John Valdivia walked up the main gangway of the IDF Moth with a coffee cup in one hand and an electronic notepad in the other.
His path took him from the main environmental bay in the back through, "Little Heaven," the biosphere Seli had had carved out of the main storage hold of the Moth when she'd converted her from a freighter. The gangway, once a hallway, was now a steel tension bridge that ran 50 meters along the mid line of the ship, 20 meters in the air. Behind him, 600 liters of water per minute poured out of the cooling unit in a pair of twin waterfalls, one on each side of gangway. The warm water kept the biosphere warm and muggy as it trailed through a series of fish filled pools and streams along the ground below. A single solar emulator fixed in the ceiling kept track of day and night for the dozens of animals and hundreds of birds who lived on the green vegetation on the ground, the half dozen species of trees, and the thick vines that grew on the walls. The smell was thick and earthy, and noise of the water and the birds was deafening.
John hardly noticed. The notepad was scrolling a list of ship's needs generated by Arthur, the ship's Engineer. John was smiling as he sipped his coffee and read. Arthur always included interesting notes like, "get that gunky stuff out of the ball joint on the A-943" or "Please remind all sentient, waste producing life forms that it is not the Engineers job to flush for them." Half the time, John couldn't even figure out what gunk, goo, or secretion had prompted the comment. Still, as tech officer, these tasks usually fell to him.
He slowed as he approached the fore end of Little Heaven. There, where the gangway went back into the body of the ship, a wooden deck with a long, wooden table had been built overlooking the green below. On the wall opposite the overlook, a large monitor hung next to the doorway forward. It was, as much as the Moth had such formalities, the ships conference room.
"Hey. What's going on?" John asked, walking up.
Three of the ship's crew were there, staring at the monitor, which appeared to be showing nothing but an empty hallway.
Dicer, the ship's weapon's officer looked up from the screen. "Intercourse."
"We don't know that." Jane, the white haired pilot answered, not looking away.
Next to her sat Dr. Spike. He was a long, thin creature. His two arms and two legs stretched out from his body like a spider's limbs, and each ended in eight long fingers. In the relatively high-G of the the Moth, he wore a pneumatic assist unit for this arms and legs as well as a chest hugging respirator. His face, while generally humanoid, featured large dark eyes and hard lips with a small spike on the top lip that tapped noisily on a plate on the lower. His skin was smooth and patches and swirls of iridescent color moved slowly across it.
"Dr. Spike thinks they may be arguing." Jane tapped the desk with a metal stylus. Dr. Spike answered with a long series of taps. "He doesn't think it makes sense that are...mating."
John looked at the screen more carefully. It was showing the hallway outside Dryden's quarters. "They who?"
"They are two humans alone in sleeping quarters. Of course they're having intercourse." Dicer pressed on.
Jane looked up without interrupting her tapped conversation with Dr. Spike. "Alinsky boarded about an hour ago. He and Captain Dryden went directly into her quarters."
"Uh oh." John slid into one of the chairs around the desk.
"He said he was not here to arrest her again." Dicer contributed.
"That's good." John agreed. "There are worse things than getting arrested though."
"Like what?" Jane asked.
"I guess we'll just have to wait and see."
The group fell silent, staring moodily at the screen.
"They're having intercourse." Dicer stated.
"We don't know that." Jane protested.
"If you would like, you could have intercourse with me." Dicer offered to no one in particular. No one responded.