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The Goggles Fics

whimsical
A/N: I've decided to start writing a series of shortfics about how Goggles joins the TANDEM and how she fits in. They won't really need to be read in any particular order, nor do they really contain spoilers for anything.

Disclaimer: Not mine. And there was much rejoicing.

It had been a relatively uneventful day on the TANDEM. There was still no sign of the Critic, still no fantastically useful idea as to how end to war (although Linkara had set up a dartboard with a group photo of some of the other factions in it. His aim been improving quite significantly.) and, worst of all…

“Morgan?” said Spoony tiredly, “Please tell me you have an idea as to why the self-destruct light keeps flashing when we haven’t done anything? I know it’s not a problem immediately with the light, and it’s October, so it’s not an April Fool’s joke…”

APOLOGIES, CAPTAIN. MY DIAGNOSTICS SYSTEM SEEMS TO BE FAILING.ALL I CAN TELL YOU IS THAT SOMETHING HAS DISRUPTED MY PANEL CONTROLS FROM THE ENGINE.


Spoony sighed, frustrated and stared at the engine of his beloved ship.

“There are five people on this ship. Three of them are trained as pilots. Two of them are trained as science officers. One of them is trained as a Comms Officer, albeit not a particularly effective one these days. How have we managed to survive five decades without an engineer?”

There was no reply, which was strange.

“Morgan?”

THERE IS A DISTRESS SIGNAL.


Spoony went pale.

They were currently in the Honos System, one system away from the Segomo System. Until their engine had decided to start being a bitch to them, they had been quite desperately making their way out of here, seeing as the Segomo System had been home to what was being called the ‘Battle of Sakmana’, and no member of the TANDEM had any particular desire to end up anywhere near the vicinity of the other Factions.

“Get all crew to the bridge, ASAP, see if you can decode the message centre, I want to know exactly what class it is and exactly what the ship status is!”

- - -

Five minutes later and the crew of the TANDEM were standing in the bridge as MarzGurl hesitantly made her way through the Comms.

It wasn’t that MarzGurl wasn’t a good Comms Officer. It was just that, since the Battle of Santa Muerte, her confidence had hit rock-bottom, and she was not nearly as quick as she used to be.

“Okay, it’s a shuttle, stuck in the orbit of planet Vacuna. From the looks of it, it’s been sending the signal for…days. Maybe even weeks.”

“Then why haven’t we picked it up?” frowned Angry Joe.

EVER SINCE THE ENGINE STARTED COMPLAINING, MY COMM SYSTEM HAS NOT BEEN…RELIABLE.


“To put it mildly,” said Marz, with an apologetic smile to the world at large.

“What class shuttle?” asked Spoony.

“It’s…ATROPOS Class.”

“ATROPOS Class…?” said Joe, and then paled, “The nearest ATROPOS Class would be…”

“…The CHANNEL, Angry Video Game Nerd’s ship,” Spoony’s mouth went tight.

“I’m not normally one to preach for the peaceful solution,” said Linkara, “Not these days, anyway…but I think we ought to answer it. After the Battle of Santa Muerte, we had a lot of trouble trusting one another enough to even board the TANDEM at all; it may very well be another runaway.”

“Arm the ship anyway?” said MarzGurl.

“No. We’re on a peace mission, currently. Open a comms channel; audio only.”

MarzGurl typed at the Comms panel.

“And channel open…now.”

“ATROPOS Class vessel, this is Captain Spoony, of the AERON Class Vessel TANDEM. We have received your S.O.S. and request a communications link. Repeat: We have received your S.O.S. and request a communications link…”

There was a crackle of static, and then a hushed, hoarse voice rasped:

“Spoony…?”

“Goggles?!” said Angry Joe. Spoony immediately stilled Joe’s arm before he could stand up.

“What is your current complement?”

“Spoony…Spoony, please, just talk to me…” the voice on the other end was starting to sob, “I’ve been out here alone for…oh god, I don’t even know anymore…I don’t want to keep fighting. I want to find a way to end this war. I don’t care how, but I don’t want battles…”

“That’s not the way the Anti-Faction works, Goggles,” said Spoony.

“It’s better than the Nerd Faction. I think…I think they like the fighting. Even though…even though Critic’s gone they…they want to keep fighting. I just want to find a way to stop it…not just a justification for tracking down Critic. Please…” she sobbed again, “Please don’t leave me in the black.”

There was a pause.

“We can get you back to the CHANNEL…”

“Weren’t you listening? I don’t want to go back to the CHANNEL! I don’t want to be part of the Nerd Faction. I’d rather stay here in the black…please, even if it’s just to drop me off at the nearest Urban planet, please…just get me out of here…”

The silence stretched for a long moment.

“Linkara?”

“Aye, sir?”

“Get in the shuttle and go get Goggles out of there.”

“Spoony…”

“You were the one preaching peace just a moment ago.”

There was another echoing silence.

“…Aye, captain.”

“Linkara will be taking our shuttle. He’ll link up with yours and bring you back to the TANDEM; we’ll figure out what to do with you then.”

“Thank you.”

The voice was so quiet, so sad, so broken, so unlike Goggles that it broke Spoony’s heart.

“Linkara?”

“Don’t worry, Capt’n,” said Linkara quietly behind him, “I’ll get her back here in one piece if it’s the last thing I do.”

- - -

Goggles sat at the table in the mess hall, sobbing hysterically. She was an utter wreck, leaning into Nostalgia Chick’s shoulder, her hands limp in her lap.

“She needs salt,” said Nostalgia Chick softly, “Salt and water.”

“Saltwater?” said Spoony, looking mildly repulsed.

“No. Just salt and water.”

“Gimme a sec,” said Angry Joe and dashed off to his bunk. He returned a few seconds later with a small plastic container, “Get me a glass of water, please.”

As Linkara went, confused, to get some water, Angry Joe unscrewed the cap to reveal a pot of some strange blue dust.

“Powerade in a can,” explained Joe, scooping some into the glass of water and carefully stirring it, “All the salt you’ll ever need for a game of soccer.”

Sniffing, Goggles picked it up, took a sip and made a face.

“This tastes really weird.”

“It’s Powerade,” said Joe, “It always tastes weird.”

“Well, Goggles, you picked a bad time to want to join the TANDEM crew,” sighed Spoony, “We’re stuck. Our engine doesn’t like us…”

“How so?” asked Goggles suddenly, snapped out of her melancholy.

“Uh…well, it kind of…hiccups. Morgan…”

“Morgan?”

“The ships AI. Morgan says that the connections between the control panels and the engine have been disrupted. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. Right now the self-destruct mechanism seems to be dancing on and off.”

“I can fix that.”

Everyone blinked at Goggles.

“Did you just say you could fix that?”

“Oh, yeah. You’ve probably just managed to knock a few wires off. It happens if you spend too much time in hyper speed. Give me some duct tape and I’ll have them fixed in no time.”

Spoony shared a glance with his crew and then shrugged.

What choice did they have?

- - -

“Morgan,” said Spoony, crossing his ankles and staring out into the black, “Tell me your thoughts on Goggles. You’re at ease.”

I think she can help. I also think she’s genuine when she says she wants to help.


“You just like that she treats you so nice,” said Spoony wryly.

Well, yes. But she also acts, well, kind. She let MarzGurl help her even though it was clear Marz was just there to spy on her, she hasn’t risen to any of Linkara’s jibes, she doesn’t mind Joe’s flirtation and she responds to Chick with an endearing sort of sweetness. She’s broken, and she’ll probably get worse, but I think we should keep her on board.


- - -

“So. Goggles.”

Her white eyes were singularly disturbing to stare into. They seemed to see far, far too much, as if she could read the memories dancing behind Spoony’s eyelids, see his thoughts, see his feelings. As if she could feel the way sweat was trickling down the back of his neck in nervousness, or the way he was acutely aware that Linkara was standing a few feet away from him, eyes focused on Goggles.

“You want to stay?”

Goggles nodded.

“Okay.”

Behind him, he heard Linkara let out a strangled yell.

“Are you – are you nuts, Spoony?!”

“Probably,” Spoony hadn’t taken his eyes off Goggles, “You’ll have your own bunk, share chores with us, and keep an eye on our engine. You’re engineer; that means the chain of command is that you answer to me, then Morgan, then Linkara. And if Linkara threatens you, ignore him.”

Spoony didn’t need to look at Linkara to see the frustration on his friend’s face.

“Thank you,” was all Goggles said, her eyes wide in her face.

“As long as you keep Morgan flying, you’re always welcome,” Spoony smiled, “You seem like a good enough engineer. You want to get lost?”

“More than anything,” said Goggles.

“Then welcome aboard. Welcome to TANDEM.


“Welcome home.”

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Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
emeriin
Sep. 15th, 2009 12:25 pm (UTC)
Have I mentioned yet that I'm addicted to this verse? I'm getting more and more interested in seeing what happened at the Battle of Santa Muerte... and even what happened afterwards, as I'm guessing it's a ItGotWorse deal*.


*TV Tropes: Ruining your vocabulary for years to come.
freya_sacksen
Sep. 15th, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
I'm addicted to writing this verse. It's just so much fun.
fininevermore
Dec. 8th, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
Oh. It's so sad, and so sweet too. It's cool to hear how she got on the TANDEM, since I'd figured she'd defected, and I was wondering when and why.
freya_sacksen
Dec. 8th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm contemplating, once I've finished the Prequel Fic, writing another one detailing the Battles of Sakmana and Prosperina.
cowgirlxena
Apr. 13th, 2011 11:08 pm (UTC)
sorry for posting here over 2 years later but I was just wondering if you're still planning on writing those fics?
freya_sacksen
Apr. 13th, 2011 11:45 pm (UTC)
I have no idea is the answer. Maybe I will one day, maybe I won't. I'm far more focussed on just getting the fics that are in progress NOW done - My Immortal and DAYD MSTs are just me getting back into the writing groove.
cowgirlxena
Apr. 13th, 2011 11:54 pm (UTC)
Oh ok. I read your MST's and they were very funny
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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whimsical
freya_sacksen
Freya Sacksen: Blonde. Black. Jewish.

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