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The Cleon Memorial Library For discussion of Traveller fiction, both official and fan-written. Fan-written drafts are explicitly welcome.

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Old July 29th, 2017, 03:22 AM
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107-1105 Roethoeegaeaegz (Knoellighz 1726) A5009ED-C Hi In Na Va An C:1927 Cp Pz Amber/Red (gender)

“My shift is up,” said Captain Kakhskha to the Astrogator to her left and the Engineer to her right on the Bridge of the Gatherer. The light beige Gvegh Vargr got up from the helm. “Dead-Hex, you have the con. Wake me at final approach to Roethoeegaeaegz Orbital. Don’t forget, you two, that inoculations are the order of the day. Make sure they’re done before we dock or else you don’t get liberty, got me?”

“Yes, ma’am,” acknowledged Chief Engineer Lt. Anghal, the chocolate female Vargr with deep amber eyes. She looked across the Bridge at Dead-Hex, a look of insistence on her canine face.

Dead-Hex noted the expression aimed at him, waited and then offered his acknowledgement to the Captain on her feet, “Yes, ma’am.” He ended the acknowledgement with his usual sarcasm against the sexist matriarchy from which Capt. Kakhskha was reared. The gray and black mottled Vargr male received only a sigh from the tired female.

When the Captain had closed the iris valve door to the Bridge behind her, Anghal leaned over to Dead-Hex who was climbing into the spacious helm chair previously occupied by the commander. With a hushed voice, just louder than a whisper, the Engineer growled, “You better watch yourself, Dead-Hex. Where we’re going, they don’t take flak from males, I hear.”

“Watch your own self, Anghal,” fired back. “You’re no battleax either, Anghal. I saw your fuel gauges drop when we jumped last week. We were supposed to use the charge from the Collector Drive, not the L-Hyd tanks.”

Taken aback at Dead-Hex having caught her oversight during the pre-flight prep, (she knew she had forgotten something), last week; he must have been spying on her. Anghal sat forward and became emboldened by the mainworld on the TL-15 Visor sensor’s long-range scopes magnified twenty times. Ahead was a stark, mottled gray and black planet, a Vacuum world with no surface water. It might be a Desert, but for the lack of atmosphere, she noted mentally. But the local matriarchy on Roetheoeegaeaegz gave Anghal the bravery to spit her own accusation at the Astrogator. “Oh yeah? Well what about the strain you are putting on the Jump Drives by goading the Captain with jumps as early as ninety Diameters, huh? I saw the Yellow lights from my board. You are gonna cause us to Scatter or worse, a misjump to Ancients-nowhere.” She knew she had said it wrong the moment it left her tongue. Her injury.

“There’s nothing wrong with ninety, Anghal,” answered Dead-Hex in a huff. “I am in charge of the Jump Drive and I actually read the manual for the Size D on a C hull. We are overpowered on a hull almost too small for it. Then there is the fact that it is rated at Ultimate Stage, Anghal. Did you catch that vocabulary word back home on Duelunogoerrzuez? It means-.”

“I know what it means,” interrupted the chocolate brown Vargr. “It means it’s the top of the line for its Size and tuning. It has 130% Efficiency and uses only 0.7 fuel (42 tons) per jump – same as the Maneuver Drive and the HEPlaR Drive, Dead-Hex. But if you keep cutting corners, just to save us time in the hole, you’re gonna burn out that Jump Drive. Then I’ll be the one stuck with the repairs or at least the Overhaul duties while you play more footsies with Capt. Kakhskha.”

“Well, you try a whack at the Astrogation math next time before you whine to me about my job. Mind your Drives and the expended fuel and I’ll keep my eyes to my boards.” Dead-Hex knew that Anghal was not rated in Astrogation, especially after the Infinity League space battle that injured her six years ago and earned her a Disabled-Honorable discharge. He was cutting lower than usual.

“Belligerent whelp.”

“Bossy bitch.”

There came an awkward silence as the two Vargr from the same Infinity League democracy simultaneously realized that they would spend the rest of the shift this way. Instead, the iris valve opened again with a sliding, metal-on-metal hiss. A tired-looking Capt. Kakhskha poked her canine head in, looked at the two League Vargr and said, “I almost forgot. Lt. Ardell is giving the shots tonight instead of tomorrow. She *yawn* wants to empty the shelves of panaceas before they expire so we can restock at Roethoeegaeaegz Orbital. You might want to start rolling up your sleeves. Marines are not nice with their injector guns.”

“Oh,” added the Merchant Captain, “I just wanted to say to the two of you before I turn in, that I appreciate the hard work at crunching numbers and keeping the Drives tuned. It’s having a deep impression on our Professor Zannun. He’s planning another one of his recipes that I’m sure you’ll love to flush down the fresher after regurgitating. Heh. Goodnight.” Subordinate tails wagged at the appreciative words from their superior on the Gatherer.

Then the Captain was gone again dismissed by the iris valve alone. Tails stopped wagging. Less than a minute later, the valkryie from Nouon, Marine Lt. Ardell, a timber wolf gray, stepped onto the bridge and asked, “Who wants their shot first?” In her claws was a hand-and-a-half injector gun with a magazine of medicinal inoculations already loaded. The thing was sinister and looked like a torture device.

“It’s a female conspiracy,” cursed Dead-Hex.

“This is karma,” agreed Anghal in her own way. The two League Vargr were going to have to band together to survive the shots, the horrid meals, the matriarchy of the Captain, the “Chaplain” Medic and Roethoeegaeaegz.
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Last edited by The Pakkrat; July 29th, 2017 at 03:19 PM..
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Old August 23rd, 2017, 06:58 PM
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Sstefan Sstefan is offline
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is this a prelude to "Down A Peg"?

Or in other words, where should I stick this in my accumulation of your words?


I really do enjoy your vision, although the art leaves me 'perturbed (?)'; it seems not quite alien enough, even though the Vargr are based on old terran stock. I would hope for some more wolf like features (very stocky) along with shorter snouts (vocalization as well as general 'strangeness' changes) as well as a rudimentary tail.

just my two cents...
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Old August 23rd, 2017, 07:03 PM
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It is a prelude as is Teacher.

You can run commentary on the story in the Thread Taking Pakkrat Down A Peg if you have something to say constructive.

-Pakk
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