Greasemonkey Business - Pele and Cooper

Started by Pele Kesher, December 21, 2021, 05:49:07 AM

Pele Kesher

Continued from this post

"Five minutes of your time. You just gotta hold a compressor housing in place. I understand if you can't or bloody well don't want to."

Pele craned her neck to see where Cooper was gesturing, as if she could get a clear enough look at the engine room to aid in her decision-making -- she couldn't. Instead, she gave the mechanic a quick once-over, assessing his work attire. Her outfit -- hip-hugging pants and bead-embroidered top -- was about as casual as her wardrobe got, but it was still a far cry from something you'd wanna wear to root around a greasy old engine.

But if it was just to hold something in place for five minutes, maybe it wouldn't be so bad. Besides, this was probably the least she could do to thank him for breaking Johnny's kneecaps without actually thanking him.

"Oh! And: Please. "

"Well, since you said the magic word..." She stepped into the hallway and looked at him expectantly, waiting for him to escort her to the engine room.

Cooper Brown


Mr. Brown smiled and gave her a nod of appreciation. He was pleasantly surprised. Having fully prepared himself for getting shoved out the door or having something thrown at him, Pele's willingness to help was a relief. As he led her to the engine room he admitted his tinkering wasn't exactly "necessary".

"This boat's a fine vessel but whoever designed it was clearly over-compensating for something...

Arriving in the engine room, what once looked like a sterile environment of plastic and steel was now a chaotic mess of wires, and half disassembled engine parts. He walked over to the compressor and its housing on the floor, right where he'd fallen down with it a few minutes ago. He'd have to show Pele how she'd be assisting.

"So this hunk of shit is our compressor, and that's housing, I just need you to help me hold this in place over..."

The aussie accented nomad pointed a panel that he'd forced open earlier. This part wasn't necessarily meant to be replaced, and the tools to remove the housing were proprietary. The scrape marks and near emptied can of spray-lubricant were an obvious sign he ignored that specification.


Before she could ask any questions, he'd already plopped the lightly greased compressor housing into her arms.

"Let's mend our bird's wings eh?"

His attitude was now sunnier than usual. It was a rare treat for him to talk to anybody about engines. Never mind if they were interested or not.

Pele Kesher

"This boat's a fine vessel but whoever designed it was clearly over-compensating for something..."

"Aren't they all?" Pele couldn't help but smirk. If there was one thing she knew about ship design, it was that "phallic" seemed to be the go-to-shape in the biz. As a matter of fact, that may as well have been the only thing she knew; despite spending a substantial part of her career as a companion on a ship, she'd made no effort to cultivate even a rudimentary understanding of how they worked.

Which is why she missed any red flags that should have been raised by the mess Cooper had made of Odette's engine.

"Let's mend our bird's wings eh?"

"You said five minutes, right? I'm counting." Pele took the engine part gingerly in her hands, her face twisting at the feel of its greasy surface. This stuff better wash off easily.

She was silent for a beat. Part of her wanted to avoid fraternizing with this man who spent his days elbow deep in the oily guts of a ship and moonlighted as some kind of blunt weapons expert out in the field, but she had to admit that it wouldn't hurt to be on his good side -- specifically in light of that last part.

"I never thanked you properly for beating off that guy who tried to grab me. It was very..."

'Satisfying' was the word that came to mind, but it did not go with the official narrative of Johnny being some random scary guy instead of a traitor whose instant comeuppance had brought her sick joy, despite its brutality.

"...Well, I don't like to think about where I'd be now if you hadn't dealt with him." Also very much true.

Cooper Brown

Cooper shrugged at Pele's attempt to confirm the procedure would only take five minutes.

"Can't see it takin' much longer. Like changing a lightbulb. A lightbulb that goes through a housing into the socket. With a bit of grease. A lubricated lightbulb. Yeah."

As Cooper tried to get his arms around the compressor she surprised him by thanking him for knee-capping the rapscallion who was attempting to detain her. Not that he thought she was too icy for the warmth of gratitude, rather his aide was an almost mechanical response at the time. Cooper paused picking up the compressor and wasn't quite out to correct Pele, rather he had to accept her gratitude in his way.

"Don't even think on it, Pele. Folks on this ship have had the misfortune of seeing me dispense violence more than once but for me, it was a spiritual matter. The Golden Trail's tradition is that your most basic imperative as a human being is to render aid. If the ship next to yours is out of O2, you turn your ship around and help. In this case, it involved rearranging that wanker's legs a bit."

Realizing he was pontificating on religion, which has never made a conversation between coworkers awkward, the bogan grease-jockey got back to work, after cracking a somewhat awkward smile.

"Just don't think you owe me is all. I'm glad I could help."

Letting out a focused breath as he knelt down, trying to just bend with the knees, and lift up the compressor he tried to grunt his next instruction to Pele.

"Arright so just line up that bloody thing by the open panel."

This thing was heavier than he expected and he'd taken a few good licks during the last fight. The nomad was starting to turn red pretty fast.

Focus. Breath. You've done harder jobs with worse injuries.

Coop could feel a muscle in his lower back screaming at him. An involuntary grunt escaped him.

"Maybe try and move quickly..."

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