Into The Black

Firstz two weekz on boat

Deess isz first time in long time (10 years) Leonid feel good about self, no live in fear, no hide, no killing, no beatings, no living on cold hard ground, no make friendz only to leev because people come to find Leonid. First time since boy Leonid happy.

Captain Prudy findz Leonid somehow and wantz to payz Leonid to help friendz…..who doez this? Friendz help friendz for no moneyz. She givz me room to work and florz to sleep, she givz machinez to help fix friendz, but I knowz not howz dees tings help, I push button and no help, I push more buttons no help.

I build garden in room, I grow herbz to make poultice, salve, teaz and oilz. But need brighter sun on stik to make grow more. I make deez poultice each jar help in deefrent wayz, I stack jarz on machinez, now machinez help. I find slugs and put in box with water and pieces of tree, de slugs help to make de stickee, I use de stickee for many ting.

I must talk to Captain about Raven, sacred bird, I like to keepz Ravens on boat, deez good luckz, Leonid usz de poopz of Raven, Father Uri showz mez how to usz de poopz. Must collect stickz so I weeve basket for Raven, so when captain sayz yesz I have place for himz.

Besidz Captain Prudy, I meetz Eugenz who flyz dee boatz, I get troublz in belly from deezs one, he fly boat very goodz, but he drinkz to hide mind from self, working on teaz to help Leonid sleepz maybe I help Eugenz , I will talk about dis soon.

Alice iz Doctor for boatz, she fix boat like Leonid fix friendz, she hear and feel tings on boat we no hear, i seez beeg piece of metal, she see big piece of metal wiz heart. She makz boat pretty wiz paintz, flowers and tings, I mayz ask her to paint receipe for salve on Leonids wallz one day. I no understand but if boat no fly we cannot help zee peoplez and Leonid makez no moneyz for hospital for zee childrenz.

BB haz dee gunz I no like deez gunz, BB like to fightz Leonid no like to fightz, BB payz moneyz for women to like BB Leonid afraidz of pretty womenz, BB alwayz makez Leonid liftz big heavy boxz Leonid usz heavy boxz to make stronger. I likez dees one, he no trust Leonid poultice and salve, but I waitz for day I digz bulletz from arm with zee fingerz to watch big tough man cryz like babyz.

I meetz Gideon when on planet, he come withz uz on de boatz, he cook foodz very well, Leonid will show Gideon gardenz and we makz foodz taste much gooder. He talkz to fast for Leonid to understand, but I know he speakz from belly and heartz. He talkz of books but Leonid no understandz bookz. Maybe I convince Gideon to teach Leonid how to readz zee books and Leonid decide…..

We bringz zee peoplz on zee boat, so Leonid mustz be readz for to helpz zee people.

I put picturz of Uri and Marta on wall witz de stikeez, I unload bagz and put thingz away, deez is first timz Leonid take tings out of bag, Leonid feel home.

I scribble deez thingz so Leonid no sleep, zee ghostz come when sleep comez, sleepz iz only thingz Leonid fear. I wish for good nightz

Dear Diary

Dear Diary, Well we made it to Hera, but late, so we only broke even on this trip. The boon is that we arrived in time for a celebration, and I do like parties. And the food! Fresh fruit and vegetables! I couldn’t help myself, I had to take a couple back with me to Nightingale, ya know, snack for later. I didn’t ask the Capn, and I hope she don’t mind, but I bought some paint and stuff to brighten up the engine room. Bought me a “garden bunk” too and some seeds. Some pansies and daisies.

My brother headed out right away from the little festival with two plates so I know where he was goin. Can’t say I blame him. We were out two weeks. Unfortunately for me there weren’t no pretty boys that weren’t hanging on some female so I went shopping. Oh, and toenail polish. I bought some of that. Replaced the beat up tool kit that came with Nightingale with one I bought my own. Spendiest thing I thing I’ve ever bought other than the passenger ticket balances that I couldn’t work off when I first when looking for Billy

We took on passengers and cargo, and hired a preacher that can cook. I guess that’s alright. If I can be Christian for a day to get chilli and fresh fruit, I can handle one trying to make something edible out of protein paste. We also got ourselves a browncoat and his wife, a beautiful singer, and some uppity man and his lackey. Then at the last minute a sweet older lady came on board. I think we’ll be shoving off in the morning.

Super excited about our destination. Greenleaf!!! I expect to get a ration of crap from the triplets, Rob, Bob and Colb. They were always the worst for picking on me but I got really good at wrastlin because of them, Joe and Ricky got kids now so looking forward to seeing them too and Becky was always nice to me. Rick’s wife, Sharon…not so much.

Billy seems to finally have accepted the Doc. Doc talks funny, when he talks at all, but he’s nice. Still wonder if there’s something goin on between Capn and Rocket. Don’t see why she keeps the drunk around ‘cept he’s a mighty fine pilot. Guess I shouldn’t judge, as long as he can fly straight when he’s liquored up. And she trust him as far as I can tell, and anything the Capn says is good, I’m prone to believe.

Never got to spend much time around other girls growing up with 6 brothers, and Capn Prudy is one I really look up to, owning her own ship and bein in business an all.

Well, I think I’ll get a little painting done before getting some sleep for tomorrow’s lift off. Oh, bought some lockpicks to occupy myself in the downtime when I get done painting. Might come in handy. Sort of like a puzzle to play with. ~Alice


(on the side of the cylindrical housing of the engine, the upper half is curved solid plating, and underneath it are a jumbled mess of parts that Alice knows intimately what does what. It is on this upper curved panel that she starts painting. What she has so far is above and she will progress with the painting over time. It’s not my art, but we’ll pretend it’s Alices.)

Thingz is lookin up!

We have a new feller, some preacher man. Guess hez a cook uv some kind. He better be keepin hiz noze in hiz own buizness. I ain’t gonna go all soft just cuz hez all particular like an book thumpin. Alice seem to like him sum, but she likes everybody, so thatz easy. The Capt’n usually pickz em good nuff, but she did let that crazy coon of a doc on board. At least he knowz how to hold hiz drink.

Wen we landed I went with the rest over to sum church were I think that Preacher waz at. He an hiz church were givin away good food, real stuff too. Mebbe thatz why they done kicked him outta the church, cuz he wernt chargin nuthin, just puttin all that good grub out for folkz ta walk up and take. Mebbe hez runnin from em now cuz theyz mad at ‘im. I dunno. I jez don’t want him thumpin on my grind.

I grabbed a couple a plates of grub from the church and went and found me a kat house. Been two weekz in the black with nothing riding me but the Capt’ns holleran about strap downz and safety this and that. Aint right that the only woman around fer two hunnerd thousand clicks has more innerest in her boat an cargo than her womanhood. Aw ne’rmind. Shez likely a bag ‘o ice tween the sheets anyhows.

The Preacher though, man he knowz how to pick the ladyz. He brought with him this sweet number. Ooooweee she smokes my log. I ‘eard once from a girl I’d had that nuthin makes gurlz hotter than a stick ‘o gud black choklate. Sos I ran an got me three sticks. Frum what I ‘ear, were gunna be in the black for two more weeks. Plenny ‘o time to choklate up the hottie an show Missy Boyd the inside of my bunk. Know what I mean? This trip iz gunna be innerestin.

The Capt’n picked up a buncha passengers and a whole gaggle load of stuff an wez headed to Greenleaf. Alice is all squirmed up about it. Guess she grew up with a bunch a brotherz on that hayseed planet. She wantz me ta meet em all. I dunno why, they likely to juz get the wrong idea an then I’ll hafta beat em all down. Caint see how shed be thinkin that would be gud. Sometimes I think she don think at all bout men. Wonner if she swingz the wrong way. That would explain a lot about her an I.

Therez one feller that I hafta keep my eyez on. He’z a fighter, I ken tell right off. He an hiz wife er on board as passengerz and I ken tell he knowz how ta use that six shooter hez totin. Haz a hard eye too. Yep, gonna be watchin that shmoe.

A Day on Hera

The day began brightly enough, with the Nightingale and her crew settling down on Hera at Serenity View, the space-port town that sat across form the most sacred sight in all the ’verse: Serenity Valley, where more than half a million souls departed this world during the bloodiest battle during the War of Unification.

The Nightingale had arrived a couple days later than planned which cost them. With the payment she did receive, Captain Prudence was able to collect payment from the cargo she delivered, which about broke her even on the trip.

On board with the good Captain, were a few other fine individuals:

Alicera Sam – cute, perky mechanic who knew her way around engines.
Burk Burk, or Big Burk, or Heavy B, or BB – depending on who you asked, a brute of a man with a fixation on that made loud noises and put holes in people.
Leonid Krikoff – another big brute of a man, who had a way with fixing people that wasn’t quite the norm, though the captain seemed to have faith in him.
Eugene ‘Rocket’ Tremblay – A hell of a pilot whose best-friend seemed to be the bottom of a liquor bottle – and all the distance between it and the top.

Offloading the cargo, the pilot took a look at the ‘local news’ on the Cortex, and was pleased to see a local church group was holding a ‘free chili cookout’, with fresh food, fruits, vegetables, and whatnot. The captain was so struck by this, she decided to go there first, enjoy some real sun, fresh air, and real food. Anything was better than more protein paste!

The crew locked up Nightingale nice and tight and then headed to the cook-out, to find the place was thick with others looking for free food, as well. Once most folks got situated, a reverend rose to his feet, gave quite the moving sermon, then said grace.

Heavy B didn’t stay long – grabbing two plates of food (lunch – plus dessert, maybe?) and headed out to look for some ‘lady-flesh’ – which he found. At lunch-time, his choice of ladies wasn’t that great, but for the bargain price of 10 credits each, Burk grabbed himself a pair of willing ladies for the afternoon, to help ‘work off’ some of that grub he had put down.

Meanwhile back at the chili-social, the good reverend tended to his flock, and greeted plenty of newcomers as if they were his best friends. He eventually came to the captain, and through a little conversin’, learned that she was indeed the captain of a capable ship, and that the ship was bound to depart sooner rather than later. The reverend expressed a desire to be on that ship, and after some discussion he was invited aboard. Afterall, the chili was proof that the man could cook!

After eating and listening to the goings-on for a bit, Leonid eventually departed the area, seeking a watering-hole where he might wet his whistle. After searching a bit, instead he found BB, and began to follow him, and sure enough BB led him right to a saloon. BB made a bee-line for the bar, and upon entering, Leonid went up to stand next to him, ordering a drink. BB paid for a couple of bottles that they then took turns drinking from, becoming fast drinking friends. After awhile, they departed, arms crossed over each other’s shoulders, making their way back to the spaceport.

Back at the chili-social, Alicera decided that even though she was hungry, she MIGHT need some of this awesome fresh fruit for later. With a sleight of hand that was truly impressive, she pocketed a banana and an orange, as precious as they were. She then innocently made her way back to the ship, stashing her treasures somewhere no one else would find them. Then, she set herself a chair on the end of the loading-ramp, watching the passersby with a keen eye. Maybe she’d be able to drum up some business and impress the captain?

Their deal made, the captain and the pilot bid farewell to the preacher-man, and returned to the spaceport to look for work. Work – and passengers – came about quickly, in various ways.

A fine, beautiful woman named Louise Boyd introduced herself to Gideon, the preacher, and through a short bit of talking Gideon learned she was destined to travel the stars to become one, and he heartily recommended she give a visit to Nightingale and her crew. The woman agreed, and waited for Gideon to finish his work so that he might guide her to the ship himself. He was a little flustered by this, of course, being shy around the fairer sex as he was.

A couple approached Alicera as she sat on the edge of the loading ramp, Mr. and Mrs. Selma and Jesse Woodward. Alicera didn’t know where the ship was headed yet, but she urged the pair to check with her captain when she returned. Alicera was so sweet, Selma promised to do just that as her and her husband departed for a bit to get a drink, then returned when the captain did.

The captain and the pilot’s search had not gone in vain, either. Two shipments to Greenleaf were accepted, as well as another pair of passeners: someone seemingly of nobility; Sir Basil Protheroe, and his retainer, Mr. Andrew Lin.

The captain worked out the fare for all the passengers and their cargoes, and declared that the ship would be departing the next morning. The passengers began to arrive and speak to the captain if they hadn’t already, then boarded the ship. By this time, Leonid and BB had returned, and each watched as Ms. Boyd arrived. BB agreed to show her to her berth immediately, ditching the unloading of Mr. and Mrs. Woodward’s belongings in the process. Leonid and Eugene decided to do it instead, packing their goods onto the ship in a protective manner.

The other cargo bound for Greenleaf arrived, and was similarly packed onto the ship. After that, yet another person arrived, Ms. Emily Bates, who seemed eager for passage anywhere that would bring her closer to her family. While they weren’t on Greenleaf, going to Greenleaf would certain get her closer to her family, and she was fine with that. Ms. Bates seemed quite taken with Leonid, who was flexing and being quite handsome-like while helping the pilot secure the cargo.

Gideon departed the ship to bid farewell to some of his favorite flock-members, and in the process was inundated with food donations – some of the canned-variety, and some of the fresh-produce variety. This will undoubtedly make him a Big Damn Hero many nights during the trip when the peolpe on board are eating fresh foods instead of protein-paste.

Afterwards, ‘Rocket’ and the Captain went to the ‘seedy’ part of Serenity View, and met someone that was a distant relation of Rocket. After some cheap-drinks and a bit of talk (and a tiny bit of flirting between him and the good captain), the fellow asked Rocket to deliver something for him to someone on Greenleaf. Rocket and the Captain readily accepted, for the paying price was too good to pass up.

The ship’s living arrangements look something like this:

Four Staterooms:

1- Andrew Lin
2- Sir Basil Protheroe
3- Louise Boyd
4- Selma and Jesse Woodward

Due to room constraints, Ms. Bates was offered a couch on one of the shuttles.

Crew rooms:

1- Captain Prudence and Alicera (one of the double rooms)
2- BB
3- Gideon
4- Eugene
5- Empty? (Double room?)

Leonid has agreed to stay in the med-lab.

And So It Begins!

And so begins the preparation for gathering our intrepid crew with an unknown captain onto an unknown ship…

What will they do?
Where will they go?
And just who are these people, anyway?

These things – and more – will be discovered as we journey into the black!


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