m just feeling a bit odd right now, considering so many preparations are still left and these First Officers are getting on my nerves.
Me : Any particular problems, Commander?
Commander Moody : Actually, a lot. Mostly—with First Officer Algan Vento. He’s a nightmare to work with and Admiral Vikander is absolutely sure he should be on Samudram. Now, I can’t possibly go against the Admiral, can I? But on the downside, I’ve to deal with Vento, who’s a pain in all the wrong places. He’s not a space traveler. Period.
Me (rolling my eyes) : In that case, why is the Admiral so keen on appointing Mr Vento?
Commander Moody : Some favors between the two of them. Vento helped manage the Admiral’s secret affair with super-model Liara.
Me : Oh that’s news! I didn’t know Admiral Vikander had some secret affairs.
Commander Moody : He’s an old philanderer—Vikander. I’ve telling him to stay away from all this but he doesn’t listen. He likes his models and his habits.
Me : Any other things giving you a hard time, Commander before Samudram launches?
Commander Moody : Well—there’s this matter with the Inner Habitat. You know those places in starships where lowly worker-class folks are supposed to be stuffed. Thing is—it’s not big enough to stuff all the required lowly worker-class folks. So we might have to do a bit more of squeezing to pack in more people. I’m not a huge fan of that. But that’s regulation.
Me : Won’t it disturb the human conditions on the starship and lead to some sort of mutiny?
Commander Moody : It might. But then I hope Valdo Donovan, our security Officer, will sort things out. Actually, he loves situations like this to arise so that he can flex his soldier-like instincts even though he has been promoted to First Officer (laughs). What to say? Some folks should never be promoted.
Me (rolling my eyes) : Isn’t that a little too controversial for a Commander of your stature to say?
Commander Moody : It’s not like I care anymore. I am heading to Titan in a week in case you noticed. And with a plan to establish a permanent colony over there. The opinion of small time journalists like you doesn’t really bother me much (laughs like a maniac).
Me (mumbling) : And we always wonder why there’s so much conflict on these starships.
Commander Moody : What did you just say?
Me : Nothing, Commander. I think that’s all our readers would like to know today. I hope you’ve a wonderful journey ahead.
Commander Moody (getting up and ready to leave) : Thank you and good-bye!
Me (after Moody is out of earshot) : That was quite an interview. Or was it some sort of an argument. Never mind. I guess the Commander was in a lot of stress and does seem to be behaving erratically. Normally, however, he’s quite an affable person and I hope you won’t judge him by this interview.
Coming to think of it, I think you should definitely try and know more about him. And I’ve just got the right thing for you. Get a copy of Starship Samudram and check out how the Commander is in real action.
Commander Moody (from far away) : You are still here! Nosing around for some more gossip, I suppose!
I pack my bags and head for exit. In fact, I RUN.