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Old May 3 2011, 10:51 PM   #1
mirandafave
Fleet Captain
 
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The Adventures of the Rhapsody Rabbit Gavilán

This is the first in my new little series entitled 'The Adventures of the Rhapsody Rabbit Gavilán'. A story inspired by and based in the Shared Universe Project.

The first story is entitled: 'A Preposterous Prospector' is presented now for your reading pleasure - or so one hopes. ;D

Light, harmless fun and adventure as a motley - might we even say eccentric - crew go about doing their business [all perfectly legitimate of course!] on the edges of the frontiers and find troubles aplenty along their way. 8)

Hope it gets a few readers and raises a chuckle or two in the process.

Thanks,
MF
* * *

The Adventures
of the
Rhapsody Rabbit Gavilán

1.01 - A Preposterous Prospector




* * *



There are many dives and rotten dens of iniquity to be found throughout the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. Many worse than the bar in which this scene played out for sure; but certainly there were many, many better establishments to find oneself. However, when doing business with undesirables it was oft the case that one had to accustom themselves to the grimier corners of the universe.

When searching for an escape from the inner worlds of the Federation one definitely had to accustom themselves to the dirtier, meaner, grimier corners of the universe Dale Garrow thought sourly to himself as he took in his surrounds.

The setting was a dark and dusty bar on the desert planet Virumous. Quartered away on the edges of Federation, Klingon and Cardassian space it was a nowhere dust bowl, just beyond the laws of the major powers it found itself on the borders of. Even during the course of the Dominion War it had been largely bypassed. Not for it the calamity of conquest and feverish battles contesting its ownership. No it merely served as a signpost for the greater machinations of the war efforts and that suited the ignorant and mostly deprived populace of Virumous. It suited even more the shady characters and daring entrepreneurs who conducted profitable business there.

Of course, such a place had little cause for law and order, or perhaps more accurately, such a place had a great need for law and order but no one was brave or foolish enough to be the one to provide that law and order. But when it came to dispensing justice most residents of the planet, visiting or by accident of birth, took matters into their own hands. The only thing that stayed a killing blow was the possibility to making back the money taken from you or acting on pride. Dale Garrow at this moment in time had neither money nor pride. He rifled in his dust filled pockets to find one of his last lousy credits.

He gripped the strip between dirty thumb and forefinger and held it before him at the bar. He rubbed the scraggly beard of his cheeks as he contemplated his next move. The bar keep, a sweating hulk of a Ferengi waddled over to him at once. In his grating solicitous tones that held no genuine warmth, the Ferengi enquired, "What can I get you?"

Dale didn't catch himself as he blurted out, "How's about a ticket out of here?"

"Har! You Hew-mans are so humorous. Do you think you can buy your way off world with that? You'll be lucky for a tankard or two of ale and a crumb to eat. Ha, ha!" The Ferengi noticed the worry Dale felt at his predicament made vocal. Dale was at the end of his credit line on an unknown, back water world with dangerous thugs and criminals around every other corner potentially. Not for the first time, Dale was beginning to realise he had forsaken the security and shelter offered by Starfleet and in general by the Federation. No wonder so many of these border worlds were called ‘no man's country'.

He sighed heavily and wearily but realised how vulnerable it was to expose such a weakness in front of someone like this Ferengi. He saw a few eyes and antennae in the dingy bar turn in his direction as if sensing easy pickings.

"Well then," he declared setting the credit strip on the counter with mock joviality. "It had better be a tankard of your finest ale then!" He slapped the leather chaps of his leg and dusted his pants down as the Ferengi quickly snatched the strip away and went to get Dale his drink.

Dale turned on his barstool and took in the various patrons of the bar making sure to greet them all with a friendly confident smile he did not feel. It was a futile effort to show he belonged here. Firstly, no-one tended to smile on Virumous - unless they were leaving it. Secondly, his smile revealed perfect pearly white teeth. The patrons quickly identified him as an outsider - someone from the Federation who had took a bad turn, that or a lame excuse for a Starfleet Intelligence agent trying to gain information. Regardless, the smile marked Dale Garrow as a victim in waiting.

All of this however Dale was oblivious to as he nodded his head like a pathetic little puppy at the other drinkers. He propped his elbows behind him on the bar counter and continued grinning like a fool. When he looked at the far end of the bar he noticed another human. She sat with her back to the door and him and Dale had just decided to take his drink over to this mysterious woman and strike up a conversation when the door to the bar was suddenly kicked aside.

"You!" Boomed the voice of a large Klingon as it stormed into the bar accompanied by a duo of Klingon henchmen. The Klingon's gnarled hand pointed directly at the figure of the woman seated in the far dark corner.

Dale shifted uneasily with the sudden air of violence and tried to hide the large gulp in his throat. The bar immediately fell silent at their menacing entrance. The bar patrons turned in their seats to a one to look at them - either in fear, suspicion or wary of an attack. All save one patron. One patron seated alone at a table at the far end of the bar room. It was to this woman the Klingons approached.

"You will pay dearly for your thievery." The bulky lead Klingon growled lowly, the threatening rumble a weapon in itself reducing many an opponent to a quaking mess. The other customers in the bar were clearly anxious as to looming violence and the threat promised by the growl as they retreated further into their dark corners. Dale Garrow perched on his barstool had no such luxury. His elbows slipped off the bar counter and he tried his best to act sangfroid and casual in front of the Klingon party. He however was failing miserably at that except for the fact the Klingons were focused on the lone figure of the woman.

The woman before the Klingon was not such an opponent. The woman before the Klingon was never so easily intimidated. Instead, remaining with her back to the Klingon, she finished applying her nail varnish, a garish but striking cheetah print to match the fur trim and lining of her short white tan leather bomber jacket.

She waggled her fingers in the air and then bringing them close to her lips blew on them, a small gentle, nay even seductive blow, to dry the varnish. Her booted feet, leather riding boots over tan khakis, rested on the table crossed over. She shifted her boots only as she reached out for the umbrella strewn multicoloured swirling large cocktail with her manicured hand. She brought the drink to her lips casually. Even with her face in shadow it seemed evident that she was grinning, nay preening, at the attention she garnered. And as the cocktail glass was set back down on the table after a long little sip, savouring the taste, it was evident that the woman wore an equally striking and outrageous shade of lipstick as it coated the rim of the glass.

"Oh Klomp!" Her voice was light and cheeky, having a whimsical lilt to it and completely unaffected by the domineering presence of the brutish Klingon towering over her. She gave a trifle little laugh that was more of a giggling chuckle. She remained seated and had yet to turn and face the Klingon. "I had rather hoped we could have been friends."

By the very nature of calling her Klomp she had only served to raise his ire further. The Klingon, whose actual name was Quophfla, pounded his fist on the bar table before hers smashing it with brute force. Dale like the others in the bar jumped for height at the sudden act of violence. Unlike the others in the bar he was perched on a stool and so slipped off it and hit the stained floor. He hopped back up onto the stool pretending like nothing had happened.

The woman turned slightly, her face now partly seen in the dim light of the dank bar in which she was drinking. A thin eyebrow arched ever so slightly as her green eye took in the debris of the former bar table before looking up at the Klingon. Her look then wandered towards the bar keep, the spineless fat Ferengi too scared to even complain about the damages his bar was incurring. Next her look fell upon Dale and gave him a close look and suppressed a little smile at his bumbling.

"I said, you owe me." The Klingon crunched the debris of the table with his heavy boot. The woman sighed. Then ... she took another drink. Again, a long savouring sip of the cocktail. The moment seemed to stretch for an eternity and Dale held his breath with the rest of the bar. She set her cocktail down and then one boot at a time on the floor. She eventually stood.

She was not a tall woman but she stood just as the midday's sun cast a strong ray of light which spilled through the back window marred with decades of dirt and grime. But it all had the effect of bathing the woman in a dusky orange hue. Outlined in the spilling light, the leather clad leg and boot propped itself on a short bar stool. The silhouette showed a figure that was strong and toned. At the fulsome hips, a pair of holstered Andorian Magnum pistols hung, unclipped. At her shoulders the fur trimmed leather jacket with its outrageous animal print did little to distract from the effusive head of tightly curled hair that played free and flowing.

She stood proudly with her hands on her hips and with an allure that drew all eyes towards her. And yes, indeed, her lips were indeed a most striking and garish shade of orange but paled by the predatory yet spritely smile that crossed her face.

"For the record Klomp, it wasn't thievery; it was just better negotiation skills. I have them and you," she chuckled lightly and in a little sing song voice retorted, "sorely don't."

"That was my deal this morning. Now I discover that you have stolen it from me!"

"Ah ah ah." She wagged a correcting finger at him. "Negotiated. Stealing is such a tawdry term. Do I look like a thief?" The woman positively preened as she posed in front of the captivated bar room.

After a moment of fascination the Klingon came to. "I will gut you for a thief!" He threatened as he pulled out his Klingon blade and brandished the weapon at her. The woman was still unfazed by the brute. Dale's eyes bulged as he took in the blade right before him. He gulped once more.

Instead the woman coolly commanded the Klingon. "Hush now." She tapped her left pistol with a finger indicating how she was willing to respond in kind to any act of violence on his part.

"I will gut you and enjoy it. First, I will have the pleasure of knowing your name so that I can sing a song over your dead body."

She smiled in return to that comment seeming to revel in the threat. "My name? You want to know my name? Gladly. I'm just disappointed that you did not know it already." She stepped into the light to introduce herself. "I am Captain Tabatha (don't call me Tabby) Katherine Chase, of the Corellia class Medium Endurance Freighter Rhapsody Rabbit Gavilán. Record holder of the Kessel Run. Pilot extraordinaire. The sole owner of ‘Chase Haulage and Astral Shuttle Enterprises' - putting the zing into cargo distributzing. Honorific Queen of the Nabooshka septs and certified professor of antiquities from the Galen Institute. One part owner of the steed Icarus' Wrath which incidentally was the Gold Cup winner last year. Duchess of the asteroid moon Zepta pi 561 in the Contar system and Rear of the Year winner 2359, Rigellia Prime. But you can call me Tabatha." She gave a light giggle to round off her introduction.

"Really, I'm quite surprised that you haven't heard of me." She indicated herself with a feigned disappointment. "How and ever, it is most pleasing to make your acquaintance but I bet not half as pleasing as it is for you to make mine."

"Not as pleased as I will be when I spill your stomach contents ...," the Klingon paused to add in a mocking tone, "your ... majesty."

Dale Garrow was suddenly brought back to the danger of the scene after the introduction of the woman who called herself Tabatha. In a moment of chivalry and bravery, or perhaps foolishness and recklessness, Dale jumped to his feet between Tabatha and the Klingon. "Hey, pick on someone your own size mister! Leave the lady alone!"

The Klingon turned his gaze upon the pathetic posturing of Dale and sneered dismissively. "Who do you suggest is my size? Certainly not you."

"I may be a queen a professor and a duchess, and a rear of the year winner, young man but I never said anything about being a lady! Ha, ha!" She winked at Dale and smiled the biggest winning smile that made Dale want to melt into her arms.

The Klingon growled again demanding attention and compensation. "Prepare to die. You can join her if you choose."

"Well my nails are done. I guess I am as prepared as girl can be. The question is ..." she lowered her voice, which had the effect of raising the hairs on Dale's neck, "whether you are prepared."
mirandafave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3 2011, 10:52 PM   #2
mirandafave
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Re: The Adventures of the Rhapsody Rabbit Gavilán

"Me?"

"I know, it's hard to believe that a strong, fierce," Tabatha stepped closer to the Klingon her eyes boring into his, "intimidating, large," she used her compliments to sidle right up to the Klingon and started to feel the Klingon's leather bound biceps, "strapping chap like you could be bested by the likes of me. But I think it only fair to warn you ahead of anything."

The Klingon was thrown by her outlandish introduction and by casual approach and manner which he realised too late was beguiling. In a flash Tabatha had grabbed the blade with the hand caressing his arm biceps and with the other stuck one of her pearl handled pistols into the Klingon's gut. "I told you I was no lady. Hee, hee."

She glared at his henchmen a firm warning to back off lest she spilled their master's blood. They slowly retreated a few steps back wary and uncertain as to what to do. Tabatha turned her full attention back to the Klingon at the point of the blade and muzzle of her pistol. "Now ... do you still wish to take umbrage with my dealings or do you want to walk away with a semblance of pride intact. It's completely, completely, up to you. Me personally, I've just done my nails, I'd hate to have to ruin them with your blood on them."

"I will not be shamed so." The Klingon lunged backwards and then pirouetted to kick out with his heavy foot. But Tabatha was quick and reflexive and ducked low. Dale was nowhere near as quick and found the boot connected hard with his face toppling the human over the bar counter.

Tabatha on the floor swept her own foot out to fell Klomp who crashed to the ground with a thump. She was on her feet before he had crashed to the tiles and barrelled towards the two henchmen. As she charged she picked up another table and sent it careening between the two of them before sweeping a stool up into her hands and swinging it round like a club to smash them to the ground.

To the fallen Klingons she teased, "I did try to warn you."

"Argh!" The Klingon roared as he picked himself up off the tile and turned to face Tabatha. Raged filled his face before he charged at her. Suddenly he went sideways as Dale jumped off the counter and crashed into his side. The two of them toppled over the drinks, seats and patrons of the bar.

Tabatha took full advantage of the distraction and kicked the pair of rousing Klingon henchmen between their legs in turn each before punching them both in their pained expression faces. She then checked her nails. "You're lucky I didn't break one!" She whipped her head round to see the continuing fracas with Klomp.

Dale with arms and legs wrapped around the Klingon's back and shoulder was holding on for dear life as the Klingon pulled and scrabbled to get a grasp of him and toss him away. The resultant sight being that of the large Klingon turning in wild circles as he tried to paw at Dale in order to dislodge him. Gripping for dear life, Dale wore a manic expression that was also looking increasingly dizzy as they spun in ever faster circles. It was of course a scene that had to end disastrously for either or both.

Klomp tripped over one of the huddled customers and toppled sideways. Dale screamed in a rather girlish manner as he flew through the air and smashed into the far wall. He slapped into the wall and seemed to stick to it for a fraction of a second before gravity paid him a reminder of more laws of physics and pulled him to the floor in a resounding smack.

"Ugh." Dale expressed as his eyes opened to the sight of the bar seemingly sideways and now filled with spinning stars. His body ached and he couldn't quite remember where he was or who he was.

Klomp tossed the customer whom he had tripped over to one side before descending towards Tabatha. She in turn sighed despondently.

"See, I thought you might have finished having fun Klomp. I suppose I am going to have to get tough with you." The Klingon simply growled in response to that. "A man of many eloquent words Klomp. Ok, I did warn you." She pointed her pistol at Klomp but to the Ferengi barkeep said, "Sorry Remk, but it serves you right for watering down my cocktail." She raised the pistol and fired. The blast punched the ceiling over the Klingon and it collapsed atop of him. The concussive blast of the pistol and the crash of the ceiling filled the room with silence and dust. As the dust settled, Klomp lay trapped under the fallen beams and Tabatha stood over him with her pistols holstered and the seized blade in her hand like a trophy.

She kneeled down to be closer to his enraged and bruised face. Hurting and trapped the Klingon was mad and defiant despite his situation. "This is not finished human. I will have my vengeance."

"Oh Klomp, we shouldn't allow a little profit to get in the way of us becoming friends." He tried to reach out for his blade with his one partially free arm, whereupon Tabatha snatched it back. "Ah ah! I'm keeping this as a souvenir. It goes lovely with my belt. Ta, ta."

The Klingon growled but it was plainly a growl of frustration and defeat. His henchmen skulked backwards away from Tabatha and retreated out the door. Klomp with a dark expression wrote on his face spat at her feet. "I will have my vengeance witch."

"In the meantime, I have your blade and the job." She watched as the Klingon lost consciousness and then stood triumphant over him.

A voice from the door called out. The tone was friendly but a little bit correcting. "I see you went looking for trouble."

Tabatha turned and beamed a genuinely warm smile at the Denobulan who had come up to her from outside. "Of course not, I went looking for profit. Trouble found me Bora."

Bora responded with his arms folded as if a stern father correcting his impetuous child, though clearly it was Tabatha who was the elder of the two of them. "Trouble always seems to find you."

She sheathed her acquired blade in her belt as she answered her trusted right hand. "That? I'd hardly call that trouble. Besides, do I not or do I not always find the profit in the end?"

The Denobulan's reaction to that was to have his face puff out in a rather uncommitted fashion. He asked carefully, "What business have you for us?"

She holstered her pistol and returned to her table. "A simple cargo delivery for a very sizeable sum."

Stern faced, Bora crossed his arms and asked, "If so simple, why so sizeable a sum?"

"Oh probably because it requires a drop off in Klingon space before a further pick up and drop off in Cardassian space."

Bora stood watching the fallen form of the Klingon carefully as well as the other silent customers in the bar. "Klingon territory and Cardassian space, that sounds ominous. Neither region is particularly inviting at present."

Tabatha scolded the lithe Denobulan. "With an attitude like that Bora how would we ever turn a profit? Besides it's a heap of a lot better than it was during the Dominion War. And we made plenty of runs during that time."

Bora was a little cautious in his own approach. "I just would like to know more details on the job before making a commitment. Sometimes you rush into a deal when all you can see are the latinium bars."

"Now, now, Bora. Don't be a spoil sport. Where are the others?"

"Meetra finished with buying provisions and is organising the cargo and keeping an eye to Ellioh. Nesquith is out sourcing parts and business and who knows what else besides. Ellioh had a list of parts he wanted and Nesquith is the best at bartering a good price for the best parts. Not that the workshops here are much to shout about."

"Beggars can't be choosers Bora."

"We are hardly beggars."

She gathered her belongings and tossed a few credits onto the table as they started to leave the bar. "No, but no need to throw away credits so easily." She stopped and picked up two of the credits. "For my troubles Remk." She continued her conversation with Bora without missing a beat. "And we aren't exactly beggars but it can be tricky enough tracking parts compatible with a one hundred year old Corellia class Medium Endurance Freighter. They aren't exactly standard anymore."

"It's not as if to say the Rhapsody itself is exactly standard!"

At the doorway, Tabatha stopped suddenly. She turned and retreated back into the bar. The customers flinched and retreated back to the sides and even Remk remained tight-lipped. She approached the prostrate and groaning form of Dale.

"Hello there. I almost forgot to mention my thanks ... what's your name?"

Dale's eyes rolled in his head as he tried to look up at Tabatha. "Eh? Wha? Dale. Dale Garrow"

Tabatha laughed and stuck out a helping hand. Dale feebly grasped it before Tabatha hauled him up to his feet with a strong hold that surprised him. He wavered on his foot and leaned against the wall a little as he took a moment to get his bearings. Tabatha dusted him down and checked him over for any serious injuries. "Bora meet my kindly Samaritan, Mr Garrow."

Bora looked at the young man warily. "Who is he?"

"My knight in shining armour. And our new hand."

The Denobulan exclaimed, "Our what?"

Dale rubbed his crown and winced before asking in a confused state, "Your what?"

"If I picked you up right Garrow, you're in need of a means off of this planet. Which means you need a ship Dale. We have a ship. You need money to fly on a ship. We have a job for you. It seems the universe is granting us a solution for all our problems."

Bora interrupted Tabatha's explanation to Dale. "Who says we need a new hand?"

"We haven't been able to replace Esis for months. And Nesquith is a lazy beggar so we need someone to do the grunt work. It strikes me that Dale here is the eager youthful kind up for any kind of challenge." She clapped Dale on the shoulder causing him a fresh stab of pain. Keeping her arm on his shoulder she guided the young man to the door.

"We don't know anything about him." Bora walked through the door into the blinding sunlight and shielded his eyes with a raised hand and both as was judicious habit kept a hand to their pistols in the eventuality of any surprises. They looked up and down the crossroad of the street.

Tabatha teased him. "Don't be so disappointed Bora."

"Disappointed?"

She slapped him playfully on his well toned arm. "Oh tell the truth, you expected an angry mob of Klingons."

He simply shrugged in reply to that.

"Like I said, you are disappointed."

Bora looked carefully around expecting such a crowd of Klingons any moment. "I am certain we are bound to get in a scrape soon enough, especially as you hire new hands without as much as an interview."

Tabatha set off down the street towards the junkers yard where all vessels were required to land within safe distance of the settlement. "We know enough about you Dale, don't we?"

Dale's brow furrowed at that comment. "We do?"

Tabatha skipped alongside Dale and Bora as they walked through the sun baked market streets "Yes. We know you have a weakness for trying to rescue damsels in distress. That's commendable if not stupid and reckless and rather unobservant as I was neither in distress nor a damsel. Also you can pick a fight. A lousy fight but still it says something. But more importantly than all of that, we know that you pick the winning side in a fight."

Bora spoke in low careful tones as Dale stumbled along still unsure as to where he was being led. "We still don't know anything about his background."

"Of course we do. He's got ex-Starfleet written all over him. I fully expected him to do a two handed fist move just typical of the Fleeters in the brawl."

"Huh?" Dale enquired, wincing in the harsh light of the sun.

"Granted, the climb up on to the opponents back and scream like a little girl was a new move I hadn't seen before. Maybe Starfleet are diversifying." Dale blushed at the comment and Bora gave a wry grin he failed to keep to himself making Dale blush even more mortified.

"You don't even like Starfleet and yet you want to let one of them come work for us."

Talking about Dale in the third person she spoke over him to Bora, "That's another thing he has in his favour. They obviously threw him out."

"Hmm." He gave Dale another dubious once over. "I'm not so sure about this Chase."

"Erm, can I ask," Dale politely enquired, "what are you talking about? What job? And where are you bringing me?"

Bora rolled his eyes exasperated. "The Skipper is giving you a job as a hand on her ship."

"Her ship?"

"You sure did get a knock to your head. Yes. Her ship. Did you miss the introductions? They are usually quite grand."

"I think the bump to my head is messing with that memory. I'd swear she said she was a queen."

This comment caused Tabatha to laugh out heartily. Passerbys in the street turned to look at her such was the raucousness of her infectious laugh. "It's true. I am technically a queen. The Septs bestowed the title upon me for saving their lives from some nasty Nausicaans. Really they made a bigger deal of it than it was. It was more of an honorific title - but it still counts!"

Wide-eyed Dale said, "Wow! That's amazing."

Bora grunted dismissively. "Huh."

"Don't mind him Garrow. Bora is just a spoil sport and jealous they didn't make him a king. He won't even let me wear my crown."

"And how comes you saved their lives?"

"Well it was a daring and bold move."

"She neglects to tell the fact that she was actually trying to steal back her merchandise from the Nausicaans. The intention was not to save the Septs."

"But I did save the Septs. Not to mention the fact that I did get my merchandise back and I did make a profit. And I did get made a queen."

"Don't get any wrong ideas. She's not some do-gooder. She runs a cargo freighter business, ‘Chase Haulage and Astral Shuttle Enterprises'."

"So you are a cargo freighter captain."

"I prefer the term 'prospector'. Sounds way more glamorous than cargo freighter captain. That sounds dreadfully dull. And it's anything but dreadfully dull!" She waggled her eyebrows in an joyous impish manner at Dale.

Bora explained further for Dale's benefit. "I'm her, in your Starfleet parlance, first officer. But I prefer to go by first mate. I do the guns and shields. You she intends to hire as a rough hand, which means loading and unloading the cargo, helping out with the engines, kitchen, laundry, and general maintenance and upkeep."

Tabatha raced to cut in. Her voice was filled with an awed pride. "As to the where? We're taking you to her."

Tabatha stopped and put her hands on her hips and filled with immense pride as they stood on a high promenade overlooking the junkers yard. Below them, spread out on the sand strewn astro-macadam of an extensive landing pad lay an assortment of space craft and shuttles. Square before them and on which Tabatha's eyes feasted was the largest of the ramshackle assorted vessels. "Behold the Corellia class Medium Endurance Freighter Rhapsody Rabbit Gavilán."

Dale Garrow stepped towards the railing and took in the desert vista below spotted with the hulks of many a decrepit ship. Standing out among them was the long stretching flame rust red coloured hull, trimmed in white and mounted with a number of gun turrets. Prominent on its wings and prow was a strange motif that if Dale could make out correctly was of a rabbit snared in the claws of some kind of hawk shrouded in a spectrum of colours.

"Isn't she a beauty?" Tabatha positively beamed as she looked upon her ship and home.

Dale could only summon the word, "Yeah," in reply to that as he took in the sight. This was what was expected to get him off this planet!

"Enough with the gawping. Let's get on already Chase." Bora prompted Tabatha as she stood transfixed by the sight of her ship.

"Hmm. Of course! Come along Dale. You have to meet the others and of course the Gavilán herself." She bobbed her head of curls in the direction of the ramp to the astro-macadam and charged down it. Bora strode purposefully onwards too and by dent of having no other choice, Dale Garrow followed them a little more reluctantly.

As they approached the ship they had to pass under the wings of a Bird of Prey which a hawkish Bora watched expecting a horde of angry Klingons to charge from at any moment. Tabatha looked back at him and threw back her head laughing at his wariness. To Dale lagging behind them she called, "One thing you'll learn about Bora very quickly is that he is always expecting trouble."

"And I am usually right." Tabatha just smiled and winked at that assessment.

Nearing the vessel, Dale took a closer look at it. It was an unusual class of ship. If he guessed correctly it was of Denobulan design. The prow of the ship was a rectangular that swept back the length of the ship with a bulbous cargo bay just under the nose of the prow. The ship flared out towards the rear in a triangular fashion, housing a strange configuration of warp engines not typically seen on Starfleet designs which favoured twin nacelles. And it was obviously a rather old vessel, despite some of the modifications he noted to it! Most striking were the en echelon gun turrets. "Phaser turrets! On a civilian freighter!"

"Well if Bora expects trouble at all times, I expect to get out of it." She shrugged as she came to a ramp descending from the side of the vessel and looked up at the side mounted lasers. "We have to be able to defend ourselves Mr Garrow. There's a lot of unsavoury characters out there. Some who like to shoot first!"

Dale felt compelled to ask, albeit nervously, "Are you among the some that likes to shoot first?"

"Ha! I like your innocence kid. Not at all." She started up the ramp and stopped at the top to talk down to Dale. "Mind, I certainly don't like to shoot second. And I be damned sure to be the one who shoots last, if you catch my drift."

Dale gulped on the threshold of ascending the ramp.

"Not to worry Dale. I'm not a lady but I'm not a killer. Mind you, Bora here fancies himself as something of a ladykiller!" Bora resisted the urge to groan aloud at the comment. Tabatha eagerly wagged Dale up the ramp. "Come on. You're going to love it."

Despite the infectious nature of her enthusiasm Dale hesitated in taking a step. After being cashiered out of Starfleet and deciding to leave his home, Dale understood that this was just as defining a moment in his life. If he opted to join this ship he was making a choice about how he intended to live his life. Back in the bar he had been contemplating the fact that escaping the Federation might have been a big mistake. Now this opportunity had presented itself. He could continue to escape the shame his family felt for him, to escape the reminders of the career he had thrown away. But if he did so now, Dale realised he might never go back to the life he once had. He took a breath and made his choice.

It was a moment of decision now rather than dulled senses from a blow that made him follow the enigmatic woman up the ramp. He made his call. He was joining the crew of the Rhapsody Rabbit Gavilán.

* * *
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Old May 3 2011, 10:55 PM   #3
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Re: The Adventures of the Rhapsody Rabbit Gavilán

The Adventures
of the
Rhapsody Rabbit Gavilán

1.01 - Chapter Two
Welcome aboard the Rhapsody Rabbit Gavilán

* * *

"Welcome aboard Garrow!" Tabatha declared with her arms sweeping the entrance foyer as they stepped through the circular airlock. "It's old, knackered, just a little bit cramped, limited computer core abilities, and we seem to on occasion have cause to fly her till the bolts shake, but we'd have her no other way." Despite listing the demerits of the ship, Tabatha seemed to listing them off as charming quirks she was insanely proud of.

Dale stopped and looked around. Immediately the differences to a Starfleet vessel were obvious. Things were more exposed with pipes and conduits lining the deckhead. Gridded steel plated bulkheads offered ready access to the innards of the ship, with handle and lever valves peppered along the bulkhead with welded labels denoted their purpose and designation. The ship was not dirty but it did not have the sterile cleanliness one expected on a Starfleet vessel. It had a real lived in feel and clearly showed the ship's age, with rust marks, replaced parts standing out from the older surrounds.

The corridor was strewn with wiring conduit and an assortment of mechanical innards and tools. Tabatha stood amid the scattered remnants seemingly oblivious. Dale however, could not but help look at it all.

"Oh don't mind this! Pft!" She waved a dismissive hand at the lot, smiling. "That's Ellioh for you. He starts little projects and wanders off to do something else. He usually remembers to come back to it all."

Bora offered a less accommodating answer. "Usually."

"Oh." Dale could only say before Tabatha started with a tour.

"This is Deck 3 and this is the main foyer entrance. We've cargo pods two and three, starboard and cargo pods four and five port side with ready access internally and externally. Until you know your business you load nothing anywhere unless I, Bora, Meetra or Nesquith direct you. Everything has its place and every place has its thing. Despite how it might look. Here you can see is our transporter hub." She indicated a curving alcove into the fore wall of the foyer tucked under the flight of stairs. Dale noted the limited transporter pad space and the older design variant. "We tend to only use it for the transfer of cargo items. Best to leave it that way really - unless you want to lose weight! Oh! Did you operate the transporter during your Fleet time?"

"I did. I worked at Ops."

"Ops! Great! You'll be a sort of handy smart jack of all trades guy. See, told you Garrow was a good choice, Bora."

"Uh huh," was all the commitment Bora gave to that.

Chase continued, "To the rear we have the engine room. Here to the starboard we have a workshop and further along we have the laundry, waste reclamation centre and all the dirty stuff. Up those stairs we get to Deck 2 but we'll get to that soon enough."

Dale looked up the open steel stair case leading to an open space but he got to look no further as Tabatha started to usher him on. Bora however did not follow them. Instead he grasped the railing and started bounding up the steps three at a time. He called down as he disappeared onto the deck above, "I'm off to keep an eye on that bird of prey."

"Have fun Mr Paranoid. Through here is the main cargo bay." She pointed ahead as she led the way down the corridor towards the fore of the ship. "We should find Meetra in here sorting the loaded inventory and she can attend to any injuries you might have. Throw your dunnage down and come along." Dale didn't catch the terminology. Tabatha rolled her eyes at him good naturedly. "Toss your bag down there. By the way, can you operate a forklift?"

"Um, no. I've never operated one before."

"Well I guess that will be the first job you learn. Bora might be a little half-empty glass pessimistic outlook guy but I'd rather we got our skates on all the same. Time not flying is time not profiting. Watch this overhead it ought not to be live but you can never know. Best not to take chances." They ducked low under the hanging power lines, which Dale gave a dubious look at as he twisted his neck and back to safely pass under.

Dale looked curiously at the slung rope lines between the braces in the bulkheads and various small rope nooses that where sporadically hanging from the ceiling. "What are those about?"

"Hold alls Garrow." To demonstrate Tabatha grasped one of the nooses and pulled herself along. "None of your fancy Starfleet compensators here. If the Rhapsody Rabbit Gavilán banks sharply you're going to know about it. These help us to travel about the ship during the rougher journeys. It isn't always the smoothest ride but we make up for it in speed! And in this business that's what counts."

They came through a large hatch, with Tabatha spinning the wheel and releasing the lock. "Watch the coaming. You'll note the hatches are always closed Garrow. I don't have many rules but safety is a concern and again we don't have any fancy Starfleet forcefields to assist us if there's a breach in the hull. We are reliant on closed hatches and the emergency bulkheads snapping shut in such an eventuality. So every door is closed behind you. Try to remember that and we'll do all right by one another." The corridor filled with its clanks and squeals as she opened the hatch. The sound from the other end gave the impression of a cavernous space. The door swung back on them to reveal just such a space, two decks high.

Dale stepped in to the brightly lit main cargo room. The room was largely filled with barrels, crates and containers boxed and secured to the deck and curving bulkheads. Shipment orders and destination were plastered and stamped across them with cargo net lashings securing the more cumbersome cargoes not so securely stackable. At the far end a closed ramp could open to give the appearance of an opening maw to allow vehicular access for the loading of the cargo. Suspended a short way from the ceiling hung a shuttle. It was comprised of a bulbous cockpit with two sleek tapering nacelles abutting tightly to the round cockpit. It looked incongruous, almost fragile but also very fast and equally it looked outdated and well worn.

"Isn't she a beaut? That's my Sparrow. My first shuttle craft. I built my business empire from running specialised cargo runs and VIP escorts for a high price and a fast speed in that!" Tabatha stood staring up at the Sparrow trussed up in its loading clamps, lost in a moment of memories smiling to herself. "Meetra!"

A lithe Caitian nimbly hopped down from the higher cargo bales, bounding from one crate pile to another making her athletic descent to the floor. The orange of her fur was flecked with grey and black spots and golden yellow streaks. The overall effect was quite stunning, especially on such a honed body. Dale drank in the sight of the smiling Caitian dressed in a floral patterned pair of dungarees.

The Caitian stuck out her paw. "Grrreetings!"

"Um hi."

"Meetra, meet our newest crew member, Dale Garrow. You'll have to help show him the ropes, literally, as he's new to the freighter business. Dale, this is Meetra. She's part medic, part navigational operator and all chef!"

"Chef?"

"I told you about the no replicators didn't I?" Tabatha enquired doubting herself. "Anyway, we all take a hand in the kitchen but Meetra is the chef extraordinaire."

"Turns in the kitchen?"

"Oh I suppose you're used to calling it a galley. Not to mind. I look forward to whatever culinary delights you offer us."

"Do not let the Skipperrr trrrouble you Dale. We all take a turrrn that's for surrrre. But I cook most meals. It helps though to have someone else sort out the brrreakfasts. Though the Skipperrr does do an amazing Spag Bol!"

"Now, now Meetra, don't spoil Thursday nights for him. Though my Spag Bol is terrific, even if I do so myself."

Meetra leaned in close to Dale and voiced, "Worrrd of warrrning to you, Borrra's Denobulan currrry is out of this world spicy."

Tabatha licked her lips. "Mmm, delicious. It's an odd treat now and again and as Meetra says, spicy! Let's put it this way, you don't want to have reclamation duty the day after. Things get packed up and sh-certain things happen!" She clapped Dale on the back. "Of course, Mr Garrow that will be your duty. Sorry, last one on and all that."

"I should get dinner sorted now Skipper."

"Great Meetra. Though I want you to give Garrow a once over. He stepped into a fight with some Klingons and got a few knocks for his efforts."

"Of courrse. This way. I've everything securrred here. We are just waiting on Nesquith to rrreturn from his expedition. He went in the Scoot." Meetra turned and indicated the empty space where the Scoot was housed.

"I'm sure he'll be back before long enough. Lazy beggar won't have gone far, even in the Scoot. You head on up Meetra, I want to show Dale the engine room and find Hex."

"I did trrry to call him on the intercom," Meetra nodded her head in the direction of the wall mounted communication panel near the hatch. "But as usual he mustn't have hearrd it. No doubt day dreaming."

"No doubt."

"See you upstairrrs Dale." Meetra purred as she skipped ahead ducking out of the cargo bay hatch.

"Bye." Dale called like a school boy after her.

"Ok. I said I didn't have too many rules. Let's make two more of them clear here and now. No one flies the Sparrow without my express consent. Next one, I get that Meetra is friendly on the eyes and she's a terrifically friendly gal. However, I don't need cow-eyed fools running around my boat, tripping up and making mistakes. So watch how you play your footing. Meetra's a Caitain so she'll land on her feet no matter how things play out. But if relationships get messy I ship one or both of you out. Got it?"

"But I ... I mean, I don't even!"

"Oh the innocence of youth. I've been round the solar systems more times than a comet, so I can recognise that look on your face. All I'm saying is play it carefully and don't interrupt the conduct of my boat. You do with your personal life how you will. It's no business of mine unless it affects the business of mine. All clear?"

"Yes sir."

"Ah, one more rule. No sirs or ma'ams on this boat. We ain't Starfleet." She laughed at the very thought. "Not by a long shot! Call me Captain, Skipper or Boss if you will. There's no pulling rank here. Save that I am the skipper so I rule the boat. And Bora of course is my first mate and it would be best not to irk him. He seems genial enough at first but he has a lethal streak."

"Ok. I understand."

"Oh and Nesquith is old and grouchy and likes to take it out on you younger ones, so you have to indulge him a little. But what I say goes. Oh and well Ellioh, well he's a special case. Hex is hundreds of years old and together they are a wizard at the engines of a Corellia. So when it comes to the engines, Hex calls the shots. And Meetra knows what she's at. She's a good girl and a pro at working the navigational computers. So again, you'll have to take the lead from her too. So there's no pulling rank save for the fact that you are bottom of the pile. Understood?"

"Understood."

"Good." Tabatha slapped him in a welcoming comrade fashion. "Let's go find Hex. He should be in the engine room." They stepped through the hatch and closed it after themselves.

Tabatha led the way again, this time turning right and heading towards the port side of the ship. The corridor they walked in Tabatha explained traversed the whole of Deck 3 in a circuit up to the main cargo bay. It was the main thoroughfare to be always kept clear when in flight. It allowed for ready access fore and aft to the engineering and cargo compartments and was just wide enough to permit the movement of cargo from the different cargo bays. Tabatha indicated access ports in the decking that permitted access to Deck 4. These accesses she explained were security locked.

"Why?"

"Because I don't want just anybody being able to poke around my cargo manifest Garrow. This way I can check who goes in and out and can testify as such to any characters who would claim I siphoned off any of their cargo. I might not be as straight as an arrow but I'm no thief. I do my job and I chase the profit. But I am no thief. Nor will any be aboard my boat. Clear?"

He quickly nodded his head. "Uh huh."

"Good. Now here we have ladder access to Deck 2." She pointed out the alcoves in the corners of the corridor that ran the width of the cargo bay, pointing out the mirror on the starboard side, "Again, you'll note the closed hatches." Dale took in the alcove with its rungs and closed hatch.

"There's another pair midway down the corridor too. You'll also have noted the EVA suits dotted about in the different sections. That's in case of a breach, fire or any type of leak. Again, you're going to have to accustom yourself to not working aboard a ship of the line. Many of the technologies you took for granted aboard a Starfleet vessel are just too costly in the real world. One of your duties will be to perform checks on the EVAs to check they are up to spec. Now, we come to Ellioh's quarters. He likes to be down here near the engines and that's where I like him to be too."

Tabatha bashed on the hatch, again it was a smaller version of the cargo bay hatch. Receiving no response to her calls and knocks, Tabatha spun the wheel to unlock the hatch. "Not to worry Garrow. Privacy is at a minimum on a boat like the Rhapsody Rabbit Gavilán but we do respect the privacy of one another's berths. Like I say though, Hex is a special case. He could easily be sitting on the other side engrossed in a piece of circuitry."

The door swung inwards to reveal a small berth littered with pieces of machinery, circuit breakers, tools and odd parts. A bed was just about discernible under all of the junk on the far side. "I guess not so."

Tabatha saw Dale strain to get a better look at the quarters. "Not to worry Garrow. They're big enough." Dale looking in it at the economical use of space thought different. "We'll have to sort out one of the free ones for you. There are eight berths, though they would accommodate sixteen persons comfortably and with you, we only have six crew aboard."
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Old May 3 2011, 10:56 PM   #4
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Re: The Adventures of the Rhapsody Rabbit Gavilán

"Why the others?"

"Once upon a time the Corellias would have demanded a slighter larger crew but mostly because they were also designed to ferry passengers as well as cargo. We don't do much in the way of that kind of business anymore." She remarked as she closed the hatch to the quarters.

"Why not?"

"Because people nowadays want holosuites, gyms, swimming pools and replicators for their comfort. Those cost money, room and power for too little a profit. Ferried passengers require too much trouble and expenditure to be worth it. And you got to feed them into the bargain! Ha!"

Dale followed the captain as she led her way towards the stern. At a large interlocking door she keyed in the pass code and gained access to the engine room. Inside the larger room, which ran most of amidships, stood the dull column of the warp core at rest. Around it, trunking snaked its way around the core and across the deck.

"Oh Hex! You've really done a number." Chase said to herself as she took in the chaos. She called out. "Hex! Hex! HEX!"

"Ow. Yes? Who calls?" Came the muffled response. The voice came from the far port side corner and they approached it stepping carefully over the entrails of the ship's engines. In the corner Dale noted what looked to be a hammock strung up between the braces but this sight was soon forgotten as he saw another. As they neared the source of the voice Dale took in the sight of a pair of legs sticking out from the floor, failing about as the rest of the body under the deck scrabbled about within. "I'm very busy. Very, very busy."

"Hex. Hex it's me Tabatha! What have you done to the Rhapsody's engines?"

"Hmm. What? Eh?" The dishevelled head popped out of the deck and the gangly body of the Trill fell back on its ass. The fellow's hair flopped over his eyes and the man, dressed in a cardigan and jeans, blew out an exasperated air to blow the hair from his eyes. In his hand he held tools and a retracted piece of circuitry. "Tabatha! You're back!"

"I am. You've pulled my engines apart."

"Have I?" He took a look around the engine room to decipher the evidence of the mayhem for himself. "Oh so I have. It looks worse than it is."

"I'm sure. But I may have need to use the engines in a rush. Is there perhaps a small chance that the ship might not be able to take off?"

"Oh she'll take off all right."

"You're definite on that?"

"Absolutely. A hundred percent, maybe. Should do. With a bit of luck. Never know."

"Maybe we could get on it then and make it something of a priority then."

"Of course! More than happy to." He ducked back down into his hole like an upturned duck on a pond.

"Hex."

"Hmm. What? Oh of course." He stopped what he was at and tossed the sonic wrench and circuit board down into the pit before he stood clapping his hands free of dirt. "Hello. Have we met?"

"Er no. I'm Dale Garrow."

"Pleased to meet you Dale." He stuck out a hand and enthusiastically pumped Dale's hand. "I'm Hex ... erm ... that's right Hex ... aha ... Ellioh Hex. Yes that's the one! Isn't that right?" He said this last to Tabatha as if to check.

"That's right. Ellioh Hex. Finest engineer you're like to meet."

"You're a human!" Ellioh declared suddenly.

"Eh yeah." Dale looked confused and looked to Tabatha to see if everything was all right.

"We don't normally meet too many humans on Groko."

Dale corrected quietly, embarrassed and uncertain. "This is Virumous."

He shirked at that news. "We don't normally meet many humans there either."

"No we don't, that's true Ellioh."

"Not to mind though. I meant no offence. I don't find humans repulsive or scary like. In fact, I am rather use to humans. Tabatha's a human!" He declared loudly as if to prove his point. "And in many lifetimes I've met many humans! Many, many humans. Many, many, many ... lifetimes. Yes! And humans are practically like Trill."

Ellioh stepped up close to Dare, uncomfortable so for the young man who felt compelled to step back. "Save for the spots. You don't have spots. Well you do have spots, not you personally, but humans do have spots, that is, some do have spots, that is, some do be afflicted with acne if I'm right. But not spots like a Trill. No, no, not spotty like a Trill. If one were to try and spot the difference I guess that would be the difference! Ha! Spot the difference. I didn't mean to but I made a pun. Class. Great. I love puns. Do you like puns ... sorry I forgot your name again."

"Dale. Dale Garrow."

"Hello Dale Dale Garrow."

"Dale's going to be joining our motley crew."

"Is he? Jolly good then. Yes, yes." The Trill nodded his headed effusively before stopping to shake it in the negative just as effusively. "No, no, no. Oh dear. Esis won't like it."

"Esis left months again Ellioh."

"Oh." Tabatha let this sink for a moment as Ellioh scratched his head. "That explains why I haven't seen him around then for a bit."

"Ok Hex, we need to get things put back into their place. Can you get on that?"

"Of course. Right away." He started marching towards the defunct warp core and started bashing at a console station to pop the panel open. Succeeding in doing so he reached in to its circuitry and pulled at the wires within, twisting and joining different wires together. It almost seemed as if he were trying to hotwire the warp core. There was a spark from the panel and Ellioh hopped backwards having been given a small shock. He shook his hand out and brought his thumb up to his mouth to suck on. The warp core meantime started cranking and then glowing with the ebb of life and power coursing through it. For a moment it was a small glow and then it became stronger and more pulsing and began swirling with incandescent power.

"It worked! Yahoo!" He skipped rather chuffed with his efforts before turning and saying to Tabatha in an everyday manner, "Up and going. Not a bother on her."

"We'll be able to take off then."

"Absolutely." He nodded his head emphatically before shrugging. "Should do at least."

"Hex!"

"I'm on it. I'm on it."

"We'll leave you to it. But I'll be sending Dale and Meetra down in a bit to help out. I don't want to outstay our welcome here. Isn't she lovely Dale? Just upgraded her last year. Works beautifully, most of the time that is." She patted the core and then to herself said, "But she gives ole John Colt a run for his money."

"John Colt?"

"Oh, not to mind, just a business rival and a previous holder of the Kessel Run, ha, ha." She explained as they left the engine compartment with Hex tinkering away and scratching his head making sense of the disorder. "The freighter business is a cut throat business. Colt flies a Corellia too, the Eschaton, so it just makes the competition that little more interesting. No doubt we'll run into him at some point or other. I'm still the holder of the Kessel Run record mind and that's what counts."

Back in the foyer they ascended the stair case up to Deck 2. Dale took in the efforts to make this deck look a little more habitable. The deck plates had a carpeted runner running down the centre of them. The lighting was not as industrial but still very functional and serviceable. At the top of the steps he could see a veranda like surround led to what were demarked as private quarters, some of which had customised doors. He quickly identified Meetra's hatch as the one with the painted paw prints and floral patterns etched on it. Either that or Bora had a more feminine side he had not imagined!

At the top of the stairs, Tabatha spun on her heel to point out the surrounding rooms. "As you can see, we've private quarters for most of the crew as well as the few spare and the communal berths. Bora's reworked one of them into a gymnasium of sorts if you want to show off your testosterone. Feel free to take off your shirt when you do!" She gave Dale a salacious wink at that comment. "Here, to either end as we head forwards you have the shower cubicles on the port side and the heads on the starboard."

The corridor branched again into two corridors. The first middle room Tabatha opened to reveal a cosy lounge with an eclectic range of seats, from a comfy worn sofa, to a red leather back armchair, to a bean bag, to a strange wooden piece of furniture that looked much like an oversized coat stand on steroids. A plasma screen was mounted on one end, with a small bar in the corner and library shelving with tied in books running the width of the room.

"For when we get a chance to sit and relax." She closed the hatch again and pointed out the storage compartments and a small office in which she conducted ship business and the ever present administration and paper work. "Sadly, it isn't all fun and games. But I do distract myself with balancing the ledger and counting the profit. Further down this corridor we've my quarters, please don't disturb me unless it's urgent. A girl needs her beauty sleep!"

Dale noted that she didn't open her cabin hatch but he imagined it was probably larger than the others by virtue of being the captain. One of the perks of the job she'd no doubt claim.

"Come on through to the mess." Tabatha had no need to spin open any hatch. Instead, the dining room, or mess as she'd called it, was an open plan space largely. The bottom third part of the room was enclosed by bulkheads on three sides. Here there was another small [though slightly larger] bar tucked into the corner with barstools and a piano secured to the bulk beside it. The other two thirds of the room were more open. Two interlocking doors made the left and right sides of the room, but appeared to stay in the open position. Two buttressed pillars containing the interlock doors helped to frame the room along with the carpets. The front ‘wall' was a larger set of interlocking doors, that again seemed to be in the preferred position of open, though Dale noted the runs were more worn and showed that it was closed on a regular basis.

Again the luxuries in the room where scant, but it had a homely, lived in feel like the lounge. There was a large dining table with chairs, a smaller poker table. "It doubles as our conference room when the need arises and we use it as our map room also."

"It looks very homely." Dale offered to Tabatha by way of comment.

"That's because it's home for us Garrow. Hopefully, it will feel like home to you."

"And that leads to the bridge?" He pointed to a flight of steps leading to the upper deck and prow of the ship.

"Yes, Deck 3, the Flight Deck. We've the cockpit, navigation station and communications alcove." Tabatha though did not steer him towards the Flight deck or give a tour of it but pointed to a hatch door, opposite to her cabin hatch almost.

"Across the way," she said as they now walked towards and opened the hatch, crossing the map room, "we have the galley, kitchen, whatever you like to call it. Knock, knock, Meetra." She rapped on the hatch, part ways open through which already a number of intoxicating aromas wafted.

Meetra pulled the hatch further open with a wide beaming smile on her face. "Almost finished up and then I can set it into the oven."

"At least Hex knows not to mess with the stove." Tabatha remarked happily.

Dale took in the hungering smells as he looked around the cramped but serviceable kitchen. Pots and pans hung overhead over a small island with an inlaid chopping board. A large stove with up to eight gas flames took up much of one bulkhead. A large fridge trundled loudly in the corner with a sink, pantry and a further cool box room's hatch to the other wall. A rectangular window on the hull side offered Dale the first true glimpse outside of the ship since stepping aboard.

"There all done! I had my veg already prepared and sauces simmering so I only had to brown off the meat." Meetra clapped her hands happily as she slammed shut the oven door. My version of lasagne. Extra meat and extra tomato sauce and extra helpings. I hope you will enjoy."

"Sounds delicious." Dale's stomach panged with hunger pains. It had been too long since he had had proper food.

"Yes it does. But just in case that's a concussion looking can you check him over Meetra?"

"Certainly Skipper. I'll take you to the sickbay." Meetra took a careful hold of Dale's arm and shepherded him out of the kitchen with Tabatha closing the hatch over behind them.

Dale was brought back towards the ladders but before that brought into a new room. This one like the dining room had interlocking doors rather than a hatch and opened automatically as they stopped in front of it to reveal a sparse, simple, utilitarian medical bay. It was basic, but clean and sufficient Dale supposed for their line of work.

"Where does that ladder lead?" Dale asked looking back over his shoulder at the stern of the ship. He was looking past the cabins to the very back where a smaller flight of steps like the ones to the flight deck where situated.

"That provides access to a docking ring, a tiny observation window, an aero wing currently in need of some parts to make it fly and oh, to the gun turret. Nothing interesting there."

Dale still being ushered along by a careful and kindly Meetra, asked incredulously, "You mean like a manual cannon turret?"

"No fancy targeting systems! Well actually we do have a very fancy targeting system separate to the computer core. Bora operates the laser turrets from the flight deck but Nes can operate the top cannon independently."

"Do you have to use it often?"

With mock offence in her tone, Tabatha enquired, "What kind of trouble do you expect we get in Garrow?"

"Oh, erm, I didn't mean..."

"Ha! Not to worry Garrow. Trust me; it's all going to be an awfully great adventure."


* * *
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Old May 4 2011, 02:55 AM   #5
TheLoneRedshirt
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Re: The Adventures of the Rhapsody Rabbit Gavilán

A thoroughly entertaining, rollicking, funny tale! I think you've actually assembled a crew to give Captain McGregor and the Kestrel crew a run for their money!

I really enjoyed your first tale with the RRG crew aboard their vintage freighter. Now, I'm (im)patiently waiting for the next story with Tabatha Chase and Co.!
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