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When You Know What You Don't Want to Know

Posted on Sun Sep 27th, 2020 @ 3:07pm by Executive Officer Kenneth McTigue & Comm Tech Wulf Edevane

Mission: The Forgotten Arm
Location: Albatross - Somewhere out Beyond Luna
Timeline: A week after One Bottle Of Whiskey, before six o'clock.

It was the little things. The way that the comm tech always kept his headphones in when he was working (not too traumatic). Those little glares across the workshop when he thought Ken wasn't paying attention (petty detail). The extra sighs, shrugs and non-verbal rebukes (kids, today, right?).

Just tiny moments that meant nothing until they began to build up. The way any movie the engineer watched glitched ten minutes from the end. Music looped on jarring songs that had never been in his playlist. The coffee machine's tendency to run dry when it was his turn. Audiobooks that read backwards. The way the shower would run, not on cold, but on ice-water-from-hell.

And that morning when he was locked out of both the ship's network, and his own bunk. Briefly, of course, because, after all, Ken had the deeper codes, so any maliciousness about the ship he part-owned would only be temporary. It could, of course, only be one person, or one hell of a personally malicious gremlin.

It was early. The coffee was quietly percolating to itself. It was too early. Ken was hungry. He needed more sleep. But the expensive hired specialist was coming today to assist Ken in upgrading the comm laser. Ken was sitting in the galley, looking at the pot filling, poking at his crumb-less crackers with a scowl the size of the SPA basin.

Still wearing the shorts and vest he'd slept in, Wulf padded into the galley in search of food. Normally no one else was about yet, and he'd been fantasizing about cookies. Plan A was grab a couple and head back to bed. As soon as he crossed the boundary and saw Ken, the tech immediately and wordlessly turned around to leave.

"Why you up so early?" Ken practically growled before biting into his next cracker.

Wulf's spine stiffened involuntarily, denying him that swift escape he'd wanted. He didn't turn around though, as he muttered. "Bad dream."

"While you're up, wanna help upgrade the comm laser?" The growl asked.

The tech's shoulders raised and fell in the visual representation of a heavy sigh. Wulf turned around, his expression a shadow of the engineer's own scowl, and his voice clipped but coherent.

"Sure," he nodded, feeling obliged to say yes. He was crew, after all, just over a month into his probation and Ken's word mattered. "I'll go get dressed," Wulf added, with a quietly moody sense of resignation.

Forty minutes and two cups of coffee more Ken was sealing up his gloves to his vac suit. The caffeine had slowly doing its job. "You excited to get to play with that new laser?"

Wulf was slightly slower at suiting up, his demeanour somewhat disgruntled as he watched the Tross' engineer get ready. To say anything controversial before Ken was fully caffeinated would be insane, but the tech was genuinely enthusiastic about this new piece of kit. It was the company he wasn't keen on keeping right now.

"Yessir," he noted, pushing an officious tone into the word. There was sarcasm mixed with mild hope in his follow-up question. "You gonna let me have a play or steal it for yourself?"

Ken put his helmet, twisted it to secure the seal. "You're the comm tech. Only reason I'd steal it for myself is to use it as a secondary target laser." Ken replied.

"Okay, cool," Wulf returned, standing up now his boots were secure, pulling on his own gloves and staring up at the engineer. "Just checking where the line was."

"The line? Pretty close to fucking with my audiobooks." Ken said nonchalantly. "Can you check if my helmet is secured?"

He scowled, but Wulf placed his own helmet down on the floor and moved towards Ken. As he reached up to put both gloved hands on the other man's suit helmet, Wulf couldn't help but look directly into the engineer's face. He sighed, tested the seal and then triple checked it visually at the neck level connection.

"Secure!" Wulf reported. He gave a out a short, sharp sigh before he stepped back to pick up his own. "I saw her," he said. "Last week. Allegra."

Ken started filling his suit with the air, getting it ready for the walk. "So did I?" He asked, "She hasn't really left the ship last few days."

Meanwhile, Wulf secured his own helmet and glared at the engineer. "I saw her coming out of your cabin."

Ken turned around to look at Wulf in disbelief. "Who'd you tell?"

"Dude," muttered Wulf, unhappily, and a little too informally even for his own liking. "There's no one to tell. I didn't rat you out to the boss or the Captain."

Ken sighed, "Keep it to yourself, will you? Allegra has been avoiding me like the plague since that night. If she knew others knew of our... indiscretion she might just pull up stakes."

"Huh?" Wulf accidentally voiced his inner thoughts out loud. He'd expected smugness, or boasting? He wasn't really sure. This reaction though, it was easier to bear. "Sure," he accepted swiftly. "Secret's safe with me." He frowned darkly, then shrugged, looking at Ken with his head at a jaunty angle. "She's avoiding you? How come?" A half-grin. "What did you do wrong?"

Ken stepped before Wulf to check the helmet. "I'm not sure what we did wrong, I think we were both near stupid drunk."

As Wulf waited for Ken to give him the all-clear to fill his suit with air, he let lines furrow his brow. "Ah," he said. "Drunk. Figures."

"You're good." Ken shook his fist in the appropriate manner. "Don't remember ending up together, but was a very weird surprise the next morning when I found someone very familiar in my bunk."

A double thumbs up preceded Wulf starting the next stage, but his focus was definitely on their conversation rather than the air content of his outfit. "You had sex with Alliegator and you don't even remember it?!" The tech sounded suitably horrified by this admission. "Dude! Seriously?"

While doing his final check, Ken replied. "I'm not even sure there was any sex. We woke up, were naked, and really hungover."

Wulf stopped what he was doing, looked wide-eyed at the Tross' engineer and then tapped his gloved hand agains the other man's visor as if he were knocking on a door. "You woke up next to a naked Allegra? Like totally naked? Duuuuude."

"Didn't you see boobs last week? What are you so hyped about?"

There was a pause in which Wulf looked confused, then as if it was the most obvious thing ever, he answered both questions. "Not Allegra's boobs," he said, his grin as dumb as his response.

Ken shrugged with his hands. "They were nice boobs." and tapped the airlock. "You ready to head out?"

Wulf paused in a silent moment of reflective contemplation, his gaze raised upward. He sighed wistfully, and then smiled at Ken.

"At least one of us got to see them," he stated, seemingly finding a way to come to terms with the matter at hand.

"Yeah," Wulf added then, giving the back of Ken's suit helmet a comradely slap with the curved palm of his right hand. "Ready to go, dude."

 

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