kixxa, your package is going tomorrow if I can wake up before the post office closes, but it's Saturday, so I'm not sure of that time. So it may be Monday. :P
We had shift bids the other day, I pretty much got the shift I wanted. Starting Nov. 1st, I'll be working 4 days then off 3. PLUS! I found out tonight that the HR dept has approved my 5 days off for Burbank. *does snoopy happy dance* Hopefully, I'll be able to get mine and PhiPhi's plane tickets this coming up weekend.
One last thing, I know I said I wasn't going to post anymore of 2 Johns until the final product was done and beta'd, but this is a part I had a lot of trouble with then it totally disappeared from my hard drives. So I re-wrote it and I like it even more than what I'd previously written.
2 Johns snippet
Sparks fell around them, bouncing on the surface at their feet before fading away. The grind and pound of metal upon metal echoed sharply against the inside of their skulls, drowning out thought. Species, both familiar and not, turned away from the work at hand. Several microts upon entering the room, both men were surrounded. The eyes staring back at them screamed that they were not wanted.
Mouths twisted in grimace, hands squeezed tightly together as they hovered near their weapons. Ready for any other sign of outward hostility, other than what they’d already seen.
The two men watched as the sea of bodies parted, admitting Sho'latel. His name only slightly less notorious than that of John Crichton. The only difference, Crais pointed out, the rumors about the old Kelnov were true. He had spent cycles gutting and burning ships that were unfortunate enough to pass his way.
Sho'latel stopped before them, the look in his eyes showing, not only a sharp intellect, but his dissatisfaction at their presence. Slumping shoulders told something of his advanced age, but not weakness. Pale green-tinged skin rippled over the tight muscles, formed from cycles of hard work.
Giving John a cursory glance, but in no way dismissing the human, Sho'latel's tone was sharp when he addressed Crais. "Why is it you came here again? The bargain for my services was that you always come alone, yet you bring another Peacekeeper with you."
Without any sign of reproach Crais stepped forward, hands gesturing in John's direction. "I apologize, but given circumstances out of our control, I was forced to forego our usual arraignment. You have no need to worry about him, of this I assure you."
"Your assurances mean nothing Peacekeeper. We had a deal. You broke that deal," the Kelnov answered with a sneer at John. "I have barely trusted, and that trust is now gone. Leave now or not at all."
Standing stiffly, Crais didn't back down or turn away. "Hear us out. Only then will we leave."
"What is so important that you'd risk your life here?" Feet planted apart, Sho’latel waited as Crais began explaining what they needed.
John could see, just out of the corner of his eye, the ship D’Argo had claimed as his own. Part of the price paid to cure Talyn’s shattered psyche. He shoved away the stab of pain at his friend’s memory. The living needed his attention if he and Crais were to keep them from joining his family on the other side.
Squaring shoulders, jutting jaw outward, John refused to let any emotion pass across his face.
Listening closely to the two men in front of him, he watched the crew of Sho’latel. They were paying as close attention to him at the two men strutting and posturing, trying to keep the situation in hand.
Voices, instead of rising, lowered. Grew more dangerous with every passing microt that passed by.
Sho’latel raised his hand, as if the three fingers at the end of the appendage could stop Crais’ words. Dismissing them by turning his back to them, he walked away. Several men stepped forward to escort he and Crais from the hidden outpost, by force if necessary, it appeared.
John was not letting the ‘negotiations’ go at that. They needed the Trojan horse if they were to get into the carrier unannounced. Winona was resting against Sho’latel’s head in a matter of a blink. Crais’ joining it’s cousin soon after.
“We are. Not. Finished. You ‘will’ give me that ship and the proper idents that go with it. Or do I need to remind you what Talyn is still capable of even his weakened condition?” Crais said softly. There was no need to raise his voice with his mouth so close to the Kelnov’s ears.
Sho’latel grunted a response.
John pressed the pistol tighter against the meaty flesh of the man’s skull. “What was that? I couldn’t quite make that out…”
“Give them what they want,” Sho’latel said loud enough for everyone to hear.
“And to make sure you don’t go getting the bright idea about warning the Peacekeepers. We’re leaving Talyn here to block your comms.” Grabbing the Kelnov’s shoulder, John shoved him in the direction of the hangers.
“Also, with orders to shoot anything that tries to leave.” Crais added to the room as he walked backward, keeping his own weapon trained to the men that surrounded them.
John heard a voice to his left mutter, "There's only the two of them. If we rush them, they don't stand a chance."
He laughed harshly. " Rygel, would you kindly tell these fellas what you and Talyn are currently doing...and sing it from the rafters to let them all hear you."
"Sitting two metras away, and his main cannon set to surgically create them a new eema into space."
"Can I get an amen, brothers and sisters!" his voice dripped with southern sarcasm as he watched the men back away.
Shoving Sho'latel forward, their pace quickened to the back of the room. "We have to stop. This is where I have all the necessary security information you'll need stored." The man moving slowly, deliberately, making sure his movements were not misinterpreted. Within a few microts, he held up the chip, emblazoned with the Peacekeeper seal of approval, and said, "Take it, but if High Command finds their way to my doorstep, understand I will find you and kill you."
"I swear I need to get in on the copyright action for that bad guy quote book, because whoever wrote it must make a bundle."
Crais quirked an eyebrow in his direction, a look that John had long become accustomed to, and didn't say a word. Instead, he grabbed Sho'latel's shoulder and directed him back toward the hanger. "When we are clear, remember...Talyn 'will' be watching."
"Yeah, and I don't think the poor boy is still feeling up to par, and you do 'not' want to see him in a bad mood," John added as he backed up the ramp.
Lowering his head slightly, his eyes slitted, Sho'latel growled, "Understood. As long as you both understand that this is in no way over between us."