As they closed the med bay doors, Dukk and Marr heard voices coming from the port twin cabin.
“What is this for? It looks to line up with the med line point at the back of your shoulders,” said one voice.
“And, look at this attachment on the helmet,” said the other voice.
Dukk and Marr headed down the corridor and stopped at the open door of the cabin.
The two observers were standing in the middle of the cabin. Kimince was dressed in a colourful g-suit, not the standard issue blue that the crew wore.
Dukk made a gesture with his hand to Marr in a manner that suggested she should help out.
“It is for the g-juice,” Marr offered causing the two observers to look up.
“Medication to help you with launch and traversing. The system is tuned to your exact medical needs. It will inject you via the attachment at the appropriate time, and will ensure you have a much more pleasant journey.”
“Oh, that’s sounds lovely,” came the reply in a high pitch and gleeful tone.
Dukk was already giddy from spending time with Marr. Now he had to control himself from laughing. He quickly turned his face away from the observers. Marr noticed his reaction and had to quickly turn her face too, as she struggle not to laugh along with him.
“Just as well they didn’t ask Bazzer,” whispered Dukk.
Composing themselves, they turned around.
“Wait, what are you two doing in this twin cabin. Wouldn’t you each want the bigger double cabins?”, Dukk blurted out.
“Your lovely colleague, Annee, helped me get settled in here last night. She said the single beds were more comfortable. Less rolling around than the doubles,” answered Kimince.
“Did she? Well, she is right about that,” replied Dukk as he glanced at the digital pad next to the door.
“And, Trence, you are here as well?” Dukk added.
“Yes, we asked Annee to organise it. We met her in the corridor moments ago. Now, she is going to fetch my lockers. So lovely and helpful,” replied Trence.
“Building a false sense of security, I bet. Wait until you drag your feet, like when it’s time to get strapped in upstairs,” thought Dukk, hoping his amusement wasn’t showing on his face.
“We thought it would make sense, because as you suggested we have lots to talk about. And besides, we are more accustomed to sharing accommodation than having our own space,” added Kimince.
“Cool, we’ll leave you get back to it,” Dukk answered, bemused.
Dukk turned to leave, then remembered, “Did Annee mention the security briefing and evacuation drill? She will do it in the dining room before departure. It would be a requirement, given this is your first launch.”
“She did. That is why we are in here. She said we need to be in our suits,” replied Kimince.
“I am helping Kimi get dressed while we wait for my lockers. Then we’ll be off to space,” Trence said with glee. The last sentence was sung as Trence did a sort of a dance.
Dukk practically shoved Marr down the corridor as he found it nearly impossible to contain his amusement. Marr had failed completely to contain herself, and was spluttering with laughter as she stumbled back in the direction of the stairs.
Just as they were about to take the stairs to the upper level, an incoming call from the Operator. Dukk accepted it.
“I have four passengers just cleared the ID Gateway. They will be in the personnel clearance area in a few moments. Standing by”.
“Thank you,” Dukk replied and disconnected before turning to Marr, “Change of plan. Let’s welcome our passengers, before we load the nav.”
“Annee, the passengers are here. I’ll bring them up to the lounge,” Dukk announced into his comms as he and Marr made their way down the stairs to the pad floor.
“Excellent timing,” came the reply.
"Doesn't the Chief mate look after the passengers?" Marr asked Dukk.
"Yes, but it helps if the captain sets the right tone."
"Our typical passengers are low level staff or workers for the Elites. They aren’t important enough to travel in luxury with the Elites.”
“They can be a tad touchy and frustrated. Some can cause trouble. By me doing the welcome and her doing the briefing, Annee and I both have a level of authority. We can do the ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine later, if needed.”
“Are you the bad or good cop?”
“Isn’t that obvious?”
Marr laughed, adding “Not yet. What is the plan here?”
“I’ll do a quick welcome and avoid any questions at this stage. Annee can handle that. I will then lead the way up the stairs and into the lounge. You will follow at the back.”
“Got it. Lead the way.”
(to be continued...)
[Rule of Twelve, Double Take, Chapter 9 - Loading (Passage 1 of 5)]
All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2021 BJ Allen
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Chapter 1 - A routine descent
Chapter 2 - Perspective
Chapter 3 - Grounding
Chapter 4 - Cause and effect
Chapter 5 - The first meeting
Chapter 6 - Staying goodbye
Chapter 7- Instability
Chapter 8 - Orientation
Rule of Twelve, Double Take - Ch15 (Passage 5/5)
“Hi,” came Luna’s voice as she bounced into the suit locker.
Dukk turned around.
“Are you alright? You are all flushed?”
“Yes, I am fine. I was practicing some yoga in zero-G. I lost track of time. Quite challenging and not what I expected.” Luna replied.
“Yoga?” Marr mouthed silently at Luna from behind Dukk.
Luna smiled cheekily.
Marr held her hands up and looked away as if to say ‘I don't want to know’.
Dukk laughed. He’d been an apprentice too once. He knew what was on his mind the first time he was in zero-g. And, he could tell an intentional lie.
“Are you sure you want to try this now? I can go alone and you can get back to your ‘yoga’?” Dukk asked in gest emphasising the last word.
“Nope, I’m good. Let’s do this.”
Thirty five minutes later, Luna stood at the port outer doorway. She was in awe.
Dukk and Luna had completed the same process Bazzer and Marr had done earlier. Marr, with ...
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