"What a bunch of horseshi-" John's dad coughed, "hogwash!" Wilbur's speeches were truncated, picking up in the middle of the next word as John's dad flipped through the channels.
"Your father knows we are adults and not offended by swearing right?" Emily asked, twisting her cane in her hands.
"Hey dad!" John took a step towards the doorway to the living room. "You do know you don't have to censor yourself for us, right?"
"Just because the government thinks you're adults, doesn't mean you’re ready for adulthood!”
"If only he knew." Emily muttered under the beep of the oven.
John took out the pan of pizza puffs and scooped them onto two plates. "Let's talk in my room."
The door squeaked as John shut it. Emily plopped onto his bed and held out her hands. As John sat down next to her, he passed her a plate. Balancing it in one hand she popped one of the bite sized puffs into her mouth.
"Hot!" She leaned her head back, mouth wide.
"So," John pressed on the corners of each pizza puff, making an opening in the seam if each dough to speed cooling. "What did you want to show me?"
"Hold out your hand."
"Hand out." Emily reached towards him, fingertips brushing his forearm before moving down and resting above his hand. With a bent wrist to grab the cuff of her sleeve, she used two fingers to hold open the hole and then shook the fabric. Out popped the small metal disk, landing on John's fingers.
Holding the object up to the window John's gaze followed the gold and silver geometric lines. On one side there was a small raised circle. John pressed the button.
Light burst through a small hole in the edge of the disk, projecting a hologram of Skylar's face. As Skylar's lips moved their voice filled the room.
"Did you-" John started to whisper until Emily smacked his arm, making the disk slip from his fingers. Despite it flipping in the air before John caught it, the image of Skylar, stayed upright and the sound didn't waver.
It was a straightforward message, about them waiting, and for things to continue peacefully.
"Yeah. I listened to it a few times." Emily said as the last word faded. Before John could respond a different voice came out of the message player.
"Press once to stop broadcasting." It was a very staccato monotone voice. "Press twice to delete message. Press three times to re-record message. Press four times to initiate self-destruct sequence." John carefully set the disk down and held his breath. After a few seconds the voice spoke again. “Broadcast will continue.” The hologram light turned off.
“So… Skylar’s counting on Qwortarians flying close enough to get the broadcast?”
“Or…” Emily’s heels hit the floor. “Whoever has that other ship. And I think we should still try to find it.”
“Of course you do.” John sighed. “Guess we can still go that way on our road trip.”
Word count: 500