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   Chapter 7 No.7

Loderunner By Christina Engela Characters: 6090

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:02

A stout looking man in black slacks, yellow golf-shirt and a faded white apron covered (presumably) in food stains had materialized at Deires' right shoulder, looking like he was the proprietor of a low-grade diner.

"This is Jimmy." Said Deire, by way of introduction. "He's the cook – and the helmsman – that means he flies the ship." Deire did a quick imitation of a man holding a steering wheel. He fervently hoped the ship wasn't actually steered with one.

"Hell, that makes him the Exo I guess. Me an' the boys jus' call him Bubba."

"I know what a helmsman does." Said Tim defensively, while thinking 'Never trust a skinny cook'. "I watched lots of Star Trek reruns as a kid."

Jimmy stood about a head taller than Deire. He had an ear ring and grey stubble and his hair was shaven, convict style. Over that he wore a bandana, tied pirate style behind his head. He didn't see a parrot. He did have a paunch though. The only thing missing was the chopper, though he did have a well-used cleaver in one hand and one stuck in his belt. Hmm. He made yet another mental note never to turn his back on this man.

"Bubba." He greeted.

"Howdy." Said Bubba, chewing thoughtfully on a tooth pick.

Next came a brief tour of the engine room. It was small, cramped and the floor was littered with stuff. It looked sort of technical, electronic. A short, pale little man with thick glasses leered at them from within the depths of an inspection pit inside the warp reactor. The bright lighting just made the place look smaller.

"Don't step on that, man!" He warned in a squeaky voice. "Not unless you want to be stuck on this f***ing planet, like, forever!"

"That's Jimmy-Jo Jackson. We call him Triple-J" Said Deire, practically beaming. "The only engineer I ever met who got thrown out of the Imperial Space F

a private cargo vessel, a loderunner. And there was no real captain perse', just a skipper. A man with a Ticket to fly – which as it turned out, was not him. He was the owner, but he couldn't skipper Celeste. For that, he would have to hire a skipper. And so the tour continued until it eventually ended in what was still Deire's cabin.

It seemed Deire was a bit keen to leave, though not exactly in a hurry. His stuff had been packed into two large duffel bags lying by the door. Dark spots on the walls marked where picture frames had been removed. They were dark because there was less dust there. The carpet was still a little plush in places, but had been stomped flat for the most part. It was an ugly brown color which suggested dirt and heavy staining. He could only imagine what Dory, as a decorator, would have to say about it. Hmm. Or about the whole ship for that matter. Realizing he still had to tell her about it, he started wondering how exactly he was going to go about that task. He could remember one particular incident when Dory threw a hissy-fit that left a pile of broken plates and glasses in its wake. Lucky for him, Dory's aim wasn't too good. Lucky for Dory, he was quick on his feet.

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