Cassius gets the big idea of challenging MacBeth to a bet of who gets the prettiest girl and a kiss, so he can discredit him and steal the spot as first mate. Duncan runs off on his own to have a strange adventure! Bronwen, finding herself annoyed with the whole bet business sticks with working and digging up information about Brennen’s wereabouts. Duncan ends up chased around town by weirdos and meeting a cute furry beast. Cassius has some luck and bad luck with girls until he finds a pretty lady. MacBeth plays it cool and chats with a local friend! After getting the information she needed, Bronwen did some supplies shopping. She decided if her boys were going to get all fancy and meet some women, there’s no reason why she couldn’t dress up all pretty and possible pick up a hooker too! She arrives dressed to perfection at Mystique’s before Cassius and MacBeth get there. Cassius arrives next with his lady, not even recognizing his sister is there. MacBeth arrives – alone! Cassius taunts him, but at the very last minute – MacBeth’s dates arrive. A Pair of sisters and Cassius exes. With Cassius’ date realizing she was there just for a bet, she punched him in the nose and left! MacBeth left with his dates, while Bronwen nearly died of laughing! Cassius realized his sister was there the whole time, and with his bruised ego cut her down with an insult. So she punched him in the nose too and stomped out. Bronwen returns to the ship, annoyed by Cassius comment of her not getting a date. Duncan runs in to Cassius on his way back and shows him the critter he found. Cassius starts sceeaming about a demon and doubts Bronwen would let him keep a monster!
Duncan: *Leaned back and threw his arms up as he stretched.* Another successful landing. *He swerved the chair to face the Cap’n and grinned sheepishly.* Okay, not as successful as you would have liked … but still! *He jumped out of the seat and twisted in another stretching exercise.* So, how long do we get for this uh … shore leave?
Cassius: *Cassius appears, and lookin’ mighty fine if he does say so himself. He managed to dig up some nice threads, and he plans on putting MacBeth to shame with his latest little plan. He’s a cat-grinning!*
Duncan: *Looked Cassius over and whistled.* Nice outfit. *He nodded.* Alright then. I guess I’ll see everyone later?
Cassius: Fun is exactly what I had planned, little captain. That is… if MacBeth isn’t too chicken to take up a challenge. If you’re so uppity about the ladies, how ’bout we see just who the better ladies’ man is?
Cassius: How about we see who ends up with the prettiest girl by the end of the night, and gets himself a good kissin’? Without paying for her. When I win, I’m first mate.
Duncan: *Grinned sheepishly.* Yes, Cap’n. *He gave one final wave and walked off. When he first left the ship, he looked around. He found the entrance to New Venus, since the ships were parked in a large cleared off area, and began to wander around aimlessly.*
Cassius: *A cat-smirk. Cassius nodded!* Agreed. Hope you like scrubbing floors, MacBeth, cause that’ll be your new job.
Duncan: *Truth be told, he’d never been to New Venus. Sure, he liked to boast that he had but that was just a harmless, empty boast. He just stuck his hands in his pockets and tried not to look like a bum.*
Duncan: *While digging around in his pockets after his stomach growled, he found himself a few credits. He considered going back to the ship to eat but decided against it. He’d just gotten here. It’d be a shame to go back so soon. It wasn’t because he was lost. Far from it. He knew exactly where he was going. He just … didn’t want to go back yet.*
Cassius: *Cassius did what Cassius did best. He was in New Venus in record time and chatting it up. Just chatting! Maybe a little flirting. After all, he has to check out the ladies first and see who is the best looking!*
“Get your hot, fresh bachenstrudels here! Hot, fresh bachenstrudels! The best in New Venus–no, the galaxy!” Over the din of the crowd, the voice roared. Not too far was a stand. Just a couple of large windows with a round man and his bald, shining head leaning out of it. His clothes were greasy and sweat-stained but the smell coming out of the kitchen behind him–Divine!
*(large windows) on the side of a building
Duncan: *Stopped. He didn’t know what bachenstrudels were but they smelled delicious! Sure, the guy looked like he hadn’t bathed in a month and one never knew what the cook did to the food before it was served to him but … surely he could try it out just this once! He approached the man.* I’ll take a bagen–batenstrudel!
“It’s bach-en-strudel, kid,” the man growled but sank back into the stand. He disappeared and reappeared a long time later with something wrapped in shiny foil. It was the size of and roughly the shape of the cook’s fist. He offered it to Duncan but quickly pulled it away. “That’ll be ten credits, kid.”
Sure! They meet all kinds of people that come in to New Venus! They ramble on a list of blahdedah names, talk about all the kind of rigs they see fly in through here. Shadowstar ships? Man, since old Mad Morgan took over they don’t see much of them. Course, they don’t usually refill here… they stop over at the trade posts dropping off cargo!
Duncan: *Got his credits out and showed it to the guy.* Um … I only have seven.
The man’s hands moved awfully fast for a man his size! He seized the credits, broke off a good chunk of the foil–along with whatever food was in it–and tossed it to Duncan! “Heh. Enjoy, kid.” And then he was gone!
Duncan: *Barely caught the bachenstrudel!* Hey, that’s not–*The old pieces of wood that functioned as the windows’ shutters slammed shut with a BANG! He flinched.* … Fair. *He looked down at the foil and went over to a nearby alley to sit down. He started opening the foil.* I sure hope whatever is in here tastes as good as it smelled …
Far above Duncan, on the edge of the roof, hunched a small figure with large, glowing yellow eyes. As it watched him, its tails flicked. Then it suddenly jumped off of the roof in a pounce, claws unsheathed!
Cassius: *Speaking of Cassius, he was playing a rousing game of backyard bouncy ball with the showgirls of Hanibal’s Heaven! Maybe he should take himself a whole group of pretty ladies? Hahahaha!*
CLANG! The sound came right from behind Duncan!
Duncan: *Quickly turned and peered into the darkness. He couldn’t see anything really but those trash cans hadn’t fallen down themselves. Or had they …? He leaned forward. Forward. Just a bit more forward … Then, suddenly, a pair of large glowing yellows eyes–No, three large, glowing yellow eyes flashed open in the darkness!
Duncan: ACK! Please don’t kill me! *Instead of moving backwards into the busy street, he shrank back against the side of the building, clinging to his bachenstrudel for dear life!* YOU CAN TAKE MY BACHENSTRUDEL BUT DON’T TAKE MY LIFE! *He paused.* Yeah, now I say it right. *He muttered.*
“GRREOOWW!” the thing hissed.
Duncan: *Remembered the creature about to eat him and curled up into a ball, holding out the bachenstrudel! He covered his face! He didn’t want to see what happened to him! Better to be taken by surprise! If he was lucky, maybe it’d kill him quickly!*
Cassius: *After his thrilling game, Cassius was off to the massage palor! Because oooh his poor throbbing muscles! He made sure to show them off for the sexy massage ladies!*
“Grreoow …?” A soft mew?!
Duncan: *Slowly lifted his head and looked around. What happened to being eaten? Where had that thing–He looked down in front of him.* Uh … Hello.
“Greeoow!” the little creature mewed a bit louder now. It looked like a cross between a cat and a fox and a skunk, or from what pictures his mother had shown him anyways. It was small like a cat with the ears of a fox and the long, bushy tail of a skunk! Wait a minute … make that three long, bushy tails. The creature had a face like a cat, soft, silver fur, and a pair of large yellow eyes. Hm. Instead of the third eye, he’d seen there was a dark blue jewel in its forehead instead.
Duncan: *Blinked and looked closely at it. The creature looked awfully familiar. Had he seen it somewhere before? He certainly hadn’t seen it in real life so … maybe his mama had shown a picture to him once or twice.*
The creature mewed again and appeared to be studying Duncan as hard as he was studying it. “Greeooww …” It mewed again and this time raised one of its four paws.
Duncan: *Realized it was holding its paw up at his bachenstrudel.* Oh. You smelled it, too, huh? *He sat back and began to open the foil.* I was feeling awfully hungry so I got one … I wouldn’t recommend buying it from here, though. That guy is an asshole. *A bachenstrudel looked like baked bread filled with pieces of meat and cheese. He broke off a piece about the size of his thumb and placed it down on the ground in front of the creature.* Here you go. Let me know how you like it.
Cassius: *He spent a great deal of time at that massage parlor, but once he was all cleaned up and bid his lady friends goodbye, Cassius needed to visit the flower shop. Yes! The Gardenia Shop of Exotic Flora! His favorite little flower girls always graced him with a smile!*
The creature didn’t move while he was putting it down but once he had, it leaned forward and sniffed it. The creature looked like it was wondering if it should eat or not when it suddenly opened its mouth wide–much wider than should have been physically possible–and swallowed the bachenstrudel piece whole! “Greeoow,” it mewed.
Duncan: *Blinked.* Whoa! *He scratched his head.* I guess you need this more than I do. *He took off most of the foil from the bachenstrudel, leaving some behind to act as a plate, before putting it down. He sat back and watched as the creature devoured the bachenstrudel whole.* Man, what kind of creature are you?
The creature only made a “Greeoow” sound again. Its tails flicked around lazily. It doesn’t seem to be in much of a hurry to do anything.
Duncan: *Leaned forward. And who can resist petting something with such soft, beautiful fur? Even if that something did just devour something whole? He reached out slowly and slowly placed his hand on the creature’s head, ready to snap back and run at the slightest hint it was going to devour him, too!*
Cassius: *POP! SLAP! Cassius went staggering out of the flower shop! Well, that hadn’t been the happy reunion he was expecting. But that’s okay! He straighted his clothes, deciding he’d make one last stop over at Snarglpuff Racetrack before he got down to serious business.*
The creature watched Duncan carefully but even when he’d placed his hand on its head, it didn’t move. In fact, it closed its eyes and rubbed the top of its head against his palm.
Duncan: *Smiled slightly.* You’re a strange one. *He petted its head for a little while more before he looked up.* I bet it’s nearly time to go back. *He took his hand away and stood.* Well, nice to meet you. See you around … whatever you are. *He waved and disappeared into the crowd to continue his journey.*
The creature watched him disappear and tilted its head. “Greeoow?” It stood and followed after Duncan!
Duncan: *Stuck his hands back into his pockets and continued down the street, unaware of his little furry stalker. Now that he was broke and hungry, returning to the ship was beginning to sound like a better idea.*
Cassius: *Cassius made a bet at the track and lost. Bummer! But that didn’t dimish his good mood! Oh no, ho! For he had met the most enchanting little lady! All legs, curves, big beautiful eyes, pouty lips and more than willing to do him the pleasure of taking her for dinner this evening. Cassius was all grins.*
The silver-haired woman with the dark green eyes and the drop-dead gorgeous figure turned. She looked sexy in her long black gown, low-cut with slits up the sides. “MacBeth?!” She turned from the people she was talking to and went over to him. “I can’t believe–Oh God, it’s been ages!”
As Duncan started to enjoy his tour, he heard a commotion behind him. At first he thought it was nothing and merely moved over to the side. Then he realized the men running his way were running toward him! “Hey you! Stop right there!” They were dressed in uniform which meant getting caught would result in big trouble!
Duncan: *Blinked!* What? Huh? Me? *He pointed to himself but the men didn’t seem to be in the mood to answer questions–or to slow down so he did the only thing he could do–he ran! Of course, he was unaware of his furry little stalker also running behind him!* –
“He’s getting away!” “Someone stop him!” “Freeze!” the men yelled behind him. There had to be at least six of them. Unfair odds to be sure!
Sylvie chuckled softly. “It depends on what you mean by crowd.” She sighed. “I swear, with Morgan running about, business is suffering. Our customers are more worried about if they’re going to be struck next than where to have a good time.”
Cassius: *Cassius and his new lady friend were having a grand old time! Why, wouldn’t she like a pretty new dress before this evening? He’ll get her a dress!*
Duncan: *Running for his life!* What the. Hell did I. Do. This time?! *He was so busy looking back at his pursuers that he didn’t watch where he was going and tumbled right down a flight of stairs!
Sylvie blinked and went thoughtful. “Why yes, she is. Why do you ask?”
Dum! Dum! THUD! Duncan slams right smack into a door so hard that he breaks down the door and right into the middle of a basement!
Duncan: *Every part of his body ached. No, worst than ached. He was pretty sure they were broken.* … Oooohhh … *He groaned as he lay there, on his back, staring up at the ceiling. Who would have thought being dead could hurt so much?*
Cassius: *Cassius makes sure his lady friend gets a hot little dress! Sure it’s more naughty than it is classy, but if she doesn’t look hooo-ooot. Boy, he almost wants to keep this one as he offers his arm to escort her out!*
Sylvie blinked again. “You don’t mean …?” She saw Mac raise an eyebrow and grinned wickedly. “I’m sure it’d be her pleasure.”
Something jumped onto Duncan’s chest! “Greeooww!” it mewed loudly!
Duncan: *Slowly lifted his head to look down at what was sitting on his chest.* Oh … You again … Are you dead, too?
“Greeooww!” It mewed again and this time it made a sound like coughing. It convulsed and jerked and finally spat out a large wad of spit-covered foil onto his chest!
Duncan: … *Looked at the foil and then up at the creature.* I guess not. *He slowly sat up as the creature hopped off of his chest and sat down beside him.*
“Greeooww!” the creature mewed.
Duncan: *Looked down at the stain left after brushing off the foil!* You realize you owe me a new shirt, right?
The creature just studied Duncan. From on top of the stairs, he heard running. “Hey! He’s down here!” “We’ll get him for sure now!” “Be careful! He’s dangerous!”
Duncan: *Blinked!* You can buy me one later! *He grabs the creature and scrambles to his feet, then darts toward the back of the basement. Fortunately, there is another door he easily kicks down that leads to a flight of stairs that go up and back into the busy streets!
Cassius: *Cassius looked around, and not a MacBeth in sight. Haha! He probably didn’t even find a woman yet! He didn’t seem to recognize his sister as he pulled his smokin’ lady friend out to the dance floor. Might as well enjoy the night while they’re here!*
The creature had no objections to being picked up and run with! It poked its head over his shoulder to watch the men running after them!
Duncan: Ohshitohshitohshit! The Cap’n is gonna have my hide! *He muttered under his breath as he dodged people, ducked into alleys and ran into shops! But the men are awfully persistent and are behind him every step of the way!*
Cassius: *Cassius spotted MacBeth as soon as walked in. He and his pretty little lady friend made sure to greet him!* Why, if it isn’t my good friend MacBeth. Mac, I’d like you to meet Lizzie. She works over at the tracks. Isn’t she just a vision of beauty?
Lizzie giggled, swatting Cassius’ arm! He’s such a flirt!
Cassius: Now, I thought we were going to have a double date tonight, MacBeth? But I see you’re here not hmm… 4 minutes left and not a date in sight.
Lizzie giggles her pretty little face off! “Oh you’re boys are both so gentlmanly! I would love a drink!”
Cassius: Sure, why not a drink? Hey Lizzie, did I tell ya that MacBeth to be my janitor? I’m about to be promoted to First Mate.
“Oh wow!! On your sister’s ship right? Cassius is such a sweethart, he said he’s teaching his little sister how to run a good crew!”
Cassius: Aw, you’re gon’ make me blush. You know how I don’t like to brag about all my good deeds. *He very obviously glanced at the clock, with a big wide grin.* 2 minutes. You know, Lizzie, I think we might be having dinner alone tonight.
“Teehehee! Oh, but what about the three of us? We’d have such a good time!” Lizzie was so delightfully perky, and two men were always better than one!
The door opened and in stepped Sylvie and her twin sister, Anya, both of whom stopped on either side of Mac. “Hello, Cassius,” Sylvie purred. “It’s been awhile,” Anya remarked.
Both women wore long gowns and looked like they’d stepped off the stage. The only difference was that Sylvie wore the black gown and Anya the red.
Cassius: *Cassius was… stunned! But that quickly wore off and was replaced with an angry twitch in one of his eyes as he pointed an accusing figure!* MacBeth, you cheating bastard! You know damned well exgirlfriends are paid in revenge and don’t qualify for this bet!
“Exgirlfriends?… BET?!” Lizzie was admittedly a very silly girl, but it didn’t take a moron to figure out what was going on! “You sleezy bastard!! I knew I should have listened to my sister!” She reared her fist back and socked him in the nose, and man! That little hottie could hit! She stuck her nose up in the air and marched out!
Cassius: Ow! GAW! Lizzie…! *His nose! Ragh, fucking MacBeth, wait was that Bronwen cackling?!* Fuck!
Meanwhile Duncan was still on the run for his life with the creature in his arms and those blasted men still after him! Didn’t anyone give up on chasing people anymore?!*
Cassius: Arg… *He leaned against the bar, twisting his to make sure it wasn’t broken, and scowled at his sister.* The hell are you smiling about? At least we had dates.
Cassius: *CRACK..! RAGH…! He should never have taught Bronwen how to swing a punch!*
Duncan: *Skidded to a halt as he came up against a dead-end! And the walls surrounding him were too tall and too slick to climb!* I’mdeadi’mdeadi’mdeadi’mdead! *He gulped as they drew closer and curled himself into a ball. He couldn’t believe it would end this way! Papa and Mama Hessing would never forgive him!*
The creature wiggled out of his grasp … Duncan heard a fierce “GRREEOWW!” like he’d heard in the alley, a roar too deep to come from such a small body … followed by a large chumping noise and then the sounds of screaming and running!
Duncan: *It was … awfully silent now. He slowly opened his eyes and lifted his head, looking around.*
The men were gone except for a single boot. One of them must have dropped it while he was running away. The creature is sitting near a splotch of red on the ground, grooming itself.
Duncan: Hm? That’s … weird. *He slowly got up and walked oer to the creature.* Did you scare those guys away? *He picked it up and stroked its back.*
The creature only made that “Greeooww” mew but just lay in his arms.
Duncan: *Walked out of the alley and past by Mystique’s. He spotted Cassius inside.* Hey, Cassius, have you seen the Cap’n?
Cassius: *He was holding a huge icepack to his nose.* Aye, I saw the witch. Fuckin’ socked me in the nose. Hope she gets mugged wherein’ that damned short dress lookin’ like a damned girl.. *He was still muttering a few other unpleasant things!*
Duncan: *What had he missed?!* Um … Okay. Do you think she’ll let me keep it? *He held up the creature for him to see.*
Cassius: Keep wha-ARGG GAWD! WHAT THE SHIT?! HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND! *Cassius practically hopped backwards up on to the bar, and for the first time… ever!… he looked pretty damned scared!*
“Greeooww?” the creature mewed.
Duncan: *Lowered his arms to turn the creature to look at it.* What are you talking about? It just followed me around and I want to know if I can keep it. *He scratched under its chin.* It’s actually rather cute, don’t you think?
“Greeeooww!” the creature closed its eyes as it was scratched and seemed content.
Cassius: *A facefault!* Do you have a bloody fucking clue what that is?! It’s a fucking death trap with fur!
Duncan: *Looked offended!* Is not. I’ve spent the whole evening with it and it’s been nothing but sweet. Sure, it’s got an apetite but who knows when it last ate?
Cassius: Ha! HA! Go ahead and ask her if you can make it back to the ship in one piece!
Duncan: *Shrugged! What was Cassius’ problem anyways?* Okay. *He turned and walked away, cradling the creature to him.* Don’t worry about him. He’s just drunk or something. *He told the creature as he walked back to the ship.*