Chapter 3: If It Looks Like a Duck...   Posted by Shan Yu.Group: 0
Frank Shelby
 player, 60 posts
Wed 1 Dec 2010
at 22:57
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Outside the captains cabin)

"--I've got a list. Ain't long, though," Frank said, instantly regretting the outburst. What the hell? He'd been through worlds hairier situations than this! "Sorry about the bad directions," he muttered quietly to Tang, then waited to see if she had anything that needed retrieving.

What a strange turn of events--usually it was Frank taking the social lead...
Shan Yu
 GM, 248 posts
 Are you familiar with...
 the works of Shan Yu?
Wed 1 Dec 2010
at 23:45
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Lower deck, near Captain's cabin)

Finding herself the center of attention, Madame Tang answered the Captain, "Oh, no thank you.  I believe we have everything we need.  Of course, as we get settled in, we may discover we've forgotten something.  But if that becomes the case, I'm sure we can pick it up tomorrow before we launch.  Which brings me to another bit of information.  Please, go ahead and conclude your business with your crew, then you and I can discuss our destination."  Turning to Frank, she said, "Bad directions?  I have arrived at the Captain's location without significant physical injury, have I not?  I might have wandered for days, ultimately succumbing to thirst in my quest to find the Captain.  Yet here I am, and all is well.  Thank you for your help, Frank."  She bowed again to the engineer.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:49, Wed 01 Dec 2010.

Cole Jackson
 player, 119 posts
Thu 2 Dec 2010
at 01:04
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Captain's Cabin to Galley)

Cole snorted softly as Madame Tang addressed Frank.  The woman had a sense of humor, even if it was unintentional.

"I'll see about getting a list together, Cap'n," the first mate said.  "I'll check with the rest to see if they need anything.  I'm sure the shephard will be wanting something for the galley.  Ma'am."  Cole tipped his hat, or his imaginary one, to Madame Tang.

Leaving the gathering, Cole made his way back up to the second deck.  If Madame Tang had a destination in mind, Cole wanted to make sure everyone was ready.  He'd make sure Jin knew so she could start checking as soon as the captain made the announcement.

Walking past Greg, Cole gave a quick order.

"Get your list together, Shephard.  I have a feeling we'll be heading out sooner rather than later."
Shan Yu
 GM, 249 posts
 Are you familiar with...
 the works of Shan Yu?
Thu 2 Dec 2010
at 15:23
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Lower deck, near Captain's cabin)

Madame Tang returned Cole's farewell with another bow.  She turned her attention back to Frank, saying, "I jest with you, of course...it's a failing I have."  She made an all-inclusive gesture with her hands.  "You all have made me and my associates so welcome, I feel that we are friends, and as such, sometimes we say things that we perhaps should not say.  I apologize for any rudeness on my part."  She directed her remarks once again to Frank.  "At any rate, I do sincerely thank you for your efforts and assistance.  Without you, this ship is nothing but scrap."

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:23, Thu 02 Dec 2010.

Stacey Yanoro
 player, 182 posts
 Captain of the Aurora
 Unification War Veteran
Fri 3 Dec 2010
at 11:32
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Lower deck, near Captain's cabin)

Stacey nodded to Cole as he tipped his hat at Tang and took a few long strides back toward the upper deck.
"Burne, Frank, go ahead and take the shuttle out for a test flight. Pick up a commset from Jin so we can contact you - and if there are none on the ship, then add 3 to your shopping list.".
The Captain turned to Madame Tang, and gestured to his open cabin door. The room was as clean and organised as it would ever be, with Stacey's gear in a neat stack waiting to be unpacked in one corner. Unlike the smaller cabins, a simple desk nestled against one wall served by a heavy chair and flanked by another seat, acting as a makeshift office.
"Shall we?". Stacey was intruiged to hear their desintation and wanted to make his guest comfortable.
Burne Catweazle
 player, 144 posts
 a body in motion
 ..wants to stay in motion
Fri 3 Dec 2010
at 20:15
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Hallway outside Captains Cabin ---> Shuttle)

Burne couldn't help but like Tang.  She reminded her of one of her sensei's, and the exaggerated humor was just like the woman of her memory using humor to encourage that moment of satori.

"Very Good Captain," She told Stacey.   She made her goodbyes to Madame Tang as well before setting off with Frank to secure a comm-set from Jin, and then head to the shuttle.


The shuttle was clean, and seemed much more prepared for comfort and decoration than the cockpit.   At least there wasn't fresh sealant around the cockpit glass.   Burne looked over the standardized controls, made some adjustments, and tapped in the start-up sequence.
Shan Yu
 GM, 250 posts
 Are you familiar with...
 the works of Shan Yu?
Fri 3 Dec 2010
at 22:55
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Galley)

Jenna and Ping stood quietly with eyes downcast while Madame Tang was present, following what had obviously been some kind of scolding of Ping by the older woman.  But as soon as she left and Greg mentioned cooking, Jenna perked right up, though Ping remained withdrawn.  "Shoot, preacher, we'll be happy to help you with anything you need to do.  We were going to make some sandwiches, but it looks like we'd be the only ones eatin', so I reckon it can wait.  We'd much rather be involved in somethin' a little more educational, and I know we could learn a lot from you.  So you go on ahead and do what you're gonna do, and just tell us what to do to help."
Frank Shelby
 player, 61 posts
Sat 4 Dec 2010
at 13:10
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Lower Deck, near Captain's Cabin)
Frank looked genuinely confused. She'd been rude to me? What?

"No offense taken," he said, blishing a bit at her compliments. "I'm, uh, just excited about a new ship, new destinations. You know," he offered to Tang, getting a bit centered again.

He turned to the captain, echoing Burne. "Will do, cap'n. We'll be on our way, back before dinnertime," he said, giving a litle bow to Madame Tang, nodding deferentially to Stacey.

(Shuttle)
"Smells like that new cockpit smell. Must've cleaned this up pretty well, too," he said on arrival at the shuttle's controls. He sat in the engineer's jumpseat out of habit, then moved up to the co-pilot's chair. "And...we're off!"
Burne Catweazle
 player, 145 posts
 a body in motion
 ..wants to stay in motion
Sat 4 Dec 2010
at 18:23
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(--->The Shelburne Dock)

With the shuttle doors closed, Burne and Frank were alone.  She took off her medal popped the latch and held it up to her nose.  She wiped away the remainder and within moments felt much more at ease.

"Let me just correct these settings," she began.  Moments later she announced their departure to the empty cockpit of the Duck below.   The shuttle broke loose and was in flight.    Frank was settled into his seat, and out of old habit had himself belted in.   Burne hardly noticed.  The data reported that she had cleared the dock minimums for drive and thrust, and without hesitation she turned the grip flipped the toggles to full burn and let the ship burn as hard and fast as it could go.   The rocketed to the heavens.

As she brought it to the end of the upwards arch she deployed the stabilizers that were commonly thought of as wings.   "Looks like its solid.   We'll do a quick atmo break and make sure she doesn't have any leaks or loose shielding while we aren't under load."

Frank made some comment about what the pair would do if the ship wasn't in good repair.   Not that it stopped Burne.  Flying was an expression of freedom to her.  It was power, it was achievement, and testing the interface controls was something that she was a personal calling for her.

"...besides," she added, "how are you supposed to know what you are working with if we don't give her a good shakedown?"

By the time they were bringing the shuttle back in the deflectors were glowing red from reentry.   They cooled in the atmosphere and wind.   Frank listened to her talk through the console and make the arrangements to get into the flight patterns, and before long they were breaking thrust and setting down outside the shop they had been using for years.   On the door hung a handpainted wooden side naming the location, "The Shelburne Dock" It was a joke amongst friends.  Inside was Fchu, their baby.
The pair unlocked the shed, looked around at the tight little space they had shared off and on for the better part of their time together.   Vengeance filled up the main part.   The ship looked awkward right now, with the toolboxes and other belongings locked into the makeshift rigs they had fashioned the night before.

"We could either fly and drop off Vengeance now, or let Sally say goodbye to her at the same time.   She might want to give the Goblin a goodbye.  What do you think?"

This message was last edited by the player at 18:42, Sat 04 Dec 2010.

Shan Yu
 GM, 251 posts
 Are you familiar with...
 the works of Shan Yu?
Sat 4 Dec 2010
at 18:37
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Captain's cabin)

Madame Tang entered the Captain's cabin ahead of Stacey, then waited until he shut the door before seating herself.  She sat patiently until Stacey had also taken a seat before beginning.  "As it turns out, we won't be going terribly far.  We'll be heading for Whittier...more specifically, the town of Crystal Wells.  I'm told it will take about 3-4 days or so for the trip, but if your navigational expert could crunch the numbers, I'd like to have that estimate verified.  We're not in any hurry...a few days here or there won't really matter."

"I'd like to avoid the spaceport there, except to refuel and any other necessary activites related to the ship.  I find spaceports to be far too noisy, smelly, and uninviting...tends to chase away customers.  Instead, I'd like to land somewhere just outside of town, preferably on the north side, where we can have some peace and quiet.  I don't know how long we will stay...perhaps a few days, perhaps a week or more.  I won't know until we can actually see how busy we are."

"So...any questions?"

Frank Shelby
 player, 62 posts
Sun 5 Dec 2010
at 13:19
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Out in the Shuttle)

Frank kept his mouth shut for the most part, listening to the engines as Burne put her through her paces. He put his hand on the hull, feeling for vibrations. It was unreal, the shuttle coming back down near their home, at the docks.

It was so strange, being ready to leave. In a way, Frank didn't want to. It was a lot to leave behind. The devil you knew...

"Aw, I think Sally ought to have one last look, is what I think," he replied to Burne. "Complicates things a bit, though. Maybe we take your bike and drop off by Sally's to pick up parts, and then you grab Fuchou for a goodbye burn, drop by Sally's again, while I do some work on the Duck?"
Burne Catweazle
 player, 146 posts
 a body in motion
 ..wants to stay in motion
Sun 5 Dec 2010
at 18:25
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(The Shelburne dock)

"Exactly what I was thinking," replied Burne.  And in fact, it seemd that was exactly the case.  She was already releasing the hoverbike from the makeshift assembly Frank had manufactured for it on the side of Fchu.  She flipped the switches, engaged the hoverjets, and then released the final clamps.  The bike blew up some dust, but nothing to severe from the gravity platform in this low power state.

She lowered it to the ground, resecured the latches on the goblin fighter and made sure that everything was tight.   Frank was doing the same over near his toolboxes.

"We could have saved a lot of welding, if we had known there was going to be a shuttle, or if we had known we would have time," she remarked to him.   It didn't matter at this point.  She touched the cannon centered inside. "You're gonna have to come out darling.  This is a different kind of journey, and a new start," she murmured to the fighter as she ran her hand along the nose of the ship.   This will be good.

She asked Frank's help as she carried the large tank for Deirdre and set it inside the Shuttle.  Then they brought the cycle onboard The Duckling, and secured The Shelburne dock.   Burne's helmet sat under a mesh not strapped to the seat of her bike, the cables tucked neatly inside.    Here, with Frank, she didn't wear sunglasses or eyepatch.   They ran through a prelim, which looked more like Burne slapping and twisting things in a random pattern.  Simple out-of-the-box controls like the shuttlecraft were so old school that she barely had to think about them.  Moments later they were lifting off.  This time, Frank had himself belted in.

Alas, she wasn't testing the shuttlecraft this time.  The lift off was smooth and the touchdown at Sally's like glass.  The reconditioning on the shuttle had been a good one.  There wasn't even the typical vibration from the rear stabilizers.  "It seems like they've greased up everything on this little bird," she said to Frank.   "That should make your workload a little less pressing off the line.  Nice for once."

They found Sally inside killing flys with something rolled up in her strong fist.   It was only moments before she layed eyes on Burne, and more importantly Frank.   The smile was instantaneous as the two comrades in parts met once again.

"Frank!  You back so soon?   Tell me it was a good fit." At the back of the shop a large man was moving something heavy and cursing about it's bulk.  Burne didn't know him and blurted out a question about who he was while Frank and she were still greeting.

"Wallace?  He's my new help.  I figure Frank here is going to be sending a lot of business my way."  Burne didn't know it yet, but she was going to miss Sally's acceptance with her abrupt nature.

This message was last edited by the player at 19:10, Sun 05 Dec 2010.

Stacey Yanoro
 player, 183 posts
 Captain of the Aurora
 Unification War Veteran
Mon 6 Dec 2010
at 10:29
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Captain's Cabin)

Whittier...Crystal Wells. A short enough trip to a dry, rocky planet. He'd been there before. Just the once, years ago, but never left the spaceport. Stacey remembered a bar, the 'Lucky Fish', and the hasty exit he'd taken as surly Alliance administrators had rolled into town. They didn't get on well.
Still, Tang was right. Whittier was close enough and he had no objection to setting down away from the concrete diesel haze of the main ports. A nice easy trip with the sun of Kalidasa warming their backs sounded right.

"Crystal Wells it will be then Madame. We'll run the numbers, but if you've no objections I'd like to set off in three days. It will give us a little time to get to know each other better, and more importantly, make some small ammendments to the Ugly Duck. With your permission we have a small one manned racer we'd like to bring along. We'll mount her to the Duck and she'll make any unsavoury folk think twice before taking us on.".

Whittier. It made a welcome change from Miranda.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:34, Mon 06 Dec 2010.

Scout
 player, 2 posts
 You talkin' to me?
Mon 6 Dec 2010
at 12:46
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Prowling)

With the sun starting its descent a shallow breeze sent a faint shiver down Scout's spine and he curled his tail against the chill. Overhead the shadow of a metal bird roared from the back of the great lair the rest of the pack had entered before and the dog watched it go with an arched neck.
The space port itself seemed quieter now and a rumble of his stomach reminded Scout it was approaching dinner. Satisfied with his new territory Scout trotted to the rear ramp of the Ugly Duck and up into the rear lounge to see what he could find.
Jin Chu
 player, 113 posts
Mon 6 Dec 2010
at 16:11
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Cockpit)

Jin had shaken her head at Frank and Burne when they had stopped by to ask if there was anything she needed planetside and to pick up one of the ship linked comm sets she had discovered.  She was in one of her favourite places, nose buried in new (to her) instruction manuals and finger tips drifting over a new landscape of technological gubbins.
The test call she had sent out had been responded to from several places.  Not the most scientific test of course and she would have to run a better one later.  It was a good start though.  It irked her that she couldn't set up specific channels, seemed the system was an all or nothing kind of thing.  One intercom or all of them with nothing in between.  Maybe the captain would let her tinker with it at some point when they had a few spare days.

Finding a spare scrap of paper she scribbled a list of all the intercom locations outside of the cabins, something to check out if Cole was still busy, and tucked everything away neatly.  The other ship linked set she put in the cubby behind the main station along with the repair manifests and other paper work.  She had done most of what she could for now.  Hopefully there would be news of where they were heading and she could make a start on scanning for potential jobs.

She slid the door open and took one last look around the cockpit before ducking out into the corridor again.  Time to see where the rest of them were.
(--> Galley/crew quarters)
Shan Yu
 GM, 252 posts
 Are you familiar with...
 the works of Shan Yu?
Tue 7 Dec 2010
at 02:37
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Captain's cabin)

  At the mention of the modifications to the ship and the delay of three days until lift-off, Madame Tang's brow furrowed in concentration.  Finally, she said, "What you propose is acceptable.  It's an unfamiliar ship to your crew, so time is needed to get to know her a little.  And I can't think of a reason to prohibit any modifications...as long as they are finished in the three day window you have offered."  She smiled and clapped her hands together as she stood.  "Excellent!  We truly seem to be off to a most auspicious start.  By the way, I will allow my associates to come and go as they please for the next three days...I believe they call it "shore leave" in the navy.  Or is it "liberty"?  I get so confused with all that military jargon.  I, however, will remain aboard for the entire time.  You may do as you wish with your people, of course.  Anyway, let us set a time of 8:00 AM, three days from now, as our launch time.  Please, if you need anything, don't hesitate to mention it.  Thank you again, Captain."  She held her hands clasped before her as she went to the door.
Cole Jackson
 player, 120 posts
Tue 7 Dec 2010
at 02:45
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Galley)

Cole had to use every ounce of his willpower to keep from making a comment in response to Jenna.  He took a moment to turn away from the young ladies and mouth everything he was thinking.  None of it was very gentleman-like and all of it would have run afoul of the captain's orders.  Cole had every intention of keeping a very business-like arrangement.  Business-like in that he was their crew, not their fare.

After several moments, Cole turned back around, his face slightly flush.  He smiled to the two ladies.

"Sorry 'bout that," he said almost sheepishly.  "Just remembering something.  Shephard's a darn fine cook.  Sure you ladies could learn a lot from him.

Cole once again bit his tongue to avoid saying anything about them teaching him a thing or two.
Gregory Delatorie
 player, 81 posts
Tue 7 Dec 2010
at 04:00
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Galley)

Gregory thinks for a moment thinking through his recipes in his head then says,"Well, I usually keep a stock of sandwiches in the cooler for those times someone needs a bite real quick but I was thinking of making a squash soup or what at least tastes like it as well as a few other things that freeze well and be cooked up quick. So if you really want to help let's start there. I am going to need the big mixing bowls found in the cabinet labeled number 3 and some of the protein paste packets."

He then stops for a second and says to Cole,"Oh, I already got a list together in my head just give me a minute to get it written down and add the stock I am going to use now and we should be set."

He then begins to write down a grocery list including dog and cat food while saying to Jenna,"What needs to be done is the whip the protien so that it is still thick but will pour easily. Once that is done we are going to need to add flavor with some spices."

He finishes the list and hands it to Cole, then goes back to cooking giving directions as needed to any who are willing to help.
Stacey Yanoro
 player, 185 posts
 Captain of the Aurora
 Unification War Veteran
Wed 8 Dec 2010
at 12:13
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Captains Cabin)

Tang's ascent to the fighter and departure times made Stacey smile greatfully, pleased she had no objections. It meant the next few days could be relatively relaxed and allow the crew to meet the passengers...and perhaps more importantly, the change for the crew to meet the crew. They'd had a few new faces over the last week and those extra days for Burne and Frank to make themselves at home would be invaluable.
When Tang pursed her hands before herself in a gesture of satisfaction Stacey stood and held the door ajar for the departing woman.
"Your people are free to come and go as they wish over the next couple of days, but I would be greatful if all are present and correct for an early take off on the final day. Im sure neither of us wants to be delayed beyond our planned departure.".
"I'd would also ask that passengers stay out of the cockpit and engineering areas unless accompanied by one of my crew. The Duck, despite her ungainly looks is a precision tool and none of us want something to be accidentally nudged out of place.".
Shan Yu
 GM, 253 posts
 Are you familiar with...
 the works of Shan Yu?
Wed 8 Dec 2010
at 15:35
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Galley)

A wide smile (even wider than usual) lit up Jenna's face as Greg started to direct the efforts of the two young women in the galley.  Jenna removed a serpent shaped ring from her right forefinger and slipped it into the small pocketbook slung over her shoulder, then looked around for an apron.  "Can't be accidentally leavin' jewelry in the food, can we.  Uh, Mr. Cole, could you please be a sweetheart and put a nice apron on that list.  I'd hate to get all my workin' clothes dirty from cookin'.  Thank you much."  She directed her attention back to the cookin, singing softly to herself.

Ping hurriedly followed Jenna's lead, removing her own rings, one of which was almost identical to Jenna's serpent ring, and placed them in her friend's pocketbook as well.  At the mention of adding an apron to the shopping list, Ping held up two fingers, indicating that an additional apron should be added for herself.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:42, Wed 08 Dec 2010.

Burne Catweazle
 player, 149 posts
 a body in motion
 ..wants to stay in motion
Fri 10 Dec 2010
at 20:23
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Various places: Ends at the Dock, the Duck, and the Duckling)

By the time the duo was leaving Sally's they were loaded with plans, scrap, and not too many ideas.  Sally had private discussions with Frank.   Nothing new there, the two were deeper friends than Burne liked to admit sometimes, and by the time Frank returned with a smile on his face, Burne felt confident that Sally had given him some ideas to make him money.  ...And her too of course!

To get through the shuttle interior, they had to step over some large iron hinges, hydraulic clamps (unmatched) and some electronic controls from different rigs.  Burne would be disassembling and then reconfiguring them into new automated systems later on.  The ship was loaded, and felt tight.  Burne loved it.

Setting down beside The Duck was necessary so that they could unload the metal, torches and bike.   The comm system Burne had been loaned worked well.  Thus far, everything seemed to be a green light with the new plans to attach the goblin fighter to the Duck.  A brief chat with the captain confirmed this.

Once they had the Duckling safely nestled back on the dock, Burne said her goodbyes, slipped on her helmet and left on her hoverbike.   For those watching, it seemed less reckless than in the shuttle.   Inside her helmet, the digital readouts bounced the information from her bike, to the helmet.  The interface was a good one that she had been working on with Frank.  She didn't know all the ins and outs of the mechanics, but she could shift on the fly and feel the wind against her body as she put the bike through it's paces.    Nothing too crazy.  Every day with the bike was another day to practice.

At the Shelburne dock she mounted the bike to the Goblin Fighter once more, said her last goodbyes to the place that had been their home, put the padlock inside the cockpit, and headed by Mao's to say goodbye for the last time.   There weren't any tears, and little emotion either.  The big man said, "Thanks," and told her to make sure the place was swept out.  It seemed the rent was more important than the occupants.  It made her think of the life of the enlisted troops she had known.  A bivouac was only home so long as they were stationed there.  Someone would take the rack the minute they were deployed elsewhere.

Traveling in Fchu was NOTHING like the hoverbike.    Unfortunately she was overloaded.  The toolboxes, bike and other assorted sundries of their life here severely altered the flying characteristics.   Meters inside the helmet kept flashing red, and forcing her to adjust the flight characteristics.  By the time she put it down next to The Duck, she was furious.  Flying was supposed to be fun.   Cannons, Dogfights, and Missles had charm.   Hell, even being shot at while offloading troops from an ALST like the Duck had a certain nerve jangling delight.  But flying an unwieldly off balance fighter was just plain annoying.

Frank had already organized the earlier offload into various piles for his inspection.  He was testing the heavy duty weld-set as she approached, and harassed her about the landing.  "Blame those annoying toolboxes," she told him, and went to check on Deirdre.

"Some of those are your electric boxes you know." 

Burne acted like she didn't hear him.  It was definitely his boxes fault, not hers.   Burne was a priorities girl.  She shifted on the fly, and it made her an excellent pilot, and officer.   Soon Deirdre, and Burne's other personal belongings were stowed away.  Frank already had done his in her absence.  There were paint-pen marks on the inside of the mule bay; Frank had already planned some wall mounts for the hovercycle.   He really was on top of things.   By nightfall the hoverbike was in place.

Frank and Burne mustered by the next morning and started on the modifications to The Duck.  Burne was no mechanic, but she could follow orders as well as she could give them.   When Frank said "hold this here," she listened.    There were moments of cussing, there were modifications, and there was not too much hydraulic fluid lost as Burne activated her electric controls for the landing release mechanism too early.   Frank, while agitated, looked somehow more appropriate with hydraulic fluid covering him.   Burne quickly busied herself elsewhere.

Still, even with the mishaps Frank proved why he was a mechanic to be sought after.  By the night of the second day, the extension had been put in place on top of the duck.  The landing clamps were firmly attached, and they responded to Burne's controls from the cockpit.   All's that remained was the test docking.   Burne already had her helmet on, and was ready to fire the engines, but for some reason they wouldn't turn over.

Outside, Frank held up a pair of fist sized cylinder's.   "I told you we have to remove the cannon from her first."   

OK, so Fchu was going to have a fake cannon in place.  Something that looked menacing but was harmless.   And dear old Frank had made sure that happened when he could still get his hands on the goblin easily.    Burne dismounted and waited while they removed the cannon stored it in Burne's quarters, and mounted the mock up in place.   By the time she returned from storing it, she found that Frank had done whatever magic involved making the goblin fly once more.

It was late, but that didn't stop Burne from blazing a trail across the sky.  She left the dock peacefully enough, but once she was higher up there was no way she was going to put away Fchu without letting him stretch his wings.  Fifteen minutes later a very satisfied Burne set the goblin down on the top of the Duck.  There was a satisfying sound as each of the clamps locked on to the fighter.  She squeezed out of the back and found Frank checking the clamps just to make sure they were solid.

The setup was strange to Burne, lockdowns on the legs as well as the moving wings.  Frank had explained about inertia, and how the fields that the Duck would generate needed to take into account the fighter.  While she listened attentively, it went right over her head.   All's that mattered to her was that she could flip a switch and the fighter could land or launch.  It was all about the end results to her.  She was more interested when he talked about the hatch he planned to install at the back so that Burne could get into the fighter without having to go outside the ship.  Soon, he finished speaking, and she stopped admiring the symmetrical weld lines he had painstakingly made when creating Fchu.  The lines on her fighter were more interesting than the field distribution he was talking about.  They headed to the ladder.

Once the two were back on the ground they could admire the mechanics handywork.  Fchu was mostly camouflaged by the deflector extension Frank had put in place.  From up on one of the catwalk threaded throughout the docks it looked incredibly menacing.  It sat where a previous turret had been on the front of the original ALST design.  Now there was a goblin fighter.

Burne hugged him in thanks.   "And with a day to spare too!"

"Not quite," he replied.  "I believe we are scheduled to pull out tomorrow morning." 

"So we are leaving ON the third day.   That might have been good to know.   Trust a mechanic to make himself look like a miracle worker."


[OOC:  I believe that is what you were looking for Shan Yu!]

This message was last edited by the player at 12:35, Mon 13 Dec 2010.

Makani Ano
 player, 139 posts
Mon 13 Dec 2010
at 21:29
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Makani and Lilly's (Lydia) Quarters)

Makani sighed when it became apparent that her 'niece' was completely intent on sulking in their quarters for the forseeable future.  After a few more moments of sulken silence she pushed herself off the bed.

"I'm going to see about picking up some supplies for the journey.  There's a lot to be done before we head out."

She scritched Mulan's head and headed out.  If the youngster wanted to sulk, she could do it without any help.

She began mentally composing a list as she headed up to the galley.  She wanted to talk to the Shepherd about supplies and meat substitutes.
Cole Jackson
 player, 123 posts
Mon 13 Dec 2010
at 22:59
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Galley)

Cole wrote down 'apron' on his list followed by the number two.  When he looked up, he gave both of the women his biggest smile.

"The crew of the Duck is pleased to offer our services to the lovely ladies of Madame Tang," he said, bowing low.  "Please do not hesitate to ask if you need anything further."

Cole moved over the to the intercom that was stationed in the galley, outside his improvised weapon locker.  He flipped the switch to "shipwide" and spoke.  "Cole Jackson here.  I'll be heading out on a supply run shortly.  Those that need anything or wish to tag along, please report the galley as soon as possible.  Thank you."

Cole turned back to the table where he took a few minutes to check his list and add his own supplies for the Duck.
Makani Ano
 player, 140 posts
Tue 14 Dec 2010
at 12:11
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
(Galley)

Makani laughed from the doorway as Cole finished his announcement.  "Talk about timing," she said good naturedly.

"I do have some personal supplies I need to pick up and Shepherd Delatorie and I had discussed some possible additional groceries."
Shan Yu
 GM, 259 posts
 Are you familiar with...
 the works of Shan Yu?
Tue 14 Dec 2010
at 13:18
Re: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...
The days prior to launch proved to be busy for some, frustrating for others.  The modifications to the top hull of The Ugly Duck were expertly completed by Frank and Burne (with an occasional hand thrown in by other crewmembers).  Madame Tang even covered the cost of the modifications, and no one thought to question how the person renting the ship had authority to approve structural modifications to a ship owned by Mr. Rooney.  The miniature fighter known as Vengeance had no problem fitting into the docking clamps that had been affixed to the larger ship, and a protective heat shield was erected in front of the fighter to deflect the worst of the heat generated during atmospheric reentry.  The shield could only be tested during an actual reentry...in theory, it should work perfectly.  If not, thered be a large puddle of molten Vengeance when next they landed.  Likewise, any impact that the added weight of the fighter might have on the Duck's flight characteristics could only be evaluated in the air.  As the pilot, it would be Burne's task to compensate.

Several trips were made to local shopping areas to stock up on items ranging from aprons to pet food (Go Get Em, Tiger! brand cat food, and "Fetch!" dog food, both Blue Sun products, were on sale.  Blue Sun...only the best for your pet!).

Madame Tang remained aboard the ship in the days prior to launch, as she said she would.  She mostly kept to herself, politely declining any attempts to include her in any social gatherings held by the crew.  Any contact she did have with the crew was characterized by courtesy and aloofness.  Her associates spent the time off-ship, and only returned late in the evening prior to lift-off.  Even then, they retired directly to their quarters.

The crew used these days to familiarize themselves with The Ugly Duck.
But for several of the crew, these days provided a rather unpleasant surprise.  When Stacey and the others had stayed at the Celestial Dragon Hotel, most of them had deposited their funds in the hotel safe, but had retained various amounts of their money for expenses.  Once they moved to the ship and began to unpack, Cole was the first to notice that something was amiss when he tried to combine his on-hand funds with his money from the hotel.  When he went to retrieve from his bag the money he had kept out to use for a shopping trip, he was shocked to learn that 500 credits was missing.  Clipped to the remaining credits was a note that said:

      "Thanks for the donation...look me up next time you're in town!"

It was signed...Di.

When Cole notified the others, a quick check of the funds that they had retained revealed that Lydia, Makani, and Stacey had all been victims of their one-time "friend".  Lydia, who had, perhaps unwisely, kept her entire bankroll in a sock, was also 500 credits poorer.  Makani and Stacey fared better...Makani lost 200 and Stacey lost 300.  The one bright spot was that Di hadn't completely cleaned them out.  Perhaps it was a sign of affection towards those who had unwisely taken a chance on her.

All in all, The Ugly Duck, her crew, and her passengers were as ready as they ever would be on the eve of their departure.