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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Character Interviews » Gadzooks - Ship's Engineer - Z'Tan

   
Author Topic: Gadzooks - Ship's Engineer - Z'Tan
genevive42
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The woman sitting across from you is Ujian and has a very fine coating of yellow fur covering her body. The yellow is interrupted by green stripes that end in interesting patterns on her face and hands; the rest is covered by mechanics coveralls. She sits a little slouched with her four hands clasped in front of her. If you had to guess youíd put her age around twenty-two standard years. Sheís looking at you with curiosity or impatience, youíre not sure. But she does seem to want to get on with things.

*****

My name is Zepthorrwerlitan, but most people call me ZíTan. Of course, that skudger Thud likes to call me ĎZí. Not sure if thatís because of limits to his vocabulary or because I occasionally use him for tension relief.

Anyway, Iím the mechanic on the Zook. Yeah, Iím the one that keeps the old piece of haggeris flying. Iím surprised that you want to write an article about our little operation. Weíre just a small delivery service. Okay, so the Captain took on a really big delivery thatís going to take us to the other side of the galaxy but Iím still not sure how you heard about that. That is what your article is about, isnít it?

Well, ask your questions. But donít expect a tour of my engine room. I donít want anyone seeing my other projects.


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ScardeyDog
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Hi Z'tan,

Are there many Ujian's around here or are you the only one?

Why did you decide to leave home and work on a delivery ship?

And what are you working on in that back room? Is it a secret from the captain or just us reporters?


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genevive42
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"You don't get out much, do you? Ujians are everywhere. We mastered spaceflight a thousand years ago and have been spreading though the galaxy ever since. Seriously, I can't be the first Ujian you've seen." She gestures with all four of her arms testing your reaction.

"I 'left home' because my dad and I have different goals for me right now. You've heard of HyperDrag, right? Well he owns the chain and he wants me to get a business degree so I can follow in his footsteps. Me? I'm more interested in having fun. So you can see the problem."

"As far as working on a delivery ship, Captain Fonturu gives us a lot of freedom to do our own thing. I mean have you seen the halls of the ship? Lucius has covered them in some flakass murals. I've never known a captain that would allow that. Of course, she and Lucius are good friends but she lets me have my space too. I'm working on something fast, and that's all I'm gonna say."


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shimiqua
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Zepthorrwerlitan, please forgive me for my lack of knowledge about your species. You all sound very interesting.

Do all Ujian have yellow fur? What are your family groups like, do you have parents? Were you raised by grandparents, mother father, school systems, robots...? Are you the only Ujian on the ship? Do you feel seperate from the group? Why did you leave the community of Ujians to work with Humans? Do you sometimes feel like you are a Human, and is that offensive to you? Are Ujians better than Humans?

Also, how did Ujians evolve? Where is your home planet, and have you ever been there? What is your goal for your life, meaning what do you need to accomplish before you die? Do Ujians die?

As I said before I know only what I have read here about your people, I hope I did not offend.


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Ben Trovato
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Well met, Zepthorrwerlitan.

What's a skudger? Is Thud's abbreviating your name in that fashion an insult? Is Thud your subordinate?

You're about twenty-two, huh? So, how does that calculate in human years?

Sorry if I seem to pry. I've been on Earth most of my life, and never really had the chance to talk to someone like you before.


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genevive42
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"Wow shimiqua, you are a curious one. Well, the captain said to play nice so I'll see what I can do to answer them all."

"Most Ujians have fur in the yellow/brown/gold range but occasionally a few slide to the red side of the spectrum."

"Yes, I have parents," she rolls her eyes at this question. "It's right in my name. The third syllable is my mother's family and the fourth is my father's."

"I am the only Ujian on the ship but everyone on the ship is pretty much one of a kind. Well, we have two humans but Lucius is an Earther and Thud is from the Ezerian Five settlements, hundreds of lightyears away." Her four arms start moving as if she's pointing in the different directions people are from. "The captain is Doroon, Quill is a Mechanical and we don't know what Bow is. There's no 'racial' group to feel separate from, if that's what you were inferring."

"Ujians are better than humans," she pauses, watching for your reaction, "at mechanics and engineering. We've been doing it a lot longer and our reputation is known throughout the galaxy. Humans seem to be better artists than we are. But that makes sense because most Ujians don't spend a lot of time thinking about how to make things look pretty, unless it's a machine of course. Oh, and humans make some really good desserts."

"If you want to know how we evolved I'll refer you to the Grand University on Ikoh. You can ask an anthropologist, or biologist or whatever ologist may be able to answer that."

"I was born on our home planet of Ikoh where I grew up in my father's first shop. The guys taught me about engines and I know them inside and out. My goals? I want to develop and build the best engines around and have my name on every one. I don't really expect this to take the next hundred years of my life but I will never stop trying to make my engines better."

"Anything else, my little quizzerling?"


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genevive42
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"Ben Trovato is it? So you're an Earther too? Do you all wear those bright, rubber soled shoes? I see yours are yellow, like my fur. Are you trying to impress me? Lucius says they've been a tradition for millenia. I can't believe any clothing trend would last that long." She gives you a sly smile and leans casually on the arm of the chair, then continues.

"A skudger is the guy that cleans between the rhaskoloths toes after whatever member of the royal family has been out riding in the swamps of Cassan Three. I use it as an 'affectionately' derogatory term. Thud calls me Z because he thinks he has something over me. He doesn't know it's only when I use the... never mind. Let's just say that the womanizing drunkard has some good points but charm isn't one of them. Technically he's the first officer but he knows better than to try bossing me around. The engine room is mine." For a brief moment she levels an intense stare at you. Just as quickly she relaxes with a fresh smile.

"I'm twenty-two standard years old. I don't know of any planet that doesn't use standard. You'll have to figure out the Earth math for yourself."

"Glad to see you're finally getting off Earth. It's good to travel, see the galaxy. You're not on some silly tour are you? Or that MegaCruiser filled with tourists? I hope not. You seem smarter than that."


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genevive42
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Z'Tan looks at the clock on the office wall and turns back to you, not hiding her impatience.

"Are we about done here? I've got to run a few tests on the Zook's engines before we take off. So, do you have any last minute questions before I go?"


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genevive42
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Well, then, I'm out. Zip me if you think of anymore questions.
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