How To Enjoy One's Self in Deep Space

Artemis had restored the ISD lab enough to continue working in it, still, there was much work to be done. One of his bigger problems was an electrical shortage, much of the lab's wiring had been destroyed in the freeze and cadmium leak, in addition, only one of the three power couplings was working. As a result, the lab was barely receiving enough power to keep the lights on. Artemis didn't have the necessary skills or patience to repair the lab's electrical systems, he decided to enlist someone off the engineering staff to aid him. Artemis eventually decided on Jamie Eastlick, whom he briefly met in the swamp.

"You needed my help?" Jamie asked as he walked into the lab. "Yes Mr. Eastlick" Artemis began as he handed him the schematics of the lab. "Most of my lab's wiring was damaged by the deep freeze, and two of the power couplings are disabled. I was wondering if you could help me restore power to the lab" Jamie examined the schematics for several minutes. The ragged engineer looked up at Artemis and nodded. "I'll see what I can do"

Jamie had pulled enough dead wiring out of the under-lab to make a life sized statue of Andre the Giant, complete with lifelike internal organs (at least that's what Artemis said when he checked on him). With most of the dead wiring out, Jamie was able to start installing the new set, and eventually get to repairing the conduits. As he ran the wiring along the walls Jamie listened to Artemis, who was topside trying to repair a chemical dispenser. Artemis talked to himself and on occasion conversed with Holly or a mutant pet. Eventually he began to get frustrated, and started swearing at the machine with words Jamie had never heard before. But then Artemis got calm, then angry again, and continued on a cycle. At one point Jamie clambered out of the ducts and poked his head out of the access hatch. Artemis was struggling to open a pill container, he broke the lid and sent colorful pills flying everywhere. He picked up a handful and swallowed the, catching Jamie out of the corner of his eye. "I know what this looks like, but I swear that this isn't an addiction!" Artemis shouted. "Are you okay?" Jamie asked, climbing out of the ducts. "I've been trying to get my bipolarism under control with these blasted pills I was prescribed years ago but they aren't working!" "How long ago did you get them?" "Two months before the accident that rendered me frozen" "They've got to be expired Artemis" "Damnit! What kind of super-scientist can't tell that medicine is expired!" Jamie walked over to the disheveled scientist and took the pills from him. "We'll go talk to Jade later about getting you the proper pills, but right now why do 't you try to relax? When was the last time you took some time off?" "Last week when Holly, a Promenade rodent and I got how you say 'blasted' at the bar" "Well, getting drunk only solves your problems in the short term. Maybe you should do something to do that you've never done before" "Like compliment a fellow scientist?" "No, like an activity you've never done" "What, like golfing or skeet shooting?" "Skeet shooting? Now that sounds like something you would be good at, there's lots of coordination and mental math involved" Artemis milled it over in his head. It had been some time since he last used a firearm, but this would be the first time he used it for recreation. "Okay Mr. Eastlick,why don't we go to the hanger and try our hand at this 'skeet shooting'?" "Sounds good to me, I could use a break"

Plisken hadn't found much to do in the past few days, and he was getting rather tired of the same cycle over and over again, day in day out. He was hoping that something would happen or somebody would pass by him as he walked the never ending halls of Blue Dwarf. He passed Seymour, who he was pre-occupied in an arguement with a Skutter. Plisken also passed the Chryslers, who acknowledged them as they passed. Ashe was reaching the midship junction he spotted Artemis and Jamie toting shotguns and a micro air compressor that Jamie had modified to fire plates. "Hey fellas, what are you doing?" Plisken asked. The two men stopped and turned to Plisken. "Oh hello Mr. Plisken! We're going skeet shooting in the hanger!" Plisken didn't really know what to think. "We're trying to find a new hobby for Artemis to try and avert a stress related aneurysm" Jamie said jokingly. Skeet shooting sounded like a wonderful idea to Plisken, who could use the stimulation after so many boring days. "Do you mind if I come along?" Plisken asked. Jamie and Artemis looked at each other. "Why not, come along Mr Plisken!"

A plate flew into the air, a burst erupted from the depths of the hanger and the plate exploded. Jamie pumped the shotgun and passed it to Plisken. "Now let me show you how a real man shoots a gun" Plisken said jokingly. "Pull!" Artemis fired another plate. Plisken nailed the plate and handed the shotgun to Artemis. "Now you gentlemen are going to find out why they call me Carbon Deadeye MacGunny!" Artemis said. "Who calls you that?" Plisken's question roused a plethora of unhappy memories in Artemis' head. After several seconds he shook them away and replied "Oh, my mother when I was......into cowboys!" "I remember you telling Jacky that cowboys are immoral and should invest in better headwear" " guess that it must have been someone else!" Artemis was obviously hiding something, but Jamie and Plisken didn't want to pry. They were having too much fun! Besides, it was probably another failed scientific endeavor or more father issues."Okay 'Carbon', sound off when you're ready" Jamke said. "Pull!" Jamie fired another plate, Artemis shot the bottom off, sending it flailing away. Jamie and Plisken laughed heartily, Artemis joined them when he realized how bad of a shot it was. Artemis passed the shotgun to Jamie, who stepped up to take his next turn. I can't remember the last time I had this much fun Artemis thought. Or the last time I was called Carbon.....


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