jetamors: Yoruichi is really hot (Default)
Jetamors ([personal profile] jetamors) wrote2010-11-27 10:23 pm
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Nanowrimo Day 27

I should be finished in about two days! Though annoyingly, there's a discrepancy of about 200 words between the word count of Focuswriter, the word processor I'm using, and the Nanowrimo word count validator >:(

On the bridge, Hold Steady had adjusted the visual range to show Shakur, a small red-and-blue planet rotating in space in front of them. Kid and Qaf were already there, as well as Benjamin, but Jolee was nowhere to be seen.

"Where did you want to set down?" Kid asked Benjamin.

"I wanted to do the training in a city called New Nyeri," Benjamin said. He gave its planetary coordinates. "There's a few spaceship docks in the city, but I know a place on the outskirts where you can set down without paying anything." He sniffed. "It's run by a relative of mine."

Benjamin wasn't a spaceship pilot, and his directions were rather confusing, but after a bit of a muckup with planetary control, they managed to locate Benjamin's relative's place. From the ground, it was almost out of sight of the city: a large ranch, in New Nyeri's gently rolling hills, and clad in its distinctive blue foliage. The house itself was of modest size, a squat red oval shape with small windows dotted around its exterior.

They were greeted by a woman who turned out to be one of Benjamin's sisters. "Welcome, welcome," she said, as Hold Steady's ramp lowered to the ground. "It's good to see you again, brother."

Benjamin came down the ramp and embraced her. Jolee followed behind him, head down and feet shuffling.

"I suppose it didn't work out with the regionals," she said to Benjamin. She turned to Jolee, and shook her head. "All that money. It is a shame, isn't it?"

"Yeah, well, there's always next year," Benjamin said heartily, though his voice rang false. "Best to take some more time to get her fundamentals squared away, right?"

"Of course," the woman said. She turned then to the crew of Hold Steady. "I suppose you're the transportation?" she said. "Give me a few minutes to arrange payment."

"I hope you enjoyed our services," Tatiana said. "We enjoyed having you, and if you like we can continue to transport you throughout next season."

The woman's eyebrows rose. "Hoo, that would be something," she said. "Remember what a mess it was this last time, Benjamin, scrambling around after every game. If you liked them, I think it would be a good idea."

Benjamin's face screwed up as if he had bitten a lemon, but he managed to choke out a laugh. "They did well, so if you think it would be best, sister. You control the purse strings after all."

"That I do," the woman said. She turned back to the crew. "My name is Rebekah, by the way," she said. "It's good to meet you all. Now, who is your captain? I'd like to discuss some of the fine details of this arrangement."

Tatiana raised her hand. "That'd be me, ma'am," she said. "What were you thinking?"

"Well--come down here, come down here--the main thing is that we'll be paying you for each trip, of course. But we won't need your services again for another month. Now, if you were planning on leaving to do other things and then coming back, then that's perfectly fine. But if you wanted to stay here, there's various things in regards to boarding, food, and so on, that we could presumably take out of your future pay, though of course for my part I'd appreciate some token payment, just to show you won't leave us high and dry when we're supposed to leave Shakur..."

She started into the house, and Tatiana, nodding vigorously, went with her. The others were left outside on the ship's ramp.

"Well, Jolee, what are you waiting for?" Benjamin barked; Jolee flinched. "Go get your equipment and take it into the house!"

Jolee nodded, and scurried back inside.

"As for the rest of you, I don't care what you do. My sister won't mind if you want to walk around the property some, though." And with that, he too disappeared into the house.

"Want to go exploring?" Qaf asked Kid and Patel.

Kid shrugged.

"I suppose so," Patel said. "Certainly there doesn't seem to be much else to do here."

Qaf giggled. "I still can't get used to you talking this way," she said. "Do you do it on purpose?"

"Not exactly, but I've been trained to alter my speech patterns with my appearance," Patel replied. "And this is how the man I'm modeling myself on speaks."

"Weird," Qaf said. "Anyway, let's go, let's go!"

Their excursion, thankfully, was only mildly awkward. Kid and Patel still didn't like each other much, but neither of them wanted to bother Qaf with their personal issues. As for Qaf, she was absolutely ecstatic to be walking on a planet for the first time. She turned off her face projection to funnel more power to her sensors, and spent a lot of time pointing out sights and sounds and sensations that were too far away or small for Patel and Kid to appreciate.

"This really is a nice planet, though," Patel said, as they sat on the face of one windswept hill. Shakur's major sun was to their backs, and it illuminated miles and miles of rolling blue-and-red hills stretching out into the distance. Kaloos, the blue livestock of the planet, were out in the pastures, and there was the occasional shock of recognition when one of them moved and became briefly visible.

Kid cleared his throat. He was still extremely suspicious of Patel, but it seemed rude to let such an overture go unanswered. "On Garvey, where we're from, it's cloudy most of the time," he said. "I'm not used to this much sunlight, but it's nice."

"Heh, you're a lucky one," Patel replied. "Where I grew up, you couldn't even walk on most of the surface. I lived on the night side, so we could see the stars, but it wasn't until I left there that I got to see a sun with my naked eyes."

"You're from a tidally locked planet?" Kid asked.

Patel scowled. "Forget about it," she said. "Even after everything that's happened, I still can't sell them out."

"Tatiana can't protect you if she doesn't know what she's protecting you from," Kid said.

"Tatiana can't protect me at all!" Patel said, heatedly. "I'm the one who protects me. That's the way it's always been, and the way it'll always be. If I had depended on people like you to get me out, I never would've been able to leave."

"Hey, hey, I didn't mean it that way," Kid said. But Patel had already stalked off. Kid watched her go for a few moments, then shrugged and reclined onto the hill.

He was almost asleep by the time Qaf came back from whatever she'd been looking at. The planet was in mid-afternoon, but by ship time it was late at night, so he was sleepy.

"Hey, Kid, what happened to Patel?" she asked.

Kid squinted open one eye. "I dunno, she got mad and left," he replied. "Maybe she went back to the ship."

"Do you think maybe we should start calling her a he?" Qaf asked. She sat down beside him on the hill. "Benjamin's family might get suspicious."

"Benjamin has to know something is up, he got on the ship with a short woman and left with a tall man," Kid replied.

Qaf nodded. "Come to think of it, I'm surprised she would shift and let them know about it. She must be really desperate, huh?"

"Yeah, probably," Kid said. "It seems like she's had a hard life."

He was almost asleep again when his pad buzzed him. Irritated, he pulled it out of his pocket--but it was only a message from Tatiana to come back to the house and eat.

"They're eating at the house," he dutifully informed Qaf. "You can come if you want."

"I know, Tatiana just told me," Qaf said.