A ship in deep space approached the debris of a small ship on ship battle. Inside the approaching ship was four occupants - two blue-skinned bald females with light blue pins on their dresses, a matching bare-chested bald brute-built male of that same species and a short male mechanic behind him with a blue pin on his shirt, leaning against the archway of the cockpit behind the two pilots. Behind them the ship expanded outwards with one large bedroom on one side and another half its size on the other. The ship then expanded the last time backwards to a few bathrooms and rounding it out the back with the exit landing platform that ascended and descended.
“Must we check every debris field for survivors?” the mechanic remarked, with the brute male then turning to him, baring his exposed chest and growling. The mechanic then rotated and sank, observing, “I’m just saying, that looks like the work of some FDs, and they’re quite efficient, in leaving no trace…” The brute male then backed up and went back to his original position - leaning against the other archway.
“High hopes, creature, you never know what’s in store!” one of the female pilots encouraged as she glanced to her copilot, “Scan for lifeforms.” The copilot touched a switch above her on her right. The HUD in the ship ahead of him took a few moments and then it beeped and displayed a white blip. “Jackpot!” the two pilots exclaimed and giggled, “Beam it in!” the pilot then exclaimed. The copilot then pressed a button below then slightly to the side of her and then a thud was heard behind them in the furthest part of the ship. The brute and the mechanic let the ladies get up and go first as they soon later followed behind and stared at the lifeform, lying eyes closed, unmoving on the floor. The life_form, to the pilots and surrounding crew, looked human-like, pale skinned, mid twenties, slightly large forehead, short, scrappy hair, thin, but tall build and dressed in a long slightly dark blue shirt, blue cargo pants and brown boots.
“What should we do with it?” the pilot asked her copilot.
The copilot shrugged, “Hello, are you ok?”
“Maybe we should startle it,” suggested the pilot as she then let out a ringing but reverberating screech. She shrugged again, “Not working, help please?” Her copilot nodded, “One, two, three,” The two let out a longer screech.
The mechanic was holding his ears, “Jesus fuck,” he walked ahead and tugged on the pilot’s arm, screaming, “Ladies, ladies!”
The pilot came out of screech, grabbed the mechanic’s throat, and held him against the wall, warning - “You dare touch me, creature!”
“I’m sorry, ladies, can I give it a go, please?” The pilot then released him as he slid down a little to the floor and then approached the life form, getting his ear down its chest and hand over its mouth. He then placed one hand over another in a sort of a cross and then began to press down just below the chest.
“What are doing, are you killing it?” The pilot asked
“No, I am trying to revive it? Don’t you know how to resuscitate? CPR?” The pilots shook their heads, as the mechanic remarked, “Well, at least Earth was good for one thing…”
“You were on Earth?” The pilot asked.
“That does look a human,” the copilot observed as both her and the pilot quickly drew their pistols.
“Well, it could be a Geri, too, they don’t all have very dissimilar tells,” the mechanic pointed out, making the pilots slowly holster their pistols. The mechanic then went to the life-form’s mouth to breath air into it.
“Aw, look the creature is giving it a kiss,” the copilot remarked.
“AAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaa!” the life-form belted as it bolted, and pushed itself back against the floor, propping itself up a bit.
The pilots returned their surprise with an “aa” as it built into another double reverberating screech.
“Jesus fuck,” the mechanic and life-form said in unison, both covering their ears.
The screech died down, the life-form then going on, looking at the mechanic, “I’m so sorry, I know what your species is, I just felt pointed teeth and I thought my face was about to be eaten off. Thank you.”
The two pilots looked at him with suspicion, “Where are from, life-form?”
“Oh, boy, it’s been a long time since I’ve been there, uh, something with a d…” the life-form looked at the pilots, looking like they were unconvinced, but then saw the mechanic mouthing an “s”, “and an s,” he then saw him almost a “st” sound, “Sted, yeah, Sted.”
“What’s your name, life-form?” the copilot asked.
“Yeah, you know, James. Because Sted and Jed, wanna be human planets, am I right?” James saw that the pilots were still unmoved, “I mean, they have the same cities, I mean, not same cities, but the cities - Memphis, Tallahassee…”
The pilots glanced at each other and then at James, “You don’t have to convince us any further, Gerian.”
“Well, yeah, I know it’s touchy subject being compared to humans, but the comparison gets tiresome after a while…”
He saw the pilots nod, “Any place you’re off to or need to be, James?”
He shook his head, “No, I just lost my home, and I have nowhere to go on Sted and Jed.”
The two pilots looked at each other and smiled brightly, “We must celebrate, come to the table, creature will show you to it.”
“Kreacher, like from Harry Potter?” James asked.
“What is Harry Potter?” asked the copilot.
“It’s a written series,” he saw the copilot and the pilot turn and walk away as he got up, walked ahead and sat down in a chair at the round wood-like table. The two pilots returned with plates of food balanced on their arms and then smoothly set a few down in front of them and to the side to the brute and slid one to James. James looked and to the left to the creature, “Well, doesn’t he get some?”
“Oh, we don’t believe in dining with the creature, “ the copilot answered, and hovered the palms of her hands in front of her forehead around to the top of the back of her head, “See, we believe in dining in dining with equals, not furry clutter.”
James didn’t take long to catch on while looking across at the balded race, “I have hair, should I not dine with you?”
The copilot chuckled slightly, “You are out guest, we can make an exception.”
“Well, I guess there’s no need for him to be around,” James remarked, then putting on a British accent, knowing that the pilots wouldn’t catch on, and waved off to the creature, “Begone, creature, enough clutter here.” The creature looked at quizzically, but acted on his request, got up, and left the room. “So, what’s on the menu?” James asked.
“It’s a surprise delicacy, to some people,” the pilot answered.
“I’m up for trying new things,” James grabbed a fork and forked the first few parts of his meal into his mouth, chewing it, and then swallowing it, “Yeah, very meaty, juicy too, nice taste.”
“Interesting, not many species have a tongue for TonBeetle testicles.” The pilot remarked.
James was in shock, but he didn’t want to be disrespectful. He grabbed his stomach, “Oh, gee, I just remembered, I ate just before my ship blew up, not much of an appetite.”
“Dessert then?” The pilot said a bit aloud.
“Anything sweet?” James asked, seeing a blank response, “I’ll try something out.” The creature came in from behind and set a platter down ahead of the table and came back with a plate. “Thank you,” James said, looking at the pilots’ expressions in front, “I mean, no thank you. Sorry, new ship, still getting used to it.” The creature left and James used a fork and knife to cut and sample a small portion of each of the desserts and shook his head to each one of them, “Yeah, sorry, guys, none of it is hitting it. I mean, I’d take a good tapac any day, but sometimes, you know with Sted and Jed messing with human DNA in the water and drink there, who knows. I mean, should you take my word for it?”
The two pilots looked at each other and took their fingers away from their meal to sample the dessert ahead of them. Once done, they nudged the brute and he sampled it as well.
“We can still talk, though, no?” James proposed.
“Of course.” The pilot replied.
“So, what’s the deal with this ship, don’t mean to be rude, but I am sensing a sort of theme here,” James observed.
“Bright and cheery,” the copilot stated.
“And constant sexual energy, and ah, since you are another male and you can engage with us and our mate Fuhxx in our nightly escapades,” the pilot exclaimed and she gestured into the brute nearby.
“Oh, no thanks.”
The two pilots glanced at each other, and then turned to James, the pilot remarking, “You into guys then? Note that creature is available for any desire.”
“And I will take note of that I can request that. BoY! I am lost of appetite and tired, do you happen to have an extra bed or bunk?” James asked.
“You can take creature’s bed, it’s big enough for you, “ the brute replied.
The pilot seemingly knew the brute’a tone and also noticed their plates were clear, “Oh, my, we must clear our plates, creature, take James’ plate,” The creature came from behind James and took his plate as James got off the chair and the brute approached him and blocked his path, crossing his arms, “You mocking my angels?”
“Oh, no, not at all intentional, it is a new ship, so it is going to take some time getting used to.”
The brute turned away, still eyeing him, “I hope so, creature will show you to your room when it gets back,” the brute then walked around the table toward where the pilots had gone just as the creature returned and gestured him away to a door which behind the automatic sliding door. The creature waited for James to enter and the sliding door to close and then paused, “First off, you’re not getting my bed.”
James knew what species the creature who was dressed into light tan cargo pants tucked into brown boots with a short plain white t-shirt into was Fennecian- which was more man shaped than animal, albino, four foot nine inches, if he was measuring in Earth’s metrics. From the front, not counting the ears was the top of his head which was the largest which expanded and pointed out and sharply in and around to the neck. Eyes were sideways almond shaped but pointing to the center of the head. A gap was noticeable between both eyes but was so the nose can curve down and out a bit where the snout and mouth were. Snout was black and in the middle and above the mouth that the end of it was somewhat flat as it was curved out and around the mouth with the bottom of the chin rounding back into the skull. Fur was a little bit hefty with it almost expanding a little bit from the mouth and some tufts making it look like it had points to either side of the bottom of his head. Ears were not enormous, they were medium sized with some thin fur tufts grown at the base of each ear. The back of his head was groomed well and looked smooth and tail was normal sized too, with the base starting thin out of a hole in his pants and then expanding out a bit down the rest of his height to s little below medium sized floof. In short, James thought, he’s a typical fennec furry, probably well designed by artist online to appease as much as the “omg so cute, but also, yes, yiff as well,” demographic. Not sure if the possibly fat hips and thighs were genetic or not though, it was a hard tell for James. James answered the Fennecian, “Well, it has to work somehow.”
“So, how long have you been off Earth?”
“I’m thinking about maybe ten to fifteen years.”
“What got you off Earth?”
“In the midst of invasion of Nosans.”
The Fenneian scoffed, “Good for Earth, though.”
“Environmentally clean for totally society control, by alien robots. Yeah, great trade off.”
“What do you want with me?”
“I’m Luke Skywalker, I’m here to rescue you.”
“Well, good luck, you don’t seem the fighter type, especially with Brutey Face here.”
“Well, you don’t seem like the slave type, creature.”
“It’s Frennie…” Frennie pressed a button on the wall that sealed the door creases shut and then walked scooted along the wall to a device and opened a door to a fridge, “Pick your poison, a little of the old days if you want to think of that way.”
James approached what felt like a fridge with all the cool air and selected his “poison”, which was spaghetti and meatballs from the options as Frennie picked his “poison” after James backed up.
“Over there is what an advanced microwave looks like.” Frennie said mockingly passively.
“You can call it a 3M, you know.” Unsure, James insisted, “Shouldn’t you go first, this is your room.”
Frennie paused, shook his head lightly momentarily and went on, “I’m not sure whether you are being polite just for being the sake of being polite or you’re actually that way.”
Frennie waited and took his meal out and moved over to the counter to open it, “And your morality, and the empathy of you humans…”
James approached him and defended, “Yes, and despite the countless years of being in the shithole of space that’s what I cling onto and I’m getting pissed of people who can’t understand that. What, are you too stubborn to get out of here?” Frennie turned to him, and James backed, “I’m sorry, that might have been too far…” James went ahead and then put his meal in the 3M. “I mean, do you like being treated like shit?”
Frennie took a bite of his meal, “You’re not in the right mind to make a judgement about that.”
“After a while I think I have a good tell for things. And I don’t think I’m saying that…probably something you wouldn’t understand.”
“You know how I got a tell on you?”
James removed his meal and opened it, “How?”
“The stench, you hadn’t showered.”
“That’d be a tell.”
“Are humans still a bunch of trigger happy loonies?”
“The last time I was there, yes, I doubt anything has changed.” James took a cautious seat across from Frennie at the table.
“Good food there, though.”
“So, are you from the labs or the Taps?”
Frennie knew he was mentioning and asking about his fur color, “Taps, what is this is a date now?”
“Just trying to break the tension.”
“Okay, so why I’m here,” the ‘here’ Frennie was associating what the situation looked like between him and his crew, “is what I know and you can’t understand, I thought that was clear.”
“I didn’t ask, only assumed, so how could I understand?”
Frennie pretty much lead himself into that and just, “Can we just eat?” Frennie had a feeling after looking at James’s face that despite the probably fake compliance on his face and answer, that he had to answer, “It’s just the sort of thing I’m not used to talking to anyone about and who and how to do it.” Frennie didn’t know why he said it, but it was honest.
“I can totally understand that, I apologize.”
But Frennie didn’t want to look too vulnerable, “What do you exactly do on other ships?”
“I keep everyone’s heads in check.”
“So, you’re a shrink?”
“Well, not a real one.”
“Haven’t shot a gun in your life?”
“Nothing else on the ship?”
“Well, some piloting, but not some intense dogfighting stuff.’
“Well, unless you’re going to learn how to survive here in space, you gotta do it.”
“Well, not everyone has to learn to survive.”
“Not saying it is, but it’s nice to have, otherwise don’t be in space!” Frennie felt that he was onto something, “Ten to fifteen years of Mr. McPacifist McShrink, sounds like your just as stubborn as you as say I am!”
“All right, point taken,” James submitted.
“Point taken, oh what would shrinks say, “Oh, yes, this is progress.””
“Well, you think your masters will pick up on human scent? Or should I take a shower?”
“I really wouldn’t recommend that, they might have sex there. They have sex anywhere.”
James had finished his meal, “One day we have to break out of Privet Drive, someday, no?”
“Wow, you are such a ner-“
“You’re a nerd for knowing that reference.”
Frennie got up, walked over to the counter where he had prepared their meals and then lifted up a lid in the counter and dumped the meal in there and James soon followed.
Sighing, then James said, “Well, I’m not sleeping on the floor,” he kicked off his boots and went and turned on and laid on something and reached around and began to reach under the covers but Frennie interrupted by sliding the item through the covers and under the bed, out of sight, James commented, “Little sleeping plush buddy, huh? I don’t think there’s much shame in it. I, used mine for that.”
“Are you gay?”
“Ever thought of?”
Frennie shook his head lightly, “My point is, you don’t to be an open book to, I’m guessing people you like.. or I comfortable with? I don’t know…”
“Sorry, I’ll move over,” James moved further into the bed
Frennie was hesitant but then sat in and lied in the bed next to him.
“Well, this is a bit crowded,” James remarked, his arms barely having any room to him.
“Sorry, I wasn’t expecting to share.”
“Me either, but you got all, that down there,” James observed.
“I knew you had noticed.”
“Well, you do, compared to your “masters”.”
“Well, I’m on my side anyway,” Frennie turned toward James on his pillow, crossing his right leg over his left and perching his head on his left hand, “Here, more room,” he stuck his right leg out, rubbing it against James’ knee, “Like what you see, big boy?”
James watched and Frennie shrink his eyelids in a kind of content and then smoothing his free hand slide up his pants and fumble around the crouch area, probably looking for the zipper. James looked back toward the ceiling, replying, “You were selling, but I am not buying.”
“Yeah, I kind of got that,” Frennie turned slightly over, looking at the clock, “Well, I have to get up early to hover around out pilots. Don’t bite.”
“One to talk, you have some sharper teeth. Got any extra covers?”
Frennie got up and turned to set an alarm, “No.”
“Well, I might either cocoon myself in sleep or bring the covers everywhere.”
“Great,” he sighed, “Well, keep close, then.” Frennie slipped under the covers, “In the middle.” James hadn’t moved, “In the middle.”
James moved closer and they were shoulder to shoulder, tense and uncomfortable. James inched then fully extended his arm up and prodded Frennie’s head, “One of us has to do it, because it’s uncomfortable.”
Frennie sighed and lifted his head up and James put his arm under his neck. Frennie was uncomfortable on his tail, so he turned away from James a bit, but then his tail was too pressed up against James. Frennie turned back and was quite hesitant, “This is so gay,” he turned to James and put his right hand on James’ chest and the left he slid under James’s head, “Just for comfort’s sake.” James nodded, looked a head and slowly made his way to sleep.
James didn’t know how much he slept, but it felt like a good sleep. Frennie had left, obviously, and James moved over on the bed and put on his shoes and got up, the automatic door opening for him. He approached the kitchen area where the pilots and brute were sitting and the pilot observed, “Right on time, creature was a bit different this morning, I’d imagine you had a request last night.”
“No, he seduced me, what a concept, right?” James sat down.
“I did just receive a distress call from a nearby system nearby, we are to intercept it soon and investigate, but not to worry, guest, you will not come in harm’s way.”
“Good to hear,” he looked at the plate in front, “Oh, phuts! Southern or Northern?”
“Oh, they’re sort of strong, but I’ll try to manage.”
“Indeed,” the copilot remarked as she and the rest of the table ate their meal silently, “The creature can clear our plates.” The two pilots and the brute were on one side of the table while James was on the other. Frennie went around their side collecting their plates and then around the right side towards James. James had idea to “sell” something by reaching under Frennie’s tail and grabbing, pressing, and moving his left ass cheek around momentarily and then releasing it. “Quite, aggressive,” the pilot remarked, the copilot getting up behind her, probably to the cockpit.
“Sorry, am I not supposed to?”
The pilot sighed, “I guess it’s odd to be embracing it that way…I’m curious.” She contemplated, “Maybe the two of you should do it here, on the table, I have never witnessed male on male.”
Frennie, hearing this and taken aback, fumbled the hard clay dishes into the stainless steel sink, hearing this, “Sorry, nothing’s broken in here, I promise.”
“The signal’s stronger than ever, we should warp now, “ the copilot called from up ahead.
“Perhaps another time, then,” The pilot got up from her seat and went to the cockpit as James got up to follow them but the brute stepped ahead in the way, threatening, “You got a problem, Stedian?”
“No, sir., I’m just comfortable with sharing, you know intimate details, new ship.”
The brute walked forward as James, staring at him, “You smell of something.”
“Last time someone attempted a mutiny I crushed their face in with three strikes. With my fist.”
“That is impressive, but you have every right to be suspicious, me being the stranger danger here, but I am not here.”
Frennie was slowly approaching the pair and had stashed a small knife from his room that he had in his back right pocket and was slowly reaching.
“You are big, intimidating, scary, and in no way does that mean I am part of any mutiny.”
The brute unsquinted his eyes because he noticed someone was watching and saw the creature with its right hand behind him, “What is your deal, creature?”
Frennie quickly removed the hand from his pocket, “Yeah, just sore, all over from last night, he’s quite a pounder.”
“Was he a tight fit?” The brute asked James.
The brute gestured ahead to the cockpit, “They were like that before, now I have opened them up.” There was a sudden jolt of motion backwards, a familiar motion of a ship going into warp. Experienced and quite attentive, Frennie and James leant down and into the motion on the floor with their front held against floor momentarily and then the motion forward with sliding forward and hands pressing against the wall ahead of them, Frennie however sliding a little farther and off balance a little with James grabbing around the top of his right arm. The brute was not so lucky as the motion took his big muscly body into the table, breaking it in half and forward with the his back straight against the wall, knocking the wind out of him for a bit. The brute was angry and stomped to the cockpit, yelling, “A warning would be nice!”
The pilot got up and turned to the brute, stern, “Watch your tone!”
“What was that noise?” The copilot asked.
The two pilots went back to the table and looked at it, “It is unfortunate, but we have more pressing matters to attend to. James, I need you to stay in the ship while we go out and creature cleans up.”
“Roger, Roger,” James replied as the pilots then went back into the cockpit to land the ship. Once the ship landed smoother than the unwarned space warp, the pilots and brute came out and the pilot handed James an earpiece, “Keep in touch and watch the HUD up there.”
“Got it, mam,” James responded as he took and fastened the earpiece as the pilots and brutes exited the ship behind and the landing pad sealed shut behind them. James entered the cockpit and sat down. An image fazed in and the pilot spoke in, “See and hear me clear, James?”
“Loud and clear.”
“Do you see a concave blue button near the copilot’s seat?”
“In the slightest sign of danger, I want to you to press it to get us out of here.”
“You got it,” James replied as he watched the image of them walking through a desert toward a camp. What they were approaching was a camp of Coneh brutes - a species that was almost always bald, red eyes, nostrils, and muscly faces. They usually are bad news. “Uh, mam, those are Conehs, you can’t really deal with them.”
“Good luck trying to tell them that,” Frennie behind him remark, who was leaning in the doorway.
“Shouldn’t you be cleaning up?” James asked.
“Yes, shouldn’t you be?” the pilot answered over the headset.
One of the brutes got up, eyeing the three and noticing the blue pins on the pilots’ chest, “I didn’t request for Bova Force, they are bad news for us,” the brute drew a pistol.
“Well, we will offer you rescue, under the table, and sexual experiences,” the pilot replied.
The brute gestured to the two other behind them, “Ah, no, we’re fine with each other,” the brute walked forward.
“Please, we’ll do anything,” the pilot pleaded.
“James, get us out of here,” the copilot commanded and a shot rang out and the pilots’ feed showed the pilot falling over from a shot so James switched to the other which was the copilot’s feed. James pressed the blue button and nothing happened. “James!” the copilot commanded. Frennie stepped in with three bracelets in his hand, all of them having a distinct bell, and he jingled them against the headset, screaming, “You forgot your bracelets!” Another shot went off, James having watched the pilot run back to the ship and then fall over. James finally switched the feed to the brute of the ship he was in, charging head on to the Conehs, but he caught a glimpse of something that was worrisome that a Coneh brute was kneeling down and pointing at and quickly pointed at it “We need to go.” James and Frennie ran out of the cockpit, momentarily tripping over the broken table and then a mad dash for the back way out of the ship. The rocket that hit the ship sent a shockwave that launched James and Frennie and completely disoriented them.
James had landed quite awkwardly on his front but had noticed that had slipped a little up his shoe, for emergency situations. He had landed at such and odd angle that he could push his head down and look at the area behind him between the ground and his chest. He listened to the brutes arguing just behind the ship as he slid his shoe up slowly toward one of his hands, listening, “You realize you just destroyed the one thing that could’ve got off this damned planet. Damned idiot.”
“They was-a Bova Force.”
James couldn’t see all of them, but he heard one of them, “What about them?” and stopped moving, as the one that was speaking continued, “They dead?”
“Naw, the shockwave’ll got ’em, not dead till they’re done in the head.”
James watched one of Frennie’s pointed ears twitch as he managed, “You…don’t…wanna..kill me, fellas.”
One of the brutes turned him on his side, “What did you say?”
Frennie coughed up some sand, “Well, I am a mechanic, I can help you get off this place. Sure, it’ll take a while, but it can be done.”
The brute leaned closer into the Fennecian’s face, “How do I know you ain’t Bova Force?”
“I’m not, I mean, what idiot would challenge a Coneh?” Frennie answered, the two other Conehs in front of him nodding, but the questioning Coneh continued, “What about your friend over there?”
“I shouldn’t worry too much about him, we picked him up, he’s not Bova Force.”
The Coneh looked ahead, “Better safe than sorry.”
“Come on, guys, he’s not worth it, trust me.”
The Coneh, suspicious, sneered, grabbed Frennie by his shirt and threw him to his other Coneh’s, growling, “Watch this rat, if he does anything funny, kill him.”
Luckily by the time the Coneh was walking over to him, he had got his item out of shoe and clasped under his hands. He waited for what he thought was the right distance between him and the approaching Coneh, quickly dug his right foot into the sand a little bit, kicked it back into the Coneh’s face, somewhat stunning it, turned over on his right side to kneeling on his right knee and fired into the Coneh’s ahead and somewhat surprisingly expertly into the Coneh’s heads a good somewhat ahead of him. James had carefully planned this in his head, but he did not expect the quick rush of taking the Coneh’s out.
Frennie was at first shocked and then somewhat relieved, but knew something was up with James.
James looked ahead at what he had done and then what he had in his had and was contemplating ahead into the ground ahead as he just glanced every now and then at Frennie approaching.
Frennie wasn’t sure what to say, oddly enough for a little bit, looking around, and only just checking on James until he finally said something, “Well, it ain’t always easy, the first time.”
James paused and slightly nodded, “You can’t repair the ship, can you?”
“Nope, we’re completely fucked.”
James got up, still a little shaken, “I mean, you sure there isn’t anything salvageable on the ship?”
“Doubtful, we can always double check,” Frennie turned around toward the ship while James followed after in a building pace. Frennie put the front of his shirt over his nose and held it over with his right hand. The top of the ship was blown off and the rest of the ship looked like thick black trees curving toward the sun. James tried to build up his pace and entered the burnt ship and what was the cockpit. Frennie passed him on his left, going to the pilots and brutes’ room. James looked around and under things, as Frennie remarked, “Apparently their dildos are fire resistant,” Frennie came out holding up a rubbery pointed, thick and barbed one that was half his height, criticizing, “I mean, how are you not dead once sticking one of these up you?”
James looked at the dildo as wobbled back and forth in Frennie’s grasp. It looked to heavy for him too, as he let go and let it flop to the ground, as he then countered, “I mean, they could’ve stuck some of it in.”
“I’ve seen them stick all of it in.”
“How does that not cause some sort of damage?”
“I know, right? I gotta check somewhere else..”
James exited the burnt out ship and waited for Frennie to come back, the Fennecian remarking, “Well, you got the only gun, you want me to have it, or?”
“No, we gotta get out of here, get out here, maybe start a new crew.”
Frennies eyes widened a bit, remembering something, “No need,” he pressed the pin on his shirt.
“It’s a pin from Bova Force, and this’ll send out a beacon to pick us up.”
“That is, if they do.”
“Yeah, but from what they have done in the past, I doubt it.”
“They will come.”
“But, of course, from the looks of this, they might not like the look of this and might ‘ruin their image.’”
“Bova Force is not about image.”
“Oh, it is all about image. You should know.”
“I should know?”
“Yeah! What was happening on Bova when the Nosans were committing a mass genocide of your planet? Oh, wait, I know - a large majority of their forces were doing a little show and tell to appease the politicians and the public, that’s what they were doing. And believe me, I was on your home planet when the genocide was happening.”
“No! You were not there! You are just saying that to get to me. I know your type - all passive, manipulators…”
“I’m not lying…”
A ship descending into the atmosphere and quickly landing ahead of the two of them interrupted the two’s banter. A pale skinned lady with blond swirled-up-into-a-bun hair descended from the ship’s landing platform accompanied by two squared and approached the two, remarking, “Well, look at this mess.”
“I didn’t shoot them,” Frennie remarked, pointing at James, “He did.”
“In my defense, they were Conehs and they were going to kill us.”
One of the square-jawed men approached James with a tablet and a camera and scanned his face and handed it the lady, “You have quite a record, Mister Trent, on Fac with a police officer. Attempted Assault.”
“That’s an overstatement - I grabbed him.”
The lady sighed, “Should I put manslaughter to the list.”
“Look, I served my time on Fac, and again, I did this in defense.”
The lady turned to Frennie, “Where are the pilots?”
“They’re dead, along with Fuhxx.”
“What happened here?” The lady asked
“Gen and Jin approached the Conehs based on a distress call, James here was appointed to the cockpit and advised them out of doing it, along with me too, they didn’t listen.”
The lady sighed in disapproval, “Well, Frennie, I do see a pattern here and I did have quite high hopes for you, but since it has been…five crews that haven’t treated you fairly as a member, from what I’m told, and leave a mess wherever they go, I have to make a quite hard decision.” There was a only quick pause, “Since you can’t do something you are uncomfortable with such as joining a reasonable crew, I see no use for you here. Your actions have proved that you are no required here.”
“It was not me, it was the crew!”
“Yet, you remained a part of them.”
“And you hired them!”
There was silence as wind and some sand blew against the four, the lady completing, “I’m sorry, Frennie, but we need to clean up the messes. Give us your pin.”
Frennie tore off his pin, pissed, but then went over to the lady, “Here, take it yourself for once.”
The lady knelt down and took it from him, turned around as the two men followed behind to either side.
“Aren’t you going to give me a lift? To anywhere?” Frennie called out.
The lady slowed and turned his head to him, “No, I’ll leave you to reflect on what you’re part of.” She turned and kept walking ahead and back to her ship.
“What a bunch of assholes,” James remarked, continuing, “Leaving you here to die.”
“Us,” Frennie replied a little above his own breath.
“Ain’t your fault, I don’t think, you seem too good to me, so far.”
“She isn’t lying, though, it doesn’t look like I’m a good judge of character.”
“Yet, she did hire them, like you said.” Whether he was not used to it or not, James thought Frennie was not used to one on one facing each other talk, so he broke the tension, holding out his small gun that was in his boot, “Wanna shoot something? I got something your size.”
Frennie did turn, looking at the gun, knowing the joke, criticizing, “Really?”
“Yeah, it’s your size.”
“A short joke? You think I haven’t heard that one, I don’t know, a million times?”
Knowing that we he had done, James pointed out, “I don’t know, but it looks like it got you off thinking about other things?” He turned around, “Come on, let’s find a way out of here.”
“I don’t know, stubborn hope, I guess?”