JANE IN SPACE
Miss Polly Connor
Chapter 19 – “Captain, Meet Miss Jane Austen”
Raw, wild, the latest thing from far beyond the Pleiades or old-tyme Terran hip-hop and rock ‘n’ roll, they’d danced to anything with an animal rhythm and an urgent message relating to sex or love or freedom, all of them. And some of it had been beautiful, important. Those had been the days, all right.
But he put his shoulders back, and walked into the meeting called for the last tranche of permafrosted passengers.
…and ten minutes later, he turned away from meeting and greeting the latest in a long line of artistic luminaries with a firmly repressed sigh. No, not one, not a one of them had ever been so much as a blip on the radar, not as far as Captain Jon Honorbright’s experience of the arts was concerned.
And not a one of them with the spark and fire of a muse, the fire of creation at their fingertips, not so far as he could tell.
But the job wasn’t done, yet. And he turned to the next of the group of about twenty or so, arranged around the small hall and sitting around the canteen tables, standing in small knots of people. (Some quaintly dressed, in old Terran fashions, and some who’d opted for spare crew uniform. Either looked equally odd on them, now.)
Every one of them, still, with the dazed look in the eye of one smacked round the chops with a plank of wood. And, most of them, talking more to themselves than to anyone else, barely aware of each other by the looks of things.
And here they were, with another one in the parade of underwhelming genii. Jon turned — sparklingly aware of Laura on the other side of the room, much more aware of her than of anything else.