jetamors: Yoruichi is really hot (Default)
Jetamors ([personal profile] jetamors) wrote2010-11-16 11:38 pm
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Nanowrimo Day 16

Crossed 30k!



The shooting range was on the outermost level of this deck. It was very similar to the ones on Garvey, and probably most ranges in the galaxy: a place to shoot, a line of targets. The employee scurried back and forth at Afua's instructions.

"We'll start with a basic stunner," Afua said. "You can take a few practice shots first to get a feel for how it shoots."

Stunners didn't cut or disintegrate things; they went through them instead, in a pressure wave that could drop a person without mussing their clothes. However, the shooting range targets contained a dye that would trigger for a few minutes around the stunned area, allowing people to evaluate their shooting. Tatiana pointed the stunner at the target, with her arms fully extended, and pulled the trigger.

Her first shot was low and to the left. She adjusted, and her next shot was in the inner ring of the target. WIth her third shot, she hit the bull's eye.

"Okay, what should I do next?" she asked Afua.

"Fire five times, please. And we'll want a disrupter next," this last to the range's employee.

Tatiana fired; she hit the bull's eye three times, and her other two shots were within two rings of it.

"Very good, for an unaugmented person," Afua said.

"You should see my mother's shooting," Tatiana said, grinning. "So, a disrupter next?"

She tried to conceal her dismay as she looked down at it. Tatiana had fired stunners and laser guns plenty of times, but this was the first time she had ever really fired a weapon that could kill someone.

"Go ahead," Afua said. Tatiana couldn't tell whether she knew why Tatiana had hesitated or not. But she went ahead and loaded the disrupter, and, taking the same stance, shot at the target.

It felt almost the same as the stunner had; the recoil was slightly greater, but that was all. But the target wasn't dyed purple where she had hit it; instead, a huge chunk of it was gouged out.

"You are very good with a disrupter as well," Afua said admiringly; it was only then that Tatiana realized that the gouge was centered around the bull's eye. "Though I suppose they are similar weaponry. A few more shots, please, and then we'll try you with a pistol."

Tatiana felt unsteady on her feet, unsettled by how very easy it had been. But she remembered her mother's drills and pulled herself together. Again, all her shots were on or near the bull's eye.

"All right, the pistol now," Afua said. "It's a little old-fashioned, but it gets the job done."

Pistols, unfortunately, were not energy weapons as Tatiana was used to. She made a miserable showing, missing the target entirely twice, and not coming very close to the bull's eye the other times.

Afua sighed. "Well, two out of three is still pretty good. You'll get paid better if you can handle a pistol, though; I would suggest that you come down and practice here during your off-hours."

"So am I hired then?" Tatiana exclaimed. She hadn't expected it to be so easy.

"Yes, you'll do. Your duties will be light while we spend a week checking your background, but after that, if all goes well, then you'll be a bodyguard for some of the Consortium's most important figures."

Tatiana nodded, suddenly nervous. She had her job, now, but she realized for the first time that keeping it might not be as easy as getting it.

Afua must have noticed her expression. "Don't worry," she said. "Being a bodyguard may sound like a difficult job, but mostly it's a lot of standing around and trying not to fall asleep. We don't usually have much trouble here; the Syndicate has very little presence, and the local government is too busy trying to extort people like you."

"Yeah, you're probably right," Tatiana said. "So, where should I go tomorrow, and is there anything I should read, or anything like that?"

"I'll have the information sent to your pad," Afua said. "You'll spend your first three or four days in training, though; that's where you'll learn most of what you need to know." She bowed to Tatiana. "It has been a pleasure to interview you."

Tatiana bowed back, awkwardly. "Thank you for helping me out," she said.

"It's no problem, my dear," she replied. "At any rate, it's time for me to return to my office. I've booked the range for another hour; you can leave if you like, or practice with the pistol." She turned and walked off.

"I'll practice," Tatiana said to her retreating back. Afua waved in reply, without turning.

"Right," Tatiana said under her breath. Then she raised her voice. "Could I have some more rounds?"

When she finished, her pistol shooting was not great, but far less embarrassing than it was before. Kid had said he wanted to work for eight or nine hours; it had only been six, but Tatiana was wary of spending too much time being idle on this deck. She made her way back to the cab stand, and messaged Kid on her pad.

It took about half an hour for him to show up. "Did it go well?" he asked as soon as he walked in.

"It went really well! They're hiring me as a bodyguard," Tatiana replied. "How was the cab service."

Kid snorted and looked away. Tatiana raised her eyebrows in surprise; Kid rarely became exasperated. "The money's good, but that Qaf--she really is a kid, y'know? I've been alternately fighting with her and trying to keep her happy all day."

"You're usually pretty good with kids," Tatiana said.

"Yeah, with kids I can hand back to their parents. I'm stuck with her all day, every day that we want to earn a living. I really hope we don't have to do this for too long, or that it gets better. If I have to keep doing this, I'll--" He broke off, breathing heavily, then sighed and slipped into the chair next to Tatiana.

"No, that's not really what I mean," he said. "I mean, she is a kid, so I'm not really angry at her. She's just so frustrating sometimes."

Tatiana patted his hand. "I'm sure it'll get better," she said. "Listen, it's your first day, right? And we're both short on sleep. Why don't we stop now, go back to the ship, and relax for a while. Later we can draw up a budget, and then we'll know how much longer we have to spend here."

"Yeah, okay," Kid said. He managed a faint smile. "You always come up with a way to fix things, Tatiana."

@"That's what I'm good at," she replied. "Now, come on, let's go back to Hold Steady!"

Despite what Kid had described as a horrendous experience, Qaf seemed to have enjoyed it immensely, and was annoyed that they wanted to return to their ship. "Come ooooonnnn, Kiiiiiid," she said. "Just one more fare? Two more fares?"

"We can do more tomorrow!" Kid said it roughly, but Qaf didn't seem to mind.

"Aww, pleeeeease? Pretty please? Pretty pretty please? With sugar on top?"

"Listen, Qaf," Tatiana said. "You probably don't understand being tired, but we are tired, and ready to go to bed now. If you have a problem with that, I'm sure we could talk about it with your mother."

"Fine, whatever," Qaf said. She was back to sulkiness. "I don't care. We'll go to your stupid deck with your stupid ship."

"Good," Tatiana said. And they flew with stony silence back to Deck 21.

Qaf only broke her silence after they'd landed and Kid and Tatiana were disembarking. "Bye!" she cried out. "I'll see you tomorrow, Kid!"

"Yeah, you too," Kid said. "It was fun."

"Hey, did you eat?" Tatiana asked Kid as they made their way back to Hold Steady. "Do you want to get something?"

Kid rubbed his face. "I'm more tired than I am hungry," he said. "I'll go to sleep now, and when I wake up I'll get something from the hydroponics bay."

After sleeping for several hours, the two sat down at the small table in the hydroponics bay. Kid was eating the bay's protein slurry with a spoon, while Tatiana calculated their expenses and revenue on her pad.

"Okay," she said finally. "We have our big debt, of course, but the other problem is the ongoing rent we have to pay to continue to dock here. It's not nearly as high as the original fee we paid for coming in, but it's still pretty hefty."

"Do you think they'd let us move docks?" Kid said. "There are cheaper ones on other decks, right?"

"I checked that, and if we moved, we'd have to pay another one of the big fees. I'm not sure if they'd let us leave anyway, since we could just zoom off without paying them anything. We need their permission just to open up the docking bay."

"Okay," Kid said. "Anything else?"

"That's just about it. We should probably add some extra expenses for food... we don't have to worry about transportation, of course. Anyway, I got the information from the Consortium about my new job, and my income as a bodyguard should be just barely enough to take care of all the daily expenses. If you do about as well in the cab business as you did today, and you work six days a week, then we should pay our debt off in about..." she checked her numbers again. "Fourteen months."

Kid choked on his mouthful of slurry. "What?!" he exclaimed.

"Hey, hey, don't spit on me," Tatiana said, annoyed. "Look, it is what it is. I can't help it."

"But we can't stay here that long! Even if Qaf wasn't... Qaf, she's going to be more than grown up in fourteen months, and then I'll be out of a job and we'll be out of free transportation. There's no way we'd ever be able to leave then."

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