The Forum of Doom

www.hasslefreeminiatures.co.uk (Go To: Hasslefree Homepage) => Hasslefree Gaming and Fluffery => : Inso June 29, 2012, 10:34:10 AM

: Grymn Fluff - Eastward Endeavours Finished
: Inso June 29, 2012, 10:34:10 AM
The Obituary meandered through space at a leisurely speed. The stars were reflected on her golden hull. The gentle glow from her engines lit up the soot and dirt that had collected on her rump from all the planet-side visits she had made but overall, she was in excellent fettle with barely a scratch on her. Within her structure, the crew went about their daily duties and were recouping from the rigours that fierce fighting provides. The stores were well stocked, the fuel was plentiful and the air was continuously refreshed. There was no rush. It was time for a little bit of normality.

“Everything is running perfectly, cap’n” said Jela as she checked and rechecked the engineering console “we are currently running at 87% efficiency on the engines, which is as high as I can ever remember.”
“Good” replied Drackus “and the environmental levels?”
“Temperature and humidity is optimal, air supply is at the perfect mix with 90% in the tanks and recycling at peak efficiency” said Jela “the hull is leak free and we are carrying no extra mass externally, apart from a little dust cap’n.”
“Thank you Jela” replied Drackus as he thumbed a button on his command console “Thorred, could I have weapon status please?”
“All hull weapons are serviceable and have been test-fired this morning” said Thorred “energy weapons are fully charged and the magazines for the rail-guns are fully stocked, captain.”
“How are we doing with small arms and ammunition?” continued Drackus.
“We are at full stock with energy packs and they are all fully charged. Rail rifle rounds are at 80%, SMG rounds are at 76% and auto pistol rounds are at 58% captain” replied Thorred “apart from three SMGs needing mechanism parts and the auto-pistol that was lost on Porphyr, all of the weapons are accounted for and serviceable.”
“Excellent, thank you” replied Drackus “…and Sally? Is he serviceable too?”
“Yes, captain” replied Thorred “although he is having problems with his chair.”
“What do you mean?” asked Drackus.
“Well… he says it doesn’t fit any more and he needs some new upholstery. He keeps catching his calf on it and it irritates him” replied Thorred “oh… and he says it is about time he got a new one because it has seen him through two captains already.”
“Tell him that as soon as we find a bazaar somewhere, his chair will be my highest priority” said Drackus with a laugh. “How is the rest of the security team doing?”
“Sig and Benn are weapon cleaning, Sally is writing the journal and checking records and Taters is in the cargo bay with Tulley… although, he is hardly security any more… he’s more an engineer’s mate” replied Thorred “everything is ticking along nicely.”
“Good. I’ll let you get on then” said Drackus and he killed the comms.
“Good morning, Drackus” said Chook as he loped, lithely onto the bridge. He was wearing a deep crimson bio-suit that contrasted perfectly with his deep, emerald green scales.
“Good morning ambassador” replied Drackus “how do you fare today?”
“I must admit that I still crave the thrill of battle but this respite has enabled me to catch up with my training” replied Chook “although my sessions are so much less enjoyable, now that Joo’an is not here to instruct me.”
“Yes” replied Drackus sadly “she has left a void in the crew and I miss her friendship and council.”
“Indeed” replied Chook and he looked at the floor solemnly for a moment before continuing “have you decided on a destination yet, Drackus?”
“I am awaiting a response from a client on Fasterre but until I get a response, we’ll head in that general direction and see what crops up” replied Drackus “we have plenty of supplies for a good few weeks and to be honest, the peace is refreshing.”
“Indeed… but peace can also encourage laziness” replied Chook “we must maintain readiness.”
“I have been captain of this ship for many years, ambassador” replied Drackus “you know that I run this ship at peak efficiency.”
“That I do!” replied Chook with a toothy grin “I was just checking that you hadn’t forgotten.” With that, he flicked his tail and left the bridge, humming loudly.
“I’ll be in the lounge if any one needs me, Jela” said Drackus as he left his seat “you have the comms.”
“Aye, cap’n” replied Jela.

Taters stared at Tulley and would have been indignant if he was staring at anyone else but her.
“Are you sure I can’t help?” he asked.
“I told you… I can do it!” said Tulley tersely as she struggled to separate the sheath from a thick power-cable. After another few seconds of struggling, which included using her teeth; she finally stripped back the sheath and exposed the metal underneath.
“See?” said Tulley “I told you I was fine. Pass the tester would you?”
Taters found the tester; making sure the cables were correctly attached and handed it to her.
“I could have tested that without taking the sheath off” said Taters. Tulley glowered at him as she attached the test probes to the exposed wires but said nothing and carried on with her work.
“Is there anything I can help with at all?” asked Taters but received silence in response. Tulley was in one of her moods again and Taters really regretted mentioning that the cargo bay air-conditioning wasn’t running at the correct temperature.
“There” said Tulley “pass the tape would you?”
Taters passed her a reel of insulation tape and watched as she deftly wrapped it around the power-cable. She bit the tape and pressed the tail flat before plugging the cable into the socket.
“Try that” she said.
Taters flicked the switch and the air-conditioner hummed into life.
“Give it ten minutes and we’ll see if I’ve fixed it” said Tulley “shall we have tea now?”
“Would you like me to make it for you?” asked Taters.
“No… I’ll make it” replied Tulley “you can’t drink it so I always feel a bit greedy if I don’t do it myself.”
“I like making you tea” replied Taters as he watched Tulley disappear into the small galley that was attached to the cargo area.
“I know but I want to make it today” she replied.
Tulley had been hard work since Joo’an had passed away. He knew that she missed her but Tulley had showed no emotions. She had merely got on with her job and been difficult to talk to. Taters had even taken to being in his Grymn form permanently so that he could be a more natural looking friend to her but it hadn’t helped. He was at a loss.
“I think I’ll go and see Thorred” said Taters.
“Okay” replied Tulley absent-mindedly “make sure that you are back by lunch; we have the water processor to inspect.”
“Will do” replied taters and he left the cargo bay.

Time ticked by slowly.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 2
: Inso June 29, 2012, 04:29:32 PM
The crew gathered in the lounge at the captain’s request. The Obituary was set on auto pilot so that everyone could attend the meeting and when Drackus entered with Chook in tow, there was silence.
“Good evening everyone” said Drackus cheerfully “I’d like to thank you all for your efforts over this past week. The ship is running as perfectly as she possibly could and everything is ship shape apart from a little bit of a hull polish so well done.”
There was a general thank you from the room and Drackus continued.
“We needed a reset and now that we have had it, I have accepted a job from a nearby client. We will be visiting Fasterre in a couple of days and while we are there, we’ll replace the lost pistol and Sally’s chair, collect some extra ammunition and the parts we need to get back up to speed and we’ll generally make sure that we are completely re-stocked. I have also arranged for the hull to be properly cleaned so we will be there for a couple of days” said Drackus “I have also arranged to meet with a good friend of mine who will be joining us for a short while.”
“Who might that be, cap’n” asked Sigurd bluntly.
“An old war-buddy” replied Drackus slyly “anyway, when we leave Fasterre, we’ll be heading home to make the delivery.”
“What? Back to the home-world?” asked Thorred.
“Where else do you call home, Thorred?” asked Drackus sarcastically “any questions?”
“Where will our guest be staying?” asked Tulley.
“She’ll be staying in my quarters with me” replied Drackus “Excellent! That is all.” He turned tail and strolled purposefully out of the lounge whistling to himself whilst avoiding further questions.
“Oh dear” said Sally.
“What?” asked Thorred.
“You haven’t met Valerie, have you?” he asked.
“No… who is Valerie” replied Thorred.
“Oh… I couldn’t possibly spoil the surprise” replied Sally and he chuckled to himself “just prepare to batten down the hatches for when she arrives.” Sally stood up and said “Well? Don’t we all have work to do?”
The room emptied and Thorred walked with Sally.
“I can’t believe you won’t tell me about the guest” said Thorred “I thought it would be your duty to tell a fellow security officer.”
“Or…” said Sally “…it would be your duty as a security officer, to find out yourself!”
“So… she’s on file?” asked Thorred.
“Yes, she is on file” replied Sally and he stifled a laugh as Thorred’s pace quickened and Sally matched it.
“Oh, come on Sally, I need to get to the files” said Thorred as he broke into a sprint.
“Not if I get there first!” replied Sally as they both raced down the corridor.

Fasterre was a mass of buildings. Every available space was filled with tower blocks or factories. Some of the towers were so tall that they pierced the orbit and had their own space ports at the top. As The Obituary approached, the planet looked like a dirty, grey ball covered in little squares and all around it was the bustle of commerce as ships of all sizes flitted around in orbit.
“Lovely looking place!” said Jela flatly.
“If I’d have heard of its beauty, I would have got married here” replied Fran. The twins shared a laugh and then focused on the job at hand.
“Stobart, do you have the co-ordinates?” asked Jela.
“Aye, J” he replied “I’m slowing to docking speed as we speak.”
“Good. Cap’n, we are about five minutes away” said Jela into the comms.
“I’ll be right there” replied Drackus and a moment later he swept into the room dressed finely in garishly coloured clothing and smelling strongly of cologne.
“Ahhh, Fasterre” said Drackus as he gazed out of the windscreen “isn’t she beautiful?”
“We were just saying the same thing” said Jela as she stifled a giggle and Fran had to look away or she would have laughed out loud.
“How long, Stobart?” asked Drackus.
“Just a minute or so” replied Stobart “they are very efficient here.”
“Yes…” replied Drackus who was obviously lost in thought.

Once the ship had docked, the cargo door opened and the crew were given leave to explore. Drackus walked down the ramp and got about twenty feet when he stopped and waved.
“DRACKUS!” shouted a female Grymn in combats who broke into a run and dashed along the decking. Moments later she had leaped at Drackus enveloping him in her arms and legs and kissing him passionately.
“Yep…” said Sally to Thorred “that would be Valerie.”
Thorred just stood and stared as Drackus managed to untangle himself. He looked at the crew and had a huge, beaming smile. “This is Valerie” he said simply “we’ll be back at around eight.” Drackus put his arm around Valerie and walked off with her. Thorred watched them depart and noticed that Valerie had stuck a hand in one of the back pockets in Drackus’ trousers.
“They’re close then?” asked Thorred jokingly.
“You have no idea!” replied Sally “Come! Let’s go and find a chair.”
With that, the security team left the docking area and went to look in the nearby bazaar.
“Taters?” asked Tulley “will you come to the bazaar with me? I don’t want to go on my own. Jela has said she’ll deal with the restock.”
“Of course I will” said Taters and he smiled broadly “where do you want to go? I know that I would like to get some extra clothing… coveralls are good for work but they don’t set any trends.”
“Oooo! Clothes shopping? What a great idea” said Tulley as she grasped his hand and led him down the ramp “I could do with some new shoes as well.”
“Did I just see what I saw then?” said Gregor.
“Yes, mate. It was quite touching” replied Trev as they watched Taters and Tulley leave. They looked at each other and laughed.
“Beer?” asked Trev.
“Beer!” replied Gregor and they both left the ship. The rest of the crew remained onboard and Chook took the opportunity to sit on the bridge and take watch while Jela and the rest of them sorted out the chores.

“It has been too long, Dee” said Valerie.
“I can’t argue there, Val” replied Drackus as he stared into her green eyes. She was beautiful by any standards. She had a lightly tanned complexion, flowing red hair that spilled down her back; almost to her bottom and full, crimson lips. There was a very fine scar that ran from the corner of her left eye, all the way down to the corner of her mouth but apart from that, she was perfection. She kissed him again and said “feth… I could eat you alive.”
Drackus smiled at her and felt the weight of the last few months lift from his shoulders.
“I may well let you later” replied Drackus “but I’d like to see what’s been going on with you first.”
“What can I say? Pretty much exactly the same as always” she replied “a bit of security work, a bit of smuggling and a bit of gambling. What about you?”
“Pretty much the same apart from saving the odd world or two” replied Drackus with a big grin.
“Excellent… well, now we’ve shared that, it is about time you took me to bed!” Said Valerie with a grin “that is, if you can face it?”
Drackus stared into her eyes, smiled and said “I reckon I could slum it for a while.”
“You are such an old romantic!” said Valerie and she got up, grabbed his hand and said “lead me to your ship… and there had better be some decent cognac waiting for me!”

“Yes, master” said the trader. He was fat, humanoid and smelled strongly of sweat “it is made of the finest Durallian leather and is guaranteed to last for your whole life.”
“Hmmm…” mumbled Sally abruptly as he sat heavily in the chair. He rotated left and right and adjusted the height up and down “so you are guaranteeing this chair for another two hundred years then?”
“Two hundred?” gasped the trader “no sir… fifty years, only!”
“I’ll still be in my prime in fifty years; you guaranteed the chair for life.”
“Yes sir… but by my standards of life… I had no idea that your species were so long-lived!” replied the trader.
“Hmmm” mumbled Sally again and he winked at Thorred “and you will deliver this to my ship?”
“Of course, sir… for an extra fee, of course” replied the trader.
“I think, sir…” said Sally as he stood up to his full height and stretched his arms; showing off his powerful physique “that delivery will be complimentary, don’t you?”
The trader looked up at Sally and gulped hard before saying “yes master… I will arrange it straight away.”
“Excellent!” said Sally and he spat into his hand and shook on the deal with the trader. He scanned his cash card and wished the trader well after making sure that he obviously checked his trading licence. As the four of them left the stall Sig looked at Sally and said “that was a bit mean.”
“No… that was business” replied Sally with a grin “speaking of which, we need to find an armoury to get a few bits and bobs.”
“I think there is one over on four-one-eight” said Thorred as he checked a bazaar plan “yep… ‘Vargr’s Blasters’ it is called.”
“Then let’s go” said Sally and they went off to find it.

“Oh, go on… give it a try… please…” said Tulley as she tried to hand Taters a pair of voluminous silk trousers “Drackus wears this sort of thing all of the time.”
“Tulley… I am not wearing ladies trousers!” said Taters as he tried on a loose fitting pair of denims behind the curtain.”
“They aren’t ladies trousers… the zip goes the other way!” she replied “they look great too!”
“You would look lovely in them but I am not going to wear them” said Taters as he buttoned his silk shirt and slipped on a denim waistcoat which had a number of pouch-pockets on the front. He looked at himself in the mirror and finally felt like the Grymn he really wanted to be.”
“How do I look?” said Taters as he opened the curtain and stood in front of Tulley. He was wearing some fine, leather boots and a sturdy belt with his clothes and felt quite comfortable. Tulley stared at him for a moment, blushed and said “not bad.”
“Not bad?” replied Taters. Tulley walked over to a nearby shelf, found a brightly coloured cravat and returned. She carefully tied it around Taters’ neck and stepped back.
“That’s better” she said.
“You are happy now?” asked Taters.
“Yep” replied Tulley.
“Excellent” said Taters “SHOP!”
“Yes, sir?” asked a small service robot.
“Charge me for these and duplicate them a dozen times in various colours” replied Taters.
“Would sir like specific colours?” asked the robot.
“Vary the shirts and have contrasting cravats but keep the denim blue but vary the shades” replied Taters “I would like a mix of black and brown boots with belts to match.
“Will that be all, sir” asked the robot.
“I would like to buy this as well” he replied and he held out a beautiful crimson dress which was finely embroidered with little, blue, forget-me-nots over its silken surface.
“As you wish sir” replied the robot “would you like them wrapped sir?”
“Yes… and delivered to The Obituary, dock thirty seven.”
“As you wish… please scan sir” said the robot and he held out a card reader for Taters to use. Taters paid and left the shop with Tulley. She was silent.
“Do you like the dress?” asked taters.
“It is beautiful” replied Tulley.
“Should I not have bought it for you?” he asked.
“It is a lovely gift” replied Tulley “thank you.”
“Then why are you so quiet all of a sudden?” asked taters and he heard Tulley sniff. He looked at her and she was crying.
“The flowers remind me of Charran” she replied quietly. Taters did the only thing he could think of and hugged her to him. She gripped him tightly as she sobbed her heart out.
“I miss her too, you know” he said and she looked at him and buried her head in his chest, crying even harder as she did so.
Taters and Tulley stood like that for ten minutes as the crowds moved around them; going about their business, blind to the pair of them.
“Hey” said Taters and he made Tulley look at him “shall we go for some tea?”
Tulley nodded, wiped her eyes on her sleeves and said “I bet I look terrible now.”
“Don’t be silly” said Taters “you could never look terrible.”
“Thank you” replied Tulley as she hugged his arm tightly and walked with him to a nearby hostelry “I am glad you are here with me.”
“There is nowhere else I would rather be.” He replied.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 2
: Inso July 02, 2012, 04:04:54 PM
Later that evening, after everyone had returned to the ship, everything was a hive of activity. The re-supply had gone smoothly but there were still various deliveries from the shopping excursions turning up. Drackus was locked in his room with Valerie and had left orders that he was not to be disturbed so Jela was dealing with the port technicians who were detailed to clean the external surfaces of the ship. Everything was going smoothly but they were still waiting for the client to turn up with his delivery. There was no rush because the hull cleaners had already said the work would take a couple of days but Jela just wanted everything to be complete so she knew where she stood.
“Hey, babe” said Thorred as he kissed Jela on the cheek “is everything going OK?”
“Yep” replied Jela as she checked her data slate “only the client and the cleaning to go.”
“Has Drackus mentioned what we will be carrying yet?” asked Thorred “it would be helpful to know, just in case we need special clearances or anything.”
“Sorry, hun” replied Jela “he’s not said… and he doesn’t want to be disturbed so we’ll have to wait and see.”
“Do you mind if I keep you company?” asked Thorred.
“Of course not” replied Jela with a broad smile “it will help to pass the time.”

“How do you feel?” asked Taters.
“I’m fine now” replied Tulley “I think I needed a good cry… to clear the tubes.”
“Did you enjoy the tea?” asked Taters.
“Not as much as the company” said Tulley and she held Taters by the hand “thank you for looking after me.”
“It was my pleasure” replied taters “so… when are we going to get started on the next maintenance?”
“It can wait… everything is running fine” replied Tulley with a smile “I think I’d like to go to the lounge for a bit… will you join me?”
“Okay” replied Taters and they disappeared towards the lounge.
“Great” said Tulley “it will be like a date.”
Tulley grabbed his hand and led the way before he could respond.

Later that evening, a courier turned up at the ship and he was carrying a small parcel; no bigger than a shoe-box. Jela signed for it and he departed.
“I think we should scan it” said Thorred.
“I agree” replied Jela but before she handed the parcel to Thorred, Drackus bustled into the cargo bay.
“Excellent!” he said “it has arrived.”
Drackus took the parcel, turned to leave but was stopped by Thorred.
“Captain” said Thorred “Can we scan it before you take it?”
“There’s no need for that” replied Drackus “The parcel contains documents… nothing more.”
“Are you certain?” asked Thorred and Drackus stopped, turned to face him and said “I am certain that the parcel I am carrying contains documents and does not need any form of special permit or safety precaution to remain on this ship or travel through customs.”
Thorred knew that he was being told to mind his own business and replied “thank you, captain.”
“Is there anything else?” asked Drackus.
“No, sir” replied Thorred.
“Excellent… I’ll be in my quarters” replied Drackus as he turned to leave “I do not wish to be disturbed until we are ready to depart.”
“Aye, cap’n” replied Jela.
Drackus left the cargo bay with a smile on his lips and a skip in his step.
“Someone seems to have his mind on other things” said Thorred. Jela leaned into him and kissed him on the neck “he isn’t the only one” she said with a smile. Thorred looked at Jela, smiled and walked away “I’m sure you will be able to wait for an hour or so” he said as he smiled cheekily in her direction.
“If I have to” replied Jela.

“Sig, could you explain to me why Trev and Gregor are in the brig” said Sally.
“It would appear that they over indulged while they were out and have rendered themselves… in the words of Jela… incapable of being helpful in any way” replied Sig.
“So why are they in my brig?” replied Sally “shouldn’t they be in their billets; sleeping it off?”
“You would have thought so… but Jela was insistent” replied Sig.
“Hmmm… was she now?” replied Sally “well I guess we’ll have to babysit them for now then.”
“I guess so” said Sig.
Have the rounds, parts and pistol been stowed?” asked Sally.
“Yes, Sally” replied Sig “Benn is repairing the SMGs as we speak.”
“Who told him to do that?” asked Sally.
“No one” replied Sig “he just went and did it.”
“That isn’t like him…” replied Sally “are you guys trying to carry me?”
“No Sally” replied Sig “we’d never be able to lift you!”
“You know what I mean” replied Sally curtly “do you think I am unable to do my job?”
“No way, Sally!” said Sig indignantly “we are just doing our job. That is all.”
“Good” replied Sally “because I would hate to be in your shoes if you thought I need to be looked after… I’ll have you deep-stripping the hull guns with no vac-suit on before you knew it!”
“Aye, Sally” said Sig quickly “we know that.”
“Hmmm” said Sally as he gingerly lowered himself into his new chair. He wriggled about a little before finding a comfortable position and then relaxed his whole weight into it “now THAT is a comfortable chair” he said before thumbing the comms switch “Benn. How’s the work going?” There was a pause before Benn replied “all finished. I’m just cleaning up the mess now, Sally.”
“Good” replied Sally “I’ll see you in security when you are done.”
“Aye, Sally” replied Benn.
“Where’s Thorred?” asked Sally.
“He’s in the car…” started Sig before Thorred interrupted “I’m here.”
“Did the delivery arrive?” asked Sally.
“Yes and the captain took charge of it straight away” replied Thorred.
“Ahhh…” replied Sally “it must be one of his specials then.”
“What do you mean?” asked Thorred.
“Never you mind, lad” said Sally “all you need to know is that it will not be stopped at the other end and will not go bang on the journey home.”
“Oh… right you are” said Thorred.
“Don’t worry, lad” replied Sally “he’ll share the information with you soon enough.”
“Okay” replied Thorred “has anyone fixed the SMGs yet?”
“Benn’s on it” said Sig.
“Is there anything that needs doing, then?” asked Thorred.
“Nope” replied Sally “we are all set for departure. We are just waiting for the cleaners to finish and the cap’n to give the word.”
“Well, if it’s alright with you, Sally, I’ll nip off and do my own thing” said Thorred.
“Actually, Thorred” said Sally as he stood up “I think we should go and get some Gym time in. Sig, when Benn gets back, bring him to the cargo bay.”
“Aye, Sally” replied Sig.
“Let’s go then” said Sally and Thorred joined him as he left the security office.

That evening, all of the work had been finished and everyone was at a loose end so they were all drawn towards the lounge after their meal. There was nothing anyone could do but wait for the cleaners to finish before they could depart. Only three people were absent from the lounge; Drackus, Valerie and Chook. Chook was on the bridge reading and keeping an eye on the comms. Drackus was in his quarters with Valerie. Sig opened the bar and had Fran with him. They were just checking things were set up and serving drinks. Taters and Tulley were tucked away in a corner chatting away. The rest of the security team were sat watching sport on one of the entertainment screens with Trev and Gregor. Jela was sat with Stobart and was pawing over some documents with him. Everything was relatively quiet.

The door slid open and in burst Valerie. She was wearing combat boots, tan camouflaged trousers and a white vest. Her long, red hair was tied into a pony tail and she had a focused look on her face.
“Who’s going to get me a drink of cognac?” she asked.
“Sig will sort you out” said Thorred and he pointed to the bar.
“I thought he was married!” she said with a wink “it’s a drink I’m after.”
Sig laughed but Fran glared at him so he straightened his face. Valerie leant on the bar and said “cognac, please… and make it a large one.”
“Right you are, ma’am” said Sig and he poured her a drink. She left the glass on the bar, took the bottle from him and took a big swig from it. She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and said “thanks, gorgeous” before turning to find somewhere to sit. She saw Sally and made a bee-line for him. Making sure she didn’t spill her drink she leapt onto his lap, threw her free arm around his neck and gave him a big kiss on the cheek “Sally, my sweet, it has been such a long time” she said.
“Valerie!” said Sally with a broad grin “as if we haven’t had enough trouble lately.”
“Oh don’t be like that, big guy, you’ve missed me really” she replied.
“It has certainly been quieter without you” he replied; still smiling “where’s Drackus?”
“Oh… he’s in his bed” she said with a laugh “I think I’ve worn him out.” She took another draft from the bottle, belched loudly, wiped her mouth and looked at Thorred “Who are you, handsome?”
“I’m Thorred” he replied and his skin turned subtly lilac.
“Are you one of Sally’s boys?” she asked.
“I work in security, yes” replied Thorred.
“Maybe you can throw me around a mat later” she replied with a big smile “if you could muster the bottle.”
Thorred’s eyes widened and he became quite flustered but when Valerie laughed, he knew she was playing with him.
“No worries… you know your limits, I guess” she said with a wink. Jela just watched from her table and then continued with her work.
“Who’s the guy with Tulley?” asked Valerie.
“He’s Taters” replied Sally “he is not all he seems.”
“Why is that?” asked Valerie.
“He’s Thorred’s mechanical twin” said Sally.
“Oooo… sounds fun” she said and she was just about to get up from Sally’s lap when he gently prevented her from doing so.
“I think you can meet him another time, Val” said Sally “we’ve had some upheaval lately and Tulley needs a bit of time to chat.”
“Oh, how sweet” said Valerie and she kissed Sally’s cheek again “you always did look after everyone.”
“I do try” replied Sally.
“Maybe you could look after me in a little while” she said with a wry smile.
“You would love that…” replied Sally “but I’ll have to decline your generous offer.”
“Well, you’ve got to watch your health I guess” said Valerie as she took another drink and settled down on Sally’s lap “Drackus tells me you’ve all been in the wars lately.”
“Aye. That we have” replied Sally “we could have used your help if you were here.”
“You lost a crew-mate I hear” said Valerie as she took another swig from her bottle.
“Aye…” replied Sally and the room suddenly quietened.
Valerie realised that the atmosphere had changed and knew that she had touched a nerve.
“It is never easy to say goodbye to friends” she said solemnly and tilted her bottle to the air “to absent friends.”
Everyone in the room joined the toast, paused for a moment and returned to what they were doing.
“Sorry, Sally” said Valerie “I’ll not speak of it again.”
“Thank you” he replied.
Just then the door slid open and Drackus walked in. He was wearing a violet and green lounge suit with a red cravat and had Blue draped over his shoulder. He whistled as he walked to the bar and asked Sig for a soft drink. He scanned the room, saw Valerie sat on Sally and smiled. He walked over and joined them.
“I see you have captured her, Sally” said Drackus as he sat on the nearest chair “was she difficult to catch?”
“No, cap’n” replied Sally “she just fell into my lap!”
“I hope you haven’t been causing trouble, Val” said Drackus with a smile.
“Me, Dee?” she replied “I wouldn’t dare.” She winked at Thorred who flushed again and she then moved to sit on Drackus.
“When do we depart this dreary hole?” she asked.
“As soon as The Obituary has a shiny hull” replied Drackus “probably by midday tomorrow.”
“Excellent” she replied and she kissed Drackus “I have been here too long.”
“Another couple of hours won’t hurt then” replied Drackus.
“As long as I can fill them with you” she replied with a purr.

The evening slowly passed by, Drackus kept Valerie in check and all of the little groups went about their business. One by one, everyone left until just Taters and Tulley were left.
“I guess we’d better push off” said Taters and he stood up, collected the glasses and took them to the bar. Tulley stood up and suddenly realised that she was a little tipsy as she wobbled unsteadily on her feet.
“Will you take me to my room, Taters?” she asked “I am a bit wobbly.”
“Of course” he replied and he put his arm around her to steady her as they left the lounge.
“I’ve had a lovely time tonight” said Tulley as they walked, slowly down the corridor.
“Me too” said Taters.
“Will you stay with me tonight?” she asked.
“I will sit with you, if that is what you want” replied Taters.
“No, silly” she replied “I want you to share my bed with me.”
Taters stopped abruptly. He was completely taken aback by the request.
“I am not able to” he replied at length “it would not be appropriate.”
“Oh… I don’t mean like that” replied Tulley “I just want a cuddle with my big puppy.”
They continued to walk down the corridor slowly and after a while, Taters replied “I think that would be okay.”
“Good” replied Tulley and she hugged him as they walked. Taters’ mind was spinning. He really didn’t know what to do but didn’t want to upset Tulley because she was fragile at the moment. He hoped that she would fall asleep quickly so that he could leave her and sit by her bed. He wanted to see Thorred but he knew that it was too late in the evening for that.
When they reached Tulley’s room she told him to settle while she sorted her life out. Taters gingerly climbed into her bed and found a comfortable position. He was worried that the bed wouldn’t take his weight but it appeared that Tulley had added extra bracing. When she appeared again, Tulley was wearing just a vest and knickers. She climbed into the bed and snuggled up to Taters, closing her eyes and holding him close.
“Lights out” she said and the lights dimmed before extinguishing.
“You are very cold” she said. Taters thought for a moment and his body warmed up to normal Grymn body temperature.
“Is that better?” he asked.
“Perfect” replied Tulley “night-night, puppy.”
“Good night, Tulley” replied Taters and a few moments later, Tulley was sleeping soundly. Taters quickly realised that there was no way to escape her grip so he settled down for the night. He remained awake and thought of all of the implications of what was happening and it frightened him. The first opportunity he got, he would be going to see Thorred.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 4
: Inso July 03, 2012, 08:36:31 AM
“You did what!?” asked Thorred incredulously.
“I spent the night in Tulley’s bed” replied Taters and when he heard himself repeat it, it sounded even worse than the first time.
“Are you crazy?” asked Thorred “Have you no idea what could happen here.”
“I have thought about every possible outcome and not many are positive” replied taters sadly.
“You must go straight to the captain and explain to him what has happened” said Thorred “He will have you thrown off the ship if he finds out from someone else… he may throw you off now!”
“I hope not” replied Taters and the magnitude of the situation was beginning to really dawn on him.
“Let’s go now” said Thorred and he walked Taters to Drackus’s quarters.
“The cap’n isn’t to be disturbed” said Jela when they arrived at the bridge.
“I am sorry but this is a very serious matter” said Thorred and Jela immediately sensed his worry “okay, I’ll wake him.”
“What is it Jela?” replied the comms.
“Cap’n, Thorred and Taters are here to see you with a very urgent matter” said Jela.
“It had better be” said Drackus. Moments later, he appeared on the bridge in a silk dressing gown and slippers.
“What is it?” asked Drackus flatly.
“Captain, it is a serious matter that must be dealt with in private” replied Thorred as he flashed a worried look at Taters. Drackus spotted it and instantly jumped to conclusions.
“This way” he said and they both joined him in his quarters.
“Valerie, could you make yourself a bit scarce for a while… I’ll see you in the lounge when I’m done here” said Drackus.
“If I must” replied Valerie who climbed out of Drackus’s bed and walked past them all completely naked but for a smile. She grabbed a robe and pulled on some knickers before walking out of the door, slowly putting the robe on as she left so that the bridge crew got an eyeful of her bare breasts and lithe physique. The door slid shut and Drackus immediately turned to Taters.
“What have you been up to with Tulley?” he asked.
“You knew?” asked Thorred.
“I suspected something might happen” replied Drackus “so what is going on, Taters?”
“I lay with Tulley in her bed last night” he said and he looked guiltily at the floor.
“What else happened?” asked Drackus and he had a look of thunder on his face.
“I lay in her bed with my clothes on, she joined me… wearing a vest and underwear. She cuddled into me and I raised my temperature to Grymn body temperature so that she was warm. She slept in my arms all night, got up in the morning and went about her business” said Taters solemnly “as soon as I could leave without upsetting her, I went straight to Thorred who brought me here.”
“Nothing more happened?” asked Drackus.
“No, captain” replied Taters.
“Are you sure?” confirmed Drackus.
“I am absolutely certain… I have searched my data-cells” he replied.
Drackus turned away and paced the room. He was deep in thought and Thorred knew that he was furious. After a few minutes he walked up to Taters and looked him in the eye.
“Are you trustworthy?” asked Drackus.
“Yes I am, captain” replied Taters.
“What happened can never happen again” said Drackus flatly.
“Yes, captain” replied Taters.
“I expect you to share an oath with me, Taters” said Drackus as he put his hand forward.
“You have my word, captain” said Taters and he shook the captain’s hand.
“If you break your oath, I will expel you into space” replied Drackus with a look that could have emptied the most raucous of rooms “I will not make another exception for you.”
“That is understood, captain” replied Taters and he felt wretched as he agreed to the captain’s demands.
“Then it is done” said Drackus “I don’t want to see either of you for the rest of the day.”
“Yes captain” they replied together and they left his quarters as quickly as they could.
A moment later, Drackus swept through the bridge returning shortly afterwards with Valerie. He bustled through and the door to his quarters slid shut behind them.
“I wonder what all that was about” said Jela to no one in particular.
“Captain’s business” said Stobart dispassionately “better left as is.”
“Aye, Stobart” replied Jela “You’re probably right.”
“Oh yes… I certainly am” replied Stobart.
Jela nodded and continued with her work.

Taters walked over to his charging unit and stepped in. Even though he didn’t need to charge anymore, there was a certain familiarity about his booth and he wanted time to power down. He stood motionless inside and as his vision faded, he noticed Tulley enter his field of view.

“I think Taters is broken or something” Tulley said to Thorred.
“Why?” he replied.
“He’s powered down in his charging booth” replied Tulley “and he doesn’t need to do that any more.”
“Maybe he has something on his mind?” replied Thorred and he was trying hard to avoid the trouble that Taters was in. Tulley paused for a moment, smiled and said “yes… that’s probably it” before leaving and returning to the cargo area.
“Is there something you want to tell me about?” asked Sally from his desk.
“Not at the moment Sally… but you’ll be the first to know if I change my mind” replied Thorred.
“Right you are” replied Sally and he continued with his typing.
“Crew prepare for departure” was the message from the comms.
“Well, here we go again” said Sally as he prepared the security section and strapped in.
“Aye… home again” replied Thorred as he did the same.
A few minutes later, Fasterre was a diminishing dot in the blackness of space.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 5
: Inso July 04, 2012, 10:39:09 AM
“It will be great to be back at home again” said Thorred.
“Aye!” replied Sig as he checked the barrel of an SMG while he was cleaning it.
“It has been a while since we received any comms with the home-world” said Thorred “they must be having a quiet time of it… trade must be going well.”
“Aye” replied Sig “it must be great to have the cloud of war lifted from their heads.”
“Especially now that the Sleiti and Humans are trading freely with them” replied Thorred.
“I’ll be glad to get some proper ale in me again” said Sig “the alien brews are alright but Grymn ale has the taste of home.”
“I hear you there!” replied Thorred.

“How much longer before we reach our destination?” asked Drackus.
“Two days… give or take a couple of hours” replied Stobart.
“Have we received a reply to my message yet?” asked Drackus.
“No, cap’n” replied Stobart.
“Have we received ANY comms from the home-world lately?” asked Drackus.
“The last comms were about three weeks ago” replied Stobart “it was just general news, nothing more.”
“Jela, could you put out a recurring message to Captain J. Stalwart of the sixth anvil guards requesting that he contact us?” asked Drackus.
“Yes, cap’n” replied Jela.

Drackus was awoken by the ship’s alarm and the flashing red of battle-station lights. He leapt from his bed and into his boots; grabbing his side arm as he dashed, unclothed to the bridge.
“What is it, Jela?” he asked urgently as Stobart threw him a jacket.
“Dead ships… and a lot of bodies” replied Jela “We are at full stop, weapons armed and ready, awaiting your orders, cap’n.”
“Status?” said Drackus as Valerie walked onto the bridge carrying a pair of trousers for him.
“We are approximately sixteen hours from the home-world at our previous speed and we have encountered five dead cruisers. They appear to have suffered multiple blasts to their hulls and the space around them is filled with the bodies of their crew members… they are Grymn” said Jela “there are remains of many star-fighters… again, all Grymn.”
“Is there any movement? Any sign of enemy vessels?” asked Drackus.
“No, cap’n” replied Jela.
“Remain on full alert, stay as we are until I have dressed” said Drackus and he looked around the bridge “stagger the crew to allow them to prepare for battle… where is Chook?”
“Here, Drackus” replied Chook who was stood directly behind him.
“Would you assist Jela to allow the crew to prepare?” asked Drackus.
“It is my honour, Drackus” replied Chook “Jela, Trev and Fran, please stand down and return as soon as you are ready for battle… when you return, the others will do like wise.”
The three of them left in a hurry and Chook turned to the captain “what is it about your species that makes you so warlike?” he asked.
“Survival” replied Drackus solemnly “I will return presently."

Within ten minutes, the crew was fully battle ready. Drackus was at the command console with Chook at his side, the bridge was a hive of activity with hails being sent in all directions to try and contact anything nearby and the continuous checks of weapons and systems.
“What do you advise, Chook?” asked Drackus.
“I would suggest that we investigate with a defensive posture, ensuring that we have a number of clear escape routes” replied Chook.
“I agree” said Drackus “Jela, set a course for the space dock but remain frisky.”
“Aye, cap’n” replied Jela.
“Let’s see where the land lies” said Drackus as he stared out of the windscreen.

Over the next couple of hours, The Obituary continued towards the space-dock. The nearer she got, the more debris was encountered. It was obvious that there had been a massive battle. In amongst the Grymn spacecraft were the remains of Human and Sleiti ships and they were all in a similar condition. A few hours later and the debris thinned. It seemed to Drackus that the battle had been drawn away from the home-world and the lack of wrecked craft as they approached the space-dock confirmed his thoughts.
“Jela, scan for race specific wreckage and let me know your findings” said Drackus.
“Aye, cap’n” replied Jela.
“Grymn, Sleiti and Human ships… was it a battle between them or against a common foe?” thought Drackus.
“Cap’n, there are no other warships from any other race… although there are trade ships from various races” said Jela.
“I guess they were fighting each other then” said Drackus and he rubbed his chin in concentration.
“Jela, get us to the space dock and we’ll see what we can find there” said Drackus.
“Aye, cap’n” she replied.
“Something doesn’t sit right” said Drackus “it just doesn’t make sense.”
“Drackus, I feel dizzy” said Chook quietly “there is a psychic presence here.”
“Where?” replied Drackus.
“Everywhere” replied Chook.
“Could it be the battle, or is it something else?” asked Drackus.
“I am not sure… my training was incomplete” replied Chook.
“Thorred, you are requested at the bridge” said Drackus into the comms. A couple of moments later, Thorred burst onto the bridge with his pistol drawn.
“Captain, I came as quick as I could” said Thorred; holstering his pistol after seeing that the bridge wasn’t under threat.
“Chook senses a psychic presence… can you?” asked Drackus. Thorred paused for a moment and stared at the floor.
“There is something there, captain but I can’t quite make it out” replied Thorred “Wait! There!” Thorred pointed back in the direction they had come from “there is a Sleiti ship with a survivor on board.”
“Jela, get us there” said Drackus.
“Aye, cap’n… point to the screen would you, hun” said Jela to Thorred and he did as he was asked. The Obituary swung about and sped towards the vessel, scanning for weapons and energy signals as she went.
“I want Taters here, now” said Drackus.
“Taters to the bridge, immediately” said Jela into the comms and he duly arrived a moment later.
“Reporting, captain” said Taters as he appeared on the bridge.
“I need you to investigate a ship for me… you’ll need to be in a state for vacuum” said Drackus.
As the crew watched, Taters transformed from his natural looking, Grymn form into a crystal snake that quickly slipped from his clothing and reformed in to a crystalline Grymn. He picked up his clothing, folded it neatly and placed it on an empty seat.
“I’m ready, captain” replied Taters “what are your orders?”
“You are a truly amazing creation” said Drackus before continuing “the ship we are approaching contains a Sleiti survivor. We need to find them, detain them and bring them aboard.”
“No problems, captain… as long as I can cope with the psychic challenge” replied Taters.
“Thorred will keep an eye on you from here” replied Drackus “it is the best we can muster… and Chook will add to his efforts.”
“That will have to suffice then” said Taters.
“We are there, cap’n” said Jela.
“I’m on it, captain” said Taters and he left the bridge. Moments later, a crystalline figure floated towards the wrecked, Sleiti warship. Thorred and Chook stared out of the window and a few minutes later, Taters emerged from the vessel with a golden clad figure, sealed in a pod that he had made from one of his arms.
“Are you getting any feedback?” asked Drackus.
“None, captain” replied Thorred and Chook reaffirmed that.
“The survivor is aboard captain” said Sally through the comms “he needs medical assistance… it is Kaal’uin.”
“Thorred, join Sally and take Fran with you… and take a med-pack” said Drackus.
“Yes, captain” replied Thorred “Fran?”
“Coming” replied Fran and she stowed her headset and picked up the nearby med-pack.
“I want to know everything” said Drackus and they nodded as they left.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 5
: Hasslefriesian July 04, 2012, 11:53:09 AM
ooooooooooo :erm:
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 6
: Inso July 04, 2012, 02:37:14 PM
Thorred looked at his friend’s ravaged body as Fran worked to stabilize him. He was extremely de-hydrated and was immediately connected to a drip. He drifted in and out of consciousness but Thorred could sense the psychic barrier that he had put in place. Kaal’uin’s left leg was gone but his bio-suit had sealed the wound and was acting as a tourniquet. Kaal’uin was in great pain.
“Kaal’uin” said Thorred “speak to me.”
Kaal’uin opened his eyes and blankly stared at Thorred. Thorred felt a presence in his mind and then Kaal’uin replied “it is good… to see… you battle-brother.”
“What happened?” asked Thorred.
“The choir… has taken… control. We attacked… your home-world… the Grymn have fled” replied Kaal’uin “we… we… “
“Kaal’uin, you what?” asked Thorred. Kaal’uin opened his eyes again and said “we destroyed your world.” He lapsed into unconsciousness and said no more.
Kaal’uin was placed in the brig with the medical equipment needed to keep him alive. Fran tended to him with Sig’s help but he was fading fast. Thorred knew that Kaal’uin was going to die.

“From what I can see, captain, Kaal’uin is fighting a psychic command from the choir chamber on Sleiti Prime. He is fading fast and will soon succumb to his injuries” said Thorred “he has said that the Sleiti attacked because the choir chamber told them to. He also said that the Grymn have fled and that the home-world is destroyed.”
“Do you think you can obtain anything further from Kaal’uin?” asked Drackus.
“I doubt that he will regain consciousness” said Thorred.
“Can you see into his mind?” asked Drackus.
“I have never attempted such a thing and I doubt if I could accomplish it if the choir chamber cannot” replied Thorred.
“It is worth a try” replied Drackus “we need to know as much as we can.”
“I’ll try but I doubt I will succeed” said Thorred and he excused himself and returned to the brig.
“Would you like me to join him, Drackus?” asked Chook.
“No thank you, Chook” replied Drackus “I think he would be better dealing with this alone.”
“As you wish… but he is part Sleiti” replied Chook “maybe he will be affected by the choir’s command.”
“It hasn’t happened so far” replied Drackus “so I am hoping that it won’t happen at all.”
“I hope so too” replied Chook.

Thorred tried his best to gain more information from Kaal’uin but he was unable to. Kaal’uin died later that day and was interred in cryo-stasis, just like Joo’an had been. Drackus made the decision to proceed to the space dock and a course was set. When they arrived, they were not surprised to see that the dock was in pieces and there were no sealed areas that could possibly contain life. Taters was sent over to interrogate any computers that he could find and returned a few hours later with a few broken transcripts from the comms system and what he hoped were the trajectories for the Ark ships. After a meeting was held in the lounge, everyone put their heads together to try and work out what had happened and why the Sleiti would want to attack.

“It is obvious, isn’t it?” said Thorred “the hybrids have infiltrated the choir chamber and sent the Sleiti warriors to destroy our home.”
“I must admit that I share your view, Thorred” replied Chook “but why so soon after Porphys?”
“Momentum… and to keep our forces stretched” said Thorred.
“But your forces were not involved in the Porphys uprising” said Chook “this is a completely separate event.”
“Maybe the two events were set to happen together… maybe there are more events elsewhere that the hybrids have orchestrated” said Thorred.
“All we know is that Kaal’uin has said that the choir-chamber ordered the Sleiti to attack our home-world” said Drackus “assuming that is true and that Kaal’uin is not part of the bigger plot, there is only one place that we will find any answers” said Drackus “Sleiti Prime.”
“We must go straight away!” said Gregor as he stood up angrily “to avenge our fallen brothers and sisters.”
“What we need to do straight away” said Drackus firmly “is to see if there are any survivors on the surface and find our kin.”
“Aye” said Valerie “We are nought without our ancestors and kin.”
“Aye” echoed the assembled Grymn.
“We have some unconfirmed trajectory traces and a few sets of co-ordinates to go on but nothing certain” said Taters “but the Ark ships seem to have travelled towards the galactic East.”
“We didn’t pass them or detect them on our way here” said Chook.
“Our stealth technology is some of the finest in the galaxy” replied Thorred “the Ark ships will not bee seen or detected unless they want to be.”
“So we return to the East?” asked Chook.
“Yes… our kin must be our first priority” said Drackus “once we know that they are safe, we will plan our next move.”
“Aye” said Sig “Kin before business.”
“Cap’n, with your consent, I’ll run a bio scan of the home-world” said Jela.
“Aye” replied Drackus “I’ll decide whether we need to visit the surface once I have your results.”
“I’ll get straight on it” said Jela and she left the lounge.
“I cannot believe that the hybrids would be able to infiltrate the choir chamber” said Sally “the Sleiti elders are far more powerful than the hybrids… and they would know the hybrids were coming.”
“That is true” said Drackus “but even the Sleiti have to sleep.”
“It still doesn’t feel right” said Sally.
“Once we find the Ark ships, we will gain some answers” said Drackus “Until then, we will react to what comes up.”
“Aye, cap’n” replied Sally.
“Any other questions?” asked Drackus. There was no reply.
“I want the ship manned in shifts for complete coverage. I want a work/rest routine to be in force… you are either on shift or you are resting. No gym time, no training, no extraneous activities. I want the crew ready to respond at a moment’s notice. Keep your boots handy and your sidearm close” said Drackus “that is all. Stay sharp and go to your duties.”
“Cap’n, you are requested on the bridge” said Jela through the comms.
“That is my cue to leave” said Drackus and he left the lounge along with the rest of the crew; to attend to his duty.

“The scans are conclusive, cap’n” said Jela with a horrified look on her face “the surface is covered in a biological soup.”
“What do you mean, Jela?” asked Drackus.
“It appears that all life has been mixed together and turned into a gel that is now covering the surface” replied Jela “there are no other signs of life… and the atmosphere is very high in carbon dioxide and methane making it uninhabitable for normal creatures.”
“What could have caused that to happen?” asked Drackus incredulously.
“Some form of bio-mutagenic weapon” replied Jela “I am sure that the Sleiti could engineer such a weapon.”
“That is horrific” said Drackus as he stared at the results of the scan “I wonder how many of the humans escaped.”
“They were not as prepared as we were” said Jela solemnly “they must have died in their millions.”
“Well, they died as allies” replied Drackus “and as such, we will find out who is responsible for this and we will hold them to account for this atrocity!” He slammed his fist on the table and stood up “there is no point hanging around here… let’s get after the Ark ships as soon as possible.”
“Yes, cap’n” replied Jela and she cleared the screen and began work on a course plan.

“Why can we never find peace?” asked Drackus as he sat in his quarters.
“Would we truly be happy with peace?” replied Valerie “We have become so accustomed to fight or flight that it is in our blood now.”
“I’d like to agree” replied Drackus “but I am tired of this life. I long to sit beside an azure blue ocean and watch the days pass peacefully; with my family beside me and no troubles to cause me any concern.”
“I’d love to join you” replied Valerie as she walked over to him and straddled his lap; facing him “but we would be bored to death after a week!”
Drackus sighed heavily and Valerie kissed him. “Chin up Dee” said Valerie “we are all in this together and we’ll work it out… the crew of The Obituary has always been good at working things out.”
“Aye” replied Drackus and he looked into Valerie’s green eyes “I’m sad that you left.”
“I’m sorry Dee” she replied “I needed to scratch an itch… I’ve done that now so I don’t need to go anywhere again.”
“I’m glad to hear it” said Drackus as he rested his head on her breast “I work better as part of a team.”
Valerie hugged him close and noticed how vulnerable he looked. She knew that he had always felt responsible for his ship and his crew but now she knew he felt responsible for his whole race.
“So do I” she replied.

“Fasterre is the first port of call” said Stobart “and we’ll have to run at a steady pace to reach her without running too low on fuel.”
“We’ll be welcome there” replied Jela “so we will be able to re-supply before we move onwards.”
“The next stop will be Andryll” said Stobart “closely followed by Thraken.”
“They’ll both be fine” said Jela “we have visited them before and as long as we have funds, we will be welcome.”
“Well… that all looks pretty straight forward… but then where?” asked Stobart “we need to find a seed-world and in that part of space, the planets get pretty angry.”
“Hmm…” replied Jela “we can worry about that nearer the time. We just need to make the best speed we can and hope that we can pick up the trail of the Ark ships.”
“I guess so” replied Stobart “at least if we catch up, we’ll have a good idea of where they are headed.”
“That is if we can find them” said Jela “we don’t even know that we are going in the right direction… we could be on a wild carnack chase!”
“Have some faith, Jela” said Stobart “Taters is to be trusted and the Father won’t see us wrong.”
“I just hope that the information wasn’t fake” replied Jela “we need to find those ships.”
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 6
: Hasslefriesian July 05, 2012, 09:34:56 AM
A ragtag fugitive fleet? Just as I wrote them eight years ago :D
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 6
: Inso July 05, 2012, 12:34:16 PM
From your original fluff, I envisaged them as a fight and flight race.

The Bohkin would hunt them down to a planet, there would be a war, the Grymn would escape in ark-ships to find a new world to settle that was off the radar. They made sure that they had the best stealth tech possible so that the Bohkin would have trouble tracking them. Even though the Bohkin and Sleiti have stopped hunting the Grymn, the Grymn have maintained their Ark-ships in case they need them.

They aren't searching for a particular world... just the next one that may offer them a little peace for a while.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 6
: Hasslefriesian July 05, 2012, 12:52:44 PM
My name is Kev and I approve of this reasoning.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 6
: Inso July 05, 2012, 02:23:50 PM
:mrgreen:
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 6
: Penfold July 05, 2012, 07:44:20 PM
 :boing: :boing: Great story so far  :applause: :applause:
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 7
: Inso July 10, 2012, 02:30:19 PM
The crew gathered in the lounge. Stobart was left at the controls but had an open channel so that he could hear the brief.
“We will be arriving at Fasterre in a couple of hours. I have already arranged for the fuel and supplies to be delivered so there will be no need to leave the ship” said Drackus “if anyone else needs anything specific, let me know and I will add it to the list of deliveries.”
“Aye, cap’n” said the crew in reply.
“We need to get going as soon as possible” said Drackus “and once we have taken on fuel, we will be able to travel faster to the next stop.”
“Captain?” asked Thorred “can I ask… what Valerie’s function aboard this ship is?”
“She can operate in any of the stations apart from mine” replied Drackus.
“Can we borrow her in security then?” asked Thorred “we could do with an extra pair of hands now that Taters has joined engineering.”
Drackus looked at Valerie and she nodded so he agreed with Thorred’s idea.
“Anything else?” asked Drackus as he looked around the room “good. Oh, Thorred… her shift is to match mine.”
“Yes, captain” replied Thorred.
“Right… you all know your duties” said Drackus and he stood up to leave “stay sharp.”
The room emptied and the crew prepared for the visit to Fasterre.

Fasterre came and went…as did Andryll. Thraken soon appeared in the space in front of The Obituary.
“Well, this is it” said Stobart “the last stop before the back of beyond.”
“Stop being so dramatic, will you?” said Jela “there are plenty of places out there to stop off at.”
“They’ll not be as friendly” replied Stobart.
“I’m sure they will provide what we need, whether they are friendly or not” said Jela.
“I guess so” replied Stobart “have you thought about contacting the Ark ships yet?”
“I’ve had a constant hail going since Fasterre” replied Jela “and I’ve been trying to decide what bandwidth to set the scanner to in order to track the efflux.”
“Band seven would probably be the best… what with the radioactive particles and the excess of carbon” replied Stobart.
“Cheers mate!” replied Jela “I hadn’t thought of the carbon levels and was focusing on the radioactive waste.” She tuned the scanner to band seven and adjusted the range to a broad sweep and almost instantly picked up a number of trails disappearing into the East.
“You are a star!” said Jela and she leant forward and ruffled Stobart’s hair. She reached for the comms and said “message, cap’n.”
“Go ahead” replied Drackus.
“We have picked up some trails going East… Stobart has found the Arks for us” said Jela.
“Excellent news” said Drackus “we’ll make haste at Thraken so we can try to catch them as soon as we can.”
“Aye, cap’n” replied Jela “do you want me to make arrangements for the re-supply?”
“No than you Jela, I’ve already dealt with it” said Drackus “we need to dock at bay six.”

As Thraken disappeared into the distance behind them, Drackus called the crew to order and increased the alert state on board. Everyone was keen to find the ships so they were more than happy to man the comms and scanners.
“How far in front to you think they are?” asked Drackus.
“Judging by the levels of waste we are picking up, I reckon less than a couple of hours, cap’n” said Jela.
“Are we still hailing them?” asked Drackus.
“Yes, cap’n” replied Jela.
“Why haven’t they responded yet?” thought Drackus but he needn’t have worried.
“This is Ark Nine. Following ship, please state your business with us or be destroyed” said an abrupt voice through the comms. Moments later a pair of energy blasts whizzed past the prow of The Obituary.
“Ark nine, this is Captain Drackus Smith of The Obituary” replied Drackus “We are fellow Grymn and seek information.”
“Hold your current course and prepare to be boarded” replied the voice from the comms.
“Prepare for boarding” said Drackus into the comms. Moments later a small shuttle appeared from nowhere beside the ship and latched on to it with its docking clamps. After a short while, Sally’s voice could be heard through the comms “Cap’n, your presence is requested in the cargo bay.”

“I thought it might be you, Drackus” said the Captain who stood in the cargo bay when Drackus arrived. He was short for a Grymn, portly and had sideburns that joined a bushy moustache but no beard. His hair was white and he was wrinkled with age but his eyes were as sharp as a tiger.
“Captain J. Stalwart of the sixth anvil guards, I presume” said Drackus as he strode up to the man and shook his hand in a warriors greeting “I am glad to see you… I have a delivery for you.”
“All in good time, Drackus” replied the captain.
“I suppose you want to know our business with you” said Drackus.
“We are more interested in knowing how you found us” replied the captain.
“Our computer expert interrogated the logs on the space dock to get a trajectory for your ships and we tracked you using your radioactive and carbon trails” replied Drackus.
“I will let command know” replied the captain “we can’t have just anyone following us, now can we?”
“Definitely not” replied Drackus “are you able to stay?”
“I’m afraid not, old man” replied the captain “I have urgent business to attend to.”
“I’ll get your delivery and be back in a moment” said Drackus and he dashed from the room.
“You must be Sally” said the captain “I am Jonah.”
“Welcome Jonah” replied Sally and they shook hands “it is good that we were able to find you as soon as we have.”
“You are very lucky. We were going to jump in an alternative direction and you would have been hard pressed to locate us” replied Jonah “if you hadn’t hailed us we were likely to have fired on you.”
“It is a good job we hailed then” replied Sally.
“There you go, Jonah” said Drackus as he returned with the delivery and he handed the parcel to his friend.
“Thanks, old man” replied Jonah “it is so hard to find decent cigars nowadays.” He opened the box and smelled the contents “That is a smell I’ve missed” he said.
“Right… I can’t stop so unless your reason for hunting us is very urgent, I don’t have time for it” said Jonah “I’ll have the destination co-ordinates sent over as soon as I have returned to the ship. Please don’t follow us directly… you will need to use a different route in a few days or so.”
“Understood… my questions aren’t important” replied Drackus and he shook Jonah’s hand. Jonah turned on his heels and left the cargo bay to board his shuttle. Sally watched as the shuttle separated from The Obituary and almost immediately faded into the background as the stealth fields kicked in.
“That is quite amazing” said Sally.
“It needs to be” replied Drackus “I’ll be in my quarters.”
As Drackus walked to his room he removed the small disc from his hand, inspected it and then returned it to the safety of his palm. He knew that the codes and co-ordinates for the destination planet were on the disc so he would treat it with the utmost secrecy.

“Stobart, set a course for Thraken” said Drackus “we’ll be going no further East today.”
“Aye, cap’n” replied Stobart “Will we be going to Sleiti Prime?”
“Soon enough” replied Drackus “but one step at a time.”
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 7
: Inso July 23, 2012, 04:32:52 PM
The trip to Thraken was uneventful even though there was tension within the crew. After the business of restocking The Obituary was complete, Drackus wasted no time in getting her underway and they were soon speeding towards Andryll. When they docked above Andryll, they restocked as usual and Drackus allowed the crew time to explore if they wanted to. Most of the crew remained on board but Thorred and Jela took the opportunity to go for a private meal in one of the space dock hostelries.
“Have you thought any more about Rask’s ashes?” asked Jela.
“Yes and I know exactly what to do with them” replied Thorred “I plan to scatter them on Sleiti Prime.”
“But Rask said the Sleiti would only allow his remains to be thrown in the waste areas” replied Jela.
“Well, I’ll have to prove him wrong” said Thorred “as his chosen son; I will have to come up with a way to honour his efforts.”
“I am sure you will find a way” replied Jela and she rested her hand on his, over the table.
“I hope so” replied Thorred.
They continued their meal and chatted for the rest of the evening before returning to the ship. As they arrived, Taters and Tulley met them at the cargo ramp; they had also been out and about and Taters was carrying a small bag of items they had bought.
“Shopping again?” asked Jela.
“Yep” replied Tulley “Taters needed some underwear.”
“Thanks for that” said Taters.
“Well, it saves you having to think up your own all the time” said Tulley “now you can just be pink all over.”
“Again… thanks for that” replied Taters “is there anything else you want to embarrass me with?”
“I don’t think so…” replied Tulley “but…”
“Well, I don’t think we need to share anything else” interrupted Taters “let’s get onboard and prepare to leave.”
“Okay… but…” started Tulley before Taters ushered her away.
“Is it my imagination, or are those two behaving like a married couple?” asked Jela.
“I can’t argue… but I am keeping my eyes open just in case” replied Thorred “I really don’t want either of them going too far”.
“Why ever not?” replied Jela “if they are happy, why shouldn’t they have some fun?”
“Taters is a robot” replied Thorred.
“Not any more he isn’t” replied Jela “I don’t really know what he is any more.”
“Well he isn’t a Grymn” replied Thorred.
“Neither are you” said Jela “but you are my husband and I welcome you into my bed.”
“At least I started as a Grymn and still have most of the genes” replied Thorred.
“But isn’t Taters a replica of your mind in an artificial body?” said Jela “so he was a Grymn and his body has changed… just like yours… and your new body was manufactured too.”
“I guess I can’t argue but you know your mind and are better equipped to make the choice to be with me” replied Thorred “Tulley…”
“There is more to Tulley than you give her credit for” interrupted Jela “she knows her mind all right.”
“But she is a child” replied Thorred.
“A child in her twenties” replied Jela “The picture she paints is for display only… what she has inside is just the same as any other twenty year old and I can’t remember the last time she became attached to anyone like she has with Taters.”
“But I can’t understand why she has done so” replied Thorred.
“It is because she has fallen in love with his character and spirit” replied Jela “and I can understand why because I fell in love with you, and he is a reflection of you.”
“But Drackus will eject him from the ship if he pursues this” replied Thorred.
“I don’t think that Tulley will allow that” replied Jela “she can be extremely persuasive with Drackus when she wants to be.”
“She’ll need to be because Taters has already been warned off” replied Thorred.
“I hope Tulley doesn’t know that” replied Jela.
“Taters and I… and now you… are the only ones who know” replied Thorred.
“I think it is best we keep it that way” replied Jela.

Taters stepped in front of the scanner and set it to record. He had been doing a huge amount of homework and hoped that he would be able to create what he had learned so he was going to see if his hard work had paid off. He carried out the scan and observed the results.
“Hmm” he thought “everything looks to be in order… I just need to carry out a test.”
He picked up a small cracker with some butter and some jam on it and put it into his mouth. He chewed just like he remembered doing when he was Thorred and braced himself as he swallowed. He watched the screen of the scanner as the food was forced down his throat and into his newly created digestive system. He moved his tongue around inside his mouth and tasted the moisture and sweetness of what he had eaten and smiled broadly. He then placed his hand on the left side of his chest and felt the unmistakeable beating of a heart. He stared at the scanner screen and watched the fluid as it flowed through his recently created network of arteries, veins and capillaries. He twisted his body so that he could view it in all angles and as far as he could tell, everything was in perfect order. He had recreated a complete Grymn internal system. Everything seemed to be complete; from nerve endings to internal organs and from a full skeleton to a complete and functional digestive system… including the associated external organ.
“I am so glad I got hold of this crystal body” thought Taters with a huge, satisfied, grin across his face “all I need to finish everything off is a reproductive system and I will be a Grymn again.”

A day into the journey from Andryll to Fasterre, Taters managed to find a quiet time to chat with Thorred and explained what he had been doing. He told Thorred about his experiments and that he planned to become as near to a Grymn as he possibly could. He thought that Thorred would understand.
“How far are you going to take this?” asked Thorred.
“As far as I possibly can” replied Taters.
“What does that mean? Are you going to try to reproduce?” asked Thorred.
“I don’t think that will be possible” replied Taters “but if it is, why not?”
“Why not?” asked an incredulous Thorred “can you even begin to imagine what the offspring would be like… we have no idea of what you are, let alone what your offspring would be?”
“I am not sure of how to begin programming the necessary components for reproduction… there are a lot of calculations required…” said Taters.
“And what about your partner; how would she feel about things… have you even begun to think about that?” asked Thorred.
“I haven’t yet but I haven’t worked out how to do things yet” replied Taters.
“You can’t do this, brother” said Thorred “there are massive moral considerations and implications.”
“Why?” asked Taters “I am a completely biological entity now.”
“Are you sure?” asked Thorred.
“I am completely composed of the psycho-sensitive crystal that came from the dragons of Porphys” said Taters “unless they are robots, I must be completely biological now.”
“But you haven’t had time to adjust to your circumstances yet” replied Thorred “you need to slow down and find out about yourself again before you start to change everything.”
“If you were in my place, brother, you would have done exactly the same as I have” said Taters “if you could return to being a Grymn tomorrow, you would do so and you would not even think twice about it.”
There was a pause. Thorred searched his thoughts and knew that Taters was right about what he said; he would love to lose his Sleiti and Alphoid genes and go back to being a Grymn.
“Are you planning to court Tulley?” asked Thorred.
“I feel great affection for her” replied Taters.
“You know that Drackus will deal with you harshly if you upset her… and the Father knows what he would do if he caught you two together” said Thorred “he has already made his views perfectly clear.”
“Yes” replied Taters simply “but I am not sure whether I want to resist any more.”
“You are taking a very dangerous path” replied Thorred “but Jela has suggested we are not too dissimilar; you and I.”
“We are the same” replied Taters.
“Can I ask that you resist the urge to change things until after we have been to Sleiti Prime?” said Thorred “we need to have our mind on the task at hand.”
“For you, brother, I will hold off going any further” replied Taters “but I will look for happiness when we return from Sleiti Prime.”
“I truly hope you know what you are doing” said Thorred.
“So do I” replied Taters.
They went their separate ways and returned to their duties but Thorred had a terrible feeling about the journey ahead.

Fasterre was a welcome sight when The Obituary arrived. The Captain ordered the crew to stand down for two days so that they could all enjoy a fresh bed, luxurious bathing facilities and a change in diet. As far as Drackus was concerned, this could be the last chance for the crew to enjoy themselves so he encouraged excess. Tulley and Taters remained on board to resupply but everyone else left the ship and went away in small groups. Tulley and Taters were under orders to secure the ship once it had been resupplied and enjoy the facilities of the dock. They had every intention of following Drackus’ orders and got to grips with the work at hand as soon as they could. A couple of hours later, they were leaving the ship and heading to a hotel that was a little off the beaten track.
“I saw this on the info-board and it looked perfect for a couple of day’s break” said Tulley “you’ll love it.”
“I am sure I will” replied taters as he walked towards the hotel with Tulley gripping his hand gently. When they arrived, they were shown to a sumptuous suite and left to their own devices. A quick scan of the room showed a large bed, a lounge with plenty of seating and a large bathroom with luxurious bathing facilities. They both put their bags down and wandered around to see where everything was.
“Are we going to go shopping?” asked Taters.
“Nope, not unless you need to” replied Tulley “I just plan on staying in.”
“Oh” replied taters “if that is the case, shall we order some food? I would like to try some new tastes.”
“That’s different” said Tulley “when did you start eating?”
“A few days ago” replied Taters “it is something I have been hoping to be able to do for a long time.”
“Can you taste things properly?” asked Tulley.
“As far as I can tell” replied Taters “I remember what things tasted like before I was Taters and there is a familiarity when I eat similar foods now.”
“If you are eating… do you go to the loo as well?” asked Tulley as she sat on the side of the bed.
“Yes, it is necessary” replied Taters and he was about to sit next to her when he realised that the bed was not reinforced. Tulley saw him pause and asked “have you tried to make yourself lighter?”
“What do you mean?” asked Taters.
“Well, you can do all this other stuff, why not think yourself lighter… then you won’t have to worry about breaking things when you sit on them” she replied.
Taters stood and thought for a while before going into the bathroom area and finding a set of scales there. He paused for a moment and then stepped onto them. He had managed to drop his weight to 140lb. He looked at the reading and thought for a second and it began to rise until an error message appeared so he reduced his weight to 140lb again and smiled. He called to Tulley from the bathroom “you were right, I can go as low as 140lb”.
“Well in that case, you can come and join me on the bed then” replied Tulley so Taters stepped off the scales and went to join her. When he returned to the bedroom he was shocked to see Tulley lying across the bed wearing a pink, silk negligee. She had untied her hair and it flowed over her shoulders. She smiled at him and patted the edge of the bed for him to sit down. Taters did as he was asked and perched on the edge of the bed.
“Do you think I’m pretty?” asked Tulley.
“You know I do” replied Taters.
“Then why don’t you try to kiss me?” she asked.
“I was not sure if you would want to kiss me” replied Taters.
“Why ever not, puppy?” said Tulley and she rolled onto her knees, shuffled over to him and kissed his cheek “You are gorgeous.”
Taters turned towards her and she kissed him on the lips. He could feel the warmth of her breath and the softness of her lips. He felt emotions that he thought destroyed, resurface as if recovered from deleted files and he felt the flush of lust surge through him. He immediately stopped kissing her and stood up, panicking.
“What is it, puppy?” asked Tulley “didn’t you like it?”
“Yes…” replied Taters “but I need time to get used to things.”
“Oh” replied Tulley “I thought you wanted to kiss me.” Tulley sat back and began to cry.
“Please don’t cry” said Taters and he returned to her, sat on the side of the bed and hugged her close “you break my heart when you cry.”
Tulley stopped crying and looked at his face. She placed a hand on his heart and felt it beat strongly. She smiled and said “I don’t want to break your heart… you’ve only just got one.”
“Exactly” replied Taters and he smiled broadly. Tulley smiled back at him and hugged him again.
“I won’t go too fast, puppy” she said and she kissed his cheek and jumped off the bed. Taters watched her as she disappeared into the bathroom and almost felt guilty as he watched her lithe, silk-clad form. Moments later he heard water running into the bath.
“Are you waterproof?” asked Tulley.
“Yes… of course” replied Taters.
“Good… come here and help me” she said.
“What do you need me for?” asked Taters and he went to join her in the bathroom.
“To share my bath, silly!” she replied and Taters was met by a naked Tulley as she climbed into the deep bath.
“I am not sure this is appropriate” said Taters as he stood and looked at her for a moment before turning away.
“Don’t be silly, you’ve seen me naked before lots of times” replied Tulley “and I haven’t minded before.”
Taters thought for a moment.
“What the feth?!” he said and stripped his clothes off. Tulley watched him closely and couldn’t help but notice that he was now complete.
“You never told me you had made one of those” she said.
“I said that I needed time and that I wanted to get it right” replied Taters.
“Well it looks alright to me” she replied as Taters gingerly lowered himself into the gradually rising water.
“I’ve brought some bubbles” said Tulley as she poured some bath foam into the running water “It smells of medicine but it is very bubbly.”
For the next hour they just sat and soaked; talking about what Taters had been getting up to with his experiments and generally about everything else. Ever since he had awoken for the first time, he had never felt this happy and at ease.

After they had bathed and dressed rather more frugally that they should, they ordered a range of food to be brought to the suite. Tulley and Taters spent the evening trying different things to eat, watching the info box and talking. By the end of the evening it was as if Tulley had lifted a veil and was no longer the small child she always made herself out to be but a vibrant and eloquent woman who Taters couldn’t help but admire. When it was time to retire, Tulley beckoned Taters to the bed and he joined her.
“You are very surprising, Tulley” said Taters “It is as if I have met you for the first time today.”
Tulley smiled and said “do you like what you see?”
“Of course I do” replied Taters with a smile.
“Good” said Tulley “you can keep me company tonight then.”
Taters was unsure of what to do but Tulley said “We’ll just cuddle, nothing more.”
As they snuggled together under the silk sheets Tulley asked “just supposing we were going to go a bit further… would it work?”
“I have not got as far as programming for reproduction yet” replied Taters.
“Oh” she replied “well you’d better think about it.”
“In good time” replied Taters and he felt dread and elation in equal measures.
They settled down for sleep and Tulley rested her head on Taters’ shoulder and hugged him tightly.
“I’ve never known anyone I liked as much as you” she said.
“Same here” replied Taters and he watched her drift off to sleep.
“What the feth am I doing?” he thought.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 8
: Inso July 24, 2012, 10:55:15 AM
Drackus paced up and down the lounge with his hands clasped behind his back.
“You all know that we are now destined for Sleiti Prime” said Drackus “I have no idea what we will find or how we should approach such an endeavour.”
“How about we just pitch up and pile in?” said Benn.
“To be honest, I can’t see any other way of doing things” agreed Sig and Sally nodded at what he had said.
“I think that we should get there and see how the land lies” said Chook “and then react accordingly.”
“Do you know what?” said Drackus “I think that we have little choice but to do that… and hope that The Father is watching over us.”
“I’ll get the ship underway and seta a course for Sleiti Prime then, cap’n” said Stobart.
“Right… off you go then” replied Drackus “to your stations everyone.”
The lounge emptied and Drackus watched the crew leave. Chook remained behind and spoke with Drackus.
“There is no other way to do this, Drackus” said Chook “we are all aware of the terrible risks but we accept them gladly under your leadership.”
Drackus placed a hand on Chooks shoulder and said “thank you, old friend.”
“You are most welcome, Drackus” replied Chook “captain, sir.”
Drackus smiled at Chook. He was not used to hearing his rank being spoken by the ambassador.
“Well… in seven days, we’ll all know if I’ve made the right choice” said Drackus.
“And if you haven’t, we’ll end this journey together and as a team” replied Chook.
“Let’s hope that isn’t necessary” said Drackus and they both went their separate ways.

The journey to Sleiti Prime ended abruptly with the ship entering an alert state. A few thousand kilometres from Sleiti Prime, the scanners picked up a massive amount of debris in orbit. The ship went to alert state immediately and then Drackus ordered The Obituary to advance and investigate. As they neared the debris field it quickly became apparent that there were dead ships everywhere and they were all of Sleiti design. All around the dead ships were the corpses of the crews floating lifelessly through space. The Obituary carefully moved forward and eventually reached the dock and the tunnel that dropped to the planet’s surface. There was no life anywhere and the only energy signatures were those on the planet below. The Obituary docked in the tunnel but after a while Drackus realised that it wasn’t going to operate so he took the decision to fly down to the surface in the more usual way. Moments later, the ship shuddered as it went through the atmosphere and flew gracefully towards the golden spires of the choir chamber. The lower The Obituary got, the bigger the scene of death and destruction became. All around there were burning buildings and the lifeless forms of Sleiti corpses littered the once pristine gardens and pathways of the city. Amongst the dead Sleiti were countless animal corpses and it appeared that no life had been spared from death. As The Obituary settled down in the garden in front of the choir chamber, the crew were prepared for the worst. The cargo ramp dropped and the away team left in tactical formation and made its way towards the main door. Sally, Thorred, Valerie and Drackus took the lead with Chook, Sig and Benn following closely behind. They reached the doors and signs of struggle were immediately apparent because one of them was hanging limply on a single hinge. There were a lot of golden clad Sleiti warriors lying motionless around the gate and their numbers increased the further into the choir chamber the team went.
“Has there been a civil war?” asked Sally “there are only dead Sleiti here.”
“I have no idea Sally” replied Drackus “but we need to be extremely wary here.”
The team continued into the antechamber and found the going increasingly tough as the pile of corpses grew. The team had to climb over them as they reached the inner doors and the stench of decay was really starting to get to them. The inner doors were wedged open by further golden corpses but the gap to get into the main chamber was such that Sally had to clear away some of the bodies in order to squeeze through.

Sally broke into the main chamber first and landed heavily on the marble floor. He rolled and immediately took up a defensive posture. Thorred followed closely behind and did the same before Drackus and the rest of the team joined them. The scene that greeted them was one of peace. Around the edge of the bare, marble floor were the white clad bodies of the choir. They were precisely spaced and had been laid out with their hands crossed upon their breast. Thorred immediately noticed the lack of voices in his head but sensed that there was someone else in the room with them.
“I sense it too, Thorred” said Chook quietly “It seems to be in the far chamber”. Chook pointed to the door at the opposite end of the chamber and the team carefully made their way towards it. When they reached the door, it was locked but Sally made short work of opening it; it was made for decoration rather than security. Thorred and Chook led the way into the room and they were shocked by what they saw. In the corner was a naked Sleiti. Parts of his white bio-suit lay in taters around the room and there was clear evidence of bite marks on it. The walls were covered in Sleiti symbols that had been smeared there in excrement and the poor creatures arms looked like they had been chewed down to the bones. As they approached the hunched figure, they could hear that he was chanting slowly and when he looked up, his face was a picture of agony; he had gouged out his eyes with his own finger nails. The team just stood and stared at him for a moment before Thorred spoke.
“What has happened here?” he asked. The Sleiti sat as still as he was before and continued to repeat his constant chant. Thorred repeated the question in Sleiti and focused the question with what psychic pressure he could muster and the Sleiti stopped chanting.
“They wanted our secrets… they wanted to rule the universe… they invaded our space… they wanted our secrets…” said the Sleiti as he repeated the same things over and over again.
“Who did?” asked Thorred.
“The outsiders… the humans… the grymn… the Stletch… the alphoid…” replied the Sleiti as he reeled off race after race.
“Did they attack your planet?” asked Thorred.
“I could not allow them to reach our world and take our secrets” replied the Sleiti “so I hid them.”
“You hid the secrets?” asked Thorred.
“Yes… I destroyed them… I erased them… I took them away…” replied the Sleiti as he began to rock “the choir sent a message… the choir sent a message that none could ignore… we saved our secrets… no one can have them now…”
“You set your race against itself?” asked Thorred quietly as the enormity of what was being said struck home.
“We had no choice but to keep our secrets… our secrets… we had no choice…” replied the Sleiti as he rocked furiously and started to chant once again.
“This one is lost” said Chook sadly “we will get no more from him.”
“What should we do with him?” asked Thorred. Without a sound, Chook drew one of his hour blades and decapitated the Sleiti with a single sweep of his blade.
“I have taken the choice to end his suffering” said Chook flatly “it was my decision alone.”
The away team stood for a moment and stared at the remains of the figure on the floor.
“I wonder if he was the last of his kind?” asked Sally.
“There must be survivors out there somewhere” said Valerie.
“Not necessarily” said Thorred “the Sleiti are very secretive and they have kept to this system since the Delsertis issued their ultimatum.”
“There may be survivors on the planet somewhere” suggested Benn.
“Judging by all the animals lying amongst the bodies outside, I think a psychic pulse was sent out” said Thorred “If the golden warriors were brought low by it, I doubt very much if there would be civilians who could defend against such an attack.”
“We need to inform someone… to get this place dealt with… get the bodies taken care of” said Valerie “and can we leave this room because I am tired of the smell.”
“Yes, let’s get some air” said Drackus and Sally began to clear a way through the bodies.

“From what we have seen, it would appear that some members of the Sleiti choir believed that outsiders would come and steal the knowledge of their people… they had become so insular that they feared visitors so, in their madness they planned to protect their people from intrusion” said Chook as he faced the crew of The Obituary who had gathered in the lounge “They committed genocide against their own people.”
“That is horrible” said Tulley “why would they do that?”
“Madness” said Thorred.
“As far as we can tell, there are none left alive” said Drackus “we need to get some sort of a clean up crew down here to sort out the dead and preserve the knowledge and antiquities… we cannot lose memory of our creators.”
There was a pause and the light in the lounge dimmed ever so slightly before a wave of nausea swept through the crew. Thorred dropped to the floor and clutched his head and Chook staggered slightly but managed to hold onto the back of a chair. Almost as soon as it had arrived, the wave of nausea disappeared and the light returned to normal. Thorred climbed to his feet and immediately turned to face the figure that had appeared in the shadow cast by the bar.
The tall, almost skeletal figure faced him and nodded its head in greeting.
“Grrreeeeetingsss, Thorrrred” said a voice in Thorred’s mind “Weee have seeen the caaaarnage, weee willll interrrr and preserrrve.
The Delsertis stared at Thorred and as it spoke it did not move its lips.
“This is a Delsertis… one of those who saved us from the fathers in the War to End Wars” said Thorred to the room “he has said that his kind will sort the mess out and preserve what is left.”
“Why would they want to do that?” asked Drackus as he looked towards the tall figure “what is in it for them?”
“Drackuuusss” said the Delsertis to his mind “As yoooo were creeeated by the Sleiiiiti, theyyyy weeere our sonnns and daughterrrss tooo.”
“What?” asked Drackus “you created the Sleiti?”
“Yesss… manyyy centuuuuries ago” replied the Delsertis “yoooo will now leeeeave this plaaaannnet. The wooork hasss alreaaaady beeeegun.”
As soon as he had finished communicating with Drackus, a wave of Nausea swept the room and moments later, the Delsertis had disappeared.
“Crew, make ready to depart” said Drackus “I don’t know what is going on but I don’t want to stick around to see it.”
Everyone rushed to their duties and within a few minutes, The Obituary was raising into the air.
“Drackus, look” said Chook as he pointed out of one of the side windows. Drackus went over and followed his gaze. All over the surface of the planet, silver spheres had begun to appear. They hovered neatly above any intervening terrain and directly below each of them, small groups of Delsertis were beginning to appear.
“They don’t mess about, do they?” said Drackus.
“The sins of the children weigh heavy upon the shoulders of the parents” said Chook in reply.
The Obituary shuddered as she broke into orbit and Stobart shouted to Drackus “cap’n, look at this.”
Drackus went to join Stobart and stared out of the front screen. Where before, there had been a debris field as far as the eye could see, there was now empty space.
“How can they do this so quickly?” asked Stobart incredulously “it would take us months to clear so much wreckage… not to mention collect the dead.”
“They are indeed a powerful and enigmatic race” replied Drackus “I daren’t imagine how they have accomplished so much so soon.”
They both stared into the empty space for a moment before Stobart asked “where to, cap’n?”
“I hadn’t thought about that” replied Drackus “events have got ahead of me, somewhat.”
“Shall we follow the Arc ships?” asked Stobart.
“I think it is a little early for that yet” replied Drackus “and to be honest, after all of the death and destruction I have seen lately, I feel the need to sit in familiar territory and drink a familiar glass of cognac.”
“Charran then, cap’n?” asked Stobart.
“Hmm… that doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all” replied Drackus “Yes, set course for Charran. I’m sure the Duke will accommodate us.”
“Aye, cap’n” replied Stobart “Jela, I’m setting course for Charran.”
“Aye, Stobart” replied Jela “I’ll alert the crew.”

As The Obituary sped off towards Charran, a dark shadow spread across the surface of Sleiti Prime. Moments later the shadow spread out to the space dock and all of the surrounding Sleiti outposts. When the shadow subsided, only empty space was left behind. It was as if the Sleiti race had been wiped from existence.

“Theirrrr Knowledgggge musssst remaaaiiin Secrettttt” thought Pater Trookl’ar.
“The Shhhhadow Space willll hide itttt for allll ettternityyyy” agreed Pater Harl’ar’thek.
“The tome isss closed” thought Trookl’ar.
“Ourrr efffforts have beeeennnn wooorth whiiiile” replied Harl’ar’thek.
“The chiiildren-Grymmmnnn diiid notttt sussspect” thought Trookl’ar.

“What are you going to do now?” asked Jela. Thorred had Rask’s casket on his lap and was staring at it blankly.
“Well, we’re going to Charran and Joo’an is resting there” replied Thorred “I will inter the casket near her so they can rest together.”
“I think that will be fitting” replied Jela and she sat beside him and placed her head on his shoulder.
“I tire of all this war” said Thorred with a sigh “but I would be lost without it.”
“There will come a time where you will find some peace, lover” replied Jela.
“I hope so” said Thorred.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 10
: Inso July 24, 2012, 04:58:16 PM
The Obituary made good speed towards Charran and in no time at all, she was birthed in the space dock. Drackus had informed Elradar that they would be visiting and had been told that they would all be welcome at his palace. One of his staff was waiting for Drackus when the cargo ramp dropped and the crew were all escorted to a waiting shuttle for the trip to the surface. Tulley and Taters were going to supervise the re-supply and then follow on later. For the first time since Thorred had been on board The Obituary, Drackus was taking Blue with him down to the surface.
“Peace and quiet” said Tulley as she grasped Taters’ hand.
“Yes… let’s get the work done so we can join them” replied taters.
“I thought we’d hang around a bit before we joined them” said Tulley with an innocent look on her face.
“I’m not sure I approve of the new Tulley” replied Taters with a slight grin.
“I’m sure that you will get used to her” replied Tulley with a broad smile “now, let’s get the work done so we can make time for some fun.”
“Aye, ma’am” said Taters and they disappeared into the cargo bay to make preparations.

“I am afraid that his lordship, the High Duke has been called away on matters of state” said the staff member that Elradar had sent to meet them “he will be absent for a couple of days but has instructed me to extend every hospitality of the palace to you all.”
“Thank you…” replied Drackus with a questioning look.
“Doorman” replied the staff member.
“Doorman? I can’t call you that…. What is your name?” asked Drackus.
“My name is Frank Doorman” replied Doorman “butler to his lordship. Doorman is not my title but my name.”
“Oh… sorry, I misunderstood” replied Drackus apologetically “if you prefer Doorman to Frank, then Doorman it is.”
“Thank you, master Drackus” replied Doorman “I have set aside a number of suites for you all. Please use them as you see fit. Your food will be brought to you until his lordship returns and then meals will be taken in the banquet hall.”
“Thank you, Doorman” replied Drackus “there will be two more joining us when the ship has been serviced.”
“I have already left instructions with them and have prepared a suite for them both” replied Doorman.
“They will need two suites” said Drackus.
“The lady has requested the one suite” replied Doorman “are they not a couple?”
“No… no they aren’t” replied Drackus tersely.
“Then I will prepare a second suite” replied Doorman “if it pleases you, master Drackus?”
“Thank you Doorman, it pleases me just fine” replied Drackus.
“Then think no more about it” replied Doorman “it is done.”

As beautiful as the palace was, it seemed all the more empty as a result of Elradar not being there. The crew were escorted to their suites with no bounding welcomes or raucous laughter; just the silent gestures of the palace staff. Doorman had done a fantastic job of preparing the finest suites for them and each one of them had the most exquisite views of the forests and gardens that surrounded the palace. Each of the suites had a name plate on the door and each of the suites had been prepared specifically for those named. Drackus’ suite had a basket for Blue and a selection of the finest Cognac credits could buy. There was also fine silk and satin nightwear for Drackus and Valerie and various scents and colognes for them both. Sig’s suite contained a selection of musical instruments and some fine mead for him and Fran to enjoy. Sally’s suite was stocked with plenty of exotic fruits and a study area. There was also an alphoid concubine waiting for him. The rest of the crew had their own personally tailored suites so that they all felt that no effort had been spared. Once everyone had settled in, they gathered in the corridor and said their farewells before going their separate ways. Drackus made sure that they were all contactable but didn’t set a limit to their stay…”at least a week” was all he would say.

“It is good to see you again, Andrea” said Sally.
“And you too master Sally” replied Andrea.
“That would be Sally, okay?” said Sally.
“It is good to see you again, Sally” she replied.
“Will you escort me to the gardens, my dear?” said Sally as he put some fruit and a book into a small satchel.
“Certainly” replied Andrea.
Sally offered his arm and she looped her arm through it.
“Now, where do you recommend?” asked Sally.
“The lake is beautiful at this time of day” she replied.
“Then lead the way” said Sally and they left the palace and strolled into the gardens together.

“I could die of boredom here” said Benn earnestly.
“I know what you mean” replied Stobart.
“What should we do to wake things up?” asked Trev.
“Drinking would be a good start… and some gambling” said Gregor.
“I hear you loud and clear, mate!” said Benn and he slapped Gregor on the shoulder.
“Hey!” Watch my war-wound!” said Gregor indignantly as he rubbed his shoulder.
Ben looked at Stobart and laughed heartily “war-wound? I’ve seen more damage on a brand new coin!”
“Let’s get out of here” said Trev “I have a thirst that won’t go away and the need to express myself loudly.”
“Aye… there’s the perfect place just to the west of here” said Benn “The Heartless Woman, it is called.”
“Sounds perfect to me” replied Trev “I’ve known plenty of them and you get what expect.”
“Grab your kit and prepare to forget the next few days at least” said Benn as he grabbed a jacket, threw it over his shoulder and marched out of the room with full purpose. The others followed suit and as the door closed behind them, the room was left in silence.

“I could settle here” said Jela as she sat on the balcony draped over Thorred on the settee there.
“It is the most beautiful place I know” replied Thorred “and so peaceful too.”
“It would be perfect for raising a child… or two” said Jela casually.
“Children?” asked Thorred “yes, it would be a wonderful place to grow up… and safe too.”
“Do you fancy starting a family?” asked Jela. Thorred paused for a moment before answering.
“Do you know? I think it would be a great idea” he replied.
Jela threw her arms around him and straddled his lap “really?” she asked.
“Absolutely” replied Thorred “and what better place to start trying?”
She laughed excitedly and kissed him passionately before saying “well? What are we waiting for?”
“About time!” said Thorred as he got to his feet and carried her from the balcony and into the suite.

Chook was deep in the forest. He was wearing a deep green bio-suit that matched his scales almost perfectly. He was sitting on a sturdy branch about thirty feet from the ground and was scanning the surrounding trees with his mind. His eyes were closed and he was focused on finding life.
“There!” he thought and he leapt from the branch to the tree nearest him and then began to leap from tree to tree towards the life form that he had located. Just before he reached the creature, he paused on a branch and froze; his keen eyes scanning the ground below. After a few seconds a small deer-like creature trotted into view and calmly chewed on a small clump of vegetation. Chook watched it eating and grinned callously before dropping, feet first, on top of it; the powerful talons of his feet biting into the animals flanks. With a quick bite to its neck, the animal was dead and Chook feasted on the still warm flesh of the beast. As he ate he continued to scan the area for any other life but was content with his prize.
“It has been a long time since I have eaten my own prey” he thought cheerfully “I must do this more often.”
When he had finished eating his fill, he left the remains of the carcass where it was and leapt back into the trees. He picked a course that led towards the largest of the ornamental lakes and began to leap through the trees to reach it. He knew that the edge of the forest overhung the lake and when he reached the last of the trees he leapt from it into the water in a perfect dive. The blood that covered his head and feet was washed away as he enjoyed swimming in the cool, clear water of the lake. He saw a small shoal of fish nearby and smiled inwardly before giving chase. He knew that he would never catch them but trying to seemed to be the perfect way to spend an afternoon.
“This is the life” he thought as he sped through the water, using his tail for extra speed.

Drackus lay, face down on the table and enjoyed the sensation of the oil being massaged into his back and neck. He could hear Valerie sighing on the table next to him so he knew that she was enjoying the massage too.
“How long do you think we will be here?” asked Valerie “at the moment, I hope it is for a long time.”
“At least a week” was all Drackus would say.
“When do you think Elradar will return?” asked Valerie.
“In a couple of days” replied Drackus as he felt the firm hands manipulate his back muscles.
“Too much of this will make us lazy” said Valerie.
“It won’t hurt for a while” replied Drackus “do you ever relax, Val?”
“Yes” replied Val “it has just been a while since I last saw Elradar.”
“And that worries you?” asked Drackus.
“He may not be as pleased to see me as I would like” replied Valerie.
“Why is that?” asked Drackus.
“Last time we met, I stole his ceremonial mace” replied Valerie.
“Ha! Really?” asked Drackus “well I’m sure we’ll have some fun with that when he returns then.”
“Thanks for putting me at ease, Dee” replied Valerie sarcastically.
“Don’t worry, Val” said Drackus “I’ll look after you.”
“I’m counting on it” said Valerie dryly.
“Now… will you shut up and enjoy the massage?” said Drackus.
“Of course, dear” replied Valerie flatly.
“Thank you” said Drackus and they both got back to enjoying their massage.

“Can I see the scans?” asked Tulley “I want to see how far you’ve gone.”
“I’ll flash up the scanner, come with me” replied Taters and they both made their way to the scanner. They had both finished the re-supply and were now getting ready to visit the surface but before they left, Tulley wanted to see Taters’ handy work. When they reached the scanner, Taters fired it up and once it had finished its self test, he stood in front of the sensors. Tulley was amazed at what she saw on the screen.
“You’ve done an incredible job, Taters” said Tulley “you’ve even gone as far as capillaries and nerve endings.”
“Of course” replied Taters “otherwise I would not be able to feel properly.”
“I see that you have finished things off now” she said, pointing at his groin “it looks like everything is there now.”
“Yes” replied taters simply “but I have not gone as far as polishing the finer components of reproduction… there is no seed.”
“Do you really believe that you could end up creating life?” asked Tulley.
“I have no idea” replied Taters “but so far, I have managed to replicate everything else… my new body is made from a truly amazing substance and I honestly don’t know what it is capable of.”
“It is amazing already” said Tulley “do you think it will work… for fun?”
“I know it will” replied Taters.
“I’m not sure how I feel about that” said Tulley.
“Me neither” replied Taters.
“You are so Grymn now…” said Tulley.
“We will take things very slowly” replied taters “we need to consider everything before things get out of hand.”
“I know” replied Tulley “but you are so Grymn.”
She leant forward and kissed him on the lips.
“You know that I love you, don’t you?” she said.
“I have known for a long time” replied Taters.
“It isn’t weird, is it?” asked Tulley.
“I have always been a Grymn inside my fabricated body. I am flattered that you looked past my form and fell in love with who I am, rather than what I am” replied Taters “I have had to learn a lot about myself in order to begin to feel the same way about you.”
“But you feel the same?” asked Tulley.
“Without question” replied Taters “but that is the easy part…”
“What do you mean?” asked Tulley.
“No one will accept a relationship between us, Drackus especially” replied taters “That will be the tricky part.”
“I know” replied Tulley and she slumped onto the desk beside the scanner “why is life so crazy?”
Taters sat next to her and said “I have no idea.
They both sat quietly looking at the floor for a while before Taters said “we’d better contact Mr. Doorman to fetch a shuttle.”
“Hmm… I guess so” replied Tulley “but it will wait for an hour, won’t it?”
“Why?” asked Taters.
“Well, you’ve gone to so much effort, it would be a shame not to carry out tests” said Tulley and she smiled at him in trepidation as she took his hand “shall we try?”
Taters sat for a moment and looked at her. He was completely at odds with himself.
“If you are sure?” he replied at length.
“Of course I’m not sure, silly” she said and grinned uncertainly “but what have we got to lose?”
“Everything” replied taters.
“Well if that is the case… it had better be good” she said as she shimmied off the desk and led taters away by the hand.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 11
: Inso July 26, 2012, 11:38:40 AM
“I don’t believe it!” said Elradar as he stormed across the courtyard “You dare to set foot in my palace after you stole from me?”
”Don’t be like that, honey” said Valerie as she sought out the protection of Drackus as Elradar approached.
“Tell me you haven’t fallen for this snake’s wiles, Drackus” said Elradar “You’ll get burned!”
“I reckon I’ll cope, old friend” replied Drackus with a grin.
“Hmmm… I guess I didn’t need the mace anyway…” replied Elradar and his face broke into a fierce grin “it is good to see you again… and so soon!”
Drackus shook hands with Elradar and in turn Elradar stooped and kissed Valerie on both cheeks.
“I know I am inviting trouble with you, m’lady” said Elradar “but you add a certain excitement to proceedings!”
“Thank you, El” said Valerie with an exaggerated curtsey.
“Come!” let us share tales together!” said Elradar as he put his hands on both of their shoulders and led them to the banquet hall “Doorman! Prepare a feast and bring me my concubine!” shouted Elradar. From out of nowhere, Doorman appeared and said “of course, my lord” before bowing and disappearing in the direction of the kitchens.

That evening, the crew all gathered in the banquet hall. Taters and Tulley were yet to arrive and when Elradar asked after them, Drackus mentioned they were still aboard The Obituary with barely suppressed anger and embarrassment. Once the drinks started to arrive, the talk turned to what had been happening since they had all last been together and Elradar sat in stunned silence as he listened.
“The Grymn have lost their home-world, the Sleiti have all but been destroyed and Chook’s planet suffered a civil war caused by Sleiti hybrids?” said Elradar “my affairs of state pale into insignificance when compared to such monumental and catastrophic events.”
“When you next see Taters, you will be in for a further surprise” said Drackus “his appearance has totally changed and he appears identical to a Grymn now.”
“Fascinating” said Elradar as he listened intently “and our Sleiti friends… they are all gone?”
“I am afraid that we must assume so” replied Drackus “we have Kaal’uin aboard the ship and he needs a resting place.”
“I extend my services for him… he may be laid to rest in the garden of heroes with Joo’an” replied Elradar.
“Thank you, old friend” replied Drackus “would it be possible to keep them apart… it was Joo’an’s last wish not to be linked with her home-world.”
“It will be so” replied Elradar.
A moment later, Doorman entered the hall and whispered in Elradar’s ear before being sent away.
“More guests are here” said Elradar and he grinned at Drackus.
“Miss Tulley and Master Taters” announced Doorman as the door opened and Tulley and Taters entered. They were both shown to their seats and Drackus stared at them furiously.
“I apologise for our lateness, your lordship” said Taters “we got caught up with the re-supply and lost track of time.
“Apology accepted, Taters” replied Elradar “it is good to see you again, even though you are unrecognisable from your previous form. You have obviously been through many trials to reach your new and surprising position.”
“That I have, Elradar” replied Taters “but the change is not complete and I would like to make a small announcement, if I may.”
“Ha! Of course you can… how exciting!” replied Elradar “carry on!”
“I…we…” said Taters as he looked towards Tulley “have decided that Taters doesn’t suit me as a name any more. We have thought about what would be more suitable and have decided upon Sven Oak-arm.”
“Excellent stuff!” boomed Elradar “something to celebrate.”
Taters looked at Tulley for a moment before saying “I’d also like to announce that Tulley and I are a couple.”
“NO!” shouted Drackus and he slammed his fists on the table causing cutlery and plates to be thrown to the floor “you have betrayed my trust!”
The room was silent as Drackus leapt to his feet and advanced towards Taters “I told you what would happen if you went too far… you swore to me that you would not pursue Tulley… I call you oath-breaker!” shouted Drackus.
Sally got to his feet and intercepted Drackus before he reached Taters.
“Captain, please don’t go any further…” said Sally “let him answer the charge.”
“I don’t care if he answers the charge… he knows what he is!” screamed Drackus “I will not share my ship with an oath-breaker!”
“Please!” said Sally as he restrained Drackus.
“No… I warned him… he will not return to my ship!” shouted Drackus as he glared furiously at Taters. With a final roar he stormed from the room “I’m sorry Elradar” he said as he burst through the doors and disappeared. Valerie made her excuses and rushed after him, leaving the silent banquet hall behind her.
Elradar sipped his drink as he looked at all the stunned faces around the table.
“That was unexpected” he said “to be honest… I am surprised it has taken you so long, Tate… I mean Sven.”
Sally glared at Elradar for a moment before turning to Sven and saying “what have you done?”
“I could not help myself” replied Sven “Tulley and I have become very close and now that I am a Grymn again we both felt that we could get together.”
“But you swore an oath to Drackus… you swore that you would not pursue Tulley… you knew what the outcome would be” said Sally solemnly “why did you continue with this?”
“When I swore the oath, I was Taters… a reploid” said Sven “now I am a Grymn… I have broken no oath… and I cannot control or choose who I love.”
“Tulley… you must see how wrong this is?” asked Sally “he is not as he appears.”
“He is exactly as he appears… just like Thorred is” said Tulley and she had no hint of her childish personality in her voice when she spoke “they are both Grymn in manufactured bodies… yet it is fine for Jela to marry Thorred but not for me to be with Sven?”
“She has a point!” said Elradar as he reclined in his seat, chewing on a bread roll.
“But you knew that Drackus would never allow you, of all people, to court someone like Taters” said Sally.
“Sven” replied Tulley “he is called Sven and he’s a Grymn… scan him and tell me he’s not.”
“What?” asked Sally “you know he’s not a Grymn?”
“Prove it then” replied Tulley “until you can, we will be together and there is nothing you or Drackus can do about it.”
“I always love it when The Obituary visits” said Elradar “Doorman, please serve the food… all this excitement is giving me an apetite!”
“Dinner is served” announced Doorman as the side doors opened and trays of food began to be brought in. Sally, Sven and Tulley returned to their seats and the room was silent while the food was placed on the table. One of the servants quickly cleared the broken plates and re-set the sitting before bowing and leaving the room.
“Doorman, please arrange for a meal to be served for Drackus and Valerie would you?” said Elradar.
“As you wish, lord” replied Doorman with a bow and he left the room.
“Well? Eat up before it gets cold!” said Elradar with a big grin on his face “so Tulley… when did you fall for his robotic charms then?”

“Drackus, you can’t throw him off the ship… Tulley will go with him” said Valerie.
“If that is the way of it, then I will not stand in her way” replied Drackus as he angrily paced up and down the suite “They knew what would happen…”
“I am sure they didn’t choose this course of action just to upset you, Dee” replied Valerie but she didn’t approach him because she knew it would infuriate him further “these things just happen.”
“Not on my ship, they don’t… and certainly not with my Tulley!” shouted Drackus.
“She isn’t your Tulley!” said Valerie flatly “in case you hadn’t noticed, she is a grown woman and not a child… and she is certainly not YOUR child… you have no claim over her.”
“She is my daughter… or as good as damn it… I took her in and treated her as my own flesh and blood” replied Drackus “how could she betray me like this?”
“She has betrayed no one” replied Valerie “she has just found a little happiness; that is all.”
“But he isn’t natural… she may as well become attached to a water re-cycling unit” said Drackus as he continued to fume.
“That is an absurd thing to say and you know it!” replied Valerie “Taters is as much a part of the crew as everybody else… without him, some of us would not be here to have comment on this.”
“I will not have him on my ship” replied Drackus “I set my terms and he chose to ignore them… I am the captain of my ship and I expect my crew to obey my orders… if I let this slip, then what next?”
“Don’t be absurd, Dee” said Valerie “this isn’t a broken order… you can’t dictate to people who they fall in love with.”
“I’ve made my decision” said Drackus and burst through the doors onto the balcony and leant heavily on the railings.
“Feth!” said Valerie “I’m going back to the banquet hall… I hope you enjoy the rest of the evening being grumpy!”
She left the suite; slamming the door in the process.

“Budge up Sally!” said Valerie when she re-joined the banquet “EL, is there any chance of some Cognac? I am in need of something stiff!”
Elradar choked on his drink before replying “of course, my dear.” He signalled to one of the attending waitresses who left the room and returned a moment later with a decanter of Cognac; setting it down next to Valerie before returning to her position. Valerie took the stopper from the bottle and raised it in Elradar’s direction before taking a swig from it.
“That is much better!” she said. She looked around the room and the crew seemed to be far too uncomfortable.
“Good on you Tulley and Sven” said Valerie and she raised her bottle to them before taking another drink “so, Sally, how are we going to sort this mess out?”
“I don’t think we can” he replied “I have rarely seen Drackus so furious outside of battle… and even then it was always because of Tulley.”
“You know that he will be leaving here without Sven… and Tulley if she won’t leave him behind” said Valerie as she took another drink.
“I know” replied Sally with a sad look on his face.
“If that is what happens, I wonder if he has thought about who will maintain the ship… there is no team I know that could do the job as well as those two over there” said Valerie as she pointed towards Tulley and Sven “I fear he hasn’t thought this through properly.”
“Hmm…” replied Sally.
Tulley and Sven sat quietly together and nibbled at their food. Sven knew that Tulley was really upset by Drackus’s outburst but he couldn’t help but feel much better now that everything was out in the open.
“You know that you will both be welcome as my guests until things sort themselves out, don’t you?” said Elradar to Tulley and Sven.
“Thank you, Elradar” replied Sven and Tulley smiled weakly towards him in thanks.
Thorred looked towards his brother and did not know what to do.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 12
: Inso July 27, 2012, 11:42:41 AM
Thorred, Sally, Chook and Drackus braced themselves as they lowered Kaal’uin’s casket into the soil of the garden of heroes. Moments later Thorred placed the small box containing Rask’s remains into the ground next to Kaal’uin. Elradar read a small service and they all left the garden while some funeral staff properly filled in the graves.
“I wonder if those were the very last of their kind” said Elradar.
“I would doubt that all of the Sleiti were destroyed” replied Drackus “there must be traders or explorers that missed the end of their home-world.”
“Who knows?” said Elradar “are you certain that you wish to leave today?”
“Yes, I’m afraid so” replied Drackus “I need to get off-world to have some time to think.”
“I will have a shuttle arranged for you then” said Elradar “where do you plan to visit?”
“Fasterre… I will be able to pick up a new engineer there” replied Drackus.
“Are you sure that will be necessary, old friend?” said Elradar “I hope you don’t rush into making a decision that you may live to regret.”
“Tulley and Taters have made their choice” said Drackus bluntly.
“Well, if you are sure…”replied Elradar.
“I am” said Drackus “they have removed their personal effects and I will be leaving without them.”

“You’ve really done it now” said Thorred.
“It was only a matter of time… at least we are in a safe place to plan our future” replied Sven.
“But what about me?” asked Thorred “how am I going to keep an eye on you now?”
“I will make sure that we remain in contact… I have the comms codes for The Obituary” said Sven.
“I’ll miss you, brother” said Thorred.
“Likewise but we both knew that we would eventually take different paths… especially once I gained my new body” said Sven “I would have preferred to remain onboard the ship but that choice has been taken from me.”
“I wish things had been different” said Thorred.
“So do I but we have to make difficult decisions sometimes and there is no way Tulley and I could have kept apart for ever…” said Sven “I had no idea I was going to change so radically but now that I have, there seems no other choice but to leave the ship with Tulley.”
“What are you going to do?” asked Thorred.
“We will join another ship as mechanics” replied Sven “Grymn sized mechanics are highly sought after because we can get to places larger people can’t.”

Sven and Tulley went to say their goodbyes at the shuttle-pad but Drackus had already boarded. The rest of the crew gathered around and said their farewells. By the time the shuttle left the ground, Tulley was crying uncontrollably and Sven held her close and said nothing.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 12
: Hasslefriesian July 27, 2012, 09:30:32 PM
I haven't had the chance to read your story for the past couple of weeks and I just got through the last four episodes. I have to say that I enjoyed them immensely, thank you very much :D
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 12
: Inso July 27, 2012, 10:39:13 PM
Thanks :)
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 12
: Penfold July 28, 2012, 06:50:45 AM
What Kev said  :applause:
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 12
: Inso July 28, 2012, 08:02:11 AM
I have reached a point that I have planned for, for a long time now. The original story was called 'The Duplicate adventures' because this was always going to be about T87 / Taters / Sven and his adventures... with plenty of padding when things were quiet for him.

Don't expect to see too much of the crew from The Obituary any more.

Tulley and Sven will be joining a cruise liner... ;)
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 13
: Inso July 30, 2012, 02:44:41 PM
“Valerie will work on him” said Elradar “You’ll be back on board before you know it.”
“I think even Valerie will be unable to change the captain’s mind” replied Sven “I have broken his trust and in his position, I may well have taken the same stance. It just pains me that Tulley has had to leave her home.”
“Well, as long as you look after her, she’ll be fine” said Elradar.
“We’ll need to find a ship to work on” replied Sven.
“Many ships visit Charran so finding a crew job shouldn’t be too difficult” said Elradar.
“I hope so” replied Sven “as gracious as you have been about us remaining here, I think we need to sort ourselves out as soon as possible and get moving… it will take Tulley’s mind off things.”
“I would tend to agree with you” replied Elradar “just remember that both of you are always welcome here.”
“Thank you, I appreciate that” replied Sven.

Over the next couple of days, Sven sorted through his belongings and arranged to sell all of the reploid components and his charging booth. Now that he was self sufficient, he was pleased to be disposing of his obsolete equipment. Tulley did similar and managed to compress all of her tools and clothing down to three holdalls. What they couldn’t take with them was left in a storage locker at the palace and Doorman made sure that it was properly secured. Sven and Tulley caught a shuttle the next day after thanking Elradar for his hospitality and saying their farewells. When they reached the space dock, they spent the day travelling from ship to ship asking for work but were unsuccessful so they booked a room in one of the many hotels and prepared to continue their search the following day. Once they had booked in and dropped their bags off, they both went to the bar and found a table where they could order some food.
“I like watching you eat” said Tulley “you savour everything.”
“Although I remember eating things from Thorred’s past, actually doing it is a whole new experience and I am learning to taste things again” replied Sven “every mouthful is a new experience for me.”
“Do you think we’ll find work?” asked Tulley “it may be very difficult because we want to be employed together.”
“We will get work” replied Sven “even if I have to show off my abilities in order to get it.”
“I don’t know why you are so keen to hide your abilities when you know it will help things” replied Tulley.
“I want to be employed as a Grymn. Then if the needs must, I will have an extra tool kit in an emergency” replied Sven “it is always helpful to have a surprise up your sleeve.”
“I guess so” replied Tulley. They both paused while the waitress refilled their coffee cups and left them in peace.
“Maybe we should ask the proprietor if he knows any one who needs a pair of mechanics” said Tulley.
“A pair of mechanics?” said an overweight and balding man who had appeared behind Sven “I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation. Are you two mechanics?”
“Yes, we are” replied Sven.
“What do you specialise in?” asked the man.
“Pretty much anything” replied Tulley “I like to play with engines the most though.”
“And what about you, son?” asked the man as he pulled up a chair and sat to the side of the table. He took a small piece of bread from Sven’s plate and popped it into his mouth “what are you good at?”
Sven looked at the man for a second before replying “I can fix anything that has a manual and have a lot of experience with engines and all manner of systems including life support, environmental, hydraulic, fuel, electronic, fibre optic and am well versed in structural repairs.”
“And you two are together?” asked the man as he took a further piece of bread.
“Yes” replied Sven simply.
“Are you prepared to travel for long periods of time… do you have ties anywhere?” asked the man.
“We have no ties, apart from between the two of us” said Tulley.
“Can you turn your hands to any other work?” asked the man.
“I can operate anything that has a manual… that would include flying a vessel or manning guns” replied Sven “and we have both been required to defend ourselves and our ship in the past.”
“My name is Mr. Brown and I own a small ship called The Cheerful Drake” said the man and he extended his hand for Tulley and Sven to shake “I would be pleased if you would come and take a tour of the vessel and we can talk about terms of employment.”
Tulley looked at Sven and smiled. Mr. Brown stood up and said “well?”
Sven and Tulley paid for their meal and followed the man from the hotel.

The Cheerful Drake looked far from it. It was matt black all over apart from a small, red dragon symbol on both sides, just below the smoked glass of the front screens. There were angles all over it and Sven knew it was a stealth craft immediately. After a quick scan, he also realised that it was almost exactly the same size as The Obituary although its style was completely different and it didn’t appear to have any external weapons. Mr. Brown bade them to follow him as they made their way down the docking tube to the main entrance of the vessel. When they arrived at the hatch, it slid open and there was an overweight woman stood just inside, waiting for them.
“Welcome, Mr. Brown” said the woman.
“Welcome Mrs. Brown” said the man.
Tulley looked at Sven because she thought the greeting was a little bit strange but they both followed Mr. Brown into the ship and the door slid closed behind them. They made their way from the entrance to the bridge and were shown various mechanical systems and consoles as they went. They were also shown a selection of spacious cabins and storage areas that were currently empty. The ship was in pristine condition… in fact it looked brand new.
“Here we are” said Mr. Brown as they entered the bridge. Sitting in the pilot’s chair there was a large arachnid creature that studied Tulley and Sven as they entered.
“Welcome Mr. Brown” said the arachnid.
“Welcome Mr. Septus” replied Mr. Brown “I’d like you to meet…”
“Tulley and Sven” said Mr. Septus.
“Exactly” replied Mr. Brown.
“Are you a psyker?” asked Tulley.
“No, Miss Tulley… I just read your name badges” he replied as he unfurled one of his long, spindly limbs and touched each of the badges that Tulley had lovingly created.
“I’d forgotten about those” said Tulley with a broad grin.
“I doubt that they will be needed on board this ship” said Mr. Septus “that is, if you are invited to join the crew.”
“I am just conducting the tour before we discuss terms, Mr. Septus” said Mr. Brown.
“Then it is a done deal… welcome aboard, Miss Tulley and Master Sven” said Septus and he extended a limb for them to shake hands with.
“Thank you” they both said.
“You are most welcome” replied Mr. Septus.
“Come, let us adjourn to my office and we will talk about all our requirements” said Mr. Brown and they all followed him, including Septus.

“Here we go again” said Sven as he pulled the small trolley with their belongings on towards the dock where The Cheerful Drake was birthed.
“Yep!” said Tulley and Sven could tell that she was both happy and sad as they approached the ship.
“You are aware that nothing is as it seems, aren’t you?” said Sven.
“The Browns appear to be mechanical, yes” said Tulley “and Septus appears to be the leader.”
“Yes but it took a while for me to work out that Septus was the captain” replied Sven “I think he was expecting his appearance to put off applicants.”
“Do you think the Browns are robots or just wearing suits?” asked Tulley.
“Judging by their voices, they sounded organic so I would suspect that they are suits” replied Sven “Septus seems to be organic though.”
“Yes, I thought that too” replied Tulley.
“Well, here we are” said Sven. Mr. Brown was waiting at the hatch for them to enter.
“Welcome crewmates” said Mr. Brown.
“Welcome Mr. Brown” said Tulley and Sven in unison before they entered the ship and the door closed behind them.
“You know where your cabins are so I’ll let you get settled” said Mr. Brown “we will be leaving shortly so once you are settled, please come to the bridge.”
“Thank you, we will” said Tulley and they all went about their business.
“I am waiting to find out what sort of trading we will be doing” said Tulley.
“Judging by the ship, I would suggest that it has to be done on the quiet so my guess would either be weapons, drugs or slaves” said Sven.
“I hope it isn’t slaves or drugs” said Tulley “weapons I could cope with.”
“Hmm” replied Sven as he hung his clothes up in his wardrobe “I agree that weapons would be the best of a bad job but you never know; we may just be a relief vessel or something.”
“Well, whatever it is, I think it is nice that we have a lovely cabin and that we are together” said Tulley “anything else is a bonus.”
“I hear you there, love” replied Sven.
“That’s me done” said Tulley.
“Let’s go to the bridge” replied Sven.

“Welcome, Miss Tulley and Master Sven” said Septus when they arrived “Could you tell me your thoughts of the crew?”
“You are the captain” said Tulley “and Mr. and Mrs. Brown are wearing some sort of mechanical suits.”
“And what of the ship?” asked Septus.
“The ship is a stealth vessel that is rigged for speed and evasion” said Sven “from the quick access to the computers on our tour, there are three concealed turrets and a small section of the ship contains missile tubes.”
“What do you think we may be involved with, knowing what you do?” asked Septus.
“My thoughts would be subterfuge, piracy or smuggling” replied Sven again “my guess would be gun-running.”
“And at no point have you found your current situation alarming?” asked Septus.
“It isn’t anything out of the ordinary for us” replied Tulley “and Sven will look after me so why should I find this alarming?”
“You place a lot of trust in your friend” said Septus.
“We all have our secrets” replied Tulley.
“Indeed we do” replied Septus and he paused for a moment whilst studying them both “I think that we can dispense with the disguises now.”
Mr. and Mrs. Brown looked at each other and fiddled with their belt buckles for a moment. They both then stood with their arms to their sides as the front of their bodies opened up; showing the mechanical insides of the robot fat-suits. They stepped out and Tulley was surprised to see that they were both Grymn wearing a rubber version of a Sleiti bio-suit.
“I thought you would be human” said Tulley.
“There wouldn’t have been room if we were” said Mr. Brown.
“I am Anna” said Mrs. Brown and she shook Sven’s and Tulleys hand.
“I am Odin” said Mr. Brown as he did likewise.
“We are both able to fly and run the ship but we needed an extra couple of hands and for two Grymn to show up asking for work was too good an opportunity to miss” said Anna.
“Especially because neither of us are very mechanically minded… well, not to the depth we need to be, anyway” said Odin.
“So Mr. Septus is the leader then?” asked Tulley.
“I am the captain, yes” said Septus “and you may call me captain or Septus… I have no truck with formalities.”
“Are there any other crew members we haven’t met yet?” asked Sven.
“No, there is only what you see” replied Septus “did you expect more?”
“To be honest, yes” replied Sven “this ship can’t fly itself.”
“Well… actually…” said Septus.
“I can” said a metallic voice through the various speakers around the bridge.
“That is Drake” said Septus “he is our ship’s automated control system interface computer.”
“That is cool!” said Tulley “hello Drake.”
“Welcome, Miss Tulley… Master Sven” replied Drake.
“Master Sven, my scans indicate that you have an unusual bio-signature” said Drake.
Sven looked around and thought for a moment before his face reverted to a smoky crystal colour. Once he had shown everyone, he returned to his chosen flesh colour.
“As Tulley said, we all have our secrets” said Sven.
“Well, I am sure that they will lessen with time” said Septus “Drake, let us depart and set a course for Dural 3.”
“It will be so” replied Drake and there was an immediate feeling of movement as the engines began to power up, closely followed by the sound of docking clamps releasing.
“Feel free to explore the ship and inspect the systems” said Septus “our first shipment will be collected at Dural 3.”
“What will it be?” asked Tulley.
“Interesting” replied Septus and he turned to look out of the front screens.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 13
: Penfold July 31, 2012, 07:22:42 AM
 :applause: only a couple of things i had trouble with is that Tulley can get every thing she needs for a prolonged time into 3 holdalls (wife used more than that for a week away) and Sven hanging things up  :lmao:
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 13
: Inso July 31, 2012, 12:24:56 PM
Tulley is a mechanic...that makes her someone who doesn't mind slumming it and someone who is quite prepared to make logical choices (carrying more than three bags would be too difficult)... she can also buy what she needs or fetch it at a later date from Charran.

Sven has only just started to wear clothes. Clothes are a novelty to him at the moment so he takes great care with them (hence he hangs things up). Food is treated specially as well because he hasn't been able to eat up until fairly recently.

ALSO... Elradar has the rest of their belongings in storage on Charran :) .

... and yet you don't have any trouble with an arachnid captain? Curious :mrgreen:!
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 13
: Penfold July 31, 2012, 04:44:45 PM
 :silly i know  :lol:
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 15
: Inso July 31, 2012, 05:02:02 PM
The first thing Tulley did when she decided upon her engineering area was to hang up her pin-board.
“There” she said to herself “it now feels more like home.”
“Drake, what is the current state of the missile munitions within the hold” asked Sven.
“Define current state… we have forty eight missiles loaded with a further hundred and ninety-two in the magazine” replied Drake.
“That is the answer I required” replied Sven “please confirm charge status of turrets.”
“All three turrets are fully charged” replied Drake.
“When were they last test fired?” asked Sven.
“Test firing has not been recorded” replied Drake.
“Does that mean they haven’t been test fired since the ship has been operational?” asked Sven.
“That is correct” replied Drake.
“Thank you” said Sven and he added a note to his data tablet.
“Drake, what is the current engine efficiency?” asked Tulley.
“The engines are running at an average of seventy-four percent efficiency” replied Drake.
“Please run down system efficiencies for me, Drake” said Tulley.
“Core efficiency is eighty percent, life support is eighty-two percent, hydraulics sixty-five percent, environmental is seventy-nine percent and recyclables are ninety two percent” replied Drake and Tulley made notes and shook her head.
“I am not happy with some of those percentages” said Tulley.
“The percentages are the maximum that can be achieved with the current systems available aboard this vessel” replied Drake.
“We’ll see” replied Tulley.
“Hey, Tulley” said Sven “at least wait until we’ve learned about the ship before you start tearing it apart.”
“Of course I will” said Tulley “but it doesn’t hurt to have a good poke around.”
“How are you both getting on?” asked Anna when she arrived in the engineering area “I see you have already personalised your space.”
“We’re fine” replied Tulley “we’re just carrying out some diagnostics.”
“The ship is a beauty, isn’t she?” said Anna proudly.
“She’s not bad” replied Tulley “she’ll be better with a few tweaks.”
“Really?” asked Anna in surprise “what’s wrong with her?”
“Some of the systems are not as efficient as they could be and there have been no test firings of the primary weapon systems” replied Tulley.
“I’m sure we can arrange test firings” said Anna “is the ship broken?”
“No, of course not” replied Tulley “she just needs to get in shape.”
“That is good” replied Anna “Septus has only owned her for the last three weeks and she was straight from the yard when he bought her.”
“So she is brand new… I thought she must be” replied Tulley.
“Yes… we had to scrap the last one” said Anna “but that is a story for another time. Please let Septus know if there are any weapons trials or maintenance activities that are needed and he will sort out times to do them.”
“We will” replied Tulley.
“We will be eating together in the mess at eighteen-hundred hours” said Anna “don’t forget!”
“We won’t” said Tulley and Anna disappeared into the corridor.
“She seemed nice” said Tulley.
“I guess so” replied Sven “I wonder what happened to the last vessel?”
“I’m sure it was nothing worse than we’ve encountered before” replied Tulley and she walked over to Sven and put her arm around his waist.
“I hope it wasn’t” said Sven in return and he put his arm around Tulley.
“It is nice to be close to you without having to worry about it” said Tulley; kissing Sven on the cheek.
“It is much better” replied Sven and he kissed her back “but we need to learn the ship and you shouldn’t be distracting me or I might have to take matters into my own hands.”
“Oh really?” replied Tulley and she kissed his cheek again.
“Right… that’s it!” said Sven as he twisted around, faced Tulley and kissed her lips “you are in trouble now!”
Tulley giggled and leapt away from him “I promise I’ll be good!” she said.
“You’d better had be” said Sven with a broad smile on his face. He felt happier than he had done for a very long time.

After the rest of the afternoon was spent familiarising themselves with the ship and its systems, Tulley and Sven cleaned up and went for their meal on time. Septus and the four Grymn all sat around a large oval table. There was a rectangular conduit that protruded from the wall and from it, small foil containers were dispensed. Anna shared them out and began to open hers so Sven and Tulley did likewise. Inside was a prefabricated, hot meal. There was a drink dispenser beside the conduit and Anna took the role of filling everyone’s glasses with cordial.
“Enjoy” said Septus and they all began to eat. Tulley watched Septus with interest as his tube-like tongue flicked out and nestled in his food. He began to suck the food from the dish and Tulley found it fascinating.
“Septus, do you need to chew at all?” asked Tulley.
“No” he replied “I have special, crushing muscles inside my tongue that squash the food as it travels along.”
“That is cool” said Tulley.
“Thank you” replied Septus uncertainly “have you found your way around yet?”
“I think so” said Tulley “but to really get to grips with the ship, I need to rip some panels off and see what her guts are like.”
“Really?” asked Septus “is there any need to do that just yet; she is very new after all?”
“Well, she could run a bit better… she isn’t at peak efficiency” replied Tulley “so me and Sven will need to fix up the systems a bit.”
“Oh” replied Septus “I had no idea that I had purchased a second rate vessel.”
“She’s a lovely ship!” said Tulley abruptly “she just needs a bit of love to get the best out of her.”
“And you two can do that?” asked Septus.
“Yes we can” replied Tulley “we’ll just need times when we can work on individual systems in between missions.”
“Missions?” asked Septus “oh, you mean collections.”
“Yep… and Sven says we need to fire of the guns to make sure they work and target correctly” said Tulley as she tucked into her food.
“We will arrange that for you, master Sven” said Septus.
“What is this food?” asked Sven.
“It is protein based stew with synthesised vegetables” replied Anna weakly.
“It is delicious” said Sven “I have never eaten anything like this before.”
“After you have eaten it every day for a couple of weeks you may feel differently” replied Anna.
Tulley looked up, produced a small bottle from her breast pocket and handed it to Anna.
“Put a squirt of that on it and it will taste different” said Tulley “not too much if you want to keep your lips!”
“What is it?” asked Anna.
“Porphys hot-sauce” replied Tulley “dragons use it to spice up their food because they don’t have very sensitive taste buds… that’s why you don’t use too much.”
“Is it safe?” asked Anna and Tulley took the bottle and put a drop of sauce on her own dinner before returning it to Anna. She then mixed it into her food and took a bite.
“See? It is fine” said Tulley.
Anna put a small drop of the sauce on her dinner, mixed it in and cautiously took a bite.
“That is gorgeous!” she said.
“I told you!” said Tulley cheerfully “you can keep that one, I never go anywhere without a small supply to keep me going.”
“Thank you” said Anna and she handed the bottle to Odin who also tried the sauce.
“How long have you two been together?” asked Tulley as she ate.
“We have been married for four and a half years” said Anna “what about you two?”
“We have been together for a couple of years but we have only just started being a couple” said Tulley. Sven steeled himself for what was to come; expecting Tulley’s usual ramblings.
“What do you mean?” asked Anna.
“We worked together for a couple of years before we felt we were in a position to actually become a couple” said Tulley “it is just a shame that it took a couple of years.”
Sven was surprised at her answer. He had expected her to talk about him being a reploid but she hadn’t.
“So what was your last ship like?” asked Anna.
“It was comparable in size to this one but had external weapons, a curved hull and was golden in colour” said Sven “She was a reliable and beautiful ship.”
“Why did you leave?” asked Odin “you seem to have loved your time aboard.”
“Tulley was the captain’s adopted daughter and he didn’t approve of our union” said Sven sadly “we either left as a couple of stayed apart.”
“That is a real shame” said Odin “sometimes the decisions we have to make are extremely hard.”
“Yes” agreed Sven “I left some dear friends aboard the ship.”
“So did I” agreed Tulley.
“Well hopefully, you’ll find new ones here” said Septus.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 15
: Inso August 01, 2012, 04:50:48 PM
“Firing forward!” said Sven. He pressed the test button for the forward turret and a pattern of energy fire erupted from the guns. He repeated the process for the rear and dorsal turrets and once the test was complete; he retracted the turrets and informed Septus.
“The guns are all operational, captain” said Sven “and system checks of the firing mechanism for the missiles have also been completed satisfactorily.”
“Thank you, master Sven” replied Septus “do you require the ship to remain stationary for any longer, or are you happy for us to continue?”
“As far as I am concerned, we can move on” replied Sven “and Tulley is busy with tertiary inspections so she will agree.”
“Thank you, we will continue our journey then” replied Septus.

“I am surprised that the new crew members have not asked about my previous vessel” thought Septus “or, indeed how it came to be destroyed.”
He gazed through the front screen at the stars and remembered the events that led to the new ship being required vividly. He smiled an arachnid smile and said “Drake, how long until we reach Dural 3?”
“At the current speed, we will reach orbit in eighteen hours and thirty-five minutes, captain” replied Drake.
“Could we stand off the orbit at five clicks?” said Septus.
“It will be done, captain” replied Drake.
“Thank you” said Septus. He didn’t want to get too close to the dock until he was sure his prize was there. He tapped the keys on the control panel and the picture of a dark-haired human appeared on the screen. Next to the picture was information about where he could be found, what his habits were and when he was likely to be at home. Septus scratched his chin and studied the screen.
“You will be fairly easy to scratch off my list” he thought.

“Anna” said Tulley “What do you keep in here?” Tulley pointed to a large door that was locked and could only be opened with a code.
“I’m sorry, Tulley but I can’t tell you yet” replied Anna “captain’s orders.”
“Oh” replied Tulley.
Sven stared at the door for a moment and his eyes changed colour as a red beam flashed out.
“That is where various robot suits are kept” said Sven.
“How did you do that?” asked Anna “you shouldn’t have done that…”
“We all have our secrets” said Sven “I can see that I will have to share my nature with the captain before too long.”
“What do you mean?” asked Anna.
“Well, you already know that I can change my colour” replied Sven “but it goes much further than that.”
“How much further?” asked Anna.
“I will demonstrate once the captain is in our presence” replied Sven.
Anna stared at Sven for a few seconds before leaving the engineering area.
“You proper spooked her then” said Tulley “are you sure you know what you are doing?”
“No… I’m not” replied Sven “but it is better to get things in the open as soon as we can, then we can all start relaxing in each other’s company.”
“I guess so” said Tulley “but what if Septus wants us to leave the ship?”
“I am not sure what his trade is but I am certain that it isn’t fully above board” replied Sven “and having a shape-shifting, practically indestructible, bio-weapon aboard can only be a bonus to him.”
“I suppose so” said Tulley who looked over to the corridor to see Septus, Odin and Anna appear.
“Anna says that you have something to share with me” said Septus.
“I suppose I do” said Sven and he made his way to the centre of the room “please do not be alarmed.”
The first thing he did was to change colours. He then repeated his previous feat of converting himself into a snake and leaving his clothes to fall on the floor before he reformed into his Grymn appearance but with pre-formed underwear in place.
“I can form any shape I wish as long as it is not too much larger than my current stature” said Sven as he changed his arm into an energy weapon “I can create energy weapons that never require to be charged and have varied effects depending on what I wish to create.”
Sven allowed his arm to return to its normal form before his legs sprouted vents that began to glow; causing him to rise into the air a short distance.
“I can fly and I do not need to breathe, eat or drink” he said “and I can operate in extreme environments, like the vacuum of space or the freezing wastes of an ice planet.”
Sven dissolved into a pool of liquid and rose up into his clothes before returning to his Grymn form.
“If I wanted to, I could destroy this vessel with a thought and I could know everything about the ship and the people in it… no computer system is safe because I can encrypt or decode any system… and I expect that I could even decode bio-computers like a human brain if I could work out an interface” said Sven “I am the perfect crewmate to have when trouble arrives.”
Sven stopped and looked at Septus, Odin and Anna and they were all silent and staring at him.
“Your talents are prodigious” said Septus “I am surprised that you don’t have a ship of your own.”
“I am no captain” replied Sven “I am an engineer who just needs a place to stay with his partner.”
“You realise that this little demonstration changes everything, don’t you?” said Septus.
“I thought it might but I knew that it was important to share what I can do” replied Sven “a captain needs to know what resources he has at his disposal, after all.”
“Anna, open the store room” said Septus and Anna did as she was asked. Inside was a selection of robotic suits that were similar to the ones that Anna and Odin had worn in the hotel. There were various alien disguises and over on one side were a pair of battle-suits. There were two large cabinets that were packed with weapons and there was also a large case that had ammunition and grenades in it. There were EVA suits amongst the equipment along with jump-packs, climbing gear, diving gear, cold weather gear and arctic skiing equipment.
“This is what we call the store room” said Septus “it contains everything we could ever need to complete our tasks.”
“What would those be?” asked Sven.
“It varies but we are currently on an assassination job” said Septus.
“Is it purely about money or is this because of what the target has done?” asked Sven.
“The Butcher of Klickeen is his name” replied Septus “you make your own mind up.”
“What are his crimes?” asked Sven.
“Klickeen is no more” replied Septus “fifty billion souls joined the universe when the mass converter was fired at the planet and it was turned to ash.”
“He will be well protected” said Sven.
“The over confident are never ready for a surprise” replied Septus.
“He is on Dural 3?” asked Sven.
“Yes” replied Septus “Anna and Odin will have the honour of removing the stain.”
“What else do you get involved with?” asked Sven.
“We return lost treasures, tidy up loose ends and help people get to where they need to go” replied Septus “our investments mean that we do not receive payment for our work but we are self sufficient and have enough funds to continue far beyond our expected life span.”
“How do you choose your work?” asked Sven.
“Coincidence, circumstance and request” replied Septus.
“You are happy for us to remain as part of your crew?” asked Sven.
“I am” replied Septus “we all have our uses and we understand that we also have our demons too.”
“Thank you” replied Sven “I don’t sleep either.”
“I understand” replied Septus “you have nothing to fear from anyone aboard this ship… and neither does miss Tulley.”
“I understand” replied Sven.
“We arrive at our destination in little more than an hour” said Septus “Anna and Odin will be active and we will monitor and react.”
“I will ensure that the weapon systems are ready and Tulley will ensure that maximum power will be available for the escape” replied Sven “it is what we have always done.”
“Good” replied Septus and he turned to leave.
“You could do this job on your own with no need for any equipment” said Odin.
“It would not be something I could enjoy” replied Sven “I am a soldier and an engineer… not an assassin.”
“It is a shame” replied Odin “I am glad to have you on our side though.”
“I can imagine” replied Sven with a broad smile “it would not fare well to have me as an enemy.”
“Indeed” replied Odin and he gestured for Anna to join him as he followed Septus out of the room.
Tulley walked up to Sven and draped herself on him “that was quite a display” she said.
“I thought I’d pile it on thick” replied Sven.
“If we didn’t have this job to do, I would take you to our cabin now” said Tulley and she kissed him passionately.
“There is always later” replied Sven and he smiled while he extricated himself from her embrace “now get to work and stop distracting me!”
“Yes, sir!” said Tulley with a giggle and she went over to the engine control panel to make sure everything was as it should be “eighty percent?”
“What is?” asked Sven.
“The engines are at eighty percent” replied Tulley “I really need to strip them down and get them working better.”
“They’ll be fine for now” said Sven.
“Well they haven’t had Tulley’s attention yet!” replied Tulley “I’ll get more power from them.”
“It will have to wait until we’ve finished this task” said Sven as he cycled through the turret pre-firing checks again.”
“I know, silly” replied Tulley “but it doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it though.”
“I guess not” said Sven.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 15
: Hasslefriesian August 02, 2012, 08:53:03 AM
 :applause: :D
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 15
: Inso August 02, 2012, 10:34:09 AM
...did you pick up on the understanding between Septus and Sven? There were threatening undertones.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 16
: Inso August 02, 2012, 11:41:03 AM
“There!” said Septus “prepare to intercept…Drake, now!”
The Cheerful Drake spun through a hundred and eighty degrees and powered towards the approaching ship in reverse. The blast doors in engineering slammed close and the rear ramp opened. Moments later the approaching ship diverted and exploded but not before the two crew members had ejected. Anna and Odin fired up their jump packs and screamed towards the open stern of The Cheerful Drake.
“The cargo is aboard, captain” said Drake.
“Seal the ship and let’s get underway” said Septus.
“It is done” replied Drake.
“Drake, safe harbour six” said Septus “maximum available speed, covert.”
“It is done, captain” replied Drake.
“Thank you, Drake” said Septus “you have control.”

The blast door inside the engineering area opened and Sven went to investigate with Tulley. Odin and Anna were in the process of removing their helmets so Sven and Tulley helped them.
“How did it go?” asked Tulley.
“Very cleanly” said Odin “with no hitches.”
“Yes, the target was at a dinner party and we used a guided injector to take him out” said Anna.
“A what?” asked Tulley and Anna produced a small case from her webbing. She opened it to reveal four small, robotic insects with clear bottles of fluid in them. There was a fifth depression that was empty.
“They follow an infra red beam and when they are on target, they inject the contents of the bottle. Once they have done that, they drop to the floor and dissolve” said Anna “the poison induces choking and prevents the blood from carrying oxygen so it looks pretty natural when they die.”
“The poison will be detected during blood screening but by that time, we are long gone” said Odin.
“That is cool” said Tulley as she inspected the insect “the micro-robotics in that are a work of art.”
“Each one is worth half a million credits” said Anna “we only use them for very special targets.”
“I’m not surprised they are so expensive” said Tulley “the craftsmanship required to make them is very rare.”
Anna snapped the case closed and popped it back in her webbing.
“I could see you would have one in pieces if I hadn’t put them away” she said with a smile on her face.
“You’re probably right” replied Tulley, who also smiled.
“Well? How did it go?” asked Septus as he entered the engineering area.
“Slick” replied Odin “The pod landed exactly as planned, we got to within half a click of the building and guided the injector in through an open window. We then boarded a shuttle and when we got to the dock, borrowed a small ship for the return journey.”
“Excellent work” said Septus “did you leave anything behind?”
“The pod was destroyed and the injector dissolved” said Odin “but apart from that, we left nothing except our breath.”
“Well done” said Septus “I will expect a full debrief once you have made yourselves comfortable.”
“Yes, Septus” said Odin and Anna in unison, we’ll make sure we clean up quickly.
Septus left the engineering area. Anna and Odin went to the store room and unloaded their equipment before disappearing to get showered and changed.
“I don’t think we need to attend the de-brief” said Tulley.
“I think you are right” replied Sven “mind you, we know what happened already so what more is there to know?”
“I guess so” replied Tulley “and we are just engineers after all.”
“Exactly” replied Sven “and the longer it stays that way, the better.”
“Yep” replied Tulley “so how long do you reckon it will be before I can work on the engines?”
“Judging by what I have seen, I would expect that Septus will find some time very soon” said Sven “he is a practical captain and having things operating at peak efficiency would be high on his agenda.”
“Good” said Tulley “I am itching to get my hands on them.”
Sven smiled and checked his console. There was a light flashing on his command screen and he clicked on it to discover that there was a homing beacon attached to the ship.
“Drake, we have a homing beacon on the hull of the ship” said Sven.
“Affirmative” replied Drake “the captain has been informed… I have located the device. It is forward of the port engine nacelle.”
“Tell the captain that I can remove it if he stops the ship” said Sven.
Moments later The Cheerful Drake slowed to a stop.
“You may proceed” said Drake.
Sven immediately transformed out of his clothing and into a crystalline state. He dashed to the airlock and went through the process of shutting the internal door, equalizing pressures and then opening the outer door. He left the ship and ten minutes later had returned to engineering with the disabled beacon.
“Captain, I have disabled and retrieved the homing beacon” said Sven “please could you come to see it… you may know where it may have come from.”
Septus arrived in engineering a short while later and as soon as he saw the device knew where it had come from.
“Drake, why wasn’t this picked up before?” he asked.
“My protocols have not been set to automatically monitor all systems” said Drake.
“Who needs to do that?” asked Septus.
“The operator” replied Drake.
“I can sort it out, captain” said Sven “we will have a chat about it and decide what you want and I’ll input the requirements.”
“Thank you, master Sven” said Septus “I suppose there were always going to be teething troubles with such a new ship.”
“So… the homing beacon” said Sven “where is it from.
“It is from Telsia” said Septus “the place we bought the ship from.”
“Why would they monitor your vessel?” asked Tulley.
“Who knows?” replied Septus “but I think we will be paying them a visit soon.”
“Why?” asked Tulley.
“They know where we’ve been” said Odin “and we can’t have that.”
“Is the beacon correctly disabled?” asked Septus as he studied it.
“Yes it is and I will download the data stream to see what information it has been sending back to its owner” said Sven.
“Good. Let me know when you have done it” replied Septus “but please dress before you continue with your work.”
Sven had forgotten that he was still in a crystalline form. He also realised that he had neglected to cover himself like he did on the demonstration and quickly formed underwear to correct the failing.
“My apologies, captain” said Sven “I will sort things out.”
“Good” said Septus, please bring your findings to the bridge when you have them.”
Septus left engineering and Sven could hear Tulley laughing.
“What?” asked Sven as he transformed himself back into his clothing again.
“Septus is a bit prudish, isn’t he?” she replied, smiling broadly as she did so “I wouldn’t have expected that.”
“I think it has more to do with standards” replied Sven “and my perceived nudity.”
“Oh… you were definitely nude” beamed Tulley.
“Okay… I’ll agree… but it is a bit of a grey area” replied Sven.
“No, it was a lot of a crystal area” said Tulley who giggled as she spoke.
“Tulley, you are incorrigible!” replied Sven as he adjusted his clothing.
“I know” replied Tulley and she continued with her work.
“Now then, what secrets do you hold?” said Sven as a small probe grew from his finger tip and transformed to match the socket in the homing beacon.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 17
: Inso August 02, 2012, 04:26:11 PM
“You were correct, Septus” said Sven “it is from Telsia.”
“What information have you extracted from it?” asked Septus.
“It has purely been sending co-ordinates every half an hour for the last three weeks, nothing more” replied Sven “but that is still unacceptable.”
“Agreed” replied Septus.
“The signal was always sent to the same receiver” continued Sven “and I have traced it to the ship yard where The Cheerful Drake was made.”
“I think we will pay the ship yard a visit” said Septus “after miss Tulley has had an opportunity to tinker with the engines.”
“That sounds like a plan” replied Sven “where will we dock?”
“I think that Charran will suit our needs perfectly” said Septus “you will have time to improve the engines and collect any belongings you need before we travel to Telsia to investigate.”
“Thank you captain” said Sven “I will let Tulley know.”

“I’ve let Elradar know we’re coming” said Tulley as they walked from The Cheerful Drake towards a waiting shuttle.
“Do you think the ship will still be there when we return?” asked Sven.
“Definitely” said Tulley and she produced a small component from her pocket “The ship won’t move without the CIU.”
“You are a marvel, babe” said Sven and he pulled her close while they walked.
“I know” said Tulley who beamed.

Elradar was not at the palace but Doorman looked after them. They thanked him profusely and made sure that they had collected everything before they took the return shuttle. When they returned to The Cheerful Drake, they spent an hour or so unpacking and then they both set to work upgrading the engines. As usual, Tulley started ripping things to pieces, while Sven downloaded the schematics and operation manuals.
“What is this?” said Tulley; holding up a small odd-shaped component.
“That is the fuel-flow control unit” said Sven.
Tulley dropped it in the drip tray and buried her torso into the engine casing again before reappearing and asking “what’s this then?”
“That is the ignition unit” replied Sven.
“These engines have tiny components” said Tulley “no wonder the efficiency is so low.”
“Big doesn’t necessarily mean efficient” said Sven.
“I know but when it comes to fuel, and vaporiser components it does… usually” replied Tulley “I’ve found the lubricators to the main bearings are clogged so I’ll unclog them to make the rotors turn smoother… the IGV motors are running slowly, there seems to be an extra resistance in the line… probably a dodgy earth.”
Tulley was in her element and Sven loved to watch her work. As much as he adored the childish Tulley that lived on The Obituary, he felt much more comfortable adoring the mature one in front of him. He thought it was amazing how Tulley could change personality without changing at all.
“Oi! Pay attention!” said Tulley “what’s this?”
“That is the ion filter” replied Sven “and I was paying attention… just not to what you were saying.”
“Good” replied Tulley who bent into the engine again; making sure that she gave her bottom a wiggle in the process.”
Sven smiled and waited for her to emerge again.
“There!” said Tulley; grabbing a rag and wiping her hands before producing the component to show Sven “have a look into this, would you?”
Sven took the component from her and noted that it was an electronic actuator. He altered his focus to look inside the component and immediately noticed that one of the soldered joints was dry. He changed his focus again and a beam of light sprung from it and heated the joint to re-melt the solder and improve the conductance.
“Try that, babe” said Sven.
Tulley took the component from him, plugged some test cables into it and checked the resistance “that is much better” she said.
“Good” replied Sven.
Tulley disappeared into the engine again and then popped back and forth; collecting the components from the drip tray and refitting them.
“One down; three to go” said Tulley and she refitted the final panel before tearing off the first one for the next engine.
After six hours, Tulley had finished with the engines and was ready to run the diagnostic checks. Sven helped her connect the test set and they spent a further hour running through system and performance checks. When they had finished, Tulley was extremely happy.
“I’ve never managed ninety three percent before!” she squealed “that’s my best ever.”
“Well done, I’m sure the captain will be very happy” replied Sven.
“Of course he will” replied Tulley “the engines will give an extra seventeen percent power and the speed will shoot up.”
“You should go and tell him” said Sven “I’ll crack on with Drakes protocol adjustments.”
“Okay” said Tulley and she left engineering.
Sven sat at his console and opened up the ships computer protocol screen.
“Drake?” asked Sven.
“Yes, master Sven?” replied Drake.
“I am about to adjust your protocol settings. Please could you shut down for me” said Sven.
“It is done” replied Drake and Sven watched the screen to monitor the shut-down process. After a few seconds, Drake was off line so Sven began to update the protocols to include various extra monitoring duties. A few minutes later, he had finished and was ready to switch Drake back on.
“The captain is very happy and wants to get underway as soon as possible to try out the engines” said Tulley who had just returned to engineering.
Sven switched Drake back on and waited for him to update his processes “Good, I’m glad he was happy… we’ll be able to get underway once Drake is back up to speed” he said.
“Septus also said that we didn’t need to sabotage the ship before we left…” said Tulley “but he was impressed at our efficiency.”
“Good” said Sven “at least we know where we stand.”
Tulley put her arm around Sven’s shoulders as he sat at the console and peered at the screen. She just wanted to be close to him and took any excuse to do it.
“Do you think we could upgrade the food system at all?” she asked “I think the crew needs a bit more variety.”
“I think we could sort something out but lets get the ships main systems fixed up first” replied Sven “then we’ll have more leverage to get our own way.”
“Good idea” said Tulley and she kissed his cheek before wandering over to her tool kit to make sure that all of her tools were cleaned properly.
“Drake, run a system check please” said Sven.
“System check in progress” replied Drake.

“Captain, we are ready to proceed when you wish” said Sven.
“Thank you” replied Septus. He looked out of the front screen and thought for a moment before saying “Drake, prepare to depart and set a course for Telsia.”
“It will be done” replied Drake and almost immediately, the sound of the docking clamps releasing could be heard.
“Once we are clear of the traffic, I’d like to see how well the engines work” said Septus “Drake please arrange for a full test.”
“It will be done” replied Drake.
“Odin, how should we proceed with this?” asked Septus.
“We’ll wear Mr and Mrs Brown and pay the foreman a visit to ask questions” replied Odin “it would be handy to take a robot with us as well… like a servant.”
“Are you suggesting that Sven should join you?” asked Septus.
“I think he will be needed to extract the information from the computer” replied Odin “it will also help him to become part of the crew.”
“Are you sure it is really necessary?” asked Anna “I am more than capable of downloading the information and disrupting the data that they have.”
“It would also be an added defensive measure” replied Odin.
Anna looked at him imploringly but Odin just smiled “don’t worry, dear. Sven is a good character… no harm will befall us at his hands unless Tulley is in danger.”
“I hope you are right” replied Anna.
“I will talk to Sven” said Septus “prepare yourselves for the visit.”
“Yes, captain” they both replied before leaving the bridge.
“Sven, please come to the bridge” said Septus.
“On my way” replied Sven.

When Mr and Mrs Brown turned up at the shipyard foreman’s office they were accompanied by a matt grey reploid.
“Hello there, masters” said the foreman “I see that you have returned in your beautiful ship… how may I be of assistance?”
“We have a small number of concerns regarding the systems on board” replied Mr Brown.
“Really? I am sure that when you took the vessel, everything was running smoothly… and that was over thirty days ago so your warranty will not cover things… assuming you haven’t already invalidated the warranty by making adjustments” said the foreman.
“One of the systems was only running at seventy percent” replied Mrs Brown “and that is most unacceptable.”
“As I have already said…” started the foreman.
“And we were curious as to why you felt the need to track our ship” said Mr Brown abruptly.
“Track your ship?” asked the foreman who, unseen by Mr and Mrs Brown, pressed a panic button under his desk.
“That was not a wise thing to do” said Sven “you should not have alerted your staff… this will go badly for you now.”
“But…” said the foreman who had stood up and backed away from them.
“Feth!” said Mrs Brown as she looked out of the window “we need to quieten things down, Mr Brown.”
Mr Brown walked towards the foreman and said “I’m sorry about this” before injecting him with a sleep drug. The foreman slumped to the floor.
“I’ll sort the computer” said Anna and she immediately set to work extracting information and installing a virus.
“I will deal with those” said Sven and he stepped out of the office to confront the five security guards who had turned up.
“How long?” asked Mr Brown.
“Another three minutes should do it” replied Mrs Brown.
“Good, I don’t want to stay too much longer because I can see things getting very busy soon” said Mr Brown.

Sven faced off against the security team and made a note of all the weak points in their armour. Each of the guards had a pistol drawn and was pointing it at Sven.
“Stop! Hands up! Don’t move!” shouted the nearest guard and Sven did as he was asked.
“What are you doing here?” asked the guard.
Sven said nothing and the guards became more insistent so he pointed to his face and shook his head; suggesting that he couldn’t speak.
“Charlie, nip in and check the office” said the lead guard. Charlie ran towards the office but as soon as he was within reach Sven lashed out with an arm; striking Charlie in the chest and throwing him into the lead guard.
“Fire!” shouted another guard and everyone started shooting.
Sven remained where he was impassively and the rounds just bounced off him. A moment later the shooting stopped and Sven looked at each of the guards in turn before saying “it is unwise to continue this line of action.”
The guards looked at each other and backed away. The lead guard began to climb to his feet. When he was standing he said “get Tubbs.”
One of the guards pressed a button on his cuff and Sven had an ominous feeling about it.
“You’ve done it now, robot” said the leader.
“Mr and Mrs Brown, time is of the essence” said Sven and he got the reply “one more minute.”
Sven looked around and noticed that there was a heavy vibration emanating from the decking. He looked over towards a partially finished ship to see a large construction robot stamping towards him.
“Feth” thought Sven “I’ll need to draw that away and silence the guards.”
 “We’re done” said Mr Brown.
“Good… now get to the ship as fast as you can” said Sven “I’ll keep the beast company.”
The office door burst open and Mr and Mrs Brown dashed out; firing pistols at the guards. All five of the guards dropped to the ground so Sven turned all of his attention towards the construction robot. He quickly pin-pointed all of the weak points and a blaster formed on his right arm. “Here we go” he said as he dashed towards the robot.
“Hello Tubbs!” shouted Sven as he leapt quickly between the robots legs and fired a single shot at his hip joint. The joint immediately buckled and the robot fell heavily. Sven had to leap clear as a barrage of heavy rivets flashed past him but managed to avoid them and fire a single blast at the robot’s head. The blast struck home and the robot’s sighting units were destroyed. Sven got to his feet and ran up to the robot; climbing onto the large power unit that was attached to the rear of the torso. He calmly switched his blaster to a power blade and plunged it into the unit, shorting out the robot’s power source causing it to instantly cease moving. Sven jumped from the robot and dashed back to the ship and almost as soon as he was on board, The Cheerful Drake departed. Septus smiled to himself as the ship left the yard “most impressive” he thought.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 17
: Hasslefriesian August 03, 2012, 09:28:11 AM
1. I don't trust Septus.

2. I like Tulley's new grown-up character. Although she's a lot like Jela.

3. Sven is in danger of being overly powerful.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 17
: Inso August 03, 2012, 02:41:11 PM
1. :mrgreen:
2. At the moment ... But Sven is Thorred and he is likely to like the same personalities, isn't he?
3. :mrgreen:
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 18
: Inso August 06, 2012, 10:51:36 AM
The information that was retrieved from the computer was pretty straightforward. Every ship that left the dock was fitted with a tracker so that mileage could be measured for warranty purposes. There seemed to be no more sinister reasons so Septus was happy that things could now move on.
“Why did you kill the guards?” asked Sven.
“We didn’t” said Odin as he climbed out of the robot Mr Brown.
“We stunned them, that is all” said Anna.
“Oh” replied Sven “good.”
Almost as soon as Sven was aboard, he quickly reverted to his preferred form and dressed. He felt a little sad about changing to his older, obsolete form for the job and wanted to forget all about it.
“You have some pretty impressive moves for an engineer” said Odin “where did you train?”
“I was in the military for a while… I trained on the home-world and carried out many actions off-world” replied Sven.
“I didn’t know the Grymn had robot forces” replied Odin.
“They don’t” replied Sven “not any more… I am the last.”
“What happened?” asked Odin.
“They were destroyed during an invasion attempt” said Sven “if you’ll excuse me, I have things to do.”
“Of course” said Odin “thank you for your help today.”
“You are welcome” replied Sven “but I won’t be making a habit of it.”

Sven went to engineering and joined Tulley. He was deep in thought about what had happened and realised that there was much more to The Cheerful Drake than met the eye. After being on a task with Odin and Anna, he was in a better position to judge them and he now knew that they were both extremely efficient operatives. He also realised that he was going to get drawn into a line of work that he had hoped he had left behind. Sometimes he really hated having so much power at his disposal because he always felt overly responsible for those around him because he always knew he was able to look after them.
“What’s up, puppy?” asked Tulley “you’re off with the Father.”
“Sorry, Tulley” replied Sven “I just didn’t enjoy the job.”
“Never mind… at least you can say no when you want to” said Tulley “you were hired as an engineer, after all.”
“I hope that is the case” replied Sven “but I can see that I will become more and more ‘helpful’ as one of the operatives.”
“I can break the engines and make it so that you are the only one who can fix them if you like” replied Tulley and she hugged him.
“That won’t be necessary” said Sven “I will have to stand my ground… but thanks for the offer.”
“Cheer up… I made you this” said Tulley and she handed him a small cloth patch “it’s just like mine.”
Sven took the patch and immediately recognised the design as the same as the dragon on the hull of the ship.
“Thank you” replied Sven.
“I’ll stitch it on for you later” said Tulley “we are now properly part of the crew.”
“For now” said Sven.
“For a while yet” replied Tulley “it is just teething pains… you’ll settle down again once you know your place. I have mine already so I can just get on with things but you are still finding yours… but things will sort themselves out.”
“I hope so” said Sven “things were far simpler aboard The Obituary… I had my brother to help me adjust.”
“I miss them as well” said Tulley and she rested her head on his shoulder “but we have to move on… Drackus will never change his mind.”
“Thorred would make a good operative” said Sven.
“But Jela would never join him on this vessel” replied Tulley “The Obituary is a much safer ship than this one and she wants to start a family.”
“You have changed a lot” said Sven.
“For the better, I hope” replied Tulley.
“No… and yes…” replied Sven.
“What do you mean by that?” she asked abruptly and she stood away from him with a scowl on her face.
“I miss the innocent Tulley but adore the grown up one” replied Sven.
“You are a silly puppy!” said Tulley as she grinned broadly and hugged him again “I’m just Tulley and I always will be.”
Sven smiled and hugged her back. After all the internal questioning he had been doing, this was the first time that he knew he had made the right decision. He hugged Tulley tenderly and felt much better.
“I would move mountains for you” said Sven.
“Well… you can start by helping me with the water processing unit” replied Tulley “you can work up to mountains later on.”

The Cheerful Drake plodded along slowly towards an asteroid belt on the edge of a nearby sector. The ship was going slowly to allow Tulley and Sven to investigate the various systems that were currently running at reduced efficiency and after the success of the engine upgrades, Tulley was keen to keep up the momentum.
“That is it, captain” said Tulley proudly “we’ve got all systems running at above ninety percent now.”
“Excellent work” replied Septus “are you happy for us to proceed normally now?”
“Yes” replied Tulley.
“Thank you” said Septus and the comms went quiet.
“He doesn’t say much, does he?” said Tulley with a frown.
“I think that he finds it difficult” said Sven “his mouth is different to ours and I think he has trouble shaping sounds.”
“Oh” replied Tulley.
A moment later, Septus arrived in engineering and wandered around before saying “it all looks the same.”
“It would do” replied Tulley “the modifications have all been internal.”
“I was expecting a mess of wires and bolted on components” replied Septus “I am very pleased that this is not the case.”
“We always try to improve things not mess them up” replied Tulley.
“Do not misunderstand me” replied Septus “my last mechanic was not as… accomplished as you two obviously are. He was less inclined to make things neat.”
“Thank you” replied Tulley and Sven noticed that she blushed slightly at the obvious compliment “I don’t like mess.”
“Good” replied Septus “we will be travelling to one of our bolt-holes shortly for a recharge so you will have an opportunity to get your land legs again.”
“Where is that then?” asked Tulley.
“It is in the East” replied Septus and he left engineering.
“That was nice” said Tulley.
“That is the first time I have ever heard an impromptu inspection referred to as nice” replied Sven.
“He didn’t need to come and chat” replied Tulley.
“You’re right” replied Sven “but he did need to come and check up on our handiwork.”
“No he didn’t, we always do a good job” replied Tulley and she crossed her arms defiantly.
“We know that… but he didn’t” said Sven “be thankful that we are up to his standards.”
“You are just being sneaky now” said Tulley “he seems a nice captain.”
“For now” replied Sven.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 19
: Inso August 06, 2012, 04:10:45 PM
Since the ship had undergone a series of modifications at Tulley and Sven’s hands, the captain was keen to test them out so the ship was being put through its paces on the trip to the bolt-hole. By the time they reached the dock, the captain was very impressed with the improvements that were made and made his feelings known to the two engineers. After the ship was properly docked, Septus gathered everyone together for a brief.
“We are at the bolt hole and will be meeting other members of the team. Tulley and Sven, you will not know anyone here so I suggest that you join Anna and Odin until you learn a few faces” said Septus “the ship will be serviced by the dock staff so you are free to explore while the ship is at rest.”
Septus looked at each of the crew and said “you have forty eight hours before the ship will be closing its hatch to leave but you are free to use the facilities either on the ship or in the dock as you see fit. The time is fifteen-hours-ten in five, four, three two, one, SET!”
Everyone set their time pieces and then the four Grymn left the ship for a tour. Septus remained on board.

Odin left Anna to show Tulley and Sven around and disappeared off towards a rather official looking building in the dock area.
“He’s off to the guild office” said Anna “he always likes to catch up with the missions that our different teams carry out and the guild has all of the data files. Part of coming to the bolt hole is downloading data.”
“Why is it called the guild?” asked Tulley “the guild of what?”
“We are all part of a larger team and because we are fairly secret, we have chosen to be known as the guild” replied Anna.
“How many teams are there?” asked Sven.
“Over a hundred” replied Anna “but we all have different roles. There is an administrative team that looks into corruption, for example.”
“I am surprised that we have been allowed to enter this place so quickly” said Sven “we’ve barely arrived.”
“I wouldn’t worry about that” replied Anna “we already know all about you both.”
“Do you?” asked Tulley.
“Drackus took you aboard The Obituary because you had no where left to go so he treated you as a daughter” said Anna “and you were instrumental in the destruction of a hybrid incursion on Porphys.”
“So knowing that, you think it is safe to bring us here?” said Sven.
“Where?” asked Anna “you have not been given the coordinates and have not been shown the route.”
“It would be easy for me to find out” replied Sven.
“But in searching, you would highlight yourself as a problem” replied Anna.
“Would I now?” asked Sven “is everything so black and white with the three of you?”
“Generally speaking, yes” replied Anna.
“I’ve just noticed that there aren’t any alien races here” said Tulley “is this just a Grymn thing?”
“Apart from Septus, there are quite a few alien races in the guild but they are generally local to their regions unless they have a role aboard a star-ship” said Anna “we found that humans are too greedy by nature so we have relatively few of them in the guild but other races are very useful depending on what roles we need to fill.”
“Was I employed because I was a mechanic?” asked Sven “or because of other things?”
“That is for Septus to answer” replied Anna “but I would suspect that your wider specialities may have helped the application.”
“So… by joining the ship, we join the guild?” asked Tulley.
“Yes” replied Anna.
“Is there a badge?” asked Tulley.
“There is a symbol but it is not to be shared” replied Anna and she looked at Tulley with a raised eyebrow.
“I wasn’t going to share it” said Tulley. Anna looked at Tulley’s coveralls and pointed at the dragon.
“So you weren’t thinking of doing that then” replied Anna.
“No… well… maybe” said Tulley “but I won’t now. It’s just that… if I’m in a club, I want to know what the club emblem is otherwise there is no reason to be in the club.”
“It isn’t a club” replied Anna “it is the guild… an association.”
“So a club then” replied Tulley and Sven could see her digging her heels in and he saw the old Tulley again.
“I… well… I suppose so” said Anna “but no badges.”
“Okay, no badges” replied Tulley and she grinned.
“There is the guild symbol” said Anna and she pointed to a small plaque that was set away from the path.
“A shield with a pen and sword on it?” said Tulley “it’s not very exciting, is it? I expected a dragon or an assassin or something.”
“Well… it is what it is, I suppose” replied Anna “shall we go to get something to eat or would you like to visit the store?”
“Is there just one store here?” asked Tulley and Sven knew that she was in full flow now.
“Yes” replied Anna with a sigh.
“Oh… well I guess it won’t take long to look round then” said Tulley “lets go there first and then we’ll get something to eat.”
“This way” said Anna and she sped away.
 Tulley and Sven followed her and Sven turned to Tulley and said “stop playing with her.”
“I’m not playing with her” said Tulley innocently “I’m just finding things out.”
“You’ll find out how hard she can punch if you aren’t careful” replied Sven.
“Ohhh… I don’t think it will get that far” said Tulley with a mischievous grin. Sven smiled and held her hand as they both tried to keep up with Anna.

The store was a place where you could find the bare essentials of normal life and all sorts of specialist kit for adventuring. There were the usual fatigues, overalls and underwear in the clothing section but little else. The footwear tended to be boots or safety shoes and the toiletries seemed to be ex-military issue. There were a few items that looked out of place, namely confectionary and pharmaceutical items that were branded but the rest looked like something you would get from a military store. Everything was free to take away so Tulley took the opportunity to get another couple of overalls and two pairs of safety boots for her and Sven.
“I would advise you to find a side arm and holster” said Anna.
“Why would that be?” asked Tulley.
“You never know when you will need to protect yourself” said Anna.
“I have Sven for that and he doesn’t need a pistol” replied Tulley.
“He may not always be around and he may also need to appear like a normal Grymn… and turning his arm into a blaster may be a little bit of a giveaway as to his origins” said Anna.
“Okay” said Tulley with a shrug “where do they keep the guns?”
Tulley and Sven were shown to a corner of the store that had shelf after shelf of various weapons. When they arrived, a smartly dressed, female Grymn appeared.
“My name is Ingrid. What can I provide for you today?” she said.
“Hello, Ingrid” said Tulley “I need a pistol today… one that can protect me.”
“Well, we have a range of pistols to suit all situations” replied Ingrid “may I ask whether you are familiar with the use of a firearm.”
“Yes, you may” replied Tulley. Ingrid paused for a moment before asking “have you used a pistol before?”
“Yes, a while ago but I may be a little rusty” replied Tulley “is there somewhere to try the thing out before I choose one?”
“Certainly… and may I suggest this one for you” said Ingrid. She picked a small machine-pistol from the rack and loaded a clip of flechettes into it before saying “if you would like to follow me?”
They all walked around the rack and to Sven’s surprise, there was a multiple lane gun range set at the back of the store.
“The safety catch is here… and I will selct single shot for now” said Ingrid as she passed Tulley the weapon. Tulley twisted her wrist back and forth and tilted the pistol forward before walking to the nearest lane; as directed.
“What do I point at?” she asked before a light came on at the far end of the range where a target that looked like a human torso was standing.
“Please fire at the indicated target” said Ingrid so Tulley took aim before firing ten steady shots. Sven couldn’t help but smile at her because when she fired, she stuck her tongue out between clenched lips in concentration.
“There!” said Tulley and she put the safety catch on. The target appeared at the firing point and Sven had to stifle a laugh. Nine holes made a smiling face on the head of the target with the tenth round piercing the marker for the heart.
“It’s a bit heavy… do you have anything a little lighter?” said Tulley and she handed Ingrid the pistol.
“Yes madam, I’ll get it for you now” said Ingrid and she walked off.
“You are a good shot” said a surprised Anna “where did you learn to shoot like that?”
“I just learned” said Tulley with an innocent smile that suggested she was not going divulge her secret.
“This one might suit better” said Ingrid when she returned and handed Tulley the pistol.
“Thank you” said Tulley and she addressed the lane, sent the target away and got ready to fire. Once she had finished, the target returned and there was a neat grouping of ten rounds in the dead centre of the torso.
“Yep… this one will be fine” said Tulley “does it come in purple?”
Ingrid looked at her strangely before realising that Tulley meant what she said.
“Purple?” said Ingrid “I can get you a purple one if you wish.”
“Excellent” said Tulley “and I’ll need a matching waist holster with an additional shoulder holster… and a thousand loads to go with it.”
“I’ll sort that out for you once I have dealt with your associate” replied Ingrid.
“My lover” said Tulley cheerfully.
“I’m sorry?” asked Ingrid.
“He’s my lover, not my associate” said Tulley and she hugged Sven’s arm. Sven would have been scarlet if he had decided to give himself the correct programming but he had to stop himself laughing when she grabbed him.
“Oh… um…“ said Ingrid as she looked around “and what would sir require today?”
“I require a Ballistic Genii 938 with full auto, grenade accessory and open sights” replied Sven “I also need a shoulder and waist holster, a thousand loads and fifty grenades… plus a cleaning kit and lube.”
“Oh… I’ll need a cleaning kit and oil as well” said Tulley.
“What… colour would sir like?” asked Ingrid whilst looking towards Tulley.
“Standard gun-grey would be perfect” replied Sven “with black holsters.”
“Excellent” said Ingrid “is there anything else you require today?”
“Do you have rail rifles?” asked Tulley.
“Yes, madam” replied Ingrid “would you like to try one?”
“No… I was just curious” said Tulley and Sven could see she was in full swing. Ingrid paused for a moment before saying “I will go and select your items for you.”
Ingrid walked away and Anna asked “why do you want a purple firearm?”
“I like purple” replied Tulley “It reminds me of a friend I have.”
A moment later, Ingrid returned with all of the items and Tulley was amazed that there was a purple firearm in amongst them.
“You had a purple one already?” she asked.
“Madam is not the first person to ask for a purple firearm” replied Ingrid “will that be all?”
“Yes, thank you” replied Sven before Tulley could say another word.
“Then, good day and I hope you enjoy your purchases and use your firearms responsibly” said Ingrid before she disappeared behind the shelves again.
“They’ve even packed it all into a leather bag” said Tulley “I’m impressed. I think I’ll do all of my weapon shopping here from now on.”
“I am sure they’ll like that” said Anna sarcastically.
“So… what’s next?” asked Tulley; ignoring Anna’s tone.
“Food” said Sven “I am hungry so could you show us where we can eat please?”
“Yes, Sven” replied Anna “This way… it is quite a bland looking place but the food is quite excellent.
”Perfect” said Sven “I am looking forward to some Mead and a decent meal.”
“I’m sorry but you will find no mead here” said Anna “the guild does not approve of alcohol.”
Sven stopped walking and stared blankly at Anna before saying “you are joking… aren’t you?”
“No. It is guild policy” said Anna “alcohol impairs judgement.”
“I wish I’d known that before” said Sven.
“Would it have changed your mind?” asked Anna.
“No… but it may have prepared me better for the shock” replied Sven.

“You were right, Anna” said Tulley “the food is quite excellent.”
“They have been here for an awful long time and quickly realised that the food needed to be excellent or they would get a hard time” replied Anna “and there are much grumpier guilders here than us.”
“We need to get something like this aboard The Cheer…” started Tulley.
“SHHH!” said Anna “please; no ship names.”
“Why?” asked Tulley.
“It is unlucky in this place” said Anna.
“Oh” replied Tulley “well we need to get better food aboard the ship then.”
“The food is adequate” replied Anna.
“No… the food is basic and boring” replied Tulley “we need a better food module.”
“We won’t be able to get one here” replied Anna.
“Then we’ll get one from somewhere else” replied Tulley “we need better food because I want better food.”
“I am not sure that the captain will approve” said Anna.
“He’ll have to” replied Tulley “or the ship may start misbehaving due to my boredom.”
Anna stared at Tulley, opened her mouth to speak but thought better of it.
“Is there somewhere to stay in the dock?” asked Sven “for couples?”
“Yes” replied Anna “there is a pretty standard hotel facility with a mix of rooms.”
“Brilliant” said Sven “could you show us where it is and we’ll pop back to the ship to get a few things before checking in.”
“My pleasure” said Anna and after a quick glance at Tulley, she stood up and led them to the hotel.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 20
: Inso August 07, 2012, 05:04:08 PM
“You have been a complete minx today!” said Sven when they finally threw their bags on the sofa in the hotel room “I felt quite sorry for Anna today.”
“Why?” replied Tulley innocently “I treated her better than she treated me.”
“You didn’t have to torture her quite as much as you did” said Sven “I thought she was going to shoot you at one point.”
“I’m sure she’ll survive” said Tulley with a big smile on her face “are you going to run a bath? There are bubbles here and everything!”
Tulley stepped out of her boots, allowed her coveralls to drop to the floor and stood in front of Sven wearing just her pink, silk, knickers and bra. She leant up against the door frame and cocked her hip suggestively.
“I’ll let you wash my back” she said.
“Why didn’t you say that sooner?” said Sven and he walked past her into the bathroom; gently patting her bottom as he passed.
“Make sure you put lots of bubbles in!” said Tulley.
“Of course… anything else, madam?” asked Sven.
“Just you” replied Tulley and she joined him in the bathroom before closing the door behind her.

The forty eight hours flew by and when Tulley and Sven returned to the ship, it felt like they had never left. Anna, Odin and Septus were already on board and almost as soon as everyone was present, Drake released the docking clamps and began to manoeuvre the ship away from its berth. Once everyone had stowed their kit, they were told to gather on the bridge for a brief.

“You will have noticed the skimmer in the cargo area” said Septus “it is there so that we can carry cargo across the surface of our next stop; Varga 7.”
“What are we collecting?” asked Odin.
“We are retrieving a piece of stolen architecture” replied Septus “a bell weighing approximately one and a half metric tonnes.”
“What terrain are we expecting” asked Odin.
“Arable farm land” replied Septus.
“Have the briefing packs been uploaded yet?” asked Anna.
“Yes, they have been assigned” said Septus.
“I am not required for this task, I assume” said Sven abruptly.
“You assume correctly” replied Septus “Your skills will be required on board the ship, as will miss Tulley’s.”
“Thank you, captain” said Sven.
“Odin, Anna, you have around forty two hours to absorb the brief” said Septus “that is all.”

When The Cheerful Drake made planet fall on Varga 7, the area they chose to land in was shrouded in darkness. Septus skilfully landed at the edge of a forest so that there was room for the skimmer to leave whilst The Cheerful Drake’s silhouette was broken up by the trees behind it. Odin and Anna were not disguised this time and were wearing combat gear and webbing. They were also well armed and had plenty of extra equipment stowed on the skimmer. Almost as soon as the ship touched down, the interior lights of the ship were extinguished, the ramp lowered and the skimmer departed. Once the skimmer had gone the ramp closed and the interior lights were put back on. All of the blast shields on the ship were closed so that no light escaped. Septus remained on the bridge and monitored events.

After three hours, there was still no word back from Anna and Odin and Septus had started tapping the desk beside the console with impatience.
“They should be here by now” he thought. He was just about to stretch his many legs when the comms burst into life.
“Captain, we’re in bound” said Odin “Mrs Brown has been injured, cat 2. The cargo has been collected. There are four chasers. HOT!”
“Received” replied Septus “Sven, prepare to defend the cargo area we have four enemy approaching and they are heavily armed. Extinguish the lights, get the ramp open and prepare to repel boarders.”
“Yes, captain” replied Sven through the comms.

The ramp lowered after Sven had made sure that Tulley was out of harm’s way and the lights were out. Sven stared into the darkness and adjusted his vision to night-sight. In the distance he could see the skimmer racing towards the ship and following close behind there were four hover-bikes. He watched for a moment and saw that the skimmer was able to keep them at bay but was being fired upon with energy weapons. Sven undid his overalls and rolled them down to his waist; making a belt with tied together sleeves and walked off to one side of the ship. He was already bare-foot so he didn’t need to worry about damaging his footwear when claws erupted from his feet to securely anchor him to the ground. He braced himself and held out both arms in front of him and they quickly turned into large cannons. Sven watched the skimmer as it screamed towards him and targeted the following bikes. He fired both of his weapons and two of the bikes burst into flames as the blasts struck home. Sven hoped that the other two would retreat but they kept coming so he fired again. Another bike was engulfed in flames and to Sven’s relief; the last bike turned tail and fled. The skimmer dashed past Sven and into the ship; jamming on the air brakes as it ascended the ramp. Sven scanned the distance to make sure everything was safe before his feet and arms returned to normal and he followed the skimmer into the ship; closing the ramp behind him.

“Drake, get us out of here and set a course for the nearest bolt hole” said Septus “you have the ship.”
“It is done, captain” replied Drake.
Septus made his way purposefully towards the cargo area and picked up a medi-pack on the way. When he reached the skimmer, Odin was busy removing Anna’s webbing and opening her jumpsuit to reveal the injury she had sustained. Septus threw him the medi-pack and went to the front of the skimmer to inspect the bell. He ran his feelers over the surface and noted that it was undamaged.
“Excellent work” he said before he promptly returned to the bridge.
Tulley stood back and watched as Sven leapt into the skimmer to help Odin with Anna. Anna had an energy burn that pierced her side and seared the flesh. She was unconscious but a quick scan showed that her vital signs were strong.
“Pass the quick clot” said Odin and Sven did as he was asked. Odin carefully poured the powder into the wound and it began to fizz as it sealed the hole. Anna flinched as the powder did its work but remained unconscious.
“We should be able to move her now” said Odin.
“Where do you want her?” asked Sven and he spread his fingers into a supporting stretcher and carefully lifted Anna from the skimmer floor.
“In our cabin” replied Odin.
Sven stretched his leg to meet the floor of the ship and smoothly stepped from the skimmer with Anna safely supported in his arms. He allowed Odin to catch up and followed him into his cabin. Tulley watched as they departed and didn’t move. She had a confused look on her face and seemed to be rooted to the spot.

“Tulley, Tulley!” said Sven once he had returned from Odin’s cabin “Are you alright?”
“Was she alright?” asked Tulley “she isn’t dead is she?”
“No Tulley, she will be fine… she’ll just have a nice scar to show off” replied Sven. He looked at Tulley and she was ashen faced so he put his arms around her.
“Would you like some tea?” he asked.
“He didn’t even look at her” said Tulley.
“What?” replied Sven.
“Septus. He didn’t even look at her to see if she was alright” said Tulley “he was only interested in the bell.”
“Maybe he doesn’t like the sight of blood” said Sven.
“I don’t think he cares, you know” said Tulley “he is just interested in getting the job done. Drackus would never be like that.”
“I’m sure there is an explanation” replied Sven.
“Can I have some tea now?” asked Tulley.
“Of course, come and sit down and I’ll get you some” replied Sven. He led Tulley over to the engineering console and sat her in the chair. He went over to the boiler and sorted out some herbal tea and returned to see Tulley crying.
“What is it babe?” asked Sven and he put the tea down and hugged her to him.
“I miss Joo’an and Fran and Jela and Sally…” said Tulley and she sobbed onto Sven’s chest “Drackus was a nice captain… and sig sang rude songs and Chook was a real dragon…”
“I miss them all too; especially my brother” said Sven “but we can’t go back, it would never work out.”
“I know… but I still miss them all” said Tulley as she wiped her eyes on a sleeve “and it hurts”.
“If you can tell me how to fix it, I will do it… you know I will” said Sven “but I can’t see a way of sorting it out.”
“I know” replied Tulley and she breathed heavily before making Sven relax his grip on her so that she could reach her tea. She took a sip and Sven saw how vulnerable she looked. He could feel his heart breaking as he watched her sipping her tea; her face red and blotchy as a result of her tears.
“If you don’t like it here, we can sort out a different ship” said Sven.
“No… it’s alright” replied Tulley “we’ve just got here… I’ll stick it out for a while.”
“Okay… but you know you only have to say the word” replied Sven.
“Thank you” said Tulley and she continued to sip her tea.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 21
: Inso August 08, 2012, 10:58:26 AM
After lunch on the following day, Anna gingerly made her way to engineering and Tulley helped to make her comfortable on one of the softer seats. Anna thanked her and managed a smile even though she was obviously in pain.
“Have you had any medication?” asked Tulley.
“Yes, just enough to take the edge off” replied Anna.
“Does this sort of thing happen a lot?” asked Tulley.
“Not really but more often than I’d like” replied Anna and she stifled a laugh because her side hurt.
“Would you like some tea?” asked Tulley “Sven makes a mean cup of herbal tea.”
“Thank you, I’d like that” replied Anna.
Tulley disappeared, found Sven and got him to make enough tea for the three of them.
“I’m sorry I didn’t help but I find it very difficult” said Tulley “since my friend died.”
“Don’t worry” replied Anna “we all do our bit and this is a fine cup of tea.”
Tulley smiled and sipped her tea. Sven noticed a shift in her temperament and was happy to see that Tulley was warming to Anna and it seemed Anna was trying to make friends as well.
“Do you ever go shopping for nice things?” asked Tulley.
“What do you mean?” asked Anna.
“Well… you seem to have just work stuff” replied Tulley “You always wear combats and overalls.”
“I suppose I like to keep the ship and home separate” said Anna “when I have my leave I go home and can relax. That is where I keep all of my nice things.”
“You have a home?” asked Tulley “you don’t live on the ship?”
“Yes, of course I have a home” said Anna “I couldn’t live on a ship all the time, I would burn out.”
“Oh” replied Tulley.
“Don’t you have a home anywhere?” asked Anna.
“No… I don’t” replied Tulley “I’ve always lived on a ship.”
“Oh, I’m sorry” replied Anna “I didn’t know.”
“I didn’t want to join the army so I was kicked out by my parents” said Tulley “you already know that Drackus took me in. It never occurred to me to get another home.”
“Well… if you want to, I’ll have a chat with Odin and see if you can come and stay when it is our next leave” said Anna “if you’d like to?”
Sven watched Tulley and could see that she was about to explode.
“You’d do that? For me?” said Tulley.
“And Sven, of course” replied Anna.
“I’d love to stay with you!” said Tulley and as she launched herself towards Anna, Sven managed to prevent her hugging Anna and causing her pain.
“Well, I’ll talk to Odin and we will get our house-sitter to prepare a guest bedroom” replied Anna.
“So what is your house like? Is it big? Does it have gardens?” asked Tulley “do you have a transport? What about pets?”
Sven decided to leave them to their conversation and went to find Odin. He was in his cabin but welcomed Sven in.
“Thank you for your help, friend” said Odin and he offered Sven a warrior handshake which was duly returned.
“Think nothing of it” replied Sven.
“We are not used to receiving help aboard Septus run ships” said Odin “it isn’t his way.”
“What do you mean?” asked Sven.
“He doesn’t think like us… as far as he is concerned, we are just tools that can be replaced” replied Odin “he is a proud captain who thinks only of the mission and nothing else.”
“That would explain the food system then” said Sven and they both laughed.
“So? why the visit? Do you have something on your mind?” asked Odin.
“I am afraid that Anna may have invited us to stay with you on your next leave” said Sven “I thought I’d give you a heads up before you get the shock later.”
“Why would I get a shock?” asked Odin “it would be a great idea!”
“I know Tulley can get excitable” replied Sven.
“It will be good to have guests” said Odin and he slapped Sven on the shoulder “it will be a good opportunity to try out the cellar.”
“The cellar?” asked Sven.
“Oh, you’ll appreciate the cellar” said Odin “There is mead from all over the galaxy down there.”
“I thought the guild didn’t approve of alcohol” said Sven.
“They don’t dictate to me what I do when I am on leave” said Odin “everyone needs down time.”
“I guess so” replied Sven “when does leave happen?”
“We get five days off after every five missions or one month; which ever is the soonest” said Odin “we also get leave when the ship is in for repairs and every year we get twenty days off over the Father time.”
“I didn’t know we got leave” said Sven “I may have to get a planet-side residence for me and Tulley.”
“I think that you will need one otherwise you’ll have to stay in hotels all the time” replied Odin.
“That is what we have always done before… apart from when we went to Charran; then we stayed in the palace” said Sven.
“There are guild homes, like ours, that are available” said Odin “they are near to the guild stations so that when the ship is in dock, you don’t have far to travel home.”
“I don’t know whether I would have the funds for a home” said Sven.
“What do you mean?” asked Odin “a home is part of the contract.”
“What?” asked Sven.
“The guild looks after its own” replied Odin “they will provide a home if you require one. When we get the bolt hole, I’ll get you the contacts for the bursar so that you can think about where you would like to stay.”
“Thank you” replied Sven. He was a little lost for words. He was beginning to realise the enormity of joining the guild and was a little concerned about what it could lead to.
“Tulley will be very surprised” said Sven.
“I doubt it” replied Odin “Anna would have told her by now.”
“Oh dear” replied Sven.
When Sven returned to engineering, he found Tulley and Anna chatting animatedly.
“We can have a free house!” shouted an excited Tulley when Sven approached “we even get a house sitter to go with it… and we can have a garden and even pets!”
“I’ve heard” replied Sven.
“And it’s all free!” said Tulley. She jumped up and hugged Sven.
Anna watched them both and it looked to Sven that she was grateful for the break.
“Yes… but we need to talk to the bursar to find out what is available and where we should live” replied Sven.
“You’ll have to find a residence on Trillian” said Anna “that is where me Odin and Septus live.”
“Maybe we can live near you?” asked Tulley.
“Maybe you can” replied Anna with a smile. She seemed genuinely happy that Tulley was so excited about it.
“We’ll be like a married couple!” said Tulley.
Sven knew what was coming next.
“Maybe we could even get married” continued Tulley and almost as soon as she said it she stopped speaking and froze. She looked at Sven with wide, stunned eyes and studied him for a response. The silence was palpable.
“Maybe we can” said Sven “but it will only been when I’ve asked you properly and at the right time.”
Tulley hugged him tightly and promptly bust into tears.
“You would marry me?” asked Tulley.
“Of course I would” replied Sven “but I want my proposal to be perfect.”
Anna sat and watched and marvelled at how well Sven dealt with Tulley.
“But I don’t want to rush it” said Sven “if I rush it won’t be perfect and I want it to be perfect.”
“I do too” said Tulley through her tears.
“We are nearing the bolt-hole” said Drake “docking will take place in thirty five minutes.”
“Thank you, Drake” said Anna “Tulley, could you give me a hand to get up?”
“Of course” said Tulley and she carefully helped Anna up from the seat before escorting her from engineering.
Sven sat down and let out a long sigh “I wonder if I can get married in one of the Father’s temples?” he thought “if Tulley wants to… I’m not sure what I would describe myself as… part Grymn, maybe?”
He looked blankly at the floor.
“Things were so much simpler when I was a reploid” he thought.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 22
: Inso August 08, 2012, 03:37:45 PM
When The Cheerful Drake docked, she was met by a medical team who took Anna away with Odin accompanying them. Moments later, the cargo ramp was lowered so that the skimmer could be retrieved by a member of the motor-pool. The sturdy looking Grymn checked all around the skimmer and tutted as he made notes of the damage before he climbed aboard and carefully piloted the vehicle out of the ship and away across the hard-standing. Tulley and Sven watched everything happen and then began to clear up but before they got too far, Septus arrived.
“Good work Miss Tulley, master Sven” he said “I would appreciate it if you could check the environmental unit on the bridge. It appears to be faulty.”
“Okay, captain” said Tulley “what is wrong with it?”
Septus looked at her and without a hint of sarcasm said “isn’t that for you to decide?” before he scuttled down the ramp and went towards the main guild office.
“He isn’t a people-person, is he?” said Tulley.
“No, I don’t think he even understands the concept of being a people-person” replied Sven “I’ll grab a tool belt."

The environmental unit on the bridge was clogged with what appeared to be a thicker version of spider web. It had been sucked in through one of the vents and was blocking the filter. It was the only place on the bridge that had any sign of webbing and Sven immediately suspected Septus of disabling it to keep them aboard. Sven reached into the unit and made tiny hooks sprout from the sides of his fingers so that he could gather the web more efficiently and after a couple of minutes it had all been removed.
“That is all of it” he said “try the power now.”
“Power’s on” said Tulley and they both felt the rush of air as the fans kicked in and began to circulate cool air around the bridge.
“Well, that is that” said Sven.
“Why didn’t Septus want us to leave?” asked Tulley.
“You thought that too?” asked Sven “I have no idea.”
Sven scanned the bridge and saw a file left open on the desk.
“It’s a test” said Sven “he wants to know if we are nosey or not.” He pointed at the file and said “look, he’s left it open on purpose.”
“Well, let’s go then” said Tulley and she walked off the bridge. Sven followed her and smiled to himself before he said “I’ve already told him that I could find out anything I wanted from the ship’s computer… why he would need to test me on the matter seems strange.”
“Maybe he wants to find out what you would do if the opportunity presented itself instead of you having to look for things?” said Tulley.
“Maybe… but it’s a bit devious, don’t you think?” reaplied Sven “we are Grymn after all.”

“The captain has reported that you may stand down for twenty four hours” said Drake “you are free to come and go as you see fit within that time frame.”
“Thank you, Drake” said Tulley.
“So what would you like to do?” asked Sven.
“I would like to go and have something to eat and a soak in a tub” replied Tulley “there isn’t much else to do, is there?”
“Not really” said Sven “are you wanting to get changed first or are we going out in work gear?”
“No point in changing… everyone else is in work gear” replied Tulley “these bolt-holes are boring.”
“We could always go and torture Ingrid again” said Sven.
“I suppose I could have a go with a rail-gun” said Tulley with a whimsical look on her face “but I’d rather have a nice meal instead.”
“Well, let’s go then” said Sven “I’ll just nip and get our toothbrushes and some fresh undies.”
“Well hurry up…I’m famished” said Tulley and she chivvied him along.

“Septus, it is good to see you again” said the android behind the desk.
“You requested an audience, sir” replied Septus.
“It has come to my attention that you have two new crew members aboard your ship” said the android “are you fully aware of the implications?”
“In what regards, sir?” said Septus “I know what the male is capable of and the female is a standard Grymn with a few behavioural issues but nothing more.”
“So you are aware that the male is the Crystal Guardian, saviour of Porphys?” asked the android.
“Yes I am” replied Septus.
“How did you receive this information?” asked the android.
“Captain Drackus Smith, of The Obituary informed me” said Septus “The Obituary was their last ship and I have been a comrade of Drackus for many years.”
“And you value his assessments and opinions?” asked the android.
“He is without question, a trustworthy ally” replied Septus.
“He is not in the guild” said the android.
“I only share what I need to with him” replied Septus “the guild’s secrets are secure.”
“The two crew members are efficient?” asked the android.
“They are very efficient at their primary task and have additional skills that make them useful in other areas” replied Septus “both are trained in the use of weapons and as you are aware, the male is extremely versatile.”
“You have been testing them?” asked the android.
“I have and they are not under any suspicion as a result of their responses” said Septus “they appear to be as stalwart as the rest of their race.”
“You will keep the guild informed of their progress” said the android.
“Yes, sir” replied Septus.
“You have the bell?” asked the android.
“Yes” replied Septus “Mrs Brown was injured during the recovery.”
“How long before she will return to operational status?”
“She is in the infirmary being assessed and treated” replied Septus “I will inform you as soon as I know the answer.”
“Make it so” said the android “You will leave now.”
“Thank you, sir” said Septus and as he left the office, he noticed the android power down and slump in the chair behind the desk.

Septus hated talking to the android interpreter of the high chamberlain of the guild. He wanted to see the face of the leader but no one else had so why should he be different? He had performed miracles with his crew and had accomplished tasks that no other captains could have possibly achieved and yet he never got the recognition that he craved. He paused as he scuttled towards the ship because his communicator was beeping.
“Septus” he said.
“Hello, Legs!” said Drackus “how are tricks?”
“Drackus!” replied Septus “it is good to hear from you again. Tricks are as good as they always are and I can’t complain.”
“Excellent” replied Drackus “how are things aboard the new boat? She’s no Star Cutter, after all.”
“I rue the day The Star Cutter met her match” replied Septus “but The Drake has a strong heart and an efficient crew.”
“So how are the mechanics getting on?” asked Drackus.
“They have improved the efficiency of all the systems and have been most helpful in defending us too” replied Septus “I am surprised that you let your sentiment blind you to their usefulness.”
“You would not understand, my friend” replied Drackus “but their replacements are almost able to fill their shoes.”
“That is good to hear” replied Septus “what did you wish to talk to me about?”
“I was wondering if you could help me with a small problem I am having locating a special brand of trinomic fuel” replied Drackus “I have been asked to obtain five tonnes of the stuff and the only place I can think of was destroyed recently by a volcanic event.”
“Please send me the details and I will see what I can do” said Septus “the usual contact is still available.”
“Thank you, Legs” said Drackus “I’ll send the details over straight away. Cheers!”
“Good day, Drackus” replied Septus and he ended the transmission and continued towards The Cheerful Drake.

“Drake, locate incoming data-file” said Septus as he got comfy in his seat on the bridge. He looked at the open file and studied it for a second before closing it. He tucked it away in the drawer and smiled to himself.
“Data-file located” said Drake.
“Analyse data and search for locations… use the guild system” said Septus.
“Searching” replied Drake.
Septus looked out of the front screen and tapped the table while he waited.
“There are four known locations that produce Trinomic fuel; Sentus, Grou’ald 4, Frelig and Proteus” said Drake.
“Please forward the co-ordinates to the sender of the data-file” said Septus.
“It is done, captain” replied Drake.
“Drake” said Septus.
“Yes, captain” replied Drake.
“Did either of them touch the file?” asked Septus.
“No, captain” replied Drake.
“What was their response?” asked Septus.
“They viewed it as a test. Master Sven questioned whether it was necessary because if he wished, he could retrieve the information from the ship’s computer” said Drake “Miss Tulley suggested the test was about opportunity.”
“Did they know I blocked the environmental unit?” asked Septus.
“Instantly, captain” replied Drake “and they wondered why you were keeping them on the ship.”
“Thank you Drake” replied Septus.
Septus stared out of the screen again and thought for a while before making his way to the mess area for some pre-fabricated food.

“How are you?” asked Tulley.
“I am feeling much better now” said Anna and she lifted up her tee-shirt to show Tulley where her injury had been.
“It’s gone!” said Tulley.
“The medical facility here is truly excellent” replied Anna “and all of the pain is gone too.”
“That is brilliant” said Tulley “have you both eaten?”
“Yes, we got something on the go” replied Odin “we will be returning to the ship shortly.”
“Why? We’ve got twenty four hours… well about twenty now” said Tulley.
“We have had the next mission delivered and we need to return for a brief” said Odin “don’t worry, we’ll not be going anywhere until you return to the ship so take your shore time and enjoy it.”
“Thank you, we will” said Sven.
“Did you visit the bursar yet?” asked Anna.
“Not yet” replied Tulley “but he’s on our list.”
“She” replied Anna “the bursar is a she.”
“Oh… well we’ll make sure we visit her before we go to bed tonight.”
“Good. The sooner you get your name on the list, the sooner we can look at places to live” said Anna with a grin.
“I can’t wait!” squeaked Tulley as Sven just looked at Odin with a look of resignation across his face.
Anna and Odin walked out of the medical unit with Sven and Tulley before walking off in the direction of the ship.
“Shall we visit the bursar?” asked Tulley.
“Now is as good a time as any” replied Sven. He held Tulleys hand and they both went off to the guild office.

“Yes?” said the bursar and Tulley took one look at her and nearly popped. She was an alphoid and had a strong resemblance to Sally but was a lighter shade of purple.
“Are you the bursar?” asked Sven.
“That is what the sign on the door says” replied the bursar.
“You could be borrowing the office” replied Sven.
“Yes… I am the bursar. What do you want?” asked the bursar.
“Hello, I’m Tulley and I would like a home please” said Tulley and she stuck out her hand for a hand shake “and what is your name?”
The bursar looked at her for a moment, shook her hand and said “my name is Mildred… where would you like to live?”
Near to Odin and Anna on Trillian please” replied Tulley.
“Who?” asked Mildred.
“Mr and Mrs Brown from The Cheerful Drake” said Sven.
“Oh… number seventy-six” replied Mildred and she flashed up a line of dwellings on a large view screen; one of which was highlighted as number seventy-six. Mildred tapped a few keys and a number of dwellings went red leaving about twenty that were not highlighted.
“That’s your choice” said Mildred “what do you want from the property?”
“I would like a garden, two bedrooms and lots of space for a big dining table and a puppy” said Tulley.
“Would you like an additional bedroom for the house-sitter or would you prefer an annex?” asked Mildred.
“Will they be nice?” asked Tulley.
“Yes” replied Mildred “I am sure that the house-sitter will be nice.”
“Then an extra bedroom” said Tulley.
“What is a puppy?” asked Mildred “I can add a games room but a puppy is not listed.”
“A puppy is a pet; a small quadruped with fur” replied Tulley.
“Would you like the puppy to be installed or will you be providing the pet?” asked Mildred.
“We’ll find our own” replied Tulley “I’d also like a nice sized bathing room.”
“Could we have a vehicle store with enough space for a four passenger skimmer?” asked Sven.
“Yes” replied Mildred and she tapped a few more keys “would you like us to provide the skimmer?”
“Yes please” replied Sven. He watched the display and an off-shoot appeared with a selection of vehicles on it “that one please.”
“Would you like the dwelling to be furnished?” asked Mildred.
“Yes please” replied Tulley and a new off-shoot appeared “That style please but I want it purple.”
Mildred tapped a few more keys and the available properties had reduced to four.
“That one looks to be perfect” said Sven and he pointed to a house that was about ten away from number seventy-six “close enough to be friends but far enough away to be private as well.” He looked at Tulley and she nodded excitedly.
“Number sixty” said Mildred. She stood up, walked to a case on the wall and retrieved a pair of key-cards. She returned to the desk, tapped a few keys on a separate data-tablet and handed it to Tulley before saying “Touch the box.” Tulley did as she was asked and then Sven did the same.
“There you go” said Mildred and she handed them each a key-card “you are now resident in number 60. Have a nice day.”
“That’s it?” asked Sven.
“Unless you have any other requirements, your residence will be ready to occupy in six to ten days” replied Mildred “have a nice day.”
Tulley and Sven left the bursar’s office and retired to their room in the hotel.
“That was too easy” said Sven.
“I don’t care” replied Tulley as she removed her boots and put them beside the door “I have a home on a planet!”
Sven smiled and said “WE have a home on a planet.”
“Well WE need a puppy!” said Tulley.
“Well WE’LL have to wait until we get some leave before we think about that” replied Sven.
“Well… WE’LL just have to find something to do while we are waiting” said Tulley.
“Chess?” asked Sven with an innocent smile on his face.
Tulley put her hands on her hips and pretended to glower at him before she quickly stripped naked, spun around in a poorly executed pirouette and said “if you’d choose chess over me?”
“Chess it is then!” said Sven before a pillow hit him squarely in the face and he and Tulley began to wrestle playfully on the bed.
“Living in our own home is going to be great” said Tulley as she pinned him down.
“It will be even better when the Father approves us” replied Sven “seeing as you have me at a disadvantage, it must be your turn to run a bath.”
Tulley bent forward and kissed him before leaping off and walking to the bathroom suggestively.
“Don’t be too long… I might get bored” said Tulley before she closed the door behind her and the sound of water being run was heard. Sven stood up, morphed out of his clothing and went to join her but found the door locked.
“Why have you locked the door?” asked Sven.
“You just can’t be too careful nowadays!” said Tulley who was giggling from inside the bathroom.
“Well if that is the case, you’d better watch out” said Sven and he morphed under the door to join Tulley.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 23
: Inso August 09, 2012, 04:39:01 PM
“We are going to Neptune to investigate piracy in the area” said Odin “it should be a relatively simple task.”
“By investigate, what do you mean?” asked Sven.
“There appears to be a small flotilla of fast scout-ships that are plaguing logistic craft” said Odin “we will dissuade them from their attacks by thinning their numbers to as close to zero as possible.”
“Oh, that sort of investigating” replied Sven “at least on our last ship we didn’t go looking for trouble… even though it always seemed to find us.”
“Well, for once, the captain will be taking the lead on this one because there should be no reason to leave the ship” said Odin “although I expect he’ll want the guns ready for action.”
“I will make sure they are test fired and ready” said Sven “I’ll system test the missiles and loader as well.”
“Good” replied Odin “I’d also advise you and Tulley to wear your side arms, just in case we get boarded.”
“We’ll do that” replied Sven “anything else?”
“Just make sure we can get power from the engines when we need to” said Odin “and strap yourselves in.”
“What will you and Anna be doing?” asked Sven.
“We’ll be with the captain, manning the guns” replied Odin.
“Good hunting” said Sven.
“Good luck” said Odin.

The Cheerful Drake sat motionless in space. The matt surface of her stealth coating didn’t even reflect the abundant starlight. She was completely powered down except for life support and the crew were on silent running orders. She drifted slightly but the occasional burst of retro rocket fire brought her back to bear. Her turrets were open and she was poised to pounce. A logistics freighter passed a thousand metres from the front of the Cheerful Drake’s bow and Septus was ready to react to any pirates.

Nothing happened.

Sixteen hours passed before another freighter passed the front of the watching ship. Again, Septus tensed for the attack but again, the ship passed by with no adverse attention. The next freighter was due in another ten hours so Septus stood the crew down for sleep after giving Drake orders to wake them if they were required. Septus remained at the helm and the rest of the crew went for sleep. They were woken eight hours later by a gentle alarm from Drake.
“The captain has detected a small fleet of vessels approaching the area” said Drake “please attend your posts.”

There were seven vessels. They were all fighters except for one; which was a freighter. They were flying in a tight formation and it appeared that The Cheerful Drake had not been detected by them because they flew right passed her. Each of the fighters had a delta shape and they each had a pair of ion cannons in the nose. The freighter had a pair of turrets with twin ion cannons in each. What made Tulley smile were the paint schemes on the ships. They were a motley mix of colours and had brash pictures and names across their flanks. Septus checked the data base and discovered that the ships were owned by the Shuurla; a secretive race that were renowned for thievery.
“We will wait for them to show their hand before we strike” said Septus into the comms “be ready.”
“Yes, sir” replied the crew.
An hour later, the next logistic freighter could be seen in the distance and all of the fighters powered down. Everything was silent before a beeping noise came from the console.
“Ahhh” thought Septus “the freighter is issuing a distress call; the usual actions of a decoy vessel.”
“Mr and Mrs Brown; prepare the guns” said Septus “Miss Tully; prepare to monitor engine power. Master Sven; monitor systems and damage control.”
“Yes, sir” they all replied.
The logistic freighter was closing fast. The fighters remained still. The freighter continued to issue the distress call. The Cheerful Drake waited patiently.
“Steady” said Septus “Drake, prepare for fast power up”
“It is done” replied Drake.
The logistic freighter was almost upon the waiting freighter when the fighters all powered up in unison.
“Drake, NOW!” said Septus “gunners, target the fighter’s engines.”
The Cheerful Drake burst into life as Drake smashed the power into her. The upper and lower turrets blazed and two of the fighters were stopped in their tracks. The engines roared to life as Septus lunged forwards; towards the enemy freighter.
“Fighter, seven o’clock high” said Septus and Odin acted instinctively; strafing the fighter across its belly with energy fire.
“Drake, sigma nine… power up the nose cannons” said Septus.
“Captain, there are no nose cannons” replied Drake.
“Of course not” said Septus “four O’clock level.”
Anna fired a quick burst from her turret and the indicated fighter burst into a ball of plasma before being extinguished. Suddenly the ship lurched as it was struck by ion fire and the control console lit up with cautions.
“Sven, damage control” said Septus.
“Just a flesh wound, captain. Systems normal” replied Sven.
“Gunners, watch the freighter” said Septus.
A wrecked fighter flashed passed as the rear turret fired.
“Who’s on the rear turret?” asked Septus.
“Sorry captain” replied Sven.
“Good shooting” replied Septus “maintain your primary duty.”
“Yes, sir” replied Sven.
“The logistics freighter has passed, captain” said Drake.
“Master Sven, prime the missiles and take out the remaining fighters” said Septus.
“Yes sir” replied Sven but before he had time to action the command, the ship was rocked by another blast and the console lit up with warnings and a buzzer sounded intermittently.
“Damage control” said Septus.
“We’ve taken severe damage to the port engine and I have had to close the blast shield to minimise air loss.”
“Can we still manoeuvre?” asked Septus.
“We have full power to starboard engine and all thrusters, captain” replied Tulley.
“Master Sven, launch missiles” said Septus and he heard the rumble of the rocket motors as the missiles left their firing tubes. He watched the screen as four missiles flew towards their two targets and smiled as the targets disappeared.
“Guns; target the turrets on the freighter” said Septus and he flew confidently towards the freighter that was now flying away from them with no fighter escort. Odin and Anna fired their guns and they all watched as the two turrets burst apart.
“Captain, the freighter is faster than we are under our current power levels” said Drake.
“Guns; target the engines” said Septus and he watched as the energy blasts swept towards the engines but were deflected before they struck home.
“They have shields, captain” said Odin.
“Master Sven, target the freighter’s engines” said Septus. He watched as two missiles flashed towards the freighter, only to be diverted at the last minute.
“More power to the engines” said Septus.
“There is no more power” replied Tulley.
Septus stared out of the front screen and watched the freighter disappear into the distance. He paused for a moment before saying “Drake, take us back to the fighters.”
“It is done” replied Drake and the crew felt the ship lurch as she banked round and set a course to return to the broken ships.
“Master Sven, scan for life signs” said Septus as they approached the stricken fighters.”
“One life detected” replied Sven “the life support is failing on the vessel.”
“Are we able to retrieve the ship?” asked Septus.
“Negative, captain” replied Sven “the rear ramp is damaged and the blast ramp has to stay in place.”
“Can we recover the pilot?” asked Septus.
“I can” replied Sven “with your permission.”
“You have it” replied Septus.

It wasn’t the first time Sven had floated through space to recover survivors and he was sure it wouldn’t be the last. His crystalline form slowly manoeuvred towards the fighter and he could see the cockpit gassing into the void. Sven punched through the hole with a single hand and expanded his arm to fully enclose the pilot in a crystal bubble before ejecting the cockpit and dragging him free. After a few minutes travel, the two of them were standing in the airlock, waiting for the pressures to equalise. When the inner door opened, Sven was met by Odin and Anna with their pistols drawn. Sven deposited the pilot on the floor and stepped back to allow Odin and Anna to take the pilot into custody before returning to where he had left his clothes and dressing.
“Drake, tell the captain that the prisoner is in custody” said Sven.
“It is done” replied Drake.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 24
: Inso August 10, 2012, 03:00:22 PM
“We’ll need a dry-dock for repairs” said Tulley “but everything should be fairly easy to fix as long as I have the materials.”
“We will go to the hold and the ship will be repaired for us” said Septus “you will liaise with the technicians to ensure that the work is done to the required specifications.”
“Me and Sven are the engineers” said Tulley “we can fix the ship.”
“No” replied Septus “You will liaise with the technicians at the hold and they will repair the ship. Those are my orders.”
“But…” started Tulley.
“Miss Tulley, I am the captain of this vessel” said Septus bluntly “you will follow my orders.”
“Yes, captain” replied Sven “Tulley, let’s go.”
Tulley glared at the captain before leaving the bridge and returning to engineering.
“Why aren’t we fixing the ship?” asked Tulley tersely “we can fix anything.”
“I know we can but if Septus wants the ship fixed at the dry-dock by the crew there, then it is his choice” replied Sven “and you can’t go questioning this captain in the same way you did Drackus.”
“Why not?” asked Tulley “a stupid decision is stupid no matter who it comes from.”
“That may be so but this captain will dump us at the nearest port and hire new engineers without a second thought” said Sven “he is not Drackus and will not bend on his decisions.”
“Then he’s daft” said Tulley.
“You may think so but if we don’t have faith in the captain, we shouldn’t be on his ship” said Sven.
Tulley stared at him for a moment before her shoulders slumped and she sighed.
“I suppose you are right” she said.
“I am sure there is a reason for the captain’s decision but in case you didn’t notice, he wants us to oversee the operation and make sure that it was done properly” said Sven “he has given us the responsibility of getting the ship fixed.”
“Yes… I guess so” replied Tulley.
“So stop mooching and lets get to work on the rear ramp” said Sven.
“I’m not mooching” said Tulley. And she followed Sven to the blast shield and stared through the armoured glass panel at the damage to the ramp.

The hold was a sight to remember. It was one of the biggest space docks that Tulley and Sven had ever seen and it was made up of row upon row of massive container-like structures. The Cheerful Drake was put in a holding pattern for a few minutes while Septus explained why they were there and once the details had been sorted, Drake received co-ordinates and piloted the ship towards one of the containers. As they approached, the front of the container opened and The Cheerful Drake slowly entered it. Once the ship was comfortably inside the container, the doors closed behind them and the lights illuminated to reveal a massive landing pad. Drake landed the ship carefully and lowered the ramp before checking the environmental levels in the container.
“The dock is safe, you may open the blast shield and exit the ship now” said Drake.

“WOW!” said Tulley as she walked from the ship; avoiding the damage to the ramp as she did so “this place is gi-normous!”
Tulley spun around as she looked from floor to ceiling and wall to wall “We could fit a hundred Cheerful Drakes in here!” she said.
“I am to report to Engineer Tulley and Sven” said a voice behind Sven and he turned to face it. Standing a few feet away was a small robot that looked like a dustbin on wheels.
“You have found them” said Sven.
“I am one, one, seven-six” said the robot “what are your requirements?”
“We need a structural survey of the ramp and port engine bay, full repair to the ramp, replacement of the port engine and repair to the port engine cowlings and supporting structure” said Sven “we also require a general surface survey and repair to any battle damaged areas that are found.”
“Working” said the robot and it began to chatter before going silent.
“What now?” asked Tulley.
“All non mechanoids please exit the dry-dock and report to the lounge” said a booming voice across the public address system.
“I guess we need to go to the lounge” said Sven “come on.”

The crew gathered in the lounge and Tulley gazed out of the large window at the ship below. The lights had dimmed in the dock and laser measuring beams could be seen criss-crossing the hull of The Cheerful Drake. Moments later, the floor erupted as multiple robot arms unfolded and began removing damaged components. Small wheeled robots dashed into the dock area from a host of doors that had appeared in the dock walls and they either carried away damaged parts or brought in replacements.
“Estimated time to completion is three hours, fourteen minutes, thirty four seconds” said a voice through the public address system in the lounge “please accept the hospitality of the lounge while you wait.
“You see, Miss Tulley?” said Septus “you would have trouble correcting the damage in such a short time frame.”
“Yes, captain” replied Tulley and she knew that he was correct “I have never seen a facility like this one before.”
“Time is money” said Septus “and time wasted is tasks not being completed.”
“Is this a guild facility?” asked Sven.
“No it is run by enforcement and border control agencies” replied Septus.
“How come we can use it then?” asked Tulley.
“The guild has contacts in many places” replied Septus.
“Would anyone like some tea?” asked Sven as he pressed buttons on one of the vending machines “there are snacks here as well.”
They all made their way over to check out the facilities and left Tulley gazing at the ship below.
“Here you go, babe” said Sven and he handed Tulley a cup of herbal tea.
“Thank you” she said and she rested her head on the side of his arm “it’s amazing, isn’t it?” she said as she watched the little robots dashing about and the large robotic arms repairing and replacing components.
“It is definitely quicker than we could have done it” replied Sven.
“It makes us look so small” said Tulley.
“We ARE small” replied Sven “but we all have our place in the universe.”
“You make better tea than this” said Tulley.
“Once they have finished we’ll have a good look around and make sure that the work isn’t the same standard as the tea, then” said Sven “I doubt that the modifications we made will have been replicated… we’ll have to instruct the robots to copy the other engine.”
“The scan would have picked up the modifications and they should be replicated automatically” said Septus “this facility is extremely efficient… but it would be prudent to check.”
“We will, captain” replied Sven.

“Work is complete. Please inspect your vessel” said a voice through the public address system and moments later, the door to the dock flashed green and opened a fraction.
“We will remain here while you inspect the work” said Septus.
“Okay, captain” replied Sven and he took Tulley down to the dock. One, one, seven-six was waiting for them when they arrived and he had a work docket for them.
“Work completed” said the robot and he handed Sven the list.
“Were the modifications that were on the starboard engine applied to the port one?” asked Sven
“Modifications were transposed” replied the robot.
Tulley and Sven went into the ship and started to check the work. Tulley removed a few panels to physically inspect the mounts and fittings in the new engine bay and Sven began to run system checks. After half an hour, they both agreed that the work was of a good quality so they left the ship and while Sven was dealing with one, one, seven-six, Tulley gave the thumbs up to the crew in the lounge.
“Your exit window is thirty minutes” said one, one, seven-six “thank you for your custom. Have a nice day.” He turned on the spot and disappeared into one of the little doorways in the side of the dock.
“Let us get underway” said Septus as he scuttled up the rear ramp and into the ship. The rest of the crew followed before the ramp closed and Drake began the start-up procedure.
“Captain?” asked Sven “with a repair facility like this at your disposal, why didn’t you repair your last vessel?”
“The cost of repairs exceeded the value of the ship” replied Septus “it had also become obsolete.”
“But you liked your old ship” said Sven.
“What does that have to do with it?” asked Septus “it was no longer fit for purpose and needed replacement. Now I have a faster, stealthier ship with more fire power and greater cargo capacity.”
“Did you not get attached to it?” asked Sven.
“No” replied Septus “I do not become attached to tools or equipment.”
“Drake” said Septus “let us depart.”
“It is done, captain” replied Drake.

The dock area went dark for a moment before flashing amber lights could be seen. Sven watched his console to see the air pressure on the outside of the ship deplete to zero before the dock doors began to open. After a couple of minutes, The Cheerful Drake lifted from the landing pad on the floor of the dock and made its way into space. Once she was a couple of hundred metres from the dock, the massive doors closed and the dock became just another brick in the wall of similar looking containers.
“Maintain current speed and bearing” said a voice from the comms and the ship continued its steady process until it was clear of the facility.
“Thank you for visiting the hold. We trust that you are happy with our service” said the voice again “you may continue on your journey. Please come again.”
“Captain, can we bed the engine in please?” asked Sven.
“Yes, Master Sven” replied Septus “you have control of the vessel. Drake, ensure that there is a clear path for the tests.”
“It is done, captain” replied Drake.
Tulley and Sven monitored the systems as they ran the engine up to full speed before carrying out slam checks and emergency shut-downs. After an hour of tests, the ship was returned to Septus’s control and the results of the tests were given to Septus.
“Excellent” said Septus “We can now continue with our work.”

The next job was a hostage rescue. A family member of one of the more senior members of the guild was being held to ransom and The Cheerful Drake was going to extract him and dissuade future attempts of similar crimes. Sven knew that meant making sure that everyone except the hostage, was killed.

“Sven, I would like to talk to you” said Septus “please come to the bridge.”
When Sven arrived, Anna and Odin were already there. Septus handed Sven a file and said “I have need of your unique skills on this job.”
“Captain, I have told you that I am here as an engineer not as an assassin” said Sven.
“You would not be an assassin on this occasion” replied Septus “you would be the rescuer only.”
“What do you mean?” asked Sven as he quickly scanned the file.
“All I want from you is for you to use your shape-changing abilities to gain access to the hostage and extract it” said Septus “the nasty business of tidying up will be Mr and Mrs Brown’s responsibility.”
“I am not happy about this” said Sven.
“I believe that your involvement will greatly improve the chances of the captive being rescued alive” said Septus “I would not ask you if I thought it wasn’t so.”
“In and out with no bloodshed?” asked Sven.
“For you, yes” replied Septus.

Three days later, Sven felt the heat on his crystalline body as he started the re-entry process. He had shaped himself into a teardrop to lessen the stresses of entering the atmosphere. The Cheerful Drake would be following him in a couple of hours but was standing off at the moment to reduce the possibility of detection. Sven could tell that he had nearly broken through as the rush of sound began to increase dramatically. He had lost the feeling of weightlessness and could now feel himself falling at tremendous speed so he slowly altered his shape to slow him down but maintain the same trajectory. Far below him he could see multi-coloured land masses set against the blues and greens of vast oceans. He further altered his shape to slow him down and he could feel that is was working so he thought of flight motors and they appeared on small vanes that protruded from the underside of his now disc-like shape. The vanes glowed blue and the plummet changed into a gentle fall. He continued to drop and wanted to get down to a low level before changing direction or form further. In no time he was only a few hundred metres from the ground so he slowed himself dramatically until he was barely twenty metres from impact and transformed himself into a perfectly camouflaged humanoid shape before gently landing on the grass along side a dwelling. He had already scanned the area for life signs and was happy that there was no-one around so after a brief pause, Sven checked his bearings and dashed off towards his target building.

“Captain, Master Sven has reached the surface and is two kilometres from the target building” said Drake.
“Excellent news” said Septus “Miss Tulley, please ensure that the engines are at peak capacity for the extraction.”
“Yes, captain” replied Tulley through the comms.
“Mr and Mrs Brown; prepare yourselves for the task” said Septus “we will be entering the atmosphere in one hour.”
“Yes, captain” they replied as the left the bridge together.

Sven scanned the building and its surrounding grounds. It appeared to be a mansion house of some description and there was a high wall surrounding the grounds with heavily armed guards at the gates. Sven studied the target for a few moments before transforming into a snake and slithering up to the wall away from the guards. He checked the foundations of the wall before burrowing under it and surfacing silently on the other side of the wall. He made sure that he maintained his perfect camouflage as he slithered across the grass using the flower beds and shrubs as cover. When he reached the wall of the building he scanned it for detectors and quickly found out that every window was rigged to an alarm. He looked around for a moment before small legs sprouted from all along his body so that he could scale the wall and in no time we had chewed through the eaves and into the attic. Further scans revealed the whereabouts of the captive so Sven slipped into the cavity between the wall surfaces and descended to the correct level. He scanned the room to find the captive desperately trying to pry open the window. There was no one else in the room.
“Here we go” thought Sven and he pushed his way into the room through the laths of a ventilation grate. As soon as he was in the room he transformed back into a Grymn and the captive spun around to face him.
“Who are you?” asked the captive and it brandished a spoon in Sven’s direction.
“My name is Sven and I have come to rescue you” said Sven.
“I hoped someone would come” said the captive and it stepped into the light to reveal a female, human child dressed in a night-gown and slippers.
“Is that all you have to wear?” asked Sven.
“Yes… they took me from my bed” said the girl.
“What is your name?” asked Sven.
“Maria” replied the girl.
“Well, Maria, let’s get you out of here, shall we?” said Sven and he scanned the room “have you ever ridden a pony before?”
“No” replied the girl.
“Well, you’ll enjoy this then” said Sven and he transformed himself into a pony “please climb on and get comfy.”
Maria did as she was asked and was startled when clamps sprouted from Sven’s back to gently hold her thighs in place and a restraint grew behind her to support her back. Sven scanned again and discovered that two people were approaching the room from the hallway outside.
“Hold on” said Sven. His face distorted and a cannon sprouted from his mouth. It fired once and blew the wall and window away. Sven leapt through the hole with Maria securely fastened to his back and dropped the two floors to the grass below. His feet glowed as the energy slowed him so that he landed gently before speeding off towards the nearest wall. Behind him, he could hear chaos as the guards discovered what had happened and moments later he heard weapons firing so he grew a shield that completely protected Maria from harm. He soon reached the wall and with a single leap, cleared it and dashed off down the road at incredible speed. After a couple of kilometres, Sven reached a small copse and diverted into it before allowing Maria to dismount and transforming himself into a fully camouflaged shelter for her. She hid inside and Sven kept an eye out for recovery. In the distance, he could hear heavy weapon fire and explosions.
“The Brown’s have arrived” he thought.

“Watch your seven” said Anna and Odin duly rotated on the spot and fired the rotary cannon of his battle suit. His target dissolved.
“You take the first floor” said Odin and he watched Anna ascend the stairs causing great damage to the marble as she did.
Odin checked his display and found life signs in the adjacent room so he powered towards the nearest wall and walked through it; grabbing one of the captors with his powered claw and splitting him into three parts. The other two were destroyed by cannon fire. There was a massive crash in the room next door closely followed by Anna bursting through to meet Odin.
“There are no more inside but there are plenty in the grounds” said Anna.
“Seal up. We’ll use flechettes” said Odin.
“Roger” replied Anna and the visor on her suit was covered by a blast shield.
They both walked towards the front wall and fired their rotary cannons before pushing through the remains and stomping out into the grounds to meet a firing line of security operatives. Odin smiled as he heard the patter of small arms fire on the armoured skin of his battle suit.
“Firing” said Odin.
“Firing” said Anna.
A small missile launched from the rear of each battle suit, rose about ten metres into the air and exploded. Instantly, the air was filled with a million shards of razor sharp metal that flew in all directions. Behind Anna and Odin, the wall was shredded and the front of the mansion collapsed. In front of them, the security guards burst into a mist of flesh, bone and blood.
“Life signs?” asked Odin.
“Negative” replied Anna “let’s get back to the ship.”
“We’ll rendezvous with Sven on the way” said Odin.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 24
: Hasslefriesian August 10, 2012, 07:42:36 PM
 :popcorn:
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 25
: Inso August 13, 2012, 02:56:45 PM
“Excellent work” said Septus “please make sure that the guest is well looked after.”
“Thank you, captain. We will” replied Anna.
“You were very imaginative with your task” said Septus.
“It made sense” replied Sven.
“You are free to return to your usual duties” said Septus.
Sven said nothing and returned to the engineering area.
“Drake, set course for the Andorian bolt hole” said Septus “we need to dispose of the captive we collected from the pirate ship.”
“It is done, captain” replied Drake.

Maria stared at Anna and asked “are you a little girl?”
“I am a girl and I am little; like you” replied Anna whilst smiling “but I am not a child… I am a grown woman.”
“But you haven’t grown up” replied Maria.
“I am not a human, like you” replied Anna “I am a Grymn and my people only grow this big.”
“Oh” replied Maria with a bemused look on her face.
“There are some of us who are very special” continued Anna “and they grow to be much bigger than even a human.”
“A giant?” asked Maria.
“Yes, you could say that” said Anna “twice as tall as a human and much bigger across as well.”
“Can they change into a pony as well?” asked Maria.
“No, I’m afraid not” replied Anna “Sven is very; VERY special… he is the only one I have ever met who can change like that.”
“Is he magic?” asked Maria.
“I am not sure” replied Anna “maybe you should ask him but before you do, let’s see if we can find you some better clothes to wear.”
“Okay” said Maria “will I be going home soon?”
“Yes” replied Anna “we just have to stop off on the way.”
“Good” said Maria.

The Andorian bolt hole was an exact copy of the last one they had visited. As soon as Tulley stepped off the ship, she was fascinated by the obvious similarities.
“It is weird, isn’t it?” said Tulley “we could almost be at the other one… it is identical!”
“I am sure there are differences” replied Sven “where do you need to go?”
“Anna asked me to get some clothing for our young guest” said Tulley “she would do it but Septus wants her to look after the girl while Odin drops off the prisoner.”
“Well, let’s go then” said Sven and they made their way to the only shop there was “I guess you have the sizes?”
“Yep” replied Tulley “but if the last shop was anything to go by, she’ll be getting regulation underwear, boots and combat fatigues!”
“I expect she’ll quite like that” said Sven with a smile “she’ll be playing dress-up!”

“Thank you, Mr Brown” said the swarthy security officer as Sven handed over the pirate “I take it that this was the only survivor?”
“I am afraid not” replied Odin “a freighter escaped.”
“That is regrettable” said the officer “at least we have someone to interrogate now… he will tell us everything we wish to know.”
“I hope so” replied Odin “are there handover notes to sign?”
“That won’t be necessary, Mr Brown” said the officer.
“Then I’ll be on my way” replied Odin “could you let us know what the out come is?”
“If it is relevant to us” replied the officer. He turned the prisoner and led him behind the tall counter and towards the cells. Odin just shrugged and returned to the ship.

“There you go, Maria” said Tulley and she handed the clothes over “They’ll be a bit more comfortable that the coveralls you have been given.”
“Thank you” said Maria as she gratefully accepted the clothing “Is Sven about?”
“He’s in engineering, why?” asked Tulley.
“I wanted to thank him for rescuing me” replied Maria.
“Well, get changed and I’ll take you to see him” said Tulley. Maria smiled broadly and dashed off to get changed.
“She seems amazingly resilient, doesn’t she?” said Odin as he appeared behind Tulley “I am surprised that she is being so rational.”
“I hope nothing bad happened to her while she was held captive” said Tulley.
“She wasn’t there for very long and I know that she would be infinitely more valuable to the kidnappers if she was well treated” replied Odin “but she was snatched from her bed in the middle of the night and whisked away to a far planet… that must be quite frightening.”
“Or exciting” replied Tulley “who is she?”
“I don’t know” replied Odin “as far as I can tell, she is the daughter of a guild member.”
“They must be high up for us to go and do this sort of job” replied Tulley.
“Not necessarily” replied Odin “theft of a guild child has political implications no matter how lowly the representative.”
“I guess so” replied Tulley.
“I’m back!” said Maria as she dashed up to Tulley and Odin “can we go now?”
“Of course we can” replied Tulley. She nodded and smiled at Odin and walked off with Maria who instinctively held Tulley’s hand.
“So… Maria… we meet again?!” said Sven “I see you have been recruited.”
“No… I haven’t” replied Maria.
“But you have your army gear on” said Sven “are you sure you haven’t been signed up?”
Maria looked at Tulley with a worried look on her face.
“Don’t worry, Maria. He is only playing” said Tulley “aren’t you Sven?”
“Yes” said Sven “sorry. So what can I do for you?”
“I wanted to say thank you for rescuing me” said Maria.
“You are welcome” replied Sven “but the captain flew the ship and Odin and Anna helped me out too.”
“But you came to save me” she replied and she threw herself at Sven and hugged him tightly. It was most unexpected and Sven had to catch himself or he would have tumbled backwards from his seat.
“Well I am glad I could help” said Sven and he managed to loosen Maria’s grip enough to see that she was crying “what is it, Maria… why the tears?”
“My daddy will be cross with me” said Maria “I didn’t lock my window.”
“I am sure he will just be glad to see you home” said Sven and he looked towards Tulley for some support.
“Yes, I am sure he won’t be cross… he’ll just want you to be safe” said Tulley.
“He will punish me for disobeying him” said Maria “and he’ll be right to.”
“I’m sure you won’t be punished” said Sven.
“Will you drop me off?” asked Maria and she looked Sven straight in the eye “you’ll look after me, won’t you?”
“Um… I’ll have to talk to the captain… I can’t promise anything…” stuttered Sven. Maria started to cry again and Sven looked imploringly at Tulley.
“Look, Maria” said Tulley “we’ll talk to the captain and we’ll try and sort things out, okay?”
Maria wiped her eyes and nodded “you promise?” she asked.
“We promise to talk to the captain” said Tulley.

“I am afraid that will be impossible” said Septus flatly.
“But captain, I have given my word that I will talk to the girl’s father” replied Sven.
“I am sure you did” replied Septus “but you are not in possession of all the facts. When the girl was abducted, her parents were slain. It is the guild’s opinion that the girl would have been used to gain access to her legacy and then terminated by her captors.”
“WHAT!?” replied Sven.
“I am afraid that she will be returned to her home planet and her legacy will be used for her upkeep in the orphanage” replied Septus “she has no living relatives but has inherited a small fortune; a percentage of which will be donated to the guild for services rendered.”
“So we are handing her to the authorities?” asked Sven “and washing our hands of her… even though we flew across space to rescue her?”
“Yes, that is correct” replied Septus.
“Excuse me, captain” said Sven with barely suppressed rage. He stood up abruptly and left the bridge with all haste. Septus carried on with his work without thought for Sven’s abrupt departure.

“That is terrible” said Tulley “she’s nine years old!”
“I know” said Sven sadly “but what can we do?”
“We could adopt her” said Tulley.
Sven looked at Tulley in shock.
“Well, we could” said Tulley “at least she’d have someone to look after her.”
Sven stared at Tulley before saying “and where would she live? Aboard this ship?”
“No, she can live in our home” said Tulley “I am sure that there are other guilders that have children to look after and I am sure the guild provide schooling and child-care for those of us who have to be away.”
“But we’ve only just met her” said Sven “and she is human, not Grymn… how will she get on with Grymn children?”
“Just the same as any other child… she’ll adapt” said Tulley “where would I have been if Drackus hadn’t taken me in?”
Sven paused for a while before saying “the adoption process may take a long time” said Sven “especially because we are not married.”
“That can be sorted quickly” said Tulley “Septus can do that for us and I’m sure the guild can rush through the adoption so that they can receive the payment you mention.”
“And you would do all that… just like that?” said Sven “without a second thought.”
“Of course I would, silly” replied Tulley with a hopeful smile.
“But I wanted our wedding to be perfect” said Sven “I thought that Charran, by the lake… in spring would be just the place.”
Tulley went over to him and hugged him tenderly. She kissed his forehead and said “the ceremony does not matter to me. I just want you and me to get hitched… that is all I want.”
“But…” replied Sven.
“We can always get a blessing from The Father at a later date on Charran” said Tulley “and it would be a good opportunity for Maria to meet our friends.”
As usual, Tulley had a way of making anything simple. Sven swore that she would be able to make the end of the universe bearable with just a few simple sentences.
“We have a week off after the next job” said Tulley “we can sort things out then.”
“But she hasn’t been told her parents are dead yet” said Sven “how is she going to react to that?”
“I don’t know” replied Tulley “but she’ll be able to cope better if she has people to look after her properly… and we have had our share of loss so we know how it feels.”
Sven could tell that he had lost the argument… not that it was ever an argument; Tulley was always going to explain Sven into agreeing with her.
“Septus will have to be told everything” said Sven “I really don’t think he will approve.”
“Well, it is worth a try” said Tulley.
“And this is REALLY what you want?” asked Sven.
“And a puppy” said Tulley with a broad grin.
“You just don’t know when you’ve won, do you?” replied Sven with a half smile.
“I don’t win” replied Tulley “we both do.”
“Wish me luck” said Sven “I am going to need it.”

Sven arranged to have a private chat with Septus and explained everything to him. Septus sat as emotionless as he always did and asked the odd question here and there while resting his chin on a pair of spindly forelegs.
“So the girl would remain on board until we have finished the next job?” asked Septus.
“Yes, captain” replied Sven.
“That would mean that we don’t have to divert from our duty to drop her off” said Septus “and you would free up the payment quickly, once you have ownership of the child?”
“We wouldn’t own her… she would be our daughter” replied Sven “but once we were able to, we would free up the funds.”
“And she would not stay aboard the vessel but would live on Trillian in your dwelling?” asked Septus “and would receive schooling there as well?”
“Yes” replied Sven.
“And in order to do this, I would have to bind you and Miss Tulley in marriage and the adoption process would need to be complete?” asked Septus.
“Yes… that about sums it up” replied Sven.
There was a brief pause before Septus spoke into the comms “Mr Brown and Miss Tulley; please report to the bridge.”
“What are you doing?” asked Sven.
“There will need to be a witness” replied Septus.
Moments later Tulley and Odin appeared.
“Odin, you will bear witness” said Septus “Miss Tulley, Master Sven please hold hands.”
Sven and Tulley did as they were asked.
“As captain of this ship it is my wish that you are bound in the ties of matrimony. Please bear your palms” said Septus. They did so and with a whip of his foreleg, he drew blood on Tulley’s palm and fluid from Sven’s. Septus noticed Sven’s shocked face and said “no one threatens me aboard my ship, Master Sven.”
Sven looked at his palm and it was already sealing up.
“Hold hands” said Septus and Tulley and Sven did as they were told.
“With my words of blessing and the mingling of life blood… you are married” said Septus “Apply your mark here.”
Sven and Tulley pressed their thumbs against the data tablet and Odin did the same as a witness.
“I have already contacted the administrators at guild HQ on your behalf” said Septus “with the completion of your marriage, the child is yours.”
“What?” asked Sven “you haven’t had time…I haven’t left the room… you couldn’t have.”
“I am sure you have noticed that I have more than one pair of legs and more than one pair of eyes” replied Septus “it was logical to seal the contract quickly so that we could get on with the next job.”
“Congratulations!” said Odin with a broad grin “You are now a married couple with a child.” Odin slapped Sven on the back and kissed Tulley on both cheeks “good luck telling your new daughter. I’m off to let Anna know the wonderful news.”
Sven looked at Tulley who was smiling happily “what have we done?” he thought.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 26
: Inso August 14, 2012, 08:50:22 AM
Maria was stunned but accepted the news of her parents in a much more relaxed way than anyone would have expected. She simply nodded and asked what was going to happen to her.
“Well” said Tulley “we’ve sort of adopted you.”
“Oh” replied Maria “so Sven is my daddy now?”
“Yes… and I am your mummy” replied Tulley.
“Oh” replied Maria.
“I know it was sudden but we didn’t want you to be put in an orphanage so we adopted you” said Tulley.
Sven stood and listened to the absurdity of what was being said. They had foolishly rushed into something that he would never have contemplated, had he had time to stop himself. He looked at Maria and could see that she was milling things over.
“Will I stay on this ship?” asked Maria.
“Just until we finish the next job and then we’ll all go to our new home and get settled in” said Tulley.
“Will you be staying with me?” asked Maria.
“Not all the time but you will have a nanny to keep you company when we are not there” replied Tulley.
“Just like when I was at home” said Maria. She sat down on a chair and looked sad.
“What is it?” asked Tulley.
“There is space on this ship for me to stay in” said Maria “what if I don’t like my new home? What if I get scared? How are you going to look after me when you are away?”
“We’ll talk it through and see what happens” said Sven “we are all going to have to make adjustments but we can’t make any decisions yet until we have made friends and got to know each other… for starters, we need to get your things from your home and set things straight there.”
“I guess so” said Maria.
“Mr and Mrs Brown, report to the bridge” said the comms.

“He didn’t waste much time, did he?” said Tulley as she made sure the engine power settings were at the required level.
“Why would he?” asked Sven “we tidied things up nicely for him so we could move on.”
“Are you cross with me?” asked Tulley.
“Cross? No, of course not” replied Sven “I am just a little shell shocked by the suddenness of everything. It isn’t everyday you get married and become father to a nine year old human child, after all.”
“Do you think we made a mistake?” asked Tulley.
“I have no idea” said Sven “I really haven’t soaked it all up yet” replied Sven “but one thing is for sure.”
“What?” asked Tulley.
“We have to make sure that no matter what happens, the welfare of young Maria is our highest priority” said Sven “and then we have to decide on when we go to Charran for the blessing… and honeymoon.”
Tulley smiled broadly at Sven “I knew you weren’t cross” said Tulley “you are too wonderful for that.”
“I try” said Sven “are you okay babe… you look a little pale.”
“I’m alright” replied Tulley “I just feel a little light headed. It must be all the excitement.”
Sven watched her for a moment and then got back to his own system monitoring “I’m not surprised…it was all a bit sudden.”
There was a thud from behind him and Sven looked over to Tulley. She had slumped on the console and appeared to have fainted. He jumped up and dashed over to her and felt her pulse and checked her breathing. She had a rapid pulse and shallow breathing.
“Drake, tell the captain that Tulley has collapsed” said Sven.
“It is done” replied Drake. A moment later Septus asked through the comms “will systems be affected?”
“Systems are optimal” replied Sven “but I need help.”
“The mission is in progress” replied Septus “help will be received after the mission has been completed. Remain at your post.”
Sven said nothing, looked at Tulley and said “Drake, I need access to the medical computer files from the guild.”
“Accessing” replied Drake “Console one.”
Sven stretched an arm over to the console and inserted a finger into the info-port. He quickly found the medical files and put Tulleys symptoms into the search engine.
“Poisoning?” thought Sven “How? ...OH NO! …my blood.”
He placed his hand above Tulleys and concentrated hard. He could feel his cells moving through Tulley’s vital organs but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t retrieve them. He fought hard but it was too late and he could sense that Tulley was fading.
“Don’t you die!” shouted Sven “captain, she’s dying!”
“She will receive help after the mission” replied Septus through the comms.
“NO, CAPTAIN!” shouted Sven “NOW!”
With a thought, power on the ship failed and the emergency lighting flashed on. There was silence for a moment before Septus burst into engineering and scuttled quickly towards Sven.
“How dare you mutiny aboard my ship!?” said Septus sharply “you will be terminated for this.”
“No…” replied Sven and his eyes blazed with fury “you will die if she does.”
Septus looked at Tulley. She was ashen and her breathing was so fast and shallow that he knew she was beyond saving. Sven thought he saw a glimmer of fear on Septus’s face and knew what was about to happen.

Tulley died in his arms.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 27
: Inso August 14, 2012, 12:03:19 PM
Sven stood in the cargo bay of The Starfield. Maria was with him and she looked wide eyed but was otherwise relaxed. All that Sven had with him was a small, pink rucksack and he was wearing a neatly stitched badge with the name ‘Taters’ embroidered on it.
“I am amazed at your miraculous escape, Mr Taters” said the portly captain “it is not very often that anyone survives a plasma core explosion like you two did.”
“We seek safe passage” said Sven.
“Where do you wish to go? We are bound for Bloor and we cannot divert… we are a cruise liner” said the captain.
“Bloor will be fine” replied Sven “I am an engineer… I can pay for our fare with work.”
“That will not be necessary, Mr Taters” said the captain “You will eat with the crew and I will have a cabin made up for you both.”
“We will share a cabin” said Sven.
“If that is your wish?” replied the captain.
“It is… thank you, captain” said Sven.
“Then it is settled” said the captain “bursar, see these two to a spare cabin and make sure that adequate clothing and linen is found for them. Make sure they are properly briefed… they will be guests aboard our ship until we reach Bloor.”
“Aye, captain” replied the bursar with a salute.
“Mr Taters, I would like to invite you to the captain’s table for dinner this evening” said the captain.
“If my daughter can join us, it would be an honour” replied Sven.
“Then that will be so” replied the captain happily “twenty-hundred-hours, sharp.”
“Thank you for your generosity, captain” replied Sven before he and Maria were escorted to their cabin.

In the blackness of space, the wreckage of The Cheerful Drake span in perpetual motion as it drifted slowly through the void. The occasional spark was quickly extinguished by the vacuum of space as the remaining battery power slowly drained away. Amongst the wreckage were the charred remains of two Grymn and an arachnid. Every now and again a dull blue glow could be seen as the wreckage spun. There was still a small power source clinging on and it was linked to a clear crystaline casket. The dull blue glow shone around the body of a female Grymn in a boiler-suit, wearing Tulley on a name badge.

“How are you doing, Maria?” asked Sven as he sorted through the selection of clothing that had been brought for them both. He threw some linen trousers and a sweatshirt towards Maria and she caught them. “Nip into the bath room and put those on… you’ll feel more comfortable after a shower and a change.”
“How did we survive?” asked Maria.
“The Father was watching us” replied Sven.
“Who is the Father?” asked Maria.
“I’ll tell you once you’ve got cleaned up… off you go” replied Sven.
Maria disappeared into the bathroom and once he could hear the sound of running water, Sven sat abruptly on the side of the bunk and put his head in his hands “what have I done?” he asked himself. He pictured the scene clearly in his mind. He was glad that Maria was in her cabin when Tulley died because he had no control over his rage when it happened. As Sven heard the last beat of Tulley’s heart Septus died; vaporised in a gaze of plasma energy from Sven’s eyes. Odin and Anna burst in and saw what had happened but were too late to act as they were executed in the same way. Out of instinct, Sven sent a power surge through the computer, frying the systems and destroying Drake in the process. As soon as the computer systems went down, Maria appeared in engineering and took in the scene and Sven felt wretched as he saw her. He knew at that moment that there was one priority and that was to make sure Maria was looked after. It was what Tulley would have wanted.
“My Tulley” said Sven to himself as he stared into the palms of his hands.
“Don’t be sad, daddy” said Maria as she placed a hand on his shoulder.
“I can’t help it” said Sven “I have lost the love of my life.”
“I have been told that as long as someone lives in your heart, they live forever” said Maria.
“Thank you” said Sven and he hugged her.
“Who is the Father?” she asked.
“The Father was the first of our free kind. He alone, rescued all of the Grymn and took them to safety. We believe that he watches us all still and keeps us safe; watching our achievements and preparing our tome for when we join him in the void and he can tell our ancestors of our triumphs and failings” said Sven.
“Then he must have seen what happened to Tulley… mummy then” said Maria.
“Yes, he would have seen that” said Sven.
There was a pause before Maria said “I don’t think he’ll mind.”

Dinner with the captain was not as taxing as Sven had thought it would be. The food was excellent and he was far enough away from the captain to avoid any awkward questions. Maria sat at his side and remained quiet for the meal. When they both returned to their cabin and while Maria slept, Sven remained alert and thought about what would happen next. He was a member of the guild and had made a lot of promises that would have to be kept. He couldn’t run… he had to face up to his responsibilities. He knew that he would be required to account for what happened on The Cheerful Drake but he could explain that away as a plasma core explosion. He needed to sort out Maria’s legacy, pay the guild and sever ties.
“What about The Obituary?” thought Sven “I will have to let them know what has happened to Tulley. Drackus will want me dead.”

It was going to be a long night.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 26
: Hasslefriesian August 14, 2012, 12:23:37 PM
Tulley died in his arms.

 :shock: :blub:

Who do you think you are? George RR Martin? :tantrum:
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 28
: Inso August 14, 2012, 03:03:20 PM
The Starfield was a large ship. The obituary and a dozen like her could have been housed in her cargo bay. There was space aboard for over a hundred-thousand paying passengers and an additional fifteen-thousand crew. There were shopping precincts, sporting arenas, swimming pools and all manner of entertainment centres. There were also the thousands of cabins that lined the sides of the ship; allowing a luxury, space-side view for every passenger. Maria was keen to explore but Sven was even keener to stay in their cabin until they reached Bloor but Maria was very persuasive.
“We have two weeks on board this ship” said Maria “and there are so many cool things to see. There is no way I am staying in the cabin for the whole trip.”
“We get a breather when we go for food” replied Sven “surely that is enough?”
“I want to go swimming and buy some nice clothes… and see a film at the digi-plex” replied Maria “we might as well… it is not as if we have to do anything.”
“We need to keep our heads down” said Sven.
“Why?” said Maria “no one knows us. We will just be other passengers. You just want to be sad on your own.”
Sven was going to argue but he knew that the nine year old girl was speaking more sense than he was.
“Tulley would not want to see you miserable… I would think” said Maria and she crossed her arms forcefully and stared at Sven.
“Where do you want to go first?” asked Sven and he also managed a weak smile.
“We need to get some better clothes and then we’ll go for a nice swim” said Maria.
“Okay” replied Sven and Maria quickly uncrossed her arms, grabbed hold of both Sven’s hands excitedly and pulled him up from his bunk.
“My old father would never have taken me out” said Maria with a broad grin “we are going to have great fun.”
Sven tried to believe her but all he could think about was the fact that he had killed his own wife; his beloved Tulley.

Tulley was good at shopping. Sven had been dragged from shop to shop for hours by her but she was no where near as good a shopper as Maria. Maria went into every shop and looked at every shelf. She tried on clothes and hats, bounced basket balls and tried out all of the virtual games. She tried the toffee on offer and the fruit drinks and even managed to somehow get a ride on a virtual surfing machine after persuading the shop assistant to un-pack it and power it up. Maria shopped so well that meal times came and went and there was no time for swimming. By the time they returned to their cabin, it was almost evening meal time and all Maria had bought was a swimming costume, a furry hat that looked a bit like an animal head and a pair of sensible but stylish shoes.
“Are you ready for some food yet?” asked Sven as he waited for Maria to put her new shoes on “you haven’t eaten all day.”
“Yep, I’m starving” replied Maria and Sven heard a thump as she jumped down from her bunk and began to flap her feet on the floor to try out her new shoes.
“These are super comfy” she said “you should have got some shoes instead of those boots.”
“I like boots” replied Sven.
“You look like a crewman though” replied Maria “I thought you wanted to look like a passenger.”
She had a point. Sven wanted to blend in but hadn’t really thought about how to do it.
“I’ll sort something out tomorrow” said Sven “now let’s go and eat.”
Maria grabbed his hand and they both left their cabin. Sven felt better than he had earlier and realised that Maria behaved similarly to the Tulley he first met when he joined The Obituary. He got comfort from her pleasant innocence and the way she always held his hand for reassurance. He realised that maybe Tulley was right about her rash decision…
… Then he remembered the day that everything changed and his heart sank again. He felt a sharp tug on his arm and Maria looked him in the eye “cheer up, daddy” she said “I’ll look after you.”
“Thank you, Maria” said Sven “but I think I’d prefer it if we just looked after each other.”
Maria beamed broadly and hugged Sven’s arm before saying “I hope there is salad for dinner… and fruit and cereal.”
“I am sure there will be all sorts” replied Sven and he smiled.

Unlike the previous day, when they got to the dining hall, Sven and Maria had to queue up for their meals. Once they had collected them, they found a small table and went and sat down. Sven went and collected some drinks and returned to see Maria eating ravenously.
“Careful you don’t eat your fingers” said Sven as he sat down and put the drinks on the table. Maria just looked up briefly and smiled at him before devouring more food.
“You, young lady will have three meals tomorrow” said Sven “you can’t starve all day and then pig out in the evening, it isn’t healthy.”
“Okay, daddy” she replied and she wiped the juice of a particularly succulent fruit from her chin “it’s just that there is so much to see.”
“We have two weeks” replied Sven “you told me so earlier.”
Maria paused for long enough to take a drink and sit back in her chair “I guess so” she replied.
“I suggest we go swimming tomorrow morning and then watch a film” said Sven.
“Can I wear my hat?” asked Maria.
“What? In the pool?” asked Sven.
“No, silly” replied Maria giggling “in the digi-plex.”
“I am sure that will be alright” said Sven.
“Can we get snacks too?” asked Maria.
“You can’t go to the plex without snacks, now can you?” said Sven with a smile.
“I am taller than you” said Maria.
“I know” replied Sven.
“My old dad was much bigger than me” said Maria “he was big and fat.”
“What was his name?” asked Sven.
“Father” replied Maria and she frowned.
Sven didn’t want to pursue the question so he said “you haven’t finished your meal yet.”
Maria blinked, realised where she was and continued eating. Sven ate his meal and enjoyed it just the same has he enjoyed every meal.

“Do you know any stories?” asked Maria as Sven tucked her into her bed.
“I know some” replied Sven “what do you want to hear about?”
“I want to know a Grymn story from when you were little” replied Maria.
“Okay” replied Sven.

Tyrus was a strong and powerful Grymn. He was unmatched in combat and was clever in wit. He was a great leader and rose to the heights of hold-master. It was the tradition that when a great warrior becomes a hold-master that all those in the hold may challenge him to make sure that he is right for the job. At the allotted time, four Grymn took the opportunity to challenge him.

The first challenger was called Bjorn and he was a massively built Grymn who challenged Tyrus to a wrestling match. The match took place and the hold-master used his wit to dodge the attacks of Bjorn and use his own strength against him; pinning him and winning the contest.

The second challenger was called Aaron and he was lightly built but sharp of eye. He challenged Tyrus to an archery contest. After ten arrows each, they were perfectly matched so a new target was brought out and the nearest to the centre would win. While the target was brought out, the wind picked up and Aaron didn’t take it into account so he didn’t hit the centre. Tyrus accounted for the wind and scored a dead centre, winning the competition.

The third challenger was called Jarl. He was another warrior Grymn of great strength and he challenged Tyrus to a test of strength. Jarl took the strain and pushed over a small dwelling with his shoulder. When it fell he threw his hands in the air in victory but Tyrus was too clever for him. He walked over to a nearby wagon and forced a long spear into the rear of the bed. Using the spear as a lever he pushed down with all his strength and lifted the front of the cart and the two beasts that pulled it, into the air. The crowd roared and Tyrus was pronounced victorius again.

Finally a small child walked up to Tyrus and issued a challenge. Tyrus laughed out loud and mocked the child; making it cry. Tyrus continued to laugh but the child wiped his eyes and said that his name was Bryn and he repeated the challenge. Tyrus stopped his mocking and agreed to the challenge in order to humour the child. Bryn set Tyrus the challenge of something beautiful. Tyrus smiled because he knew many beautiful poems and he read an ode with so much passion and tenderness that the audience were moved to tears. When he finished, Tyrus puffed out his chest and stared down at the small child believing the contest won. The small child smiled at Tyrus and handed him a tiny flower. It was so small that Tyrus could only hold it with two fingers and when he looked at it with its perfectly formed petals, and fragile stem and smelt the soft aroma that floated up from its tiny head, he thought of home and the hills and meadows where he had played when he was a child. He felt a tear on his cheek and realised that he wept for his past memories. He had truly been shown a thing of beauty and knew that he had been bested.

Tyrus raised Bryn on his shoulders and took him as a step-son; making his parents enormously proud.

From that day forward, Tyrus never mocked the weak and realised that all wisdom was worth something, no matter where it came from.

Sven looked down at Maria and she was fast asleep. He pulled her covers up to her chin and left her to dream. He sorted himself out for bed and lay awake thinking about the story he had told. It was odd how he remembered the thoughts of Thorred sometimes and this was no exception. He clearly remembered Thorred’s father telling him the tale after Thorred had got into a fight with a smaller child and had been soundly thrashed.

“All wisdom was worth something, even wisdom from a small child” thought Sven and for a change, he decided to power down for the night.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 28
: Inso August 14, 2012, 04:29:53 PM
Just out of interest, who is reading this stuff?

Kev and Penfold... but who else?
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 28
: tremorspin August 14, 2012, 07:07:59 PM
That is quite an indulgent question, but I am not against indulgences myself :)
Still here, still reading, still enjoying, still don't post very often.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 28
: Steel Penguin August 14, 2012, 07:14:11 PM
reading here,  i havent found anything to complain abought, so im keeping me gob shut.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 29
: Inso August 15, 2012, 11:37:55 AM
Sven could hear the whispers of a thousand voices. They echoed through his mind like the sounds of long dead ghosts waxing lyrical about the lives they once lived. Visions of the deserts of Porphys ebbed and flowed through his mind and he saw nine glittering jewels as they rose up from the sand and collided to form a single, large, bright, star. Letters from a long dead language flashed across the sky and spelled out Iddare before exploding into fireworks and falling to die on the sand below. Sven heard the rattling of bones and the sound of the dead being trampled under the boots of an army and witnessed a world of flame… then ice.

Then all was black and the remainder of his night was free from dreams.

After spending nearly two hours; swimming with Maria amongst all of the paying passengers, Sven managed to extract her from the pool and take her to the digi-plex. They watched a film about the brave defence of an out-numbered force of ancient knights. Maria sat and stared, open mouthed, at the screen whilst she ate her snack and when the time to leave arrived, she remained seated until everyone else had left.
“That was brilliant!” said Maria when they left the digi-plex “are all films like that?”
“There are all sorts of films… why?” asked Sven.
“I’ve never seen one before” said Maria. Sven stopped abruptly and looked at her for a moment.
“You and me need to have a long, painful chat about where you live and how you were brought up” said Sven “let’s go and find somewhere quiet… we’ll get some food and drinks on the way.”

After a couple of hours, Sven sat shell-shocked by what Maria had told him. Her father ruled the roost, her mother was abused, she lived in fear for both her and her mother’s life and when she wasn’t being tutored by her governess, she lived in her room; even taking meals there. She never went on holidays or spent time with her parents and the way she had been treated went some way to explaining how she reacted when she was told her parents had died.
“Is there anything you need to collect from your home?” asked Sven “keep-sakes or toys or anything?”
“No” replied Maria “I have nothing to collect.”
“Not even a soft toy to sleep with?” asked Sven.
“I don’t have one” replied Maria.
“Do you ever want to go back there?” asked Sven.
“No” replied Maria.
“Then you’ll never have to” said Sven “I’ll get the guild to market the place, take what they are owed and invest the rest for you.”
“Thank you, daddy” replied Maria with a smile.
“When I was a child, I had a friend called Orgus” said Sven “he was a soft toy that looked like a big, fat, human with fur all over it and big floppy ears. I used to talk to him when I went to bed and he kept me company at night. Let’s go and find something like that for you.”
When they returned to their cabin that evening, Maria had a selection of toys and in particular a soft toy that was barely big enough to cover the palm of her hand. When Sven asked her why she had chosen something so small, she replied that it could fit in her pocket and go everywhere with her.
“I am not going to leave you at home” said Sven “you’ll join me on any ship I work on. I’ll teach you how to fix things and cover your schooling myself. We are going to see the universe together… as daddy and daughter. You will never be alone again.”
“Thank you, daddy” said Maria and she hugged him tightly.
“You’ve earned it” replied Sven.

Sven sat at the comms panel and sent a message to Thorred aboard The Obituary. He waited for a few minutes before sending a message to the guild and then sat back and pondered everything. As soon as he closed his eyes he saw Tulley’s face smiling at him. He remembered how beautiful she was and how much he missed her. He opened his eyes and removed the pink back-pack from his cupboard and opened it. Inside were a collection of items of no use at all but they were treasures none the less. Various hand sewn patches, some name tags, a lock of hair, some ridiculous, plastic jewellery, a couple of beaded hair ties and a few small samples of fabric that had come from some of Tulley’s more adventurous skirts and dresses. He had no need for pictures. Her face was etched on his mind in the many data files that dwelt there. Just as he was about to allow himself to muse further, the comms lit up.
“Sven?” said Thorred “Sven? Are you there?”
“Yes brother” replied Sven as he turned to face the screen.
“It is great to see you! How are you? How is Tulley?” said Thorred.
“Tulley has died” said Sven.
There was silence before Thorred said “I am truly sorry, brother…”
“She died at my hands” said Sven “I allowed our happiness to cloud my judgement and was betrayed by my foolishness.”
“What happened?” asked Thorred.
Sven explained about Maria and how the marriage took place. He told him about Septus and his comments. He told him how he reacted and what new responsibilities he had. He told him where The Starfield was headed and what his plans were when he got there. Sven also told Thorred to inform Drackus of what had happened and tell him how terribly sorry he was about Tulley.
“Fething heck, brother” said Thorred after a pause “you get some trash thrown at you, don’t you?”
“I wish you were here with me” replied Sven and he looked glumly at the floor.
“You aren’t alone, mate” said Thorred “I’ll meet you at Bloor.”
The screen went blank and a light began to flash. Sven pressed it.
“Master Sven, the guild approves of your reasoning and has processed the sale. All funds have been collected and divided as agreed. The account details will be forwarded to you on your guild address” said the guildsman “it is regrettable that The Cheerful Drake has been destroyed and the guild extends its condolences for your loss. Your application for a ship has been approved and Metal Fish will be available for you to collect at Bloor in three weeks. The application for housing on Trillian has been withdrawn as requested.”
“Thank you” replied Sven and the screen went black.
“Metal Fish?” thought Sven “it doesn’t sound very exciting… but how exciting does a freighter have to be?”

The remaining time aboard The Starfield was one of relative happiness. During the days, Sven and Maria were inseparable but as soon as he was alone, Sven thought of Tulley and dwelled on her pretty face and her mannerisms and the way she used to tell him off. He remembered the last words Septus had said before he got Sven and Tulley to hold hands and knew that Septus had planned to remove Sven’s distraction… to get rid of Tulley… and what better way than to infect her with Sven’s blood. There were also times when Sven powered down and whenever he did, the whispered voices started and they continuously made reference to the tears of Porphys and Iddare.

“Thank you for your sincere and welcome hospitality” said Sven as he shook the captain’s hand earnestly “If you have need of engineers in a year or so, I would consider it an honour to be employed aboard your fine ship.”
“Mr Taters, your generous compliments are accepted with a happy heart” replied the captain who was blushing slightly “it was my honour to have you aboard.”
After a few more pleasantries Sven and Maria left the vessel and walked across the space dock terminal in search of a hotel to stay in. They had got half way across the courtyard when Sven heard someone shout.
“SVEN!” came the voice and when he turned around he saw Drackus storming towards him with Thorred in tow.
Sven stopped and faced Drackus as he approached. When Drackus reached him, he struck Sven in the face as hard as he possibly could and Sven fell backwards onto the floor. Drackus leapt on top of him and held his throat as he punched him again and again.
“YOU KILLED MY TULLEY!” screamed Drackus.
Sven just lay there and let Drackus hit him until he ran out of steam. Two security guards approached but were directed away by Thorred and Sally; who had just arrived.
“You killed my Tulley” said Drackus quietly as he gathered his wits and climbed off Sven. Maria just stood and watched impassively before she said “have you finished hitting daddy now?”
Sven sat up and got to his feet before saying “don’t worry Maria, I had it coming.”
“Daddy?” asked Drackus as he studied Maria for any signs that she may have come from Tulley… even if it would have been incredible to say the least.
“All I can say, Drackus, is that I would have swapped places with Tulley if I could have” said Sven “I loved her with everything I had.”
“Daddy?” repeated Drackus.
“Tulley and I adopted Maria before we were parted” replied Sven.
“Yes” said Maria “Sven is my daddy now so I don’t want you to hit him any more.”
“I am sorry… Maria… I didn’t know you were his daughter” said Drackus “you are a human, after all.”
“Well he is my daddy now so you better not hit him again” said Maria and she stood upright and crossed her arms in a forthright manner.
“I won’t, young lady” replied Drackus “You will both stay on my ship for the night… as my guests.”
“Are you sure, Drackus?” asked Sven.
“Yes” replied Drackus and he turned on his heels and quickly strolled off.
“It is good to see you, brother” said Thorred as he threw his arms around Sven and hugged him warmly. Sven returned the gesture and explained to Maria who Thorred and Sally were. When Sally put his hand out to shake her hand, Maria’s eyes were so wide they almost popped but she bravely shook Sally’s hand gently. They all made their way to the docking berth where The Obituary was and almost as soon as Sven had topped the ramp, Jela leapt on him and he had to magnetise his feet to remain upright.
“You poor thing!” was all she say through floods of tears. Once Thorred had managed to prise his wife from Sven, the rest of the crew appeared and welcomed him and his new daughter aboard. Once the welcomes were finished, Sally ushered everyone to the lounge where Drackus and Chook were waiting. When Maria saw Chook she looked terrified and eyed him with huge suspicion until he spoke to her and reassured her that he was an honourable lizard who wouldn’t eat her… unless she was very naughty, of course.
“Sig, let’s have some drinks and snacks… we have a lot to discuss” said Drackus.
Sally went to the bar with Sig and a few moments later returned with two fruit drinks. He handed one to Maria and said “not only does this taste fantastic but it helps you to grow big and strong.” Maria looked him up and down and took a sip before returning his broad smile.
Drinks were served and everyone took a seat. Sven looked around the room and there was only one face he didn’t recognise; a human male with a bright orange beard and bald head. He was called Frank and was the new engineer.
“Right then” said Drackus and everyone was quiet “Sven, start from the top and tell me everything.”

Sven told Drackus of the guild and the way he had been recruited. He told him of the ship and the missions. He told him about the crew and after all that, he told him about the events that led to Tulley’s death and his current situation. He even told Drackus of how the crew died at his hands. Throughout his recollections, the rest of the crew remained silent and Drackus just sat and stared at Sven whilst resting his chin on his linked fingers.

“That is everything?” asked Drackus “with no omissions?”
“Yes, captain” replied Sven.
“And Septus managed to cut your palm and mingle your… vital fluid… with Tulley’s blood?” asked Drackus “and it was poison to her?”
“Yes, captain” replied Sven sadly; his gaze dropping to the table in front of him.
Drackus paused for a long time and sipped from his glass of cognac before saying “it wasn’t your fault.”
“Pardon?” asked Sven.
“It was my fault. I knew Septus and encouraged him to employ you both” said Drackus “I believed him to be trustworthy but his obsession with the guild had obviously become too much for him to sensibly cope with.”
“You knew Septus?” asked Sven.
“You didn’t find it odd that you were so quickly accepted aboard a ship of that type?” asked Drackus “of course I knew Septus. I had no idea of what he had become… he was always a stalwart ally to me and my crew.”
Sven was silent.
“So what now?” asked Thorred “can he return to the ship, captain?”
“I’m afraid not” replied Drackus.
“But he’s been straight with you… why can’t he return?”
“I doubt very much if he would want to return… and he still broke an oath with me and my decision stands” replied Drackus.
“But…” began Thorred before Sven said “he’s right. I could never return to this ship as a crewman. Every bolt and every panel would remind me of my Tulley. Did you know that she signed her repairs with a pen?”
“Ohhh Sven!” said Jela who had promptly began to cry in sympathy with him.
“Please don’t” said Sven “I don’t deserve your tears. The captain is right… I broke an oath and he is bound by the covenant to stand by his oath as well. Plus I have a ship of my own now so I will have somewhere to dwell with my daughter.”
“We will remain at Bloor until your new vessel arrives and you will be welcome as guests” said Drackus “I commend your honesty and am sure that we share an equal pain for the loss of our beloved Tulley. Tomorrow we will convene a wake in the lounge at 19:00 hours in honour of our fallen daughter, partner and friend; Tulley.”
“Excuse me” said Drackus and he left the lounge with Valerie following closely behind.
Everyone watched them leave and sat in silence for a moment before Sig said “what we need is some music.” He went to the bar, leaned over it and pulled out his squeeze box “tomorrow we weep but tonight we make merry.”
The ice was broken and Frank walked over to Sven and offered his hand. Sven shook it.
“You ran a fine section” said Frank.
“Oh no… that wasn’t me. I did as I was told” said Sven “Tulley was the boss.”
“Then credit goes to her then” said Frank “I have never seen such ingenuity where repairs have been done.”
“She was a marvel” replied Sven.
“Do you drink?” asked Frank “I’ll get you what you want.”
“I’m fine thanks” replied Sven… maybe later.
“Okay… I’ll hold you to it” said Frank and he wandered off to the bar again.
“Daddy?” asked Maria “Can we drop our bags off somewhere?”
“Of course you can, my dear” said Jela “you come with me and I’ll show you to your room.”
Maria looked at Sven and he nodded to her so she went with Jela to find a room.
“It is good to have you aboard again, brother” said Thorred “even if it is only temporary.”
“I missed this place” said Sven “but not any more… there is nothing here for me. My friends are here but the ship is a constant reminder of everything I have lost and it saddens me.”
“Tulley would not be happy to hear you say that” said Thorred “her heart and soul went into this vessel.”
“I know, brother” replied Sven “but it doesn’t make things any easier.”
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 30
: Inso August 16, 2012, 11:45:03 AM
Maria was made very much at home aboard The Obituary. Jela and Fran ‘stole her’ from Sven and took her shopping while Thorred and Sven caught up with what had been going on aboard both ships. The following night, everyone gathered in the lounge and celebrated Tulley’s life with a wake. Maria was with Sven throughout the evening and was allowed a small amount of alcohol to make the toasts with; as was the tradition. There were happy memories and sad ones. There was singing and crying and laughing and Tulley’s memory was cast into the void. By the end of the evening Drackus had properly made peace with Sven because they both knew it was what Tulley would have wanted but they also knew that Sven could not re-join the crew.

The days that Sven and Maria spent aboard The Obituary were happy ones and by the time it came for them to leave, Maria had made friends with the whole crew and especially fell in love with Sally. She thought he was the cuddliest creature she had ever met and had to be prised away from him on the day they left to join Metal Fish. Sven thought it was quite incredible that she had amassed such a lot of clothing and, as she called them, pretty things in such a short space of time.

Comms codes were swapped so that the two ships could remain in regular contact and after Sven had hugged his brother goodbye, Drackus shook his hand in a warrior grip and called him friend again and Sven was glad of that. It was both a happy departure and a sad one. It was like a separation but a reunion at the same time… and what had happened had brought everyone together so that they could part on good terms.

Metal Fish was a freighter. It was about three times the size of The Obituary and was silver from front to stern. Metal Fish was written on the front of the ship in large, black letters across the nose. It had no weaponry and was unassuming. Metal fish was a good name for it because it was teardrop shaped with a large tail fin. When Sven arrived at the ship, he was met by a guildsman who handed him the dockets and security keys and codes. He also handed him a pair of envelopes before departing. Sven opened the ship and he escorted Maria aboard.
“Computer, lights” said Sven and the internal corridors lit up so that the pair of them could see where they were going. As the door closed behind them, Sven dropped the bags by the door and took Maria to the bridge. He opened the first envelope and pushed the disc into the computer before pushing a finger into the data socket and downloading the ship’s manual into his data files. Maria watched and was fascinated by the process. Once he had finished she asked him if he was a robot.
“I used to be” said Sven “but now I am just very complicated… I don’t really know what I am any more but I am happiest as a Grymn.”
“Could you be a human?” asked Maria “if you wanted to?”
“I expect I could manage that” said Sven “but I would rather be myself as a Grymn.”
“Okay” said Maria.
“What would you like to call the computer?” asked Sven “it needs a name.”
“Sally!” said Maria. Sven smiled broadly and agreed that Sally was a good name.
“Right… let’s go and see what the rooms are like” said Sven and they both left to investigate the ship.

After a brief tour Sven and Maria chose their rooms and put what belongings they had in them. Sven smiled because there was a pin-board on the wall of his cabin and it made him think of Tulley. He sat on his bunk and opened the second envelope and it had the details of the first job inside it. It wasn’t a rush job so it would be a good opportunity to test his piloting skills. Sven stood up and went to get Maria so that they could go to the bridge together and prepare the ship for departure.

“First of all, I need to tell the computer it has a name and then I need to tell it what it has to do. It is called ‘setting the protocols’ and it is important because it will mean that I can leave the ship to fly its self” said Sven before he tapped the console to show all of the available protocols. He sprouted extra fingers and they blurred to life as the screen changed so quickly that Maria couldn’t keep up.
“Wow, you type fast” said Maria.
“There… it’s finished” said Sven “say Sally and see what happens.”
“Sally” said Maria.
“What is your command?” asked Sally.
“Tell him to carry out engine tests” said Sven.
“Sally, carry out engine tests please” said Maria.
“Processing” replied Sally “tests will be completed in seven minutes, fifteen seconds.”
Maria smiled and looked at Sven before asking if there was a list of tests that had to be done. Sven copied the list to a data tab and gave it to Maria who immediately took ownership of telling Sally what tests needed doing. That gave Sven the chance to check the hold to make sure everything was ready for departure.
“Before we leave, we need to get some food and provisions on board and I think it would be nice to get a few pictures for the walls… do you fancy painting some?” said Sven.
“I’d love to paint some pictures” said Maria “will you help?”
“We’ll both paint some… I’ll get plenty of paint” replied Sven.
“Can we get some films to watch too?” asked Maria “I’d like to see some.”
“We can pick those up on the comms so there won’t be any need to bring any on board” replied Sven “we’ll also be able to pick up school lessons so you can learn things.”
“Oh” replied Maria “I had forgotten about lessons.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll make it as painless as possible for you… but you have to get some schooling otherwise you won’t be able to look after yourself when you are older” said Sven.
“Okay” said Maria and she smiled “let’s go shopping then.”

Metal fish left the dock at Bloor and did so at a slow and steady pace. Sven carefully guided it out of the clamps and through the main gate before continuing out to the dock limits. Once he passed the limits he told Maria to give the commands and Sally increased speed and set a course for their pick-up destination. Sven and Maria then set up a painting table and spent the afternoon painting and talking about poems and famous writers. Maria didn’t even notice she was receiving lessons and when Sven told her she hugged him and said that he was a lovely teacher which made him very happy. After they had painted a dozen pictures, Maria and Sven went around the ship and stuck them to the walls before admiring their work.
“Are you hungry?” asked Sven.
“Yes, daddy” replied Maria.
“Good because you are going to prepare lunch” said Sven.
“But I don’t know how” said Maria.
“Come on, I’ll help you” replied Sven and they both went to wash their hands and sort out some lunch.

Over the next couple of weeks, Sven became very proud of Maria’s willingness to learn. It had reached a point where every time Sven was about to carry out a task, Maria would step in and ask to help or be shown how to do it. She soaked up information like a sponge and was keen to get involved with every task that came up; no matter how unusual or difficult. Sven made sure that she was always kept busy and managed to mix in study time with the general duties that running a star-ship provided. Sven and Maria cooked together and in the evenings sat and watched films and Maria was fascinated by them.
“Can I have a gun?” asked Maria “Like the one that Star-Pilot Max had?”
“I’m not sure you are old enough to have a pistol yet” said Sven “but we can try you with one and as long as you are safe with it… I can’t see it being a problem. It will have to be stored away until it is time for practice though… they aren’t toys.”
“I know… thank you daddy” replied Maria.
“Maria, when is your birthday?” asked Sven.
“Do I get birthdays too?” asked Maria “I never had a birthday before.”
“Well… you will now” replied Sven “so when is your birthday?”
“Orga 4” said Maria.
“That’s in six weeks!” said Sven “You’ll be ten then.”
“Yep” beamed Maria.
“And another inch taller I expect” said Sven with a laugh “so… what would you like for your birthday?”
“Can we get a nanny?” asked Maria “a young one.”
“To join us on board?” asked Sven “I’m not sure we need one.”
“It would be nice to have a girl to chat with” said Maria.
“We can sort out a nanny if you really want one but that isn’t a birthday present” replied Sven.
“That’s all I want” said Maria.
“Okay” replied Sven “but if something else crops up, let me know.”
“I will” she said.

Sorfee had a pretty standard space dock and when Metal Fish docked and the load had been packed, there was plenty of time to explore. Maria held Sven’s hand as they went from shop to shop. Provisions were bought and various other craft items selected. Sven bought some new clothes and after they had both eaten lunch, Maria dragged Sven to the employment bureau to look for a nanny. Unfortunately there were none available so Sven agreed to keep trying at each port they visited. They returned to the ship, made sure everything had been delivered and then prepared the ship for departure. A couple of hours later they were steadily powering through space to their delivery point.
“We forgot my gun” said Maria.
“There was nowhere selling them” replied Sven “we’ll just have to look around the next place, won’t we?”
“I guess so” said Maria “but you will get me one, won’t you?”
“Of course” replied Sven “are you worried about something?”
“No” said Maria “but you can’t be too careful.”
“Captain” said Sally “there is a build up of carbon dioxide in the hold.”
“Likely cause?” asked Sven.
“Exhaled air from a humanoid respiratory system” replied Sally.
“Maria, you stay here on the bridge until I say it is safe, okay?” said Sven.
“Yes, daddy” said Maria. Sven left the bridge and as he did so said “Sally, secure the bridge”. There was a loud slam as the bolts slid across and once Sven was happy that Maria was safe, he powered down the corridor to the hold; forming a stun rifle in his forearm while he walked.
“Sally, lights” said Sven and the hold was lit up. All around him there were crates filled with engine parts and Sven knew it would take ages to search through them all so he switched his sight to detect carbon dioxide and immediately saw a trace to follow. Charging his stun rifle, he quietly made his way over to the crate and saw that there was damage to the casing that allowed it to be opened. Sven scanned the crate and saw that there was a stowaway inside.
“Stowaway, come out of the crate or I will have to remove you myself” said Sven. He heard a shuffling movement inside before the casing lifted up and the stowaway emerged.
“Don’t hurt me, I’m not dangerous… I can pay!” it said.
“Who are you and why have you stowed away on my ship?” demanded Sven while he trained his weapon on the stowaway.
“I’m Charlie” said the stowaway and she stuck her hand out for a handshake; which Sven declined.
“Why are you on my ship, Charlie?” asked Sven “what is your business here?”
Charlie lowered her hand and looked down at Sven “I needed to leave the dock and the crates said Parthon… so I found a ride” she said.
Sven scanned her up and down and said “give me your pistol.”
Charlie did as she was asked.
“And your knife” said Sven so she pulled the knife from her boot and handed it over.
“And the garrotte in your belt” said Sven and Charlie raised her eyebrows but did as she was asked.
“This way” said Sven and he pointed her towards the door to the corridor.
“Where are you taking me?” asked Charlie.
“To a cabin to sort your self out until I have decided what I am going to do with you” said Sven “I’ll be taking your bag so that I can check who you are.”
Charlie handed him her bag and walked into the cabin.
“Feel free to use the facilities” said Sven as he locked the door behind her “Sally, secure this cabin.”
“Cabin Secured” said Sally.
“Now let’s find out who this Charlie is” he thought on his way to the bridge.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 31
: Inso August 16, 2012, 03:30:25 PM
“Who is it, daddy?” asked Maria “are they dangerous?”
“It is a human female called Charlie” said Sven “I have her bag here so we can check her out.”
“What does she look like?” asked Maria. Sven put his finger into a data socket and down-loaded her image.
“She is very pretty” said Maria “and she has lovely white hair.”
“She is also wanted for theft” said Sven.
“What did she steal?” asked Maria.
“Mostly food and clothing” replied Sven “she has certainly travelled about… her documents show that she has been to eighty seven charted planets.”
“What does she do?” asked Maria.
“Everything from, waitressing to security work it would seem” said Sven “but she only works for short periods before moving on.”

“You get around a bit” said Sven “what are you running from.”
“I’m not running from anything” replied Charlie.
“So why do you travel so much?” asked Sven “it seems to me that the only reason would be that you don’t want to be found.”
“I just like travelling” replied Charlie and Sven knew she was lying.
“I will ask you again in a moment but before I do I want you to consider this” said Sven and he changed his colour to that of smoky crystal, his eyes to a brilliant, glowing white and he raised a hand and transformed it to have a multitude of blades and probes “I can extract the information if you so wish.”
Charlie reeled in terror at the scene in front of her. Sven returned to his normal form and said “if you tell me, I may be able to help you but I need to know what you are running from.”
Charlie stared at him for a while before saying “I was a slave.”
“Where?” asked Sven.
“On Dianaxiss” replied Charlie “I was in a Harem.”
“And who was your master?” asked Sven.
“I was owned by a drugs cartel” replied Charlie and her head bowed and her shoulders slumped “they always find me so I have to keep running.”
“Stand up” said Sven and she did as he asked. His eyes changed and he scanned her from head to toe “you have a device in your earlobe.”
“What?” replied Charlie.
“Your earring is hiding a device in your ear lobe” said Sven “remove your earring and lean forward and I will show you.”
Charlie cautiously leant forward after she had removed the stud and Sven carefully reached up to her earlobe.
“This may sting a little” he said as he projected a tiny from his finger-tip and it whipped into her ear lobe; extracting a tiny plastic device. He turned it over between his fingers before showing it to Charlie “it is a tracking unit” said Sven.
“I wondered how they always found me” said Charlie. Sven crushed the device between his fingers and super-heated it until it was a charred smear.
“We have a four week journey until we reach the next destination” said Sven “you could remain locked in this room, help on the ship or be jettisoned into space… the choice is yours.”
“I will help you aboard the ship” replied Charlie.
“I will warn you that I will not tolerate any lies” said Sven seriously “and if you harm my daughter in any way, I will not be responsible for my actions.”
“Okay” said Charlie “What do you want me to do?”
“I want you use the shower because you smell. I want you to change your clothing” said Sven and then I will introduce you to my daughter.”
Charlie glared at him “I don’t have any other clothing.”
“I’ll see if there is anything aboard that will fit you” said Sven “in the meantime, you will clean yourself up.”
Sven left the cabin and said “Sally, secure the cabin.”
“Cabin secured” replied Sally.

“I’m sorry but this is the best I could do for now” said Sven and he handed the stripped-down evacuation suit to Charlie “it will be comfortable enough until you and Maria can fix you up with something better.”
“Thank you” replied Charlie and she dropped the sheet she was wrapped in and put the boiler suit on. She slipped her shoes back on and stood up “I guess this will do for now.”
“Good, follow me” said Sven and he led the way from the cabin to the bridge without saying another word. When they arrived, Sven introduced Charlie to Maria and asked Charlie to take a seat so they could all chat.
“What are your skills?” asked Sven.
“I have been trained in the arts of pleasure” replied Charlie before she thought for a moment and said “I cook a little.”
“Your list of work includes all sorts… have you ever helped to crew a ship?” asked Sven.
“No… I try not to stay anywhere for too long and a captain will always ask for experience” replied Charlie.
“Can you sew?” asked Maria.
“Yes” replied Charlie.
“Good” said Maria “we can make some clothes. You can be my nanny.”
“I’m sorry kid but I am no one’s nanny” said Charlie “I don’t need the responsibility.”
Sven watched Maria’s face drop and looked at Charlie sternly.
“Well… maybe I can try for a little while to see if I can cut it” said Charlie quickly and Sven smiled at her.
“When did you last eat?” asked Maria.
“Yesterday morning” replied Charlie.
“Well let’s go and find some food” said Maria and she grabbed Charlie’s hand and escorted her to the kitchen area.
“Sally, I want a thousand kilometre scan done every minute. Any craft that are detected, I want to know about it.”
“Processing” replied Sally.
Sven left the bridge and went to join Maria and Charlie in the kitchen.

Sven sat and watched as Charlie devoured the meal that she and Maria had prepared. She was obviously very hungry and Maria made sure that there was plenty of bread available to help fill her up.
“Do you have any wine?” asked Charlie.
“We have a small amount of mead… but no wine” replied Sven “and you won’t be drinking that until we know a bit more about you.”
Charlie flashed a glare at Sven and then softened “okay… I get that” she said.
“You have drugs in your system and there were traces of Stim in your bag” said Sven “I assume that you are an addict.”
Charlie paused from eating and looked at Sven before considering her answer “I do Stim, if that is what you mean” she replied.
“There is no Stim on this vessel” said Sven.
“I sort of gathered that” said Charlie “there’s probably Tranx in the medi-kits though.”
Sven stared at her for a moment before saying “they will be locked away.”
Charlie’s eyes widened and a mild look of panic flashed across her face before she quickly suppressed it.
“You may as well lock me in the cabin” replied Charlie.
“Or we can keep you occupied” said Sven.
“It would be easier for me if you locked me away” replied Charlie.
“Something worth having is worth suffering for” said Sven “we will be able to keep a better eye on you if you stay in our company.”
“But I won’t be able to cope” said Charlie.
“Then we will help you” said Sven “but my earlier statement still stands… harm my daughter and you will regret it.”
“She can’t be your daughter, you’re not human” said Charlie.
“Very astute of you” said Sven sarcastically “I adopted her.”
“Isn’t that a bit weird… a lone… Dwarf shape-shifter… adopting a human, female child?” asked Charlie.
“I am a widower. My wife and I adopted Maria” replied Sven “My wife was a Grymn just as I try to be.”
“Even so” said Charlie “you are a weird robot thing… hardly father material” said Charlie.
“My daddy is the best daddy ever!” shouted Maria “He’s much better than my dead one.”
Charlie was startled by Maria’s response so she apologised “it’s not me… it’s the Stim.”
“Don’t be mean” said Maria.
“I’ll try not to, baby” said Charlie “thank you for the food.”

The next couple of weeks were very difficult. Charlie stayed in bed for much of each day as she fought her body and shook violently. When she did leave her room, she couldn’t concentrate on anything and Maria ended up looking after her and making sure that she was properly fed. On one occasion, Charlie lashed out and slapped Maria and was instantly restrained by Sven. Maria was fine but when Charlie realised what she had done, she sobbed uncontrollably and begged for some Tranx but Sven denied them to her and locked her in her cabin for the evening. After two weeks, the shaking subsided and she became more coherent again. She was able to do menial tasks but was extremely emotional and cried at the slightest thing. Sven worried about Maria because Charlie kept cuddling her all the time and sobbing. Maria took it all in her stride and just kept making sure that Charlie was kept well fed. Maria also made Charlie a dress from some of the spare linen so that she could relax a bit more comfortably. In the fourth week, Charlie seemed to wake up and began to sit with Maria and paint and sew and keep her company. They chatted a lot and for the first time since she arrived, Charlie laughed and smiled. The week flew by and in no time, Metal Fish docked at Parthon.

“It is up to you what you want to do” said Sven “you can stay aboard or you can leave.”
“I can’t stay on board” said Charlie “it isn’t my thing.”
“I know Maria would like you to stay” said Sven hopefully.
“I know… but I can’t. I’m sorry but it would drive me to despair” replied Charlie “she’s lovely but I would be no role model for her.”
“If you are sure, you’d better have this” said Sven and he handed her the pistol, dagger and garrotte that he had confiscated when she arrived “you may need them.”
“Thank you, Sven” replied Charlie and she bent down and kissed his cheek “you were kind to me. Say good bye to Maria for me.”
“I will” said Sven and he watched Charlie walk across the dock street and disappear in the throng of people “well… that was that” he thought and he walked back into the ship to go and off-load the crates.

“I am sorry Mr. Oak-Arm, there are no nannies available at the moment” said the man behind the counter at the employment agency.
“Thank you for looking” said Sven and he escorted Maria from the building.
“We’ll find one soon, daddy; I know it” said Maria.
“I’m sure we will” replied Sven “I suppose we’d better see if we can find you a pistol, while we are here.”
“Oh, can we?” replied Maria.
“Of course” replied Sven “I promised we’d give it a go, didn’t I?”
They both walked down the street and eventually found a general store that had a small selection of weaponry. Sven chose a small pistol that suited Maria’s grip; test fired it to check its aim and bought it. He managed to get a holster and cleaning kit and a small amount of ammunition for it. Maria couldn’t wait to try it out but Sven said it would have to wait until the ship was safely underway again. While they were on Parthon, they restocked the food and fuel and picked up another load for the guild. It was another slow-time job so Sven and Maria took the opportunity to stop off at a restaurant for something to eat. They were just tucking into their meals when there was a huge commotion from the kitchen. It sounded like pans being thrown and plates breaking and all of a sudden a woman dashed from the kitchen; crying her eyes out whilst clutching a bloody wound on her forehead. Moments later a large, fat, four armed alien burst out and threw a bag of belongings after her whilst shouting furiously in an alien language. He burst back into the kitchen and left the woman to collect her things from the floor whilst trying to stem the flow of blood.
“Let me help” said Sven and he crouched to look at her head.
“Get off!” screamed the sobbing woman “I don’t need help… leave me alone.”
“But you are hurt” said Sven and he stepped back “please let me help you.”
“Do you own a hotel?” screamed the woman “cos, I’ve just been fired by that fething moot clod!”
“No…” replied Sven “you need to fix that wound… let me help.”
The woman lowered her hand and looked at the blood in her palm before promptly passing out on top of her bag.

When the woman came too, she was on a clean bed and had a dressing around her head. She sat up and felt a sharp pain across her forehead but ignored it and climbed off the covers. The door opened and Maria popped her head around it.
“You are awake then?” asked Maria.
“Yes… where am I?” asked the woman.
“You are on our ship” said Maria.
“What? Tell me we are still in port!” said the woman and she jumped up.
“Yes” replied Maria “daddy said we wouldn’t leave until you were better.”
“Where is your daddy?” asked the woman.
“I’ll show you” said Maria and she held out her hand for the woman to hold “my name is Maria.”
“That is a nice name. My name is Heather” she replied.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 32
: Inso August 16, 2012, 05:02:32 PM
“It is good to see you have regained consciousness” said Sven when Maria and Heather walked in “My name is Sven.”
“Hello Sven, I’m Heather… thank you for looking after me” she said.
“Do you remember what happened?” asked Sven.
“Unfortunately, yes” replied Heather “I guess I’m jobless and homeless again.”
“What happened?” asked Sven.
“There is only so long you can tolerate the advances of a four-armed employer” replied Heather “so I scalded him with soup.”
“So what are you going to do now?” asked Sven.
“Find somewhere else, I guess” replied Heather.
“Have you ever worked on board a star-ship before?” asked Sven.
“No, I can’t say that I have” said Heather.
“Would you like to?” asked Sven.
“What?” asked Heather in surprise.
“Would you like to work aboard this ship?” asked Sven.
“What? Just like that?” asked Heather.
“Yes… just like that” said Sven.
“Oh… I’ll have to think… it’s a big step…” said Heather.
“You have an hour to decide… we have held here for long enough as it is” said Sven.
“My things are still at the restaurant” said Heather “I’ll have to get those… but Raaax will never let me in there again.”
“I will collect your things” said Sven “and your wages will be sixty thousand plus full board.”
“SIXTY THOUSAND?!” said Heather and she quickly found a chair to sit down on “I’ve never even seen that much money before.”
“We will take holidays when we can but they will generally be where we dock… do you have family here?” asked Sven.
“No family…” replied Heather who was in a daze “but you don’t know how my cooking tastes.”
“Are you with us or are you on your way?” asked Sven.
“What the feth… I’ll stay” said Heather.
“Good” said Sven as he left the bridge “I’ll be back shortly with your belongings.”

“Here are your things, here is a letter of apology and here is your severance pay” said Sven as he handed everything to Heather “Raaax was kind enough to provide me with a verbal reference as well.”
Heather opened the envelope with the money in and gasped “there’s over a thousand credits in there.”
“He was very sad to see you leave” said Sven “Sally, seal the ship and let’s get underway.”
“Doors are closed, pre-flight checks in progress” said Sally.
“Has Maria helped you find a room yet?” asked Sven.
“Not yet” said Heather.
“Well, you two go and sort that out and we’ll worry about everything else once we are underway” said Sven. Maria helped Heather with her bags and they both disappeared from the bridge.

Sven was happy with his ship. He was happy with his job because there was no rush and there were no worries. He had time to practice with his pilot skills and he was able to gather any information that he needed from the guild data banks. Heather was a terrible cook and was almost unbelievably clumsy but she and Maria were happy in each other’s company. Heather was not as pretty as Charlie but she was human, a little older; about thirty and was always happy to talk. She had difficulty reading but Maria was helping her to get better which, in turn, was helping Maria to learn. Sven missed Tulley very much but was managing things much better now that Maria had a friend.

Time passed. The three travellers had a good life and enjoyed the days, months and years as they meandered by. The routine of picking up and delivering loads of parts, food-stuff or all manner of hardware was something that sat very well with Sven. Whenever they stopped at a dock, the three of them would go and explore and if they had time they would stay for a while so that they could have a chance to stretch their legs and enjoy the facilities for a week or so. Maria became very fond of Heather and Sven was glad that Maria now had a mother figure; especially because she was approaching womanhood and Sven had no wish to deal with some of the more troublesome issues that came about as a result. In fact, the only thing that troubled Sven was the dreams he had. Whenever he powered down, the whispers started and they always said the same things. It was always Iddare; always fire and ice and a single star.

“I can’t explain it, brother” said Sven into the comms “it is always the same dream.”
“How long has it been now?” asked Thorred.
“Nearly four years” replied Sven.
“Have you located Iddare?” asked Thorred.
“I haven’t looked for it” said Sven “I am afraid what might happen if I go there.”
“You will have to face it one day” said Thorred “anyway, how is my niece?”
“She is as perfect as ever” replied Sven “she is a fantastic shot with a pistol and she can draw it from a holster quicker that her hero, Max.”
“Ha! I knew she was a natural” replied Thorred “I bet she’s almost twice your height by now too.”
“Not quite… but she is going to be a tall human female when she has finished growing” said Sven “she is already taller than Heather.”
“Jela and the crew send their best” said Thorred “even Chook has said it is about time you showed up for a visit. Frank has found one of Tulley’s special repairs and he asked if you knew about the catalyst driver or something like that. He’s going to send you the details because he is trying to sort out a ticking noise from the port engine and believes it is that.”
“No worries, brother” said Sven “send it over and I’ll take a look.”
“Cheers, mate” replied Thorred “well, all the best and give Maria a kiss from us all.”
“I will, brother” replied Sven “catch you later.”
The screen faded and Sven was left with his thoughts.
“Sally, search the guild data-banks for Iddare and send the details to my console please” said Sven.
“Processing” said Sally.
Sven left his cabin and found Maria and Heather in the common area with data-tablets spread all over the table. They were deep in conversation about how planets were formed and Sven was so proud of his Maria because Heather could read perfectly now.
“Big bang theory is it?” asked Sven when he entered.
“Yep!” said Maria.
Sven walked over to her and kissed her forehead “that’s from Thorred and the crew. They send their best to all of us.”
“Dad! You should have said” blurted Maria “I would have loved to see Jela to speak to.”
“It was Thorred” replied Sven “they want us to visit so we’ll have to make a date soon.”
“Captain, data is waiting at your personal console” said Sally.
“Thank you Sally” said Sven. He kissed Maria on the forehead again and said to Heather “I hope she isn’t tiring you out.”
“No way, Sven; this is fascinating stuff” replied Heather.
“Well I’ll leave you to it” replied Sven and he was about to leave when Maria said “what data are you searching, dad?”
“Just maps and things” replied Sven “nothing too interesting.”
“Oh” replied Maria “you haven’t forgotten that it is my birthday in three weeks, have you?”
“How can I forget it is your fourteenth birthday when you keep reminding me all the time?” replied Sven; smiling.
“I am only checking” said Maria and she continued with her studies.
Sven left the common area and returned to his console. He opened the file and absorbed the data. Iddare was not a star. It wasn’t even a planet. Idarre was a moon. In fact it was one of four moons that circled a planet not too far from Porphys. Sven noted the coordinates and he suddenly remembered the area. It was very close to where The Cheerful Drake was destroyed. Sven sat back heavily in his chair and thought “I have to go to Iddare.”
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 33
: Inso August 17, 2012, 10:03:04 AM
After a few calls to the guild, Sven managed to get a four week gap between deliveries so that Metal Fish could meet up with The Obituary and also have the time to find Iddare. As usual, they dropped off the load and met up with The Obituary at Charran. Heather and Maria disappeared with Jela and Fran while Sven spent time with his brother and helped Frank to unravel the mysteries of Tulley’s repairs. This time around they managed to get time to visit Elradar and enjoy the gardens for a day before they had to move on. As usual, Heather and Maria returned to the ship laden with gifts and Sven was happy that he had linked up with Tulley through her repairs and modifications on the ship. Once everyone was aboard, Sven set a course for Iddare and they let Sally take control.

Iddare was a moon that orbited a small planet near to Porphys. It was a lifeless, dusty, rock; covered in the craters of millennia of meteor strikes. When Metal Fish approached, proximity sensors flashed to life; warning of debris in the flight path so the ship was brought to a halt. In the near distance Sven could see the wreckage of a star-ship. It was The Cheerful Drake. Metal Fish got as close as it dared before Sven ordered a halt and a tether was attached. Maria asked what he was going to do and Sven told her he was going to investigate before he disappeared to his cabin and emerged in a crystalline form, ready for the vacuum outside. It was the first time Heather had seen him in that form which only served to prove the peace that Sven had enjoyed since she joined the ship. She was quite shocked but when she saw how relaxed Maria was, she calmed down and started asking lots of questions.

Sven exited the ship through an airlock and slowly pulled himself along the tether. The dark wreckage of The Cheerful Drake loomed up in front of him and he entered the cargo area through the rescue hole that had been cut when he and Maria were removed from the ship. Once inside, memories of the day Tulley died flooded into Sven’s mind. He steeled himself and went to find Tulley’s casket but when he got to where he left it, it wasn’t there. He froze and began to search the cargo area; tearing chunks of debris from the floor and throwing them aside so that pieces were floating around like jagged clouds. Tulley’s casket was nowhere to be found. Sven stood, desolate for a moment before a determined look flashed across his crystal features. Glowing vents opened up on each of his calves and he powered upwards; bursting through the wrecked hull and plunging towards the surface of Iddare. The speed at which he landed on the moon was such that a massive cloud of dust leapt into the airless void and a crater was formed.
“Sally, scan the planet for any power sources” said Sven.
“Processing” said Sally.
Sven took stock of his surroundings while Sally worked. The moon was red. It must have been very rich in iron because the dust was like rusted metal.
“There are two power sources” said Sally “one is at your current position. The other is five point two-five kilometres due south from the direction you are facing.”
“Thank you, Sally” replied Sven.
“The power sources are identical” said Sally.
“What?” asked Sven.
“The power sources are identical” replied Sally.
Sven turned around and hovered across the surface in a southward direction. It didn’t take him long to reach the second power source and as he approached, he could see it was Tulley’s casket. Sven landed next to the casket and looked down. It was covered in red dust and even when he brushed the dust off, there was no obvious sign of an energy source; the glow of the lights Sven had put in place had long been extinguished. Sven tried to clear the crystal enough to see through but quickly realised that there was no way he would be able to do it without water so he scanned the casket and discovered a very faint energy signature. “It must be the last of the battery” he thought. He stood for a moment and looked at the casket before he was momentarily distracted by a bright light from behind him. He turned to see a sun cresting the horizon and for a moment, the light that played across the surface of the red moon gave the impression that the dust was on fire. Sven returned his gaze to the casket “I’ll find a place for you on Charran” he said. He carefully lifted the casket and the vents along his calves glowed brightly, lifting Sven and the casket swiftly into the void. As he passed the wreckage of The Cheerful Drake, he ordered Sally to disconnect the tether before Sven fired a salvo of energy from a forearm ion-blaster that sent the remains of The Cheerful Drake tumbling towards the sun in the far distance. Once he was happy that things had been cleaned up, he took his precious cargo aboard Metal Fish.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 33
: Inso August 17, 2012, 12:22:42 PM
...nearly there...
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 34
: Inso August 17, 2012, 02:07:46 PM
Sven stood in the empty hold and looked down at the dirty casket in front of him. He had insisted that the casket should be quarantined until it had been properly cleaned so Maria and Heather were now barred from entering the hold.
“Sally, is the decontamination unit operational?” asked Sven.
“It is serviceable” replied Sally “but it will not be sufficient for the task.”
“Why not?” asked Sven.
“The box is currently at a temperature of minus one hundred and ten degrees” replied Sally “and the temperature is dropping at a steady one degree every fifteen minutes.”
“”Could we just use hot solution?” asked Sven.
“That may cause fatigue failure of the box structure” replied Sally “it is recommended that an insulated surface is used to shield the ship from the low temperature of the box. The temperature decline cannot be predicted.”
Sven went over to the packaging material storage area to find some insulation when amber lights started to flash and alarms started to sound.
“What is it Sally?” asked Sven.
“There is a power drop throughout the ship of fifteen percent” replied Sally.
“What is causing it?” asked Sven.
“Undetermined” replied Sally.
“Is the power drop increasing or is it constant?” asked Sven.
“Constant” replied Sally.
“Kill the alarms and monitor. Let me know if it drops by a total of twenty five percent” said Sven.
“Alarms deactivated. Monitoring temperature” replied Sally.
Sven found some insulation material and placed it over by the casket. When he lifted the casket onto the material, he felt the cold on his fingers and when he placed the box down, he left a pair of clear hand-prints on the sides. He looked through and could see the yellow material of Tulley’s coveralls and immediately continued to lay his hands over the surface, leaving more and more clear hand prints. He could feel the cold spreading up his arms but ignored it until all of the dust had been pressed off the casket and he could see Tulley from head to toe. He stood back and gazed at Tulley open mouthed. She was still perfect. Her clothing was pristine and he could clearly see Tulley embroidered on her badge but what was most surprising was her skin; it was like frosted ice and the patterns swirled like foam on a rough sea across the surface. Sven stumbled backwards and sat heavily on the floor of the hold.
“What is going on?” he thought.
“Captain, what are your orders?” asked Sally.
“Sally, remain stationary until further notice” replied Sven “I need time to think” he thought.
“Remaining stationary” replied Sally.
“I need to power down” thought Sven so he walked into the decontamination unit and set things going. A few minutes later he left the hold and went to talk to Maria.

“So mummy is now in the hold?” asked Maria.
“Yes, I have recovered her casket” said Sven “and she is still in peace.”
“May I see?” asked Maria.
“Not yet” replied Sven “the casket is contaminated and we can’t get it clean until it warms up a bit.”
“How cold is it?” asked Maria.
“Minus one hundred and thirteen degrees” replied Sally.
“If you touched it, your hands would freeze” said Sven.
“What are we going to do, daddy?” asked Maria “we only have another four days before we have to get back to work.”
“I don’t know… but I think I have to power down to see if I dream again” said Sven.
“Oh” said Maria.
“It shouldn’t take long” said Sven.
“Well, I’m sure Heather will keep me company while you are away” said Maria.
“I’ll be in my room if I am needed” said Sven and he kissed Maria on the forehead before leaving the common area.

As soon as the whispers started, Sven noticed a change to the dream. There was no mention of Iddare or fire or ice. The tears of Porphys were there and they spiralled around a circular garden of tiny flowers. In the centre of the garden was a single gem and the surface spiralled with swirls of mist. All around the garden was the desert of Porphys and Sven immediately recognised the scene. It was where he awoke after he had helped to defeat the Hybrids.

“You will like Porphys” said Sven.
“Why?” asked Maria.
“It is where Chook comes from and it is filled will lizard people” said Sven “and there are giant, flying dragons made of crystal. The females control the planet and are much bigger and stronger than the males too.”
“Are the females as scary as Chook?” asked Maria with wide eyes.
“Much more scary” said Sven.
“I won’t have to leave the ship, will I?” asked Heather.
“Not if you don’t want to but I have a good number of friends there who would make you most welcome” said Sven “they would be honoured to have you both as guests while I attend to my business.”

“Welcome Guardian. Welcome Crystal Saviour!” said Greylar as she bowed low when she saw Sven exit the shuttle that had brought him, Maria, Heather and the casket to the surface. All around, lizards stopped their work and knelt on the ground to worship their saviour.
“What are they doing, daddy?” asked Maria.
“I am viewed as a god here” said Sven “it is a bit embarrassing really.”
“You should embrace your stature, master Taters” said Greylar as she graciously shook his hand in greeting.
“Welcome, Greylar” said Sven “I’d like you to meet my daughter; Maria and our friend Heather.”
“You are all most welcome in my nest” said Greylar and she bowed to them again before she escorted them into the dome. Sven watched as four lizards carried the casket from the shuttle on insulated poles. He smiled to himself at the honour he could see etched across their faces.
“What is your wish, master Taters?” asked Greylar.
“My wish is to leave my two companions in your care while I walk into the wastes with the casket” replied Sven “and please, I am known as Sven now.”
“It will be as you wish, master Sven” replied Greylar “when do you plan to depart?”
“As soon as Maria and Heather are settled” said Sven.
“Well, we’d best get them settled” said Greylar with a toothy grin.

The garden was exactly as he had left it. The tiny flowers were still growing low to the ground in the large crater. Sven noticed that there was no sand on the flowers and it was as if they had a protective bubble around them because they looked so fresh amongst the arid and barren area around the crater. Sven carefully carried the casket to the centre of the garden and noticed that there was a silhouette of a Grymn outlined by flowers there. Inside the silhouette was rich soil but nothing grew there. Sven placed the casket on the silhouette and stepped back but nothing happened so he sat next to the casket, on the lush flowers and waited.

The sun travelled lazily across the sky and slowly dipped behind the horizon, leaving the desert to bask in the glow of a billion stars. The sound of night creatures could be heard as they scampered around; hunting and being hunted. Sven looked at the sky and marvelled at the view and instinctively rested a hand on Tulley’s casket. It felt warm. He took his hand away straight away and felt the ground vibrate as tiny stems began to climb up around casket out of the rich soil. The flowers that sprung from the stems matched those in the rest of the garden and Sven was glad to see that they didn’t cover the top of the casket so he could still see Tulley. He touched the casket again and noticed that his hand was in its crystalline form. He quickly checked the rest of his body and saw that he was completely crystal apart from his clothing so he removed his clothes and placed them just outside the crater. He was about to step back into the crater but for some reason, he couldn’t. It was as if there was a force holding him away. He stepped back and was about to attack the field when he felt a dull vibration rising through the ground. He looked towards a small outcrop of rock to see one face of it open and a cavern appear. From the cavern came a great roar, closely followed by the Tears of Porphys flying forth. As the Dragons approached, a pulse of force spread out from the garden and launched Sven clear. He sat and watched as the massive dragons circled the garden; just as they had in his dream. The casket began to rise into the air on a column of flowers and glowed brightly with a pure, white light. Sven could only watch as all nine of the Tears of Porphys swiftly converged on the casket and dissolved into it. The casket glowed furiously; so much so that Sven had to look away. There was a dull thump and the light dimmed enough for Sven to see nine crystals fly radially away from the casket and drop to earth; just inside the rim of the garden. Then all light was extinguished and it took a moment for Sven to adjust his sight. The casket was lying at the centre of the garden with only the light of a billion stars to illuminate it. Sven climbed to his feet and walked to the edge of the garden. He pushed his hand forward and felt no resistance so he stepped onto the flowers and carefully made his way to the centre. When he reached the casket, he gingerly touched the case and it immediately shattered. He looked down at Tulley’s crystalline face and her eyes opened.

“The prophesy is begun again” whispered the voices “the nine tears shall dwell in the depths to awaken when the home is most threatened. The Guardian will depart and will take his heart’s desire with him and he shall find peace. The balance will be restored and the shards will be spread across the void.”

“Are you okay, babe?” said a voice that was like the echo of a dream “Sven… wake up!”
Sven opened his eyes and looked up at Tulley.
“I thought I’d lost you” she said.
“I thought I’d lost you too” said Sven and he sat up.
“No chance of that, silly” said Tulley.
Sven reached out a hand and touched Tulley’s face “you are real” he said.
“Of course I am… but The Father knows how I got here.”
“You are flesh” said Sven in a dazed fashion.
“Why wouldn’t I be?” asked Tulley “you are.”
Sven quickly looked at his hands and they were indeed the colour of flesh. He thought of them as crystal but his hands didn’t respond. He tried again but still nothing happened.
“What is it?” asked Tulley.
“I can’t change” said Sven.
“Good, I love you as you are” said Tulley “are you going to put your clothes on because this garden has enough stems in it without you showing yours off as well.”
Sven looked down and realised he was naked and flesh… he was a Grymn. He was stunned.
“I am flesh” he said.
“Of course you are!” said Tulley “now put some clothes on and let’s get out of here.
Sven climbed to his feet and slowly dressed. He remembered the crystals falling from the casket so he looked for them. All he found were nine patches of fertile soil around the edge of the garden of flowers.
“What are you doing?” asked Tulley.
“I thought I saw something… I must be a bit sun-blind or something” replied Sven “we’ll have to travel in the dark or we’ll dry up.”
“Okay babe” replied Tulley “is it far?”
“A day or so” said Sven.

They were only walking for an hour before the sun began to rise above the horizon and they felt the fierce heat on their backs. Sven was about to direct them towards a rocky bluff but noticed something coming towards them in the distance. He strained to see due to the light reflecting from the sand but eventually he realised that it was a crowd of lizards and they were all walking towards them. In the lead was a very tall and mighty warrior who carried a staff. The whole crowd was naked apart from a staff and a belt that each of them carried. Sven heard a shout and the lizards began to dash towards Sven and Tulley. When they arrived the leader immediately threw herself at Sven’s feet and like a ripple in a pond, the rest of the crowd followed and Sven could see at least a thousand lizards bowing low.

“It is our privilege to bear you to our settlement” said Greylar.
“Only if you stop all this nonsense” replied Sven.
Greylar got to her feet and the rest of the lizards followed suit. A litter was quickly fashioned from staffs and belts and Sven and Tulley were carried aloft by the multitude; at great speed towards Greylar’s settlement.
“This is a bit weird” said Tulley.
“This is nothing compared to what you will soon learn” replied a rather stunned Sven.

Maria’s eyes nearly fell out when she saw Tulley alive. “Mummy?!” she said as she cautiously approached.
Tulley threw her a questioning look before Sven told Maria that there needed to be a bit of catching up. Maria shook Tulley’s hand and said hello before letting go and stepping aside to allow both Sven and Tulley into the room.
“How did you know where to find us?” asked Sven.
“The sky was lit up like a beacon. The Tears were aloft and when we felt the ground move and saw the signs, we knew where to go” said Greylar “the prophesy is fulfilled and renewed.”
“So you knew this was going to happen?” asked Sven.
“Not exactly” replied Greylar “the prophesy is vague on most things but the outcome was predicted.”
“Could someone tell me what is going on?” asked Tulley “Where is Drackus?”
“We have a lot to tell you, babe” said Sven but we will have to leave soon or I will be in a lot of trouble with my bosses. You will be told every thing once we get underway.”
“Greylar, please accept my humble gratitude” said Sven “without you and your generosity, I would not be here as I am in front of you now.”
“It is Porphys that should thank you” replied Greylar “you have suffered much at the hands of the prophecy but you will forever be welcome here.” Greylar handed Tulley, Sven, Heather and Maria a pendant. Each was a tiny piece of crystal on a leather string.
“Have peace and prosperity on your travels” said Greylar.
“Thank you” replied Sven.
“The shuttle awaits you” said Greylar and she escorted the four of them from the dome and outside. As far as the eye could see, the sun shone on the dorsal scales of prostrate lizards. No sand was visible just the rainbow sheen from thousands of different coloured lizards. The four of them boarded the shuttle and said their farewells to Greylar before the shuttle lifted into the air.
“So… what is going on?” asked Tulley and she crossed her arms abruptly and scowled at Sven “and when did you stop being called Taters?”
“Do you remember when I was called T87?” asked Sven.
“Yes” replied Tulley and she paused for a moment before saying in a shaky voice “you were a robot.”
“When we get back to the ship, we will talk for as long as you like” said Sven “The ship will be unfamiliar to you but it is our home now.”
“Oh” said Tulley weakly “I need some tea.”
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastern Endeavours Part 34
: Inso August 17, 2012, 04:52:09 PM
“Sally, set a course for Palerma and proceed at pace” said Sven.
“Course set. Seventy five percent velocity” replied Sally.
“Right, let’s get some tea and go to the common room” said Sven “I’ll just take Tulley to show her our cabin. Heather dashed off to the kitchen and Maria dashed to the common area to make sure it was tidy.

The door to the cabin closed behind them and Sven took Tulley in his arms and hugged her tightly. He kissed her forehead and smelt her hair. She felt warm against him and he began to cry.
“What is it, babe?” asked Tulley.
“I have missed you so much” said Sven through his tears.
“Well I’m back now!” said Tulley and she kissed him tenderly “you can loosen your grip if you like.”
“Sorry” said Sven and he allowed her some space.
“The bed isn’t very big” said Tulley and Sven suddenly realised that they would need to move into a different cabin… he had got used to being alone “don’t worry; there is a bigger one a couple of doors down.”
“Good” replied Tulley “there’s no space for fun in there. Are there any other clothes I can wear?”
“I’m sorry, I lost everything” said Sven “but Maria will have some old clothes that will fit.”
“Well, I guess that will have to do” said Tulley “are you going to kiss me or are we going for tea?”

Five minutes later Sven and Tulley returned to the common area and joined Maria and Heather. There was some fresh herbal tea and some snacks waiting.
“Tulley, this is Maria and this is Heather” said Sven “Maria is our adopted daughter and Heather is our friend who lives aboard the ship and helps us with everything. This is Tulley, my wife.”
“Your wife?” asked Tulley “when did that happen?”
“All in good time” said Sven “let’s have tea… we have a lot to talk about.”

Sven went right back to the start; the moment he stepped aboard The Obituary for the first time. He explained how he had changed over the years and how he had fallen in love with Tulley. He talked about how they had been thrown off The Obituary and how Drackus had become friends again. He talked about the war on Porphys and their time aboard The Cheerful Drake. He told Tulley how Maria had been rescued and how they had adopted her after a brief marriage ceremony. He told her how she had dies and how he had dreamt of the prophesy. Finally, he told Tulley all about Metal Fish and how Heather had joined the crew.

When he had finished, he looked at Tulley, Maria and Heather and they were all sat in stunned silence.
“You’ve done all that?!” asked Heather in awe “WOW!”
“So… basically” began Tulley with a broad smile “we got married, adopted a human daughter and you owe me a blessing on Charran then?”
“Not just that… but yes” replied Sven.
“Wow!” said Tulley. Sven could see she was lost for words. There was a pause before she said “as soon as we get to port, we’re going shopping.” Tulley held Heather and Maria’s hands and grinned broadly “I’ve seen paintings… who did those?”
“Me and daddy” said Maria.
“They are gorgeous!” said Tulley “do you sew?”
“Yes” replied Maria”
“Brilliant” said Tulley “how about you, Heather?”
“Maria taught me” replied Heather.
“We’ll soon have some fun together… but I need something to wear” said Tulley “Maria, do you have anything?”
“Yep!” she said and she leapt up, grabbed Tulley by the hand and they hurried off together.
“You’ll like Tulley” said Sven “she’s fething bonkers.”
Heather nodded and sipped her tea. She suddenly felt very naïve after hearing all the adventures that had been going on.
“You used to be a robot?” she asked.
“Yes… with a copy of my Grymn brother’s brain pattern” replied Sven.
“And now you are a flesh and blood Grymn?” asked Heather; sipping her tea again.
“Yes” replied Sven “but if you ask me the next question, I won’t be able to answer it… maybe it was just magic?”
“So you don’t know how it happened?” asked Maria.
“If I could guess, I would say that Porphys needed me to help her out and when she was finished, she gave me everything I wanted” replied Sven “I can’t provide a better explanation.”
“But you ARE really a Grymn now?” asked Heather.
“I certainly feel like one” replied Sven.
“Good” said Heather “because you scared the fething plop out of me when you turned see through the other day!”
“Well… you won’t have to worry about that again” said Sven with a laugh and he kissed her hand.
“Will I be able to stay on, now that your wife has returned?” asked Heather.
“What?” asked Sven in surprise “you can’t leave… you’re part of the family!”
Heather smiled broadly and looked like the weight of the world had been lifted from her shoulders “thank you” was all she could say.
“I could never have done without you over the last few years” said Sven “and Maria adores you… of course you will stay… I won’t allow you to leave.”
Maria wiped a couple of tears from her eyes and smiled “I was so worried” she said.
“Now all we have to do” said Sven “is find you someone to make your heart pound.”
Maria laughed and blushed and slapped Sven’s arm before saying “don’t be so cheeky.”
“What? You can’t see yourself courting big Frank or someone like him?” teased Sven and he was slapped on the arm again for his trouble “Would you give me a hand sorting out a double room?” he asked.
“Don’t you worry” said Heather “I’ll clean one up for you and if I need a hand I’ll grab Maria.”
“Thank you” said Sven. Heather left the common room and Sven sat for a moment, sipping tea.
“I’m a Grymn” he said to himself and he smiled “just wait until my brother sees me next time.”

After the pick-up at Palerma and the drop off at Largo, Metal Fish travelled to Veelan 7 to collect another shipment. Fortunately, the shipment was destined for Charran so Sven arranged to meet The Obituary there. It would take a further two weeks to get there but that allowed plenty of time for Tulley to settle in and get to know everyone again. By the time Metal Fish reached Charran, Tulley was an over excited wreck. As the ramp dropped and Tulley, Sven Maria and Heather left the ship, the crew of The Obituary was waiting for them. Drackus ran up to Tulley and hugged her as tight as he could. He was overjoyed to see her alive and didn’t care how it happened; just as long as she was there. Everyone else crowded round and Sally managed to extract Tulley from Drackus so he could hug her as well. He was so happy that he had Tulley in one arm and Maria in the other. It was a proper reunion. When Drackus saw Sven, he had to double take. He walked over and shook his hand in a warrior’s grip and suddenly realised that Sven had changed. He stared at him for a moment and said “you are flesh.”
“Yes” replied Sven “it happened when Tulley returned to me.”
“Us” said Drackus “she returned to us.”
“Us then” said Sven.
“Thank you, son” replied Drackus “you have made an old Grymn very happy today.”
“I couldn’t have lived much longer without her” replied Sven.
“She does that to you, doesn’t she?” said Drackus “I truly wish she was my daughter.”
“She is” replied Sven “as sure as Maria is mine.”
Drackus smiled “you look after her this time” he said.
“I will die trying” replied Sven “and I can now so I’ll have to be extra careful.”
“Aye, you will that” said Drackus.
“Fething heck, brother” said Thorred as he approached “what in The Father’s name has happened to you?”
“Everything worked out for a change” said Sven and he embraced his brother.
“You are flesh!” said Thorred in a stunned voice “you must have a tale to tell us!”
“Excellent!” boomed a familiar voice behind the group and Elradar appeared. He put his arms out and said “Welcome! Welcome!”

Elradar had pulled out all the stops. The garden was resplendent with blooms and the finest silks and satins. There were guests from all over and dignitaries from both Porphys and the new Grymn colonies. All of the male guests were regaled in formal dress and the women wore the finest gowns and hats. Sven stood at the altar with Thorred at his side and when Tulley walked down the aisle she had Drackus’s arm to hold. Maria and Heather walked ahead of them; throwing petals upon the ground and Jela and Fran followed; carrying Tulley’s train. Tulley was dressed in a multicoloured silk gown with embroidered flowers and she had her name badge fastened to the front. Her hair was swept back and she had a single white flower in her hair. Her peerless beauty was there for all to see.
“You’ve done alright, brother” said Thorred with a nudge of his elbow when he and Sven first saw her.
“I’ve done better than that” said a nervous looking Sven.
“The deed’s been done, brother… don’t worry” said Thorred “it is only a blessing.”
“Not for me” replied Sven “this is the real thing and I want it to be perfect”.
When Tulley arrived, Drackus gave her hand to Sven and sat down along with the bridesmaids.
“Normally, I would insist on carrying out this blessing myself” said Elradar and the gathered guests went quiet “but there are times when even the most adventurous of dignitaries are out of their depth!”
There were a few laughs from the assembled guests before Elradar continued “on this occasion we required some help so I would like to introduce High priestess Felrak’khar, seer of Porphys and the honourable padre Long-Look from the new territories.

“Quiet and listen” said the padre “when The Father brought us from the cage he saw that we were strong. He knew we would survive and flourish. He gave us rules and he made us work. We followed the rules and enjoyed the work and our culture flourished. There were challenges along the way and we faced them. There were joys along the way and we embraced them. Divided we were strong but united we were stronger. Today, we bless Mrs Tulley, Fedorra Oak-Arm and Mr Sven Oak-Arm as they cement their unity in The Father’s name.” There was a short pause before the padre shouted “stand and be counted”.
Everyone stood up and the padre looked at them all before he turned to Sven and Tulley “in The Father’s name, receive this blessing.” He leant forward and placed his thumb on each of their foreheads “The Father sees and The Father writes this blessing in your tome so that when you go to meet your ancestors, they know that The Father has blessed you and they will be proud.”
The padre stepped back and allowed the seer to step forward.
“It is not our usual custom to bless unification like this” said the seer “exception has been made for The Crystal Guardian whom the prophecy sent us.” The seer removed a pendant from her neck and held it aloft. “Porphys blesses the crystal Guardian and his unity with the flower of the sands.”
Behind Sven, there was a sudden commotion as a few chairs were scattered and the sound of fighting erupted. Everyone turned to see a tall woman clad in gold wrestling with four security guards and winning “Hei’sath… Frahhhlk!” shouted the woman as she struggled to her feet, throwing off one of the guards. Elradar stormed towards the commotion and bellowed “what is the meaning of this interruption?”
“I will see this blessing!” shouted the woman who stood up to her full height and Elradar recognised her “Ther’ule?”
“Yes, Ther’ule” she scowled “how dare I be treated in this manner.”
“Guards! Stand down” said Elradar.
“Thank you human” she said as she brushed past and walked up to the altar “My apologies for the interruption, little warrior.”
“It is good to see you Ther’ule… we thought you were gone” said Sven.
“We will speak of such things later” said Ther’ule and she took a seat before saying “continue.”
“The blessings have been given” said Elradar who appeared at the altar between the seer and the padre “but I have one more guest to introduce… Drackus.”
Drackus climbed onto the altar and faced everyone present.
“I once called this man oath-breaker” said Drackus and there were a few gasps amongst the Grymn present “and I meant it!” Drackus paused for a moment before saying “I renounce the accusation and I do so in front of The Father. That is all… they’ve got my blessing.” Drackus went back to his seat and there was a pause before Sig stood up and said “for feth’s sake… can we start drinking yet?” Everyone cheered and started clapping as Sven kissed Tulley tenderly and they left the altar.
“Was that about right?” asked Sven.
“Perfect” replied Tulley.

There was a party that evening, of the like rarely seen anywhere. The longer the evening went on, the more guests arrived and soon the garden was awash with cheerful chat, drunken singing and friendly banter. It was great to see so many Grymn amongst the guests and the crews of The Obituary and Metal Fish were welcomed in to the group and received the requisite banter that all Grymn would expect. Ther’ule joined the Grymn and was quizzed about what had happened. All that she would say was that she was lucky and there was a small Sleiti colony with enough inhabitants to rebuild but unfortunately, the choir had stripped them of all but the rudimentary psychic abilities required to wear bio-suits and they were very short of crafters to grow any bio-ware.

A week later, The Obituary and Metal Fish departed Charran and went their separate ways. Sven had received the destination details of the new Grymn colonies so that he would no where to go if he ever wanted to settle with his family. Ther’ule returned to her people and all the guests returned home. Elradar remained on Charran and sadly watched everyone depart.

“Well, back to work then” said Sven.
“Yes, captain” said Tulley and she slid onto his lap, put an arm around him and gazed out of the forward screen.
“Less of the captain” said Sven and he kissed her cheek.
“It’s about time we had a bit of good fortune” said Tulley “does this mean I can have a puppy now?”
“If you want a puppy” said Sven “I will see to it that you get whichever one you want.”
Tulley paused for a moment and said “I don’t know… I already have my puppy.”

The Obituary set a course towards the East and the Grymn colonies.

Metal Fish travelled towards Sertal 4 to pick up the next shipment.

On Porphys in the wastes of the desert the sound of breaking crystal could be heard. Nine patches of soil began to erupt as the tiny heads of nine dragons appeared in all their crystal glory and cried out to the stars. The stars answered with a roar and the little dragons leapt into the air and disappeared into the desert just as the prophesy predicted.
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastward Endeavours Finished
: tremorspin August 18, 2012, 11:53:46 AM
Inso aka "Pringles" it seems. Brilliant blast through to the end, all sorts happening, loved it.  :applause:
: Re: Grymn Fluff - Eastward Endeavours Finished
: Inso August 19, 2012, 08:53:23 PM
Thank you.

At one point I was tempted to have Charlie's employers turn up and blow up Metal Fish, killing everyone on board (once Sven was a proper Grymn)...

...

... but I think Kev would have disowned me if I'd done that :)