Into The Black

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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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.

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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.

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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

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(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.)

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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

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Exodus

“The herd is plentiful but the cow-hands are few, therefore, he sends out cow-hands onto the range.”

Matthew 9:35

And so it is. Not know’n when or how, I knew he would clear the brush and tell me when. So here I go in this ark upon His sea of stars, his harvest field. And look, I am called by a fine woman like unto Ruth, who was known for her business sense and praised by Him for it. I shall endeavor to feed your flock oh Lord. Both of the ground and the spirit.

But there is the steersman, a sailor if’n I’ve ever read of one in Melville or Stevenson. Smiling an cocky in just the right doeses. But I’ve a nose for the drink that makes men mean or wobly and I think I got a whiff more than once.

Of the dreaming mechanic I’d say she has more than the captain’s ship in the clouds. How a right brained gal like her is so mechanical must be gift from above. She paints, she dreams, everything is shiny. She must have one foot inside the pearly gate.

I understand very little of the Norseman’s speak or ways. I endeavor not to get hurt or if’n I do, I’ll just pray hard with a block of wood fast tween my teeth. Other than his glib and folksy medical stance I rather like the fellow.

Why, then there’s a fellow call’n himself Berk. I find he is troubled in spirit. I am hoping he is not in need of powers and procedures I am not yet acquainted with. I should hate to avail myself of a cortex search for step-by-step of just how one exercises! I suppose it could just be a first bad impression but this one could be like bat-bit dog in to small’a pen.

Well, dinner’s set’n to be fixed, I best get on it or I could have folks snitch’n at my grub as I’m fix’n it an I am not partial to help in the kitchen unlooked for.

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Session Two - Getting to Know One Another

Nightingale ascended from the earth of Hera just before dawn on May 2nd. The sky was clear and Eugene guided the ship smoothly up into the sky and then out into the Black with his customary skill.

Once in the Black, Eugene plotted his best course to Greenleaf, estimating that the trip would take 14 days to complete. He contacted Alicera in the engine room and asked her what she could do about that. The flower-painting engineer made sure with the Captain that she had approval to ‘push the pulse-drive a mite bit’, and that she did successfully, urging it on a bit more, giving Eugene the news that they’d likely shave a day off their trip.

Gideon, with the help of Emily Bates, prepared the first of many meals for the crew, and it was outstanding. He used some of the fresh produce, eggs, juice, etc, that he was given as ‘departure presents’ when he left his flock on Hera, and he made good and conservative use of these items for the first half of the trip. However, with twelve mouths to feed (6 crew, 6 passengers), these delicious goods were growing few in number half-way through the trip.

There as much discussion and a bit of interacting between the crew themselves, plus the passengers, of course.

Emily Bates had offered to become Gideon’s “right hand” in the kitchen. She proved her competence to him repeatedly, as well as being quite open about her being smitten by the Nordic doctor. Her ‘couch’ on the shuttle proved to be quite a bit much for her to bear, but she refused to go to the captain about it, not wanting to make the captain regret letting her on the ship despite a full load of passengers already. Gideon, being the gentle soul he is, offered to give his room to her in exchange for moving himself onto the shuttle, which Ms. Bates gratefully accepted.

Louise Boyd tended to keep to herself, mostly. Not that she was shy really (she is a performer afterall), but she seemed to want to simply stay out of the way. Even during meals she talked little, but did occasionally chip in, as long as the talk wasn’t about religosity or politics. She is polite when attention is given her way – even Burk’s friendly attempts at putting himself into her good-graces were generally met with a kindly manner, though so far she seemed fairly impervious to his seduction.

Jesse and Selma Woodrow seem friendly enough – once approached. At least Selma was. She seems a bit outgoing, starting conversations at the dinner table at random in friendly fashion, simply creating conversation to pass the time and allow for a friendlier atmosphere. Her husband typically sat beside her in stoic silence, his keen eyes watching those gathered at the table, as if trying to read souls. He spoke little, his calm, quiet voice polite yet direct. He wore his duster everywhere, an unspoken testament to where his loyalties obviously and truly lie.

Andrew Lin (aka Andy, thanks to the Captain) and Sir Basil Protheroe are the most quiet of the bunch. They have yet to truly initiate conversation, and when addressed, Andrew himself would usually field questions and comments with a friendly smile and a polite response. Sir Basil very rarely spoke at all, though when he did, it was in the most polite manner possible. Their manners were impeccable, and Andrew’s attention to his master was beyond reproach.

About half-way into the trip, though, a heated discussion was broached at the dinner-table. Eugene had departed the table quickly as soon as the subject came up, likely in fear that the topic might set him off like a firecracker. Sir Basil openly – yet gently – protested some of the harsh words directed at the Alliance, defending their goals, while admitting their faults. No government was perfect, he’d argued. But his words seemed to irritate others at the table, including both of the Woodrows, while silencing Louise Boyd completely.

The Captain did her best to keep things on a different subject, while Gideon did his best as well to do the same. Reaching some point, Basil rose – as did Jesse – and then Burk. Alicera was sure that a fight would ensue, and Leonid looked almost eager to find a chance to ‘patch some people up’. It reached a head when a sweaty Basil demanded that Jesse Woodrow be thrown into the ‘stockade’. Andrew escorted his master back to his quarters so that he could rest.

Between the Captain and Andrew Lin, the situation was diffused and calm was found once again.

The next day, the trip continued of course, and Sir Basil seemed to revert to his old, polite self. He approached the Captain at breakfast and apologized profusely for his poor manners the night before. Even so, it was agreed that he would take his meals in his quarters from now on, and any venturing throughout the ship would be done under escort.

Emily continued her assistance to Gideon in the galley, and sought out the doctor’s help with a sore hip. She seemed to enjoy his attentions to her tender body.

Louise accepted a request to sing later that evening after dinner. Gideon admitted that he, too, was willing to sing, and recollected that Sir Basil carried a fiddle case in his baggage.

The Woodrows seemed no worse for wear after the incident the previous evening. The Captain did request that Jesse leave his iron in his room when he ventured out, to which he reluctantly agreed. If anyone but the captain had asked, he likely wouldn’t have taken the request very well. But he agreed with the captain that keeping calm on the ship was the best course of action, being out in the Black where they were, there weren’t many places to ‘drop someone off’ if clashes in personalities took place.

Just before noon, though, Eugene skillfully detected a ship on a course that would cross Nightingale’s path – in fact, a collision seemed imminent. Scans concluded that the ship was damaged – but heavily armed. It was decided then not to make any sudden moves or sprint for freedom, as it seemed the other ship was likely faster – and definitely bigger.

As tension mounted and the other ship grew nearer, the description of ‘Reaver’ came up. That set the fear in some, and preparations were made ‘just in case’. As the other ship grew ever closer, not altering its course – Eugene nudged Nightingale just a bit, so that the two ships would pass by each other unless one or the other made some sort of change. Sure enough, the two ships passed by each other silently. The other ship was indeed a Reaver, as the various bodies strapped to its hull attested to.

Did the Reaver ship simply view Nightingale as not worth its time? Was the Reaver ship seeking larger prey, or perhaps the crew of the Reaver ship was otherwise occupied, even asleep? Perhaps no one would ever know…

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Tinkerbell's Vagina

nightengale2.jpg

Dear Diary,

Well I got the engine room redecorated. I guess being on the ship for a few years has finally made me bold enough to brighten up my special space on NIghtengale. I mean I have my own bunk and all but I mostly just sleep there and fold laundry. The engine room is where I spend all my time.

Now I wasn’t bold enough to ask permission from Cap’n until I’d already started on the project and was halfway through it. But she was okay with it, even said if I prove artistic enough I can do some more detail stuff around the other parts of the ship.

I got my garden bunk put together and seeded. Doc bought a garden bunk too so I’m gonna help him put it together. He’s probably got some medicinal herbs he wants to grow. As little time as I spend in my bunk, I oughta see if I can just turn it into a hydroponics so we can have some o’those little cherry tomates fresh and other stuff that takes very little root and growing space. I got me a hammock in the engine room so when I’m napping I’m available in case of sudden emergencies so I’ll think on this somemore.

I guess getting all that fresh food for the first half of this run has made me wishin I could make that nice regularly for our new cook with the religiosity and the crew would benefit from it. It’s a nice little family. I had my serious doubts about Rocket seein he’s in his cups most the time. But with this latest scare, I’m thoroughly trusting being on his team now. We work real good together.

Oh and that scare, that’s something that’s gonna haunt me for a while. Reavers. Real reavers intersected with our course to Greenleaf till we went silent running and Rocket slightly adjusted our course. Held my breath the whole time I had Nightengale holdin her song. Crises is past and them reavers showed no indication that they noticed us, or maybe they just weren’t hungry. Still I’m gonna be nervous about it for a while so I will most definately be sleeping in the engine room hammock incase I gotta shut Nightengale’s heart beat down at an emergencies notice.

Billy has a fixation with that perty entertainer. I gave him some tips but not sure how good he’s gonna follow through on them. Hoping that when we get to Greenleaf something might jostle his memories, if not all of them then at least ONE. Wonder how Mom’s gonna take it that Billy named a gun after her.

Well, gonna stretch the hammock out to the second hook and get some sleep. Hope we get to Greenleaf without a hitch or another reaver in sight. ~Alice

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Ain't been eazy.

Ain’t goin gud so far. Been inna black now fer over a week, an that lass aint showed no innerest in me a’tall. I’d done jez bout all I kin think uv, waitin outside her bunk, givin flashes of chokolate an makin small talk an all. I guess mebby I’m bein too, um… what I mean is not bein clear nuff what that I like her an all. Alice sez I outta cozy up with her sum, talkin about how dangerous an stuff it is out here and that mebbe showin all my gunz ain’t the right way to go. This Louize gal is a different kinda lady, not like the gurlz I’m use ta hangin out with, or buyin, or liquorin up. She aint innerested in my money none, nor my chokolate, nor my gunz. I guess I’m gunna hafta figure a new tactic. Why iz it that gurls wanna talk so damn much? The fun stuff don’t involve uzin yer teeth ta chatter all the time. She doez have real purty teeth. I dunno. Mebbe I juz need to be straight up and ask her ta share my bunk less we get to this hayseed planet and I miss me chance.

We did have us a bit uv a scare though, the trip aint been all borin. I ken stick with borin though if’n it means I don’t run inta Reaverz. They flew right across us. Rokkit kept em in sight an did sum fancy flyin and them boyz jes shot right on by. I holed up down inna engine room with Alice. Ya know, I plum fergot ta teach her how ta throw grenades? I kain’t even think why I never showed her that a’fore. Once we git ta Hayseed I need ta take her out an make some gofer holes. That little lady needz ta carry a cracker or two to keep the boyz away (C’eptn the ones she wantz I guess. Dunno why that creepz me out a bit.) Anyhow them Reaverz just passed us on bye, guess they waznt hungry or nuthin. I kain’t pikture getting et by sum krazy man. No, I even gave Miz Louize my assault pistol. Better we end ourselvz before we get et by Reaverz. Anyhow, nuthin came uv it.

The preacher is gettin ta be a pest, alwayz gettin in my way with Miz Louize. Alice an I had this sweet plan to let me git Mis Louize forward near my bunk, but that little jag-off book thumpin black sack kept pushin in on my grind. I dunno if hez gunna werk out so well on this boat. I guess its kinda gud ta have God an stuff on our side in a scrap. But why doez God hafta have such annoyin preacherz? Would be a shame I guess if he fell asleep onna grenade. Well, messy anyhow.

Another thing. That gunman feller that the Capt’n let on board, hez hiddin something right important in his bagz. I dunno what it is, but I aim ta find out. The Capt’n, shez a trustin soul, not shure that’s such a gud thing inna Capt’n, but itz her all right. I staked out the cargo bay one night and I saw o’l Mr. Woodrow come down onto the bay all sneakin like and he has this box in his bag. Once he done fished it out and checked it over, was the first time I ever sawed the man smile. Once he left I came down an tried ta pick it, but that thing is closed up tighter than a nun’s underwear. Told the Capt’n, but all she did waz to go down an talk to Mr. Woodrow. Gurlz are always chattin. Drives a man crazy it does. Anyhow, I’m keepin my peepers on Mr. Woodrow… well leasten when Miz Louize ain’t around.

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Sunday bloody sunday

Today iz sunday which iz special good dayz for some, just another day for Leonid, every day Leonid wakez from sleeping wiz ghostz is good dayz. gideon speaks of jesus as man, but Leonid no see jesus so dis juan must be ghostz? Zee others all know this man jesusz but I no like zee ghostz and no want to talk withz zee ghostz. They talk to ghostsz again laterz but I no wish to putz zee faith in tings Leonid no seez. Leonid putz faith in work, work causes pain and fatiguez, these ting r real, these tings are not ghostz, only thingz Leonid can see and trustz which iz Leonid……..so sleep comz fast, except.

Gideon visitz me later to ask why I no watch people talk with ghostz, I say I believe in Leonid, for 7 yearz no one help Leonid but Leonid. I change zeee subjects and showz my growing gardenz of herbs, some for poltice and some for zee fooodz which Gideon cookz very goodz but we run outz of goood foodz now just paste. I scare him wiz vodka and he lookz uncomfortable and leave me to work, he is goodz heart.

So I be called on talking boxz zee captain, to go to roomz of zeeee important soldier officer and his man servant is banging on door, sez zee important offizer man no answer doorz, so I bang on zee door but important ofizer man no answer, he ask leonid to break doorz, but Leoniz knowz captain has keyz to unlock zee door. Important officerz takes many drugs too keep zee mind clean and clearz maybe he forgotz and that iz why he know answer doorz?

Captain opens zee doorz but zee roomz iz dark, bb goez in weeth beeeeg gunz and turns on lightz to find important officerz man layinz on zee bedz, except he no sleepz, thiz one is gone. We try to tellz ifz zee killed himselz or someone elzse do dis.

Leonid take dis one too room to examine. Hole in templz, to small for Leonid to find bulletz with little finger, so Leonid create extra strong stikee and put on bamboo stick and leonid finally pull out zee bullet, apply more stikees and get out small pieces of bullet. I check diz on bloodz and find much alcohol, and 2 drugz dis could be enough with fragilz mind to causz dis juan to shootz self? Leonid knowz not.

Dee otherz question zee passengers and no one tellz truth, Leonid create tea which causzez people to talkz more freely and open, not to hidz behind maskz. I make diz on second brew, firzt brew no goodz, to much gingerz. I makez second brewz and Leonid go to show captain and at dis time I see Gideon crumplez to floorz, bb hitz him, I no understandz how friendz hit other friendz, diz remindz Leonid diz not friendz, diz is crew, diz iz justz jobz. I take Gideon to roomz and movez dead importanz offizer so I can workz on Gideon, dead importanz offizer still dead so no needz for workz now. Gideon comez conscious and at same time bb comz back for Gideon I stand in wayz, I tell bb to leavz, he no leavz, bb sayz movez, I no movez, Leonid wantz to tear himz apartz for beating little manz who waz friendz only hours ago, but zee ghostz come to Leonids mind, az much az Leonid want to fight Leonid no fight, bb lookz for gunz because lttle Gideon iz to shootz zee peoplez aye?

I be told alliance boat to come to diz boat, I no understand whatz diz meanz but de rest of de crewz be afraid. I stay in roomz and makz poltice and salve, I stay in roomz and try to readz zee books and make mind stronger, I stay in roomz and make body stronger, diz iz cage, but much biggerz floorz an fun tings to do but still cage.

Leonid realize diz boat haz no respectz for each othorz, sadly diz no seemz like homz, diz iz not friendz, diz iz job, I do jobz best Leonid can, but diz is crewz………sadly nothing more.

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