<FWG> (Shadowdancer) "Paygrade"

  • From: Brad Ruder <kylepiercecpa@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: fwgalaxy@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2007 16:14:42 -0800 (PST)

From the Shadowdancer...
  "Paygrade"
  by Nate Farris
  & Shane Taggart
   
   
  
  Nate was on number fifteen of a billion repairs that needed attention. This 
particular repair had him on his knees for almost two hours fixing and 
rerouting power so that it didn't blow up in his face, not to mention having 
Damien hollering that the ship didn't need another expolsion. It wasn't 
difficult, and without the commotion of the crew this early night, Nate found 
the time to relax. If only his knees could say the same. The tiny machine in 
his hand began to whine as he spliced an optic wire and began examining it with 
a tricoder immediately after. "Shit," Nate grumbled, realizing the splice was 
too soon. He dropped the tricoder and began rewiring - again.

There was a bounce in his step, but there always was after a good wholesome 
night of one-on-one lovin'. It was just the way his body worked. He was 
smiling, and he was optimistic, and he even thought he caught himself humming a 
few times. Brushing it all off, Shane rounded the corner and saw Nate exactly 
where he expected him to be. "You know, we always seem to talk when you're half 
in a conduit, or bent over in a Jefferie's Tube, or somewhere other than on the 
bridge or your office. Why is that, exactly?" 

"Things to do," Nate said quickly. Shane didn't need to know why, especially 
after events of his personal affairs. He was buring himself in work, he was 
running from everyone. Not that anyone noticed or cared, and that was just fine 
with Nate. "What's up, Shane?"

"The real question should be what isn't up." 

"As much as cryptic talk amuses me, Shane, right now just ain't the time. I've 
got three wires wrapped around my hand that I sincerely don't want my 
fingertips being charred by," Nate said with a half smile. He was being polite, 
it was a surprise, but not by much since he knew deep inside it was all an act. 
Nothing was (is) wrong, that was the mantra, "Really, Shane, what's up? 
Something else that needs fixing?" 

It was true that the topic of conversation should've been repairs and supplies 
and inventories, but it was more pressing on him that he wanted more cash. When 
they could come by it, mind you, but after all he'd done for the crew and the 
ship, he deserved a little restitution for his troubles. "I want more money, 
Nate. When we get a job, I want a bigger cut than usual." 

"Okay," Nate nodded to himself, focusing on the wires as they were reconnected 
back to the optic network that was 'Dancer's nervous system. He looked up, "You 
and the others took care of the ship as best you all could, so alright, it's 
the least that could be done."

"We slaved away while - " Shane stopped, blinked, folded his arms, and stared, 
"What?" 

"You have it, in fact, Trey also," Nate reaffirmed. He got off his knees, and 
winced at the sharp pain when he straightened his legs. It didn't matter how 
young a person was, steel and knees were never going to be the best for each 
other. He dusted his hands off before reaching for the tricoder on the repair 
tray and began scanning his patch-up job. Nate continued, "As I said, you took 
care of 'Dancer. Anything else you need me to know?" 

Had someone come and abducted Nate, replaced him with an alien counterpart, and 
left the ship in the hands of a foreign saboteur? Shane tilted his head 
inquisitively at the man he called his captain, almost suspiciously. Was he on 
drugs? "Uh, I think it's a bad idea that we're going to No Hope. We shouldn't 
go there. Bad idea."

"You've made that clear, the whole crew has. But I need one job to pay you 
folks, and this one will be a breeze. Point of fact, you fit in perfectly to 
the plans." Nate closed the tricoder and placed it back to the repair kit. 
Gripping the cold steel handles, he started pushing it to his next repair 
destination, "It's an elimination job. Quick easy cash and we're out, two day 
stay, maximum." 

Okay, not an alien, but he wasn't going to push matters. "Okay, sounds about 
right. Sounds good to me. Thanks for the raise and, well, that's all I really 
needed." What the fuck was that? Shane was expecting a brawl of words, and 
maybe some fists, followed by promises and more duties and this that and the 
other things. That was too easy. Perhaps he should ask for raises more often. 
"Good luck with your repairs. And, uh, have a good day." 

"Be on the bridge, early morning when we get to No Hope," Nate's voice had 
changed to being serious, no hint of emotion other than cold hard business, 
"I'll fill in the details, you'll have everything you need. If you've got 
weapon preferences, let me know, we'll hash it all out then." 

Shane blinked, nodding. "Of course." 

Okay, officially, the man had to be bi-polar.

 
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