What Happened to Purple? Edit
On the bridge Purple’s tentacles were quivering with fear and remorse. He’d failed, he didn’t know how to guide a big ship. He hadn’t done what was his duty, he should have told them he had only experience with small craft. Purple imagined how his mistress, would have felt if she’s known that things had gone wrong for her son, Blue Tentacles. A senior Centaurian rushed up and even Purple could clearly recognise tied to his tentacles were the robes of a high ranking officer.
“Why had the ship been handled so unskilfully?” the officer demanded to know, “Couldn’t they all clearly see lives were in danger?”
Purple fought with all his strength to stop his tentacles shaking visibly as he wondered what punishment he could expect, what punishment he deserved. The engineer who should steer the ship thought quickly.
“Respected and Brave Officer there were important matters” he started, then he told a story about how Purple had found a problem with the computers guiding the steering and how he felt he needed to thrash it all out with an experienced seaman. Purple knew of no computer problem but for him as for all long standing slaves it was ingrained that he should never betray a fellow worker to an overseer. Anyway Purple pretended to agree with what the engineer said and didn’t mention that the engineer and the young seaman had been chatting each other up sexually.
After careful explanations the officer decided Purple couldn’t do any more useful work on the bridge so Purple was asked to test out lifeboats and other small engines. Crestfallen Purple found out that the engines he checked were in good order, though he made quite a few useful adjustments Purple feared he was largely wasting his time. Naturally Purple longed to check on his friend Blue Tentacles instead of making useless checks on engines but for him as for all slaves obeying superiors was deep-rooted. Yet another Centaurian came and Purple saw officers’ robes that were even more impressive than what he had seen before. As the new officer approached finally Purple realized how that one ranked.
“Lives were in danger and I’ve failed terribly.” Purple told himself “It’s even so important the ship’s captain wants to see me.”
Slaves are never taught or encouraged to face punishment with dignity, Purple became almost white with fear while he lowered his head and lowered his tentacles, only his eye stalks were raised.
“There’s no problem my good fellow” the captain reassured Purple, “I’ve received good reports about the quality of your work and I’m recommending that you are offered permanent job as an engineering rating with the Galaxy Shipping Company.”
“I thank you most excellently, respected captain and master!” Purple replied, his tentacles fairly glowing with relief and gratitude.
“Let’s end that servile talk, the Galaxy Shipping Company has no truck with slavery. As an engineer you rank above the ordinary sailors and you even rank above the experienced sailors.”
“Respected and brave Captain” Purple hoped that was the correct way to address the captain, “I’ll accept your offer.”
“By the way if you’re a slave we need to know where your master lives, it’s not important just we need to make sure you never get posted anywhere where your master can get to you.”
Purple told the captain who confirmed that Purple would be serving at other places as the ship he was on went routinely back to regions where Purple’s master has power over him. The agreement had been that if Purple worked well his two companions could travel free so the captain explained that the tramp has already paid the passage for himself and the boy and an orderly gave Purple tokens to reimburse him for that.
“So the tramp could have paid my passage as well, he just didn’t bother!” Purple thought. Purple agreed wholeheartedly with the captain that the tramp was best left intoxicated on the ship till well after he and Blue Tentacles had disembarked.
The captain suggested that Purple could take a break till the ship docked when new duties would be assigned to him.
“So I can go and see to the boy who came with me.” Purple said adding that was one of the two who were in the accident.
“Certainly you can, you should have told us, we’d have given you time off already.”
So Purple Eye Spots, Slave of the Partician family became Purple Eye Spots, Seafarer with the Galaxy Shipping Company and looked forward to a better life.