Posted by Lieutenant Commander Teller Graham (Chief Science Officer) in Arrival on Planet Cryke
=^=That is an encouraging welcome.=^= Teller responded. He glanced at Kalani.
She bit her lip not sure what to say as the shuttle descended through the clouds. The first thing anyone looking out of the viewport would notice was the term spaceport was a loose one. The area designated as such was not much more than a spot without vegetation. From an aerial perspective, the jungle seemed to swallow up any traces of civilization. Only getting closer, did one see the shacks that would rate as buildings. In reality, most looked like shipping containers with holes cut into the sides for windows and doors. Several seemed to be stacked on each other but most were only a single story. The brightly painted container had logos and slogans painted on their sides that seemed to be flaking off in parts due to heat and humidity giving them a more run down appearance.
=^=Yeah, alert Erwin that we are arriving. Thanks.=^=
“Okay so I promise this is not as bad as it seems. Besides we are not staying here for long. Just picking up Erwin and then off to get the samples. This is going to be fun,” she said with a smile. “You are going to thank me for this.”
“That isn’t going to be difficult, since it seems that we are going to the dark side of the universe to get mugged. It seem that if we parked here too long we’d find the wheels stolen from our shuttle.”
“Arnt you a ray of sun shine” Nala said with a sacatic grin.
“Well at least it is a rental right and even if it is I had Jarred sign it out,” Kalani smiled larger than her joke before jumping up and heading to the back of the shuttle. As the doors opened the sweltering heat and humidity from the jungle swept into the ship like a typhoon. The air held the thick musky scent of dirt and vegetation.
“Says you,” Graham responded, “I’m the one who signed out the ship and approved this trip so if we get dead, they are going to resurrect me just so they can court marshal me and send me to a penal planet.”
Nala Sware in about three difeent languages as her frue emeditly became a pufy frizy mess. ” For good ness sake” She growled.
“Lanie Lou,” a voice with a thick accent called out that sounded vaguely Australian drowned out the sounds of the insects and birds announcing the arrival of the ship.
“Erwin,” Kalani yelled and descended the steps of the shuttle like the man was a family member or someone far more personal.
“Oh Lanie Lou, you aren’t living that down anytime soon.”
“Well he used to use Roo but he sounded like a bad scooby doo imitation every time he talked to meeee,” she let her voice trail off as Erwin approached her.
Sweeping her up in a large hug, he spun her twice before stopping and looking down at her. “How are you doing girl? Staying out of trouble?”
“Of course and on strict orders to stay out of trouble, especially since Vespa,” she laughed finding her feet so that she could actually stand up from being swung around.
“Yeah heard ‘bout that one.” Looking up Erwin walked up the shuttle with the purpose of someone who acted as if they belonged there. “Erwin Bindy,” he stuck out his hand to Graham. “So nice to meet you. When your girl here said she was in need I said indeed and come on over. So glad to finally have met you.”
“Teller,” Graham offered he didn’t think rank or his last name was particularly necessary. “I hear you are the man with the things we need. I appreciate it.”
“Liquor, booze, and anything else you can use,” Erwin guffawed and elbowed Teller in the gut playfully. Everything about the man said he was just a large affable bloke. The playfulness ended as he saw Nala.
Looking at Nala, Erwin tipped his large brimmed hat and stuck out his hand. “And who are you.” His voice took on a slightly smoother quality as his smile grew larger.
Nala was frantic trying to strategy out her now frizzy fur. She was a little startled by Erwin. ” Oh hi im Nala. Please don’t say it I know my fur is a frizzy mess” She said a slight bit of destreas in her voice.
“You look stunning,” Erwin complimented her. “Besides you are gonna be windblown soon enough so I would not worry about it. Ready Lanie Lou,” he hooked a thumb at the door. “I got the swamp speeders charged up, ready and packed. We need to get a move on because while we can do the trip at night the cetacean snakes are a might nasty when you run over them.” Clapping his hands and rubbing them together excitedly Erwin wrapped an arm around Nala. “You are with me. I am going to show you some gorgeous things you are never going to forget.”
” I ummm..” She said. She felt as if her face were three shades of red. She was vary thankfull for the thick layer of fur covering her. ” That sounds amazing” she said when she had reganed het composer.
Kalani looked at Teller wishing Erwin had not called them swamp speeders nor mentioned he had only procured two. That meant Teller was going to be hanging on the back unless he knew how to drive one. Graham was brilliant but part of Kalani wondered how much field work Teller did in the actual field.
Kalani Alindor science
“Well, sounds like you have the battle plan laid out.” Teller looked at him. “I presume these speeders arent too hard to handle. He presumed since he was the only one who could handle the shuttle he was going to be the one doing the driving here too.
“Ahhh nah mate,” the man drew out his words so it sounded almost melodic when he spoke. “C’mon an’ I can show you.” Descending the ramp Erwin led them a short distance from the shuttle to the edge of a dock. The term swamp speeder was now readily apparent. The craft did hover however but that fact was only apparent since it seemed to be floating. The elongated seat was large enough to hold a double rider but without any hand holds it meant one rider would have to hold on to the other. Two large solar panels were affixed to the sides of the speeder making them appear almost as if they were the wings of an aircraft. A large box on the back could reasonably be inferred as to be a battery of some sort.
“Oh my, seems like a very sturdy craft.” The solar panels didn’t really speak to a hell of a lot of power or endurance, but at least that meant under normal situations they wouldn’t get stranded from running out of gas.
Reaching to the side he grabbed Kalani’s shoulders and gave her a rough but affectionate side hug. “The Aussie Avenger and the Hawaiian Hurricane ride again. We should get a pic.” Fishing in his pocket, he pulled out a small recording device and handed it to Graham. “Ya’ mind mate grabbin’ a shot. Smile Lani Lou this is going in our scrapbook.” It was clear Erwin only expected a yes answer as he smiled broadly.
“No I don’t mind…” He happily took the camera and shot off a long run of photos. “You mind sending a couple to me. I’d love to have a record of this trip.”
“Wouldn’t have been easier just to bring the supplies here?” He questioned. This was going to pull them away from their shuttle for a protracted period of time.
“And what fun would that be,” Erwin looked almost hurt. “Besides, we are scientists. The cool kind and not the kind that sits in clean labs talkin’ bout things they can’t see as if physics is the only true science that holds the universe together.” Looking at Nala as he jumped on the swamp speeder, he flashed her a big smile. “Ready for some fun gorgeous?”
Nala smiled. ” Of course, I reedy for some fun this adeverter is going to be amazing” she said as she joined him on the speader.
“Yes, Gorgeous, Ready?” He looked to his partner who was not doing quite as well as she was getting progressively more fuzzy with the humid environment. “Feel free to tell me any other stories of the Hawaiian Hurricane.” He didn’t want to mention he enjoy climate control just fine. He didn’t ‘need’ it but he certainly liked it.
“Yes gorgeous are you ready.” He chuckled to himself.
Kalani bit her lips trying to not smile. Graham Teller seemed exactly like the kind of scientist that liked climate control and studying subspace particles he could not see but ran a million scenarios like they were sea monkeys to test what they would do. Kalani extricated herself and handed the recording device back to Erwin before leaning in to whisper at Teller, “don’t listen to him. Being clean doesn’t mean you are a nerd or a geek. So do you think you can handle this or do you want me to so you can take in the scenery?” The head nod at the swamp speeders told him they were ready to get going.
“I’m just more worried about the shuttle. I’m not exactly confident about security in the area.”
“it will be fine” Tigress said.
“Confident aren’t you.” Teller looked at her. “You aren’t the highest ranking person on this trip. If stuff goes wrong. I’m the one losing a stripe.”
“If something goes wrong you are worried about losing a stripe?” Kalani let out a laugh, “I would say you are the one that is super confident.” Grabbing Teller’s arm, she stepped off the small dock and onto the watercraft. It bobbled and rocked as if it were debating whether to stay afloat or sink below the lime green algae-colored water. “Besides I have been busted down a stripe. It’s not as dramatic as it sounds.” Patting the seat in front of her, Kalani waited for Teller to get on the craft. “You ready gorgeous?” Her tone was as playful at Graham’s was teasing Erwin’s speech.
Turning his face to the side, Erwin looked at Nala. “Hold tight ‘cause I am ‘bout to give you the ride of ya life.” After speaking he pressed a button and loud screeches and grumbles sounded as the solar panels kicked on the machinery. Two seconds later the craft vroomed out into the water.
Kalani wrapped her arms around Teller in preparation for the craft to move.
“You can um fix it if it quits right? I mean you know solar tech even though this is like older than a Vulcan’s great grandpa.”
The craft lurched forward and Kalani gripped Teller as if she were about to be tossed off the back. It was not Teller’s fault but the fact that the craft seemed to be more like bucking bronco than a machine.
The foursome rode the waves which at times were as smooth as glass to having the ability to capsize them. It carried them along the coast until Erwin turned into a cove. It did not take long for the vegetation to close in on them as if it were giant maw of green teeth. The crafts puttered along a narrow stretch of jungle river where dappled sunlight struggled to break through the trees and the sounds of growls, chirps, caws, and the occasional roar made up the ambient noise.
Stopping abruptly, Erwin grabbed Nala’s hand and pointed it into the jungle. A flash of brilliant blues, teals, and purples was moving in and out of the leaves. “Oh crikey, it’s she gorgeous. It’s the Maladarin Bird of Temptation. They have been hunted for their gorgeous feathers to make mating dresses for the woman and skorts for the men but tribes in this area for millennia. Of course, they are not really tribes not here on Crikey but the ancient customs of this planet still exist. A few breakaway groups have given up all tech and live in communes out among the wilderness but we aren’t likely to see any of them.”
Kalani and Teller could overhear the conversation on the other craft as easily as if Erwin was talking to them. Leaning forward, she whispered near his ear. “I would not really worry about running into any of them. I mean it is a million to one. Million to one,” she spoke as if trying not only to convince Teller of this but also herself.
Kalani Alindor science
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