(Same warning as before - contains bad language)
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“You have something to report then Sar..Lieutenant?”
“No – I made it up.” she snarled in exasperation, “Yes I have something to report.”
“Lieutenant Jones, my cabin immediately.” said Captain Blight.
“As well as Mr Smith and Mr Logg, we need to discuss your report.”
“Ah well, I see.” muttered Sara, “Sorry.”
“Should bloody well think so.”
“Don’t push yer luck.” snapped Jones, “Somebody who shouts bollocks like ‘slice me mainbraces’- should have a go at me, huh.”
“Where is Logg, anyway?” asked Jacoby.
“Probably washing his fur.” sniggered Smith as they stepped into the lift.
“Blimey,” muttered Jacoby, “They’re starting to crack already. Washing his fur indeed.”
“Actually,” remarked the Chair, “he won’t be doing that until this evening.”
“Christ – don’t do that. Gave me the fright of me life.” shouted Jacoby, turned in his seat to face the Chair. He tipped his head to one side,
“But while we’re on the subject, how do you know?”
As the Chair begins to explain, we fade slowly out, then back in to find ourselves in Captain Blight’s cabin. Where a reasonably amiable discussion is in progress,.
“You step on Logg’s foot again, Logg rip your head off.” the Shoggan Security Chief was informing Smith.
“BLOODY WELL SHUT UP!”
As the echoes died away, Sara smiled nastily,
“Thank you children. Now let’s sit nice and quiet while Auntie Sara tells you why we should turn this crate around, go back to RDS 27A and find ourselves safer occupations. Hang-gliding into live volcanoes springs to mind.”
The engineer began to tick off points on her fingers,
“This, ahem, vessel was cobbled together by ‘Leviathan Gigamarkets’ with an eye fixed firmly on profit margins. Their mechanics welded together a couple of mile high containers that were being used as recyclers for farm produce, animal waste, vegetables and fruit that had gone rotten, etc.”
Captain Blight’s face had turned a strange putty-like colour,
“We’re flying in fucking compost bins?”
“Yep, the bottom bin, heh, sorry. The lower half of this fine vessel as well as being the crew’s quarters is packed with second hand gear from ‘Leviathan’ shops. Some cabin doors keep saying ‘Thank you for shopping with us, please come back soon.’ as they slide open, if they open at all. The scanners are old CCTV cameras used to detect shoplifters. I’m still in the process of trying to cannibalise them to get some kind of view screen system working. Tannoys, radios, intercoms ditto and the list of what’s wrong with this thing goes on ad infinitum.”
“So we’re flying in garbage cans and blind as a bat?” muttered Smith.
“That’s it in a nutshell. Oh and I hope you simply love pot-noodles. Because there’s damn all else to eat.”
She paused for effect then told them,
“I’ve saved the best for last. Most of the crew have buggered off.”
“No they haven’t, they’re just off-duty in the ship’s galley or in their quart….”
Blight’s voice tailed off as he tried to recall seeing anybody else since they left dock. Smith was first out of the captain’s quarters, he dashed down the corridor, hammering on doors as he passed them, nobody responded. When he returned, they filed back into the captain’s cabin and Logg stated,
“Logg think we should take vote on….”
Captain Blight risked parting company with his limbs by interrupting angrily,
“Vote? Bloody well vote? I’m the ship’s captain mush,” he thumped his skinny chest, “me, Elderberry Blight, Captain to you, I make the decisions around here. This is my first shot at a captaincy and I’m not giving up.”
Logg began to rumble,
“Me admire captain’s spirit….”
“Stupidity more like,” snapped Jones. She stopped, frowned and then an evil smirk made its way across her face. She said slowly,
“On the other hand; if we could get this dumpster even halfway spaceworthy, then there’s a rather interesting possibility that just occurred to me.” she raised one eyebrow, resting the other, at Blight. He chewed his lip and stared at the engineer, her file had described her as ‘a highly intelligent, versatile, bad-tempered and devious bitch’. He nodded slowly,
“Okay Lieutenant, what’s on your mind?”
end of part two.
In five hundred years time, most of us will be forgotten dust. But Hitler will still be remembered, God loves irony.