A Simple Misunderstanding Part 3

“You’re welcome t’stay if you want son, but I’m warning you that you are way out of line with your accusations.” The captain slurred.

“Sorry Captain but you may have to repeat yourself … couldn’t hear you strait with the smell and the slurring.” Vas said in a clipped tone. “I’m doing the job I was hired for.”

“The one you were fired for as well.” The captain shot back.

Serena’s eyes went wide, Keller … was the captain. You don’t talk like that to the Captain. You never talk like that to a captain! The crew chief was going to get himself fired, or spaced, and it would be her fault - entirely her fault!

“Then hired back on again for.” Vas countered.

“Son, I consider myself a patient man, but you’re gonna find yourself re… re… re-fired if you don’t stow that attitude.”

Leo couldn’t have looked more self-satisfied if he tried, soaking in every word like a luxurious bubble bath.

For most folk that might have cowed them but not Vas. “Way I see it my job is to protect my crew … even if it’s from you.”

“MY crew!” Keller all but roared, thumping himself on the chest. “On my ship! And protect them? From me?” He laughed incredulously, raising his voice, alcohol fueling his fire. For the Captain the boat tipped slightly as he stood, and he slammed both hands down on the table both for emphasis and steady himself. Serena flinched, but backing away from him would mean getting closer to Leo. “Protect her from me. Son, the only reason she’s still on this gorram boat is because I’m protectin’ her as well as your other two child “deckhands”. Ain’t none of ‘em got any business callin’ themselves that, but here they are and that’s on account of the goodness of my heart,so do not tell me--” he became even more unsteady, convinced Riley was flying them through some sort of asteroid field, loosing his train of thought and fell back down into his own chair. .

Vas stood arms crossed like an irritated statue waiting for him to finish. When it looked like Keller train of though fully derailed, probably killing millions of innocent boozed-up brain cells. “ -the truth?” Vas finished for him in a chilly tone.

“Tíngzhǐ (stop)!” Serena pleaded with the crew chief, He was going to get himself fired or worse! “It … It was just a misunderstanding I don’t want--”

“Did you just give me an order?” Vas said turning his gaze to Serena. He didn’t want to sound like he did to her but she was not helping the situation. The problem ran way deeper than this and he couldn’t afford to look weak at this moment, not when it meant being able to do his job in the long run.

“What?” Serena whimpered, looking like a drog swatted with a rolled up paper before quickly dropping her gaze from his. Him too? “No, I just didn’t want…” Her head hung forward, chin pressed to her chest. “N… no, Crew Chief,” she stammered swallowing a lump that sat in her throat like a rock.

He let the issue lie but he just hoped later she would let him explain. Just bad timing kiddo. Vas switched back to the captain waiting to see if there was anything else the man had to say or could say.

Leo couldn’t help himself, he chuckled out loud at the whole scene that unfolded before him. “I believe this is turning into a crew matter,” he said, stealthily squeezing the teen’s leg once more before standing up to excuse himself. “Again, my deepest, sincerest apologies for any confusion. I assure you, I had and have no intentions of causing you any discomfort.” Serena didn’t look up, and shrugged her shoulders..

Vas watch the man leave like a cat would an arrogant mouse.

“See? All cleared up, no harm done.” Keller tipped his hat forward, satisfied that he helped.

< Prev : A Simple Misunderstanding Part 2 Next > : A Simple Misunderstanding Part 4