I was on my way to Madelor yesterday and stopped off at Refitting Station Terrell. You won’t believe who I ran into – Jake and Arr. I haven’t seen them in months. For those of you who do not know them, Jake Harcourt is a great looking human – about six foot four with dark curly hair and a lovely iron jar beard sprinkled with silver. He has a build like a quarterback and eyes full of mischief. Can you tell I have a secret crush on him? But, he is such a woman’s man he would never settle down and I need a little security in my life where that is concerned. Besides he’s forty. That makes him eighteen years younger than me. I don’t know that I could keep up.
Arr is his partner. He is a Henu – humanoid features, but very cat like. He has the most beautiful china blue eyes with cat shaped pupils. He’s covered, except for his face and palms, with a light fur, kind of a chestnut color. Arr is very agile and quick. He doesn’t talk much, but his purr would melt an ice planet.
Jake picked Arr up somewhere. I am not really sure where. I have never heard the story. I’ll have to ask next time I see them – if I can remember. Jake gave Arr his mercenary training and they are always off somewhere. Jake and Arr don’t do much transport. Jake likes the action stuff and Arr follows him wherever he goes. They’re relationship is really close. They’re not lovers. It’s more like brothers. Arr appears to be about twenty or so. Jake has told me his species ages slower than human - maybe three to one.
The boys were just back from a mission on Gligula. I’ve never heard of the place. From what they say it is way Outthere. Tim, Watt and Dusty went with them. Tim O’Malley arranged the job. He’s also the one who introduced me to Jake. He was Jake’s dad’s best friend. Jake’s dad died a while back and Tim’s kinda like a surrogate father.
“Gligula is nasty with a thick layer of green slime all over its surface.” Jake explained.
“It stank.” Arr said in one of his infrequent contributions to the conversations. He looked a bit sick when he talked about it – he has a sensitive sense of smell.
“We were helping out a corporation that bought the place for the slime. Seems if you process it correctly into a gas it can be mixed with most unbreathable air and make it breathable for humans.” Jake said, as he ordered up a round for us all.
Seems there was a competing Corp that brought in a load of Narnon and Tuldavian swamp lizards. I have had occasion to deal with Narnon. They are ruthless killing machines. I wasn’t familiar with Tuldavian swamp lizards. Jake brought me up to speed.
“The suckers build mud traps just below the surface of the slime. It was a damn mine field. If you fall into one that is unoccupied you go up to your waist and you just can’t get out on your own. You’re lizard bait. It you fall in an occupied one you don’t get out – at least your bottom half doesn’t”
“Yuck, that sounds lovely.” I said, with sarcasm in my voice. “How did you get rid of them?”
“Once the Narnon decided it wasn’t worth their trouble to stay, Tim and I devised a bait and drag method. We put a pulse beacon on a long cable and dragged it over the surface. The lizards took it for a heartbeat. When they rose to the bait, we picked them off one at a time. Took us two weeks but we got them all.” Jake said. “Can’t let a factory slime collector lose a leg or two could we?”
I must admit I shivered at the thought.