One Sunrise Coming Up Soon

Johnka’s loose schedule and plodding pace left Tritti unconvinced hitching a ride with him saved her any more time than traveling alone, on foot, with no provisions.  He rose each morning at the hour when late sleeping early risers woke.  He heated a brass basin of water and shaved his whole round face vigorously, but without incident.  Then he asked—to no one in particular Tritti eventually realized—”Let us see what we have for breakfast this morning, yes?”.  At which point the same rasher of bacon appeared from the cool-cupboard and was relieved of half a dozen strips with the razor lately employed on Johnka’s double chin and rotund cheeks.  Next he would say, “I’ve rinsed that of course, of course.”

This morning he surprised her by waking early.  So early, in fact, it was still night time.  “The desert is cold tonight.  Bring your blanket up to the cockpit after you get dressed.”

“What’s the hour?”

“Not sure dear Tritti.  It’s one of the ones neither of us sees very often…anymore.” Johnka answered and left.

Tritti wanted to be angry.  After all she’d been woken not long after retiring to her bunk.  But he didn’t sound like he was being purposefully mysterious, just uncertain about the hour.

She stretched and groaned awake as best she could in the short bunk.  When her exertions dangled her legs over the edge more than on she slipped the rest of her weight over the rail and stood naked on the floor.  Immediately curiosity fueled her speedy dressing.  Panties, tank, socks.  Tritti reached for her pants but thought better of it.  She’d worn them for five days in a run so far.  She wrapped the blanket around her body and shuffled out the door.

The earthy smell of roasted coffee greeted her for the first time since coming aboard.  She  continued shuffling to the bow of the sledge and the cockpit.  At the end of the hallway the three-step ladder posed a brief problem because she didn’t want to loose her arms from the warm blanket.  Instead of climbing, she sat backwards on the upper part of the ladder and maneuvered around in a half circle with her feet. Eventually she stood back up.

She flopped in her usual perch—the co-pilot’s chair—but said nothing.

The outside air drifted in cooling the cockpit.  After a while her body adjusted to the difference.  She wriggled an arm out to pick up the warm mug Johnka placed on the dash for her.  She acknowledged his thoughtfulness with a still wordless toast.  He didn’t speak either.  The starry night provided all the conversation necessary.

Tritti set the empty mug back down after drinking all the hot liquid and siphoning off the last dregs of warmth from the mug.  She retrieved her arm to the warmth of the blanket like a rabbit going to ground.  Johnka pointed to the empty mug and raised his head as a question.  Tritti silently shook her head.  Johnka broke their silence, “I know it’s bitter.  I don’t make it much any more.”

“Good that way.”  Tritti rubbed a drop of it from her lips with the blanket.  “I just can’t drink it much.”

 

Did a tiny bit of cleanup in the quoted stuff from yesterday.  You may or may not notice.

Day 299

The Sun Rises Through ah’Taconschientee

Johnka’s loose schedule and plodding pace left Tritti unconvinced hitching a ride with him saved her any more time than traveling alone, on foot, with no provisions.  He rose each morning at the hour when late sleeping early risers woke.  He heated a brass basin of water and shaved his whole round face vigorously, but without incident.  Then he asked—to no one in particular Tritti eventually realized—”Let us see what we have for breakfast this morning, yes?”.  At which point the same rasher of bacon appeared from the cool-cupboard and was relieved of half a dozen strips with the razor lately employed on Johnka’s double chin and rotund cheeks.  Next he would say, “I’ve rinsed that of course, of course.”

This morning he surprised her by waking early.  So early, in fact, it was still night time.  “The desert is cold still tonight.  Bring your blanket up to the cockpit after you get dressed.”

“What’s the hour?”

“Not sure dear Tritti.  It’s one of the ones neither of us sees very often. Anymore.” Johnka answered.

Tritti wanted to be angry.  After all she’d been woken not long after retiring to her bunk.  But he didn’t sound like he was being purposefully mysterious, just uncertain about the hour.

This is not as far as I’d planned to get this morning, but the morning is rushing on a little faster than I’d expected.  You’re getting this posted less than half done because I’m certain I’ll not return to it today.  Be assured that I was going somewhere I hadn’t yet gotten, but will get gotten to eventually.

Day 298

Your Impatience; Your Life.

A miniskid slides up to your boots.  You toss on your duffel and guitar kit and go back to rummaging around the passenger’s side floorboards to find the second of two dead batts you tossed there.  Perhaps you’re having trouble finding either of the batts because you’re thinking more about the security for the data-paq you’re couriering: obscurity, stealth, subterfuge, or strong-arm?  Or maybe it’s all the food wrappers, the rank and stale sports-bra, and the books getting in your way.

:Yes, there’s one!:

Normally you’d do the obscurity thing without a further thought.  It suits your personality and your wallet, but you’re thinking it over anyway.  Stealth’s too blown from your ride in.  Can’t motor in on a bitchin’ flit like this custom B’bridge and not expect people to notice.  You’re too frazzed after the long jump from [planet name here] to bother with the acting that goes along with subterfuge though you could go for some man burning sex-play.  Can’t have too many of those notches.  Maybe you’ll fit some of that in anyway.  That leaves armed guards and an impromptu parade through the core of Okkatu.  And endless waiting.

:Screw it.  Not waiting.  Not after that ride.:

You remove the data-paq from the skid’s safe and stuff it into a day bag with your floorboard trash and laundry.

:There’s the other batt.:

I thought I’d not yet written your deboarding in the hanger, but apparently I had.  Maybe I can slot this bit in before that one.

Day 276

Carelessly Introducing the Gravity Guitar

All this mess with Jansa and her mother and Jansa’s drama disabuses me of the joy of theme weeks. Especially if you get a dud—or what you work into a dud. I like the serenity of the Juena character too much to ruin any potential by exploring the hotheaded Jansa further at this time. Theme week ends early this week.

In the housekeeping category I should note that I’ll be out of my usual environs for the weekend and into a more challenging writing situation next week. I’ll do what I can to roll with the change-up, but I think any long time reader of 1000 Days knows whats up ahead for 1KD.

I’d planned to leave off of the shanty thread initially and I will after this brief exception to prove the rule.

You post your black-out welding goggles to your forehead to review your work in real light. The welds tighten better near the end, of course they’re not as crisp as Daddy might have done them, but they’ll work for tonight’s gig. And they’ll hold till you get the gravity guitar back to that shop in Tsarko II.

You untie the leather drape across you face to blow out the bits of slag [find out what thats really called] from the pick-ups. However, eager for a warm-up, you begin tuning her out before taking off your coveralls or gogs.

Much better. That soft G wave tightened up and seems gapped better between the D and the B waves—the E’s not hairy. Your tuner-monitor redundantly agrees with your fingers. A few more strums to be sure everything’s heavy and you grind into “House on Fire” by The Oh Johnny! Girls.

Word count: 286
Day 250

The Pilgrim Meets You

“Inside. ‘nside. ‘nside. ‘nside.  Get. In. Side.”  Johnka chased Tritti into the empty red tent.  He stumbled to the ground trying not to overrun her with his bulk after she halted abruptly in the entrance.  He just lay there in the sand rather than get up.

“What was that?”  Tritti knelt to help him up but he invited her to just sit.  She crossed her legs and rubbed the sand out of her eyes.  The wind pulled loudly at the tent trying to drag it out of it’s moorings like a barking dog straining it’s tether.

“Raish.  That was a raish wind.  a little early in the season I’d say, but a raish for sure.”  Johnka said it like he was trying to convince himself as well.

“I know what a raish is old man.  I meant the woman.  The woman with the gun.”

“You saw that?”

Tritti nodded tightly as if to ask, ‘How the hell could I not?’

Above the noise of the raish they could hear shopkeepers and patrons alike yelling to get in out of the wind.  Curses at the sand for lost income and scattered products out weighed the wailing of a single woman who had just lost her daughter.  All Tritti could hear was that woman.

“She was dressed like me.  She had hair braided like mine.  Anyone not knowing either of us would have thought us sisters–twins maybe.”

“Twins?  Certainly not.  You are much more beautiful…”

“Stop.  Stop it.  Just because I can’t figure out who you really are doesn’t make me stupid or blind,” Tritti seethed, “That woman…that woman was trying to kill me.  And she would have had you not paused to admire that other girl’s scarf so obviously.”  Tritti paused before saying the next thing.  She wanted to hear it in her head first to make sure she wasn’t guessing.  “You saved my life by helping that woman take that girl’s instead.”

Johnka opened his mouth to explain, but something else came out instead.  “Hate me then, but you’re alive.”

“I will.  Never doubt that old man.  Never doubt that.”

Putting the Bainbridge to Bed

Extended inspiration from the fifth one down on the first column. Read related here and here.

You give the deckteam shit for misidentifying your Bainbridge and graciously accept a high berth near the exit corridor. Works every time.

The robots and gizmos are ‘socking’ your flit so you know you’re in the stix again–everywhere else they’d be calling it ‘bagging’. Either way, no dust on the custom flexx. It’ll still drape like a hyperswoop but it’s fair camo for a casual glance in this crowded berthing.

You DX your pad’s tap and get back four bars. Every byte of data gets routed through the flit’s on-board before it floats into your noggin–you can never be too secure. As you walk away with your kit bag slung over your shoulder and your rollie in tow you get the feeling you’re missing something. Oh yeah. You throw the Berthmaster in the watchhouse a curt wave. He probably thinks you’re thanking him for the prime spot in the berthing, but you’re really making sure he sees your gear. Need him to think you’re in town for a long one not just here to kill his wife.

Word count: 192
Day 166

Okkatu at Sunset

Inspired by the fifth one down on the first column. Read related here and here.

:Another fucking floating city,: you think.

[Post | Edit | Cancel]

You’ve left the profanity filter on from last night at the bar. And afterward at the brothel.

> Edit

:I hate floating cities.:

Mom commented in your log recently that the in-eye cam is making her sick so you feed out 30 seconds of vid from your flit’s camera instead. The rest of your flight dumps to your on-board memory banks. You never know who or what you’ll find on approach.

:How did I not know Okkatu was a floater?:

:Dammit.:

:Dammit again!:

:Grrrr…:

> Admin > Feed > Off

Okkatu is the uprooted dome style floater. The graceful arc of it’s roof contrasted by the dribbling geometry of it’s belly. If you were to like any floater over another it would be the ringed ones with towers–thick torus with three towers rather than the thin ones with four or five. And leaning out not perfectly vertical. Those you knew where to berth your flit. This thing was like trying to find the ass on a jellyfish.

You drop the Bain’s twin-turbines down to a creamy 5400 HPM and aim for the center like everyone else tonight. Nav picks up the beacon 5 klicks out. You feel it direct you to lower level because it picked up your false ident–tonight you’re a 20 year mini-cargo drone instead of a heartbreaking tricked out hyperswoop. Looks like it’s communal showers with aliens and boys again.

Word count: 247
Day 164