Booges wedged his lanky human frame next to Cream in the tiny control booth. “No, really, there are a whole bunch of levels of stink finger.”
Booges wasn’t a bad guy, he had just spent way too much time alone. The research centers on Jy had been cut off from New Saturn and Station One when Allied Interests pulled out of the system. Station One had chosen Captain Janice and Cream to make this trip as the first step in opening a trade route.
Cream looked over the reservoir and sighed. The little pug-monkey set the comm system to external broadcast. “Bo stay in the shallow end. If you get stuck in the filters again I will leave you there until we lift off.”
The large canine gave no sign of hearing Cream but he did swim back to the beach. He ran back and forth on the sand, pouncing on random wads of slime and chasing his tail. He had never been on the surface of a habitable planet before.
“The first level is your basic armpit stink finger.” Booges tried to demonstrate.
Cream turned his attention back to the control panel as another bladder filled and detached from the siphon tubes. Cream used remote robot arms to send it rolling down the slick newcrete slide to the space ship. Janice would be waiting to move it into the cargo hold.
“Then you have your butt crack stink finger, but that only really works on true primates, canines kinda dig it.” Booges skipped the demonstration on that one.
Even though it was an incredibly primitive water filtration and packaging system Cream appreciated the work the residents of Jy had put into it. Station One needed water and extracting moisture from the frozen arid surface of New Saturn would have been almost impossible.
“Then you have all the varieties of bio-lab created stink.”
Cream noticed a problem with one of the siphon tubes. He finished filling the bladder hooked up to it and opened a comm channel to the ship.
“Captain, I think one of the filters is clogged again and Bo isn’t stuck in it this time.”
“Once I brewed up this stuff called skunk funk, pretty cool, huh, but I never could wash it off my finger.”
“Ok, Cream, I’ll meet you on the dam as soon as I load the last bladder.”
Cream shut down the siphon tubes and used the robo arms to lift the banks of filters up. When he headed down to the dam Booges followed.
“Then there was this time I created pink stink. It came on like abalone and then POW! You’d get this cayenne after smell. Hey if you want I can write all this down for you. Really, it wouldn’t be any problem at all.”
Cream was inspecting a Bo shaped dent in one of the filters when Janice climbed over the edge of the dam.
“Stink finger!” yelled Booges as he waved a digit in Janice’s face.
Janice caught his wrist in one hand and twisted it hard enough to spin him around and force him down on one knee. She grabbed the back of his neck with her other hand.
“Yeah, Cream, you’re right. That dent makes the filter less efficient and it still has wads of his hair stuck in it. It’s just going to keep clogging up and we don’t have any replacements. Just shut the siphon off. We’ll have to get by without it.”
“Ow. Please don’t kill me. Ow.”
“Aye, aye, Captain.”
“Ow. It was just a joke. Ow. I’m harmless, I swear, I’m harmless. Ow.”
Janice started frog marching Booges along the edge of the dam towards the beach. “When you get back to the control booth lock yourself into it.”
There was no lock in the control booth, but Cream managed to jam the door with the chair. Janice is up to something, he thought as he started filling bladders again.
Janice had Booges marching along the beach before she started yelling at Bo. “Hey, come here. Bo! Come! You’re not in trouble! Booges really likes you and wants to be your friend. Come here and play with Booges!”
Janice released Booges with a shove just as Bo got close enough to jump on him. Her timing was perfect and she stepped out of the way as they rolled along the beach together. She jogged back to the space ship listening to the sweet sound of complaints muffled by wet, slimy fur.