Challenge #02500-F310: Bear's Big Story
Human Ryan came highly recommended by other Galactic Alliance Scientists and Explorers who had worked with him. As a 'gun for hire' he had survived more than a few wars, notably against other humans and the Vorax Fleets (notes that also had me reaching for my calming medicine). On the flip-side he was highly protective of the lives put in his charge. Braving hostile Flora, Fauna and even the very planets themselves to keep his promise of "no one is left behind." Even his chosen name of "*Bear" seemed to fit him more that his birth name. His Resume seemed too good to be true...But it was.
Still wary of the Deathworlder I elected to set up a video interview, hoping the apprehension on my part was not taken as an offence. True to reports, Human Ryan dismissed the apology with a wave of his large hand and a larger smile (being careful not to show his teeth) after a lengthy interview, the offer was made and accepted. Curiously he ask for he ships Dock-port number and said he would meet us there.
So here I am the Ships Captain, standing in the Observation Area scanning the Stars for our final crew mate. What Slipped into view was nothing I had ever seen before, parts of this craft I recognized as being manufactured by completely different Galactic races. But it all seemed to work flawlessly...somehow. I was not the only being on the ship that was awestruck by the craft. By the time it connected with the ship it seemed like half the Engineering team was clustered by the window looking at it.
Human Ryan stepped out of the craft and greeted me with a tooth-less smile and a "Captain Suk? Crewmate Bear, Reporting for Duty." I returned the greeting, and commented that the Ship had human sized quarters available he needed them. He Respectfully declined stating that he preferred his sleeping arrangements. Seeing this as his opportunity the Chief Engineer began quickly and excitedly asking Bear about his ship. With the same Big Smile he sated "That is a long story, little one. It involves being shot down over a Junk Planet, the details of which I will share in the mess hall next off-duty cycle." The Captain was pleased that this Human Bear was already attempting to pack-bond with the crew. Maybe this Voyage would be a Quiet and Uneventful one.
*After researching Human Databases the name Bear was given to a large Apex predator on Ancient Terra. Famous for its Gentle but also Violent Nature. -- Anon Guest
The 'campfire' had grown in the drydock bay, where Human Ryan's kludge vessel was the background for what could be a show if there was a show. Engineers less interested in the story were stripping its plating off so they could get a better look at the inner workings, as well as the inner don't-workings. There was no actual fire, just some random, colour-shifting displays because Humans enjoy something to zone out with when storytelling.
"I can tell you honestly, I thought I was a goner. I'd said the Last Lie and all. I thought I was going to beef it," he began. "There I was, the last bulwark against twenty Vorax raiders, with just my stunner and a mop." The Afro'ads in a circle around the holographic display were already entranced. "So I figured I'd go out with a real big bang. You can jury-rig a Stunner to explode, did you know that? One swissarmyknife, a bit of foil, and a lot of jiggery-pokery. I threw it a little early and blew up most of them. Big shock, I was still alive. So I twirled the mop like a bo staff and roared, Who's next, asswipes? You know, full Deathworlder don't-give-a-flakk mode."
"Did you die?" asked one of the astounded Afro'ads. They were ahead of the bell curve when it came to anticipating Humanity's tall tales.
"No, they turned and ran. Trufax." Human Ryan drew a cross on his muscular chest. A Human gesture of honesty. "The bad news was that the wreckage of the ship was headed for a maybe-soft landing on a trash planet, and that maybe depended entirely on me being able to get some functionality back into nav and comms. I had my swissarmyknife, about half a roll of ductape, and my best guesses about what the feedback meant. That was a fun hour. I was able to land - left turns only - near enough to a beach that I could swim and body-surf my way to shore. After that... well... I didn't waste time finding out if my distress call got out. I had plenty of salvage to work with and an amazing amount of biota to render edible. Thank the Powers for inbuilt scanners in livesuits, eh?"
Someone was doing math on Human Ryan's vectors. Someone was looking up trash planets and Vorax-contested territories. Someone was doing their calming breathing routine. This was a good story.
"It took me almost a Terran Year to get the Bodge Job up and running to the point where she was space-worthy. By then, I'd acquired a taste for Kentucky-fried trash rat. Not something you wanna share with your fellow crewmates. I farm them on board the Bodge, and keep them there. You're welcome."
"It's a special technique, helped by the fact that coconut oil is favoured by so many cogniscent species as a lubricant for servos and stuff. There were tanks of the stuff. Now... making flour out of the local plant life was an education. I got my best results out of this weird purple grain akin to rye..."
The story wound on, and the stunned audience was very much surprised to learn that approximately ninety-eight percent of it was true.
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