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Need a Space Jockey? You Betcha!

Posted on Tue Jun 30th, 2009 @ 2:44am by Walter Jones & Brian Mallory

Mission: Recruitment
Location: Starbase 376
Timeline: Approx. 1 week prior to launch

Jones had just finished banging the shuttle craft into the docking port of the Warden, it had been years since he had to actually park on of these. Watching the dock controls light up and then turn to warning lights. The shuttle clanked into place with a thud that shook the craft as well as the Warden. "I need to get someone else to do this for me."

Jones walked out the back of the shuttle and through the ship. With the amount of wrangling that he had to do to get the parts he needed, he wanted a drink. Walking through the ship and towards the docking ring Jones looked at his "Empire" and smiled. Everything was coming into place and he loved it. The only thing he needed was someone to fly the thing, if judging by the way he just brought the shuttle in, they wouldn't make it out of the dock. Jones slid the docking hatch open and was greeted by a man standing on the other side who was just about the hit the comm.

The man pulled his hand back from the panel, slightly nonplussed. He raked a hand absently over what looked like about a week's worth of stubble. "Hullo," he said, finally. "I'm looking for Captain Jones. That is, if he's still looking for crew."

"Depends on what you are looking for him for." Walter slowly reached behind his back for the bowie knife that he kept under his coat. This wouldn't be the first time that someone came looking for him.

"The name's Mallory," he said. "Brian Mallory. Still need a pilot?"

"Ohhh...." he slid his hand out from underneath his coat and extended it to the man. "I'm Walter Jones, captain of the SS. Warden, and yeah, I still need a pilot, if you had seen what I just did to one of my shuttlecraft you'd probably had a heart attack. Can you fly a bucket of bolts like this?" Jones smiled at Brian, he kind of looked like a pilot which was a definite plus.

"As of six months ago," Mallory said, and smiled slightly. "I've been around the block a few times. My last ship was Groumal-class, and there were a few before her."

He glanced around what he could see of the hanger. "Looks like you've given this lady a makeover. Doesn't matter, though. Starship or shuttle, just give me an engine and a yoke, and I can fly her."

"Well judging by everything you've told me it sounds like you are going to be a perfect fit here." Walter pulled out a data padd and looked over the crew manifest. "Since we are just starting out, I can give you 10 percent of the take as well as room and board, and a cut of any bonus we get from the missions. Of course later on we can always see what perks we've got and what not." Walter rubbed his chin. "I was on my way to get a drink. Want to come with?"

"I could use one," he said, running through the offer again in his mind. "Just a warning, though: if the swill is as bad as on most Starfleet stations, I may get behind the bar and make us something myself." At Jones' quizzical expression, he shrugged. "Planetbound, I earn my pay as a barkeep. Sometimes."

"Well good, if you suck as a pilot you can be the ship's bartender!" Jones opened the hatch back up and gestured in. "Throw your stuff in there."

Mallory tossed his duffelbag into the hanger, and gestured towards the station. "Lead the way, boss."

Walter started walking towards the cantina on the otherside of the promenade. "So what brings an able pilot like yourself to the proverbial arse end of the galaxy? Pilots are hard to come by, and good pilots are even a more impressive commodity." Sitting down, he waved to the bartender for a few drinks. "So you think you can handle my girl?"

"Shouldn't be a problem," Mallory said. "My last one was just like her. Walkabout. Know her? Nah, you probably wouldn't. She was...decommissioned. Almost six months ago. Jeez, it feels longer."

The bartender brought their drinks, and Mallory sipped his synthale. It was almost as bad as he'd imagined. He continued. "Anyhow, since the crew split up, I've just been taking odd jobs as I find them. Tried life dirtside again, but it didn't take. Needed to keep moving. And so here I am, going nowhere in particular."

Brian stared into his drink for a moment, pushing away thoughts of the past, and then eyed Jones. "You've obviously been around the block yourself, but the ship's new...ish. So what's your story, Captain?"

"Got sick of running Guns for first the Maquis, then the Cardassians, then fixing down their pieces of crap, and wasting away on a miserable starbase.. figured if I was going to die, might as well be in charge of it and giving orders instead of taking them. Something liberating about working for yourself. Though I never want my crew to feel like they are nothing to me... I don't want them to work like I had to work." Walter took a drink. "I got her at a bargain from a sweaty old dock master, something about her just spoke to me when I stepped onto the bridge. Dumped my life savings into getting her going and somewhat operational."

"Big investment," Mallory said, taking another sip of his drink. Jones' mention of the Maquis had brought back a quick flash of his father, and he pushed that aside as well. He didn't like to think about Thomas Mallory, and couldn't care less where he was now. "Sometimes you see a ship, and you just know. That happened to me about an hour ago, when I found your job posting. When do you plan on shipping out?"

"About a week, and I'd love to have you as our pilot, if I try and do it, I'm going to wreck her coming out of space dock. So what do ya say, you with us?"

Brian was silent for a long moment. The last year had been nothing but an up and down roller coaster ride, and part of him was screaming to get up, and take that transport to Risa. Or, even better, to go see Adam. He felt a pang at the thought. But the wanderlust was stirring again, and something else inside him was shaking its fist and saying 'go for it, you jackass. Get back up on that horse and ride into the sunset.'

Oh, what the hell, he thought.

Brian raised his glass. "As far as the road takes us," he said.

Jones raised his and clinked it. "Amen to that, hopefully it isn't to our deaths!" he smiled and downed his drink.


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