Rocky Start

a story
2020-01-26 17:26:05
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“Ok, and here we are. Your quarters,” said Arnett, waving his hand over the small bunk area of the Scorpios II. 

The area was a small offshoot of the main area close to the cockpit. There, both walls were covered in bunks. Two on one side and 2 on the other, built into the ship itself. The bunks had clearly been attended to, improperly made and still showing signs of wrinkles.

Nina stared at them, hard. She looked around the Scorpios II and back to Arnett.

“Where’s the Captain’s Quarters?”

“Again, I am the… It’s my ship,” said Arnett, “And my bunk is right there. That’s where I am.”

Nina eyed the bunk before scanning the other three, “There’s just four of us in total?”

“Two, at the moment,” said Arnett, “Just two of us. We can and do run light here. Hey, maybe with your help we’ll be so busy we’ll have to hire on a couple more.”

Nina closed her eyes, “So it’s just you and me, is it?”

Arnett leaned against the wall, allowing a smile to fill his face, “If you would like, yes. I do believe it is just you and me.”

Nina sighed and turned, eyeing the rest of the ship.

“No,” she said, “I will have to find an acceptable place to set up.”

Arnett’s smile faded, “Set up? What do you mean?”

Nina glared at him, “Let me get something straight, here. I am here to work. As a ship helper. I’ll be learning the ins and outs of this ship and pulling my own weight and then some to ensure it runs smoothly and profitably. I am not here to bunk with you, nor will I put up with any advances."

"Woah, woah," Arnett raised his arms, "I never-"

"I need my own space if I'm to stay," said Nina, stepping off and ducking into another section of the ship, "I can't close my eyes that far away from where you also lay."

"What? Hey!"

Arnett followed her into the engine room. She was glaring around the room, her eyes jumping from spot to spot. She also took time to examine the engine while she did so, wincing at some things but getting distracted by others.

"Hey, now, wait a minute," said Arnett, "No one is making advances on anyone, here. Your safety is my number one concern next to... the ship and my own, of course. I am not about to make you feel uncomfortable-"

"You already do," said Nina, "Besides, this will be better. Now you have a spot to bring your floozies back to when you catch a starry eyes desert girl to follow you."

"I... don't like any of those words together," said Arnett, "I'm not 'catching' anyone. Hey, look at me when I'm talking to you!"

Nina had already rushed past Arnett back into the other room. Crossing the ship, she ducked into one of the cannon rooms, Arnett following close behind her.

"I will not stand for this disrespect," said Arnett, "You don't even know me."

"Oh yeah?" said Nina, "what's my name?"

  Arnett stopped, "What?" "My name?" said Nina again, "What is my name. I have told you multiple times." "Nin...ata....gofinch" said Arnett, "Or something. Look, I don't really do names. You were probably just going to be Nina." Nina growled, "Ninatovich." "I was close," said Arnett, "But point taken, I will learn your name. We have yet to actually go a day together. That's far from floozie catcher." "I am sure," Nina winced at him and put her hands on her waist, "Still, I put my foot down. I have a spot to myself." With a quick look around, she nodded past one of the cannons, "Close enough. I can sleep here." "By the cannons?" said Arnett. "By myself," stated Nina. "You know what, fine. That's fine." Arnett disappeared from the room, making his way into the cargo hold. He walked all the way to one end and moved some of the boxes around. He found what he was looking for, an old lump of canvas and a wool blanket. Grabbing them, he walked back to find Nina had placed her small sack of personal items in the room, and she was already moving around some of the equipment. "Don't touch that," said Arnett, to which Nina ignored, "Here. If you're going to stay here, this is what I can offer." Arnett tossed the lump of fabric down, which Nina looked over at, curious. "It's an old hammock we used to hang up on the gun on foggy days, sometimes," said Arnett, "And a real poor quality blanket. I would recommend the blanket as a mat or something for the floor if you need it to sleep on or... meditate or something. You can strip one of the top bunks for sleeping supplies or one of the mattresses. Be gentle, they have some straw and feather mix." "Interesting," said Nina.

"And don't complain to me when it's loud," said Arnett, "You can really hear it when these things fire off."

"That's fine."
"And another thing," said Arnett, "Your training starts tomorrow. So, don't get too comfy in here. Everything moves on this ship, so I don't want your blankets or thing getting all caught up in the cannons when we need them most."

"Hey," said Nina, "When I'm in here, you aren't to be. This is my space. I'll follow your rules and be a good worker, but no late night 'cannon check'. Am I clear?"

"Who do you think I am?" said Arnett.

"A lousy playboy who is all alone in some junker ship," said Nina, "I am clear. If the work isn't good and pays well, I am out. I am a deckhand, here. Not your play thing."

"Wouldn't dream of it," huffed Arnett, "You've been such a delight so far."
Arnett stomped off towards the Pilot's seat, grumbling the whole way. Leaving Nina to set up a small place for herself. Arnett took a moment to look at the bunk space. All the good times he had there, laying around, talking for hours. Arnett shook his head and found his way back up to his seat, sitting and staring out into the landship docks and the cloudy night sky.