Pranked

OOC: JP between LargeHobbit and Sail

Gill yawned as he made his way back to his quarters. Those pups were great fun but they were wiping him out. They just wanted constant attention and when they didn't want that they were feeding and when they were not feeding they were fighting when they were done fighting… Gill frowned down at his boots. He loved those boots. A gift from the Doc and now they stank of drog shit. At least the beasts were keeping Haddie out of trouble.

Gill stretched up to open the ladder hatch to the crew quarters and frowned. It was closed. He shoved against it with a grunt of effort and stepped back in confusion. Locked? Why was that? He shook his head and tried again. No it definitely was not for budging.

“Ta Ma Du.” he cursed quietly as he decided to take this matter to the top.
Marching up past the galley towards the cockpit he tried the hatch. Sealed? What the hell was going on? Mind you Riley was not up for company at the best of times and if she had the door locked it probably best he left it that way. He supposed there was nothing for it than to go sit in the galley and wait to be… rescued. What would Vas do? He wondered as the sudden slam of the galley door closing causing him to look up.
The new engineer was standing there with an unreadable look on her face. He stumbled to a halt and peered past her towards the galley door. Why had she closed it? What was going on?

“Ah Hi…er Marisol.” Gill stammered as her name came to him. He was terrible with names.

“Hi Gill!” the mechanic exclaimed. She was clad in a pair of form fitting jeans, ankle boots, and a simple blouse over which hung an open vest. But what drew the boy’s eye was the sawed off “over and under” double barrel strapped to her right thigh. “Let’s talk about your little sister!”

He was frozen in place, one hand clutching the ladder hatch as he gaped at the woman. She stepped toward him, boot heels clicking slowly with her pace. “What?” he let go of the hatch, “Is she alright?” this was going one of two ways, either Haddie was in trouble again or Haddie was the trouble. He had a notion which way this would swing by the tension in the air.

“When you told me she knew this boat,” Marisol offered a smile, “you weren’t lying! Though I found out she doesn’t know it that well. But what you didn’t tell me was that Haddie’s a regular comedian! That girl can pull a prank,” she chuckled. “Boobytrapped my bunk…now hold on,” she stilled his sudden rush to apologize, “that was funny! But her prank in the engine room? Oh yeah, I see you’re getting it now.”

Click…click…click…

“Hydraulic fluid in the fuel line,” Marisol’s smile hardened. “I conjure that’s a real knee slapper on whatever shitbox boat she learned that little trick. Most times that causes an engine hiccup and some rub and scrub by the mechanic…a funny prank.”

Click…click…click…

“But here’s the thing. This boat’s a Firefly Class 4. Double the cargo space, bigger cargo ramp, bigger atmo engines to spin. That means a bigger hull. A whole lot more weight to hold up on her struts. That means seriously high pressure hydraulics, and a fluid that’ll take the strain. Good thing is Haddie didn’t hurt the engine or the reactor when she did it. But that hydraulic fluid? It eats rubber for breakfast. Every gasket in the fuel line downstream of where she injected the fluid got chewed up, and that’s why we had fuel leaks.”

Click…click. Marisol stopped, leaving ten feet between herself and the teenager.

“That’s why we had radiation exposure,” she continued. “That’s why I was covered in the fuel, ankle deep in it, actually, and praying to Buddha that hitting a cutoff switch wouldn’t strike a spark. That’s why I get to spend the next week seeing the doc for the radiation hit I took. But hey…we were lucky!”

As she spoke, the over and under slid from its’ sheath. “Haddie’s little prank coulda had me burned to death and all of you in a shuttle trying to make it somewhere safe after the explosion.” She cradled the weapon in her left hand as the right took the handgrip.

“Here’s what you need to know, Gill. Only people who do know all this are you, Haddie, and me. Well, the doc figured it out, too,” she added. “But Riley and the captain don’t know. So now I’m gonna give you a choice.” Marisol cocked the hammers as she spoke.

“Choice one. We don’t tell; it’s our little secret and you get to stay aboard. For that kindness your little sister doesn’t set foot in the engine room without my blessing…ever. She doesn’t touch a gorram thing that makes this boat work unless I say so…ever.”

“Choice two,” Marisol’s gaze leveled as the shotgun’s business end swung toward Gill. “You don’t conjure you can keep her in line, then when we get to Skyplex you and your sister get off.”

She drew a steady breath. “Choice is yours. I don’t much care which way you go. Haddie wants to play pranks on the Mean Old Lady, I can handle a boobytrapped bed or dogshit in my boot just as well as the next person. But,” Marisol lifted the shotgun to chest height, “you have my vow that if your baby sister ever puts this boat or anyone aboard at risk again, I will make a corpse of her right then and there. And nobody…not Vas, not the captain, not Riley…will be able to stop me.”

She squeezed the dual triggers.

Click.

“Nice talking to you, Gill.” Marisol holstered the shotgun as she turned away. “Oh, hey! I’m cooking tonight…molē poblano, rice, and beans with tres leches cake for dessert. Hope you’re hungry!” She tossed a cheerful wave over her shoulder as she strode through the galley hatch.

Gill let out a gasp of breath as she disappeared and his shoulders slumped in relief. A maelstrom of emotions bubbled up from within and amidst it all he was certain of three things. One, he needed to find his sister and get her under control and quick, two he needed to speak to Vas because whatever the rights and wrongs of what Haddie did that woman had just pointed a gun in his face and damn near made him piss his pants and that simply would not stand, which brought him to three as he turned and threw up on the floor of the corridor.

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