Katlyn relaxed into the big gray cushy chair as she watched Lans work the controls of his strange craft. Or at least, she hoped he was working the controls, and not just randomly pushing buttons and pulling levers, as she’d swear was the case recently. Even after they’d managed to deal with that pepperpot Serrao, it seemed every time he tried to take her back to Port Clark, the ship would get swept off course, the coordinates would mysteriously switch after being set, or whatever excuse he came up with, landing them in locals both extraordinary and mundane. As much as she hoped they were the accidents he claimed, the delight he seemed to take in ‘cateloguing’ each stop seemed to say otherwise.
“Are you sure you’re flying right this time, Doc?” She finally asked. The anthropomorphic fox glanced over at her. “First of all, don’t call me Doc or any variation of that root word. Just…don’t Secondly, I’m very much, nearly definitely, mostly sure that the damage to the navigational systems is fixed this time. So yes, I’m quite sure.” He smiled reassuringly then. “Don’t worry Katie. You’ll be home soon enough, and it’ll be just like you were never gone at all. …Who knows? Maybe you’ll even arrive before you leave…” he said, chuckling at the last bit.
Katlyn pushed herself out of the chair at that, marching up to the console. “Oh no you don’t! No fancy time mucking, just take me back to Port Clarke, zip zap!” she told him, making a back and forth motion with her finger. “…Well, maybe with enough time to catch a shower and change into something appropriate before my shift.”
Lans looked a bit crestfallen at that. “What’s wrong with victorean fashions?”
“Well…nothing really,” she said quickly, tugging nervously at the sleeve of her shirt, “…but corsets, swords, and breeches aren’t exactly standard uniform for spaceport security.”
“Ah, yes, of course,” Lans agreed, nodding. “Well, like I said, you’ll be home in about…” he paused to check the instruments, “Five minutes, I nearly-almost-mostly guarantee it!”
“Your confidence in inspiring…” Katlyn responded dryly.
“Oh come now, trust me. Besides, it hasn’t been all bad, we’ve had some fun!”
“If you can call giant sandworms…”
“Only a young one, not much of a threat…”
“…religious fanatical armies armed with chainsaws and miniature RPG launchers…”
“Hey, its your own species fault for using that crazy form of FTL for 4000 years or so, what’dya expect? Besides, you have to admit that gear was kinda cool…”
“…Dragons,” she continued, determined to not let him put a positive spin on things.
“Aw, come on, they were nice dragons,” he countered.
“Ok yeah…those guys were just plain weird.”
“…And not to mention the killer pepperpot that started it all, fun?!” she finished.
“Ok, I’ll give you the last one, especially since he was one ‘pepperpot’ that didn’t take a hint, no matter how many spacecraft you blew up with it inside,” he admitted. “But all the rest…come one, you would have really regretted it if you’d missed any of it.”
She scrunched up her face in an expression like what she said next would be like pulling teeth. “….Okey, yeah! Wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” she sighed, smiling. “But still, wanna go home now, ok?”
“Ok,” he agreed. He returned his attention to the controls. “And, it…looks like we’ll be arriving about…now!” he said, pushing a few buttons and pulling one of the large levers, the quickly moved to his left and switched on a couple other switches. She heard the ship begin to make the sort of buzzing noise it always made when it arrived or left, and with a small ‘thump’ everything went quiet except for a low hum from the console, and the crackle of energy from behind the vault door.
“Here we are!” Lans said, wasting no time. He slapped the door control lever down and practically leaped out as they opened.
For a moment, Katlyn had the urge to flip the dial she knew would activate the exterior scanner screen before she even stepped outside…but she decided to trust him this once, and quickly followed.
“Welcome back, to Port Clark!” Lans said dramatically.
Katlyn immediately frowned. Behind them, she heard a grinding noise as the 85’s doors slid closed and it shrank back into the form it’d taken for this landing. …A rather appropriate one given their surroundings. “Funny,” she said, throwing the fox a withering look, “I don’t remember Port Clark being so…sooty.
“…Well, blast,” Lans said, staring straight ahead. “…Babbage…really?” Then his face lit up in an expression she knew all to well, and had to resist the urge to run him through. “Babbage! Ah, well, yes, NOT Port Clark, but still. Oh, you’re going to love it here!” He headed off down the platform of the train station they’d landed in. “Come on, I have to see if the Cocojava’s still open! Been dying for a cup. Can’t ever seem to get the recipe quite right…”
Groaning, and wondering what might be shooting/clawing/chasing/all of the aboveing after them this time, Katlyn followed…