Making Friends

Of course, the first thing anyone wants to do when on board a space ship is to have a look out the window. The shutters, though, seem internal to the windows.

"How do I open the windows?" Doc asks aloud. The windows respond, the shutters instantly dissolving away like smoke into a fan.

The Earth hangs above him, dizzyingly close, spilling its blue glow into the small apartment. He is looking up at the Mediterranean. The continent, bright green speckled white with snowy mountaintops and splotched with Greek browns and Spanish reds, is lazily drifting past at what must be fantastic speeds.

"Where...when are we?" Doc asks. No one responds. He tries again, "Computer?"

A cheerful little chime responds, as if to ask "Yes?"

"What is our current location and time?"

The computer responds by chirping from the screen on the wall. The bamboo forest fades off and an orbital map and clock appears. At the top is a soft colored map of Earth, overlaid with gentle sine waves. They overlap each other and grow brighter until terminating at a bright red dot over Germany. The dot slides slowly northeast following a green, dotted path plotting their future course over Moscow and then back down into China. On the lower half of the screen is a clock which reads "17:03:57 GMT, 4-24-1835 CE." The screen displays some other, more technical information, but orbital mechanics gives Doc a headache. The most useful bits he can understand are "Location: Sector 146-32.4, Sol, Earth, 52.6N, 13.4E, Alt. 342 km," and "Mission Time: 9 months, 21 days, 14:27:43." Strangely, the two second counters seem to be off step with each other by 1/3rd of a second.

Doc collects his effects, glad to not have been long away from his gun.

He takes a quick inventory: wallet, comb, pen, switchblade, and keysin his pants pockets. Loaded Colt .44 on shoulder holster with a dozen rounds in the ammo pouches. Empty can of Skoal, multi-tool, Mail pouch, small bottle of ibuprofen, and lighter in his jacket pockets. He drapes the terrycloth dish towel casually around his shoulders. He then zips up his tan leather jacket just enough to conceal his weapon but leave room for a quick grab. He manages to stuff two Twinkies into the remaining space in his jacket pockets without mashing them up. He keeps another in hand.

Doc steps out of his room, into the hallway. Directly across from him is the galley. It is a large, mostly round room with three round, stainless steel tables, each of which can comfortably seat eight. To his left, on the side nearest the elevator, there is a long bar which cuts the circle of the room. The place is empty, except for the two figures at the bar.

Behind the bar is another android; a delightfully chubby model with an apron and a toque. Before him is a messy puddle of long black hair surrounded by the broken glass of shattered mugs and pools of dark ale. Attached to the hair is a body, a rather large body clad in leather studded with iron. There is a large battleaxe strapped to the man's back: dark steel, double bladed, and filthy with dark stains. His boots are fur-lined leather and his bare knees almost don't fit beneath the counter. His filthy left arm, stained with dirt and God-knows-what, hangs dead by his side. The right lies on the counter gripping a freshly filled mug of ale, seemingly invulnerable to the shards of glass beneath it. Heavy breathing from beneath the face down pile of hair blows a piece of glass onto the floor. As Doc crosses cautiously towards the bar, he detects the reek of sweat and death emanating from the man.

"Welcome, Dr. Shaw!" exclaims the Cook in a friendly, electrically tinged voice. He seems to be an older model android. Something about his skin tone, the jerkiness of his movements, and the utter stillness he keeps when not moving gives him away; a far cry from the disturbing perfection of the Host. The Cook clears away a spot at the bar for Doc to sit.

Glass clatters behind the bar. The noise disturbs the hair pile. He jumps from the stool, startled, revealing the strong, sharp, and very dirty features of his face. He screams a war cry of rage and fear as he lunges towards Doc, a fountain of ale trailing from the mug he intends to smash against his face.


ERR said...

Doc wins initiative 16 to 7

Thunderhorse is about 15' away from Doc and closing.

You can take a Move action and an Attack action, or two Move actions (or one Full Round action for something complicated), but not two Attack actions. Drawing (and reloading) a weapon is a Move action.

ERR said...

You can enter melee as a free action

Doc said...

Jump behind the bar and try to keep the bar between us. Hold out the twinkies and say "easy big fella. I don't mean you any harm" in a soothing voice. +1 languages and my charisma modifier.