08 January, 2013

"What Often Did"

Today is only new things in the fact that this is the second quarter of the first chapter. Wednesday and Friday will see the other half. As I said, this chapter is solely for reference purposes for me.
Often ushered the passengers getting off on this planet onto his dinghy. After making sure they were all safe and comfortable, he opened the cargo bay doors and drove out towards Frigga's capital city of Megalopolis. He sighed while he was thinking about it. People in charge of important things like naming cities are so uncreative. Uncreative? Is that really the word? I don't think it's a real word. Whatever. They're the opposite of creative.

He had several conversations with the passengers on the way to Megalopolis. Since he had heard whispers of it throughout the whole voyage, he confirmed that his parents were very free-spirited when it came to naming their children. He was rather embarassed to admit the origin of his name. He hated the thought of someone finding out that both his and his younger brother's names had to do with their parents' sex lives. His name was the frequency of sex, and his brother's, Ardent, was how they felt about each other during sex.

He supposed that Ardent got the short end of the stick on this deal. The only thing he had to say was "My parents had sex a lot. You could say they did it...." and someone would catch on. Ardent had to talk about the whole feelings issue. Not that Often or Ardent had a problem with feelings, it's just that, growing up, the idea of your parents having sex is kind of icky.

Often almost realized something, but the split-second he did, one of the passengers, a cute brunette with blonde highlights, asked him a question. However, he had been zoning out, so he didn't pick up on it.

"Excuse me? Could you repeat that, please?"

"I asked if you would be coming back anytime soon, Mr. Caoine." She batted her eyelashes when she spoke. The old man sitting right behind him started patting him on the back and chuckling. Whispering into his ear, the old man said "Way to go, sonny. She's a real cutie. Ah heh heh hehhh!" At least, he thought he was whispering. His comment made both Often and the brunette woman blush, some of the other passengers chuckle, and his wife smack the back of his head.

Deciding to ignore the comment, Often looked back and replied to his passenger's question.

"I very well might be, ma'am. I go where work is. I'll actually be staying here, on Frigga, for few days, looking for people who want to go offworld."

"Ah, what luck. I'm only going to be staying here for a few days," she said.

The conversation went on like this until they got to the harbor, where he got out first, and held the door open for his passengers. He walked them into the check-in building where he presented his ID and his passenger list to the Harbormaster, an elderly man on the verge of retirement.

"Well, everything seems to be in order here, Mr. Caoine. It seems like everything I have heard about your freelance operations are true. All seven of these people look remarkably happy, and I'd wager that they'd all recommend your services to their friends. It's rare to see such praise come towards an underdog this early in his career."

"Oh, well, it's not all me, sir. I couldn't have made happy these people if it weren't for my crew. Tuesday, Marcus, Jones and Fiona all do their fair share, and they each love to do exactly that."

"Heavens to betsy, he's humble too! Miss, you've certainly picked a good captain to be with," he said to the brunette woman with the blonde highlights, who apparently had been standing next to Often the entire time. They both became rather flustered at this comment, and both began to correct it at once.

"Actually--" she began.

"Y'see--" he replied.

"--I'm just his--" she continued.

"--we only just met--" he went on.

"--passenger, and I've--" she said.

"--and had only just started--" he added.

"--only asked him out--" she mentioned.

"--talking to going out," he finished.

"--on the dinghy ride over here," she concluded. They both shared a laugh at the Harbormaster's disoriented look. He had just heard two people tell basically the same story at once and didn't understand any of it. Deciding to start over, they agreed to tell the story only once.

"Well," the Harbormaster began, "it seems you two will be wonderful for each other, you obviously can already continue and finish each other's sentences. It will be a great time all around." He was smiling as he spoke. "Well, I'll let you two get on with your day; there are other boats to inspect and other captains to talk with. Here's hoping the both of you last a good, long time. Maybe even until you're my age. Ha ha ha."

Laughing as they walked towards the exit, Often and the woman talked and got to know each other a little better. They arranged a place to meet up later that evening for a few drinks. As they said their goodbyes, she pecked him on the cheek and turned to leave.

"H-hey! I just realized something. I don't even know your name!"

"Olivia. Olivia Bragi." She smiled as she told him, for she saw that he loved her name.

"Bragi, huh? Then, gods permitting, you are my muse as well. I will go back to Reckless Abandon and write poems upon poems expressing my undying desire to love you! Or something." He winked. He liked being overly dramatic. It made people smile and, occasionally, chuckle, which seemed to be the effect he had on Olivia.

"I'll see you later tonight, Olivia Bragi."

"See you tonight, Often Caoine." He watched her walk away and smiled. It had been forever since he had been in a relationship with someone. This would be his chance to finally settle down. He was already pushing thirty, and he finally realized that he wasn't getting any younger. He should probably be checking in on his crew. They were putting some last-minute finishing touches on the ship before bringing it in to dock. They wanted their home to look as beautiful as she could among the other ships in the docks.

He spun around, started back towards the other door and immediately walked into someone, knocking him over. Both parties fell to the ground in a heap of tangled arms and legs. This man started cussing and hollering, generally making a scene. Often was the first to get up, so he offered his hand to the man on the floor to help him up, while only metaphorically falling over himself apologizing.

The man on the floor, however, wouldn't have any of that. He furiously smacked Often's hand away and spit at the floor between Often's feet as the man was getting up. After finally standing up, he opened his mouth to speak and revealed two rows of teeth made entirely of gold. Какие гротескные зубы, Often thought to himself, and counted himself lucky to still be able to call his "pearly whites".

"Listen, you little fuckin' Russian punk. Why don't yeh watch where the hell yer goin'? There's a reason why ther's hardly any of yer kind here."

"Hey, sir. What's your problem? Not only did I apologize, I offered to help you up. There's no call for racism!"

"Fuck off."

"Besides, I shouldn't be unwelcome here. I have French in me. I don't even understand this anti-Russian bias. When was the last time Russia did anything wrong?"

"Obviously not enough," the man retorted, commenting on the amount of French Often's genes posessed. With that, Often swung his arm around and decked the man. He bent back. Spitting out blood, the gold-toothed man felt the need to insult Often again.

"Heh, yeh think havin' French blood run through yer veins is any better? If I scraped the bottom of Europe and Asia's barrels, the result would be you, ya little shit." That comment earned the man with the gold teeth a kick to the stomach. He fell backwards out an open door and into the street. People around Often started clapping. They had seen and heard everything.

By the time the gold-toothed man re-entered the port check-in, Often had left. He ran through the building and got outside just in time to see Often ride away in his dinghy.

"Heh! A steamboat dinghy, what a surprise," the man with the gold teeth said, rolling his eyes. "Hmm...."

Cruising along, Often turned the music volume as high as he could without getting a headache. He always calmed down when listening to music. He plugged in his music player, in which he had every Diordeca song ever recorded stored. They were his favorite band. During a ballad, he heard something that he had never heard during this song before, the sound of four engines being gunned.

As they got nearer and nearer, he started to make out features on the one in the lead. He was wearing a black bandana that looked oddly familiar. Then he remembered the guy in the port.

"Дерьмо! Tuesday, get your ass down here! Looks like I've been followed!" Often shouted into the white, spherical walkie-talkie he held in the palm of his hand. It was the size of a golfball, but it could connect him to his ketch, even if he was on one side of the planet and it was on another. Luckily for him, his ketch, the Reckless Abandon, wasn't on the other side of the planet, but in orbit around the planet.

Tuesday, his pilot, has been his best friend for years. She was the one who convinced him to start building their ketch, back on Freya. At first, it was just a two-seater atmosphere-flier in the shape of a teardrop. During this period, they shipped their two-seater, which was named Raindrop for it's shape, to a beautiful gas giant swirling with colors surrounded by thousands of beautiful rings. It reminded them of the planet Saturn in the old history textbooks in the chapters about the solar system humans lived in hundreds of years ago.

During the terraforming process on the solid planets, a giant surface was created and wrapped around this new Saturn, named Loki. It was several hundred meters thick and supported by magnets that opposed the metals at the core of the planet. It was clear, so the inhabitants could enjoy the magnificent colors the endless storms produced. Homes on the asteroids orbiting Loki went for enormous prices that only the top of the above above average socioeconomic class could afford to live there. Others could visit the planet itself, though. It just costs a fortune to live on the asteroids.

After a while, they had saved up enough to add on to their two-seater. They found an old transport ship and made modifications to it, so that the Raindrop could serve as the cockpit. They added rooms, knocked down walls (but not any that would cause a hull breach), making it fit to be a ferry to help people who wanted to go from planet to planet. They even do deliveries from time to time. And when they were finished modifying the ship, they found that somehow, vines could grow on their ship, even though they hadn't found any dirt from which it could originate. They never questioned it, since it was benign, and actually helped them out a couple times. It now grows berries and honeydew.

And now this ketch was flying in over the wooded area a couple hundred yards away from Often. He was skimming along the ground, towards his home on his personal dinghy. He found it fascinating that all this "nautical boat talk" was reused for spacecrafts. However, that was the last thing on his mind as he was currently being pursued by several other enhanced dinghys--a raiding party. He was just dropping off some passengers aboard his ketch in the local harbor (hooray nautical lingo) when some bandits recognized the basic dinghy design as belonging to a steamboat class ship (which it originally did, but was taken and added to one of his ketch class' bays) and decided to rob it blind, seeing as how the steamboats weren't very fast, agile or dependable.

Dodging the gun fire by zig-zagging around rock outcroppings and trees, Often was getting impatient. He shouldn't have to wait this long to get picked up by his own ketch. Turning the handle more, he increased his speed, making his twists and turns hairpin and much more dangerous.

"Дерьмо, это в последний раз, когда я иду соло!" <"Shit, this is the last time I go solo!"> he said as he turned and saw the gang gaining on him. Looking at the leader of the pack, he saw the metal plate covering his jaw and a tiny glint of gold in the middle of it all, where his mouth would be. He wondered what it would come down to. What would he do if he was forced to fight?

Finally, after a shot grazed the side of his dinghy, he saw his ketch. It was resting just above the ground, facing Often and his pursuers. He did a 180-degree turn, slammed his dinghy into reverse and went sliding into the waiting hatch while making a face at the leader, who screamed some sort of vow to kill Often someday.

The Reckless Abandon stayed low to the ground and fly by, just over the heads of the gold-toothed man and his cronies, leaving their dinghies to become faulty in it's wake. Some dipped and crashed into the ground, some went spinning off a couple yards away, and the dinghy belonging to the man with gold teeth was flipped over, bottom in the air. He fell to the ground with a heavy thud and cursed Often's name, spitting into the dirt.

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