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The Voyages of the Penelope and the Yydryl

page: 71
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posted on Apr, 20 2012 @ 10:32 AM

............................................~Breadcrumbs And Bruises~.............................................

The small book entitled ‘Serendipity’ bulged slightly for three seconds inside Pip's saddlebag
and though nobody saw the odd event, it did happen. That's the amount of time The Splitter
took to find what he wanted. it was on Page 36 and as we know, that is the same number of
minutes that Tibbs, Nenothtu and Boy In A Dress were out of 'sync' on The Yydryl.
Oddly, it was the same length of time that BIAD slipped out of existence in the Dugway
Proving Grounds... weird, nuh?!

...Fallen the fruit of Petra, wrath held within sweet skins and soaked flesh.
Of the blind man that travels under such delights, eyes water with a different hunger.
Gemini weeps for her curse and heavy breast call across the void to her own.
The cask of Hope waits there and quenches of the salty tears...

The grey Being sat back among the thrumming Time Lines and pondered the words, the stars
twinkled in his eyes as he sought the answer. The 'Neo' from the future wasn't a glitch in the
system, the humanoid was real and The Splitter believed the 'mystery-man' already had a
head-start because of calling him by his true name.

The Splitter (or Yeneth) twisted his lips in annoyance as he realised a visit to Tibbs would be
in order, the arrogant-dwarf may have information that was vital -he thought.
With a glance towards the Centre, The Splitter half-expected to see the leaf-heavy Tree Of
Knowledge waiting with the four Demon-Dogs and their master, the Adara constellation
rotated around slowly in his relief.

"And what of the Devil's dreams?" Yeneth whispered to the massive circle of stars, the one
known as Boy In A Dress had taken to sleeping -that itself was a strange antic, but now he
was struggling with troubled dreams, The Splitter promised himself to ask the Man/Girl if he
got the opportunity.

The corridors of the Starship felt cramped as the Time-Mechanic arrived outside of the room
of the ancient Vithian known as Tibbs. A smile came to those thin-grey lips as he imagined
appearing on the otherside of the door and finding the bearded Puzzler-of-Paradoxes with
his Alien-lover, the thought of Dag and Adam in the Tower at Carbiox flitted by.
"To love is to err.." Yeneth whispered and tapped on the Bio-metal hatchway.

"Yer gonna have to avoid his jab, Neno... there's just two-more rounds and 'ah reckon you're
square on points" Billows hissed around the swab, but the sweating man's eyes told a
different story.

Nenothtu's left eye was almost closed and most of that side of his face was numb, the boxer
who usually showed a lop-sided smile to his Seconds merely nodded and spat more blood
into the bucket below him.

Jimmy 'The Hammer' Martino sat on the stool across from the man who wanted his title and
knew the belt was his, Neno was breathing hard and during the last Round, Jimmy saw the
taller guy rock back when he caught him with a good left. Yeah, he had him where he wanted

Neno looked back with blurry-vision and saw the man with the black flat-top smiling his
gum shield at the roaring crowd, the Vandal smiled to himself-inside... he was eating this
up with a spoon.
The guy in the white-shirt and dicky-bow rang the bell and the two pugilists rose to their feet
and began again.
Library Music...

The Library swam with a strange song from a croaking female-voice as The Splitter entered
and glancing at the hundreds of tomes lining the walls, he moved closer towards the middle
of the room.

A table stretched across the area and Yeneth noticed more books laid open with pages turned
at the corners, the subject matter was about myths and legends of different species.

The smile appeared again as he traced a slender finger along a page that displayed star charts
of nearby, the Adara constellation was about halfway down.
"Adara...Adara?" The Splitter said to himself, then he suddenly realised that Jenovah was
talking and he also realised that he should have been listening.

The dollar-shining eyes scanned the words and in their a twelve-point Helvetica, the answer
sat like a royal plum. ADARA: A Double Star -also known as 'The Maidens...

As the sound of Tibbs rummaging among shelves hidden at the back of the room reached
The Splitter, the Time-Mechanic turned and left, his questions weren't needed here.
Those cramped corridor walls listened as the one now known as 'Yeneth' whispered a
'Thank You' to the voice from Beyond.

"Ship...?" The Splitter said softly "...can you direct me to the room where the fair-haired females
from your last adventure -reside?" The small Being waited with his hands behind his back politely.
The Yydryl cooed "Follow the blue lights please" and Yeneth nodded, his small feet stepped

(Continued Below)
edit on 20-4-2012 by A boy in a dress because: Left Silo's 'Poo-List' in Edit Room!

posted on Apr, 20 2012 @ 10:34 AM
(Continued From Above)

"GET OFF HIM, MAN... you're gonna kill him!" the Referee screamed into Neno's ear, the
swollen-piece of skin that doubled as that ear -didn't seem to take in the request as Neno
smashed another fist into Martino's bloodied-face.

Billows grabbed the right-hand glove and brought the Vandal from his frenzy, the bloated
eye, the bright-red nose and water-blood-spattered chin whirled to reveal something that
Billows would dwell on later at 'Joe's Midnighter'

The feel of cool cotton on his sore shoulders was welcoming as Neno staggered back to his
corner, The Hammer just lay on the canvas and bled quietly.
A plume of cigar smoke swirled across Nenothtu's vision as the noisy voice yelled "AH'LL SEE
YOU'RE RAN-OUT OF BOXIN' ON A RAIL" From the left -slightly down -Neno noted and swung
his right-fist across his chest and towards the annoying sound.

The cheroot rolled next to his laced-boot and gesturing to Mike-the Cut-Man to undo the big
glove with the dark-stains on it's surface, Neno reached for the cigar and urged the embers
alight again.

The crowd went crazy and then the shadow of the Referee fell on our sweat and blood
-covered Hero of The Stars, the forty-ish balding man in the shirt with dark patches under
his armpits said calmly in Ship's voice: "Can you come to the Library, please?"

The Holo-Theatre dropped back into it's graph-papered walls and gloomy lighting as
Nenothtu stretched his aching back and was about to spit a wad of blood and saliva onto
the floor when The Yydryl's voice came again.
"This isn't Hobbs End"

Twisting his bruised-face into the nearest he could manage to a sardonic smile, he nodded
and left the brooding Holo-Theatre.

The poor Droid that passed the smoking U-man would make a fine spitoon -Neno wagered
and he was right.

edit on 20-4-2012 by A boy in a dress because: Left Silo's 'Poo-List' in Edit Room... again!

posted on Apr, 20 2012 @ 02:57 PM
Nenothtu had delivered Margo to the Starwolf, then dumped his bag of stuff into a wall locker opposite the only visible bunk and left her there alone with a grunt of "I'll be back inna bit." By his reasoning, the best way he could figure out to give her a sense of "home" and "belonging" was to simply leave her there alone to explore the craft as the fancy struck her. That was his way of saying "mi casa es su casa" without saying much of anything at all.

When they had entered the upper deck of the small craft from the entryway, the first sight that greeted her was a door directly opposite across the tiny "hall" with an ancient international sign for "Unisex Bathroom" - the little blue stick figures of a man and woman looking somewhat out of place in this day and age. Turning to her left from that point, Margo saw the cockpit from the inside, which she had only previously seen from the outside.

A simple affair, it had only 3 blue upholsered chairs, the foremost of which sat before a console of some sort. She moved forward for a closer look. The console or "dash board" was also a simple affair, engineered for economy rather than complexity.

It seemed tht the readouts had no function at all other than as read outs, and all of the controls were close to hand on the arms of the Captain's chair - a joystick for steering on the right, and a keyboard for command input on the left. The other two chairs had no controls associated with them at all - perhaps for passengers or auxilliaries.

Turning and looking aft from the hatchway in the bulkhead of the cockpit, Margo could see all the way to the far end of the craft.

There was a small hallway leading to the main living quarters aft. On the left, from Margo's current position, was a recessed bunk, a storage cabinet, a small library niche, and beyond the bunk, the door to the bathroom. On the right were storage lockers and beyond them the doorway to the exit, directly opposite the hall from the bathroom door. At the far end of the hall were a short series of steps leading up to the main living area. Margo went towards that.

Entering the cramped cubicle - charitable people would call it "cozy" - Margo stood in the center of the small area and surveyed it. On the starboard side of the ship, which Margo thought of as "the right side", there was a bench built in to the bulkheads surrounding a table.

On the table was an ancient antique board game which Margo had never encountered before. Looking upwards from the table, Margo could see the starboard steering engine nacelle through the rectangular portholes looking outside the cabin.

Sweeping her survey forward towards the cockpit, but still on the starboard side, she saw a small kitchenette counter with a tiny sink, hotplate type of stove, and some box with buttons and numbers that she was unaware of the function of.

Continuing her sweep to the her left, on the port side of the ship, Margo encountered yet another, matching, counter. This one held several bottles, a cutting board, and ancient relic of a coffee pot - the man sure seemed to like his antiques! - and a large red container. Margo was not yet comfortable enough to find out what was in the large container.

The port side of the living cabin was a near carbon copy of the starboard side, with the deletion of the table and the addition of a small library shelf. the blue built-in bench and the view to port out of the port holes was near identical to the other side.

The simulated wood grain surfaces - Margo assumed they were simulated, since if they were real they would have been quite expensive - seemed out of character for a sterile starship, but did tend to add a touch of warm "hominess" to what might otherwise be cramped quarters on a trip of any duration.

A glaring problem, to Margo's eye, was the garish painting that hung on the rear bulkhead of the compartment. it had peeked out from behind neno's shoulder momentarily when he'd been aboard telling her to "make herself at home".

"That thing has GOT to go!" Margo muttered with a smile before grabbing a book from the "library" and curling up on the port bench.

edit on 2012/4/20 by nenothtu because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 01:01 AM

~*~ Triggers ~*~

If he’d taken the time, a moment of time to watch the scenario being played out in the small clearing he’d not have pulled the trigger. But Pip hadn’t looked, he hadn’t really ’seen’. What he’d done was react. He’d pointed his rifle and fired from the back of his galloping horse at the thing attacking his dog.

And in the moment, the split second after pulling the trigger when realizing he couldn’t take the action back? Recognition hit him. It wasn’t just any big cat taking half-hearted sloe-eyed swipes lazy with indifference at his frantic dog. It wasn’t even a big ‘wild cat’ at all. It was Sslar.

‘TOBY STOP!’ Swinging out of the saddle before his horse came to a full stop Pip hit the ground running. Clutching the long-rifle by the barrel the boy used the stock end like a club swinging through the air at his infuriated dog but the dog was too fast. Enraged Toby continued mad dashes darting in and out of the brush at Sslar biting and snapping at the fallen being.

‘Ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod...’ Pip chanted behind chattering teeth inching closer to the fallen Sslar while still swinging at the frenzied dog.

Sslar was down. She didn’t respond. Pip didn’t know where she’d been hit but what he did know was if he couldn’t stop his dog Toby would tear out her throat. The dog might be only a quarter of Sslar’s size but his teeth were razor sharp his jaws powerful and he’d used them on bear, mountain lion and wood bore since he was a pup.

‘TOBY NOOOOO!‘ Pip screamed when the hound darted in once again teeth flashing this time returning with a bloodied muzzle.

The shot rang out from behind Pip and for the second time in only moments time stopped.

If she’d thought before she fired she still would have pulled the trigger. But if she’d seen the look in Pip’s eyes she would have turned the gun on herself before shooting the boy’s dog. Too late. She’d already sent the bullet on it’s way, it’s trajectory true exploding the dog’s chest sending it flying backwards like it’d been kicked by old Red. Slamming into a thick set pine stump the mess of bloody fur and gore that was once Toby fell dead at it’s gnarled base.

She had a pistol. Pip a rifle. Pip turned his weapon hunkered it into his shoulder and aimed straight at Silo. Frozen in place Silo’s .44 hadn’t moved from the spot from where she’d taken aim on Toby.

‘’ Pip rasped swallowing between each word his eyes wide and blank.

‘Pip. I’m so sorry.’ I had no choice she thought holstering her weapon and running to Sslar. Dropping her head to the animals chest Silo listened for a heartbeat - and found it. ’Pip. She’s still alive. We have to get help.’ Turning back to the boy Silo stilled in disbelief. The boy hadn’t lowered his rifle.

‘’ Pip the knot in his throat replaced with a menacing growl.

From behind Pip Silo saw the U-Man approach a finger to his lips cautioning her to silence. Not much taller than she wearing a vest and hat jeans and boots the U-Man crept closer to Pip. Her head swimming in confusion her eyes flickering from the boy who’s grief had turned him out of his senses back to a U-Man she’d never seen before. Briefly she wondered if her fall from Red hadn’t damaged her head. Meeting the U-Man’s eyes Silo focused back on the situation. The U-Man tipped his chin at his hand that held a stun-gun then to the boy his message clear.

‘Pip. I’m so sorry. I had no choice.’ Silo pleaded raising her hands in the age old act of submission and distraction.

‘’ Pip’s eyes exploded wide, his body lurched, the rifle fired and Silo dropped at the same time the boy crumpled to the ground stunned.

‘SILO!’ Carpet tried to scream but not a hiss of air would escape his lungs. Crashing through the underbrush all thoughts of Sslar and the boy forgotten Carpet threw himself to his knees pulling the unconscious girl into his lap. His hands felt the warm sticky wet of blood on her back.

Much like Silo had done brief moments before Carpet lay his ear over her heart, his bloody finger touching the soft spot where her shoulder joined her neck. There was a pulse.

Bringing his hand to his mouth Carpet swallowed the blockage in his throat and roared into the communicator strapped to his wrist.

‘Chumley! Silo’s down - she’s been shot. Get here NOW!’ Taking a gulp of air he continued. ’And bring another WALLY - Sslar’s been shot too!’

Chumley didn’t respond. Chumley was through with delegating. This time he took action.

edit on 22-4-2012 by silo13 because: dead as a stump - get it?

posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 07:04 AM

..................................................~The Ball Of String~..............................................

"It's a funny old-life, isn't it?" Sslar offered to the tongue-lolling dog called Toby and half-
expected the cur to tilt it's head BIAD-like and remain silent. Toby sat up from his
relaxing place under the tree, glanced at the distant figure of his Master on the big animal
called 'Horse' and replied to the odd-voice in his head.

"Good land, good water" Toby formed the nearest thing he could manage to the words
and concentrated on ignoring the itch on his rump. The answer told the Xang Cat that
the animal across the bare-patch under the big willow, had rarely used the telepathic
gift that all creatures held, Sslar tried again to start up a conversation.

"The boy is happy here, the female wants only happiness for him" again, Toby showed
no indication that he understood the words and began to nibble at the fur on his rear.

The day creaked on slowly along with the branches above, Silo was wandering her mount
through the taller grasses at the bend of the stream and Pip continued to practice herding
the doe-eyed milk-heavy cow towards the cave entrance.

The shrubs and bushes that huddled along the slower-part of the creek called to Toby and
promised recent-vole urine and wide-eyed rabbit young, the smiling dog showed no
impression that he wanted to debate the boy's current-circumstances.

Sslar urged her huge frame upright and passing the remains of Pine tree stump, she padded
down to the stream's edge, the day wasn't that hot -but she did enjoy the sweet-tasting

"Bad ending... girl wants to be mother" Toby punched the words from his basic-mind and
lifting her tusk-bearing head, the green-furred feline peered at the crazy-looking cross-bred
mutt further up the bank.

"The woman wants happiness too, all females require young to tend" Sslar said and went
back to lapping the fresh water, the two grooves in the mud -from her teeth were already
darkening her drink.

"Woman has young... bad-man with bang-hand" Toby chirped and dumped his ass on the
dried soil under the willow, a back-leg raked at the itch behind his ear.
Sslar pondered the ferocious beast looking back from the water's surface, roiling clouds of
mud-brown seemed to tell-tale the dull anger that the Cat was feeling about the dumb
animal that had insulted her friend.

"The 'Bad-Man' -has you call him, saved you and your Master from being left among killers
and deviants" Sslar growled and let her emotions ride along with her telepathic thoughts.
"Neena doesn't care about anyone..." Toby responded and the way his front-paws were
placed told Sslar that Pip's pet was looking for a fight "... Master cares for me"

It was the speed that surprised Sslar, Toby was a farmyard dog, his realm consisted of a few
submissive poultry, a couple of tolerant horses and cattle and the 'devil-may-care' hogs.
The creative-side of Toby's debating abilities were limited -to say the least, thought
Sslar and so, ignored the obvious body-posturing at her peril.

Most of the wooly-fur surrounding the Cat's neck probably saved her from a savaging of
needle-sharp teeth from Toby, the dog used a 'hit-and-run' tactic with alarming accuracy.
"Toby... please..." Sslar said and lifted a huge paw to block the animal's attack, Toby's forays
stirred up dust around the big-green Xang.

"Neena-badman!" came the screaming wild-thoughts, Toby was now racing in and out of the
low-lying bushes with wide-eyes and dripping teeth, Sslar swiped with retracted a claw to
halt the crazy animal's antics and then, the searing pain that glowed across her body -pushed
away all thoughts of engaging the Dog in a debate regarding the correct functions of being a

The sound of a human voice "TOBY STOP" and the remains of the loud gunshot reached Sslar's
ears as she collapsed onto the ground, Toby continued his 'in-out-' action with the bushes to
add to the confusion racing across her mind.

As darkness rolled in like the muddy-clouds in those tooth-made puddles, Sslar heard the
second report of gunfire and saw Toby slam-up against a tree-stump. What was left of Toby
-she corrected.

The words from the young human were garbled as Sslar crept away into the darkness of her
mind... 'it sure is a funny old-life?' she pondered again.
edit on 22-4-2012 by A boy in a dress because: Left Veterinary Licence in Edit Room.

posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 11:40 AM


Adam had trembled for quite a while after nenothtu had dressed him down. His head was spinning, and his heart was twisting in his chest. If nothing else, the man had made his point. Adam knew he perhaps had too hastily dismissed his relationship with Dag as being 'through'. It was not unusual for relationships to undergo bumps and episodes of acute misunderstanding or perceived 'failure'. That was perfectly normal. As the old saying went: the honeymoon was over. It just had happened quicker for Dag than it had for Adam. And she wasn't fully human.

What exactly had he done to upset Dag? As far as he was concerned, she had just 'turned cold' for no reason at all, but that was a quite self-absorbed way to look at it. Maybe he had done nothing…maybe it was just a passing mood for her, or a predictable natural process of her bio-programming. And was it not just as predictable, he being a U-man smitten with a woman, that he had instinctively gone to wander and think, and when he'd seen a reason to be needed, with Silo so near the deadly water, he'd jumped in to save the day?

Certainly he cared about Silo, and the embrace had seemed a very 'natural' thing. But did he really want to just walk away from Dag without closure, to just throw in the towel without looking back? Was that fair?

There was no point in denying that he felt like a failure overall; the lovely little lavender-haired thing having a soft spot for him had been comforting! He'd needed that hug! When Neno had accused him of 'trifling' with them both, Adam had wanted to protest. But now he realized that maybe he was being selfish and looking for a crutch. His self-esteem crisis had only spiraled into a nose-dive since the moment he, Dag, and BIAD had been deposited next to the lake.

Reviewing in his mind the morning's goings on, he recalled the meeting breaking up and the Gray Canyon Witch interjecting herself into his pleading with Dag with a dismissal of 'Physician, heal thyself.'

Now, alone with his thoughts pestering him, he was not only irritated, but frightened. He was not indispensable, and if he could not manage his own emotions, how was he competent to 'heal' others? What business had he in sparking something with Silo13 when he wasn't really finished with Dag?

'A wee bit o' unprofessional, doctor,' he muttered under his breath. 'What'd ye think ye were a-gainin'? Was't for the lass's sake, or yer own?' He exited the Center and decided a whiskey would be helpful.

"Allez worked fer me Da," he said, and remembered when the old man had been discharged from the hospital the second to last time before his death. Adam had gone to help get him home, and while they were awaiting the staff's paperwork he'd asked him, 'Da, ye'll be getting' outta here, eh? Ready to be back ta home, then?'

His Da had looked at him with bright blue eyes and said, 'That or the nearest bar!' Adam smiled to himself. Yes, anxiety was a family trait, one he'd inherited from both sides…and his Da had self-medicated it away quite successfully. All his life there had been ample booze in their home, and Adam couldn't remember even one day that he hadn't seen his Da with a scotch in hand of an evening.

"I hear ye, Da, I hear ye," he said as he entered the Swamp and sat himself down at the bar.

The Droid called Gobsmack was on duty. "What's yours?" it asked.

"Scotch, a double, neat, with lemon, and leave the flippin' bottle right here," said Adam gruffly. Ten seconds later Gobsmack was pouring him another. Before one full minute had passed Adam had polished off a third.

edit on 22-4-2012 by wildtimes because: pic

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 09:44 AM

...............................~When You're King -You Get To Wear A Hat~.......................

"The Green Man counters the speed of spatial light..." Tibbs said off-handedly to Boy In A
Dress and hoped the Man/Girl wouldn't need anymore of an explanation. The alarm had
stopped and after Ship had reported that there was an emergency in the Centre, Tibbs had
concentrated on resetting his handset to discover the emergency.

"...Positronuim has somehow been harnessed into powering the medallion, it's quite a
feat" he muttered from under his beard and waited for BIAD to start in again.
The Library was starting to look a mess with left-opened books and empty coffee cups,
Boy In A Dress busied himself with tidying the place and was hoping the dreams would stay

"What is spatial-light...?" the grinning Being said and displayed an unnecessary-view to the
Vithian when he bent over to pick up some scrap paper.
"Oh Jeez..." Tibbs moaned and twisted his features in a distasteful way, with a gulp of air
he focused on the small-green screen.

"The speed of light is different in space due to gravitational reasons, the Positronium's
bound quantum-state causes the object to have the ability to pass through that space in su..."
Tibbs stopped his brief and looked over at BIAD again, the crumpled pieces of papers that
showed the old man's arithmatic-musings had now changed into a paper hat... and the
smiling Man/Girl was wearing it.

"Where is Nenothtu...?" Tibbs asked and ignored BIAD's silly playfullness "... I asked Ship
to call our gun-happy friend to the library and WILL YOU TAKE THAT STUPID THING OFF?!"
The Vithian's voice boomed up into high-areas of the library as BIAD slipped off the paper
head-covering and offered a weak grin, Tibbs' furrowed brow showed that he was not

"We're closing in on the Khalamzadar-region and I need to discuss his future-dealings with
any other system interactions... commerce is everything" Tibbs said sternly to a quiet-looking
Boy In A Dress.

The tall Gunman stepped into the large room and looked at the two seated Beings at the
large table. "What do yer' want?" Nenothtu asked in a husky voice, Tibbs scanned the bruised
cheekbone and nearly-shut eye and answered "Apart from an explanation on what happened
to your face, I was going to discuss how you wanted to handle the politics of your new star

Neno lifted his chin to indicate a 'oh, that' and walked to where the recessed area of the wall
would divvy-up a cup of Java, BIAD tracked his slightly-limping friend as he moved and asked
"Are those Holo-Theatres any good?"

The Vandal under the wide-rimmed hat grinned evily towards the Man/Girl as he whispered
"Coffee please" and revealed the painful lumps and bumps from his visits. "They help me
sleep, BIAD... let it be" he added the caution.

Tibbs waited until Neno was settled at the table before he began his questions on how the
new owner of this far-flung system would conduct himself with other worlds and visitors.
BIAD continued his cleaning duties and asked Ship to pipe-in some old-forgotten music, he
requested it be turned low -to not interupt his friends discussions.

"You sure listen to some strange tunes" Neno hissed and sighing at the similar view that
Tibbs was presented with earlier, he turned back to the small man in the little-round
spectacles. "Maybe we should make BIAD the Governor of ma' place... let him do all this
politic-stuff" Neno said and raised his eyebrows dramatically, a rare show of emotion on
that craggy face.

Tibbs screwed-up his eyes until they were almost closed and answered "It's just one-big
joke with you-two... this is serious business" the words were slow and hard. That stone-
like expression showed that the Vithian hadn't made a dent and this drew a sigh from Tibbs
as well.

The empty cup was taken for a refill without anymore words being said and it wasn't until
Neno was about to re-sit when Tibbs saw the change in his eyes, Neno stopped in his pained
attempt to sit down and was staring at the library door.
"Something's wrong with Sslar" he growled and left the steaming mug on the table.

BIAD and Tibbs followed the Duster-flapping Vandal from the room of books.
edit on 23-4-2012 by A boy in a dress because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 10:07 AM

........~*~A Shaking of Confidence~*~..............

Gert was losing it. She wasn't too keen on confined spaces to begin with, but being stuck in Cecilia was absolute torture. No one outside of the cabin could hear her screaming. Nor could they hear her pounding on the thick plasglass windows... She, however, could hear everything going on in the bay...the droids, busy moving about and oiling, soldering, welding, hammering, hacksawing, drilling, pounding, and scraping things along the floor was quickly shredding her last nerve.

She hadn't had a decent meal since they'd docked, but only bland, watery oats and potatoes four times a day. She wanted some anchovies, but apparently no one on board had a taste for them and besides, salt was rationed. Every time the pneumatic chute opened to deliver her rations, she shouted into the tube....

"Bring me some anchovie----" and the tube would snap shut again. And so she was reduced once again to muttering to herself irritably, with an old-lady sneer: "Not 'healthy', they say. Not 'appropriate', they say. Idiots!" and she would flop down into the cockpit chair and pout. No one cared.

When the eighth plate was chuted up to the cockpit, she finally snapped. She jammed one of her Wellies into the tube door at the same moment that she withdrew the porridge and flung the bowl at the control board. A blue light flickered, turned yellow, and a subdued drumming/clapping began:
what she ...and everyone else heard...

The volume was at eleven, which, in the cockpit, was deafening. Painful. But in the docking bay, it sounded just fine, and the droids automatically began moving in time with the rhythm....

Gert cursed and rushed to the control board, but the button was stuck, pushed in, and now coated with a nasty, starchy gunk that had seeped into the panel. There was no way to stop it, nor to turn it down. Worse, as soon as it ended, and she removed her hands from her ears and let out a deep breath, it started again.

By the fifth time, she yelled, "Gaahhh!!! Someone shut this thing off!!!..but of course, no one heard her.

The various Droids, not having much in the way of "finicky musical taste", and programmed to adapt to whatever environment and ambiance they might come across during the course of their day, seemed not even to notice. Gert stood glaring out of the windscreen, screaming and waving her arms to no avail.

She was about to go completely berserk when the Droids all froze in place and turned toward the hatch of the Tumbler. Someone was coming in. She was locked in from the outside, so she had no choice but to wait to see who it was. Considering the various possibilities based on who she'd seen boarding and exiting the three Crafts, she couldn't think of anyone she particularly wanted to talk to, and doubted that the guest was coming to play a few hands of "Go Fish", which was her favorite card game.

Suddenly then, the door whooshed open, though the music continued.

"Uh oh," she said. Her visitor did not appear to be coming with merciful intentions.

edit on 23-4-2012 by wildtimes because: fix the music link??

edit on 23-4-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 10:59 AM

................................~Those Who Work Behind The Scenes~..........................

If one looked through, or even lifted the metal-grating that covered the Engine-House floor,
one would see the drainage trenches that stretched out like strands of a spider's web.
The odd-looking algae that clung to the metre-deep culverts gave off a strange glow, a
pulsing glow to be precise and Sslar wondered what else might be living down there.

The Steam Motor hissed, clanked once and became silent again, a thirty metre-high machine
with rusting pipes that meandered away into the darkness above.
The whole area told of a forgotten place, a place that was once important -but now left to
it's own devices.

"We suffer with flooding sometimes..." the hunched old-man said from his stool next to the
Console, Sslar spun with claws a-ready at the voice and cursed herself for not noticing the
being. "... Oh, I'm sorry for startling you, I thought you were from above" the balding figure
in the patched-overalls apologised and turned a large red switch to 'On'

"I'm dead... I think" thought Sslar and was surprised to hear the stranger reply with "I don't
know anything about that, I just keep the engine going" The huge contraption began to urge
it's grease-dripping pistons up-and-down, the noise was deafening and the Xang Cat was
relieved when he saw the little man with the wipsy hair gesture to follow him along the
grating towards a room that leaked with yellow light, the big cat padded after the shambling

"There... that's better, ain't it?" the man said as he closed the paint-peeling door and closed
out the clamour, Sslar peered around the scruffy-looking room with cautious eyes.
"I'm Des... my name is Des" the smiling old-fart with the baggy overalls said and reached out
a gnarled hand to stroke the latest visitor to his realm, the low-growl halted his action and
faded the smile at the same time.

Des's room looked like it had once enjoyed a coat of paint... one coat and a long time ago
-Sslar wagered and turned her attention back to the little figure before her.
"I'm Sslar... can you hear me?" she thought and watched the kind-smile return to the
lined-face of her host. "Oh yes, I hear you fine" came the answer and without another word,
Des turned and waddled over to a table that had also seen better-days.

The muffled sound of the big Engine outside thudded through Sslar's sensitive paws as she
followed the song-humming old guy, the leg-taped chair he climbed onto promised collapse
very soon. "Are you hungry?" Des asked and showed a plastic box with a blue lid, Sslar picked
up the scent of cheese sandwiches and a sugary item of some-sort, the smell wasn't off-

"I wouldn't say no" the Xang Cat thought lightly and lifting her huge head, she watched Des
pick out a white bread-with-cheese and place it on a chipped cream-stained plate.
"Thar you go" Des said cheerfully and placed the food at the side of the table where Sslar
waited, the old man's eyes widened at the sight of her massive incisors revealed as she
grabbed the small nibble.

"Thank you" Sslar said and sent her long tongue to clean the sharp instruments either side of
her jaws, the sandwich tasted good. Des gobbled his own slice down and used a large green
'kerchief to wipe his mouth "Yep, it's the pickle that does it" he said with pride.

(Continued Below)
edit on 24-4-2012 by A boy in a dress because: Left Spanner In Edit Room.

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 11:03 AM
(Continued From Above)

Sslar walked around the room looking at the small crates and curling posters that promised
lands of golden sun and sand, the boxes were stamped 'Fragile' Des' head followed the big
feline's path and as she neared the poster that said 'Khalamzadar -A Chance To Begin Again'
the little man sniffed his amusement.

"That's a helluva place, have yer' been there?" the old voice cracked and Sslar glanced back
at the man at the table, the chipped plate wavered in the air with a slice of chocolate cake,
Des' leaned closer with the offering and whispered "everybody likes chocolate cake"
The gentle smile behind the plate told Sslar that no danger lay there.

"Yum" was the single word that Des heard as the green-and-black cat with the tusks tossed
the cake into her mouth, crumbs danced along Sslar's whiskers and a shine in her eyes told
the old man that she had enjoyed that with relish.

"I've been shot and I think I have died" Sslar said again after a few moments of quietness,
her perusal of the posters had gone full-circle. "Is this the Otherside?" she asked in her
Des scrubbed his stubbly chin and eyed the big animal across the table, the hunter-gaze
waited for a response and the old Boiler-Man deliberated on how to form his sentences
-before speaking.

"This isn't heaven, this isn't 'behind the veil'... and it ain't the Otherside, this is the place
between them places, it's the place where you decide" Des said sagely and watched the
cat's eyes for any indication of understanding, Sslar's face was marble-esque.

The Engine began it's slow wind-down again and Des slipped nimbly from his seat and began
to walk towards the door, it was almost 'times-up' -Sslar thought and raced to block the old
man's depature.

"I've decided to go on... you know, be me?" Sslar thought with all her might and the focus
brought tears to appear around those beautiful feline eyes. Des smiled again and patted the
Xang Cat that held her master dear "Heh now... that's alright" he said softly.

The big red switch clunked back to 'On' and the Boiler Room seemed to thrum stronger than
before, Sslar even believed that the darkness had receded abit too.
The pistons raced back-and-forth and the pipes overhead glowed with dull heat, the huge
Engine roared from it's place near the metal walkway.

"Yep, that damn flooding will be here again and soon" Des said off-handedly and clicked on
an ancient machine called a 'Wireless' that hung from a faded leather-strap near the Console.
With the Motor settling into a steady pace, the music could just be heard.
The song faded in-and-out and Sslar guessed that was because they were so deep, the tune
told of mysterious females and beguiling.

Des' Song...

As Sslar walked confidently towards the tunnel entrance, she glanced at a dented locker that
leaned drunkenly against the Engine-Room wall, the locker-door seemed as-if someone had
tried to take it off with a sledgehammer.

Feline-eyes panned across the upper-part where the grille showed like a shark's flank and
the name-tag there proclaimed it to belong to someone called 'Tiny'
Sslar guessed that this was Des' nickname.

The blue-and-white-flashes came and the Xang Cat flinched at the blinding light, but as
Sslar waited for her 'awakening' her thoughts were on those two names... 'Des' and 'Tiny'
More teeth appeared as the Cat that fought Dragons and Death, that travelled across space
and time, and had found peace and friendship with an unlikely U-man, smiled into the light.

Adam looked over the gauze-mask at the flickering eyelids of the big cat on the gurney and
blew air from his bottom-lip upwards, Neno removed the barrel of the pistol away from the
Doctor's forehead and whispered "Good work, Doc... good work"

The Cleaner-Droid that cleaned up afterwards -was Frank... you remember?
The guy who took Sheila- Two's love away from her? Yeah... her out of the Arboretum.

Well, he was tidying-up the operating theatre afterwards and just as Sheila-Two had said, he
does have a set of caterpillar-tracks that can turn a fellow-droid's head. It was this apparatus
he was enjoying in the reflection from the Observation-Room's window -when without
looking, he vacuumed the strange-brown particles from the sheet where Sslar had been laid.

Chocolate cake crumbs.
edit on 24-4-2012 by A boy in a dress because: I CAN'T FIND MY FREAKIN' SPANNER!

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 01:51 PM

..................................~Sorry Seems The Hardest Word~..........................

Akron kept close to the ground, the Prairie grass leaned a wake in his passing as the big
vehicle swept towards where Silo, Pip and Neno's big killer-cat waited near the stream.
A thin-lipped Adam peered out of the window and hoped all would be well.

"We're gonna fix 'em up good Doc, ah' want it to go by-the-numbers" Nenothtu drawled
-but Adam could hear the concerns in his voice and nodded to say he had heard.
Tibbs and Boy In A Dress sat near the back of The Tumbler and remained poe-faced, the
usually-jovial Man/Girl combed his red talons through his permo-wig and had not spoken
since leaving the Library.

The two Droids near the Engine-housing checked and rechecked the surgical gear, red
lasers danced across the equipment in their scrutiny. The PHARS waited just behind the tall
Gunslinger in the black hat, Adam hoped they wouldn't need it as The Tumbler reached the
top of the rise that would reveal the winding river ahead.

Willow trees waved at their entrance as Akron slowed to a halt and immediately open it's
"PHARS online, Doctor... everything ready here" the Tumbler reported and touched the lush
greenery without a bump. Neno hit the ground running.

The kid was weeping over Silo's slumped body and as he neared the scene, the Vandal
spotted the remains of Pip's dog not far from where Sslar lay. Neno tore the hard-eyes away
from the big animal and focused on Silo13.

"What happened, son?" he snapped and wrenched the lad up by his shirt collar, hot blood
throbbed in the big man's temples as he looked on the mewling Pip. Adam and BIAD were
already placing the girl on a hover-gurney and Tibbs was scanning the dark-stained wound
in the abdomen-region with his handset, his bespectacled-face told nothing.

Pip blurted the tale of Sslar and Toby and how Silo had shot the dog, he looked at the blood-
speckled dirt as he admitted that he had fired his rifle at her.

Gep had done it twice, but it was when the boy was very young and for spilling a bucket of
milk due to not being careful, one of Nenothtu's spankings would only be needed once.
Pip screamed and it took all of BIAD's might to keep Adam from running over to the cleared
-area under the willows and stop Neno's punishment, the Man/Girl and Tibbs made the
Doctor focus on getting Silo into The Tumbler.

The humiliating chastising took place with Nenothu remaining silent throughout, it wasn't
until Pip was dropped unceremoniously from the GunMan's knee into the dirt that he spoke.
"Yer'll pull up yer' britches and wipe the snot from yer' face... be the man yer' Pa wanted yer
to be" Neno growled and dismissed the sobbing boy by turning towards the yellow vehicle
waiting further away.

It was merely a few seconds before the hard-faced Vandal heard the rifle accepting a bullet
into it's breech and this caused his steady pace to stop-dead, the words spoken sounded like
Doom itself waited under that easy sky.

"Yer can take that shot, son... but aim high 'cos I'm gonna make you eat that gun" Neno said
softly and waited for the tick of the trigger. He reckoned he would go for a leg-shot and
cripple the little bastard.

"Ah... ah'm sorry, Mister... ah..." and the tears came again, the thud of the rifle dropping to
the ground was all Nenothtu needed to turn around with pistol in-hand. the barrel aimed
at the young Pip's leg.

"NO!" shouted Adam and struggling in BIAD's grip, his eyes called for mercy to the tall Vandal
on the prairie "Please" he implored and slipped through the Man/Girl's arms.
Silo was aboard The Tumbler and the Droids were going about there tasks, Tibbs oversaw the
preparation to put her in the PHARS.

Adam scambled to where Pip cowered infront of Nenothtu and held him close "don't do it
Neno... please" he begged and searched the shadow under the wide-rimmed hat for any clue
of what the GunMan was thinking.

The rifle was smashed against one of the trees and without looking at the pair on their knees,
Neno lifted the big green cat in his arms and carried her towards the Tumbler, he spat once in
his passing of Adam and Pip.

(Continued Below)

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 01:58 PM
(Continued From Above)

It was over two hours -since they had first arrived to that serene place near where fat trout
gulped at Mayflies on the stream's surface and Adam sweated in his endeavours.

The bullet had hit Sslar in the area near her heart, the bleeding had been slowed and now the
Doctor was searching for the shell. "I can't find it... It's no good Neno" he muttered from
behind the gauze-mask and wiped his brow on his sleeve.

The Xang Cat barely breathed, the big chest moved only slightly and the readings showed
that her vitals were waning, it wasn't looking good -Adam thought.

Tibbs informed Akron to set a steady course back to where better medical care could be
utilised and added that the big Tumbler should take it steady... "no bumps" he said with
serious tones.

The cold-feel of the pistol barrel against Adam's head made him flinch and bump his temple
on the hard metal "maybe yer need an incentive Doc?" Nenothtu offered and clicked the
hammer back.

Boy In A Dress looked over once and then continued his whispering into the ear of Sslar, the
words told of friendship and hope. Except for the mutterings, all were quiet as Adam gulped
-not unlike those trout nearby and dove again into the wound looking for the bullet.

Silo moaned twice inside the pod-like machine that worked to rejuvenate her and the boy
with dirty-tear tracks down his face sat beside her and pondered the Tumbler's floor.
The Droids waited near the Engine-Room door and watched the cold-eyed U-man hold the
weapon to the Ship's Doctor's head, but their programming was never arranged for this
kind of situation.

Sslar's eyelids flickered as the tinny-sound of the bullet dropping into the steel dish and
Adam blew air with relief. "Good work, Doc... good work" Neno said softly and holstered the
gun 'that was one saved' -Adam mused then corrected himself with 'possibly-two" as he eyed
the stone-faced U-man beside him.
Turning to the PHARS, Adam felt a pang of sorrow for the small boy sitting next to his gun-shot
friend. "What's next?" he said to himself and kneeled to look at Silo13.

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 05:22 PM
The crew rode back to the ship proper in relative silence. The silence wore on Pip's nerves more than it did the adults - they had other thoughts to occupy their minds, worrying over recoveries and whatnot, but Pip carried the weight of a world on his shoulders.

Finally, when the silence got unbearable, it was Pip who broke it. "I wasn't goin' to really shoot you, mister - I jus' wanted to scare you a bit s'all."

Nenothtu growled "like hell you wouldn'ta shot me. Ya done shot two, an' there weren't nuthin' but air between yer bullet an' me. You EVER draw down on a man, you'd best be goin' ter shoot 'im 'stead of tryin' to scare 'im. Some folks don't scare all that easy, an' they'll make you EAT that gun. Folks like me. You EVER pull another weapon on me, boy, and it has best be a candy bar - that way it'll go down smoother when ya eat it, and you damned sure will. Only reason you ain't gonna be limpin' the rest of your days is the doctor here."

"But I didn't mean to shoot Sslar an' Silo!" Pip wailed. "it was an accident!"

"Accident my ass." neno responded. "Ain't no sech thing as an accident when it comes to guns and grenades. It was NEGLIGENCE. It was LACK OF THINIKING. It was LACK OF SELF CONTROL. It was a lot of things, but 'accident' ain't one of 'em."

"Butbutbut..."Pip whined "that guy SHOCKED me!" If he hadn't done that, I'd never have pulled the trigger on Silo!"

At that, nenothtu turned and faced Pip. Neno looked like a thundercloud just about to break loose. "Lissen to me, you snivelin', whiney, craven li'l brat. YOU did it. Not Carpet, not me, not Silo, not Sslar, not Tibbs. YOU did it. had YOU not pointed that weapon at Silo, you'd not have gotten shocked to begin with. had YOU not pointed that weapon at Silo, it wouldn't have been pointed at her to shoot her. Had YOU not had your finger on that trigger, you'd never have been able to pull it. It was YOU, and your half-assed response without any thought attached to it that did all the shootin'. YOU own yer own foul ups. Don't try to blame em on anyone else. YOU own 'em. Until you can do at least that, you'll NEVER be a man. I don't give a rat's ass how old or how big you manage to get - an' it won't be much, if you keep goin' the way you are - no matter how much you grow, you'll NEVER be a man until you own yer own mistakes, instead of tryin' to blame YOUR actions on someone else. Yer pa wouldn't be very proud of you could he see ya now - and there's a good chance he can."

Pip sulked, then said in an accusatory tone "It was YOU that broke my rifle!" testing neno to see if he would own HIS own actions.

Neno nearly exploded. "DAMN RIGHT IT WAS! Yer DAMN luck you ain't wearin' it fer a bow tie! Yeah, I did it, and I'd do it again - until you git a grip on yerself, yer a danger to just about every one around ye! I'll be DAMNED if you'll be goin' around armed AND dangerous!"

The Waldo was moving slowly so as not to jostle the precious cargo it carried. Neno said "I'll find another ride in - if I stay in this one, I'll just end up tyin' that impudent cub's ears in a knot atop his head" and with that he hopped out of the moving vehicle and, stumbling slightly upon landing, regained his legs and started walking until another ride came along.

edit on 2012/4/24 by nenothtu because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 11:54 AM

~*~ Eyes ~*~

Neno’d nearly jumped clean outta his skin when the bulky figure stepped out from the shadows of the clearing. It was the look of unadulterated and absolute anguish creasing the being’s pale cheeks that stilled the gunman's hand from dropping to his revolver. Neno’d gone back to bury the remains of Pip’s dog and hadn’t heard the Carpet’s approach. Neno had forgotten, they’d all forgotten Carpet in the earlier confusion. Regardless, here he was now and Neno’d never seen a more repentant being in all his born days - or his dead ones.

‘It’s my fault the boy shot...Silo.’ Carpet choked out hung his head like a criminal, ‘It’s just as much my fault as the boys.’ Turning in place Carpet wished Neno would pull his side arm, wished he’d plant a bullet in the back of his head. All Neno did was dust his hand free from dirt and place a final rock over the dog’s grave while watching the bulky ‘man’s’ shoulders shake.

Waiting a spell before responding Neno blinked at the back of the man‘s head then blinked again. This was a horse of a different color standing right there waiting for Neno to play judge, jury and executioner and for the life of him Neno didn’t know which this horse was gonna buck. Sighing Neno started looking for a couple a sticks to mark the grave bidding time and thinking.

Now, what he did know? For fact? Carpet - new to being a biped had rushed in to save Silo’s life. That racked up a sack a points in Neno’s estimation. Beyond that? Neno had no doubt before Carpet would have allowed Silo to be hurt the ‘new-U-man’ would have shoved Pip’s rifle barrel right up his own post-hole all the while regretting it wasn’t a gatling gun. Damn his hide if what he was seeing wasn’t Innocence. Innocence. Neno’d knew it was rare as hens teeth. Chewing on the milky end of a grass stalk Neno let Carpet compose himself and went on thinking wondering how he

‘Carpet tell me something.’ Neno spat and waited to see if the new-man before him had a pair enough to turn back around.

Swiveling easily on his heels Carpet met Neno’s eyes. The gunman could tell it was difficult for the Milli-Being not to look away. ‘What’s that Neno?’ Carpet squared his shoulders even though his eyes filled with tears.

‘What’s the hardest part?’ Neno pulled a burnished silver flask from his cigar pocket, spun the top and took a long pull.

‘It’s the looking.’ Carpet answered without hesitation.

‘Take a swig you need it.’ Neno offered the flask but Carpet waved it away and gave Neno his back again. Before Neno could ask him to explain Carpet continued.

‘It’s..,‘ he hesitated, ‘Neno...I never had anyone look at me before. Didn’t matter who or what my host was? Ship, a cat, a rug, no one’s ever looked at me.’ Carpet cleared his throat, ’And now everywhere I look there’s eyes...all eyes.’ Turning back to Neno Carpet didn’t flinch from his gaze.

The words were like a mule-kick to the Vandal’s gut. Only a loner would understand what the Milli-Being was saying. No matter how you shielded yourself there were always eyes. Everywhere. Eyes.

In answer Neno dipped his chin and did what he’d done before few men who’d ever lived to tell the tale. He dropped his own eyes to his boots before offering Carpet the flask again. This time it wasn’t refused.

Coughing Carpet handed back the container wiping the back of his hand across his mouth. ’So. You gonna kick my ass now?’ Carpet asked serious as hell and ready for it.

‘You know,’ Neno drawled thinking he’d possible just met one of the only ’men’ who just might understand him, ’Ya know, I don’t think I will.’ A rare smile creased Neno’s face and climbed right up into his eyes. ’Come on, let’s get going. We got some hoofing it to do.’

‘Hoofing it?’ Carpet asked as the gunman threw his arm over the shorter U-Man’s shoulder passing him the silver flask once more.

‘Carpet...’ Neno chuckled wryly, ‘You ever thought about changing your name?’

edit on 25-4-2012 by silo13 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 02:05 PM
They walked along in silence for a while, as nenothtu cast through the cobwebs in his mind to find the proper approach for Carpet's problem. It's a hard thing to do what you know to be right, and have it appear to turn out horribly wrong.

"Yah done right, you know" he began.

Morosely, Carpet replied "if it had been right, Silo wouldn't have gotten shot. I botched it."

"The story I got from Sslar" neno continued, as if the comment had not been made, but trying to address it all the same "was that Pip's dog was a jealous critter, and got rowdy about Silo taking Pip's time when the dog thought the time ought rightfully be his. Now, it didn't really come out against Silo, because a dog has a narrow mind. Only one thought at a time. His led him from Silo to Pip to me - he figgered that Silo already had a young-'un, and didn't rate another. Now, when he got on the subject of me, he said some harsh things that didn't set well with Sslar. She more or less told him to shut up, and it was on. the dog was attacking her, but hell, she's a lot bigger'n he is, so it was her game. She was annoyed, but not enough to kill him. If she'd been that annoyed, he'd have been gutted a lot earlier than what he was. One swipe from 'er would've done it."

Carpet interrupted. "I can't see what that has to do with - "

"Ah'm gettin' there. We've got a fair long walk, so there's time. Anyhow, things are not always as they appear. Pip came bee-boppin' along, saw what he thought was a fight with his dog at a disadvantage, and never stopped to think that if it wuz a serious fight, his dog would've done been rolled sev'ral yards trailin' his innards with each swipe of Sslar's paw. Instead of thinking and evaluating, he jus' shot Sslar off his dog. He wasn't thinkin', he wasn't evaluatin' on the go. When he shot Sslar, the dog went into hunting and attack mode, thinking of Sslar as 'game' at that point."

"Why would the dog think that?"

"I dunno. Who knows why they think what they do? I reckon it's just hard-wired in, because they are hunters. PACK hunters. They foller the Alpha Male's lead, and to that dog, Pip wuz the Alpha Male. I once't had to shoot one of my own dogs. He was killin' chickens without any good reason, other than they ran when he chased. Now, when I shot him, two of my other hounds wuz along fer the walk. I never thought about it, but when I shot that dog, the other two IMMEDIATELY jumped him, too. I was their Alpha Male, and they figgered judgement had been rendered. Dogs that had romped and played with him every day of his life all of a sudden turned killer, because the Alpha had spoken, so they piled on. It's just the way canines think" neno shrugged. "A man takes his own responsibilities. Sometimes, he's gotta be able ter shoot his own dog. I wadn't but about 14 or 15 when that happened."

"So it's the dog's fault, you're saying?"

"NO! the dog was doing what dogs do. It weren't his fault. Pip, being a human, should've been able to evaluate above the level of the dog. When Silo shot the attacking dog offa the wounded Sslar, Pip reacted with emotion rather than evaluation. He drawed down on her, and that was just the WRONG thing to do. That's when you came along."

Carpet wrung his hands and said "And I caused him the shoot Silo!" he nearly wailed.

"NO! Again, NO! You evaluated. You made a decision for action based upon what you saw. An emotional young-'un with a gun on someone is a recipe fer disaster. It ain't playin' and slappin' no more at that point, it's a deadly game. Here's what you took in and evaluated, probably faster than you realized you had: Pip had already shot one, and had his gun on another. There was no reason for you to think that he wouldn't shoot again, so you had to do something. Now the fact is, sometimes life will give you a Hobb's Choice. Yer damned if you do, and damned if you don't. What you do at that point is what defines ye. Do you try an' stop him from shooting? Or do you let him shoot? She might've got shot either way, an' the ONLY slim chance she had NOT to get shot was fer you to DO SOMETHING! So ye did. T'weren't yer fault that she got shot - Pip was the one holding a loaded gun on her, not you. You did the best you could with a hard choice."

"But If I'd decided different, if I hadn't..."

"If you hadn't acted, he might've shot her DEAD, right through the heart. You don't know, an' you never will. You've a better chance of having SAVED her life as you have of havin' caused her injury. Carpet, you SAVED her, you didn't hurt her."

"then why don't I feel any better?" Carpet complained.

"Because some times, life doesn't give us the easy choices, Some times, it's Hobb's Choice or none at all. What you DO in those times is what separates the men from the boys. You've the rest of your life for Monday-morning quarterbacking, all the 'would've, should've, could'ves'. What you need to realize just now is that SILO has the rest of HER life to think that over, too. She has that because of what YOU did when the heat was on. You think about that a bit rather than beating yerself up, and let me know what you come up with inna few days."

Carpet appeared lost in thought, and now conflicting emotions. Nenothtu didn't mention that if Carpet had slapped the barrel a split second before applying the taser, Silo might not have gotten shot at all. Carpet wasn't trained for that sort of thing, he just reacted with the tool kit he had at hand, and that said a lot about Carpet in neno's book. More than all the training in the universe. There was no need to burden him with that knowledge at this point. It would only lead Carpet to further recriminations against himself.

"Now about that name change...." neno said, to give him something else to pile onto the thought train.

edit on 2012/4/25 by nenothtu because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 03:03 AM

~*~ A New Man ~*~

Waiting while the doors to the Center hissed back into place behind them - a great dull thud announcing their closure the men were greeted by Ship who offered her thanks to Neno but refused to acknowledge Carpet at all. With a friendly salutation and after relating the status of Sslar and Silo Ship informed him she was going back to monitor the bridge leaving them alone.

‘She’s still mad I take it?’ Neno shrugged a shoulder meaning Ship.

‘Like only a ‘scorned’ female can be.’ Carpet’s eyes twinkled but held a sadness Neno didn’t envy. ‘So, I’m going to check on Silo...’ Ship had related the PHARS containing the injured girl had been returned to her quarters. ’you coming with me or...’ Eyebrows raised slightly Carpet waited.

‘Nothing I can do but worry and worrying isn’t gonna help. That rig a hers will have her patched up in no time.‘ Neno said with more conviction than he felt. ‘I’m going to the Starwolf.’ Neno wiped his face with his palm and into his hair that shed a few bits of leaves and debris. ‘I want to clean up before going and checking on Sslar.’ Tempted to offer Carpet a round at the Swamp Neno held his offer. No need to go overboard.

‘What about Pip?’ Carpet knew Neno wasn’t through with the boy and wondered what his plans were.

‘That brat’s got a month-a-Sundays a hard labor lined up and don’t you doubt it.’ Neno’s eyes narrowed. ’Only thing between that boy and freedom is... Well, I'll think of something but right now I need a shower and some grub.’

Carpet nodded not envying Pip one bit but knowing the boy was better off having Neno officer his near future than he himself.

Neno shot his hand out and the two shook straight. ‘And the Starwolf? Her door’s always open for you.‘ Neno followed with a wink that was just as much a surprise to him as it was to Carpet. Both men bust out laughing and parted each going his own way. ‘An you come up with a new collar lemme know.’ Neno called back and disappeared around a bend in the hall.

********** ~*~ Pip ~*~ **********

’‘Carpet? You awake?’ Pip whispered near the snoring biped who slumped against Silo’s PHARS without responding. Shaking his shoulder with one hand Pip held a tray of food and drink with the other wondering if he really wanted to be doing this or not. But orders were orders.

‘Carpet - wake up. You’ve gotta eat. Neno said I can’t leave until you do.’ Pip stood back at attention while Carpet roused himself.

‘What’da you doing here?’ The surly growl took Pip off guard.

‘I brought you something to eat and drink. Neno said you were...’ He stammered.

‘Leave it and get out.’ Carpet’s eyes focused on the boy and for the first time Pip realized they were green, as emerald green as the necklace that glowed at Silo’s throat.

‘I’m sorry sir I’ll...’ Pip stuttered almost dropping the tray when Carpet got to his feet his shoulders set, his mouth grim.

‘I said...leave the tray and...GET OUT!’ The roar sent the boy into action. The tray crashed on a nearby table, the urn of wine almost spilling, the dishes tossing their contents about.

Running from the room in fresh tears Pip cursed and vacillated between vowing revenge of the most horrible types on Carpet and wishing he could turn back time and they could all go back to being friends.

Milli trailed after the boy her knap rolling in waves in his wake. She’d talk to him. She’d tell him Carpet didn’t mean it. She would. If she could only get him to stop and listen.

************ ~*~ Adam ~*~ ************

Rounding the corner to the Recovery Bay Neno decided to drop in before continuing to the Starwolf. It was on the way anyway he justified standing before the doors waiting for them to slide open. And open they did. With Adam directly on the other side.

The fist that flew aimed straight and caught Neno square on the chin. It wasn’t a sucker punch - Neno saw it coming - and knew he had it coming.

Crumpling to the ground with less grace than he’d of liked Neno stayed their refocusing his eyes moving his head right and left his chin leading and probing his felt his teeth with his tongue to find out if any were loose. The Doc had one hell of a jab.

‘That’s one hell of a jab you got there.’ Neno tried not to chuckle.

Adam offered his hand - Neno hesitated. ‘You’re not going to give me what for soon as I’m back on my feet again are ya?’ Neno watched the heat drain out of the Doc’s eyes and took his hand letting the Doc hoist him up.

‘Nope. But...’ Here it comes thought Neno. ‘If ya ever hold a gun ta my head once more lad? You best just pull the damn trigger.’ Adam smiled a man to man promise and clap Neno on the back before moving through the door and down the hall whistling a little ditty as he went.

edit on 26-4-2012 by silo13 because: counter

posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 05:50 AM

Cruel to be Kind

Nenothtu stood and pondered Sslar. She was sleeping - or at least seemed to be. Probably whacked out on some drug or another to keep her still, he figured. that she had to stay still was obvious, from all the tubes running in and out of her. neno could make out a ventilator, and some drainage tubes, but other things he wasn't as sure of. Tubes and wires and electrodes - it was all more than he could fathom. He shrugged and muttered "Ah reckon that's why they pays the doc the big bucks."

The Doc. He wiggled his jaw and attempted a lopsided grin, unsuccessfully. It was still sort of numb, and was probably gonna hurt when the numb wore off. There was no doubt he'd had it coming - which was why he stood and took it. Still, it was but a small price to pay if it had helped Adam rediscover his backbone. There was only so much that any man with a backbone at all would take, and a not so gentle nudge - or a few of them, neno corrected himself - was what Adam had needed to figure out his was still there.

Pip was another matter. It near broke his heart to watch the boy go through what he was, but neno dared not let anyone see that, least of all Pip. The boy had to learn, and all he could do was guide - or drive, which was more the case in this instance. In order for the lesson to take, Pip was going to have to beat himself up, because no one can beat a person up like they can beat themselves up, and somewhere in that beating the lesson would take. To achieve that end, neno was going to have to drive the boy, and drive him hard.

Cruel to be kind. Neno was going to be as mean and nasty as he had to in order to herd these people into finding their own selves.

That sucked. It would be as rough on neno as it was on Pip, and he dared not let that show. The lesson might not take if Pip saw a soft spot anywhere. neno heaved a sigh, and scratched Sslar behind the ear gingerly. She liked that, but he didn't want to jostle any tubes or wires. Her paw twitched, and ever so faintly in his mind he heard her, as if from a great distance away - which made no sense considering it was telepathic - say "the dog-bears. Watch out for the dog-bears. They're hiding all around...". So she was either dreaming or delirious. Either way she was out of it.

"You'll be alright" neno whispered as he scratched her ears. "You got a first-rate doc - don't tell him I said so, it'll swell his head all up - , and the best medicine the Orion Alliance - or whoever supplies this boat - can supply. You'll be fine." He said it as much to himself as Sslar. There wasn't much else he could do here, and he had crud to scrape off, so he turned on his heel and left the medical facility, heading for the Starwolf.


He rode the lift to the upper deck of the Starwolf, taking his hat off and beating the dust out of it against his leg. The air recirculators and the filtration system would handle the dust. Margo was still curled up on the port side cushioned bench, engrossed in reading. "You sure do read a lot." neno commented. "D'ye ever cook anything, or are ye all looks an' no action?"

Margo, rather than taking umbrage, grinned and replied "Cook? that's what the bots in the galley are for! I've got other charms... now if it's action you're after..." She let the thought trail off and unwound herself from the bench, pouring herself into an upright position and headed his way.

"Nonono!" nenothtu protested. "Ahm grubby as a prospector! I've got layers and layers of sweat, and blood, and mud, and assorted crud to peel an' scrape offa me afore you get within sniffin' distance, woman!"

"I don't mind a little sweat..." Margo said, perhaps more lasciviously that necessary as she continued forward.

"No, woman! Now you stay offa me! I done tol' you I gotta clean up! Now hows about you jus' wander on down to that illustrious galley of your'n and git me a sammich and' a slice of pie whilst I wash up?" and he swatted her on the behind to emphasize his command.

"You know you're going to pay for that, don't you?" Margo grinned.

Neno shrugged. "Can't squeeze blood out of a turnip. I can't pay nothin' - I'm broke."

Margo looked him up and down, then replied. "You're not broke. looks to me like everything is in fine working order!"

"You need to quit talkin' thataway, Margo! You'll give an old man like me a heart attack! Now are you goin' after that grub, or am I gonna have to swat yer fanny agin?"

"Well, maybe just once..."

"GIT woman afore I starve plumb to death!"

Margo dodged the swat with grace and the lift door swooshed closed behind her. Neno waited until he was sure she'd exited the lower level, then entered the lavatory, stripped, and locked the door behind him. He turned the shower on full blast and as hot as it would go to mask the racket he knew was coming, and then nenothtu, former mercenary on 30 planets, killer without equal, Destroyer of Worlds, God of War, Savior of the Universe, and all around nasty character, sat right down on the floor of the shower under the stinging water, where no one cold see or hear, and cried like a baby, mourning the innocence Pip was in the process of losing now - and which he had himself lost long ago.

edit on 2012/4/26 by nenothtu because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 02:06 PM

.............................................~Toys Really Aren't Us~...........................................

Within the walls of the attic, time hadn't as-much stood still, it had more of slowed to a
steady drip... each drip contained sighs and the sounds of creaking wood. Silo13 wondered
if she shouldn't have come up to the sulking place.

The waiting Teddy-Bear looked on the young girl browsing through the nick-nacks and
sniffing the dust and he pondered on how the trap would play-out. Something moved in the
darkened corner and the eleven year-old girl in the Edwardian dress swished her head
around to the noise. Flapping and a squawk told Silo that a small bird may gotten trapped
among the chests and boxes, Teddy thought it would an opportune time to make his

"So, you came back to see me...?" the low-muffled voice came to the shell-like ears of the
startled little girl "... It's been awhile" Silo stumbled back at the sight of the huge toy-bear
in the shadows and it took all of her nerve not to race back down the ladders at the attic

A memory stirred in her mind of a time long ago, a birthday party possibly and Silo felt
a feeling of fondness sweep over her for a strange reason, the fear seemed to seep away
as she waited near a wooden crate marked 'FRAGILE'

"I am sorry, have we met?" she asked with a slight warble in her voice, the Bear was large
and he also had his hands behind his back, it was then that she noticed the T-shirt.
Teddy tilted his head and the paper hat he was wearing -slid a little "Of course we have
my Dear, we had an arrangement" the stitched-mouth uttered and attempted a smile.

The flapping in the corner stopped and Silo gulped to herself at what may have stopped the
bird's struggles, she focused on the big Bear sitting against the wall.
"I came up here to find a kite.... Philip says it's windy enough to go out and try some flying"
Silo explained, she stepped closer and Teddy nodded that he understood.

The eaves creaked in agreement of Silo's comment of blustery skies and the girl offered a
puzzled expression "what arrangement?" she asked. Teddy seemed to sigh and his big belly
rose and fell with the action, the faded painting behind the furry stranger moved also.

"We had a dilemma regarding your memories... you wished to forget certain ones" Teddy
whispered and Silo had to step closer to hear the small voice. The girl nearly stepped on the
dusty limbs of a forgotten doll, the legs were there -but no body or head.
She wondered what had happened here.

"I seem to recall a birthday party... I think" she said and peered closer at the black short-
sleeved garment stretched across Teddy's torso, the fierce face of a wolf looked back.
"That's correct, we held our own little festivities and you appreciated your gift... it's just
a shame it took you this length of time to revisit old Teddy" the Bear said softly and watched
for any reaction.

Silo13 crossed her ankles and nibbled her bottom lip, she felt that shame tingle on her
smooth cheeks. Teddy enjoyed those few moments -but said nothing.
"I do apologise... I meant no.." Silo began and Teddy revealed a padded-claw to stop her
apology. "I know-I know 'sorrys' are easy to say" Teddy sneered sarcastically, the beady-eyes
showed his doubts of the little lass.

The attic groaned with age and waited for the next move, Silo mulled over her situation by
focusing on the peeling wall behind the odd giant toy. "How can I repair the friendship?" she
whispered with a hint of hope, the Bear wasn't really a friend -not like Philip downstairs, but
she didn't want to offend.

Philip visited everyday with his puppy and he let her play in the garden with it, this Teddy
wasn't like that and yet, something wriggled in her mind that they had known each other

Teddy kept the pressure on by saying " It's okay.... leave me here among the dust and
cobwebs, I'll be okay until you need me next time" The tone smacked of sainthood and

Silo breathed in deeply and glanced back at the attic door, Philip will be wondering where
she was -she thought. "What is it you want me to do?" she asked nervously and placed her
little soap-washed hands infront of her dress. Teddy leered and dropped the expression and
chastised himself for nearly ruining the game.

(Continued Below)
edit on 26-4-2012 by A boy in a dress because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 02:07 PM
(Continued From Above0

"Promise me that you will take me from this place, let me run with you among the grass and
willows... that's all I ask" Teddy pleaded with mock-sympathetic eyes, the glossy buttons
looked like pools of deep-drawn oil.

"I will be a true friend, Silo... I will trust you and we will spend many-a-hour talking of things
that only friends talk of" Teddy said a showed a sunny smile. "The others... the ones down
-stairs, they only want you because of your gifts..." Teddy smirked and moved his large head
to look at the rectangle of light with the thin ladder protruding from it "they use you" he hissed.

Silo followed Teddy's gaze and seemed to be deliberating on his words, Teddy knew that the
coup de grace must be struck now.

"They're all in on it. They laugh behind your back and put you in danger... I would never
do that" he added with condescending tones.

Silo blinked and mulled over the idea of her, Philip and Teddy racing along holding the kite
and felt herself resigning to the idea. "Okay.... I will" she muttered and stepped on the book.

The gloom of the attic had kept the crumpled linoleum-floor from being seen, the small
portrait of Jack Carpenter had also assisted in hiding the small jacketed-novel.
A girl's face wrapped in black hair stared back from under the title of the book 'Serendipity'
and reading the name cleared Silo's girl-mind and brought the Bio-wraith's womanly wisdom
back like a rush of bats from a cave.

Teddy saw the change and twisted his smile into a sneer, the glamour hadn't worked.


Chumley leaned towards the clear plexi-glass and saw Silo's eyes flutter in her dreaming.
"Run Silo... run away from it" he said softly and touched the PHARS.
edit on 26-4-2012 by A boy in a dress because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 07:03 AM


Gert stood stock still, and swallowed hard.

Ben raised his right arm and flipped the large red power-down lever overhead. Cecilia went immediately silent.

"When I's a kid, my ma called that sorta thing 'inappropriate attention seekin''," he growled. "So now, yer gonna get some attention, but it ain't gonna be inappropriate. Time for yer comeuppance."

Gert sneered at him. "Ya don't frighten me, ya old wall-eyed fart," she said. "You cain't do nuthin' to me. Yer nobody, yer a nuthin'. Yer a mortal," she looked him up and down with disdain,"and not a very appealin' one. I'm a deity."

Ben smiled in a mildly amused way. "Ye don't think so?" He cleared his throat and seated himself in the crew-seat nearest the hatch..

Gert eyed the door, which was still open.

Ben grinned wider. "Now, where ye think ye'd be goin', hey? Yer a prisoner here, and fer a reason. Ye don't realize that we are hurtling through space right now, do ya? Ye think ye can run outta here, find a door, and slink back to yer sorry hut. 'Myright? Carry on your shee-nanny-guns, messin' with others' hearts and lives jest to entertain yerself and yer bored friends. Myright?" He leaned forward, elbows on his knees, and poked his bristly chin at her. "Ye think I ain't been round the block, I don't know nuthin' bout nuthin'. Well, lady, you is small taters here. And we aim to bring ya down a notch afore we decide what to do with ya...."

"Oh? You and what army?" asked Gert in a petulant tone.

Ben laughed out loud. "C'mon in, gals," he said over his shoulder, and then the bespangled Gray Alien Witch strode in, and behind her, Dag. Gert's neck hair stood on end.

Ben rose, and waved his hand toward the chair, offering it to Mucklebones, and directed Dag to the seat beside it. He stepped back to block the exit, filling the hatchway completely with his formidable form. "Ah don't need no army to do what needs doin'," he said to Gert. "I got two unhappy women-folk here, and don't think Ah don't know what angry women-folk can do." He chuckled. "Scarier 'n' zombies, them."

He took a cigar from his pocket and bit off the end, then reached up to remove it from the tip of his tongue and flicked it onto the control panel. It landed squarely on a gob of cold, congealed oatmeal that had glued itself to the surface during Gert's tantrum.

"And when they're done with ye, yer gonna clean up this mess, too. But, first things first," he said. He turned to Muckles and Dag. "Aiight, ladies, Ah'm a-goin' to fetch up that young feller'ts been skulkin' round in the shadows. When y'all are done with 'er, we'll take care o' the rest o' the bidness at hand."

Ben winked at his two friends, knowing they would prefer not to have a man witness what they were about to inflict upon their gender-cohort, and frankly, he didn't want to, either. He knew it would be anything but "ladylike."

The hatchway door swished shut behind him, and he left the three females to settle things their own way.

Mucklebones had been staring at the small old woman, not blinking once. Dag was less statue-like, fidgeting in her chair, but certainly Gert felt no semblance of fear or timidity from either of them.

"Ye're on our turf, now," Muckles said. "Time for a right proper hazin'."

Gert's face lost all its color. "A hazing?" she murmured. "That was outlawed eons ago."

edit on 27-4-2012 by wildtimes because: empty space, extra dangling word left on post

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