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Sharing host/GM duties for "Firefly - Second 'Verse" with Wandering Wolf.

Other than that, kind of a goofball who loves writing stories and playing radio for an audience consisting entirely of my dogs.

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F/V Morning Light




After the past two days, the act of splashing cold water onto her face held no restorative benefit. Except the absence of salt spray, Bian smirked at her reflection. The woman in her mirror appeared somewhat older than her fifty-three years. Creases and bags around the eyes were more prominent, just as likely the result of sleep deprivation as they were a sign of her age. Decades of sun and wind had coarsened her skin. Once lustrous jet black hair now streaked grey, with a weatherbeaten frizz to which she’d long ago surrendered. The sea had transformed her into its’ own creation.

She checked the time. Fourteen-fifty. In a few minutes, the season would begin properly. She could send the signal, and have her decks cleared of their illicit catch. It had been risky, spending the last two days fishing the churned waters in the hurricane’s wake, but so far, the move had paid off. Not a single Marine Patrol boat had shown, and there’d been no flyovers. The crew were all equally weary, but their spirits held. The preseason catch had been robust. Once China Doll collected her cargo, their work would begin anew.

“Bian.” Darius’ voice over the intercom. “We got company.”

She finished drying her face, then hung the towel before keying her mic. “What do you make of her?”

“Fast mover, on a southerly course. Grey paint job.”

Captain Bian Nguyen only had to utter a single word. “Showtime.”

The F/V Morning Light was no stranger to the act of poaching. Her crew were well drilled in the art of “nautical naughtiness” and the ways to defuse the curiosity of both surface vessels and aircraft. As she climbed the aft ladder toward the wheelhouse, Bian noted the heavy tarp which covered the waiting tuna. Paint work consisting of numerous meter length brown stripes would be read from the air as a stack of crab or lobster traps. As she took to the bridge, her deckhands completed the masquerade by making a show of hauling a trap line. The final accessory to her costume, the placards, had been put into place when they’d begun fishing.

“Vessel to my port beam,” the radio squawked as she entered, “this is the charter boat ‘Slippery When Wet.’ You copy?”

“Five by five, Slippery,” Darius traded glances with Bian. “This is the fishing vessel Mariah P, at your service.”

“Havin’ any luck?”

“Negative, negative,” the First Mate responded. “Hurricane scattered our crab traps all to hell and back. Gonna be lucky if we recover half of em, copy?”

Bian cast a glance over her shoulder, her eye satisfied by the sight of the deck crew hoisting a trap from the heaving seas. The intruder spoke again. “Fair sorry to hear it, Mariah. Got a couple guys chartered us for King Tuna, but considerin’ who they brought with ‘em I conjure won’t be much fishin’ goin’ on.”

Darius trained his binoculars. After a moment’s study, he smiled at the number of bikinis in sight on the charter yacht’s after deck. “Roger that, Slip. Guess it’s good somebody’s gettin’ some, copy?”

The other captain laughed. “Not these two horn dogs. They’re takin’ turns bent over the head. My deckhand’s gonna try’n teach the little cuties to fish so the trip’s not a total bust.”

“Sounds like mighty tough duty, Cap. Seas ahead on your course should even out by nightfall. I gotta get back to it. Mariah P. out.”

“Good luck to you, Mariah P. Slippery When Wet out.”

Bian had studied the radar throughout the exchange. “He’s not changing course. Should drop below the horizon in another ten ticks.” She lifted her binoculars. After a moment’s study, she turned toward Darius. “Looks like they’ve got enough distractions aboard to look at. Let’s drop our veils.”

“Yes, ma’am,” the First Mate hustled from the wheelhouse. Within a minute’s time, the faux crab trap operation was removed, tucked away into its’ stowage. Placards bearing the name “Mariah P” and a false registry number were removed and stashed. Nguyen looked down upon the deck in time to see the pantomime tarp being rolled and folded. The exposed cargo, four thousand pounds of King Tuna, lay secure in eight large ice tubs.

She made the final reveal, switching transponders. Now, if anyone cared to look, the Morning Light was on station, ready to enter the fishing grounds and claim her due.

“Deck’s clear,” he announced, his frame filling the aft doorway.

Captain Nguyen checked the time. “Fifteen-oh-two. Just barely legal,” she smirked at Darius. “I’ll signal the China Doll.”


The new catalyzer fit like a dream. Didn’t take Abby no time for tah pop it inta place, just like Marisol taught her. More she learnt, more she conjured most things in the ‘verse was butt simple...til folk stepped in an’ made ‘em all complicated.

Like Fireflies. Once yah got tha flow down, they’s jest easy tah suss out. She checked the fuel tanks. Full an’ ready. Run her eyes all along lines an’ couplin’s to the pumps. They showed pressure an’ standby mode, jest like they should. Reactor was warmed up an’ ready, soon’s she kicked over tha radion core. No leaks, no weird sounds, all happy gauges an’ green lights. Still, she took ‘er time, folllowin’ tha checklist one by one.

Marisol had kept a good log. ‘Sides the catalyzer, she mentioned two-three things looked like they’d need replacin’ in another couple runs. One ‘o’ tha heat exchangers was wearin’ down, and somethin’ called a tri-modal supply router fer the portside atmo engine. She’d give each one a look-see in turn, soon’s she had ‘em off shore power.

Power distro looked shiny, even if ‘twas in shore bypass mode. Life support...all good. Water tanks was full, an’ tha recycler’s empty. In a minute, all these workin’s would come to life. China Doll would be herself again. “Engine room,” she announced herself over the comm. “I’m ‘bout tah start ‘er up.”

Pen come right back with an “all clear.” Abby took both hands on tha core crank, pushin’ it over til it clicked home. Tha core give a chug, then another, and another as she cycled an’ commenced tah spinnin’. Her data screen come alive with fuzzy green numbers cyclin’ up whilst the core set tah hummin’. Things looked right. Numbers looked good as her checklist.

Abby had her hair tied back, pony tail tucked ‘neath ‘er collar as she moved about the engine room. She’s wearin’ a pair ‘o’ her new denims...durn if Thomas’ mom couldn’t measure an’ take ‘em in just right. First time a pair ever felt good on her waist an’ hips. Brand new socks in her boots was already warm, an’s she’d pulled stuff out fer when it got cold.

“”Pen,” the girl keyed her mic. “Engine room checks out. I’m headin’ fer tha atmo engines. Gotta walkie if ya’ need me.”
Haven




Though Mrs. Wyman’s skin was ‘bout a shade ‘er two darker’n Hook’s, Abby could still conjure the bruise what crept out from behind ‘er sunglasses. She’s travellin’ light, with jest a shoulder bag an’ a small suitcase. Girl thought it tah be a bit outta place til she seen a hand shaped bruise on the woman’s forearm. Didn’t take a detective tah smoke out tha rest.

“Gotcher space heater set,” she said. “They’s extra blankets on tha foot ‘o’ yer bed. Since we’s runnin’ cold, I’ma keep a hot thermos with ya overnight. Wouldja like coffee, tea, or hot cocoa?”

“Coffee, please.” She allowed herself to be lead into the depths of the ship. “Can I ask you something...Abby, is it?”

“Sure.”

“I see you’re limping,” the passenger said. “Can you tell me why?”

Abby smiled over her shoulder. “Doc operated on me a few days back...down there...y’unnerstand. Still a might stiff an’ sore, but it’s scads better.” She seen an openin’ an’ took it. “We got a great doc, ma’am. If yah’d like I can take yah tah see ‘er.”

Ms. Wyman dismissed the offer with a wave of her hand. “Thank you, no. All I really want to do is sleep.”

“I putcha in our most comfy room,” the deckhand offered. “When it comes time fer launch, we needja take seat in tha lounge...right there. Any them spots has straps tah buckle inta. I’ll be ‘round then tah make sure yer all copasetic. Hook...he’s our cook...most like has somethin’ tah eat if yer hungry...right up them steps an’ turn right.” She opened the cabin door an’ stepped aside. “Here yah go. They’s time fer a cat nap afore we power up.”

The new passenger stepped inside her accommodations. “This will be fine.” She surveyed the bed with it’s night table bathed in the warm glow of the lamp. Not quite the match for a moment she’d dreamed of so many times, but considering she’d finally worked up the courage to embark on this new journey, a little revision seemed a small enough sacrifice. Her perusal stopped, as with a sudden turn she pointed toward the door. Does that lock?”

“Yes’m.” Abby nodded. This was one ‘o’ them tough sitchiations...knowin’ what’s goin’ on but clue free as tah what’s fit fer sayin’. “Yew can lock it.”

“Good,” Mrs. Wyman expressed her satisfaction. “Then I’ll stop taking your time. Thank you, Abby.”

As Abby turnt fer her own room an’ a change ‘o’ clothes, she heard the sharp click of the lock.
”I Know a Guy…”




Cameo appearance by @wanderingwolf

“You know,” Thomas observed, “that the idea of sun tannin’ your legs is to do both sides...right?”

When she’d called him up, Abby’s sorta surprised at how quick he come runnin’. Even better, he’s happy tah see ‘er when he showed. They may ‘o’ looked awkward, but she still seen him sneakin’ looks at her legs...which she figgered she kinda liked. “Ya know,” she countered, “only a right jackass would say a thing like that?”

He give her a chuckle. “That’s “Mister Jackass” to you. So, Crabby, what’s this new mission you got?”

“Shhh!” she waved her finger. Abby made tah lift herself from tha chair, til all of a sudden Thomas’ hands was holding her own, helpin’ her onta her feet. Felt like ‘er heart skipped a minute there, til she drew ‘him down close an’ placed a hand to his ear. “Got a crewmate needs new ident...fast,” she whispered. “Ya know anybody does that?”

He drew back, eyes upon her as he calculated his words. “I may know a guy.” Thomas studied Abby for a minute with eyes she couldn’t quite read. Finally, he spoke in a whisper. “You got this person’s new info? And a capture?”

“Right here.” She held out the cap’n’s cortex.

He brought his own device out ta bounce the file. “I’m conjurin’ here that somethin’ like this...done on the quick..won’t be cheap.”

Abby give ‘im the dead eye. “How much?”

Thomas shrugged. “Maybe a hundred...and a picture of your next drawing?”

Well, she fought the urge to smile and then lost, jest kilt the oyster payout. She pulled the coin from her pocket. “Done.” Abby closed her hands over his, passin’ the money. Couldn’t quite place the sorta electric feelin’ as her fingertips brushed his. “Cap’n has me here til noon. Then I gotta hightail tah tha engine room. Think yah’ll be back by then?”

Thomas grinned. “Here I go, movin’ heaven and New Melbourne for some girl I just met. Call me a dumbass.”

“Shiny,” her own mischief come out tah play, “can yah be back here by noon, Dumbass?”

He laughed. “It’s a date. Try’n have your legs tanned by then, okay?”

“Can’t do that ‘thout layin’ on muh stomach with muh pi gu up in tha air.”

“Don’t think anybody’d mind that!” Thomas waved as he took to his lorry.

“Shut up!” Abby laughed, waved back, and settled inta her chair.

**************************************************************************

“So what do you think?” Thomas and Abby huddled together. Before them gleamed a new ident card. RANDELL, PENELOPE D stood out in bold face type, next to a photo of the pilot. Completing the card was a scan code, intended to pull up a full record on the bearer.

Abby turned it over in ‘er hands. “Looks tha real McCoy,” she nodded her head slow as her eyes took in ever’ corner. “How’s it scan?”

“Doesn’t, yet,” he whispered. “Takes some time to set all the file traces in her new history. Data push is on for Greenleaf, since you’re headed there first. She’ll read legit through a regular checkpoint or if a bartender needs ident.” He lifted his eyes toward her. “Know how long you’re staying there?”

“Cap’n ain’t said.”

Thomas offered a tilt of his head. “My guy tells me her ident will register ‘verse wide in about three days, so she needs to keep out of hospitals and government buildings til then. Tell her not to get arrested...okay? And she best work on a Heran drawl.”

“Copy that.” She pulled her own ident from her pocket. Abby compared the two, side by side. “Durned if it don’t look more real’n mine..”

He burst out laughing. “What’d you do? Fall out of bed into a bag of cats? Crabby...that picture! Omigod!” He snatched the ident from her hand, holding it out of reach as he teased her.

Abby leaned toward him, stretchin’ on tip toe tah grab it back. “Cain’t jump fer it right now, ‘member? Bullet hole an’ such? Gimme muh gorram ident!”

With a shake of his head, Thomas relented, surrendering the card. “Oh,Crabby,” he chortled, “it’s true what they say about ident photos, huh?”

“Like your’n’s any better,” she bristled as she tucked it away.

“I,” he produced his ident with a flourish, “Am a bronzed god. Look upon me and swoon, woman.” A grin spread across his features as Abby doubled over in laughter.

“Is this...is this…” she collapsed into another fit ‘o’ laughin’. “Is this afore ‘r after tha keel haulin?”

Thomas loosed an audible sniff, turning his head. “Acne is a serious condition. And for your information, Little Miss I-Hate-Brushing-My-Hair, I was only ever keelhauled once. Well, maybe twice. Once. Three times.”

Abby put a hand to his shoulder fer tah steady herself. “Oh….oh...whew…” she surrendered his ident. “Ah want that pitcher,” she giggled.

“That reminds me,” he went into his pocket. “Had to kill my burner cortex for this job. Was thinking instead of pitching it I’d let you have it.” Thomas handed the little reader to Abby.

She give it tha once over. “Oh...right! I got this thing I’m throwin’ away so’s I won’t git inta trouble...what say I give it tah ‘Crabby?” the deckhand quipped.

“Girl, you’ve got a funny way of expressin’ your appreciation for someone who just…”

“Oh, why don’t yew jest shut the hell…” She didn’t see it comin’. Had no idea in ‘er head what she’s gon’ do til she found herself doin’ it. One arm about his neck an’ layin’ a kiss on him tha likes of what she never done. Later on Abby’d think on this. Wonder if she done it right. But not now, while he’s puttin’ his arms ‘round her an’ kissin’ her right back. Her eyes was closed. She couldn’t hear nothin’ but her own blood roarin’ in her ears. She weren’t rightly certain how long the kiss lasted. But when it broke, an’ their foreheads touched, she heard Thomas breathin’...all raggedy, like she’s doin’.

“Wow.”

“Yeah.”

“When are you comin’ back?” he asked.

“Not soon enough,” she answered deadly serious. Lightnin’ still shootin’ though every inch of ‘er, but that didn’t stop the town clock from strikin’ noon. “Gorramit,” Abby swore under her breath. “Thomas...I…”

“I know,” he pulled back. “Got work myself. But now we can talk,” he brightened. “Send me what you draw...and pictures of you in all the wild places you’re gonna go..dohn mah?”

She smiled, placed a hand to his cheek. “If you do, I’ma do to.” Next kiss was his idea. It’s shorter, but still coulda put her right off ‘er feet if he weren’t holdin’ ‘er at tha time.

Thomas withdrew from the embrace, his face a healthy flush as he turned for his lorry. “See you soon, Abby,” he smiled.

“See yah soon, Thomas.” As the engine coughed to life, she turned back toward China Doll. Cal was standin’ there. “Hey Cap’n,” She done her best tah sound all casual like, but couldn’t shake the hot flush on her own cheeks as she handed Pen’s new ident over. “Got ‘er done.”

Captain Strand pawed the forgery, his brows lifting in recognition of good workmanship. “Your fella knows his stuff.” His eyes met hers, a look passing over his features. “What happened to you?” That’s when it dawned on him, “Go shoppin’ for duds again, didja?”
Clipboard Confessions




JP/Collab from @wanderingwolf and @sail3695

“Yes ma’am,” Abby nodded towards the lean woman who stood before her. JennaBeth Dupree wore loose fitting drawstring shorts and an open blouse...bit less modest than she’da chose fer herself,, ‘til she conjured this woman spent mosta her time workin’ alone. All the skin she allowed out was tanned right deep, so much as to be sorta ruddy. Them sandals was newish...like they’s only worn when she come tah town. Her hat was Chinese straw weave, sweat soaked through as it give her shade whilst she rowed among her beds. JennaBeth’s Oysters was hand painted on tha side ‘o’ her truck. Abby sized the woman by her work, an’ the no nonsense look in ‘er eye...and seen independence. She found it beautiful. “We’re headin’ fer Greenleaf.”

“Got a cold storage?”

“Sure’n we do,” the girl answered. “Cap’n’s runnin without heat this time...keepin’ our cargo bay nice ‘n’ cold.”

“Got a thousand pounds in five ice tubs. How much?”

Abby quoted. JennaBeth shook ‘er head. Abby talked up volume discount, then shaved an extra five percent ta close. To that, the oyster farmer signed off. “What time you go?”

“Three ‘o’clock. Have yer tubs here by two-thirty. Ice ‘em down good an’ they’ll hold til we break atmo.”

JennaBeth fished her coin purse. “That I can do.” she give Abby the money. “See you then.”

Abby wrote it all down on the clipboard as tha old truck rattled away. She finished tah tha sound ‘o’ bootheels comin’ down tha ramp. “Hey Cap’n,” girl looked up at Cal. “Jest got us more cargo.”

“That’s mighty fine Abigail, mighty fine indeed...” Captain Strand reached inside his breast pocket. “Reckon that nudges the arrow North a little, and given how things went last night….” His fingers found his last cigarette in that silver case of his, tucking it between his teeth as he faced Abigail with quiet eyes.

She’s already busted. Cap’n had’er figgered out at breakfast. He seen through her ruse. Buddha knowed what else he seen. Thomas’ truck weren’t zactly quiet in its’ comin’s an’ goin’s…”Things,” she answered. “Went okay, sir. I’m real sorr….”

“He treat you right?” Cal fixed Abby with a stare as the sound of flint on steel lit his face behind the cigarette.

She swallowed, put a hand up tah her hair, one ‘o’ them things yah just do when yer on the spot. But no, Abby thought on this. Ain’t gonna crawfish on this. She kept eyes on his gaze as she answered straight up. “Yes.”

The ember at the tip of his smoke danced as Cal drew out the moment; before that wicked grin curled the edges of his lips, “I know we talked of me chasin’ skirt, but then you go and get yourself some tail to boot. And all that with stitches--look at you, Abigail.” Captain Strand grinned, tipping his hat in her direction.

She felt the flush when it come tah her cheeks. “Didn’t git no tail,” she sounded all flustered like. “Weren’t lookin’. Did get some new duds. Fella I met helped me with that.”

“So you an a fella went shoppin’ for duds in the middle of the night?” He eased up, as it was plain to him she wasn’t going to divulge the real goin’s on in the dead of night, and seein’ as it weren’t his business anyhow, he added “I can take a hint, but, in truth, I need to ask you somethin’ for Penelope. See, she needs a favor.”

Abby’s all set tah tell ‘bout standin’ in the dog’s bowl in waterproof socks an’ such, but that story done vanished when he brung up the pilot. “Pen?” she asked. “Sure’n I’ll be happy tah do her a kindness.”

“The next leg of our journey’s gonna take us somewhere she’s got history. History, that’d be best left in the past, if you catch my meanin’. She needs what Ms.Baker had: A new name.” Cal drew on his smoke before facing his Deck.

Pensive. She’d read the word. Looked it up a time or two. Ain’t never used it. Til now.

“I have it on good authority,” he started, pausing to exhale a plume of smoke up toward the China Doll’s arched neck, “that ‘Ms.Baker’ grew mighty fond of you in her short time aboard.” Cal turned toward the wide world of New Melbourne from the comfort of his ramp. “That, and I went lookin’ for her things this mornin’. Wouldn’t happen to know where they got off to, wouldja?”

‘Course he got it conjured. What else could she think? Why in tha hot place didn’t she think it sooner? “It’s plain an’ true that we got on,” she said. “Liked her, sir. She taught me stuff…’bout this boat. Tole me ‘bout her girls. Let me talk ‘bout my folk. She’s right nice. After we touched down, friend ‘o’ hers come lookin’ for her things.” She could shut up now...damage was done. Trust...prob’ly run dry. Still, Abby knew she ain’t answered proper. An’ worse, Cap’n probably did too. Time tah stop playin’ at this nonsense. “Respect fer tha dead. That’s why I done what I did,” she confessed. “Outta respect. I snuck her stuff out, an’ give it over tah that fella.”

Cal nodded, this was exactly where he was hoping things would lead. Though, watching this life draw in this girl of no more than seventeen set a pit in his stomach. “Think he might know folk who can get things done… on the QT?” The words tasted more bitter than the tar in his cigarette. This was a sort of using which he knew he’d come to regret: pulling his youngest crewmate into a war almost as old as she was. He spat to clear his conscience before returning his gaze to Abby.

Her brows lifted, eyes opened in surprise. “Oh,” the girl said. “That I don’t know.” She thought on it a bit. Cap’n had her all conjured, but she’s still workin’ tah learn his ways...like jest then. Somethin’ round tha eyes as he’s talkin’...somethin’ he held close. But that werren’t what he’s askin’ her. “Don’t conjure it hurts none tah ask,” she finally said. “Can I borrah yer cortex?”

With a deft movement, Cal retrieved the glossy device from his pocket and held it out to Abby, “Go find your fella.”
Okay, I think we're all clear?


Great post, you two.

I think we're waiting on one more before we blow this pop stand. So naturally it's wolf and myself, dragging our feet. We'll get a move on!

Last call, folks!
And The Sea Shall Yield Up….


Part 7




. . . - - - . . .

Hard to tell that daylight had come. Angry black clouds raced overhead, as the roar of the wind deafened him. The table to which he labored to cling proved both blessing and curse all at once. It’s size and bulk meant that it could ride the ocean’s tempestuous peaks without tumbling down a wave face. The heavy legs acted as drogue anchors, adding a modicum of stability. He struggled to remain aboard the impromptu liferaft as it sometimes went nearly vertical while riding upward. The body straps from the life vest proved somewhat helpful, if for no other purpose than to keep the table from drifting away after he’d been tossed from its’ top. There’d been just enough web strap to afford him a single hand grip.

. . . - - - . . .

His watch was gone, torn from his wrist when the dying ship had expelled him. Parts of the walkie talkie were ruined by the salt water, though he had coaxed a signal just before the battery failed. With the icy cold threatening to make simple claws of his hands, Yuri set to work. As the hours passed...or were they minutes...he coupled the torch’s battery to the walkie. The most painstaking effort involved setting the transmitter to the lowest frequency possible. His hands shook violently as he tried to press the multitool’s knife tip into the tiny selector. Broadcasting on low frequency would boost his range, but for a radio designed to work on a thousand foot ship, he reasoned he might get a mile at best. Especially in these seas...this is a fool’s errand, the mechanic thought. Yet still he chose to play the fool.

. . . - - - . . .

This storm was his destiny, a final judgment of a mocking god. His limbs had begun to fail him. Hands were useless claws. Yuri’s knees folded upward, toward his chest. He would’ve died in the ocean. Now, the extra time this thin raft bought him was simply a prolongation of the inevitable.

. . . - - - . . .

It seemed funny to him...the things that came to mind before dying. The books he’d read, and the cortex vids he’d watched had all offered up heartrending images of people crying out for their mothers, or offering up final declarations of The One True Love. To be sure, he did feel love for his parents. In a way, he’d followed his father’s footsteps into the world of large machines, a pursuit that even the man’s death among the skyplex’s massive inner workings couldn’t blunt. His mother, Katja, was still alive. Still mopping floors in that man’s skyplex. Still working to pay off a debt the man himself would never proclaim to be clear.

As such thoughts invariably led him to his brother, Yuri saw no irony. It had been Ivan who’d drifted in and out of jail. Ivan, the brawler, the bully who’d made his little brother’s life a daily torment. Ivan, the robber, whose ham handed attempt to steal a mining camp’s payroll left three innocents lying in their own blood.

Ivan, whose desperate attempts to escape justice had finally landed him on the skyplex, under the hand of Adelai Niska.

It was clear at the time that Ivan had found his calling, serving as Niska’s chief enforcer. He relished the part, his zeal on full display through the tribal tattoo which crawled the left half of his face. Soon, the entire family was drawn into the spider’s web, living on the skyplex, accruing debts for which there was no explanation, and certainly no payment in this life.

. . . - - - . . .

Ivan’s fate was predictable. He’d been killed by a ship’s captain over a deal gone wrong. Niska raged over the death of his “Crow,” driven toward vengeance more by insult than loss. Yuri, sensing the turmoil among the crime boss’s lackeys, had escaped on a tramp freighter, never to look back.

But here, facing lonely death on an unforgiving sea, Yuri Antonov felt now as he felt then...a sense of relief.

. . . - - -

I disagree.

By giving our characters their opportunity to engage in the seemingly mundane, we free them to share thoughts about the current task or situation, their relationships with other characters, the personal demons with whom they struggle, etc. Hook is a man with more than one story to tell. Something as simple as recognizing the brand stenciled onto a sack of rice could peel back another layer of his character.

I love the way these characters are growing. Their voices are distinct and clear. Well done, everyone.

WWIF,

sail
Plans Over Breakfast

Day 3 - Morning




JP/Collab by @Gunther, @sail3695, and @wanderingwolf

Sausage.

Hook had sausage! Fer the life of ‘er, Abby couldn’t suss out how the wily cook found half what he did. An’ it was good sausage, ta boot. He taught her a new trick...pourin’ a little syrup onta her plate an’ swishin’ them patties around in it. Tha spicy sausage, all drippin’ that sweetness, was like ta make her close her eyes an’ let loose a mighty “Mmmmmmm!”



The aromas coming from his galley drew Cal’s nose, and the rest of him followed, growling stomach and all. Armed with the day’s clipboard, the captain sauntered right up to the coffee pot. Hook had a cortex back by his stove, playin’ local music through a tinny sounding speaker. Abigail was seated at the table, her face all rapturous as she worked over her breakfast. “Mornin’ Hook”, he lifted his coffee mug in salute. “Got any more of that?”

“Monrin’ Cap’n,” Joe responded to the captain. “Coffee’s in the pot over yonder.”

The captain’s eye fell onto his youngest crew member. Abigail looked much improved since their sit down yesterday mornin’. He took note of her boxers, the first thing he’d seen on her which wasn’t a touch on the threadbare side. The fresh ocean blue, spotted with ships’ wheels, compasses and sextants, offered a glimpse into the sort of carousing the girl conned her way past him for last night. A right little Jezzebel, he smirked at the sight of her legs, their white skin made reddish brown on the front half. “Abigail,” he greeted the deckhand, “I see we’re gettin’ fat.”

“Promish I’ll work it off,” she give him a raised eyebrow.

Joe Hooker held back a giggle as he tended to cleaning up the galley area.

“That you will.” He spied the leftover waffles. “Hook, got any more of that sausage? Don’t think it’s fair for Abigail to be the only one puttin’ on weight.”

“Not a problem, Cap’n,” Joe went back into cold storage and retrieved the sausage. “Found these at a store named, Wisniewski after the owner. Love these sweet and spicy sausages. Good stuff, Cap’n. Ah’ll fry ‘em up on the griddle fer ya.”

A plate landed before him, covered with a generous helping of sausage and waffles. “Not sure how you do it,” Cal said as he slathered butter over the waffles. Next came the syrup, which cascaded down the breakfast like a viscous waterfall. “Not sure I should be askin’,” he chuckled before loading in that first bite. “Mmmm….oh…” his eyes rose to the ceiling. “I ain’t askin’...”

“Ain’t sayin’ I never et well afore,” Abby rose from her chair. “Jest ain’t never et so well so often. Hook, yah got tha touch,” she give ‘im a grateful smile as her dishes went inta tha sink. After a quick rinse, she filled ‘er coffee mug once more. “What’s on tahday’s plan, Cap’n?”

“Thank you, Miss Abby, Ah’s appreciate ta compliment.” Joe maintained focus on his duties while listening to the Captain.

“For you?” Cal shut his mouth, wiping away a drop of escaping syrup. He gave the clipboard a few taps of his finger as he worked the food down. “My cargo bay’s lookin’ a might sparse this morning. How about you do some ‘Abby-cadabra’ and get me something else to haul?”

She took her seat. “I’ll git what can be got, Cap’n.”

He finished another bite, this one a dripping combination of waffle and sausage. “And one more passenger.”

Her brows lifted. “Thought I’s off tha hook fer that?”

The captain shrugged, then met her eye directly. “Had a change of heart...late last night.” The flush rising to the girl’s cheeks offered it’s own reward, but he decided to press on with something a bit more cheerful. “Besides, what with me given’ Hook some extra coin to go food shoppin’ this morning, we need to make it back somewhere.”

”When you’re a spy...oh, forget it. Never try to put one over on the captain.”

Abby hid her shameface behind the mug fer a tick, then followed the Cap’n as he changed tha subject. “I’ll git one, Cap’n. What we gotta do tah prep fer the tuna pickup?”

“You told me you did some mechanickin’?” Cal asked. “Aboard your Uncle Bob’s boat?”

She nodded her head. “Can’t rebuild a core or tha like, but I conjure all the gazintas an’ goesouttas perty well.”

“Shiny.” The captain loaded his fork again. “Ride the lawnchair til noon. Then I want you in the engine room for preflights. Have ‘er buttoned down and ready to break shore power by two. Almost forgot,” he said after another morsel was swallowed. “Got a new catalyzer. Pop it into place.”

She give a nod. “Yessir, I got it.”

The music from Hook’s cortex stopped, replaced by a news report. Cal turned in his chair. “Hook, Rex and I will prep the cargo bay for the tuna pickup. This’ll be done at a hover, over a fishin’ boat. Rex’ll ride the net down onto the boat deck and set each load. You an’ I will run the hoist and strap ‘em down as they come aboard, dohn mah?

“Roger that, cap’n,” Joe responded to the Captain’s question.

The captain took another bite. The room fell silent as a breaking news story was read aloud.

“Tragedy on the Eastern Sea, due to Hurricane Daniel. The ore carrier NS Eileen McSorley has been reported missing by the New Melbourne Marine Patrol. A search and rescue effort is underway. The McSorley did not issue a distress call before she disappeared from radar. She has a crew of thirty-five. No further information is available.

In other news, today sees the beginning of King Tuna Season. Ports all along the Southern coast are busy this morning, as both anglers and professionals are casting off to be on the fishing grounds for this afternoon’s start. Though the hurricane will make for rough seas on the Eastern edge, the storm’s Northerly path presents a negligible hazard at best... ”


“And that’s us,” Cal observed. “Our fishin’ boat worked the East corners. Might be a little choppy, but nothin’ most of us haven’t seen before.”

“Too bad about that ship,” Joe shook his head. “Wonder if anyone survived?” Joe wondered about the crew that went down with the ship. “Yes, cap’n the choppy seas won’t be bad a tall, fer us in this Firefly. The boat below us on the other hand will more likely be rocking ‘bout, but with the first officer down below, we should be all right.”

“Ah’ll take those credits and git more veggies and fruits for cold storage. Mebee somethin’ else fer meats or spices. Ah’s ah takin’ care of dis ere crew, cap’n.” Joe Hooker smiled at the Captain.

Abby downed her final swallow of coffee. “Then I’d best get tah gittin’,” she said as she pulled herself up.

“Wear those short cutoffs again,” Cal said.

“Yew tryna tell me that sex sells?” she turned back.

“Shoot no,” he pointed at her legs with his fork. “You need more sun, kid. For the life of me, those legs make me wonder if we’re puttin’ up Noel decorations or openin’ a barber shop.”
Happy Sunday from the cargo bay!

It's Day 3. King Tuna season is about to begin!

Here's what we think is going on:
There's a JP/Collab brewing for Hook, Cal, and Abby. We conjure that'll post today.
Heard there's a Pen/Cal JP in the works
Also, Alana and Pen are out for a quick shopping trip...involving the mule?
Hook will be out as well, picking up groceries for the next run.

Once all those are up, we'll go into launch mode.

WWIF,

sail
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