Logging Started: 3-30-2012 11:32:33 PM
Shortly after breakfast is dawn, rain slowing to a thin spattering. The door opens directly outside, onto a street of bare mud already heavily crisscrossed with footprints, wheel, and caterpillar tracks. Even though rain's still pattering down randomly, the sun is out and casting bright shadows. Amy winces and puts on her goggles... And dons a set of wooden flip-flops to traverse the awful mud outside. "Administration is in the lander," Amy explains, "...and Vic's the 'chief engineer' even though it's not really a ship anymore." A little lizard scuttles off the wall, and Amy snags it. A half-track vehicle roars down the street, narrowly missing splashing her.
Ilkarin rubs at her head and shakes off the venom she had been subjected to and slowly follows along Amy, taking in the details she mentions as she smiles. "So I see...well, this should be a good start as any to find some materials for the ship.
Amy lets the lizard go, not sure why she grabbed it -- possibly just pure reflex. "Oh, definitely. He didn't inherit his job, unlike some..." The two of them get curious glances as they head toward the monstrous, carved-up hulk of the lander, but people seem incredibly busy managing a harvest of green scaly egg-shaped things. Right at the edge of the ship, the round hull looming like a dilapidated wall, Amy taps a code into a numpad beside a thick-looking mechanical door. "PLEASE STATE YOUR BUSINESS," a small speaker beside it announces in drive-through voice. Amy glances at Ilkarin, letting her explain.
Ilkarin blinks and gets in front of the device and speaks into it. "Hello. My ship, a cargo ship, has crashed onto this world and I'm seeking parts to repair it so I can get myself back into space and on track of where I was heading." (If my cargo is still intact) she muttered.
There's a pause and rustling of paper. "WE REGISTERED A NEAR PASS BY A CARGO VESSEL BELONGING TO ILKARIN," and states a long serial number. A light beside the door suddenly flashes, picture being taken. Amy fluffs up at that. "That's new. O_o" "...PHOTOS MATCH. ACCESS GRANTED, PLEASE COME IN." The door slides open leading into into a hallway with a lift at the end. "...that's also new. They've done a lot since we sold them the fabber." The lift takes them up to the administration level -- much more familiar to a spacer, the old accomodations and command area of the lander, now converted into an office. It's comfortable, well kept, air-conditioned, and even decorated. Where the upper crust live, it seems.
Ilkarin waits patiently in the lift until they are taken to the top, then she walks out, almost as if on second nature to just waltz in, but at the same time this left her open to any surprises as she sat down in a chair. "And may I speak to the one who may help me salvage my ship?"
A well-dressed minkette secretary chirps, "Victor will be right with you, he's on his way back from the flight deck." Amy ventures, "Um. Flight deck?" The mink blinks at Amy curiously and perhaps slightly less than friendly. "He was gearing up the roptre for a rescue mission. What're YOU doing here, anyway?" Amy twitches, glancing at Ilkarin and gritting her teeth. "...the hell is a roptre? You didn't have anything flying last time I was here." "...which must have been years," the mink answers, drumming claws on the plasic console. "Are you all right?" the secretary asks, "There was too much ionization to warn you, and when we lost contact, we feared the worst..." Amy grunts. Apparently she didn't need to haul Ilkarin through seven miles of steaming hostile jungle. "...Sorry," she ventures. Victor bursts in, obviously the chief engineer, short and squat enough to go by the moniker 'dwarf' on most worlds, if anyone was willing to mess with him, since he looks solid enough to walk through walls. "Ilkarin! You should've stayed put!"
Ilkarin says, "stayed put my butt. You know what was out there? I was not sure if I would survive the night until Amy came by. Certainly I have my experience but that doesn't mean something I have no knowledge of could have killed me. Besides, the ship was going offline, I couldn't get a beacon up to signal anyone." She leans back in her chair, crossing her arms a bit and the mink secretary seems to be shaking her head."
Victor glances at Amy. Amy raises an eyebrow and crosses her arms. They don't seem to quite approve of her, and vice versa. Victor grunts and ignores her again. "...That's good of her. But tell me, how bad's the damage?" Victor is of human stock, with tanned skin, black hair and bushy beard, wearing a green, utilitarian overall covered in dozens of pockets. "Worst case, we don't have a vehicle capable of breaking orbit, much less getting you home. But there's an 'independent trader' scheduled to come through in a week or three. Hard to be sure, they don't like to file proper flight plans."
Ilkarin nods a little. "Well, I think..." she rubbed at her head. "Amy, do you remember how bad the damage was...? I can't quite seem to remember. I know the system had issues turning back on, a few panels were ripped and torn by giant millipedes.
Amy rubs her head. "The hull didn't look *bent* -- it didn't really touch down, the trees caught it. Just a few... gashes." Victor brightens at that, until Amy adds, "...and the computer didn't come back up, did it?" Victor glowers. "...If that's gone out, it's going to be hard to replace." He coughs. "Due to the scarcity of trade in this region, we usually cover minor repairs and refueling for anyone willing to land. Computers aren't a minor repair -- we've been running on spare parts for 200 years. But maybe we can make a deal."
Ilkarin says, "of course. Considering I don't think I can pay for this, but what is this deal you are thinking of? The ship does need fuel as well, but we need it repaired first.""
Victor steeples his fingers. It doesn't work very well, his fingers being the stubby sausagelike things they are. He pushes up his glasses a little. "There's a lot of old cargo still floating around in the belt. Two of our four landers never even made landfall, you know... But your ship's a lot smaller and more agile. It can make it. If we get you flying again, there's some very important cargo I want retrieved -- the CARMs. Cargo And Repair Modules. If we can get one of those... We'll be able to start salvaging the wrecks ourselves. What do you think?"
Ilkarin says, "I'll...*She almost agrees right away but halts and looks to Amy for a second opinion as she thinks it over and does agree that if they could get her ship back up then she could do this in return which would not be a bad idea overall. Retrieving cargo was not all that hard usually...
Amy nudges Ilkarin with an elbow. "...You'll have options which don't mean flying through dense rocks in two weeks, if the 'trader' is who I think he is. It's not like Vic's offering you much. He's tried this before, and couldn't even find them; and it's not like you're getting any cargo out of this..." Victor grits his teeth. "...We've got them pinpointed much more closely now, and believe we've got a fix on the right modules. But fine. Part of the salvage. Our entire industrial plant is floating in pieces there, you should find SOMETHING of worth to you."
Ilkarin nods a little bit. "Then I accept. For helping restore my shuttle, I will try to find the CARMS for you." She stands up and looks to Vic. "Anything else I should know about in this deal? So as far as it stands, you help repair the ship I have, and I'll retrieve the CARMS?"
Amy and Victor shake their heads, and Amy stands, padding around restlessly, ready to go. She's dealt with these people before and appears to think they'll try to keep up their end of it. The secretary's glaring murderously at Amy for worsening their end of the deal though, covering it up the instant she notices. Amy coughs. "Any reason to wait?" Victor adjusts his glasses. "...Nay. It's still morning. We go now, and we can get there with a lot of daylight left." Soon the group is exiting a barnlike parking garage, riding a somewhat larger version of the small half-tracks, a set of fuel tanks and some repair gear loaded up.
Ilkarin looks to Amy, riding in the backseat of it while Vic and another of his members seemed to be driving the vehicle over as ILkarin leans in to whisper to Amy. "So why is the secretary shooting you daggers?"
Amy shrugs, and raises her voice to talk over the rumbling grind of the plodding vehicle. "'cause I talked them out of some cargo. The stuff's almost mythical to them -- like the holy grail, or buried pirate treasure, and they've been reaching for it for 200 years. Think she'd be a little more grateful that you're going at all, there's no possible way you could take ALL of it." The route is less than direct, taking a dirt road that goes only roughly in the right direction. Eventually the road ends and they take to following in the rocky hills which poke through the thin soil. Suddenly Victor's technician -- a narly normal-looking red fox sort -- calls out, "Thar she blows... Man, it looks like a target." A brief dotted line of crumpled trees terminating in the dot that's obviously Ilkarin's shuttle. "All downhill from here," Victor promises. Or maybe warns. But the vehicle's as surefooted as a goat and mostly able to push through brush and trees -- just stay away from the windows. When they arrive, the shuttle seems much as they left it.
Ilkarin nods a little, listening to Amy's story as she soon looks and smiles, thankful nothing bad had happened to the ship and that they could start work on repairs soon. She does keep an eye out for any interesting locals though.
The forest seems somewhat calmer than the night you crashlanded, though there's still many familiar creatures. A millipede is glimpsed through the foliage for a moment, but it shies away, slithering off... four beings on a giant machine are more intimidating than two in a little one. The tall red fox and short, green-glad human form an almost sterotypical team as they work, though the colors are reversed... Victor tuts at one cracked window. "...That'd be what let the little monsters in," noting the ruined cargo. The guilty rodent-bugs are long since gone, but the signs remain. "Going to have to weld a plate over that. Don't have thermal glass." The fox is meanwhile hooking up arm-thick cables from the vehicle to the shuttle's power systems, which have been slowly draining from the lights left on -- probably why it's not in worse shape. Amy... watches, circling, not a lot for her to do. Sighs, perching in a tree above Ilkarin, on the verge of asking something, then changing her mind.
Ilkarin watches and does help along when she is asked to, being something of a mechanic as she glances to Amy, finding her giving her that look and soon excuses herself when she was easily sweating and stops to take a drink, heading into the forest to find a place that she and Amy could talk without someone listening in. She gave a motion to the lynx girl.
Amy seems to prefer being perched in the trees, where she looks utterly at home. "Been thinking. I probably know what ship's coming here in two weeks. He'd be Yarrick, the Telasian I usually work for. Being I'm a little late, he must've found an excuse to come this way. Almost nobody else comes here..." shakes her head. "...meaning, the original deal I made... no longer quite makes sense. I'd rather wait, and pick up my job with him where I left off."
Ilkarin nods and leans back against the tree, looking up at Amy. "So once the ship comes along, you'll depart with them and I'll be on my own again?" She watched the crew working on the ship and dabbed some sweat with a towel before drinking down some water from a jug.
Amy blinks, ears perking a bit. "Didn't think you'd be staying that long -- most folks who land here seem pretty eager to leave." She shies back a little from the bright welding sparks in the clearing, half-shaded by frilly branches. "...though I bet they could lots of jobs for you if they did. Maybe they have a 'landing deck' now but any flying machines they made must've been knocked together out of freaking scrap metal."
Ilkarin nods back, scratching at her chin and flicks her tail. "Well, I will admit I do not want to stay here any longer than I need to, but..." She sighed and refrained from finishing the thought as she wandered back to help finish the repairs.
The shuttle is looking in decidedly better shape now, and the emergency console is now declaring the hull airtight, power at 95% and climbing. Victor is doing some finishing touches with welding, while Kerman is working on the delicate job of replacing some parts of the computer. The century-old parts he's using aren't quite as small, sleek and fast as the originals, but more importantly, they WORK. Amy follows at a distance as Ilkarin walks into the clearing. Victor tchs. "Just about... There." Sliding down. Suddenly, the shuttle's running lights go through a test pattern, flash twice, and blink into their normal 'ready' state. "It's on! It's on!" shouts the fox morph from inside.
Ilkarin nods and heads back along into the ship to help survey the repairs as she looks back to Amy as if wondering if the lynx would take a ride with her to this CARM supplies. "Good, good. It's looking quite well. I didn't think you guys could be so quick and diligent in your repairs."
Victor's grin looks a little fierce. "I'm coming along after all," he jokes, "And you're always twice as careful packing your own parachute." More than a grain of truth to it -- if he didn't come along, what would stop Ilkarin from just taking off and leaving them with nothing, or worse, robbing the things he mentioned from the belt THEN taking off and leaving them with nothing? Amy steps up onto the ramp at Ilkarin's glance, not sure she was invited for this part. Victor certainly doesn't seem to believe she is. "*Cough* *Coughcough*" Amy flats her ears and glares. "Don't be stupid, does it LOOK like I'm stowing away?" "Wouldn't be the first time."
Ilkarin says, "I think Amy said she had some business to attend to, so I was thinking we could assist her in getting to that business while we search for these CARMS. "I do suppose I will have to change into an appropriate suit as this one is sweaty. I'm going to my room, you can fly the ship if you want, but I really don't want anyone crashing it again. Was only a mishap I had it crash here in the first place." She soon went down a small ladder and on the lower crew deck she opened a room to her door and tapped a keypad to lock it while she changed and showered."
Amy blinks. It's true enough, though it hadn't occurred to her. A good look at some scans of the planet and belts might help find the fugitive she's seeking. "...Yeah." Victor snorts. The umbilicals are detached. Kerman and Victor begin loading a few pieces of equipment aboard, grudgingly letting Amy help a bit; suits, grapples, hooks, and other things one would use for salvage in space. This completed, Kerman begins rolling the half-track back to the city, leaving Victor behind with them.
Ilkarin soon emerges again and has a new suit on as she climbs back up, wondering what the status of the ship is now as she looks around. "Are we able to fly yet, or is there work that still needs to be done?"
(to be continued)
Logging Stopped: 3-31-2012 1:12:42 AM