Aug. 5th, 2007

ultracosmicrays: (ray/ray just another day)
The first time the grav field went down Kowalski booted.

"Christ," thought Ray, turning graceful somersaults through the ship's recreation space, collecting globules of puke in a plastic cup in a well-rehearsed dance. "Why does Welsh keep sending me these dweebs? I'll give him six weeks and he'll be home to whatever shitty facsimile Earth he's from in the first place."

"Fucking piece of shit machinery," he heard Kowalski mumble as Ray glided past aiming to get the last piece of vomit before it got sucked into an air vent and lingered. He had to agree with that one.

Oh sure, the Contingency might have their fancy spaceships with state of the art CommuniComs and Transphaging Utilities so the Administrators could get to their important consults on time, but the guys that did the real work, the hunting down of the low-lives and scumbags, space pirates and end-of-the-galaxy assholes, they got the technical equivalent of a bum's rush. Rust-buckets held together by luck and InSoluTape. Nav systems that were eccentric at best and apparently perversely evil at worst. Escape pods that didn't. Oh yeah, it was all glamour being part of the Contingency's Operating Protocol Surveillance. COPS, people called them, and the way they would spit the word out made it clear it wasn't a term of endearment.

Ray capped the cup and bounced off the walls to get to the hatch that separated the recreation space from the engine room.

"Frannie!" he yelled. "Some gravity might be nice. Today if possible. Because I've already seen Kowalski's lunch and I do not want to be seeing breakfast. Capice?"

"You know what, Ray?" His sister's voice floated back, loaded with sarcasm. "I was thinking you'd put on a few pounds since landfall. All that home-cooking of Mom's. I thought you'd feel better if you weighed a little less. Of course I'm fixing it, you idiot! Though it'd be quicker if you bought those new shift-links like I asked."

Ray rolled his eyes and pushed off from the hatchway, heading back towards Kowalski who was now just floating in midair, spinning slowly and looking green.

"Hey, Kowalski," said Ray, tugging on his arm, "you might want to anchor yourself, you know, for when-"

There was a whirr, a strange feeling of the world being put right and then a dull clang as Ray's body hit the metal floor followed by a thud as Kowalski landed on top of him.

"-the grav field kicks back in," finished Ray unnecessarily. Kowalski lay slightly limp across him, sharp spikes of hair prickling Ray's chin. "Yeah, well. Emergency over. No need for anchoring any more and next time, use a door handle or something," said Ray, conveniently forgetting that he'd been the one doing the grabbing.

Kowalski went stiff and scrambled to his feet, backing away from Ray.

"I didn't mean ... I'm not used to the ... I gotta-" He turned and fled.

"Four weeks," said Ray and stomped off to check in with his pilot.

Part 2


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August 2007

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