The Long TableMature

They sat around the long table.
Blackwell, her dark hair tied up, constantly returned her warm brown gaze towards the ice pack on Triggs’ head.
“Haven’t we got something that actually works for my head?” he’d asked.
“Nothing will work on that head, dear. But for that lump, I don’t have the equipment so you’ll just have to make do with ancient... ah, technology.” Blackwell grumbled.
Triggs had sharp eyes, an impenetrable steel grey that gave him an intense, fearsome look. His face was thickset, all strong features and a heavy brow. He leant back on his chair, feet on the table as his hands deftly fingered his dirk, flicking grime from beneath his nails, much to the annoyance of Conrad who sat opposite him. Conrad had black hair cut rather short and covered with a Titans cap that shadowed his face, making his dark eyes look black. Next to Conrad sat Cavell, his minty green eyes, the skin around them bleached yellow, were glued to a screen as he hurriedly flicked from page to page, checking and re-checking his report. His untrimmed hair fell down slightly from his mop of hair at the front, almost reaching his scraggly blonde beard. Finally at an end of the table sat Eva. Her dark red hair fell to her shoulders; her vivid green eyes subtly swept the room from time to time. She sat with two hands to her mouth, waiting.
Warrick leant against the wall next to the door.
“Thanks for coming. Conrad, tell them what you found.”
He jumped a little at his name, spending a second looking at his hands as he formulated the words.
“Erm, basically, my preliminary readings showed a good compilation of gases capable of supporting plants, human life, containing even water... erm, Actu—“
“To the point, Conrad,” Warrick snapped.
“Erm, yes sir. We landed on the planet, erm, Aphroditus,” his cheeks blushed dark and blotchy at the mention.
Triggs face snapped up at that, as it did, he accidentally tore off some of his nail. “Aphroditus?” A smiled cracked across his face, “you mean the whore planet?” He sat down properly as if to concentrate. Warrick rolled his eyes and moved around the table towards the kitchen’s counter.
“Don’t call it that,” Eva glared at him, “it’s degrading—“
“Why are you a whore? You been holding out on us Eva?”
“No, you little—“
“Enough!” the room silenced at Warrick’s word. The vague tendrils of a headache reached up from the depths of his mind, “have your little argument some other time, this is important. Cavell, I believe you were gathering Ashford’s report...” the room quietened at the name, even Triggs looked a little sombre, though that could have been boredom, “...what did you find?”
“Well, I can run diagnostics on the ship myself, so I cross referenced my findings with his and got a pretty good handle of what’s going on with our ship. For the most part, she needs a lick of paint and some patching up; the left side of the ship was badly torn with the collision causing some structural weakness. Other than that, the use of the stealth systems and the cooling systems jacked up some of the ships wiring, we’ve lost our targeting, cooling and lighting, and our shuttle’s toast. Oh and one of the coolers has gone caput, overheated.”
“Can you fix the old gal?” for a moment, worry slipped across Warrick’s features.
“Ah... no—“
“—what the hell good are you, then?” Triggs frowned, back to leaning on his chair. Cavell’s face flushed.
“In a way you can understand it Triggs, I’m like a software engineer and Ashford dealt with the hardware. He deals with the big parts and I keep it shiny, kay mister?” Triggs frowned a little deeper.
“Don’t start anything, I’m not in the mood. I’ve lost a crew member and the ship.” Warrick warned, “what do you need Cavell?”
“We need a new damn mechanic for a start...” his eyes widened, he coughed, “...sir. We also need a new cooler, something to cover up her big hole and a day or so for me to meddle with the wires.”
“It’s a damn whore planet, where the hell are we gonna get parts for a ship? Up their—?“
“I dare you to finish that sentence scum,” Eva bristled.
Warrick sighed, rubbing a hand through his hair. “Shut up, now. The Maidens of Aphrodite may have parts, if not, I’m sure we’ll find merchants around. If we don’t have the money, which we probably don’t, we can just steal it.” He looked around; they saw the logic in that, stealing to get by was nothing new to them. “We’ll have to be patient—“
“—oh I can be patient,” Triggs looked almost childlike in his glee.
“So for now, we’d better head out to find the Maidens. Cavell you’ll be working on the electrics I suppose, Conrad I want you to head out and look for the fallen fighters, see if you can’t scavenge some parts or something we can sell. Blackwell stays with the ship with Cavell. Eva, Triggs, you’ll be coming with me.”
Triggs mouth opened in the widest grin at that.
“Seriously sir, we’re taking him?”
“That’s right Mariah, I’m hoping he might learn something from this. If not, I’m hoping the Maidens might beat something into him.” Warrick was already heading out as the rest of the crew got up. “Let’s move out.”

The End

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