Drog in a box

Captain Keller paced like an expectant father, one who was fond of whiskey that is, as he waited for his crew chief to come back with the doctor. He wanted to make sure the Drog Kyri female as well as her money making pups were all on the mend and doing well. .“For rut’s sake!” He said on the punk’s return. “How gorram long does it take to put someone’s teeth back in? Did you tell him this was an emergency?”

Vas had lumber scrapes over one shoulder and a toolbox on the other hand. “I wouldn’t worry too much, Captain,” Vas said, trying to soothe the Captain, short of getting him a drink. “Mama Drog seems to be doing fine, pup too. Doc ‘ell get here in good time. ‘Sides Jacy was overdue to get her teeth fixed anyway.” He reminded, gently putting down the tools and lumber.

“Yes, overdue in the sense that waiting one more hour in a life or potential death situation wouldnta mattered much, now would it?” He asked, superfluously. These weren’t just any animals, who knows what sort of special attention they’d need? Ears cropped, tails docked, true, he had no idea what either term entailed, but the doc would, which is why they needed him.

“I really don’t think there is any life or death going on. Pups are pretty active and Mama seems like a natural. She ain’t rejecting any of the pups and they don’t look like they're having any problem suckling or anything,” Vas noted as he peeked under his bed.

Mama Drog panted happily to see a familiar face. Her three pups clean and fluffy little squeaky balls dozing against there momma’s belly.

“Yes, you're a good Mama.” Vas smiled. “We’ll get you a proper place for you and your babies just as promised. See Cap? Happy and healthy,” Vas said, starting to move out all the unnecessary items from his room so there would be plenty of space for the pup pen.

The Captain grumbled about Vas’ expertise using an immature, mimicking tone under his breath as he poured himself a fresh glass. “So what exactly are you building? I mean, we could just keep the door to the cabin shut; that sounds like a much easier solution, don’t it?”

“Pup box, Captain,” Vas explained while he chugged along. “Not only does it gives Mama a proper place for her and the puppies, but ya put a bumper ‘round the inside, just in case the Mama rolls over she don’t accidentally smother a pup,” He said lining up the wood frame with the lumber. “Also give us to place a heat lamp so the babies stay toasty,” He added.

The Captain reconsidered his grumbling about the rooster haired thug not knowing what he was talking about. “So you done this before, son?” he asked with a scratch of his neck.

"Well … I ain't whelped pups myself but I helped build a pup box when I was a kid. Was a big ol' poodle type dog to some upper crust widow," He said between hammerings. He checked each nail he put in, clipping any stray bits flush so nothing would prick the pups and Mama dog.

"If recall right she was a breeder. I remember wanting a pup so bad as a kid." He chuckled screwing in the hinges.

“Lots of kids’ folks didn’t let ‘em have pups.” The captain soothed, taking another sip. “S’a shame. No better way to learn responsibility.” He took a second glass from the cabinet, pouring a double for the hard-working crew chief.

Vas continue to work, but the second glass didn't go unnoticed. "Naw I'm good, Captain … 'sides I'm on the clock. Gotta stay sharp 'n all."

“Not much of a drinker, eh?” The captain looked at the double he’d poured; yeah, the boy was lanky, but Keller figured he could at least handle a small drink. Lightweight? More for me. He poured the double into his own glass before dragging a chair over to watch. “So I get it, the mama dog can’t lie flush up against the wall,” He nodded.

"Yea… has to raise the lumber some given how big the pups are." The punk noted.

The mama drog at the point poked her head out from under the bed to see what the mohawked caretaker was building. She stretched herself to sniff at the tools and wood Vas was working with.

"We can use some of the newspaper for bedding. Easier to clean and all." Vas said more thinking aloud than anything.

“She seems awful fond of them rags under your bunk as well,” The captain agreed, pointing to the mess of old clothes under Vas’ bed. “Good thing they were laying about.” He eased back onto the chair.

Vas gave Captain Keller an oblique. "They weren't dirty, or laying about. There neatly folded and in my duffle." He said giving the Mama dog a look.

“Crybaby.” The captain muttered under his breath through closed lips before having another sip.

The mama drog just watched happily clearly playing the 'But I'm just a silly 'ol dog' look.

Vas wasn't buying it.

The drog, undeterred by Vas’s look nudged her head under his arm demanding attention by way of being pet, her tongue lolling out of the side of her mouth as she looked up at him.

"You're lucky you're adorable." Vas said giving the girl a healthy scratch under her ears.

“We’ll get you a new set of clothes when we reach the Skyplex.” Keller promised. “Don’t you worry none. Til then we’ll all chip in what we can get you through the next six or so days so you don’t have to do laundry on the nightly.”

"Ha! Careful there … Jacy might get it in her head to get me in a pair of those leather pants." Vas snorted over the ridiculousness of the idea.

“Well son, that’s on you, literally. I’ll go through and see if I got anything that’s on the too-small-to-fit-me side. In the meantime -- You’re gonna wanna put that knotted side out. Mind the splinters.’

“Sugarbear! I have teeth again! Tonight is going to be amazing!” Jacy came bouncing into the room with her head tipped back and her mouth wide open. So she couldn’t see Vas or know that he had company. But they could see straight past her new pearly whites and down her throat. She did a little warble with her larynx and her tonsils danced.

Vas couldn’t help but laugh a bit at Jacy’s jubilance. “Well look at you? Guess it’s all strawberries and cream now.” He paused and blinked. “What are we doing tonight?” He asked with clueless innocence.

“Son, if you need to ask?” The Captain chuckled. "You best brace yourself...."

Jacy’s head snapped down fast as a boot stompin’ engine gremlins.

Keller stood up and patted the boy on the shoulder. “And that’s my cue. Make sure you finish up that project first.” He tipped his hat to LaLoyd and made his exit. “Twenty Credits!” He called up the bridge to his pilot.

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