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Rejiggering the Thingamajig by Eric James Stone is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at escapepod.org.
Rejiggering the Thingamajig
by Eric James Stone
The teleport terminal had not been built with tyrannosaurus sapiens in mind.
Resisting the urge to knock human-sized chairs about with her tail, Bokeerk squatted on the tile floor, folded the claws of her forelimbs together, and concentrated on her breathing. Meditation would calm her nerves. What should have been a two-minute waystop as she switched to a different teleport line had stretched to three hours, and being the only passenger in the terminal creeped her out.
The cheerful voice of the customer service AI roused Bokeerk from her trance. “It is my pleasure to inform you that the cause of the technical difficulties in the galactic teleport network has been found.”
Bokeerk perked up and rose on her hind legs, remembering just in time to duck her head so it wouldn’t bang the ceiling lamps. “Please send me to Krawlak,” she said. It was unlikely that any of her eggs would hatch for another few days yet, but she was anxious to get home.
“It is with the utmost regret that I must tell you that will not be possible at this time,” said the AI, with a tone of such abysmal sorrow that Bokeerk’s eyes could not help but moisten with sympathetic tears. “I require assistance in repairing the problem.”
Bokeerk lowered herself into a squat again. “When will help get here?” She looked at the time display on the digital assistant strapped to her left forelimb. She had now been stranded for three hours and fifty-two minutes.
“I estimate a spaceship carrying a repair crew could be here within twelve years,” said the AI. Its voice seemed to have lost the customer service aspect.