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Friday, December 29, 2017

X-Plus Bun - Red Hop, Pt. 8

"Joey and I watched the video stream from the scooter and lower deck area. Molly and Penny were coming in hot, and for a moment it seemed they would crash into the loading bay. But Molly slowed down in just the nick of time, glided over the ramp, and landed the machine as softly as a feather. She got out of her seat in a hurry and went to doff her flight combinaison. Penny remained slumped in her seat. Now we saw Abby and Pancake rushing toward her. Pancake opened Penny's helmet visor. I guess Penny had gone catatonic, as we only heard Pancake speaking to her, trying to get a response. Finally, Abby and Pancake undid Penny's straps and removed her from her seat.
Penny and Molly over the bipeds
Meanwhile, Molly stormed onto the flight deck. She was terribly shaken. For a moment, she ran around the deck in circles and thumped. Abby and Pancake brought in the unresponsive Penny. She just kept staring around blankly. Joey lifted the loading ramp and closed the main hatch. As Pancake tended to Penny, Abby joined us by the screen and commanded, "Let's see the fly over again!" Joey moved the video back in time, and we zoomed in on the strange figures for a better look, but the improvement of the images was marginal.
The creatures were a bunch of pale bipeds. Indeed, some were clad in skins. I felt sick to my stomach and collapsed into my seat. Some of those skins had to have come from bears. Some of the bipeds ran for cover; some were staring at the scooter. One of them tried to throw something at Penny and Molly. I had missed that before.
Molly on the couch
Molly stopped by as and seethed, "I say we take off and move the ship over there! We slowly run the engines in hover, and we burn 'em all!" She thumped. Then she thumped again. I was afraid she would shatter her foot. I turned to Joey and said, "Give me a paw here, will you?" We picked up Molly and put her on her couch. I moved the couch into a horizontal position. She came down a little and drifted off into a blank stare again.
"Major, have a look at this!" I heard Joey say. He zoomed out from the scene, paused the recording, and tapped the screen, "Right here, look at that." There were some tall, bulky bipeds milling about large, rectangular objects, like slabs of something. Those slabs were much, much larger than the biggest of the bipeds around them. Joey let me study the picture for a long while before he spoke again. "Maybe we could improvise a dry dock from those things? What do you think? If those blocks are made of stone, they could support the craft, at least for a while. I don't know how else we can cobble a repair bay." I grunted contemplatively but didn't say anything.
Abby moved closer to the screen, perhaps hoping to get a better view. She furrowed her brow and after another long silence said, "We could move the ship there. We have the loading dolly, I think. We could stand those slabs under the ship ... " Abby paused without finishing her sentence. After sensing that Abby might not finish, Joey tried to complete her idea. "We could raise the slabs, and the ship could sit on them. The ground around here seems firm enough. Even if we push those stones into the dirt over time, we might be able to see what the damage is under the skids. Abby nodded. "Yeah. It's worth a shot."
Mr. Toes
I looked at both of them and then fixed my gaze on the screen. "What kind of a hell hole is this? What happened here?" I looked at Penny and Molly, who were both still in shock, and wondered aloud, "How could evolution make such a mistake?"

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