Fandom: Space Cases
Rating: General Audiences
Notes: with much thanks to my beta reader tekiclutch
Prompt: #21) Those who are unhappy have no need for anything in this world but people capable of giving them their attention. --Simone Weil (1909-1943), French philosopher, mystic and social activist.
Disclaimer: Space Cases belongs to Nickoleden Televison and is the creation of Bill Mumy and Peter David and its producers; it is not mine. The story was written for the 2011 Multifandom Female FemGen Ficathon prompt #21. The word “Zagabee” is the featured character’s term for good things in Saturian.
“Zagabee” by karrenia
It’s only the most exhausting holiday in the Saturian culture; the week-long Festival of Rejoicing. Catalina reminded herself that she had even gone so far as to fake a sprained ankle when she had been looking for an excuse to stay off of her feet.
Miss Davenport was not the doubt to tolerate flimsy excuses, well, truthfully excuses of any kind, although Harlan Band did have an astounding talent of making excuses that stuck and making them believable. She wondered if he had applied that much effort into his studies and training, if things would turn out differently.
In the back of her mind Catalina realized that Harlan himself probably did not even realize this, but then, if he had wanted to ‘apply himself,’ he would have done so by now.
In any case, Harlan’s and then Rosie’s well-meaning assistance had made that an impractical solution.
She had gone on and dressed up in the traditional garments for the festival, head-to-foot rainbow-hued dress, matching belts, and walked around the ship ringing little bells. She giggled despite herself when she recalled walking into the room where Bova and Miss Davenport had been going through a book on xenobiology.
Bova had mentioned it to after all the craziness was over and the after the spontaneous dancing had let up. He had seen in her get-up and asked Miss Davenport if they made really big specimen jars.
Bova, for all his gloom and doom in contrast to Rosie bright and sunny cheerfulness could be really funny at times.
At the start of that day she had been in the girl’s bunk room, explaining at least the bare-bones of the oliday to Rosie.
Rosie was from Mercury, and her people had an ingrained ability to be cheerful about pretty much everything; it was a simply a part of her nature. That being the case Catalina would never hold it against Rosie for her enthusiasm or her perky attitude when she learned a little bit about the celebration.
Everybody must have had their own traditions and holidays particular to his or her native world; that was just the way things worked, right? And even though the entire crew of the Christa was a very long way away from home Catalina had decided that it was worth observing her people’s holiday.
Catalina thought about this some more while she rolled over from lying on her side so she was not lying on her back staring up at the corrugated ceiling and thought about this some more until she had at last fallen asleep.
When she woke up, her eyes felt gritty but she felt better for having come to a decision. As Catalina slid down the jump-tube that connected the various areas of the Christa she realized that she had not even discussed her upcoming holiday with her invisible friend, Suzee.
Yes, everyone thought that Suzee was just a figment of her imagination, that when she did discuss things, that was either talking to herself or to the walls, or into thin air. Harlan, among others thought she was crazy for doing just that; carrying on long talks into thin air; but they didn’t know anything about it. She sniffed, and allowed herself the tiniest of smiles.
Harlan Band was a nice guy but sometimes what he just had a big mouth.
Suzee was real, just in a different dimension, but it got complicated after a while. They good for hours at time just gabbing away, or for days at a time without talking; it was all good.
Time aboard the Christa did have an odd habit of sneaking by one if one were not paying attention. Sure, she made sure she retired for the evening at approximately the same time every night, and got up with everyone else, especially that they were prompt to arrive at the Command Deck for their duty shifts. Otherwise Catalina might very well have said that time was one thing that they all had plenty of.
She smiled to herself in reminisce, recalling the end of that particular observance of the holiday, at the end of the day, despite everything that had happened, and it had been pretty touch and go and there for a while, what with Radu feeling the effects of yet an alien virus; and not acting at all like himself; still the spontaneous dancing at the end of the day, when Radu at last had been cured; was something she’d always remember. “Zagabee!”
In the back of her mind she wondered if she feel more kindly to celebrating the Festival of
Rejoicing again the next time it came around because the danger they’d all been facing at the time or because this time around her friends had celebrated along with her.
As she stood at her post she realized that she was doing what Ms. Davenport would no doubt call wool-gathering. While Catalina did not quite understand the origin of the term she understood that she was allowing her thoughts to wander when she should be paying attention to her monitors.
Rosie, at one point caught her doing just that, glancing around, and smiled, then bent her head back to her own monitor.
Rosie was a good egg, one of those people who were good and kind simply because they did not know any other way to be. In her the back of her mind Catalina thought: ‘Rosie, don’t ever change.’
She stole a significant glance at Harlan Band at helm, Radu at navigation, and then Rosie and Bova; and realized that she was in a word, happy.
Catalina felt ridiculously happy because she now had friends that would stand by her through the proverbial thick and thin; no matter what. Zagabee!
That one word in her people’s language meant so much and expresses so many things. At the moment she meant it to express all of the churning emotions that were churning within her, good, bad and even the indifferent ones. It was good to be alive; it was good to aboard this ship with these people.
And while it would take at least seven years to get back home, this was still a very good thing.