Characters in this post
View character profile for: Cassandra Jones
View character profile for: Jay Chrysler
View character profile for: Dr Jade Black
View character profile for: Jamie Eastlick
OOC - Last story died. I've moved time on to some days past the successful stopping of the aliens and their plottings.
Cass and Jay were laughing as they sat in the booth in Parrots Bar that had rapidly been claimed as theirs. By theirs of course, Jade reflected that it had become a place for all of the Dwarfers out of their own time/universe and their friends to come and sit. A place that had been designated theirs, rather like the unspoken rules of parking in an office car park. Jade was approaching and briefly considered finding somewhere else to sit then disregarded the thought and walked over, slipping into the booth next to Cass.
“You managed to clean out all that bone marrow then?” Cass asked casually. Jade grimaced and subconsciously brushed a strand of hair checking for foul gunk.
“Four showers and I swear I can still smell that ship on me.” Jay leaned across the table and sniffed.
“Na, that’s your imagination. All I can smell is stale beer and pork scratchings. That’s going to be the bar rather than you I’d bet.” He grinned, his trade mark charming smile. They lapsed into the kind of silence that companions fall into when nothing needs to be said. A friendly silence enjoying each other’s company.
Jamie entered the bar, his shift over, streaked with dirt, oil and blood. He ordered something small and most likely potent, downed it in one then ordered a pint and joined the small group. The alien ship had been neutralised, and the technology was in the process of being cannibalised and added onto the Blue Dwarf. This had the unfortunate side effect of meaning the meat processing sections were also appropriated. Turns out they were a manufacturing and processing centre for meat products. This was greedily labelled a priority for Captain Ashley, given it would solve a fairly large supply issue. The already large ship had had several scrap hulks added onto it over the years, meaning it was more than capable of holding all that remained of the human race. Several combinations of engines and reactors powered the floating blue mass of metal. Jamie had already risen in rank and esteem after his help in streamlining several of the more complex systems. Jay was well on the way towards getting his pilot’s license back given the performance when under fire.
Jade saw Major Harris enter the bar. He signed as he sat down at the bar, it coming out more of a croak than a sigh. There were several successfully stifled laughter’s and some not so successful. He glared around the room and quickly people carried on drinking, laughing and generally trying to carry on surviving. Cass sharply elbowed Jade.
“So are you going over or not. You’ve been staring at him for ages.” She raised an eyebrow in a conspiratorial manor. Jade blushed and picked up her drink.
“I guess... I should.” She stood up, taking her drink and walked across the sticky floored bar.
“This seat taken?” She asked, slipping onto the barstool next to Harris. He waved a hand indicating that he didn’t care where she sat really.
“I’m glad you made it. I’ve not seen you since we returned.” She said, looking over at him concerned.
“I’ve been busy. It took a long time to arrange replacements for those that died. I had inform the families as well.” He downed what Jade noted was his fifth whiskey since he’d walked in. They were large measures as well. Frowning Jade placed a hand on his arm, she felt him tense at the touch.
“You know that drink isn’t the answer right?” As the barman topped up the empty glass he reached out his other arm for it and looked into the bottom of the amber liquid. In a moment of rare honesty, or perhaps it was the whiskey talking, it tasted more like the home made bootleg stuff that could strip engine grease he spoke up.
“I’m tired of loosing everyone. We’ve lost so much. There just doesn’t seem to be any point when all we do is struggle, and fight and try to cling on to what’s left.” He gestured widely with the arm Jade had her hand on at their surroundings.
“No one gets out of this ride alive.” Jade reflected on all that had happened since she was rudely awoken from stasis. All that she had lost, and the battle that she had overcome in herself to find a way to carry on given everything she had ever known was lost, millennia ago, in another universe, that was now destroyed.
“We just have to find a way to enjoy the small things. We have the Dwarf, we have plenty of food, we have shelter and safety, and… We have each other.” She blushed, not meaning it in the way it sounded but likewise not really minding given how hansome the man was. He glanced up at her and she looked away. He pushed the whiskey to one side.
“You're right. Getting drunk helps no one does it. I need to be sober to protect you… Ah… To protect all of us. Look, do you want to go get some coffee? I’ve got a small supply of these amazing coffee beans we grew on the arboretum before the Big Pink Tree took over.” He glanced over at her as she nervously brushed aside some hair from her face. She took a moment to finish her own drink. He waited for her reply, it wasn’t like him to act open and unguarded, but something about her instinctively made him trust her, want to talk to her, want to… He blushed and put aside the thoughts. She’d not think the same way, not the uptight military officer that he portrayed when on duty. Which to him in his job felt like all the time.
“Well. Sure. I like coffee.” She smiled and stood up, risking nervously looping her hand through his arm. He smiled, and several of his subordinated spilled their drinks in shock at seeing the foreign expression on his face. There was a chorus of wolf whistles and cheers as they got up to leave. Jade blushed and glanced over her shoulder, glaring at her friends, mortified that they had embarrassed her like that.
---- Later ----
She stood at the viewport window in Major Harris’ quarters, a borrowed shirt wrapped loosely around her shoulders staving off the chill of the air conditioned room. She gazed out into the infinite blackness of space, in the distance a few stars glimmered, some dust closer by glinting off the steady force field that protected the fragile metal hull. Space was huge, vast and hostile. They were alone in a godless universe, and almost out of shake and vac. However as she glanced over her shoulder at the muscled torso laying dozing on the bunk, she didn’t feel quite so alone anymore.
Life she reflected, was good. It was going to be ok.