Saturday, September 8, 2012

Welcome Aboard


“Well, that’s about everyone. All that’s left is the captain herself.” Martin explained. “I must warn you, she already has an aversion to scientists, so she’s not going to like you firsthand.”
                “What, why?” Davik inquired, slightly offended.
                “Nothing personal. Just follow these rules with her, and you shouldn’t end up too badly. One, don’t stare, she is what she is, and she is very proud of that. Two: don’t ask about her background, if you’re lucky she simply will ignore you. Three: don’t talk about your background. I can assure you she won’t be interested. And finally, don’t speak unless spoken to, and do it with as few words as possible. With any luck, you will survive your maiden voyage.” Martin finished and sighed. Davik stared at him with absolute horror. “Don’t worry about it, you won’t be seeing too much of her anyways.”  He assured as he knocked on the door.
                “Yeah,” A female voice emerged from behind the door.
                “Got the new guy here for you to meet.” Martin announced. There was a long silence.
                “Bring him in,” It ordered coldly. Martin motioned for him to enter the room.
                He stepped inside a smoke filled room, the scent of a high quality cigar. He walked towards a shadowy figure standing behind a large ebony carved desk. She was looking out of the window, not even acknowledging his presence. He took a moment to absorb the surroundings. Even though the room was made of metal, the d├ęcor had an old world feel to it. Wood paneled walls were covered with bookcases, filled with leather bound tomes.
                “Sit down,” The figure ordered. He complied with her request quietly, following Martin’s advice. The figure remained watching the outside world for several excruciating minutes, smoking a cigar. Upon further investigation, Davik noticed the smoke was coming out of the right side of her neck. He wondered if it was only a trick of the light, and stared hard to find the source.
                She suddenly turned around to take a look at him, and what he saw took him aback. She was of massive stature, muscled and tall. She was dressed very casually; in olive green cargo pants and a black sleeveless shirt. A thick brown belt encompassed her waist, and a set of sniper’s goggles held back her loosely bunched up dark hair. Around her neck was a leather cord, carrying a massive claw of some beast unfamiliar to him. She had a tattoo of an Odin’s Horn scrawled in black across her upper right arm where the joint met the socket. Scars littered everywhere he could see flesh, in shapes varying from deep scratches to bullet wounds. Davik found her an amazing creature.
But what was more astounding to him, was the amount of machinery integrated in her body. A grisly scar was drawn over her right eye, which was replaced by a glowing red retina, scrutinizing his position. At the base of her neck, a patch of metal and wires were bolted in, vents pouring out cigar smoke every time she took a drag. And perhaps the most impressive of all, was the armored mechanical arm ending at her elbow. Ethereal blue liquid flowed alongside segmented armor plating. The digits of her fingers alternated between leather and metal, and the knuckles were exaggerated by pointed metal plates. He was awe-struck by the engineering involved in producing and maintaining a prosthetic of such high caliber. She glowered at him, as he suddenly realized how obviously he was staring at her. He cleared his throat nervously.
                “Miss Thrynn, I am honored to meet…”
                “Major Thrynn.” She cut him off.
                “I, uh, sorry?” The weakness emanated from his voice.
                “It’s Major Thrynn. I didn’t lose pieces of my body so that miserable little bookworms like yourself could call me ‘Miss.’ But to you, I am simply known as ‘Captain.’ Understood.” She boomed.
                “Yes, Captain.” He breathed, trying to quell his shaking.
                “That was not a question.” She rebuked, taking another drag from her cigar. “Let’s get one thing straight. It was not my idea that you were to join this vessel. Do not make me regret this decision.” Davik nodded in compliance. “There are a few rules you will know when traveling on this ship. One: Stay out of my way. Two: pull your weight when you are in battle. Three: Don’t touch anything you don’t know how to use."
                “Yes, Captain.”
                “Can you fight?” The question took him off guard.
                “I, uh, well. No. I wasn’t aware that my position would be required to have combat skills. I thought a salvage vessel did mostly reconnaissance.” Talon burst out laughing. She pointed her mechanical, cigar hand at him.
                “You have gone in the wrong field if you think salvaging is safe.” Her expression turned cold. “Everyone fights on this ship. Everyone pulls their weight around here. If you want to survive long enough to finish a page in your journal, I suggest you learn how to shoot quickly.” She paused to take another drag. “From here on after, you are Ilan’s bitch. You will learn how to defend this ship. I expect you to be up as early as he is to train. And for your sake, you better not piss him off.” Davik could only nod in compliance. The thought of having to converse with that man gave him the shakes. “That is all I have to say to you. You know where the door is.” Davik took the hint and quietly snuck out of the cabin, where Martin was waiting for him.
                “Hey! You’ve got all your skin, how about that?”  Martin beamed.
                “You didn’t tell me the Captain was from Crey’ituul.” He breathed, the color had not returned to his face. Martin gave him a serious look.
                “She’s not. And I suggest you never mention that hypothesis to anyone. Especially the Captain.” He looked at him sternly. “Did she give you any orders?”
                “She told me I was ‘Ilan’s bitch.’ And to stay out of her way.”
                “Well, good. She’s warming up to you already. Don’t worry, I’m sure she’ll start giving you looks of annoyance instead of total disdain eventually. “ He gave Davik a hearty clap on the shoulder, launching him a step forward. “Ah, well. You will need your rest. Let me show you your room.
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