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Udderly Unbelievable

Posted on Fri Apr 23rd, 2021 @ 1:37pm by Commanding Officer Mickey Serendipity & Executive Officer Kenneth McTigue & Medical Officer Florian McLennan & Passenger Emma Yonkers & Ships Engineer Delphi Jammer & Comm Tech Wulf Edevane & Comm Tech Adrie Magana

Mission: Ring's Of Gold & Palladium
Location: 'Sakura Rise', Capsule Hotel, Industrial Six, Rhea
Timeline: Just after 'Sold For A High Elevation Of Legumes'.

The Soylent's Viridian food printer, out of its box, looked like a coffee machine that could make the coffee all by itself and drink it. It looked sleek, modern, new, and apart from a data module missing where once a copyright program had been, it looked brand new.

And Mickey hadn't stopped palming his face the moment it had been presented to him.

The little eatery set up in the top floor of the capsule hotel was little more than some plastic chairs and tables surrounded by vending machines. Fortunately, the chat bot AI's inside each had been silenced long ago by well-meaning vandals, so at least the crew wasn't being serenaded by offers and special deals.

"So...just so I get this right," Mickey said slowly. "I send you out for supplies, with our very limited resources, and you come back with this? And a girl. Who you just met. Am I wrong in my deduction?"

"No. Yes," countered Wulf ineloquently. "We came back with food supplies," he grabbed Florian by the simple means of wrapping an arm about the younger man's shoulders and clarified his point. "Flo spent the money you gave us on actual food." Then Wulf grinned and indicated their shiny new culinary toy. "And I bought us this with some of my savings." He released Flo, happiness clouding over into a frowny face and gave a demonstrative sigh as he looked to the new female in the group. "And I didn't come back with her, Mickey, she stalked us because for some reason she has the hots for meeting you."

Flo hadn't expected the sudden half-embrace from Wulf, eyes widening as his body was pulled off to one side. He took a step in order to avoid losing balance, and as much as he quite liked the other man's small squeeze, he quickly squirmed his way out of it. He felt used, his efforts in procuring provisions for the crew taken advantage of.

"Your comms man is keen to just replace me," the boy grumbled, pulling himself further away from Wulf. "Big mistake. Your little food printer's got nothing on me."

"Correct Flo. See this thing runs on voltage. A food pack can still be eaten cold, whereas this thing won't function unless it's plugged in. Flo did good, Wulf I honestly expected a little better from you," Mickey said as he finally stopped rubbing his eyes. "At least we've got some supplies. Now, onto said mystery women I apologies for anything my comm tech might have said, but he neither knows nor are you 'my type'."

Florian snickered quietly at Wulf, but said nothing else.

Wulf opened his mouth to argue, closed it, sighed, opened it again and then stepped back out of their way. He shot a dark, brooding scowl back at Mickey when their captain made a completely uncalled for apology on his behalf to Annoying-New-Girl but Wulf didn't bother to fight that verbal battle. He knew Mickey well enough to know when to let things go. Most the time, anyway.

While all this was going on, Delphi was sprawled out in a corner, messing with something, it might have been a part of her old Vector Red vac suit helmet that she had removed from the suit, that she now had in pieces on her lap and was fiddling with, her booted feet tapping to the sugary cheerful Belter-pop song, Selíngeshot gang fo bingi!(1) playing in the background.

She paid little attention to the new people who had arrived, but her eyes were drawn to the new food printer that they had brought with them. She got up and walked over, kneeling by the machine and started quietly inspecting it, opening access panels, checking the power hookup, anything else it might need to integrate into their ship's systems.

"We can use this, right?" Wulf asked Delphi with hope in his dark eyes. "I've got a box of cables and connectors..." he let the words trail, watching Delphi closely and casting the occasional look over to Ken in case (and in hope that) the older engineer felt the need to back him up.

Ken looked at the machine as Delphi opened the panels and checked the cabling. "I'm sure we can get it all plugged in. Worst case we'll have to put it in your cabin though, Wulf." Ken joked. Then his eyes carried over to new woman standing behind Wulf and Flo. "Any particular reason you followed our people here?"

While the crew talked, Adrie stood in the corner near the door with her arms crossed and hips popped to one side. She was a brat and knew how to work it with an able crewman, but this... well, maybe she was finally ready to admit to herself she was out of her element. Still, projecting weakness would get her killed. If not by these yokels, then by the death that followed in her wake.

And then someone addressed her. "I need a ride," she said to Ken. "You lot aren't locals and your man there isn't one to be pushed around. Seemed an opportunity worth following up."

Delphi took out her hand terminal, using its scan function to image ant catalog the hookups, power needs and data language the ships computer would need to communicate with. She glanced at Wulf as she put her terminal away, then sealed up the ports on the unit.

"Ya, mi sadsa du wowk, im na ting(2)" she said to the comms tech. "But mi have put in you room, ke? she explained, adding to Ken's joke, with a hint of a smile crossing her lips.

"Taki," Wulf returned with a casual lack of concern for this new development. He had zero idea of how much noise the damn thing would make when it was up and running, but one more piece of tech in his room didn't worry him too much. "Xélixup!(3)," he said with a lopsided grin, then suggested. "We could go set it up now?"

"Did you see what she did there Ken? A subtle bit of wordplay where she answered without really answering," Mickey said with a smile. "See people who just want a ride tend to want a ride away from things that might be chasing after them. No harm in that, or else we'd not have a crew following us around. But if you want a ride and not a job, that comes with expenses. We're not the Mormons, we don't intend to travel everyone and sundry out of the good graces of our hearts."

"Did I say anything about riding for free?" Adrie blurted out. Her frustration had reached its peak. "Did I? No, I did not. I don't know what's with you and your bloodhound there..." She gave a sideways nod toward Wulf. "... thinking that everyone is out for a free ride, but I never said I wouldn't pay. If you're too stupid to tell me what you want, then I might have overestimated the lot of you. Now what's it going to take for to leave dock soon with me on board?"

"Im ta nating(4)" Delphi replied to Wulf. "Na xetim(5)...later when we back on da ship, then install where to bunk is" she added and rolled back from where she had been hunched over the device, into a sitting position, her back against the wall. She pulled out her hand terminal again, bringing up a schematic of the ship's galley, the space the unit would actually be installed, she had no intention of installing it in Wulf's quarters, let alone going back to the ship and into his quarters alone. She flicked a small scale holographic blueprint up that floated over her terminal and looked for a good spot to cram it into the cooking area, taking note of where power lines and data cable runs were behind the walls and cabinets, as well as the other linkups the unit needed to function. She would probably be able to make it work, it would take some tinkering and rethinking of how the space was set up though.

Ken looked at Adrie, annoyance lining his face more as she continued speaking. "First, introduce yourself. We'd like to know who we might be ferrying places." Then he looked at Mickey and then back at Adrie. "After that we'll discuss how much we'll charge. That, will be dependent on how much attitude you'll give us."

"Sophie Leclerc. Now that you have yourself a damsel at the ultimate disadvantage, maybe we can finally discuss terms." What's the worst that could happen? They'd send her packing? No, Adrie was not going to be pushed around, not for the price these numbnuts were undoubtedly angling for.

As Delphi retreated into hand terminal research, so did Wulf. He was, however, running a pixie face and a new name to his ears, not the Tross' cable network - that he was intimately familiar with. Who exactly was Sophie Leclerc?

"Leclerc, that has a Lunaese cadence to it. Lowell City? Lunagrad? Armstrong Port? Not that it matters," Mickey said. "As for price, that's dependant on the contract we get. Right now we have tenders out to a half dozen co-ops and mercantile combines that know us with destination form Luna to Pluto. We might not be heading your way."

"Then where are you headed?" Adrie said.

"Like I said, we're waiting to see what work is available. Also, our ships is in for repairs, a few days we should be good to go," Mickey said, narrowing his eyes a little. "I mean, if you want off Rhea fast there are the corporate docks. Plenty of shuttles flying out to Titan and the many interplanetary port there."

She had been standing int the entrance to the room for a minute. about the time the belter was hitting on Wulf about going into his bunk. Rolling her eyes at that she stepped forward next to Mickey, "Want me to float her? She looks like trouble and I figured you had enough of that with me aboard." Emma Yonkers was speaking about this Sophie lady.

Adrie/Sophie shot her a sideways glance. "Try it and see what happens. Bulldog there can tell you about the stall keeper who insulted me. Got himself a pretty new pair of bracelets and a pending criminal charge." She cast her eyes around the hold. "I wonder what juicy little secrets my ghost would reveal to the wrong authorities up in here."

"You're giving us an increasing amount of reasons not to take you. Attempts at Blackmail, Ms. Leclerc are generally frowned upon in polite company, so imagine how we feel about it. Would you like to give us a reason to take you on, or would you like to leave us to our enjoyment of alcohol and Belter pop music?" Ken was getting annoyed at the amounts of attitude this girl was producing. He generally didn't enjoy teenage attitude, especially when mixed with less than subtle threats.

"Yeah? Try having someone threaten to space you." She snorted at Ken, a derision that masked the growing panic she had to suppress deep inside. "After all the trouble your crew has gone through to give me the short end, it's a little late to play the victim, hm?"

Ken took a swig of his nearly red whiskey. "Those are still not reasons to take you with us. Would you like to try again?" Ken asked, working hard to keep his patience.

"Is there a gas leak in here or are you just deaf, old man? I already said I'd pay. Are you going to quote me price or are you holding out for a blowjob?" Adrie crossed her arms and gave an especially teasing look to Ken. "Let's get with the first because the second isn't happening."

Ken turned to his Mickey with a look of exhaustion. "For my part, I'd think we would be better off not taking her with. I can smell the trouble she's bringing with."

"That blowjob meant so much to you? Sad." Adrie shrugged. "If you're so rich that you don't need a well-paying passenger, then I'll leave you to your freight work."

From silence to upright and glowering, Wulf could move pretty quickly when motivated, and he'd had enough. He stood up, handed his terminal open on the still running search to Mickey, then addressed 'Sophie' from this postion of relatively safe distance. "I'm not a bloodhound or a bulldog," he said. "But if you insult any us one more time, I swear I'll smack you right in the mouth." There was a deep breath and Wulf planted the palms of his hands on the table before him. "No one can space you in a hotel," he pointed out with tentative patience and a look across to the strange woman. "Look - clearly you don't care where you're going - so you're running from something or someone. What did you do?"

"You want to punch my mouth. Your friend wants to fuck it. Why would I tell you lot anything about me?" Adrie channeled her nervous energy into another chuckle. "I'll pay you extra to stop with the third degree. Final offer."

"Stop." Wulf's dark gaze was more seriously pissed than the tech ever usually felt and definitely more anger than pleading. "Just stop. You approached me. You followed me back here. None of us want to fuck you. But right now I don't think any of us want to help you either." He looked from 'Sophie' to Mickey with an expression that suggested this was a lost cause, then back to the irritating woman who seemed adamant about pissing them all off in turn. "I'll pay you to go away, how about that? Hell, I'll buy you a ticket on a Titan shuttle if it means you stop insulting my fam... friends."

Mickey took out his terminal, tapped a few buttons on it and handed it to Ken with a raised eye brow.

Ken gave Mickey an exasperated look. He gave the girl before him another look, studying her arrogant baring before taking the terminal and typing a longer response back.

Delphi glanced up from her hand terminal as the discussion between the stranger and the other crew grew heated and started to break down into an argument and threatened to break down even farther. She paused the data scrolling on the small handheld device in her left hand and watched the others from where she sat leaning against the wall. She switched the terminal off as she stood, keeping her back to the wall as she rose to her full seven foot height, her right hand casually slid down to the moderately large adjustable spanner protruding from one of the leg pockets of her flight suit along with a selection of other tools she used regularly. The belter engineer waited to see how things progressed, or crumbled, her hand resting on the cool metal of the spanner, useful for fixing things and clobbering people who got too uppity upside the head if needed.

Mickey looked at the message Ken had tapped out, and nodded in agreement.

"Okay, Sophie, here's the deal. 4K Ceres New Yen, that'll buy you breathing gas, the finest junk this here food printer can spit out, and a bunk on a ship leaving Rhea flying our companies colours. You get no vote on the destination, you'll have limited access to ships systems being a passenger and all. If that sounds like your idea of a good time, you have a ticket to ride." Mickey said with his hands open wide.

Adrie looked at the belligerent crew who had finally come around to her way of thinking. "Done," she said with a flick of her finger across her hand terminal. "And here is another cool thou for the right to do this whenever I want." She raised a rude gesture in Wulf's direction while still looking at Mickey.

"Tvoya mat' byla khomyakom, a tvoy otets pakh yagodami buziny,(6)" returned the Tross' comm tech with a soft resignation to his tone. He stood up, recovered his own terminal and - without making eye contact with Mickey, Ken or 'Sophie', Wulf walked over to stand beside Emma. One day he might have a say in things like this, but for right now, this was out of his hands, and 4k in the ship's coffers was 4k less complaining he was going to get about food expenditure. He had noticed the spanner though, and aimed a quiet grin at Delphi, unsure which head she'd been considering smacking with it, but appreciating the gesture nonetheless.

"We might change that to a subscription fee, that's a popular business model for entertainment services," Mickey said. "But here is two ironclad rules: firstly no weapons. We have an arms locker on the ship, and it's gene coded to the crew. Space travel can make people do stupid things, but I find people who do stupid things with knives tend not to poke holes in my ship. The second rule is the safety of the ship is all of our responsibility. If you do something that puts us at risk, such as trying to hack the comm system to get a feed you are not authorized for you, you'll be in violation of rule 2. Break these rules, and if we are in port you'll be kicked out onto the dock. Do it whilst we're on the burn, the same thing will happen but with a shocking lack of sound effects. Are we clear?"

Watching the scene play out before her, Emma took note that the belter had pulled a spanner out and stood up. The marine was sure she could drop this Sophie character without taking any injury, she was unarmed, but the belter with the spanner She was sure she could unarm her and put her on the deck with in seconds, but either Emma or the Belter would end up hurt. Then Wulf moved closer to her. Sure he was cute and in this case bold, but he walked between her and the two potential issues. Emma was for a few moments left unable to act if needed. She would have to talk to Wulf about combat positioning later.

Adrie/Sophie raised her hands in surrender. "What you see is what you get," she said to Mickey. Then, eyes turning to Ken, she added, "and nothing more."

With things seeming to calm down, Delphi let her hand drift away from the handle of her spanner and relaxed back against the wall into a more lounging pose, she kept an eye on the belligerent woman, just in case, but it seemed things were handled, for the moment. That aside, she was going to have to pay extra care to keep an eye on the ships systems on her first trip out as the ship's chief engineer to make sure this new passenger didn't tamper with anything.

"Great," Mickey said. "Let's go round the table and introduce ourselves them. I'm Mickey the CO, that's Ken my XO and engineering. The Belter is Jammer, engineer, Wulf our comm Techie you already met, and the muscled amazon is Yonkers. She's Customer Services when she's not manning the PDC's. The lad who actually did his fair share of tasks is Flo, apprenticeship intern and cook."

He stood up, picking up his terminal as it buzzed with an incoming message.

"Our pilots around somewhere, sure you'll bump into her...hey, Ken, we have a meeting to get to in Indie 2. ISA offices just comm'd," he slipped the terminal back into his pocket. "So crew, we might have work coming our way. Me and Ken will scope it out, then we'll discuss when we get back. Until then do not start riots."

(1)Song: Selíngeshot gang fo bingi! (Slingshot Joyride!)
(2)Yes, I know how to make it work, it's nothing
(3)Excellent! (sarcastic)
(4)it was nothing (use in this case; you're welcome)
(5)Not now
(6)Russian: Your mother is a hamster and your father smells of elderberries

 

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