“Trident group 3-G: Grissom, Elizabeth. Shepard, Margaret. Schirra, Gemini. Trident group 3-H…” Acting Ensign Parson’s voice droned on and on. “…Trident group 3-Z: Hatten, Mark. Mossel, Ahab. Johnson, Bob. All Trident groups report to your bunks on the double. Go. Go. Go!”
Liz’s long legs ate up the deck in quick fashion. She was first to enter 3-G and picked the all-in-one unit furthest from the entrance in the trapezoid shaped room. After stowing her bag in the upper compartment she pressed the red button on the side panel to reconfigure the unit from storage to lounge mode.
Two girls entered the room, talking excitedly. “Liz, this is Margaret our other roommate.”
As the door shut a high pitched shrill voice called out from the corridor, “Oh look, Peep has found her sheep! Baaaa!”
“Wonder what that was all about?” Gem said.
Margaret’s face flushed a deep pink making her red curls seem like fire. “Wonder no longer. It was about me.” She crossed her arms over her chest and heaved a great sigh.
Liz stood hands on her hips, “What do you mean, Margaret?” Liz punctuated the question with a raised eyebrow.
“Shepard. That’s what. You know Little Bo Peep is a shepherdess.” Margaret wouldn’t make eye contact with Liz.
“Well, Shepard is a name I know. You are the descendant of Alan Shepard. Who is she?”
“Megan Jones. Nobody really. Her father works for mine at the Oracle Starbase Datamine.”
Gem piped up, “So she just wants to hurt you to make herself feel better in the process, huh?”
“You know what,” Liz said with a sly smile. “I like Peep. It makes people underestimate you. I would use that to my advantage.”
Margaret’s head came up. She looked from Liz to Gem with a sparkle in her hazel eyes. “I never thought of it like that.” The gears clicked into place at Liz’s suggestion.
“Liz is right,” Gem said. “If we, your friends, call you Peep, Cadet Jones’ taunt loses its credibility.”
“My thoughts, exactly.” Liz said holding her fist out to the others. When all three girls’ fists met in the middle, Liz knew exactly what to say. “Never say die.”