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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Character Interviews » Gadzooks - Ship's First Officer - Boron "Thud" Willikson

   
Author Topic: Gadzooks - Ship's First Officer - Boron "Thud" Willikson
genevive42
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A tall, muscular human man steps into the room as Z’Tan is leaving. He gives her a leering smile, she shoots him a look. His eyes follow her out the door before he turns to look at you.

Looking at him more closely, you notice that while he is muscular he has gone soft around the middle. He has a tattoo on each forearm. One bears the name, ‘Cheresa’ embedded within an elaborate waterfall motif. The other says, “Ranthor Squadron” surrounded by guns and trees.

His dark military pants are either faded black or dirty brown and he has a scraggly beard that matches the scraggly brown hair on his head. His lit cigar is half gone and drops ash on a sand colored shirt. His tanned face isn’t too old but it is lined with years of sun and experience. A mean-looking gun runs from his hip to just above his knee on his left side.

He walks over and plops in the chair across from you.
“Call me Thud. You got anything to drink?”


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Ben Trovato
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Hiya, Thud.

Drinks on me. What would you like?

You look like you've seen some action. Ex-military? What kind of gun is that? Make and model? What kind of ammo does it use? Does it kill just people, or buildings too? What's the law/attitude about carrying them around here? On Earth?

How'd you come to be on this ship?


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genevive42
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"Since you're offering, I'll take a Kerwellian Deathwish. And yeah, I'm ex-military. I fought in the Ezerian Civil War for ten years before I figured out that they just kept it going to line the pockets of a few big businesses. I saw a lot of good people die for nothing. Someone else's greed."

Thud pauses and removes his weapon from its holster. A pleased smile creeps onto his face. "This is the Barrington Omni-Slam Gun. As you can see, its got an under-over double barrel. The top barrel is for energy cartridges, laser, plasma shot, you get the idea. The bottom barrel is for projectiles. I can use almost any ammo and penetrate most defenses. It won't take down a building but it can blow a hole through a wall. I don't know what the guns laws are on Earth, but if I'm carrying the Slammer, who's going to tell me I can't?"

"How'd I get on the Zook?" He shrugs. "The Captain was looking for someone to make sure that deliveries arrived and she got paid. I needed a job and a quick way off of Cavlon 6. So far, it's working out fine. I don't get bothered unless my services are needed. She has her muscle. And I get to knock heads now and then. Who am I to complain?"


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Jeff
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'Quick way off Cavlon 6, huh? Never heard of the place, the story sounds familer though. My gran-pappy once told me his gran-pappy left some place called Dublin on a fast horse, then left Ireland on an even faster boat, and I know what he did.'

'What'd you do?'


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genevive42
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Recognizing that he has found a kindred spirit, Thud gives a knowing nod. "Let's just say that the mayor didn't like it when he came home and his wife was howling with delight. I may have been in the room at the time."

He frowns and seems to be thinking hard. "At least I think that was Cavlon 6."


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Jeff
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Throws back his head and laughs at the ceiling, 'Well then, you know what they say don't you? Guns don't kill people, husbands that come home early kill people!'

Leans foward, resting his elbows on the table and steeples his fingers, 'But tell me, how do you like serving aboard your ship? Would you be willing to freelance? A good ship is always looking for good crew. And I know just the ship.'


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genevive42
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Thud leans back and considers the unexpected offer. "You know, I'm first officer on the Zook. And the Captain lets me do almost anything I want. Well, except smoke cigars outside my quarters. It's a pretty cush job." He crosses his arms over his broad chest. "But I'm not going to completely dismiss an opportunity. What are you offering?"
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Jeff
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He smiles, showing a row of ivory teeth, 'I've got a lead on some merchandise just begging to be light-fingered, the return is guaranteed to be enough credits for a man like you to retire on, or buy his own ship, start his own business. You know… smoke cigars wherever the hell he likes.'

'I'm short someone to do the heavy work, and you look like you can handle yourself in a pinch.’ Holds up his hand, ‘I’m not asking for an instant decision, take some time, think about it.'


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genevive42
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"Seems too pat. What's the catch? And don't tell me there isn't one. I've been around the block too many times for that garbage. What is it you really want me to do and what are the risks?"
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Jeff
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The smile grows wider. 'You're right, there is a catch, the merchandise is in a eliptical orbit around a very unique black hole, and there is only one ship capable of withstanding the immense gravitational tides. Unfortuantly, it is not currently in my possesion and needs to be... shall we say acquired. That, is where you come in.'

[This message has been edited by Jeff (edited November 02, 2009).]

[This message has been edited by Jeff (edited November 02, 2009).]


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genevive42
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Thud laughs and deep and hearty laugh. "I realize where you might have gotten the impression, but I don't sink so low. Believe it or not, I do have my standards and they don't include grand theft spaceship." He pauses for a moment, contemplating. "Besides, those goofs on the Zook need me. There's not a fighter among them. Well, Z's got some spunk but she's not hard core. Well, at least not in battle. Someone's gotta look out for 'em."
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Jeff
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The smile fades, leaving only a trace of the cannibalistic grin, 'My dear, Mr. Willikson, it's not just any ship that fits my specifications, and our meeting here, is less by chance and more by design, you see...' his hand slips under the table, arm moving like a snake in a deliberate manner. 'it's your ship I need.'

The audible snap of a latch from below the table can be heard across the room.

'After all, doesn't Captain Willikson have a certain, how do they say… Je ne sais quoi?'

'Please... reconsider?' he says, slowly withdrawing his arm from beneath the table.


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genevive42
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Thud laughs again, bigger this time. "You think the Zook can withstand immense gravitational tides? We're lucky to make it out of atmo without rattling apart." He leans forward in his laugh and lightning fast pulls a blaster from the small of his back. Pointing it at the man sitting across from him, he says, "You might want to be the one to reconsider." Thud stands, the blaster never wavering. "The only reason I'm not going to kill you is the paperwork would take too long. You come anywhere near the Zook and I'll do the paperwork."
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Jeff
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The man's smile never wavers, 'Indeed, there is no need for violence my dear man.' Pulling his hand the rest of the way out from under the table he throws a small credit chit on the table, it skips to the center and comes to a rest, 'It's yours, for your time,' he said pointing to the chit. 'No strings attached. Should give you enough cigars to last for quite some time.' His brow furrows, his eyebrows meeting together in the middle, 'Didn't they ban smoking those things, anyway?'

Looking directly down the gaping maw that is the business end of the gun, 'Surely you didn't think I had a blaster under there? I'm too old for those kinds of things m'boy. Sit, perhaps there are other things to discuss, let me buy you another drink, and for god’s sake put that thing away. You're beginning to draw attention to yourself.'


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genevive42
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Thud's eyes narrow as he tries to judge the sincerity of the man's statement. He looks around to see if there are others or if the stranger is alone. Finally, he lowers the gun. "What kind of fool move was that? You're lucky you're not dead. That's a dangerous manuever in this part of town." His eyes move to the credit chit on the table, then he looks back at the man. "So are you messing with me about stealing our ship? I don't like to be messed with." He grabs the chit and checks the amount. Thud's expression changes and he sits down. The blaster disappears behind his back once again.

"I don't know that we have anything else to discuss but if you're buyin', I'm listenin'."


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Jeff
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He leans over to catch the young well endowed waitress. 'Here, two of whatever he's having,' and points over to Thud.

Prying his eyes away from the ladies finer attributes he turns to Thud, 'Of course I wasn't kidding about stealing the ship. I had hopes you would help but, you are obviously a man a sense of honor,' he says tipping his hat.

'So, that leaves me little choice at this point. I'll have to approach the Captain directly and either purchase or charter the damn ship.'

He smiles. 'I was hoping to get out of this a little cheaper, but somtimes this is how the asteroid crumbles.'


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genevive42
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"I still don't know why you think the Zook is the right ship for your job. But I'll let you work that out with the Captain."

The waitress returns and sets their drinks on the table. The man pays her and she smiles at the generous tip. Thud does a little admiring of his own. Working her audience the waitress steps over to the big man, brushing casually against him. "Is there anything else you need?" she asks.

Thud drops a generous credit chit of his own on her tray. "That's for giving me something to look at besides his withered old face." She smiles back at him. "I may need something more in a little while. Come see me."

The woman slides smoothly away making sure both men get a good view. They watch until she steps behind the bar.

Thud takes a sip from his drink, then turns his attention back to the man. "If the Captain says 'no', I don't want to think you're going to try to use force. I meant what I said about the paperwork. You seem like a good guy and I appreciate your hospitality. It would be a shame if I had to kill you in the end."


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Jeff
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His smile grows broader, 'You look like a man who has seen hard times Thud. May I call you Thud?' he asks, peeling back the label on his Bovarian Lager. 'And, regrettably, I am old, I cannot deny that. But don't let that fool you young man.'

Pulling up his shirt to expose an aged but well defined torso, alabaster white, and in dire need of natural sunlight, he points to a wide scar running from nipple to naval. 'Tullian Rock worm, damn thing killed half my fire-team, till I ripped out all seven of its hearts... with my bare hands.'

Nods at Thud while slapping down another chit on the table for the next round of drinks, 'Just what do you got?'



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genevive42
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“You want to talk bare handed?” Thud stands up and lifts his shirt, turning to show his right side. The scars are raised and in a definite bite mark that goes almost to his center front and back. He lowers his shirt and sits down.

Dusker on Cassan Five. That jaggered lizard was twice my size. I’ve got claw marks on my ass too, but only the ladies get to see those. Wrestled it until I broke its thick, scaly neck. Damned poisonous bite had me hallucinating the whole time I was skinning it.

I got a fine jacket out of it though.


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Jeff
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The old man brightens, his eyebrows raise, impressed by the size of the scar, 'Alright, you got me there. The only Dusker I ever came close to was 400 yards away, and even that was a little too close for me. Those damn things are fast.'

Nods at Thud. 'As far as the Zook, what makes you think it's not the right ship for my purposes? My intel says she built like an old Russian flier. You know the ones? Still see some of em in service even though they are over a hundred years old. Over-engineered if you ask me.'

'Now,' he says raising his hand 'that's not to say she won't need some modifications, but its not the engines, or even the avionics I'm interested in. It's the structure of the ship itself.’


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genevive42
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Thud looks at him thoughtfully for a moment. "The Russians huh? I think I remember reading about them in grade school. Don't know about their ships though. Anyway, if you're willing to upgrade the ship and pay us for the job we might have something to talk about." He picks up his drink and finishes it in one take. "The Zook might not be much of a ship but she's the Captain's baby. I can't guarantee she'll be willing to risk it but if you give me some more details I'd be willing to run it past her."

What is it about the structure that's so special? And what is the merchandise you're going after? You should know, there are some things the Captain just won't do, some cargo she just won't take."

Thud signals for the waitress and this time two of them come over.


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Jeff
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'Ya, Russians.. Loonies, whatever you want to call em. The point is, everything they built was ten times stronger than it needed to be.' He stops to admire the older of the two waitresses. Her long brunette hair is painted with waves of silver that reflect in the dim bar light. He heaves a sigh.

'Only in my younger days,' he says to himself. Pulling out two chits he dumps em on the table. 'We'll call this acceptable business expenses. My boss won't mind.'

'As far as the Zook, her registration records show that she has a semi-monocoque structure to her hull. Most ships today are built as straight monocoque, it's cheaper and lighter, but less suited for the heavy side loading caused by gravitational stresses. That is unless the Zooks registration records are wrong, which is entirely possible.

The toothy grin returns, 'We need to find out if your Captain is going to take the job before we discuss the merchandise. I'd hate to have him turn down my offer only for him to make a run for the goods himself. Not that I don't trust you, but we did just meet.'


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genevive42
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"I don't know anything about the ship's structure. The Captain might know and I'm sure Z would know. The thing is, you mentioned side loading. But the Zook loads from the back. Don't know if that was the original design though. That ship's old, been through a lot."

Thud watches intently as the waitresses walk away.

"As far as trust, well, Captain Fonturu is one of the most honest people I know. She's certainly more honest than I am. How about I tell you what the Captain won't transport and you tell me if your merchandise is on the list? She won't transport explosives or dangerous items. She won't transport anything illegal. And she won't transport people against their will. Do you still want to talk to her?"

Thud watched as the waitresses came back with their drinks.

"I'm thinking it might be getting time for a little fun. Shall we entertain the ladies or do you want to start a good bar brawl? Haven't been in one of those in awhile."


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Jeff
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The old man half turns in his chair. Reaching out he grabs the back of the patrons shirt at the next table. Turning his head to face Thud he smiles.

"Been a while for me too."

There's a yelp of surprise as the old man’s victim careens backwards, arms wind-milling. The crash makes Thud's beer jump up from the table.


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genevive42
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Thud smiles for a moment then gets a mean, serious look on his face. He stands and grabs the collar of the coat of a man walking by. "Are you a Blue Coat? Are you one of those lousy rebels from Axicron Three? I don't like Blue Coats." Before the man can object, Thud hauls back and punches him in the jaw. He stumbles back into a waitress carrying a tray full of drinks that spill all over a group of miners.

Thud looks over his shoulder to see the old man squared off against his first opponent. He has a smile on his face a parsec wide. When he looks back, the group of miners are headed his way. The first one lunges at him and gets Thud's elbow smashed into his face. Then it becomes a flailing maelstrom of fists and limbs.


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