Chapter 4: And a Good Time Was Had By...Some.   Posted by Shan Yu.Group: 0
Shan Yu
 GM, 260 posts
 Are you familiar with...
 the works of Shan Yu?
Tue 14 Dec 2010
at 13:21
Chapter 4: And a Good Time Was Had By...Some.

Chapter Four:  And a Good Time Was Had By...Some.



"I ain't never seen nuthin' like it."  Norman Lubinski, part-time dockworker, part-time cab driver, part-time drunk, glanced over with rather bleary eyes at his partner with a look of incredulity on his face.  His partner, Mario Ackerman, just stood and shook his head.  "What is it...a hood ornament?  Both men started laughing uncontrollably at the remark, pointing at the miniature Vengeance sitting atop the much larger bulk of The Ugly Duck.  Trying to catch his breath, Mario sputtered as he continued with his evaluation.  "I reckon they thought The Ugly Duck wasn't ugly enough...they had to put the mechanical equivalent of a wart on her!"  The two men broke out in fresh peals of laughter, doubling over and holding their sides, dropping their tool boxes in the process.

Norman suddenly felt softness caressing his cheek, immediately followed by a wave of expensive perfume.  "Awww, darlin'...I was just about ready to invite you aboard."  Norman turned his head sideways to see, not a foot away, the seductive features of a stunning young woman gazing adoringly at him.  Cat Fortunato crouched next to the bent-over man, running her hand gently against his cheek as she softly purred, "You see, that's my ship, and we're taking off today.  I was hoping to find someone who thought she was as beautiful a ship as I think she is...someone with whom I might share a few last moments before we leave.  But I never thought I'd find such a manly hunk o' masculinity like you around here, and it just made me tingle all over when I saw you."  Cat emphasized her statement with a delectable shiver.  "I had just mustered up the courage to ask you aboard, when I heard those terrible insults coming from your lips.  I almost cried."  She stood up straight, hands on her hips, and just sighed.  "Oh, well...I guess I'll just have to find someone else.  I could never spend time with someone who can't see the beauty in that ship."  She spun on her heel and sashayed across the dock to the ramp of the Duck, pausing at the door to look back at the two men, who had stopped laughing and seemed frozen in place, staring at her with jaws dropped.  Her hand fluttered in a little farewell wave, then she disappeared into the ship, the fading sounds of her laughter reaching the reddening ears of Norm and Mario.

After several seconds, Mario slapped Norm in the back of the head.  "Idiot!!

Inside the Duck, Cat's laughter stopped and a look of disgust came over her face.  "Morons."  It was early morning, and she had just returned from a final stroll before the ship launched.  She had been the only one stirring in the ship when she left, but now she heard or saw several of her associates in the lounge area.  She exchanged greetings with them on the way to her own cabin, scowling at Mulan as the feline crossed her path.  Her encounter with the two men had put her in a good mood.  She knew the effect that she could have on men, and she reveled in it.  She especially liked to see their excited anticipation turn to crestfallen despair when she would flagrantly flirt with them, only to unexpectedly reject them and cruelly shatter their dreams and fantasies with brutal precision.

She paused at her door to look at the small sign that she had affixed there..."The Cat's Den"...and smiled.

She was looking forward to this trip.
Burne Catweazle
 player, 153 posts
 a body in motion
 ..wants to stay in motion
Tue 14 Dec 2010
at 14:26
Re: Chapter 4: And a Good Time Was Had By...Some.
(Cockpit)

Burne sat on the primary pilot's side of the ship.   One of the panels was still loose where she had been at the wiring underneath.  A stray group of wires with an open socket connector at the end of it hung out from beneath the panel.

She was dressed casually now.  Casually for her anyway: pants and a form fitting blouse.   Her hands moved over the console and made some adjustments to the power distribution grid.  "That's good Frank.  Right there."  The VOX conveyed her words to the engineer.  She was putting the power plant through some final tests before the Captain gave the go-ahead for launch.
Frank Shelby
 player, 65 posts
Wed 15 Dec 2010
at 00:18
Re: Chapter 4: And a Good Time Was Had By...Some.
(Engine Room)
"...Out of context theater," Frank replied to Burne, who was coming through the comm. he liked to do that, tag little phrases that were perfectly legitimate in the context of pilot-engineer talk, but vaguely salacious otherwise. "Keeping that setting'll be tricky. It's between notches. This is run-of-the-mill spare parts stuff, good quality, but not much detail. I can pull the gear and tick in another notch, but that'll take an hour or so and we'd have to be planetside and powered down to do it."
Burne Catweazle
 player, 155 posts
 a body in motion
 ..wants to stay in motion
Wed 15 Dec 2010
at 01:14
Re: Chapter 4: And a Good Time Was Had By...Some.
(Cockpit)

"I can ask the Cap, and see what he says.  If not, once we have a course set, and we power down to inertia, we'll be moving just the same.  So long as the gravity ring is still going, you can be about it while we're in the black.   I'll let you know what he says-"

She cut herself off a little quickly.  Old habits.  She tapped the captains location on the touch screen, and flipped the toggle that engaged the VOX.   "Cockpit to Captain, requesting an ETA for lift-off sir."

Frank Shelby
 player, 66 posts
Wed 15 Dec 2010
at 01:32
Re: Chapter 4: And a Good Time Was Had By...Some.
(Engine Room)
Frank was about to respond when he heard the telltale click of a closed comm. He let out a chuckle. But he knew he didn't want to follow her plan, if only because this was a new ship, and to take out a throttle control gear and fiddle with it in-flight without more experience in the vessel--well, it made his teeth itch with worry.
Jin Chu
 player, 116 posts
Sat 18 Dec 2010
at 00:14
Re: Chapter 4: And a Good Time Was Had By...Some.
(Jin's Cabin)

Jin had spent much of the last few days alternating between her cabin and the cockpit.  The communication array seemed to hold a magnetic attraction for her and odd squeals of feedback had been heard as she prodded at buttons.  She seemed to posess the knack of taking up as little space as possible and, with her legs crossed, she could just about perch on the seat without occupying very much more room than the furniture did on its own.
She had found the time to run a proper check of all the intercoms throughout the ship, shanghai-ing crew members who didn't look immediately busy and setting them at various intercoms to listen and call back, or leaving them in the cockpit while she did the same.  By the time she was satisfied her voice was well recognised by everyone on board.

Then there had been the hours skimming around the cortex looking for potential jobs around Whittier.  She had started looking in the close environs of Crystal Wells and worked outwards, leaving a programme running that would alert her of anything interesting that popped up while she wasn't looking.  She had checked the routing through the ships systems as well.  The Duck could make herself heard alright.

Jin had taken a walk around the docks as well of course, all her jokes about trying to identify (or not as the case may be) the ingredients of dockside food, there was something about it, maybe the mistique of travel, that made it taste better than most.  Of course, it probably helped that you could find pretty much anything you wanted.  A few scraps had been smuggled back to assist in forming friendships with the two furry denizens of the Duck.

She could feel a restlessness growing now though, the urge to feel the deck humming and know that she couldn't just step out the main ramp and on to solid ground.  Jin loved travelling but the excitement of being part of something more was new to her and she was starting to feel that she couldn't call herself a member of the ship's crew until she had actually been up in her.
Lydia Li
 player, 126 posts
Sat 18 Dec 2010
at 03:06
Re: Chapter 4: And a Good Time Was Had By...Some.
(Cabins)

Lydia spent the last few hours pouting and moping around. It wasn't fair. None of it was! All those pretty girls... Why are men such pigs...

Her wandering, combined with absent-minded grumbling, found herself in the galley before she noticed where she was going.
Cole Jackson
 player, 124 posts
Sat 18 Dec 2010
at 03:38
Re: Chapter 4: And a Good Time Was Had By...Some.
(Secure Room - Galley)

Cole looked around the spare bunk space.  He spent a couple of hours each day moving things around, as much as one could with bolted down furniture, adding what he could to secure any items placed in the room, and making sure that the lock on the door was satisfactory.  Aside from that, he assisted Jin with the test on the intercom, provided muscle capabilities for Burne and Frank, and tried to keep himself from getting into trouble.

As he worked, Cole thought about the crew of the Duck.  Burne, while being a tad neurotic for Cole, was easily tempered by Frank.  While it was never openly spoke of, Cole had to wonder what exactly went on between the two of them.  Jin was smart as a whip.  Smarter than Cole at any rate.  And for a tech wizard, she was amazingly outgoing.  That was a lot different than most tech-heads Cole had met.  Then there was the remaining crew.

Cole could feel Lydia enter the galley.  Her fuming and moping had become and almost tangible presence on the ship.  Cole had to wonder why.  Before reaching the Duck, the pair had been getting along well.  Since arriving on the ship, Lydia had been giving Cole the cold shoulder.  Immediately after their playful exchange the day they arrived, she stopped speaking to him.  She answered his questions with grunts or shoulder motions.  Cole was perplexed.  He needed to sort out what was going on soon.  He was going to need Lydia to help keep his mind distracted from the passengers.  Otherwise, this was going to be a very long job.

"Morning, Lils," Cole said as he secured the lock on the makeshift locker.  "You be ready to get back into the Black?  I am.  Ready to feel some vibration under my boots again.  Speaking of flying, you got any ideas what you'd like to do on board once we're underway?  I know you're assisting and all, but you're welcome to try and learn some other aspects of keeping a ship like this flying."
Lydia Li
 player, 127 posts
Sat 18 Dec 2010
at 14:43
Re: Chapter 4: And a Good Time Was Had By...Some.
(Galley)

She grunted at Cole and made her way past him, seemingly looking for something about the place, pointedly ignoring Cole. After a few annoying and exasperating moments, she spun on him, her skirts swirling about her. Those sapphires that were her eyes, those too-sharp lenses, stared right at Cole, perhaps right through him, into his own heart. Then she asked,

"Am I pretty?"