David & Carrie:

Started by David Maverick, April 23, 2018, 02:34:03 pm

David Maverick

10 months ago; Beylix

"Whoow," Captain David Maverick exhaled cheerfully as he stepped inside the Fracture Field Industries office on Beylix. It was a hot, dusty day and the simple, stuffy office didn't offer much in terms of a more pleasant atmosphere. The wooden blinds hanging on the inside of the front door clattered as David stepped inside. Pulling the door closed behind him, he removed his signature aviator sunglasses from his eyes and hooked them onto the neck of his white t-shirt. As he did so, he sent a charming smile and wink in the direction of the receptionist.

"Hot out there," he commented breezily. He was starting to sweat in the short black leather jacket and jeans he was wearing. He ran a hand through his hair - it was long at the moment, after being in the black for quite a while. It was falling into his eyes and tickling the back of his neck.

There was another woman seated in the waiting area of the office - a woman with dirty blonde hair and grease-covered overalls. To her, David offered a nod and the same charming smile. He could guess she was here for work and he wondered if she was Carrie Bowman - the new mechanic assigned to his ship.

Other business had to come first though. He continued on his way to the front desk, where he handed over his time-sheets and inventory lists. Every form was already filled out with precision, much to the Fracture Field receptionist's pleasure as she looked them over. His interaction with her was affable with a light touch of innocent flirtation. He took a moment to ask her how her cat was doing. Once the immediate paperwork was seen to, the receptionist looked up and called Carrie's name.

"So you are my new mechanic," David said happily. He stretched out a hand to her for a shake. "I'm David."

He assumed she'd been told when she was offered the job that she'd be traveling aboard the Brass Ferret under Captain David Maverick.

Carrie Bowman

April 23, 2018, 02:59:56 pm #1 Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 04:39:19 pm by Carrie Bowman
The office felt awkward, uncomfortable, and entirely foreign to Carrie. Outwardly, it must have expressed as nervousness as the receptionist had been kind enough to reassure her that she already had the job. She was only meeting the captain of the ship she'd been assigned to. What it really boiled down to was the lack of familiarity with her surroundings. It was an office she hadn't spent half of her life in and out of. It wasn't Judd's office, or Gordon's office. It was an entirely new beginning.

Idly, Carrie had been attempting to remove a bit of dirt and grease from under a fingernail when the door had opened. The smile the man tossed her way drew out a half quirked smile, lopsided but genuine, in return. This had to be her new boss. 'Gordi'd call him a charmer.' There was a confidence to him that was more bold than she was used to seeing in people she worked for. It engendered an almost immediate appreciation on her part and dispelled some of the discomfort about the office.

At the offered hand, Carrie stood and clasped it firmly. As usual, she was looking up falling a little short on height. "Nice to meet ya, David. And, yes, I suppose I am the new mechanic. Lookin' forward to workin' with ya' on the Brass Ferret. Sincerely appreciate the opportunity, too."

Her smile began to grow a little larger, as the excitement of a new job bubbled up. It was work she knew, but new faces and new chances to learn and improve.

David Maverick

David let a silence fall between them for a few seconds after she spoke. This was his time to size her up. He had a genial smile on his face as his warm eyes searched hers. His expression seemed to demonstrate a perpetual amusement, as if the world was filled with no end of delights in every form - and in this moment, Carrie was one of them. It was as if he could tell that there was more to her than meets the eye.

"That's great, just great," he replied, breaking the brief silence he had created. He sounded every bit as genuine as he felt. New hires were one of his favourite parts of this job. People seemed to come and go as crew fairly regular and getting to know new people never grew old for David.

"How about you and I go across the street and grab a cold drink before I throw you to the wolves - uh, I mean the rest of my crew."

He chuckled at his little joke and winked at the receptionist. He knew she thought he was funny; he wasn't sure if Carrie did - yet.

He reached for the door, held it open for her.

Carrie Bowman

Carrie's head canted slightly to the left, eyebrows lifting as she smirked slightly at being thrown to wolves. The handshake held longer than any she'd given any other new boss and was only released when he reached to open the door for her. As David threw a wink back towards the receptionist, Carrie shook her head. The joking made the meeting a great deal lighter than she'd expected. Starting towards the open door, she gave a tiny salute of thanks to the receptionist and then stepped outside.

She had a natural sauntering gait as she moved ahead of him, but paused to let him move alongside. Absently, she hooked her fingers into the corners of her front pockets and glanced sideways at her new captain. Reading him as easy going, she was growing more and more relaxed. "So... how many wolves does a girl have to worry about, hm?"

David Maverick

April 24, 2018, 05:34:39 am #4 Last Edit: April 24, 2018, 05:58:25 am by PurpleRiver
"It's a small boat with a small crew," David answered casually. "You'll make us up to four. Max we ever run with is six, and that's a tight fit let me tell you."

He said it with a whole heap of good-nature, despite knowing full well that the cramped living space was always an issue for every new hire. A lot of people would refuse to share a bunk with one other person, never mind sharing with five of mixed genders! He'd learnt to ease people into that piece of information. He was pretty sure that the sleeping arrangement was the number one reason for the high turnover of crew on the Brass Ferret. Some people managed to get over it, but it was understandable that most seemed to last one job and move on. He'd just have to wait and see if Carrie would be different. She'd accepted the job so either she was smart enough to have asked about living arrangements already when she was hired, or she'd find out when he showed her the ship a little while later.

They arrived at a cheap diner. It didn't look like much, but the air-conditioning was working. He held the door open for her again and a pleasant breeze of cool air welcomed them inside. David made a bee-line to the counter, where a waitress gave him a wide smile and greeted him by name.

Before taking a seat at the counter, David leaned forwards so that he could see through the gap of the pass into the kitchen. He called out to the grill-chef, who looked up from his batch of french fries and gave David a hearty greeting. Seemed like the locals around here were all on a first-name basis with David.

"Lemonade, plenty of ice please Margie," he ordered and then looked to Carrie. "What would you like?"

It was implied that whatever she wanted was on him.

He idly picked up one of the plastic menus and glanced it over.

"I gotta have a piece of pie, too," he decided cheerfully. "Good home cooking is what I miss most out in the black, you know. I keep dreaming that they'll hire me a mechanic that can cook too... You want something to eat?"

Carrie Bowman

Fingers still hooked into her pockets, Carrie let a smile play across her face as she and David entered the small restaurant. The staff all seemed to know him. The oddity of it all struck her as highly amusing and a single, short laugh escaped her. 'It's like me at Cookie's Place.'

The barstools were almost the same too. Just a tad higher than she liked, which meant her feet dangled free of the floor. Still, she settled on the perch, resting her arms on the bar. "I'll take you up on the drink," she looked to the waitress, "Lemonade as well, please. I think I'll pass on food. Ate before I came over."

Carrie went quiet, thinking over the sleeping arrangements mentioned for the Ferret. It wouldn't be the worst set up she'd dealt with. However, the mention of cooking brought her eyes back to David. "That cooking thing, might be I could help out with that. Did the lion's share of the cooking at home starting round when I was twelve."

David Maverick

April 24, 2018, 01:01:28 pm #6 Last Edit: April 24, 2018, 01:12:12 pm by David Maverick
The lemonades came quick and David drank half of his down in one go. He ordered a slice of pie and that too was served up quick.

"Oh yeah?" David asked, feeling more excitement than he showed at the prospect of having someone aboard who could cook. "How you fare with space food? We're always well-stocked but it's the cheap stuff - packaged protein and dried ramen. Zeke's not one to spoil his crews with real meat or fresh vegetables."

It might seem like he was making a lot of negative comments about the ship and life aboard the Brass Ferret. Then again, because everything he said was done so with a smile and cheerful attitude maybe the negativity didn't come across. He had a naturally positive attitude about most things but at the same time he tried to give it to all his new hires straight up.

As the conversation continued, he slipped comfortably into asking some questions about her previous experience. The company had forwarded him her resume once she had been hired, which he'd nearly memorised.

"I had a look at your credentials. You've got a lot of experience under your belt," he acknowledged. "So I take it you're used to long stints in the black. What made you choose Fracture Fields?"

Carrie Bowman

April 24, 2018, 01:12:48 pm #7 Last Edit: April 24, 2018, 04:37:31 pm by Carrie Bowman
Carrie didn't down her drink like he did, but sipped at it. She gave a little laugh at his question regarding what she could do with 'cheap stuff'. "Cheap stuff is no substitute for the real stuff, but I understand keeping costs down. It's what I learned on, really. Dad an' me, we didn't have much, but he taught me how to stretch the cheap stuff and make it taste at least decent." As she spoke, she kept steady but not unbroken eye contact and had an easy smile.

It was his question about joining up with Fracture Fields that made her take a sudden increased interest in the drink in front of her. Part of her wondered how much of her information he'd actually gotten around to reading. She wasn't sure how far back he'd gone. "I'm from Beylix. Grew up here. If you read all my credentials, you know I spent a lot of time at a... competitor?"

Blue eyes glanced back up, checking for confirmation. "I might have spent a lot of time there, and in the black, but one thing I was told by dad has always stuck with me. Don't stop learnin'. There's always other ways of doing things, but you don't always learn those if you always stay where you're at." As she finished, her shoulders lifted in a noncommittal shrug, as if her reasons were now obvious.

David Maverick

David liked her answer a lot and it showed on his face.

"I couldn't agree with you more," he replied quickly. He too saw the value in continued learning. He'd only recently enrolled in a distance-learning program with Londinium University to earn an MBA, looking to expand his skill-set into the business side of things.

"And this job definitely creates opportunities to learn. We rarely know what we're going to come up against when we go out to salvage a ship, which is why we need mechanics who really know their trade. I'm sure Zeke gave you the spiel already... But I'm gonna go ahead and give you my version."

He pushed the plate of now-eaten pie away from him, and twisted in his stool to meet Carrie's eyes better.

"The ship I try to run is based on team-work. We're a small crew and we really only have each other out there. I expect people to do their jobs and get things done, because frankly, that's what keeps us alive out there. There's plenty of down-time as we travel and that's good but when we get to work we have to know that everyone's pulling their weight. It can be tough - five of us crammed into a small ship - so self-discipline and consideration of others is important. It's a good gig with Fracture Fields: steady pay-check, opportunities to earn bonuses, a certain level of security... I think you'll like it."

Carrie Bowman

Carrie had indeed heard the spiel already, but hearing David's version was far more surprising. In fact, it reminded her of Gordon Young's approach to every job he undertook. It was, she believed, why Pete Judd had hired the man and promoted him to second in command of Judd's Wreck and Salvage where she'd done nearly half of her learning. Unbeknownst to David, he had just put himself in a position of admirable respect in Carrie's eyes.

"Sounds like a nice little set up," she mused before taking another sip of her drink. "I think you might be right about me liking in. Long as I can learn and sneak a little quiet time off in a corner from time to time. I've found that even a few seconds off on your own, even on a crowded ship. Not being antisocial or anything, just giving myself a chance to sort of decompress."

Throughout the conversation, Carrie had visibly relaxed more and more. She looked at David for a long, silent moment and then tilted her head slightly. "You remind me of my mentors growing up. Wanting a team and people who work hard."

It wasn't praise, but it was as near as David would get before Carrie got the chance to work with him.

David Maverick

April 25, 2018, 03:08:29 am #10 Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 03:10:33 am by David Maverick
"Yes, absolutely," he agreed with her mentality of needing a little time to oneself to decompress on a crowded ship. He had a feeling she might be the type of person that could stick out the job. He liked her attitude.

In the silence - created by her this time - David sat comfortably. She was relaxing, getting more comfortable around him too. That was good.

Hearing that he reminded her of her mentors growing up was a compliment to him - mostly. Somewhere in the deep recesses of the back of his mind the word 'mentor' conjured an unattractive image of an old man passing on his wisdom to the young and energetic. 'Mentor' was on the downhill of life, those he mentored had everything ahead of them. His ego wanted to believe he was still among the young and energetic - not the wizened old man desperate to pass on something from his past.

He didn't pay attention to that nagging, negative part of his brain. Instead he looked at the comparison as a recognition of his leadership qualitities and of Carrie's willingness to learn.

"I'll take that as a great compliment," he replied jovially. "And say again, it's really heartening to hear someone of your experience committed to always learning."

He pulled out his wallet to pay for his food, complimented the waitress Margie (who he knew to be the baker of the pies) and ended up buying what was left of the apple pie to bring back to the ship to share with the rest of the crew. Of course he left a good tip too.

If Carrie was the observant kind, she might catch a glimpse of two photographs in the clear pockets of his wallet. Both were undoubtedly family pics but they were probably taken twenty years apart. One pictured a young David in full Alliance uniform surrounded by three women of similar ages beside an older man and older woman. That picture was ragged around the edges and faded. The other picture was glossy and sharp. It pictured David pretty much as he looked currently, with the same three women, older woman and older man, as well as three additional men, three children, a teenager, and a baby.

"So, you got any questions for me?" he asked with that friendly grin of his and twinkling eyes.

David took a sip of his lemonade. Despite the fact he'd paid up, he seemed perfectly content to continue talking a while and was in no particular rush to get going.

Carrie Bowman

Carrie sat back a little, feeling a slight pang in her heart at having spotted pictures that were clearly family pictures in David's wallet. Her lips pursed in thought at his question, dragging her mind away from the darker thoughts of her own lack of such mementos.

"What brought you to this outfit? You fall into the salvage line of work by chance or...?

The picture of him in uniform gave her reason to doubt he'd grown up in the salvage business. It did, however, have her curious. He'd probably served in the war. She, on the other hand, had not. Fighting wasn't her forte and she'd seen enough death up c lose and personal even before the war broke out.

David Maverick

April 25, 2018, 04:17:04 am #12 Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 04:17:21 am by PurpleRiver
Something bothered Carrie for a moment, David could see that from the way she sat back a little, but he had no way of knowing what had caused the sudden, brief change in her countenance. A thought fluttered through his mind that she hadn't liked his reaction to her mentor comment; or was it him buying the pie? She seemed to drag herself out of it pretty quickly though, so he forced himself to stop analysing.

As for her question, David shrugged and took another drink.

"Not exactly by chance. About four years ago I came out of the military and a buddy of mine was working for Zeke already. I figured work is work, and any work that kept me in the pilot's chair was work I wanted to do. So it just slotted into place. It's been a pretty good gig so far."

He paused for a moment as he debated whether to express his next thought. He smiled a touch wistfully and decided to admit to what was possibly foolish sentimentality. Still, she'd worked in salvage most her life so maybe she'd feel the same.

"After the war and everything, there's something nice about salvaging the remains of broken things and reclaiming what we can. Does that sound hokey?"

Carrie Bowman

Carrie sipped at her drink, using the glass as an attempt to cover a growing smile. His words hit home. It was a variation on a theme with her and what she'd learned from her dad, Gordon and Judd as she'd grown up. Setting her glass down, she turned a little more to face David, one elbow remaining on the bar in front of them.

"Actually, doesn't sound hokey at all. The way I was taught was that salvage is like breathing new life into things. Parts break down or wear out. Ships don't always stay in the air. Taking the good parts from one to replace the bad ones on ships still flying means those ships can keep on flying. And then there's building something new by reusing old bits to make new."

She paused. He'd been up front enough to speak his mind on something he thought others might call hokey. It was only fair she did the same. "Growing up around engines, I always thought the sound of a smooth running engine was like a song. When it's running perfectly, the song is so pretty. When something starts to break down, or wear, you can hear a change in the song. If you're listening." Somewhat shy about what she was admitting, her cheeks grew a little warm and she looked away from David briefly.

"If that's not hokey, I'm not sure what is," she chuckled before looking back to David.

David Maverick

David enjoyed listening to Carrie talk about salvage, and then about her ear for machines. He thought it was quite poetic and it warmed his heart.

"It is hokey, but I like it," he replied.

He thought for a brief  moment before continuing, "I can't say I can hear it, but I can certainly feel it in the cockpit when something's off. The vibrations."

Carrie Bowman

It was a relief to Carrie to know that her new boss didn't think she was completely crazy. It was also nice to know he understood, in his own way, what she meant about engines and being able to hear when something was off with them. Absently, she brushed back a stray lock of her hair and looked David over a little more.

"So you were a pilot before? Nice to know we have someone who can fly if we found ourselves without a pilot. You don't want me doing it. Never did learn really. I could, I suppose, but it's not really where I fit." It always felt like she wasn't going to live up to expectations when she admitted what she couldn't do. Carrie wasn't going to paint herself as something she wasn't though. More than likely, it would cause problems somewhere down the road. Even if it stung, Carrie was going to be honest.

David Maverick

May 02, 2018, 05:06:29 am #16 Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 05:39:35 am by David Maverick
David nodded and gave a few more details about himself. As a rule, he preferred listening to talking about himself but he also understood that you have to give if you want to get; if you want people to open up to you, you have to be willing to be open with them.

"I joined the military at eighteen straight out of school," he explained with that easy going smile of his.

Of course he meant the Alliance, to him that went without saying. However, he'd been traveling the black long enough to have learned that sometimes mentioning the Alliance resulted in complications - such as, increased prices in a local bar or, once or twice, all out violence. He was proud of his service and would gladly pay the extra or get in a fight if it meant defending his honour - but subconsciously it had affected his speech enough to just say 'military'.

"I've loved the idea of flying spaceships since I was a kid and, boy, did it live up to the dream. I'd be more than happy to show you a few things in the cockpit from time to time if you're interested in developing that skill set."

Carrie Bowman

Carrie tilted her head to one side, clearly a little surprised that David was offering to teach her. They had only just met, but he was proving a surprise on all fronts. Not many bosses were able to put her at ease so quickly. "I've always been curious about it, and it probably wouldn't be a bad skill to pick up. Never know when an emergency will come up."

She stayed quiet about his military service. There were so many people that seemed to get worked up over a war that was over and who was on what side. Carrie decided to avoid asking what side he'd served on, betting that her guess was spot on. In the end, it didn't really matter to her what side a person had been on. The here and now and how they treated folk around them spoke louder to her. In her silence, Carrie didn't realize she was studying his face, gauging it as best she could for any more insight. "Not sure I'll ever live up to military standards for a pilot, but maybe I could be passable."

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