Challenge #01464-D003: Dammit Dwayne!
Always remember, no matter where you are, no matter when you are, someone out there is intent on being the reason we can't have nice things. -- RecklessPrudence
Through all of time and all of space, there's always one of Them. You know Them. They're always cheerfully helpful and a beat behind everyone else's drum. They mean well, which is the most damnable of faint praise. Their heart's in the right place, people say. It's the elbows, knees and ankles you have to worry about.
Sometimes, they are gormless wonders. Sometimes, they're clever in all the wrong ways. But what they are to everyone else, regardless of the excuses you may make around them, is homicidally annoying.
The cascade of doomed crockery woke Luanne up from what had almost been a proper sleep. She lurched from her bed and out into the main living area where Dwayne stood in the middle of a small mountain of potsherds. "Dammit, Dwayne," she sighed. "Why?"
"Um," said Dwayne. He always paused after the 'um' because he had to start his brain and think up a reason. "You said the place was getting untidy? I thought I'd do some cleaning?"
"I was talking about the living cabin, Dwayne. Not the cargo hold."
"It was an accident."
Luanne found her shoes. Enough to keep the potsherds from embedding themselves painfully into her feet. "So you accidentally bypassed fourteen passcode, gene-code, and bio-reading coded locks, accidentally opened one of my vaccuum-sealed cargo pods, accidentally withdrew far too many..." she bent to pick up a large-ish piece, "high-quality M'eng wafer-ware vases... accidentally brought them all up to the living cabin, and then smashed approximately Five Years' worth of fine china all over the flakking kitchen?"
"Er," said Dwayne. "Um. It was more... the dropping part?"
"Why did you even take them out of vacuum-storage, Dwayne?"
"They were in vaccuum storage."
"...uhm," said Dwayne.
"They couldn't have become messy or dirty, Dwayne, because they were vaccuum-sealed. They never should have been disturbed, Dwayne. They couldn't have been disturbed. Because disturbing them would have set off fifteen different alarms and woken me up, Dwayne, when I told you that I needed sleep Dwayne. So what the flying flakk, DWAYNE?"
"It was an accident! Really! You know how we got those Skitties for catching all the bugs? Well, um... one of the kittens kind'a accidentally unlocked a bunch of stuff by walking across the controls? Andum..."
"I have security recordings, Dwayne."
"Okayokayokay, itwasme! IwascheckingtheirvalueandIsawhowthey'reworthalotmoreiftheyhavetracesoftheredglaze..." a violent intake of breath, "soIcutthelockswithmycodeandopeneditup, butIforgottoequalizefirstandall'athisdustblewin..." gasp, "andIthoughtIcouldclean'emandIdidn'tmeanit."
Luanne took a deep breath. Let it out slowly. Then, in tones of deadly calm, she intoned. "Dwayne, you are going to pick up every last piece of this mess. You are going to store it as carefully as you can in a stasis box until we hit Whirrawii Station, where I am going to hire an artist who practices Kintsugi. Out of your wages, Dwayne. And then we can hope to sell the Kintsugi china for, perhaps, a fraction of their original ticket. And then, Dwayne, you are going to clean every last inch of the living cabin by hand, Dwayne. And if I'm still pissed off with you about this by the time all that is done, you're cleaning it all again WITH YOUR FLAKKING TOOTHBRUSH!"
"I'mverysorryandI'llneverdoitagain," mumbled Dwayne.
Another calming breath. "If you weren't so damn smart at spotting a deal..."
"Uhm," said Dwayne. "Er. Could you pass a stasis box? Um. I -ah- kindahavebarefeet..."
[Image (c) donvictorio at Shutterstock]
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