Andy- 'Gopher Day'

Who: Andy, 099, Jed, Seymour
Where: Cargo Bay 8
When: half an hour after dispersing the riot
The janitor groaned as he slowly cracked opened his eyes. A wretched
stench of blood, sweat, excrement and alcohol drenched the air;
overall quite familiar really. Gently righting himself he felt a
gentle tug on his right shoulder.
It was the baby-blue Skutter that was always around when he got hurt.
"Ninety-nine…" He muttered as he surveyed his surroundings. "… Where'd
everyone go?" The Cargo bay was deserted, but that wasn't to say that
it was peaceful.
The place looked like a band of time-displaced platoon of American and
German soldiers had recently been plopped right in the middle of the
Blue Dwarf. After shelling each other for a good 4 hours they decided
to go into close quarters combat with explosive bullets loaded into
their machine guns.
Though that still didn't explain copious amounts of boxes labelled
'Caviar, do not open- Seymour' that had been pried open and their
contents sprayed about.
"I don't care where we are, turn this ship around!!" A shrill British
voice demanded. Andy didn't even need to guess who the owner was. 099
latched onto Andy's hand and reversed as she helped the disorientated
cleaner get to his feet.
"Now you listen to me, you pompous windbag." A thick Texan accent
returned. "I don't give a damn if we are out of alcohol. We need to
keep this course and ain't nothin' you can give me to change mah
mind!" Jed wasn't really too worried about the booze shortage. He'd
already stashed enough hooch to supply himself for the next twelve months.
Andy stepped over the rubble and unconscious (at least he hoped they
were) crew members uneasily. "Hey… Seymour!" In all honesty, he'd
rather talk to the Pom than the damn Texan zombie. "What happened?
Where'd the security team go?"
Seymour immediately turned to the man. "Security, SECURITY?! I
wouldn't call that rabble security!" The Ambassador's nostrils flared
dangerously. In a moment of immaturity, Andy felt as though he could
shove his thumbs up there. "They couldn't even a bunch of alcoholics
from tearing this place apart- not to mention my caviar!!" His gloved
hand extended out towards the trampled black mass. No doubt they had
attempted to find beer in any crate they could find.
"You stay outta this boy. This is between me and the Red-shirt. Mah
word is final on this you donkey, now get out of mah way. I've got a
half-security team to lead and a pack of drunks of muster." With that
the Texan shoved past the British man.
Seymour's face contorted into a variety of different expressions
within seconds. His body moved with his swinging emotions like he'd
been hit with lightening. After a minute of movement
Andy looked back down at 099 with a mute expression on his face, both
giving each other a confused shrug. He sighed and turned away from the
man. He'd had the shit beaten out of him enough for one today and was
going back home.
That was until a long-fingered hand suddenly clapped on his left
shoulder. "Andy…" A British accent purred almost manically.
The janitor gulped audibly as he slowly turned to look into the
somewhat frenetic eyes of his vast political senior. "Andy… you're a
capable sort… aren't you?" Although sounding uncertain at first,
Seymour's voice became less and less frantic and more and more assured
at every syllable.
And that was what scared him.
"I want you to do something for me…"
Who: Andy, 099
Where: Top-secret flight deck
When: 2 minutes after the previous post
"I can't believe I'm doing this." The cleaner muttered angrily through
clenched teeth as he pressed up against the expensive-looking
equipment. He turned down the Skutter that was huddled up against his
legs. "I mean its bad enough that I'm actually doing something this
petty for someone who can be such an arsehole, but that I'm *stealing*
to do it?!"
Andy's head poked out towards the vessel that was docked in the middle
of the deck. It was ugly. There was simply no other way of saying it.
Resembling a giant, white donut that had been viciously stabbed with
paper-holder-stands (Y'know, the ones that you see restaurants use to
impale sheets of paper on); the highly-experimental inter-dimensional
ship would most likely have been capable of having a break through in
terms of space travel. That may be true, but it sure as hell wasn't
winning any aesthetic design awards.
In the middle of this monstrosity was a small, one-man cockpit. Soon
Andy would be sitting in that thing. Oh sweet Lord, why was he doing this?
"Now gentlemen, as you know, are the best of the best." A stout man
spoke with a deep, booming voice. He strutted in front of the ship
like a proud rooster, medals jingling from his chest with every step.
"Some of you Navy, some of you Star-fleet, some of you civilian and
even some of you I can't even say on risk of court-martial and
Andy rocked forward on his feet as he surveyed the hopefuls that the
'General' spoke in front of. A single line of men, all varying in
posture stood, some bored, some attentive but all eyeing the ship in
front of them. "This gentlemen, is the experimental starcraft X-46DW
project 'Hermes'."
The Janitor looked up at the craft, beads of sweat rolling down his
face. With a mixture of blackmail and bribery Seymour had goaded Andy
into this. With the British man's not-so-subtle prompting that is.
Seymour knew a guy that knows a guy. Basically, the Australian man
wasn't exactly the most welcome person back home. He'd been certain
that some of his more…'prominent' features of his past had now been
dug up in the fifty years of his absence.
In a way he was glad that he was on the Jupiter-owned mining vessel.
That exempted him from Australia's prying eyes and he'd disappeared
into the night.
But if he was to turn back up on the radar...
Seymour didn't really know who Andy was. That was good. It had meant
that the Janitor's years of staying off the grid hadn't been for
nothing. However, Seymour did know that Andy was frozen and was
technically a stow-away aboard Blue Dwarf. Pulling the right strings
could have him extradited from the ship. Those Skutters, his only
family was all he had and to be separated from them and then stuffed
into (most likely) an Australian prison cell.
No, he had to do this.
He had to steal this ship and get a few crates of caviar from
Seymour's private farm… in Australia… on Earth… a few hundred light
years away.
Oh God, he was doomed.
"Now as you men know Blue Dwarf has been the pioneer of 'Warp Drive'
technology. This technology has been copied by most major shipping
yards to regrettably limited, but palpable, success. Although not
getting what this ship has- they are still able to create limited
'bursts' of warp which pretty much turns light-years into light-weeks.
Thanks to the ever 'graceful', Captain Jed Calvert, we've been given
unprecedented access." The man didn't even bother to hide the fact
that he had to bribe the unscrupulous bastard. Once more gesturing
back to the ship, this time he pointed towards the multiple hexagonal
panels that stuck out the side in a ring.
"This ship has been designed with the explicit purpose of duplicating
Blue Dwarf's technology down to the slightest detail…-Yes, Captain?"
The man plucked out a hand that stood up.
"YES, SIR! Why don't they start with a larger engine instead of
compacting it? This ship couldn't carry couldn't possibly carry more
than single man with a Skutter sitting in his lap! SIR!" The clean-cut
military man spoke as though he needed to go to the toilet really badly.
"Excellent question! However, with warps it takes more energy to warp
a big object than a smaller one. The engine only needs to be a certain
size before it begins to create a warp that is too small for the ship
to fit through and then be expanded. Any other questions? No? Good,
now… although only one of you will get the honour of piloting it into
the unknown, follow me and we shall examine the ship engine in de-…
what is it captain?! Didn't I just ask if you wanted to ask a question?"
"NO SIR! I just wanted to ask who that man wearing the shit-brown
jumpsuit, climbing into the cockpit with the Skutter tucked under his
arm was, SIR!"
"How the hell do you work this thing?" Andy muttered as he grasped the
joystick awkwardly. 099's head craned back and then launched into the
Ship's dashboard; a loud click and the craft suddenly shuddered to
life. "Good girl!" The Janitor praised as he gently tipped forward on
the control stick. Thank God for Ace Combat.
The ship's whining engines suddenly let out a crow of sound as the
craft shoved itself off the ground. The honey-comb panels began to
glow a beautiful light blue, much like the ship's warp drive whenever
he was scheduled to clean it.
As he looked up, it slowly dawned on the Janitor that he wasn't going
to get out of the flight deck in one piece. The door at the end of the
long take-off tunnel was slowly pulling itself closed. He looked down
at ninety-nine. They had long since passed the point of no-return.
"Well… what now?"
099 clicked her mandibles irritably then attacked the dashboard once
again. A previously unseen view-screen suddenly lit up, a series of
numbers lined the screen. "That's great ninety-nine but it's not
helping us much!" 099 clicked out her reply in Morse-code 'speak
co-ordinates!' "Coordinates!? Like what? Sydney, Australia, Earth, the
milky-way?! This thing is a prototype, that's never going to register
Suddenly, the ship let out a growling rumble.
The stout General looked up in wonderment as the craft slowly began to
shudder, then shake, then propel itself forward. With the screaming
clash of a sonic boom and a bright flash, the ship disappeared from
The man's mouth hung open, the crew of the flight deck screaming and
running around like headless chickens. He then mumbled the words. "If
he makes it back, I'll pin a medal on his chest. Then I'll shoot him."

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