[Argus] Engine Room.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
Odette Laframboise
 Engines, 81 posts
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Sat 4 Nov 2017
at 20:32
[Argus] Engine Room
Odette's nose wrinkled in amusement. "You had better not let Alan hear that. We don't want Squid getting a paranoid personality because he thinks we are going to eat him. I do like seafood, though. I used to eat it a lot when I was growing up. Regular visits to ocean worlds make seafood pretty much an essential part of the diet when you are there."

The nicer ocean worlds were mostly tourist planets, and the nicest were, of course, priced so that only the very wealthy could afford to spend any time on them. It was an entirely different way of life to those serving on a junkboat like the Argus. Most people would have thought her mad for trading one for the other. But she seemed to be really happy with her life. It was a bit of a puzzler.
Kessar Cindull
 Medical, 58 posts
 Ex-Pilot Rescue Force
 Surly and Sarcastic
Sun 5 Nov 2017
at 01:30
[Argus] Engine Room
Kessar wiped his mouth with a napkin,but he could not hide the laughter in his eyes. It was odd how calm he felt. He knew she was the reason. "He really does love that bucket, doesn't he? Sometimes I wonder whether or not he is a virgin."

When she has finished he put the dishes away. He offered his arm, "The lady needs her sleep. We are still days from Yukon, plenty of time for you to crawl around in the hull. Right now your doctor is insisting you rest. I'll walk you to your pod?"

This message had punctuation tweaked by the player at 01:31, Sun 05 Nov 2017.

Odette Laframboise
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Sun 5 Nov 2017
at 21:04
[Argus] Engine Room
Odette took the arm and allowed herself to be escorted. This was not the usual behaviour one experienced on a small, dirty freighter. As a child, she had been exposed to the most exquisite manners on a regular basis. She missed them, at times. But she preferred being free to people being polite. Manners were a very good way to control people without them realising it.

"Squid is just fine. I like him. And I expect he would give a psychologist some deep insight into Alan's mental state. But for all that, Squiddy is a very good engineer. I worry that his kind might render me redundant, eventually."
She did not sound serious. Robots might be efficient and resilient, but they did not have the human instinct that allowed them to have the edge in a crisis situation.
Kessar Cindull
 Medical, 62 posts
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Mon 6 Nov 2017
at 01:24
[Argus] Engine Room
Kessar let the conversation tail off for a moment, a tell that he was going to change the subject. "I find talking about my past difficult. I don't want you to think I am hiding something from you, though. I promise to answer any questions you have honestly. I'm taking things slowly with you because I don't want to screw it...this...up by going to fast."

The feeling of having her hold onto him was wonderful. He enjoyed everything about spending time with her. It was also clear now that the feeling was mutual. He was excited about the prospect, but also nervous about screwing up. That little bit of fear was healthy, and it meant this was more than just physical attraction.

This message was last edited by the player at 11:58, Mon 06 Nov 2017.

Odette Laframboise
 Engines, 87 posts
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Tue 7 Nov 2017
at 23:02
[Argus] Engine Room
Odette stopped outside her door, and her eyes was serious, and a little sad. "You do not need to explain to me. Over the years, we have had a fair few people on board, as crew or passengers, who have served in one way or another. In this, or that, military organisation. You can tell the ones who were really there, and who did what they had to do. They are the ones who do not talk about it. So I won't pry. As for speed - we are in no hurry. We spend our lives locked up in a metal box floating millions of miles from the nearest breathable atmosphere. When i say I am not going anywhere, you can take that as literal truth."


Kessar Cindull
 Medical, 66 posts
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Wed 8 Nov 2017
at 13:44
[Argus] Engine Room
Kessar gave her his almost smile again. Eventually she might even get a real one as often as she got the almost one. "Alright then. Point taken." He had no intention of kissing her, right up until they got to her pod. Once he was standing there looking down at her, into her beautiful eyes, there was an almost overwhelming desire to kiss her. He gently lifted her chin with his finger, and slowly moved toward her. He moved slow enough that if she wished she could easily step back of move her face so that his target would be her cheek.

If she let him, he kissed her. His kiss was soft but strong and warm. At first it was hardly more than him brushing his lips against her own. As it went on he became only slightly more insistent, pulling her bottom lip between his but going no further. She would be able to feel his restraint and know that he wanted to go further but he was taking things slow.
Odette Laframboise
 Engines, 95 posts
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Fri 10 Nov 2017
at 21:50
[Argus] Engine Room
Odette was clearly not averse to being kissed, and was happy to lean into the kiss, and enjoy the experience. But after a moment she had to break off and lean back a short distance, and stifle a yawn. She had the graciousness to look embarrassed. "I am sorry. I am absolutely exhausted. I really think we should do this when I'm not likely to fall asleep before things get really interesting. Also, I smell of lubricating oil, and not in a good way. I think you deserve someone who is both showered and awake."

She did sound rather regretful about that. They did have plenty of time together on the ship, but there was a something vexing about having to wait because of perfectly good reasons, all the same.
Kessar Cindull
 Medical, 75 posts
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Sat 11 Nov 2017
at 16:37
[Argus] Engine Room
Kessar smiled as she yawned, "Diagnosis confirmed." Then she started about how she wanted to be showered and rested before things "got interesting."

He tried to give her his serious face, and failed. "Wait you thought that was my 'I want to stay' kiss? No, you are cute, but no. That was my 'goodnight now go to bed' kiss. My 'I want to stay' kiss would buckle your knees and have you begging me to..." he burst into laughter, unable to even finish his own joke.

When he finished laughing he did get serious. "Taking it slow means kissing you goodnight at your pod, not dragging you to mine like a caveman." He turned to leave but only got a few paces before turning back to her, "I like the way you smell. It isn't just lubricant, it is this wonderful flowery scent, and baby powder I think. Goodnight, Odette."
Odette Laframboise
 Engines, 96 posts
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Sun 12 Nov 2017
at 23:50
[Argus] Engine Room
Odette's laugh was accompanied by a small shake of her head. "Get some sleep, you silly doctor. You're setting yourself up with a pretty impressive performance target to achieve. If you don't meet my standards, I may have to penalise you." She opened her door, and stepped inside. But she had one parting thought. "I think what you suspect is baby powder is probably the solvent gel I use to clean my hands. I do lightly perfume it, as it smells like industrial solvent, and nobody wants to stink like that all the time. It's not as ladylike as baby powder, though."
Kessar Cindull
 Medical, 78 posts
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Mon 13 Nov 2017
at 17:38
[Argus] Engine Room
He acknowledged her last statement with a nod before letting her go to bed and heading to his own pod.
Kessar Cindull
 Medical, 83 posts
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Thu 16 Nov 2017
at 21:53
[Argus] Engine Room
June 14th, 2439
07:00 (7 am)
36 hours to Yukon Gypsy


Kessar had changed his morning routine weeks prior. He no longer ran in the Rec Center every morning, instead he ran the second floor scaffolding above the engine core. It was the prefect vantage point to watch Odette work. Normally she was there when he arrived at 06:30. He was still half way through and he noted her arrival. She must have slept in, which was good, she needed the rest. He ran for another half hour, clocking in two additional miles.

When he was done he stopped and took his pulse with his fingers. He looked down at her, watching her openly now instead of trying to hide the fact. He lifted the tail of his shirt and wiped the sweat off his face. He waved and smiled when she noticed him. He felt the butterflies again. He walked down and stood in the entrance way watching her for a few more minutes. "I'm glad you got some sleep last night. I figure you'll be up all night crawling around in the bowls of the boat. I'll bring dinner tonight?"

This message was last edited by the player at 01:47, Fri 17 Nov 2017.

Odette Laframboise
 Engines, 107 posts
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Tue 21 Nov 2017
at 02:18
[Argus] Engine Room
Odette gave a bright smile. "I am very fond of the bowels of the ship, and you would be amazed what you can find in the ducts of an old ship like this. The first time I went down into a really old ship's guts, I found an entire colony of some sort of cute fluffy rodents. Seems that one of the crew had a pet, it escaped, had babies... Those critters had gnawed through so much of the cabling, it was a miracle anything worked at all. It pays to keep a ship serviced, especially if you land in a port with poor rodent control."

She picked up a wrench and started releasing the lug nuts on an access panel. "Dinner sounds like an excellent plan. You know, there was this dish I had as a child. It was made from some sort of squash, but very spicy, and filled with cheese. It was amazing. Maybe I should dig out the recipe..."

This was bad. She might actually try to cook. While the idea was a very nice one, with some candles and a little wine, it might also require a stomach pump. Odette and culinary art were doomed to be forever strangers.
Kessar Cindull
 Medical, 86 posts
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 Surly and Sarcastic
Tue 21 Nov 2017
at 14:12
[Argus] Engine Room
Kessar gave her his almost smile. Her own smile gave him more butterflies. He thought about her comments on rodents. "Interesting. I would have thought the boat had some way of keeping them out, like antibodies. I guess we are the antibodies."

He misunderstood her next comment, "If you find it, I will ask Cassie...or better yet I'll make it for us. I am not a bad cook, Cassie is just much better."

He caught her look, "Oh...ooooh...well how about this, you and I make dinner together? It is always more fun with someone else helping. I think it would be especially fun with you." ANYthing was more fun with her.
Odette Laframboise
 Engines, 109 posts
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Thu 23 Nov 2017
at 13:20
[Argus] Engine Room
Odette considered this carefully. She could not be wholly sure he was not joshing her, as her father would have said. But... she thought him serious. So she gave a bright smile. "All right, then! We'd better talk to Cassie before making serious plans. I really do not want her to walk in and find us doing something untoward with a wooden spoon, and take umbrage with us!"
Kessar Cindull
 Medical, 90 posts
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Sat 25 Nov 2017
at 19:15
[Argus] Engine Room
Her smile made him melt, made him smile a real one in return. He realized he was putty in her hand, all she had to do was smile and he would follow her around doing anything she wanted or needed. Then he went away for a moment, his eyes taken on that vacant look men get when they are lost in sexual fantasy. It was common, most men did it at least once in a conversation, especially the young ones. Kessar, though not old, had a lot of self control so this was exceedingly rare for him. He almost never let his thoughts stray unbidden.

He blinked and returned to the now. Though he focused on her, his pupils were dilated, his face was a pleasant red, his hands shook a little...all signs of arousal. He focused on her with a hungry look, again one she would have seen before and suspected him capable of under his self control, but never having actually seen it she might imagine him growling at her. He moved almost faster than the eye could follow, a blur of motion, and he was on her. He squatted a bit, wrapped one arm just under her buttocks and the other around her back and bent so that his fingers were in her hair. Then he stood, bringing her a couple feet off the ground and he nudged her to kiss him.

Where his last kiss was restrained and perhaps gentlemanly, this one is anything but. It is fierce, passionate to the point of being like a tidal wave. Almost everything he had been holding back he put into it, and despite the situation she could still feel that he was somewhat in control. He would go no further than this. At length he had to break it off or suffocate. He let her slide down the front of him until her feet touched the floor between his own. He took a few second to gather himself before stepping back. He was breathing heavily and not from the morning run.

He did not make her wait or ask. "I just had this mental picture of you in an apron...only an apron. It was very erotic." He shivered as he regained the last of his control. "As far as the wooden spoon, if we are doing something untoward with it, wouldn't we be either cooking incorrectly or making love incorrectly?"

This message was last edited by the player at 19:39, Sat 25 Nov 2017.

Odette Laframboise
 Engines, 112 posts
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Sun 26 Nov 2017
at 15:15
[Argus] Engine Room
Odette's response to being so lifted was to first squeak slightly in surprise, and though she went tense, from pure instinct, she relaxed soon enough. Her own reply was a fairly enthusiastic one, and she was as inclined to give as good as she got, as far as kissing was concerned. She was not an expert, though, and while not an innocent, the past few years had not provided her with a great many opportunities for practical experimentation in the art.

Nevertheless, she was more than capable of providing a very acceptable response. Once on her feet she took a deep breath. She carefully adjusted her hair, and laid her hands on his chest. "I..." she said, in an entirely calm and practical manner "... am going to buy a ladder." Her face was quite deadpan, though her eyes were not remotely in agreement, amused as she was. "And possibly an apron."

She stepped back a small distance and then raised a finger. "Untoward in the sense that it is being used for a purpose other than the one for which it was designed. And I certainly do not intend to use it for the latter purpose while in the galley. I do not relish the idea of being told to decontaminate and sterilise the entire room and contents. When I do a thing, I like to be able to focus on it properly. Which requires privacy." And another pause, and she added, in a rather superior, aristocratic tone (which came all too naturally, suggesting more of her overly-privileged background) "Therefore, I shall be buying my own spoon at the first possible juncture!"

Kessar Cindull
 Medical, 93 posts
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Mon 27 Nov 2017
at 15:51
[Argus] Engine Room
Kessar was still not exactly sure what she intended to do with the spoon, but figured she knew full well. He felt as though they were about to reach a point where there would be no going back. Before that happened there were things he needed her to know. He took her hand and guided her to the bench seats where they normally ate. He sat across from her, hoping he wasn't scaring her but there was a lot of seriousness in what he had to say. He motioned for her to sit.

After gathering his thoughts he began. "I was married. Right out of high school, I joined the Navy, and got ten days to put my affairs in order. We got married and spent nine of them on a beach side honeymoon. Then I left her alone for 300 days a year over the next five. It couldn't be helped, I was deployed all the time. She was lonely, it was my fault."

He sighed and went on, "We got divorced. After that I was very depressed. I joined a special Forces team in order to find a way to die and have it mean something. I did not die, I just lost my mind." He coughed, "Well I failed three psych profiles and was washed out for that. I've only ever gone as far with you with three other women. I've only ever made love to one woman. I'm not some worldly expert on relationships or anything. I want this to work. I think you are a match, I think we could be great together. I don't want to start this with lies or obfuscations. You said you didn't want to know about my service, that is fine. There are other things you and I don't know about each other. You don't have to tell me anything, I just needed you to know that."

This message was last edited by the player at 18:14, Mon 27 Nov 2017.

Odette Laframboise
 Engines, 113 posts
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Wed 29 Nov 2017
at 15:13
[Argus] Engine Room
Odette nodded thoughtfully as she listened. She could understand his position well enough. She had a skeleton or two, as well, and nobody liked opening a closet door unexpectedly under those circumstances. "I do understand. And I won't pry. I confess I am surprised at some of that. I mean, I am not exactly the original good time girl myself, but I was a student. Everyone has experiences they probably should forget under that situation." Her smile was a little wry. "Honestly, your situation is better than the things I have to reveal. There are reasons why I am greasing engines on a rusty tub like this - and if you ever repeat that I called her that, I'll weld your knees together. I'm not ... proud. Of who I am, I mean. Where I came from. There are stories I could tell... Being me has so many advantages and priveliges. They come with a cost, if you happen to have a conscience. I do. My father doesn't. And if you do want to get close to me, you're going to run into that, sooner or later. I know he keeps tabs on me. Just because we live in different houses doesn't mean that he can't see what I am doing. I don't want to give you any false information, so you should probably know some things about me. But I also don't want to change your opinion of me. Some people, they find out things, it changes their view. And you can't undo that."

This message was last edited by the player at 04:25, Thu 30 Nov 2017.

Kessar Cindull
 Medical, 96 posts
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Wed 29 Nov 2017
at 16:07
[Argus] Engine Room
Kessar nodded. He had his suspicions about why she had left her family behind, but never spoke them. Her confession that her father was still watching her made him smirk. He also sensed her discomfort, and reached across to take her hand. "Whatever it was, it cannot possibly compare to what I did in the Navy." He rolled  his arm to pull it out of his shirt. "33rd Air Drop Pilot Rescue squad." He took a very deep breath but he refused to let his eyes move from hers.

"We dropped in from above atmosphere in special suites. We only went in when a pilot was downed. Our job was to rescue them, and usually I was able to do that. When I couldn't..." here he paused, his throat doing that up and down thing people do when they are suppressing emotion. "...save one I had to kill them. They have code to powerful bombs you see. Without the codes the bombs are useless. With the codes...we were not allowed to let them be captured. I did it quick and painless, but they were friends. I still see them at night when I close my eyes. I have nightmares, sometimes bad ones. If you stay the night with me it might be upsetting."

He screwed his eyes closed for a moment to force the thoughts out of his mind. He opened them again and looked at her, "So no matter what you've done or your family has done, it can't come close to killing your friends."
Odette Laframboise
 Engines, 114 posts
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Wed 29 Nov 2017
at 20:20
[Argus] Engine Room
Odette laid a hand over his in sympathy, but did not press him on the matter. "You did what you had to. And that is a terrible burden to carry. I suppose the only consolation is knowing that you saved them from who knows what forms of torture. And in the long run, who knows what might have been done if they had access to those bombs. Many more lives saved, probably. Which sounds awful and trite in the circumstances. But... you did what had to be done, and you carry that with you. That takes far more bravery than almost anything else you had to do."

She sighed slightly. "And you are right, what you did was worse than almost anything I can think of. But it doesn't make those things right. Like, the mining colonies on Andros Minor. My father owns them. But he resents paying out the proper high wage to the miners - it is a specialised job. Good miners are expensive. So he got lucky - a serious accident shut down the mines in the Western region, with god knows how many dead or injured. This meant a local supply shortage, too, so the price of the ore went up considerably. It also meant a lot of miners out of work, so they signed corvée contracts to cover themselves. Slave labour by another name. Three months later, a whole new network of high-quality duranite seams were discovered in the Northern sector, and he moved most of the corvée workers there, where they worked in the same jobs as before at a fraction of their original wage costs. And, because of the local system's government having industrial expansion contracts, the government subsidised the cleanup of the original accident, and when that was done, it was easy enough for him to sell the newly refurbished mines off to the government under the same scheme. They thought they had a bargain, but it turns out the yield projections were incorrect, and the place was practically mined out. All legal and above board. So, he sells off a dead mine for many times more than it was worth, opened a new mine with the same workers for a tiny fraction of the actual costs. He killed who knows how many people, contaminated even more with duranium poisoning, and forced the survivors to work in legalised slave gangs. And he made astronomical profits as a result." She scowled. "And he did the whole thing legally, with no proof whatsoever that the accident was anything but a piece of unanticipated misfortune. If I had evidence, I would do something about it. But I don't. And if I showed my face in the Andros system, and they knew who I was, I'd be lynched. So, you can see why I am not usually so forthcoming about my past. That is one story of many."
Kessar Cindull
 Medical, 97 posts
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Wed 29 Nov 2017
at 22:02
[Argus] Engine Room
Kessar nodded and held onto her hand as she spoke about bravery. She had a point, but really he didn't feel brave. Most times he just felt sad and weighed down, unless she was around. being around her lifted the weight, made him feel almost normal. "Thanks," he said and meant it.

He listened as she took her turn. He did not flinch. When she was through he just nodded. "I don't believe that sins of the father BS. You are not him and not responsible for him. I hope that ... if children are in the cards ... they won't feel like they have to carry my burden."

Then he smiled, a little twinkle of merriment in his eyes. "You know, and this is just off the top of my head, I do mean they, like at least a dozen." She would know he meant this humorously, but in a tongue in cheek kind of way. "I mean pregnant women are sexy." That he meant completely, but still in a dry humorous way. "If you are up for it, you know since I think we are perfect together..." He grinned now, wondering if she would take the soft humor and open invitation the way he figured. She was always quick with some kind of response quip.
Odette Laframboise
 Engines, 118 posts
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Tue 5 Dec 2017
at 22:07
[Argus] Engine Room
Her expression was best described as a version of "What, really?" She shook her head. "You know, only someone who doesn't have to bear children would think pregnancy is sexy. And I've never been especially interested in kids. Now robots? AIs? Sure! A whole bunch of little androods running around? That sounds lovely. But if I had wanted to get hitched, and spend a few years popping out tiny little corporate drones, I would have stayed at home. I am not saying no, but... maybe just see how it goes? I mean, you could snore. Snoring might be a dealbreaker, right?"
Kessar Cindull
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Wed 6 Dec 2017
at 13:54
[Argus] Engine Room
Kessar was of course a bit sad. He was never good at hiding his feelings, and now was no different. Despite the joke of the number he had held out hope that she might want kids. He shook himself out of it by reminding himself that even without kids he could still be with her, which was more than he had before. His smile returned, "Yea I guess I understand. I had one of those houses, the kind with the white picket fence and everything. It didn't work. I like the idea of making this floating metal egg crate a home."

He thought a moment about her snoring comment, "I guess we just have to find out, won't we? I...have an idea, but it needs your consent. I could reserve us a room on the Yukon, one with one of those real beds, not the half couch things we have in our pods. You deserve a real bed, at least the first time we sleep together." He shrugged, "And if I snore I guess I could find another boat to serve on."

He leaned across, if she met him half way she could kiss him. He did speak before she might take him up on his offer, "Honestly, I don't think we have anything to worry about in the dealbreaker department, I have an antidote for snoring in the Medbay."
Odette Laframboise
 Engines, 119 posts
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Sun 10 Dec 2017
at 01:58
[Argus] Engine Room
Her reply was a kiss that was definitely veering into the interesting territory. It had a degree of promise of something more at some future juncture. However, when she broke it off - eventually - she tapped him on the nose sharply. "I didn't say no to kids at all. But has to be the right time and place. And on this ship? Actually, seriously, could you see me, in an access tube, getting stuck because some big lump is sitting inside me? No thanks!"

She considered his idea. "I think a nice night away from the ship is a good one, but, no offence... I think I'd better book the room. The Yukon is hardly a ritzy place, but if we want the very best, it might be better for them to take a look at my credit rating rather than yours. It is how the really flash places work. Cheap to those who can afford it, very expensive to those who can't. They get a look at my name and my credit line, and they will probably throw in all sorts of extras, just to ensure they get repeat custom." She pondered for a moment. "You know, I can never keep it straight what the Laframboise Interstellar Consortium actually owns. For all I know, my father actually owns places on Yukon. Or maybe Yukon itself. LIC is like cockoaches. Wherever you go, you'll find they are already there."
Kessar Cindull
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Mon 11 Dec 2017
at 13:50
[Argus] Engine Room
Her kiss left his ears ringing and it took him a moment to get his brain to catch up to what she was saying. He knew what she meant but couldn't resist poking her a little, "So you don't want a big lump inside you? Shame." His look was teasing.

It was a good thing he did not have an ego about money. She was right, she could get into places he wouldn't even dream of. He gave her another real smile. "I am looking forward to that, being alone with you. I am not worried about your father, I've survived a lot. Some rich guy doesn't scare me."

He thought a moment, "What really scares me is this, us. I'm afraid of loosing you. I'm afraid of not loosing you...loosing myself in you. I know it is a natural thing, and it is something I am going to learn to deal with, but we are suppose to share that kind of thing, right?"