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Author Topic: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)  (Read 3009 times)

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Offline RenoTopic starter

Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« on: March 27, 2011, 02:15:51 PM »
Eric Fuoco ignored the nasty look that the grizzled bartender shot at him when he rested his heels on the table. The fine leather boots were polished to perfection and gleamed in the sickly, yellow light as his stormcloud-gray eyes swept over the unsavory crowd. As usual, the beer tasted more like stale water, but in spite of the lousy quality, this particular pub was the best place on this particular rock to find a billet on an outbound ship. Usually, at least. Today, it seemed, the crowd was thinner than the beer. He tossed a few credit slips contemptuously onto the table beside the barely-emptied mug and shook his head, muttering in frustration as he made his way back out into the street.

It was several blocks away when he saw a small group of people gathered around a notice board, arguing animatedly among themselves. He wandered over to them, brushing his dark hair back from his forehead with one hand as he stepped through the wind that blew down the center of the narrow, high-walled valley of the street. He tuned out the bickering strangers as he read, over their shoulders, the notice that they were bickering about, and then smiled to himself. Perhaps something interesting would come about, after all.  His long arm shot out between the men and tore the notice down, ignoring their squawks of protest and outrage. He crumpled the paper in one hand and tossed it back over his shoulder to bounce and roll in the wind until it ended up in the gutter sludge, as he made his way toward the specified location, glad that it was a much nicer pub than the one he'd just left.

Much nicer, indeed, Eric reflected as he pushed open the heavy door with the gilded handles. Not where one usually expected to find the sort of trash he usually worked for, but anything was better than being stuck planetside for too long. He could see the group of waiting hopefuls standing some paces away from one of the small tables, watching impatiently as an attractive, if bored-looking young woman sat speaking with a spindly, tow-headed kid. He shook his head and walked to the bar with a grin, and pointed to a bottle on the top shelf, without a word. When the barman turned to get it, he leaned over the counter and reached behind it, and his fingers quickly found what they were looking for. He pressed the silent alarm button, then straightened quickly and dropped the sizable bunch of credit slips into the man's hand. "Thanks." He said, then waited. As expected, the sound of the security force sirens approached a few minutes later, and the throng that had been waiting to speak to the girl thinned out and disappeared as his less than reputable competition made their way to the nearest rear exits.

He strode across the room to the table and set down the bottle before claiming the now vacant seat across from her. Flashing his most winning smile, he reached across the table for her hand and lowered his head to kiss it. "It's nice to meet such a lovely lady," he said, raising his head and meeting her gaze without reservation. "My name is Eric Fuoco, and I'm going to be your boss' new apprentice."

Offline SxyCowgirl

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2011, 02:36:21 PM »
"So what makes you think you're qualified to be her apprentice?" The woman asked the blond in front of her.

The boy muttered something inaudibly.

"Speak up kid! If you don't have the guts to talk about even yourself, how are you supposed to defend yourself from a man trying to kill you?!"

The boy blushed bright red and looked at her, afraid. "I am good with mechanics and I learn quick."

With a sigh, the woman scratched something down on the paper in front of her, shooing him away with the other. "I'll send for you if I need you." She mumbled, not intending to ever send for him. "Ne--"

The alarm rang and she looked over at the bar where the alarm button usually was and saw as a young man was pulling his hand back from the spot. Turning her head, she watched as all the other people left the building except for the one she had seen pulling his hand back. Boldly he walked over to the table and sat down, grabbing her hand and kissing it, telling her in no uncertain terms, his intentions and convictions.

"Uh. Yeah." She said, pulling her hand away. After a few moments of silence, she leaned back in her chair and looked at him, her face stern. "That was a dirty thing you did." Waiting a few more moments, she smirked and continued. "I like it. What's your name again kid?" She asked, nodding at him.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 03:23:48 PM by SxyCowgirl »

Offline RenoTopic starter

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2011, 03:22:15 PM »
"Eric Fuoco," he repeated when she asked his name, and grinned with a nonchalant shrug. "What you call dirty, I call effective. It got the rest of those simpletons out of my way so that we could have this nice little chat." He opened the bottle and poured out two glasses of the quality rum, then lifted his own. He swirled it idly as he regarded the woman keenly, taking in her amused smirk and the sharp awareness of her eyes.

He let the 'kid' remark slide by, because she was cute, though if she was older than him, it was by fewer years than he had fingers. "So, what do they call you?" he asked airily before taking his first sip of his drink. "And how do we get the technicalities out of the way so that we can get the party started?"

Offline SxyCowgirl

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2011, 03:33:57 PM »
"Eric. Good name. And you are indeed right. Effective is good." She nodded, coming forward again in her seat. She smiled when he poured the rum into two glasses. Picking it up, she held it up in a short toast and then took a sip. It was good stuff. Guy certainly had good taste in drinks. Setting the glass back down, she studied him. He was interesting enough, and relatively easy on the eyes but cocky. Confidence was a good thing, but too much could be a major downfall.

She nodded at his question of what her name was and she laughed a bit to herself. "My name is of no importance until I decide weather you are good enough to be Andy's apprentice or not." She said, the wry smirk staying right where it was. "So. What makes you think you're good enough to be Andy's apprentice?" She asked, leaning forward and laying her arms on the table.

Offline RenoTopic starter

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2011, 03:38:28 PM »
Eric cocked an eyebrow, then shrugged. "Suit yourself, but it makes it tougher to have a conversation," he said, then grinned. "But I'll adapt. It's one of the things I'm good at, adapting and thinking on my feet. I'm bright, I know which end of my arm goes toward the other guy in a fight, and I have a knack for pulling things off that I shouldn't be able to. Why wouldn't he want me as his apprentice?"

Offline SxyCowgirl

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2011, 03:46:08 PM »
She listened to his reasons and laughed. "Alright. Well you certainly have the confidence, and so I think you've got the guts." After a few short moments, she stood, finished what was left in her glass with a gulp and stuck out her hand towards him. "Now for introduction. I'm Andy, and I'm your new boss. That is, if you pass your test. I gotta know that you can take orders and make sure you really can think on your feet."

Offline RenoTopic starter

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2011, 04:21:11 PM »
Eric took her hand and grinned, mildly surprised that the young woman was the master mechanic the posted notice described. Of course, she could always have been padding things a bit. He downed the rest of his own drink and set the glass down, then leaned back and hooked his arms over the back of his chair. "All right, Andy.  Give me your best shot." He said, at last.

Offline SxyCowgirl

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2011, 10:11:35 AM »
With a smirk, she reached behind her and picked up two bags and set them with a thud on the table. Dumping the contents of the larger of the two bags onto the table, she pushed the metal parts towards him. "Show me what you can do with these. Get as far as you can and then I'll jump in. If you can get enough done on your own and take the orders I give you for the rest, you're hired. The smaller bag is your tools." Reaching into the smaller bag, she pulled out an old copper stop watch. "And begin.....Now!" She said, clicking one of the buttons to start the timer.

Offline RenoTopic starter

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2011, 10:47:02 AM »
Eric raised an eyebrow and looked down at the pile of bits on the table in front of him. He was about to ask if she was kidding when she started the watch. His smile faded into a scowl as he glowered down at the table top. What the hell was he supposed to do with random bits of machine parts? What kind of... Hold on... that long, round bit was notched the same way as the hole in that flat bit, so he fit them together and it seemed snug. Why the hell not?

He kept working that way, treating it as a jagged metal jigsaw puzzle inasmuch as he could.

Offline SxyCowgirl

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2011, 08:26:19 AM »
She watched as his expression changed as soon as she started the timer. She couldn't tell if it was a concentration scowl or if it was an 'I can't believe you're making me do this' scowl. Either way, he began picking up pieces and putting them together, most of them in the correct place. As she watched, she noted a few places he didn't quite get.

"Good." She said, sounding slightly pleased, watching as he tried to problem solve with the task set before him. "Now this right here goes on the side closest to you. That band goes around that and the other end goes around that." She began instructing him. "Put that bolt there on that side. And This actually goes here."

Offline RenoTopic starter

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2011, 08:41:08 AM »
Eric's fingers were, fortunately, far more nimble than his very basic aptitude for this sort of work, and no sooner would Andy tell him where a bit went than he would put it there. As the component took form, he had no more idea of what it was for then when he'd been randomly putting pieces together, but he assumed she knew what she was talking about. 

When the last part slid into place, he set the weighty hunk of clockwork down on the table and brushed his hands against each other. "And there you go, one completely assembled... whatever the hell it is," he said sourly as he poured himself another drink, rankling at his failure and, what he felt, the condescending way she directed him on how to put it together. Anything to get off the surface, he reminded himself, and lifted the glass to his lips.

Offline SxyCowgirl

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2011, 08:53:38 AM »
As he finished putting the last piece into place, Andy clicked the timer and looked at it with a nod. Without a word, she picked up the small engine and inspected it carefully and thoroughly. Apparently satisfied with the work, she set it back down and smiled on one side of her mouth at Eric.

"Welcome to the crew kid." She said, putting the engine back in the bag the parts had come from. "I'll show you what this is for. Follow me. Take the drink. We just brought a new shipment of the stuff for here anyway. They won't miss that bottle." She said picking it up, taking a large gulp and handing it to him.

Offline RenoTopic starter

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2011, 08:58:40 AM »
"Damn right I'm taking it," he said, his light and flippant tone returning, "considering what I paid for that jug of rocket fuel." After she took her swig, he jammed the cork back into the bottle and tucked it under his arm as he stood up. "So, how big of a crew are we talking about here?" he asked as he followed her away from the table, taking the opportunity of having her back to him to perform his own appraisal of her, now.

Offline SxyCowgirl

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2011, 09:08:59 AM »
"I've been told around about fifty to seventy five." She said, nonchalantly, stepping out of the bar and into the street. "There's a venture I've been invited on that should prove a rather interesting one. Our job will be to keep the engines in tip top shape and, working on one at a time, make them faster. That is mainly what you will be learning. Though we may be asked to fight as well. Another thing they told me is to expect some trouble, which usually means the take, and our pay, are good." She could feel his eyes on her but she let it slide for the moment as the ship would be leaving not too long from now. She had originally been planning on leaving for this venture and then actually choosing her apprentice when she returned, but having already decided, she didn't really see the point in leaving him here. Plus it would make the training a bit easier she thought.

Offline RenoTopic starter

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2011, 09:47:54 AM »
Eric blinked and pulled himself out of his curve-induced reverie. "Wait, 'you've been told'? A 'venture?'  You mean they're not your crew?" he asked, then grinned. "Kind of brassy of you to welcome me aboard then, wasn't it?" he noted with a chuckle. "I'm going to need to grab my gear from the boarding house near the 'port when we get there. Shouldn't take but a minute or so." He frowned slightly. She wasn't much for conversation, was she? "So, um, what is this 'venture' all about anyway? What kind of trouble are we looking at?" he asked, trying to coax her into talking.

Offline SxyCowgirl

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2011, 09:56:56 AM »
"I don't have one specific crew, I work on engines for various ships. That's how my name has gotten around. And maybe brassy, but as long as you pull your weight won't have to throw you overboard. Get your stuff as quick as you can when we get there. Meet me on the ship. Her name is The Nebular Dawn. She should be the biggest one docked." She said quickly in reply to his questions and statement about his stuff. "It's some sort of treasure hunt. Who knows what treasure they are going after now." She shrugged, not slowing her pace at all.

Offline RenoTopic starter

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2011, 10:16:03 AM »
"I hope it's actual treasure and not some dusty archeology project or something," he mused. When they approached the spaceport, he angled away from her as the boarding house came into view. "There's my room. I'll meet you at the ship in a few minutes." He told her, then disappeared into the doorway without so much as a by-your-leave. He spent a few minutes inside, gathering what few possessions he carried with him into his rucksack; a few changes of clothes and a spare set of boots, and a notched old pocketknife. He settled his bill and headed toward the docking bays, intending to check the directory for the Nebular Dawn.

He needn't have bothered. When Andy had told him she'd be the biggest one docked, he'd expected something on the lines of a heavy freighter. This thing looked like it could tow a small moon. Whistling through his teeth, Eric wended his way through the checkpoint and made for the gangway, scowling when he was stopped by a brick wall masquerading as a dark-skinned, half-balding man. "Where d'you think you're going, chum?" the mobile mortarwork demanded.

Eric glared up, and up, and up at the giant defiantly. "To work. I'm with Andy, and I'm already running late, so can we get on with this?"

Offline SxyCowgirl

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2011, 10:46:37 AM »
Andy nodded as he walked towards the boarding house. The truth about the treasure was she had no idea what it was either. All she knew that she was offered quite a large sum of money for this, she assumed, due to the size of the ship and therefor the engines. She walked up to the gang way and was stopped by a very large man.

"And where do you think YOU'RE going little miss?" He asked, smirking down at her.

She looked up right into his eyes, her face like stone. "I'm Andy. The one who was hired to make the engines in this ship faster." She said, as if it were no big deal.

Throwing his head back the man let out a bellowing laugh. "That's a good one little miss. So how would I know you are who you say you are hm?" He asked, putting his hands on his hips and peering down at her, an amused smirk still on his lips.

"Do you understand anything about the geothermal reactors near the combustion chamber? No I suppose you do not. You seem to be the one who lifts heavy objects. Well you have to keep outside of the reactors cool or the entire engine will blow up. How that is typically done is with a vacuum or water circulation but those are both rather dangerous, if the vacuum seal is broken or the water pump stops working i--"

"Alright alright. So you're Andy. It's a pleasure to meet you. My name is Ben. Heavy lifter and second in command on this ship." He said, sticking his large hand out to shake hers.

She took his hand and shook it and he let her pass up onto the gangway. Just before she got to the top, a mast swung by her and she leaped forward, rolling onto the deck, the small engine in her arms.

"Hey! Watch it!" She yelled, standing up and dusting herself off. Just then she heard Ben yelling again and looked down to see Eric standing in front of him.

"It's alright Ben. He's with me." She yelled. The man seemed to grumble and move to the side for Eric to get past.

Offline RenoTopic starter

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2011, 11:23:57 AM »
Eric shouldered his way past the meat-wall and climbed the gangplank up onto the ship, resettling his pack on his shoulder. He smiled at Andy as he reached the top, blissfully unaware of her near brush with being brained. "Thanks, boss. I thought, for a second, that things were going to have to get ugly down there." He glanced around at his surroundings before looking back at her. "So we're supposed to soup up this overgrown bath toy for a big paycheck, huh? That seems pretty straightforward to me, so when do we start?"

Offline SxyCowgirl

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2011, 03:22:48 PM »
"As soon as I meet everyone of significance on this ship. Already met the first mate, now to meet the Captain, Quartermaster, bos'n, gunner and carpenter." She said, putting her hand on her hip and looking around as well. It was a very large ship indeed, but she could hear yelling coming from somewhere below the main deck. "I assume that's where one of them is." She said turning to look towards the cargo hold. Quickly she walked in the direction of the shouting, a smile on her face. Readjusting the straps over her head to the opposite shoulders, crossing her chest, she stepped up to the edge of the cargo hold and only a few seconds after getting near the edge, she jumped. About halfway down to the second deck, she grabbed a hanging rope and swung in to where the shouting was coming from.

"You! What are you doing here?!" The voice was decidedly feminine but very commanding and that question was clearly directed at Andy.

"I'm Andy." She said, stepping up to them and holding out her hand.

"Oh! Andy! Welcome to The Nebular Dawn. I am Captain Deana." The woman said, taking Andy's hand and shaking it strongly.

"Thanks Cap. So where are the pretties I'll be playing with?"

"Pretties?" Deana asked, clearly confused.

"Main crew members. Quartermaster, bos'n, gunner, carpenter." She explained.

"Ah yes. I will introduce you." Looking over her shoulder, she lifted one eyebrow. "And who is this? I assume the....apprentice you took?" Deana said, looking the man up and down. Andy turned around to find him standing behind her.

Offline RenoTopic starter

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2011, 03:57:18 PM »
Eric had followed Andy's lead and made the swing one-handed. He was still hanging lazily on the rope when she turned to see him there, and he grinned flippantly. "A little heavy on the landing there, boss., but I'm sure you'll get the hang of it."  He turned his attention to the captain and gave a sloppy half-salute. "That's me, Captain. Eric Fuoco." he said, sizing up the Captain even as she did him. She was a little thick in the hard, steel-bending sort of way, and could probably have tied any two of Eric's long, lithe limbs into a perfect stopper knot and he wouldn't have a word to say about it. In spite of that, there was no denying that the captain was all woman; her snug-fitting made that obvious to the eye, and the fact that she wore them told him that she knew it, too. Still, Eric knew better than to try anything. If there was only one thing seafarers and spacefarers had in common, it was that they quickly did very ugly things to people who messed with their captain.

Offline SxyCowgirl

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2011, 04:24:05 PM »
"You better watch your mouth. Remember I am your boss and I can throw you off into space any time I want." She threatened, annoyed at his cocky remark. "You want to carry the engine twinkle toes? No? Then shut your yap and show some respect."

Turning back to the Captain, she rolled her eyes. "It's going to be a long trip."

Deana nodded once and stepped to the edge of the edge of the cargo hold area and yelled down "Mark, get Dom, Brick and Soa and meet me on the forecastle!" She yelled, her voice ringing clear even over all the shouts of the crewmen both above and below. An inaudible reply sounded up from the lower deck and Deana nodded and turned back to the two.

"They will meet us on top. For now, I will show you your quarters and the engine room." The Captain said, turning around and heading towards an elevator of sorts nearby. Andy followed closely behind.

Offline RenoTopic starter

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2011, 04:30:46 PM »
"No need to be nasty," he said as he fell into step behind the two women. "I'm surprised you didn't make me carry it, tell you the truth. Not that it would be a big deal," he shrugged as they went below decks. Eric found himself ducking fairly often as his tall stature made navigating through the passages a bit hazardous if he didn't pay attention. Fortunately, he'd long since become used to it, and slipping through hatchways apparently designed for people half his size was second nature to him by now. 
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 04:55:28 PM by Reno »

Offline SxyCowgirl

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2011, 05:12:01 PM »
The three of them took the elevator down to the lower deck and then made their way to the back of the ship where the engines were. Upon seeing them, Andy ran up to them, excited. "Oh! I've heard of these engines but this is the first time seeing them! They're amazing!" She said, looking from the enormous engines to the Captain and back. "I can not wait to do some work on these!"

"I am glad you are happy Andy. But you can examine them later, once we've taken to the skies." Deana said, stepping up beside her. "Here are your quarters. They may be a bit small, but they are close to the elevator back here and right next to the engines to help make it easier to get to them. Now lets go up top and meet the boys shall we?" She suggested, walking towards the elevator to their left.

Andy quickly went into the room and put the bags she had on her in the room, her own things having been transferred here by one of the crewmen of the ship she had been on last. With a big smile, she ran back out and entered the elevator behind Deana.

Offline RenoTopic starter

Re: Adrift Among Stars (SxyCowgirl/Reno)
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2011, 05:49:02 PM »
Eric raised an eyebrow at Andy's excitement. He wasn't sure what she was seeing that he wasn't. The engines were huge, noisy, and reeked of fuel and lubricant. How so very thrilling. He shrugged to himself and backed down the passage as the captain and the mechanic both came out of the engine room, until his own 'cabin' was indicated to him. He ducked inside  long enough to throw his pack down on his bunk and take a look around. He sighed. It was a matchbox, and spitting distance from the engines to boot. He made a mental note that he would definitely have to find an alternate location to spend the night shifts.