Who: Andy, 099
Where: Sydney, Australia
When: three hours after landing (read: crashing) the Hermes
It was night, and it was hot as hell.
Not that Andy actually felt the humid hell, only the counter built
into his very skin kept ticking down; again, and again, and again. In
the end 099 was reduced to carting around a bucket of ice cold water.
Just so that every time the cleaner heard the alarm tick he could dump
it over his head.
It'd been touch and go for a while, running from street tap to street
tap that vomited out the milk-coloured water. Andy quickly began to
appreciate the Blue Dwarf's life support system. While even more
mourned the loss of his hot/cold sensory and by consequence the
functions of his sweat glands.
The janitor was no pilot as his track record showed. The experimental
craft now lay on the outskirts of the city. By stealing it he realised
that he could very well have made Seymour's silence moot. They
wouldn't have let this go unanswered. On the other hand, Jed may just
kick them all out for disturbing the ship. After all, inquisitions
were his domain.
Damn that pompous bastard. Andy had no idea how he figured out that
the military was carrying out tests on the ship. Especially at the
level of detail that he described it to him. Perhaps the janitor
should shoulder most of the blame anyway. He was dumb enough to listen
to him. He could only hope that he could get a ride back to Blue Dwarf
that was at least moderately fast, lest Seymour decide to break his
Andy had enjoyed this time of Earth, however brief it would turn out
to be. He'd managed to hack into an ATM and bought himself a variety
of nice, rugged clothes. He had no idea how long they could last.
The cleaner remembered the people's stares when he was purchasing the
items. They were all remarkably cheap. Termed as 'grandpa' clothes
because they were all from the 2050's Andy thought that he looked
rather striking while others simply stared at him in confusion.
Stuffing the rest of his purchases into a backpack he was now reduced
to returning to wear his haz-suit because of all the H20 that
continued to rain over his head speaking of which.
"Ahhh crap, not again-! Ninety-nine, pass the bucket!!" Andy snapped
the backpack from his shoulders and practically tore the bucket from
the Skutter's claws. With practiced ease the contents flooded over him.
To be honest he didn't even notice the difference, but the timer
certainly did. With a cough and a splutter he spat out the
filth-ridden water with a disdainful look on his face. 099 chittered
delightfully at Andy's expense as his steadily lengthening hair stuck
to the sides of his face.
"Oh shut up, you." He remarked in a semi-angry tone.
Who: Andy, 099
Where: Sydney, bay-side
When: December 27, Day 2 of strike, 3:00 PM
Andy continued down the side alley of docks. The frustrated look on
his face said it all really. It had been two days since he crash
landed in Sydney. Things hadn't got much better. He puffed out a
heaving sigh as he torpidly trudged through stuff that would have most
people running for a nearby pavement to scrape it off. Andy didn't
notice or care that his once shiny shoes now looked as old as their
It had all been a wild goose chase. Andy had just received news that
Seymour's own supply of caviar had just been the victim of neo-green
peace activists as of yesterday. They were quite similar to old green
peace activists really. Only they take the 'peace' out and put a
'piece' in. At least that was what he heard some hobo say.
Now it was overrun by Californian accented 20-something's armed with
some light Bazookoids. The Pom's fish farm was anything but
operational at the given time. This meant that Andy either had to go
back to Seymour empty handed AND tell him of his company's most likely
demise, or keep searching for the fish eggs.
Good grief, they don't even taste that good anyway.
Out in the distance he suddenly spied a certain light blue Skutter
propel her way through the crowd without hindrance. Only a few hours
after encountering this number of humans, she seemed to have been able
to adapt quite well. Andy lifted up his, for once, un-gloved hand and
waved vigorously at the passing robot. Within seconds she had returned
to his side.
"How did it go?" Andy asked; a slight tone of relief in his voice.
099 clicked out in Morse code her reply. It had been a while since
they'd been to Earth, or at least it certainly seemed like it. 099 had
been reporting to her union about the loss of most of Blue Dwarf's
Skutters, and the present replacements, the Nano-Skutters.
Andy nodded gravely. There wouldn't be replacements. Not anytime soon,
and definitely not without hazard pay. " Why the hell is it that your
union is better than mine?!" The Janitor fumed at his fate; making
sure to let her know through body language that it wasn't directed at
the tiny robot.
"Well, if that's all we've got then I guess we better get out of
here." Andy's hand fished out the flight schedules from the space-port.
"Alright, while you where gone I managed to slice into a terminal
containing information for ships heading out past the galaxy. It'll
also show the times of departure and the ship's configuration, chassis
and load-out. You still have the course trajectory for the Blue Dwarf
handy, right?" Andy rattled off as he kneeled down and showed the
robot the piece of paper. A few seconds after scanning, she poked a
'most likely' option with her articulator. The Janitor pulled it away
and looked at the option, a Burst-warp freight transport. It'd either
get to Blue Dwarf or go past it in a day or less "This is our best
choice?" He stated under his breath. 099 gave an affirmative nod. Andy
nodded slowly as he continued to stare at the option.
"Alright then, it leaves at 2400 tonight. Meet up with me at 2200, at
the entrance of the spaceport. I'm sure we can find a way on board
Andy pushed the sheet of paper back into his jacket "You go on and
look around Sydney a bit more I- I've got one more stop to head to."
It wasn't an option; 099 paused as Andy walked away, hailing a taxi
from the street and climbing in.
She knew that sometimes the Janitor simply needed time alone. The
Skutter would allow him that.
Where: Sydney's outskirts, condemned apartment block.
When: December 27, 6:00 PM
The Cleaner stepped out of the vehicle as he looked up at the slowly
rotting structure. Andy noticed a familiar sign that still hung in the
door way. Looking up and down the severally corroded street, the
Australian noticed that it hadn't actually changed much from the last
time he'd been here. The real kick was that was over fifty years ago.
A short bark from the driver reminded him of his momentary dues.
Andy's hand reached into his back pocket and pulled out a few
Dollar-pounds and handed it to the man. A moment later and the taxi's
exhaust gave a short fart of smoke and rolled off.
The Janitor cringed when he realised where the money had came from.
Andy Seriously had to do something about his kleptomania.
The Janitor walked forward and up to the decrypted sign that was
almost as old as the building. Upon it was the worn letters that, if
he remembered correctly, stated 'CONDEMNED: Contracted to be
demolished upon the date and time of 16/3/2048'. Andy rolled his eyes
as he pushed past the sign as he had done a hundred times before.
Lucky for him, the Australian local counsels where just as efficient
<To be continued >