“Speaking of inhabiting. Let’s move the Conn back down to the crew mess for the handover. Do you want to head down first?” Dukk asked.
“Sounds good. Yep, I’ll go down first. By the way, what time are we having our wall ball showdown?”
“You mean, wall ball slaughtering,” Dukk laughed.
“How about around one pm? I have some administration I need to get on top of first.”
“More to this captaining than just flying and watches?”
“Yep, sure is.”
“One pm is perfect.”
Marr was sitting at the console when Annee came out of her cabin. She was suited up ready for the start of watch.
“All set for some downtime?” Annee announced.
“Hi Annee, definitely,” Marr replied spinning around. “That was some performance against Mentor. You were amazing. You looked so graceful too.”
“Thank you. By the way, I am happy if you want to call me Ann.”
“Oh, of course, Ann. Any thing you are willing to share to help a first timer get up to speed?”
“You want me to help you defeat Dukk. The same Dukk who is on my team?”
“Well, you said yourself. He is practically unbeatable. A tip or two surely won’t make a difference,” Marr added cheekily.
“I was caressing his ego. Besides you’ll take him easy. If he gets a few points in front, his ego will get in the way. And, if you aren’t afraid of showing a bit of skin, you’ll have him distracted most of the time.”
“Mentor wasn’t afraid of showing skin. That didn’t appear to distract you.”
“He isn’t my type. If that was his strategy, it was wasted on me.”
“Who is your type?”
“Let’s say you won’t get any competition from me for any of the men on this rig,” Annee said boldly.
Marr lifted her eye brows, and said “Interesting.”
“What is interesting?” Dukk asked as he entered the crew mess.
“We were just discussing your love life and our preferences, anything you want to add, Dukk?” Annee replied with an innocent expression.
“I have a preference for privacy. How’s that, Ann?” Dukk said jovially.
“There must be more to it than that, Dukk. Ann is very tight lipped.”
“Surprising for Ann, but good. What’s it to you, Marr?” Dukk said provocatively.
Annee raised her eyebrows at Dukk. He winked back at her.
“Trying to get the lay of the land. Just doing a little research to understand how to best integrate with those on board. Not everything is in the public record,” Marr replied.
“That is a good thing too. What about you, Marr? Anything we should know about you that will help us integrate better too? Preferences?” Dukk said in a cheeky tone.
“I am going to borrow your reply, Dukk! I have a preference for privacy too,” Marr replied provocatively.
They all laughed.
“Did I miss something?” Mentor asked as he emerged from his cabin.
“Nope, nothing of any use anyhow, unfortunately,” Annee replied.
Mentor looked around and then shrugged his shoulders.
“Ready for the equipment cross check?” Mentor asked.
“Yep, let’s do it. Anything that we should know about for the handover, Dukk?” Annee replied as she put her arms out to allow Mentor to check her suit.
“Nothing unusual, but it’s busy out there.”
“No surprise given where we are. Anything come close?”
“Nope, the autopilot is keeping on top of it. We’ve got some friends up here.”
“Great, I might see if we can have a chat.”
“Larinette?” Marr asked.
“Dukk?” Annee provoked.
“I am borrowing Marr’s response that she borrowed from me.”
They all laughed again.
“I am clearly missing something,” Mentor added.
“Anyway, Ann, I’m going to send through the docking request for Maple Tower. I know it is early days, but it won’t hurt to get the message into the relay. Do we want to include a notice for passengers for the leg from Maple Tower to Mayfield?” Dukk asked.
“Yep, I’ll write it up. I also need to check with our current passengers to see if their plans have changed. I will check as I do my rounds. Give me an hour.”
“Perfect, you got it from here?”
“Yep, enjoy your downtime, Dukk and Marr. Mentor, I am thinking we base ourselves here for this watch. It will be easier to keep on top of things. I’ll do a walk around now, if you want to keep an eye on the systems. That work?”
“Yep, that works,” Mentor replied.
With that, Marr got up from the console to make way for Mentor. She joined Dukk in the middle of the room.
“Everything alright?” he asked.
“Anything I can help you with during the down time?”
“Eager to learn the ropes?”
“I can show you the hub docking request process if that is of interest?”
“I am going to freshen up. About 30 minutes?”
“Perfect. Back here?”
“No, let’s use the console in the cockpit seeing as Annee and Mentor are setting up here for the watch.”
“That works. I’d also like to get started with the simulation of hub manoeuvres.”
“Of course. Up there will be a good place for me to show you how to access them.”
An hour later, Dukk and Marr were sitting together at the back of the cockpit using a console. Annee entered the cockpit.
“There you are.”
“I got some news on the passengers question.”
“Bognath said there are four passengers that need a ride out of Maple Tower. Something about a broken craft.”
“They will be sharing doubles, right?”
“Yep, he doesn’t think that will be a problem.”
“Over the odds.”
“Not sure. I have asked for the profiles. I should have them later today.”
“So, we’ll hold off for now on the passenger notice?”
“Yep, I think that would be best.”
“Perfect. Thank you, Ann. Then, Marr, we can submit this docking request as is.”
“Leave you to it,” Annee said as she exited the cockpit.
(to be continued...)
[Rule of Twelve, Double Take, Chapter 13 - In Between (Passage 2 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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