8 - Finding Treasure

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Jeena led them to a likely cabin.  The door wouldn't respond, of course, but Skip was able to jimmy it open with the bypass trick that every intern knew.

When the door opened, Jeena let out a squeal of delight.  Skip peered in to see what food she'd spotted, then rolled his eyes as he realized she was making a beeline for a wall rack loaded with fashion accessories.  She quickly dumped the yellow stovepipe hat in favor of a stylish, forest-green beret, and selected a coordinated neck-warmer to go with it.

Skip moved to the drawers at the back of the cabin, and soon, it was his turn to exult.

“Jackpot!” he cried, holding up a 5-kilo bag of dried beans.  “Look at all this food!”

“Eeew.  I loathe Lima beans.  Get something else."

"No time to be a Connoisseur, Jeena."

“Hey, better a Connoisseur, than a 'Kind-of-Sewer'."

"So witty!" he smiled sweetly.  "Bite me."

He had to admit, he had never met anyone quite like Jeena.  It wasn't that he hadn’t met other girls in the top decile of the looks continuum.  He'd even gone out with someone like that – once.  But that girl was so dull, he had doubts she could have passed a Turing test.  Something about Jeena just energized him.

“And what have we here!” Skip exclaimed, fishing a bag of protein chips from the recycling receptacle.

“No,” Jeena stated with quiet authority.

“What?”

“That's got Percari.”

“How can you tell?  Percarium contamination is odorless.”

“Not to me.”

“Really now, are you just being picky, again?”

"Listen, when you're making orbital calculations, do you EVER relay an answer different from what you know to be true?"

"Never!  I'm a professional!"

"And so am I.  This is MY trade; I don't exaggerate about this kind of thing."

"Point well taken," he conceded.

Jeena suppressed a slight smile.

"Anyway, I should let you die," she remarked in a voice more petulant than vicious, adding, after a pause, "You, uh, probably want to wash your hands."

Caught off-guard, Skip mumbled awkwardly, "Um, thanks."

The take from that one room was considerable, including, besides the Limas, a florist's dozen of foodbars, three Insta-Pak burritos, the better part of an algae brick, and a six-pack of juice pouches.  It would do.  They headed back to the pods.

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