Peeru Fanfic

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Death 999
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Re: Peeru Fanfic

Post by Death 999 »

Chapter 50 - Victor

Peeru headed down to the engine room. When she arrived, Cass and Trifop were hanging around, idle. Then Peeru spotted Heeran working on a cracked pipe-like structure with Muugko. Why should Muugko be doing the hands-on work and these two hang around?

She approached Trifop and asked, "I take it the repairs are nearly complete?"

He did not meet her gaze. Cass said, "The critical ones. Heeran told us to wait." She looked meaningfully back and forth between Trifop and Peeru. Peeru shifted her attention back to Trifop. He was shaking slightly.

Probably concern? Peeru came closer to him and said, "She's alive."

She suddenly had his full attention. "In what condition?"

"I do not have those details, and I know you don't have her medical power of attorney." Don't you wish you did now?

A nervous handwave. "I have an urgent contract offer from her that would give me that. Custom. Have to decide now or it's void."

"You have hours at least until she wakes up."

"The automatic executor wants an answer sooner than that. I have six minutes. Six minutes, only counting when I don't have an urgent task from a superior, that is."

Peeru couldn't think of anything for him to do, or for that matter herself, if Heeran was not assigning anything. She called up to the bridge. "Genlo?"

"Captain! Thank you for calling. Captain Zelnick has an odd request. If you're free, can you handle it?"

Peeru signalled assent, and she was connected. He was leaning forward in his seat, wringing his hands between his calves. "Ah, captain! So, this may be a little awkward, but the Thraddash want to send a representative over to your ship."

"They want to come here? To visit?"

Captain Zelnick nodded, and Peeru gulped. He doesn't seem to think this is a profoudly stupid idea. Oh wait, he does. That's what the hand gesture is. I haven't seen that live before, only in psychology documents.

He spread his hands appeasingly, and said, "Look. We'll make sure they're not carrying weapons. Plus, I think they kind of... admire you."

"I just killed what, a hundred of them?"

He shrugged. "So did I, but they made me grand poohbah."

Peeru closed her eyes to think. "Did they visit you in person?"

He chuckled and shook his head. "I believe you are much better equipped than I for a face-to-face meeting."

Peeru realized that was true: "They'll be in chains."

"Exactly."

She nodded more firmly. "We'll send a message when we know when we'll be ready." Zelnick nodded, and closed the call. "Trifop? We need a few chain setups for Thraddash. Cass, you worked with the chains as well, didn't you? Great. We will have some guests, and we want to give them the basic crew treatment."

Trifop, though relieved to have his timer paused, grimaced at the problems the task could cause. "Revolt suppression reactivated?"

Peeru nodded. "Absolutely."

~~~~

Peeru remotely watched the visitors intently from her station - Dgako breathed heavily as he eyed the chains. He looked ahead to Trifop, already wearing them. Gnerg laughed. "Go meet their great warrior? This is…"

Dgako stepped forward and Gnerg shut up. Dgako slipped his arm into the loop, and it tightened. "I will go meet their great warrior. Alone, if you are too afraid to come with me."

Gnerg scowled but got in.

The chains swung up and they were brought to the bridge.

A quick check to Cass, who had not sent any alarming indications. The amplifier was set to read, though with a new species, emotions culd be hard to interpret.

Peeru switched from viewing remotely to looking down at them. Gnerg's eyes darted from Genlo stationed on a stable platform at the wall, holding a hefty rifle, back to the broad plate of absorptive material behind them, providing a firm, non-reflective backstop for any shots he had to take, and then above and to the sides to see that a short dodge would not bring them away from being backstopped, even if they could move. A glance up to the chain mechanism, possibly checking if it was climbable. A quick tactical analysis, hopefully yielding the result that they'd better not start anything. Interesting that Dgako is not doing the same.

"Welcome to the 1038."

In the space left by Peeru's taking a breath, Gnerg snarked, "Is that a name?"

Dgako glared a Gnerg; Peeru responded in a normal tone, "Actually, yes it is. It is named after the amount of starting capital used to found the Crimson Corporation. You requested the visit; what did you wish to ask or say?"

Dgako took a deep breath, then bellowed, "Congratulations! Wow! You're strong! This ship is strong! You fly it well!"

Peeru allowed his chain to raise slightly towards her level, and replied, "Thank you. I share the credit for our success with my crew."

Dgako thundered, "Yes, absolutely! Three of them dove to their deaths for your cause!"

"Those… were not exactly crew. They were more like fuel."

Dgako flexed in the chains; it did not look like he was trying to escape, but rather strike a pose. "Good thinking, then, using prisoners!"

"That is standard practice for the Crimson corporation, though the credit for the idea of using Mycon specifically lies with a Syreen captain… Rydra, I believe. Syreen make extensve use of prisoners."

Silence fell; Peeru was about to ask if that was all when Dgako suddenly asked, "I want to join your crew! And Gnerg too. I want to learn how to be strong like you!"

Peeru looked at Gnerg, who did not appear to want to be there at all. "Does Gnerg want to join my crew?"

Dgako did not look over to Gnerg. "I want us to join your crew, so if you let us, he will too."

So Dgako would order Gnerg to join? Fair enough, I guess. Do I need new crew? Aside from Mycon… we are down an engineer.

"Impress our engineer and you may join."

Dgako snorted. "I'm more shooty than fixy, but Gnerg can try."

"I see. I already have a gunner. And we all fix things here - I myself have had my hands dirty. You should both try." She called up the engine room. "Heeran?"

A strange scratchy voice replied, "Engineering here."

Peeru didn't take more than a moment to guess, "Kaandor?"

"Yes, captain."

"Are you fit for duty?"

"Right now, duty is making sure you don't send them straight into the engine room unprepared. I'm going to teach them what they need to know. Send them down to workshop three."

Peeru noted that she seemed more up-to-date on the situation than Peeru had been expecting. A look to Trifop. Has he been in communication with her? If so, fair enough.

"Good call. Sending them now." After closing the call, Peeru dismissed the two Thraddash. They swung off, Genlo proceeding after them, keeping in position so they were only rarely inappropriately backstopped.

Peeru looked up to Trifop. "When did she wake up?"

"A few minutes ago. After looking over the communications, it occurred to me that as someone recently injured, she'd command their respect by continuing to work."

"This of course has the drawback of requiring her to continue to work while injured. This is not the trade world. She is not readily replaced."

"I asked her if she could, thinking I'd propose it to you based on her response, but she just went ahead with it."

Peeru returned her attention to the Thraddash, viewing workshop 3 via internal monitors. The Thraddash were not there yet. Kaandor hung in the high spot. Peeru had seen better-looking corpses than her - her right arm and leg were missing, and she was covered in medical equipment. But, she was clearly paying attention as she gestured and spoke. This brought Peeru's attention to the other occupant of the room, Wugyup. He had laid out tools and damaged parts on a rack, and was busy with a piece of damaged equipment. He paused to look up to Kaandor, then returned to the part.

The Thraddash swung in, grabbing their attention. Kaandor lifted her head and gave them sharp looks. Once they had settled into place, she spoke in that rasping gurgle she had managed before. "I'm chief engineer Kaandor. If you're going to work in my ship, you're going to need to learn how we do things. If it's about any of our tools or equipment, not basic physics, you ask. If you don't know the basic physics, you look it up. In front of you are torque wrenches. What is a wrench for? You, on the left."

Gnerg blinked at being addressed first. Without enthusiasm, "It lets you tighten way harder than you could by hand."

"Right. And you on the right. What is a torque wrench for?"

Dgako squinted and asked, "What does a torque wrench do?"

Kaandor nodded. "Good for asking! A torque wrench limits the torque you apply to the right amount rather than way too much. I can see that you can easily apply a lot of torque. I can apply too much torque with a good wrench. A torque wrench will make it so you don't end up destroying anything despite your being… really strong. A lot of our tools are like that. Maybe your being strong will be helpful some time."

She held a loft small disc of weaving metal. "This is a pressure limiting washer. It crumples in a very controlled way, so that as you can press it, it maintains the same pressure between the two opposite surfaces over a much greater distance than for solid metal. The drawback is… Are you falling asleep?"

There was no response at first, just a wheeze from Dgako. Then, Gnerg grunted, "Finally. I won." before slumping down in the chains. His breathing too fell to a wheeze.

As Kaandor murmured imprecations to herself, Wugyup swung toward them. "They've fallen unconscious, but I don't think it's a matter of sleep. I need their medical documents. A creature that large probably can't hang from its elbows very conveniently. But what triggered them to fall at the same time… heat! This room is very warm."

As he was finishing, Kaandor finished issuing a command to the computer; an automated warning issued: "Gravity reduction underway." Over the next sixteen seconds, ship's gravity decreased to about 1/3 of usual. Simultaneously, Peeru moved their chains out of the room, and had Wugyup trail them. Where's a cool area? Their shuttle seems promising in that regard. No need to keep them on board.

She opened a call with Wugyup. "What do you think of dumping them in the airlock and closing our side so their shuttle's air will cool them off? Dumping might be not great for them, though, even at 1/3 gravity."

Wugyup observed, "Might not work, but it's what I was thinking. Get Cass on transmit just to wake them up?"

"Good thinking." Peeru added Cass to the call and asked, "Cass. Can you wake them up remotely?"

Not quite offended, "That's, like, the easiest thing."

"Okay. Can you keep them asleep while they're detached?"

"Not as easy, but I can improve the odds. And if they do wake up, I can keep them severely disoriented and maybe spasmatic."

Wugyup seemed satisfied. "Works for me. We're here…"

Peeru struggled with the revolt suppression system: chained individuals had to be released to external chains (not applicable), dumped to their doom (either to the furnace or out an airlock open to space), or the manual override applied. Which required Wugyup to do the releasing. She tried to convince the revolt suppression system to lower them to the ground and then 'dump' them despite the airlock being connected by designating it an external prisoner transfer, but it objected that the inner airlock was still open.

"Wugyup, you won't need to do the manual release if you get out of the airlock."

"Good. If they don't wake up, though, we're going to need to let me back in."

As soon as he was out, Peeru shut the inner airlock door. Tension eased out of her as there were solid metal walls between them and Wugyup. As she lowered and released the chains, she said, "Cass, can you wake them?"

Momentarily, Gnerg's head rose, followed by Dgako's. Gnerg laughed as he stood. "Last down, first up! Beat you on both ends!"

Dgako pushed off the ground hard enough to stand (still impressive even at 1/3 gravity, with his bulk). Rather than reply in words, he swung a fist at Gnerg; a series of blocks and punches ensued, each sending them flying as they had little traction.

Peeruo checked in with Kaandor - she was unconscious, though after a moment of panic Peeru determined she that the medical monitors deemed her stable - so she checked in with Heeran. "Look at this. Do they pose a threat to the airlock?"

Heeran judged, "Nothing they've done so far would, but I can think of spots they could make a mess. Why don't they go in their shuttle?"

Peeru piped her voice into the airlock: "Your visit is over. Your shuttle is right there."

Dgako replied, "Just showing this <untranslateable> who's the boss!"

Gnerg retorted, "Just say I won one time!"

"You said you were up first after I was up, and for all I know, you went down first!"

Peeru declared, "Gnerg was awake after you and even had time to declare victory."

The fight instantly stopped. Dgako let go of Gnerg's throat and shoved him into the shuttle. "You won, one time."

Gnerg bowed his head. "You won, sixty three times."

Dgako nodded firmly. He stepped into the shuttle, and closed the hatch.
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