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TheBachelor

Space Cowboys

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Rebecca heads up to the bridge and leans slightly over Hawk's chair so she can see the sensor screens clearly. Checking that everything seems in order she then contacts flight control and advises them of the Molly's departure.

 

Once clearance has arrived she looks down at Hawk "Ok, lets get her back in the Black where she belongs."

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Before Mick departs the medical bay "Oh by the way captian, would it be possible to get my weapon back? I feel naked without it."

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"All passenger's weapons will be stowed in our Ship's Locker for their protection." replies Mick in a standard canned answer. "Once we get the cargo, then you'll have all your gear back."

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Through out the ship, there is a comfortingly familiar rumble as The Molly McGee takes to the air. With in moments, they are in The Black, and well on their way to Yellow Dog, two and a half days out.

 

A few hours later, Daryl, his hands covered in grease, makes his way up to the lounge. There he finds the rest of the crew and the ships one passenger.

The captain and Rebecca are sitting at one of the tables, playing backgammon. As usual, Daryl can see that Becca is winning. The captain looks over at Daryl, who gives him thumbs up.

Mercer, having settled into the Presidential suite but feeling naked with out his gun, is standing near the wall, looking at the fine wood panel that lines the lounge. He notices that one of the panels has the names of the crew burned into it, starting with the captain and ending with Hawk. There appears to be the names of some former members of the crew on the panel. Most curiously, one of the names has been scratched out to the point of no longer being legible.

Hawk is off in the galley. It’s his turn to cook, and he’s making Earth That Was style chicken and dumplings. At least, that’s what is written in Chinese on the reflective metal pouch he opened before dumping the reconstituted vegetable protein into a slow cooker and adding water.

All around the galley, bananas from the crate Mick designated for the crew sit on the counter to ripen.

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"Hey Hawk how'bout this time you make something edible, we got a passenger on board. Don't want to have to nurse the 'Doc' along if he gets food poisonin' from whatever that smell is meant to be."

 

As she sees Daryl she looks at him and then the Captain questiongly. But doesn't enquire about what Darly has been doing, not while Mercer is in the room.

 

"So Mercer what can you tell us about yourself. Nothing saves a poor meal like a good story."

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"Dagnabbit Becca, I am a Pilot not a Cook."

 

Sighs

 

"Well guess I have been cooking enough."

Hawk makes sure to prepare everything correctly. Takes him about 15 mins to get everything prepared right and proper and he serves the guest first.

 

"Here you go Doc."

 

Then he places the rest on the table by the Backgammon game.

 

"Eat up, not making more for a couple hours now."

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Smelling the food being prepared Sean makes it up to the dining area just in time to hear

"So Mercer what can you tell us about yourself. Nothing saves a poor meal like a good story."

 

"Well now that depends on the story. Would to hear my background or a tale of combat? I can accomodate both though I fear my history is a bit stale."

 

He reaches for one of the rolls that has been set out and tries to take a bite.

 

"Kind of like these rolls."

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"Wahtever tale you want to tell, be it a yarn from Earth that was to the funny thing that happened to you yesterday. An entertaining tale is always good."

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"Well there was this time my team was attacked by a reaver, who in fact left me this parting gift." With that he points to the scar on the left side of his face with his fork. "Would you care to hear that tale?"

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"Niou-se!" chortled the Captain incredulously. "No rutting way did you tangle with Reavers. If half the stories about those madmen are true they'd have peeled you like a grape. I can't recall a single story about them, tall tale or not where a body got into combat with them and lived. Run, yes. Hide, maybe. Fight? Pull the other one, Mate 'cos this leg's not buying it!"

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"Well Captain he did say his team and implied only a single Reaver so maybe with those odds some of them survived. And fiction or fact it is still better than sitting here in silence eating this ... this, hey Hawk what did you say this was meant to be ?"

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"Yes I can see where that would be a hard tale to swallow but it really did happen, in fact the Reaver in question happened to be left behind by his bretherin." Sean opens his shirt and shows his audience his left side. A jagged scar runs down from his left cheek all the way down to his pants.

 

"This was in fact a lone Reaver, tricky little one too. Took out eight men wounded two and only our pilot and another medic got away with out any marks. Wicked creatures they are, almost like they had no souls. You know nothing to live for. Unbelieveably strong too, why he picked me up with his knive like I was some sort of catch of the day. But thankfully I did not look into its eyes. Thats the one thing our sergeant said, never look into their eyes. From what he described to look into their eyes is to gaze into pure chaos... madness, and then you freeze unable to do anything but stare."

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"That part of your tale at least I'll believe." said Mick. "Your scar's impressive but I can think of a dozen things on this boat alone that could've done that. Next time start off small, like battling space dragons or the like before you pull out taking on Reavers."

 

The Captain takes a last few bites of his meal and stands up from the table.

 

"Well, it was fun while it lasted, but I've got Captainy type things to do. If anyone needs me I'll be on the bridge." he says before leaving the galley. Once at the bridge Mick gets onto the Cortex to retrieve the message waiting for him.

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