Barbie banter

Phi hummed to herself, looking at the sky. "Well I'm not sure I can eat the little guy. I'm not a vegetarian by any means, but I just don't know if I can eat meat cooked by our jury rigged barbecue. Just thinking of the germs."

She stopped and scrunched up her face in disgust.

"Only as a last resort," she said.

"Bloody hell, what is it with you women?" Seymour demanded "Would someone just get the damned fluffy thing killed and onto the bloody barbecue!?"
Cassandra glared at him
"I said: We can't - It's adorable!"
Seymour stared back at her, unsure how to
handle this uncharacteristic sentimentality
"You've got to be joking!?" he snapped, eventually
Cass met Seymour's eyes, glowering levelly back at him before, unable to help herself, the corners of her mouth quirked into a smile and she looked away
"Oh, alright, of course I am" she smirked "I couldn't give a rats arse about whether it's cute or not! I'm hungry; let's get the smegger killed!"
Jay bought his rifle to bear on the creature, sighting it down the barrel as it let out a plaintive warbling cry
"Are you sure?" he asked "It is kinda cute..."
"Smeg's sake man; grow a pair!"
"What happens if it's mother comes back?"
"What did I just say!? Maybe it is the mother!?"
"And if it isn't?"
"Well, how about we torture it for a bit in the hope that it's pained cries attract the attention of it's mother, so we can kill and eat her as well?"
"I say..." Seymour started uncomfortably "That's not quite cricket"
"Oh for smeg's sake man" Cass rolled her eyes "Sarcasm!?"
Jay lowered his rifle
"How big do you reckon the mother is?" he asked
"Who knows?" Cass shrugged "Big enough to fit it's arse over that nest? I dunno - Cow sized?"
"I'm surprised to see any animals bigger than rats, anyway" she continued "I'd have thought we'd be seeing island dwarfism, but the critters we've seen so far are pretty big, so maybe they're able to move around the archipelago somehow?"

The little creature, having listened to the exchange with apparent interest, finally decided that enough was enough and that it was high time it made a dash for freedom by bolting for cover into the undergrowth
In the end it barely managed to cover three metres before Davie, having recovered sufficiently to be worried about where his evening meal might be going, opened fire with his rifle, shearing the side of the creatures skull off in a bloody hail of linearly accelerated rivets
"I guess that settles what we do with it" Cass sighed "C'mon - Let's get the barbie fired up!"

With the sun finally dipping beneath the horizon a little later on, the shadows lengthened and merged into a star bejewelled night, lit from the south by the planet's two moons; the larger of the two in its half phase, looming pale and fat just above the horizon, while the other, a small barely visible sliver, rode high in the darkened sky above

The fat from the small brown creature's flesh popped and crackled appetisingly above the dully glowing barbecue coals next to a bubbling pot of miscellaneous crustaceans and a selection of slowly blackening spiny fish that they had managed to spear by dialling down the power on Davies blunderbuss and loading it with forks
Lounging on the still warm sand around the barbecue with the rest of the crew, Cass took another swig of her beer and gazed unsteadily around her companions, enjoying the warm buzz of the alcohol and the smell of the sea scented breeze tousling her hair
“...his name was Ryder Jones” Gomez was saying “I tell you, 'ee was one of the best shots with a mining laser that you ever saw!”
“Ryder Jones?” Jay frowned “Can't say I remember him; security you say?”
“Yeah” Gomez nodded “Shortish guy, brown hair...? Ryder Jones...”
“Oy!” Cass chided “Would you all stop looking at me every time someone says 'Ryder Jones'? I know what you're thinking!”
“What the devil do you mean!?” Seymour blustered “I... I was only looking to see if you bore any family resemblance, what with you having the same name - I think I remember him...”
“Bollocks” Cass hiccuped “And besides, who says Jones is my real name?”
“Oh?” Jay looked over at her, raising his eyebrows “There's a surprise; what is your real name?”
Cass met his eyes for the briefest of dizzying instants
“I'll tell you one day” she smiled softly, looking away “But it's not a story for tonight...”
“No?” he teased
“No” Cass said firmly “What we need tonight are stories of adventure and derring-do! Care to furnish us with wild tales from your stint with the Time Corps, Sparky?”

Jay – or anyone really; fancy telling us all a story? - or is that cute creatures enraged mother about to come charging out of the jungle instead?

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