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Re: After graduation [message #8282] Thu, 12 September 2013 15:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
The Unicorn  is currently offline The Unicorn
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Ellen Hayes wrote on Thu, 12 September 2013 06:11

mkemp wrote on Thu, 12 September 2013 13:51

Of course I, and probably everyone else, like what you're writing.

There is no 'of course' when it comes to feedback...

Ellen



Point, but I always feel like an idiot when I have nothing to say except "I really like this and would like to read more". Anyway I really like this
Re: After graduation [message #8283] Thu, 12 September 2013 16:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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The Unicorn wrote on Thu, 12 September 2013 20:02

{...} but I always feel like an idiot when I have nothing to say except "I really like this and would like to read more".

Feel instead like you are feeding the author. Nod your head, there's a nice para-horsie. =)

Ellen
icon14.gif  Re: After graduation [message #8284] Thu, 12 September 2013 20:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anne  is currently offline Anne
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I'm thoroughly enjoying this story. I suppose I can't say that often enough. Ellen, Thank you so much for all the work you've put into Tuck. Very Happy
Re: After graduation [message #8285] Thu, 12 September 2013 20:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
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Ellen Hayes wrote on Thu, 12 September 2013 05:09

Hey, does anyone like what I'm doing? Feedback is nice.


Yes! *Please* continue.

Re: After graduation [message #8286] Thu, 12 September 2013 20:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Desiree99  is currently offline Desiree99
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Quote:

"Gee," Amanda smirked as she stood up, "How'd we guess?" She wasn't the only one smirking at Chance as he found Valerie in the crowd and walked over to her.


this looks like something that can be so very good for Val, and Thank you so much for sharing
Re: After graduation [message #8287] Fri, 13 September 2013 00:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anne  is currently offline Anne
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Chance showed up for the morning run with Val and her friends for the third day. They asked politely that he pay for breakfast today. But he reflected, that was a cheap price to pay to be able to spend time with Val. Indeed, the fact that Val was spending time with him was enough to make him sure he wanted to come back. Of course he had to admit that the fact that their armory had a progressive reloader didn't hurt his feelings either. "Bring your own supplies and you can reload your ammo here," Val said, "We will just expect that you spend some time loading ammo for us."

On another front Val was still running hot and cold. He could tell that she was usually glad to see him because she smiled at him in a way that she did for few except her closest friends. Then she would refuse to be alone enough for him to do more than steal the smallest of kisses....

[Updated on: Fri, 13 September 2013 00:34]

Re: After graduation [message #8288] Fri, 13 September 2013 07:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Desiree99  is currently offline Desiree99
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Thank you all for continuing this we love it

Would not Bill show up some morning. Stand in front of Val and Chance asking "What are your Intentions?"

"I was speaking to Val, I'll get to you next sir."



just a thought

[Updated on: Fri, 13 September 2013 07:22]

Re: After graduation [message #8289] Fri, 13 September 2013 09:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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Desiree99 wrote on Fri, 13 September 2013 12:19


Would not Bill show up some morning. Stand in front of Val and Chance asking "What are your Intentions?"

It's too early for that. And, how would Bill know about Chance? It's also too early for anyone to go telling Tuck's parents about a romance.

Ellen
Re: After graduation [message #8290] Fri, 13 September 2013 11:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sir Lee  is currently offline Sir Lee
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Yeah. The Starlight Capital -- not a commune(tm) -- members, both the former Rat Boyz and the former Pack, have an history of being able to keep their mouths shut. And anyway, few of them are close enough to the Tucker parentals to be in a position to gossip.

The only scenario I could see it happening is during a visit home. Maybe Jill would tease Tuck at dinner or something, letting a bit more info than she intended to slip out. But that might not happen until, say, Thanksgiving.


Don't call me Shirley. You will surely make me surly.
Re: After graduation [message #8291] Fri, 13 September 2013 13:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
LuLou  is currently offline LuLou
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I do like it, any new Tuck in any form is good, but to be honest, I'd much rather return to our Black Friday shenanigans, already in progress.
Re: After graduation [message #8292] Fri, 13 September 2013 23:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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Mike finally said, "Look, Tuck, if you don't go out with him, I'll have to get one of the littles to do it." Despite the fact that they were now eighteen or even over, they were still Little Brothers and Sisters.

"Damnit!" Tucker looked like he was about to cry in frustration.

"What is the problem with him?" Mike still wasn't that happy with Tucker dating, and et cetera, guys; but the tension between Chance and Tucker was starting to affect his appetite.

Tucker sighed, and turned to face Mike, planting his butt on the edge of the sink. "One, he's a cop. A cop, Mike." He sighed, and looked at something on the floor.

Eventually, Mike prompted, "And B?"

"B, he- wait, I started with 'one'," Tucker accused as he looked up.

"Heh." Not totally oblivious... So, reason B is?"

Tucker looked down again. "I just... I mean, I don't know him already. I think he's okay with me, me being weird I mean, but what if he isn't?"

Tucker didn't need to say he was afraid of being beaten to death, knifed, shot, or worse. Nor did he need to translate what 'weird' meant.

"Plus," Tucker added, "he's a cop, and that just feels wrong even if he can deal with the weirdness."

After a long silence, during which Tucker wriggled but didn't say anything else, Mike asked, "So do you like him?"

"I don't even know that!"

"Well, dumbass, find that out."

"I'd have to go out with him."

Mike had to close his eyes and rub his forehead. "Tucker, I swear to god, I don't know how you manage to stay potty-trained. Go out with the man already! In fact, if you don't go out with him this week, I'll have to get Debbie to make a date for you."

"Mike!" Tucker shrieked before whining, "Donnnn't!"

"It's for your own good. Oh god I hate it when I say that," Mike moaned. "See what you made me say?"

***

"A gunshow counts as a date!" Valerie argued.

"Oh, god. Only you," Debbie sighed, rubbing her forehead.

"Well, he's on midnight shifts Friday and Saturday nights, so normal dancing's out; and then, y'know, it's this weekend, and he wanted to go, and I wanted to go, so-"

"Yeah, shut up a minute," Debbie interrupted. "Book! C'mere! Val wants to take Chance or vice versa to the gun show this weekend; does that count as a date-date?" Book put a hand to his mouth and started to snigger.

"It- We're both interested in guns!" Valerie protested. "Mutual interest events count as a date!"

***

Chance was hoping that Valerie's invitation to the gun show Sunday afternoon was something in the realm of a date. On the other hand, she was a shooter herself; maybe she just wanted to go with someone else who was interested. Arguing against that was the fact that there were a lot of shooters in that motel or sorority or whatever it was; she didn't have to ask him just to find someone to go with.

Arguing against going at all, was that she'd asked to be picked up from the main dining room, Sunday after lunch; which suggested that every one of her insane roommates or sorority sisters (and brothers, however that worked) or whatever they were, would be right there.

But he'd convinced himself he was strong and that he had nothing to worry about. He was also armed, though around there he was probably outgunned as well as outnumbered.

So, after he got off shift Sunday morning, he'd gotten a few hours sleep, a shower, something to eat, and was going to get out of the car to go pick up his date for the gun show.

He was.

Banging on the back of his Mustang scared the crap out of him, but the Asian guy was coming up alongside his car, no weapons visible, and making hand motions. Chance rolled the window down.

"Not you too! Get the fuck out of the car and go get her!" He put his head in his hands and moaned, "Goddamnit, I swear, the two of you deserve each oth-" He looked up and glared at Chance, and pointed. "Why are you still sitting in there?"

Chance shook his head, but turned off the ignition and got out, shutting the door.

"Swear ta god, if I've gotta do this for both of you, I'm locking you both in a cage in the basement."

Chance asked, "You have a cage in the basement?"

"I can get one," he threatened. He pointed again, "Door, open, you."

"Alright alright," Chance sighed. It really was too late to worry about it now. He wiped his hands on his jeans and opened the door and went in.

Valerie was right there, in a long-skirted dress kind of thing, in a darker red, and a brown leather bomber jacket, and brown heeled boots. Her brown hair was pulled back under a knit hat and she started pulling on gloves when she saw him. "Ready?" she asked, breathlessly.

"Yeah," he agreed, feeling rather relieved that she wasn't going to make him talk to anyone else there.

***

"Awwww, it's so sweet," Dan smirked as the two of them left.

Pam sighed, "Dan, shut the fuck up or I'll have Debbie cut your budget. It is sweet."

"And actually some movement on the topic," Mike added as he came in, "so maybe we can all stop worrying about it."

"I wasn't worried," Dan claimed.

"Then you're an idiot. Remember what happened when that guy Walt couldn't decide whether to date her or not?" Everyone winced. "Yeah. Even the breakups aren't that bad. So, did you still need help in math?" he asked Pam.

"Yeah," she nodded.

"You're not going to the gun show?" Dan asked.

"You went yesterday!" Pam complained. "Besides, we don't all need to follow her around on her dates!"

"Who's following her? Debbie said I could probably save ten percent if I waited until the last day to buy some stuff."

Or maybe someone else bought it already, and we'll save a hundred percent, Pam thought but didn't say. Besides, Debbie did have a point; waiting until the last days of a sale was a gamble, but sometimes it was worth trying, and at least you didn't lose money either way.

***

"You don't look happy about... something," Chance said as he backed out of the parking space.

Valerie sighed. "They made me go on the date today. They said that if I didn't go on a normal kind of date with you, by myself, today sometime, they'd duct-tape me to a stretcher and bring me over and use me as a table to hold hors d'ouvres at a party at your place."

As he stopped the car and burst out laughing, Valerie complained, "You think I'm kidding?! You think they wouldn't do something like that?!"

Chance managed to force out, "No, I think they would!"

Through his laughter, he heard her complain, "And you think that's funny."

[Updated on: Sat, 14 September 2013 11:53]

Re: After graduation [message #8293] Sat, 14 September 2013 00:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Desiree99  is currently offline Desiree99
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Ellen Hayes wrote on Fri, 13 September 2013 20:02


Valerie sighed. "They made me go on the date tonight. They said that if I didn't go on a normal kind of date with you, by myself, tonight, they'd duct-tape me to a stretcher and bring me over and use me as a table to hold hors d'ouvres at a party at your place."



Almost fell on the floor, Duct Tape makes you smart, so very funny
Re: After graduation [message #8294] Sun, 15 September 2013 00:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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As still happened nowadays, Tucker felt oddly discomfited, getting so much friendly attention from most of the people around him. It wasn't that he was that good looking or anything like that, it's that he was a not entirely un-cute teen or twentysomething female, there by choice. Tucker knew what it felt like to find someone who was interested in your hobby(s); and finding a female that was into the sort of things he and Mike and Da Boyz had been into was almost impossible. Julia said that was because women who were into those things were already in mental institutions.

So when anyone figured out that Tucker was actually there for himself, instead of being reluctantly dragged around by the boyfriend(s) or relative(s), there wasn't much they wouldn't do for him, even if he wasn't spending money.

There were always a percentage of assholes, who thought that girls couldn't shoot or do ham radio or computers or electronics or anime or comics or RPGs or heavy weapons or radio-controlled stuff or MOUT assault or skating or skydiving or whatever; but they were balanced by the ones who were desperate to entice him further into whatever it was and not drive him away.

He had figured out, that if he dressed femininely and kind of conservatively, like Debbie made him do for things like this, even the old grouchy fucks would smile (or come close) and be as pleasant as they could manage. Even the lunatic dyke-type women would be nice to him.

And then, sometimes he could really clean up.

***

"A WHAT?!" Mike shrieked

"A flamethrower!" Tucker repeated. "Actually an M9A1-7, the Vietnam-era one. He's got the TM's and other manuals. He said it doesn't work, but I think I could get it to work, since we've got the machine shop."

"You're fucking kid-"

"Fifty bucks!"

"How much?"

"Fifty bucks," Tucker repeated, and Mike could hear him smirking over the cellphone connection.

[Updated on: Mon, 16 September 2013 10:55]

Re: After graduation [message #8295] Sun, 15 September 2013 00:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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"So, uh, that's the lab. Mostly," Valerie said, looking around as she hugged herself nervously.

Chance repeated, "Mostly?"

"The rest of it's either hazmat storage, or boring, or classified. Classified by my boss," she clarified. "I don't worry about the DOD or anyone else, just her."

"Oh."

Dinner had gone really well, he'd thought; but at this moment, he couldn't think of anything to say.

Neither could she; she tucked some hair behind an ear and looked around nervously.

***

"So how was he?" Debbie demanded as Valerie took her jacket off. She wasn't wearing her hat and gloves; Debbie could only hope they were in her jacket or her laptop bag/purse.

Valerie smiled tremulously. "It went okay. I mean, we went to the show, and then out to eat, and we spent a couple of hours talking about stuff..."

"Did he kiss you?" Debbie thought he had; Valerie had that sort of look, like she got when someone new had kissed her for the first time.
Re: After graduation [message #8296] Sun, 15 September 2013 11:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
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Ellen Hayes wrote on Sat, 14 September 2013 21:24

"So, uh, that's the lab. Mostly," Valerie said, looking around as she hugged herself nervously.

Chance repeated, "Mostly?"

"The rest of it's either hazmat storage, or boring, or classified. Classified by my boss," she clarified. "I don't worry about the DOD or anyone else, just her."

"Oh."

Dinner had gone really well, he'd thought; but at this moment, he couldn't think of anything to say.

Neither could she; she tucked some hair behind an ear and looked around nervously.



Valerie's wariness brought to mind the behavior exhibited by recent arivals at the One Seven. "Valerie," he said quietly, "I won't hurt you for any reason. For any reason."
Re: After graduation [message #8297] Sun, 15 September 2013 13:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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"Oh BULLSHIT, Chance!" Valerie snapped. "How can you even say that? So you'll stay with me forever, you won't ever argue or contradict me, you'll never have a bad habit that pisses me off, you'll never leave the toilet seat up?" She snorted before he could respond. Before he could think of a response. "Look, okay, you say you can... handle my body weirdness, and okay, maybe you can; but if we have a relationship, that right there is a world of hurt waiting to happen, okay? Maybe it won't, but you can't just say that ahead of time." She huffed. "That's one reason I don't want to deal with people, at all; I'm not sure it's worth gambling on it working, when most of the time it doesn't."

"So you'd just be alone all your life?"

"I'm not alone! I have friends, my family..." She let her breath out and looked at him. "I've been told it's a 'girl thing', but I don't need to have a dating relationship to have some... You'll take this word the wrong way, but some intimacy. Emotional support. Lotta guys can't do that with their friends, which is why they chase women or whatever so hard."
Re: After graduation [message #8299] Mon, 16 September 2013 01:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
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Ellen Hayes wrote on Sat, 14 September 2013 21:14


"A WHAT?!" Mike shrieked

"A flamethrower!" Tucker repeated. "Actually an M9A1-7, the Vietnam-era one. He's got the TM's and other manuals. He said it doesn't work, but I think I could get it to work, since we've got the machine shop."

"You're fucking kid-"

"Fifty bucks!"

"How much?"

"Fifty bucks," Tucker repeated, and Mike could hear him smirking over the cellphone connection.



Debbie carefully refrained from screaming.

"It's *barely* legal to own it when it doesn't work. If you fix it, the ATF will be swarming down on us shortly afterwards. 'Destructive device' just like grenades, remember?"

[Updated on: Mon, 16 September 2013 01:44]

Re: After graduation [message #8300] Mon, 16 September 2013 03:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
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"No, Debbie, the Feds don't regulate flamethrowers. The state classifies them as agricultural implements used for stuff like burning weeds. This isn't the People's Republic of California, full of hysterical hoplophobes and delusional dingbats."
Re: After graduation [message #8301] Mon, 16 September 2013 09:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anne  is currently offline Anne
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"I'm not alone! I have friends, my family..." She let her breath out and looked at him. "I've been told it's a 'girl thing', but I don't need to have a dating relationship to have some... You'll take this word the wrong way, but some intimacy. Emotional support. Lotta guys can't do that with their friends, which is why they chase women or whatever so hard."

"Ok, I understand that a relationship has the possibility of emotional and physical hurt. I am trying to say that I'd like to join your circle of friends. Now I admit I'm a guy and I'd like more than just to be kept at a distance. I'm still not sure what you mean by the way your body is messed up, but your body isn't you," Chance said.

"Ok, Chance, try this on, I'm going to posit that you learn that I'm neither male nor female," Val said from where she had moved so that a table was between them.

"That's impossible!" Chance exclaimed.

Val pointed to a thick medical text that had been opened to a page and said, "Why don't you read this and tell me what is impossible after you understand it."
Re: After graduation [message #8302] Mon, 16 September 2013 10:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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Chance nodded.

Luke, who had stopped getting ready, repeated, "A flamethrower?"

"Yeah," Chance answered, again, still nodding.

"That girl."

"The one who does the house-to-house shooting, and the IPSC, yeah, that one."

"The one you've been running with in the mornings."

"Yep."

Luke shook his head and put his uniform shirt on. Chance took the opportunity to put his low work boots on. He was very glad that, one, he could wear something like this instead of dress oxfords out in the field, and two, that they couldn't be shined.

"Why did she get a flamethrower?" Luke asked suddenly.

"Well, she said she didn't have one," Chance said, which he knew would make Luke laugh. "Also she said she could probably get it running, if the tanks tested out okay."

"Get it running?"

"She's an engineer, has access to a machine shop." Chance wasn't entirely clear whether it was hers or her sorority's or just what the deal was.

Luke frowned. "You sure this is a girl?"

"Pretty sure, yeah. Just a... unusual one."

***

"Look, I've been running some welding argon through there; I think it's pretty well empty of fuel vapors. So we just take it to someplace that does scuba tank testing and recert, or maybe welding tank recerts, and get it tested. Not a problem, Debbie!" Tucker finished. "Hand me the basil, wouldya?"

"Jeez. And how much is that going to-"

"Val!" Gina called. "Phone, line four!"

"Who is it?" Tucker yelled back.

"Chance!"

"Oh shit!"

"Go talk to him," Debbie ordered as she grabbed Tucker's wrist and made him drop the knife. Reflexively he considered grabbing Debbie and breaking her arm, but she was pushing him towards the kitchen phone and he really ought to talk to Chance anyway.

***

"Yeah, well," Valerie explained, "he opened his fat mouth at work, and now some of his cop friends want to meet me. Apparently they have a Sunday barbecue or something, when they all watch basketball together." Valerie rolled her eyes, which made Debbie restrain a laugh. She gets all stereotypical-girly about watching sports, and she's the one that bought a flamethrower last weekend! She is so weird!

George butted in, "They have a good TV?"

"George, you don't like basketball any more than I do!"

"Oh, thought you said baseball. When's the preseason stuff start anyway?" Valerie shrugged. "Matt! When's baseball season start?"

"What, this year?" As they all nodded, he said, "March 31st," like they should've known this.

Debbie asked Valerie, "Are you supposed to bring something like food?"

"What? I don't know! Shit!"

"Don't panic," Debbie sighed. "It's only Tuesday. We'll call and ask. I mean you will call and ask."

Valerie cursed, "Damnit."

***

Chance was surprised to see Valerie wearing skating pads and a helmet, and web gear over her running clothes. "What's up with all the stuff this morning?"

She was already sweating and a little red-faced, and breathing harder than usual. "Oh, what's the point in getting good at running if you only do it in specialized running clothes? Same thing as IPSC race guns versus carry pistols."

"You don't wear that stuff around all the time, though," he pointed out.

She laughed at him and took off running.

***

Tucker was never sure what had gone wrong, but he'd slipped somehow in a turn, and spent the interminable fall and bounce trying to make sure his shin wouldn't re-break and his ankles wouldn't twist, as well as the usual fall-protection moves. Which meant he was taking a lot of it on the armor pieces, including a head thunk that the helmet absorbed. "Well, damnit."

"Are you okay?!" Chance freaked as he knelt down beside Tucker.

"What? Yeah, I'm fine; s'why I wear all this armor." He had to think about it, ignoring Chance for the moment, then committed some tumbling and breakdance-type moves that left him upright and moving in the right direction, after the other girls. "C'mon! We're losing time!"

***
Re: After graduation [message #8303] Mon, 16 September 2013 11:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Desiree99  is currently offline Desiree99
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So adorable, makes us smile so much. Thank you for sharing
Re: After graduation [message #8304] Tue, 17 September 2013 17:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
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Anne wrote on Mon, 16 September 2013 06:22


Val pointed to a thick medical text that had been opened to a page and said, "Why don't you read this and tell me what is impossible after you understand it."

As Chance read the textbook his body language and facial expressions and glances at Valerie provided telemetry about how he was taking the information. *Pretty calmly,* Valerie thought.

Chance finally finished, then went back and reviewed a couple of sections. He sighed and said, "Wow."

Valerie deflated a bit. "Yeah, 'wow' and bunch more. My friends at the Starlite and my family and maybe a handful of others are the only ones who know."

"Is that the reason you were attacked? Mike told me about that."

"No, they were just assholes that picked on anybody different - the same kind of assholes that'd been picking on me and Mike since we were in second grade. That's why we're so tight. He's an unofficial member of my family."

"I understand all about that, the dealing with assholes. Where did Valerie come from - a name you picked to match what was happening?"

Valerie took a breath. "Look, here's the short history of Valerie: I grew up as a guy, Eugene Tucker. I don't like the name much and I got most people to call me Tuck. One Halloween my girlfriend dressed me up as a girl and called me 'Valerie.' After that her friends - most of the girls at the Starlite - started dressing me up and taking me out as one of them, kinda like a secret identity. It was a joke on eveyone who didn't know."

"Okay."

"It was fun once I got over being afraid of getting found out, especially since I could spend the night with my girlfriend and her mom wouldn't say anything."

Chance was glad he wasn't drinking anything at the time. "Because her mom knew you as Valerie, not as Eugene or Tuck?"

"Yeah. I hadn't entered puberty at that point. Once that happened my body started developing as a girl. Pretty soon it became almost impossible to disguise so I started presenting as Valerie."

"And from what I read you really didn't, don't, have any good options."

"Changing things either way would involve surgery and hormones, and I'm not willing to do that. I hate hospitals and I don't trust doctors' promises. And I don't really feel like I'm broken and need to be fixed."

Chance was quiet for a moment then leaned forward and took Valerie's hand. "I don't think you need to be fixed, either."

Re: After graduation [message #8306] Wed, 18 September 2013 18:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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Mike rubbed his face. "I don't know what's worse; Tuck without a relationship, or Tuck spazzing over whether to start one, or Tuck at the beginning of one."

"Why, what's he doing now?"

"Singing. Love songs. All the fucking time."

"Shit," Dan sympathized. "You could get a room." They got very reduced rated if they took one of the for-rent rooms on the lower floor; but then they had to clean it up every day.

"Don't wanna spend the money." He sighed. Then his eyes narrowed in suspicion. "You're not seeing anyone new, are you?"

Dan shook his head disgustedly.

"Thank all the gods. Anne-Marie's got this guy in her- some kind of philosophy class thing; Kathy's giving Lenard - what a name - a second chance and it's going 'really well'; and I think George met some chick who hasn't thrown up on him yet."

Dan laughed. "Give that a week. He makes me sick."

"Plus Julia's in the middle of rehearsals, and you know what the drama queens are like. Real fond of drama," he intoned.

***

"You know," Lisa said to Janet, "I'd say she was entering a manic phase, except she gets like that when she's depressed too."

"So, at those times, she's manic-depressive?"

Lisa chuckled when she was sure that Janet was making a joke; her expression was entirely too bland to be innocent.

***

"How did you get so good at that?" Gina complained, as she went to pull the kitchen knives out of the dartboard.

Valerie shrugged. "Gave me something to do when I was compiling things, or, y'know, those times when you can't do what you were doing on the computer 'cause it's busy, but it's not going to last long enough to make it worth getting up 'n doin' something else."

"Oh."

"One of the reasons I didn't want visitors," she claimed, "'cause I wasn't sure I'd catch anyone coming in before I threw something."

That wasn't what Gina had heard, about Valerie locking herself in her version of Dexter's Laboratory. On the other hand, she'd just won five bucks from Gina in a knife-throwing bet, and there were lots of knives in the kitchen.

She started singing to herself - again - and Gina caught Bridgette's eye before they both made disgusted faces.

***

"HI CHANCE!"

Chance almost tripped when all the girls - except Valerie - shouted at him.

"SHUT THE FUCK UP!" Valerie screamed back at them. "BITCHES!"

"That's not ladylike," bellowed one of the bigger ones, before she waved and took off to catch up to the rest of the thundering herd.

"I hate them I hate them I hate them," Valerie was muttering to herself.

"Why do you live with them?"

"'Cause! They won't let me take the lab with me." One side of her mouth quirked up. "And they won't let me build legs on the lab so it moves itself."

He had to laugh.

***

"Sup?" Tucker asked.

"Just," Mike said casually, "you look a little stressed."

"Me? Naw! I'm fine, Mike, really."

"Uh huh." He looked obtrusively down. "Did you know you're not wearing pants?"

"Yeah. Um, it was hot in here, and I was, uh, exercising kind of hard. And I didn't have shorts with me, so..."

"Right."

The two of them stood there, in the middle of the range, as Tucker sweated in his armor and gear and tried to control his breathing.

"But you're not stressed out about anything," Mike confirmed.

"No, no, I'm fine." Tucker smiled.

Mike nodded. "So. You, uh, you maybe want to put your pants on, so we can open the range? We've got customers outside."

"What? Already? What time is- Oh, shit, I lost track."

"Yeah, 'cause you've been in here about three hours already," he said, his voice turning harsh, and Tucker winced. "But I'm glad you're not stressed or anything."

"Yeah, me too," feeling that maybe Mike would let him go without a humiliating lecture, or yelling at him, this time. Then again, I've got about seven hours before Chance is supposed to pick me up; it's not like I was spazzing right before he got here. Plus I was trying to relax enough to sleep, and sleep is good.

"You coming to breakfast?"

"Yeah," Tucker nodded, "that'd be good." I can eat. He was pretty sure he could eat.

***

"Oh, y'know, day of rest," Dan said contemplatively, "go to church, sit around with your family, rela-"

George finally pulled the trigger and the rifle snapped authoritatively. "Practice killing people," he said.

"Ten-ring but not an X," Dan announced as he peered through the spotter scope at the target two hundred meters away. There was another crack as one of the girls fired.

"So how come I got stuck with you as a spotter?"

"They said something about you pulling spaghetti out of your nose-"

"That was two years ago!"

"Chicks got long memories, man," Dan pontificated.

"No shit!" George wrapped himself back into shooting position. "Fox one, engaging."

***

"How many of those have you had?" Corey asked Valerie.

"Uh, three?" She smiled up at Corey.

"Don't you think that's enough? It's not even nine o'clock yet."

"I need to sleep before I go out with Chance to that basketball thing," she worried, and finished off her third mimosa.

"'Sleep' isn't 'drunk off your ass', Val."

"I'm not drunk yet! I'm just starting to relax. Look," she explained, "I'm gonna be around a bunch of cops, and I hate cops, so-"

"So why are you dating one!?"

"'Cause if I don't date him then Debbie'll make me date him!"

"That is so bullsh-"

"It is not!" Valerie protested. "She said if I didn't go out with him then she'd duct tape me to something and use me as furniture at a party at his place."

"That's because we were all sick of you going crazy between wanting to date him and being too chickenshit to!" Someone came in, and they both shut up and looked; it was Kathy and Lenard. "See," Corey said quietly, "you could be doing that tonight, if you don't get stupid." With that, she picked up the mimosa glass and took it back into the kitchen.

***

Whoa, post of the beast!
Quote:

Messages: 666

[Updated on: Wed, 18 September 2013 18:52]

Re: After graduation [message #8307] Wed, 18 September 2013 19:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sir Lee  is currently offline Sir Lee
Messages: 440
Registered: October 2003
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Senior Member
I'm unclear on a point: is it like already two years after graduation, or is this "Littles Visiting Week" or something?


Don't call me Shirley. You will surely make me surly.
Re: After graduation [message #8308] Wed, 18 September 2013 20:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
Messages: 684
Registered: September 2002
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At least two years after graduation. Could be longer, as much as four.
Oh, wait, the drinking. Some of them at least would have to be 21 to buy the alcohol.

Ellen
Re: After graduation [message #8309] Wed, 18 September 2013 21:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Desiree99  is currently offline Desiree99
Messages: 24
Registered: March 2013
Location: So Cal
Junior Member
Thank you , the posts have been so much fun.
Re: After graduation [message #8310] Wed, 18 September 2013 22:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anne  is currently offline Anne
Messages: 355
Registered: April 2012
Senior Member
I'm going to suggest that where ever they went Val found an adequate university within decent commuting distance. Also I suspect that things (events, maybe even illness) other than just the broken leg may have cost Val some time in her pursuit of her EE and BS Math (I think that is what Tuck said he wanted to pursue.) Any way the above would give them all reason to continue to live at the Starlite. Also I suspect that D&E has been a fairly comfortable fit.... (employment wise) for Val.

[Updated on: Wed, 18 September 2013 22:03]

Re: After graduation [message #8311] Wed, 18 September 2013 22:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
Messages: 421
Registered: April 2006
Senior Member
Bewildered University* and Electroshock Therapy* are a full day's drive down the Interstate from everyone's Home Base*. The Starlite* is in Crossroads*, an easy bus ride away. I assume some of the gang have their own cars (Mike's Stupid might not have been able to make the trip in its canonical configuration.)

Valerie was going to study Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, but I don't think adding Math would be too much of a stretch.

I have the feeling that D & E Worldwide provides ample employment opportunities for the whole gang.

* Whimsical code names.
Re: After graduation [message #8312] Thu, 19 September 2013 07:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
Messages: 421
Registered: April 2006
Senior Member
Darned Chief of Police!

We couldn't get the helicopter for a training SWAT deployment at the shoot house so we rolled up with The Flight of the Valkries playing over the bus speakers then got off singing The Men of Harlech.

The Chief wasn't impressed even though we substituted 'Starlite' for 'Harlech.' He told us not to do it again.

[Updated on: Thu, 19 September 2013 18:40]

Re: After graduation [message #8313] Thu, 19 September 2013 14:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
Messages: 684
Registered: September 2002
Senior Member
mkemp wrote on Thu, 19 September 2013 03:57

Valerie was going to study Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, but I don't think adding Math would be too much of a stretch.


I think Debbie and/or Mike would nix it on grounds that she needs more time to be around humans and suchlike. Plus, a third major would seriously cut into Tuck's programming and home-lab time, what with the additional classes and homework.

On the other hand, Tuck might well qualify for a minor, if Bewildered offers those; all the engineering and comp-sci math, plus a couple extra classes, plus some statistics (useful for anyone who wants to challenge authority), plus some business math so he can learn the terms. An actual major/degree tends to have a lot more classes than this.

And Tuck's interest in multidimensional geometry or unusual algebras is way way less than his interest in, say, making the laundry room machines accessible via webserver. Or building hardware using fast DSPs for EW in the interesting radio bands. Or Tesla-coil disruptors that work on cars and their sheet-metal-buzzing 'audio' systems.

Or presenting the Finance Committee with sufficient justification to buy him the supplies and tools so he can build something else neat and fun.

Ellen
Re: After graduation [message #8314] Thu, 19 September 2013 18:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
Messages: 712
Registered: September 2002
Location: Surf City, USA
Senior Member
Administrator
Just FYI, California has agricultural flamethrowers, too. Near where I grew up they were used to burn off the spines of beavertail cactus so open range cows could graze on them. One quick blast removes the spines and the cows have a tasty snack. Cows learn to follow the truck with the flamethrower on it around and recognize the sound of one being used.

The idea that California is some socialist nightmare is mostly conservative propaganda.

And Ellen, enjoying the fuck out of this. Smile
Re: After graduation [message #8315] Fri, 20 September 2013 08:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
The Unicorn  is currently offline The Unicorn
Messages: 12
Registered: March 2013
Junior Member
Ellen Hayes wrote on Thu, 19 September 2013 11:00


I think Debbie and/or Mike would nix it on grounds that she needs more time to be around humans and suchlike. Plus, a third major would seriously cut into Tuck's programming and home-lab time, what with the additional classes and homework.



When I was in school there was an interview in the school paper with this guy who got a triple degree graduating with high honors. In his case it was IIRC computer science, Physics and math his explanation was he was going for a double degree in computer science and physics and then his advisor pointed out he was only missing something like 6 credits for a degree in math so he switched a couple of electives and got a third BA. Not sure how that would work with U.S system of majors but I'd expect there'd be a lot of overlap in the requirements.
Re: After graduation [message #8316] Fri, 20 September 2013 13:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
Messages: 421
Registered: April 2006
Senior Member
Tuck woke up in his old bed back in his parent's house. Fuzzy with sleep, he stumbled downstairs and out onto the front porch to retrieve the morning newspaper. The shock at reading the headline "Lindbergh Does It" and the date of 1927 caused him to wobble a bit and sit down on the front steps.

He shook his head and looked around him. All the cars and trucks looked like they came from old movies. As he was watching a milk truck stopped in front of the house and a guy with a carrier got out. As the guy approached he nodded at the paper. "Looks like that Lindbergh guy made it."

"Uh, yeah."

"You'd never get me up in one of those things. I'll leave that to youngsters like you."

"Ah, okay."

The guy swapped full milk bottles for the empties, saluted Tuck with one forefinger to his cap. "See you tomorrow, if you're up."

Tuck nodded. "Tomorrow."

*This is like one of those stupid 'you wake up as' alternate history stories,* Tuck thought. *All the people in those stories all know things they can bet on to make lots of money but about the only thing I know is that Hubert Heever won the Presidential Election because he was President during the crash of 1929. I know it was a Tuesday or Thursday late in the year but not the actual date.*

Tuck began to think about the tech stuff he could 'invent' - binary computers using relays first, then compact radio tubes and finally transistors. He could work with giants like von Neuman and Stibitz and Alan Turing.

His mind drifted off into the details of semiconductor fabrication and plastics and seat belts and disk brakes for cars and wing flaps for airplanes. Then the alarm went off and he had to get up and get ready for burgers-n-basketball with Chance and his friends.

[Updated on: Sat, 21 September 2013 17:02]

Re: After graduation [message #8317] Fri, 20 September 2013 15:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
Messages: 684
Registered: September 2002
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"I mean," Tucker complained, "do you know how rich I would be by now?"

"You'd be dead by now," Mike pointed out.

"Yeah, but... fucking transistors, lasers, cryptographics..."

"Too bad you don't know how to do the plastics. I mean, like, the industrial recipes."

"I know about titanium; that should count for something." He went back to putting eye makeup on.

"Post-Its and White-Out," Mike remarked.

"Boy, no shit. Photocopiers! LEDs!"

"Can you make up liquid crystals?"

"Dude, I've got no idea; those things are fucking magic. Hold on, lemme get this even, okay?" Tucker expected Mike to make fun of him for wanting to look nice, and got kind of confused when nothing happened.

"If it was Lindbergh," Mike said instead, "that's pre-penicillin. Holy SHIT, Tuck, birth control pills!"

"I'd be a fucking trillionaire," Tucker smiled.

"Plus that morning-after pill-"

"People would rename continents for me."

"But you'd still be modest."

"Oh, I'd be embarrassed about all the adolation and things, yeah. Of course. Maybe I could buy China, keep the Communists from getting control of it."

"Good luck with that," Mike snorted.

"Hey, just get all- Oh my fucking god, I could get Germany. Get Germany to go kind of southeast and invade fucking China. That kills off the surplus population, gets rid of the warlords, we start funneling them tons of money and supplies and beat the shit out of the- No, wait; kick out the warlords, then turn 'em north to attack Soviet Russia. Oh, hell, plutonium weapons. Thermonukes."

"They'd have to be delivered by ox cart," Mike reminded him.

"Water buffalo in most of Asia. But they have those!"

"Tuck, makeup," Mike reminded him.

"I'm going, I'm going..."

"CANDU?" Tucker said to himself in the mirror. "I could do that."

"Plutonium breeder, don't tell anyone how the implosion system works, then nobody spazzes over the plutonium increase. Keep working. How much makeup are you wearing today anyway?"

Tucker sighed. "I don't know..."
Re: After graduation [message #8318] Fri, 20 September 2013 17:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
Messages: 684
Registered: September 2002
Senior Member
"Tetraethyl lead! Son of a fucking BITCH!"

***

"Whatsizname, Philby. Kim Philby. Maclean, Burgess, whoever that other one is. I can get them all."

"Val," Kathy said softly, and he looked at her; she looked confused. "What the hell are you talking about?"

Looking at Kathy reminded him of medicine, which reminded him that he'd already thought of antibiotics and hormonal contraceptives. Was there anything else simple I could think up? Or remember? "Oh! DNA's double helix. And the DNA-messenger-RNA transmission. And mitochondrial DNA."

"Valerie?"

"Huh?"

"What are you on?"

"Nothing!" Tucker protested. "I just had a weird dream right before I woke up."

***

Chance opened the door. "Anyone home?"

"Hey!" Valerie called as she waved at him, smiling. "I had this weird dream right before I woke up."
Re: After graduation [message #8319] Fri, 20 September 2013 23:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anne  is currently offline Anne
Messages: 355
Registered: April 2012
Senior Member
I just knew that George was going to be a problem. We'd gone to another Ren-fair and set up our catapult. That wasn't unusual. What was going to cause the problem was that there had been a group singing sea chanties. Needless to say George didn't need any encouragement to act like an asshole. But sea chanties seemed to bring out the worst in him and now he was walking around singing songs that were about to get him arrested if Kathy didn't break his neck....
Re: After graduation [message #8320] Sun, 22 September 2013 02:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
Messages: 421
Registered: April 2006
Senior Member
"Valerie, these are Tim, our host, Fred and Martha from the One Seven, Tim's girlfriend Tina, Old Man Steve from the Two Five and Mark and Sue, EMTs. Everyone, this is Valerie; the answer to any question that starts with 'do you really' is probably 'yes.' The reason for that is that her father is former Marine and she grew up as a tomboy."

Old Man Steve probably wasn't over 35 but everyone else was about Chance's and my age. Steve and Martha were black. She and Fred were leaning together in that "yeah, but we're trying to keep it cool" kind of way. Sue-the-EMT was tall and movie-star beautiful.

After much dithering I wound up wearing a white t-shirt with the Cyber Command[0] logo on it, shorts and sandals. I had a pair of jeans and some better shoes wrapped in my bomber jacket out in Chance's Mustang along with my laptop.

After explaining what the Cyber Command was to everybody Chance, of course, had to toss out what my dream was. Tim took the lead in asking what kinda of things I thought I'd come up with. "Penecillin, birth control pills, morning-after pill-"

Sue jumped in. "Stop right there. In 1927 anything having to do with contraception was banned from being sent through the Mail. No condoms, diaphrams, information about the rhythm method, anything like that. Asshole named Comstock was on this 'anti-filth' campaign[1]. No UPS or Fed Ex, either."

Mark asked, "Steve, what was it like back then before the Miranda Decision?"

"Huh?"

"'You have the right to an attorney-'"

"Very funny. They made a mistake back then when they gave women the right to vote. Almost as big a mistake as Prohibition.""

Tina said, "No EPA or OSHA - laws like that were passed but the Supreme Court ruled them unconstitutional."

Tim said, "Voting age was 21. No Federal Firearms Act so you could go down to the hardware store and get a silencer or a Tommy Gun or a BAR."

I added, "Or a real belt-fed machine gun. Bet the ammunition wasn't that expensive, either."

Martha said quietly, "No Brown vs. Board of Education so 'Separate but Equal' was legal, no Voting Rights Act so poll taxes and 'literacy tests' were legal, the fucking KKK marched in political parades without their hoods. Things ain't perfect now, but by God the're better than they were."

When Martha said that I realized that I'd have never known Mike or the Laniers. Tina noticed me getting pale and said, "Hey! Enough of that; what kind of good stuff could we discover? I'll start with Titanium dioxide in paint instead of Lead. In 1922 the League of Nations wanted a ban on white-lead interior paint but I don't think they had a good alternative at the time. This and latex paint would do it. Keep the fucking tetraethyl lead out of auto fuel if you can - making that shit killed people." She looked around. "What, a cheerleader can't be interested in the environment? I won an essay contest with that."

I said, "CANDU reactor that doesn't need enriched Uranium."

Mark said, "Thorium process would work, too. Separate out the Plutonium chemically, make half-critical-mass donuts and save it for later." He answered my raised eyebrow with, "EMT by night because of the shift differential, part-time physics student by day. I'll bet you could come up with some good computer stuff."

I ran through the series I'd already thought about: "Binary computers using relays first, then compact radio tubes and finally transistors; I could probably get tranistors made, integrated circuits would probably take a while. Talk to guys like von Neuman and Stibitz and Alan Turing. Try to meet Nicola Tesla. What about you, Chance? Anything you'd do?"

"I think I'd take precautions in case it wasn't a permanent trip. Buy some farmland, pay the taxes for a hundred years, wrap and bury some good stuff, collectible stuff. Toys in their original packaging, cars - I'll bet a mint condition Model T would be worth something; I know a Stanley Steamer would. If Big Mistake Two happens like it did for us I'd do the same thing with surplus airplanes. I'd buy an entire P-51 Mustang squadron with all the spares and everything if I could. Try to save some B-29s."

"And if the trip is one way?"

"Dig 'em up after fifty years. My kids would get a big surprise if I didn't last that long."

At that point the conversation broke into several groups coming up with the stuff from that time they thought would be the most valuable today. Pretty soon the charcoal was ready and Tim and Tina cooked up lunch, and then it was time for The Game.

I sat next to Chance for a while but the second time I got up to use the bathroom I fetched my laptop and joined Sue at the dining room table. She was reading a textbook for recurrent EMT training.


------------------------------------------------------------------------ -----

[0] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Cyber_Command is really dark so it'll show up better if it's printed on a white t-shirt.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comstock_laws

[Updated on: Tue, 24 September 2013 16:56]

Re: After graduation [message #8321] Mon, 23 September 2013 04:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
Messages: 695
Registered: August 2004
Location: Portland, OR
Senior Member
"No, you don't even need the oxcart. Just a two story building with a basement. And big hunk of pipe of the right diameter."

"But the explosives?"

"Don't need those either. Well, a bit of black powder or something would help. "

"What are you guys talking about?"

"How to build a gun type nuke into a building. *Dirty* blast, but only really hard part is machining the two sub critical masses."

"Yeah, but hiding the fact that you are filling the basement with concrete is a bit tricky.."

(Anybody who wants details can check back issues of Analog: "Build Your Own A-Bomb and Wake Up the Neighborhood",
by George W. Harper, April 1979 issue of Analog SF )
Re: After graduation [message #8322] Mon, 23 September 2013 10:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
Messages: 684
Registered: September 2002
Senior Member
The problem with a gun-type nuke is that plutonium isn't suitable; you need extremely pure U-235 in large quantities. And U-235 is exceedingly hard to distill out of normal uranium.

Implosion type weapons use plutonium-239, which is 'easily' made via neutron bombardment in a nuclear reactor from U-238. Once you get the explosive engineering down, and if you can keep the Pu-240 content down to reduce (but unfortunately not eliminate) the chance of a fizzle, it's easier to make in quantity, and probably faster to get enough of the metal.

There are also a number of tricks one can use to increase the yield, increase reliability, and reduce the chance of fizzles.

And, if one is planning on oxcart delivery, one doesn't need to make the thing as small as possible, or resistant to re-entry, or resistant to shock and fire.

Ellen, who occasionally enjoys her Catholic school education
(and the Nuclear Weapons FAQ)
Re: After graduation [message #8323] Mon, 23 September 2013 11:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
Messages: 684
Registered: September 2002
Senior Member
Ellen cranks up the ol' editorial chainsaw...

***

As was usual whenever I was nervous about something social - I couldn't tell if it was cause or effect - Debbie had decided what I was going to wear. Today was a nearly-strapless sundress, despite the fact that it was forty degrees outside; a button-up sweater, a wrapped overskirt in wool, black leather heeled boots (which I kind of liked, not least because they had a really broad heel and a lot of room for socks, and I could walk a few miles in them) and a peacoat from Pam. Everything that wasn't leather was kind of reddish, today, and looked pretty put-together in the mirror when I'd checked. I still had no idea how Debbie could keep all this catalogued in her head; I knew she hadn't consulted a computer, unless she had a cybernetic implant and was hiding it from me.

Chance seemed to like it anyway.

Before I could tell him the details of my dream, Debbie interrupted with, "Would you mind if she drove? We loaded up a Suburban with goodies for you guys."

Goodies? I wondered about the same time Chance asked out loud, "Goodies?"

"For the game?" Debbie questioned back. "Can't watch sports without food, can you?"

Julia inserted, "It's a class B misdemeanor in this county," which made us laugh.

***

Chance followed Valerie out to the small 'staff' parking area, which was fenced in and had a powered gate, as well as flat roofed-only parking slots. "Is this gas or diesel?" he asked, because it had been cold out.

"Oh, diesel, but it's plugged in and has heaters."

He teased, "Doesn't that waste electricity?"

She looked at him and smirked. "Not if it wasn't turned on until half an hour ago." She smirked some more, and pointed at the roofing over the vehicles. "Besides, that's solar. It helps, anyway; we got a grant for sort of a demo installation, to see if solar was feasible in this climate. It's not doing too bad, and with the sloped roof and the water, it doesn't really stay snowed up for too long."

"Oh." He shook his head. "So, uh, what kind of 'goodies'-"

"Man, I don't know," she interrupted, before sighing. "I mean, I don't think it'll be bad, but I was asleep, so I don't know what they fixed. Do your friends have any restrictions, like vegan or something?"

"I think it has to be dead first before they eat it."

***

I pulled out the plug that connected the Suburban's electrical systems to the vehicle park's, and unfortunately a guilty conscience made me wind the cable up on its reel. I hoped Chance wasn't slipping into hypothermia yet.

But, luck was in; when I opened the door and got in, he was already in there, and not showing any unusual blue that I could see. "Is this a stick shift?" he asked.

"Well, yeah?" Lots of sticks, actually; it had a twin-sticked NP205 as well as a NV4500 transmission.

"I didn't know they made those any more; not for trucks and these things."

"Oh." I wasn't sure either, any more, if you could get one from the factory with a manual. "Well, it works better. More efficient power transfer, and you don't have to worry about the transmission doing something stupid. Theory is, I can be taught better." The glow plug indicator was alternating green and red, which meant it was as warm as it was going to get, so I hoped and cranked. It took several seconds more than it would've in summer, but it lit the first time, and I was almost sure I hadn't exceeded the maximum seconds allowed.

***

"Valerie, these are Tim, our host, Fred and Martha from the One Seven, Tim's girlfriend Tina, Old Man Steve from the Two Five and Mark and Sue, EMTs. Everyone, this is Valerie; the answer to any question that starts with 'do you really' is probably 'yes.' The reason for that is that her father is former Marine and she grew up as a tomboy."

'Old Man' Steve probably wasn't over 35 but everyone else was about Chance's age. Steve and Martha were black, the rest were anglo. Martha and Fred were leaning together in that 'yeah, but we're trying to keep it cool' kind of way. Sue-the-EMT was tall and movie-star beautiful.

"My roommates," which required less explanation than any other collective term, "fixed some food for us for the game, so if I could get some help to carry..." I shut up when they basically stampeded out and clustered around the back of the Suburban before staring at me accusingly because I was being so stupid and slow. "Mmmmm-kay," I said to myself. "You kids hungry?"

***

Chance, of course, had to toss out what my dream was. Tim took the lead in asking what kinda of things I thought I'd come up with. "Penicillin and some of the other antibiotics, birth control pills, morning-after pill-"

Sue jumped in. "Stop right there. In 1927 anything having to do with contraception was banned from being sent through the mail. No condoms, diaphrams, information about the rhythm method, anything like that. Asshole named Comstock was on this 'anti-filth' campaign. No UPS or Fed Ex, either."

Mark asked, "Steve, what was it like back then before the Miranda Decision?"

"Huh?"

"'You have the right to an attorney-'"

"Very funny. They made a mistake back then when they gave women the right to vote. Almost as big a mistake as Prohibition."

Tina said, "No EPA or OSHA - laws like that were passed but the Supreme Court ruled them unconstitutional."

Tim said, "Voting age was 21. No Federal Firearms Act so you could go down to the hardware store and get a silencer or a Tommy Gun or a BAR."

I added, "Or a real belt-fed machine gun. Bet the ammunition wasn't that expensive, either." [i]Something else to pick up,/[i] I thought, making a mental note. Even legal stuff would be exquisitely valuable a few decades later.

Martha said quietly, "No Brown vs. Board of Education so 'Separate but Equal' was legal," which made me snort because I knew how well that worked. "...No Voting Rights Act so poll taxes and 'literacy tests' were legal, the fucking KKK marched in political parades without their hoods. Things ain't perfect now, but by God the're better than they were."

"Well, but no hoods..." I shut up; mentioning wholesale assassination around a bunch of cops was probably not the best idea, even if they deserved it.

And Julia says I have no social skills... ha!

Tina said, "Hey! Enough of that; what kind of good stuff could we discover? I'll start with titanium dioxide in paint instead of lead. In 1922 the League of Nations wanted a ban on white-lead interior paint but I don't think they had a good alternative at the time. This and latex paint would do it. Keep the fucking tetraethyl lead out of auto fuel if you can - making that shit killed people." I almost said something, but then caught the 'auto', and had to agree with it; if they wanted higher compression, they could wait until later for civilian usages. She looked around. "What, a cheerleader can't be interested in the environment? I won an essay contest with that."

I said, "CANDU reactor that doesn't need enriched Uranium." Again, mentioning plutonium breeding would not have been wise. People often got a little weird when I talked about nuclear weapons. Probably because of the math, I thought; math scared most people.

Mark said, "Thorium process would work, too. Separate out the plutonium chemically, make half-critical-mass donuts and save it for later." He caught me nodding and smiling, and added, "I was a physics major for a while; had to take the EMT gig to get money. Chance said you were a comp-sci major? Bet you could think of some computer tech."

I ran through the series I'd already thought about: "Skip all the crap with relays and tubes, except for demo circuits; transistors are really easy to make in an industrial society. Integrated circuits would probably take a while, but thirty years early is definitely possible. I can build a cavity magnetron," which I was sure about because I'd done it for a class project, "so centimeter-band radar for anti-aircraft and anti-submarine. Maybe even GCA blind landing. Talk to guys like von Neuman and Stibitz and Alan Turing." I made a mental note to look at Enigma again, to see if I could memorize how to crack it. "Try to meet Nicola Tesla. What about you, Chance? Anything you'd do?"

"I think I'd take precautions in case it wasn't a permanent trip. Buy some farmland, pay the taxes for a hundred years, wrap and bury some good stuff, collectible stuff. Toys in their original packaging-"

"Oh man!" I burst out. "Original Barbie, mint in the box!" The guys laughed, as did Tina; Sue started nodding enthusiastically. "Thousands of dollars each," I added, which shut the laughers up. "You could even save the receipts! Then you'd have prov- providence, an-"

"Provenance," Chance smirked.

"Whatever!" I stuck my tongue out at him.

***

"Cars - I'll bet a mint condition Model T would be worth something; I know a Stanley Steamer would. If Big Mistake Two happens like it did for us I'd do the same thing with surplus airplanes. I'd buy an entire P-51 Mustang squadron with all the spares and everything if I could. Try to save some B-29s." I moaned in lustful envy, though I wasn't sure exactly what I'd want as my personal fun plane; there were so many!

"And if the trip is one way?"

"Dig 'em up after fifty years. My kids would get a big surprise if I didn't last that long."

At that point the conversation broke into several groups coming up with the stuff from that time they thought would be the most valuable today. Pretty soon the charcoal was ready and Tim and Tina started roasting meat and corn, and then it was time for The Game.

I sat next to Chance for a while but the second time I got up to use the bathroom I fetched my gear and joined Sue at the dining room table. She was scanning through a large book. "Whatcha doing?" I asked.

"Oh, got a continuing education class Monday," she said, without looking up. "Thought I'd review some today."

Re: After graduation [message #8324] Tue, 24 September 2013 13:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
The Unicorn  is currently offline The Unicorn
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Ellen Hayes wrote on Mon, 23 September 2013 08:38

"...No Voting Rights Act so poll taxes and 'literacy tests' were legal, the fucking KKK marched in political parades without their hoods. Things ain't perfect now, but by God the're better than they were."

"Well, but no hoods..." I shut up; mentioning wholesale assassination around a bunch of cops was probably not the best idea, even if they deserved it.

And Julia says I have no social skills... ha!




Very nice, the line about assassinations made me think of something else Tucker could do if sent back to 1927 - go to Germany and deal with a Terrorist leader and murderer by the name of Adolf Hitler. By 1927 he'd amassed enough crimes that there's no moral question about killing him for what he'll do in the future involved.
Wouldn't prevent WWII but without Hitler it would be a lot less horrific.

[Updated on: Wed, 25 September 2013 00:28] by Moderator

Re: After graduation [message #8325] Tue, 24 September 2013 23:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sir Lee  is currently offline Sir Lee
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The Unicorn wrote on Tue, 24 September 2013 14:34


Very nice, the line about assassinations made me think of something else Tucker could do if sent back to 1927 - go to Germany and deal with a Terrorist leader and murderer by the name of Adolf Hitler. By 1927 he'd amassed enough crimes that there's no moral question about killing him for what he'll do in the future involved.
Wouldn't prevent WWII but without Hitler it would be a lot less horrific.

That belongs in the category of "big unknowables."
Would removing A.H. makes things better... or worse? There are arguments both ways.
On one hand, the guy was certainly charismatic. Maybe without him as a leader/figurehead, the Nazi party wouldn't have been able to get away with as much as it did.
On the other hand... A.H.'s ego caused a bunch of big fuckups in the German war machine. Perhaps a different leader would be more willing to listen to his generals, and the Reich could have lasted longer or even managed to negotiate an armistice instead of being totally crushed. Considering what we now know was going on inside the Reich, either of those could arguably be worse, if those abuses went for longer.

Also, there is some argument that widespread knowledge of the Reich's extreme "racial purity" policies ended up accelerating the cause of civil rights. Racism was pretty much the status quo in most of the world for more than half of the twentieth century; seeing the extreme version of those policies helped making them distasteful.

So, we can't rule out the possibility that Nazi Germany without Hitler might not have been quite so evil, or it might have been able to cover up better its evils... and therefore lessen the pressure for change elsewhere.

So: would removing Hitler make the world better overall? I'm not sure. Maybe he made a small cut become a festering pustule; or maybe he just made the infection form a visible boil that could be lanced and cleaned up before it became gangrenous.


Don't call me Shirley. You will surely make me surly.
Re: After graduation [message #8326] Wed, 25 September 2013 00:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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Without Hitler, I think it doubtful that the NSDAP would have risen out of the swamp of fringe political parties. With the crash that took the Weimar Republic down, they couldn't have clawed their way to the top.

Also, the Communists might've gotten more power in Germany... maybe even control during the upset. Would they have fought Russian Communists? Or merged?

My brain hurts too much to consider either one tonight...

Ellen, who always has her chainsaw ready

[Updated on: Wed, 25 September 2013 00:32]

Re: After graduation [message #8327] Wed, 25 September 2013 00:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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On the other hand, replacing Elser's clockwork toy at the Bürgerbräukeller in 1939 with a small plutonium core fission weapon would be hilarious. Especially if Tucker could somehow pin the blame on Stalin.

Ellen
Re: After graduation [message #8328] Wed, 25 September 2013 01:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
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Assassinating Hitler is in the Alien Space Bat territory of the Alternate History site www.alternatehistory.com (free registration required). There's already one thread about one German man zapped from 2013 to 1929 and a Chicago household of two couples zapped from 2012 to 1932, plus one of a woman zapped from 2012 to 1952 in Dothan, Alabama. Plus an entire 747 full of people zapped to Edwards AFB in 1939.

In 1927 Hitler was protected by at least 200 SS troopers. A single young woman or one family would have no chance (the only good chance was during the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch.)

Now, Val could spend some time inventing digital computers, transistors, RDX, CL-20, the cavity magnetron and the CANDU reactor, probably come up with Plutonium and possibly an implosion weapon. With the money and acclaim Val could probably make contact with some people in Germany. In my humble opinion the best place for such a toy would be in the middle of the Nuremberg Rally as soon as possible (in 1937 Prince Chichibu, a brother of the Emperor of Japan attended.)

[Updated on: Wed, 25 September 2013 15:41]

Re: After graduation [message #8329] Wed, 25 September 2013 14:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lurker
Messages: 197
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mkemp wrote on Tue, 24 September 2013 22:22

in 1937 Prince Chichibu, a brother of the Emperor of Japan attended.

So far, this "let's kill Hitler" (title from a Dr. Who episode...)is a very Euro-centric discussion. Japanese expansionism into the Manchurian territory and China, provided Soviet support to the CCP giving them the arms needed to deal with the Kuomintang while fighting the Japanese army. Germany provided support to China up till 1938, thereafter, siding with Japan. Most likely due to territorial and colonial policies in the south Pacific. What would China have looked like without the support up till that time? Such events, may have altered the future of Mike's biological parents to the degree of Mike's existence. I.e. Mike may never have met Tuck.....
Re: After graduation [message #8330] Wed, 25 September 2013 16:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
The Unicorn  is currently offline The Unicorn
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Sir Lee wrote on Tue, 24 September 2013 20:35


So: would removing Hitler make the world better overall? I'm not sure. Maybe he made a small cut become a festering pustule; or maybe he just made the infection form a visible boil that could be lanced and cleaned up before it became gangrenous.


Granted. it's just "go back in time and kill Hitler" is often used for a moral debate on killing someone for crimes he hasn't yet committed and it occurred to me that by 1927 he was guilty of plenty but not yet as protected as he'd be later.
Re: After graduation [message #8331] Fri, 27 September 2013 01:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
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Ellen Hayes wrote on Mon, 23 September 2013 08:38


Before I could tell him the details of my dream, Debbie interrupted with, "Would you mind if she drove? We loaded up a Suburban with goodies for you guys."

Hmmm. Small fleet of Diesel stick-shift Suburbans as staff cars and utility transportation?
Re: After graduation [message #8332] Fri, 27 September 2013 14:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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mkemp wrote on Fri, 27 September 2013 06:00

Hmmm. Small fleet of Diesel stick-shift Suburbans as staff cars and utility transportation?

Entirely possible. At least a couple, set up for off-road and real utility use. Goes well with the bus/RV, and I'd suggest at least one police-surplus Crown Vic or Taurus.

Ellen
Re: After graduation [message #8333] Sat, 28 September 2013 18:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anne  is currently offline Anne
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The Unicorn wrote on Wed, 25 September 2013 13:53



Granted. it's just "go back in time and kill Hitler" is often used for a moral debate on killing someone for crimes he hasn't yet committed and it occurred to me that by 1927 he was guilty of plenty but not yet as protected as he'd be later.


If gifted with a time machine the time to kill Adolph would be during WWI as he was in the German army and therefore fair game as it were.
Re: After graduation [message #8334] Sat, 28 September 2013 18:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anne  is currently offline Anne
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I didn't know that Chevy/GM made the Suburban with a manual transmission at all.
Re: After graduation [message #8335] Sat, 28 September 2013 20:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
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Anne wrote on Sat, 28 September 2013 15:04

I didn't know that Chevy/GM made the Suburban with a manual transmission at all.

So? If this bunch thought a manual transmission would be better don't you think they'd install one? A twin-sticked NP205 as well as a NV4500 transmission?

An 'original equipment list' is just an opinion, a suggestion, a starting point.

[Updated on: Sun, 29 September 2013 23:51]

Re: After graduation [message #8336] Sat, 28 September 2013 21:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sir Lee  is currently offline Sir Lee
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Anne wrote on Sat, 28 September 2013 19:04

I didn't know that Chevy/GM made the Suburban with a manual transmission at all.

Depends on how far back you are willing to look. The first model year for the Suburban was 1934. I very much doubt that they offered automatic gearboxes even as an option back then.

According to the Wikipedia article, manual transmissions were available up to the eight generation (1973-1991).

So if those Suburbans were more than ten years old, they might even have come factory-installed with manual shift. The NP205 transfer case Ellen mentioned was available factory-installed on some 4WD Suburbans (others came with NP208).

But anyway, the relevant page on the NV4500 transmission mentions the following:
Wikipedia article on the NV4500

The NV4500 is a very popular 5-speed manual conversion and upgrade transmission in light trucks and SUVs from Toyota, Ford, Jeep, General Motors, and Dodge. Commercially produced adapters are available to mate this transmission with many different engines and transfer cases.


So it's probably an aftermarket mod. The NP205 might be original, though.


Don't call me Shirley. You will surely make me surly.
Re: After graduation [message #8337] Sun, 29 September 2013 11:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mvusse  is currently offline Mvusse
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A twin stick 205 is not stock, though, that is a modified one.

Although with the money already involved in an NV4500 swap, it would have made more sense to put an Atlas transfer case behind it instead of modifying a 205.
Re: After graduation [message #8338] Mon, 30 September 2013 09:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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Mvusse wrote on Sun, 29 September 2013 16:55

Although with the money already involved in an NV4500 swap, it would have made more sense to put an Atlas transfer case behind it instead of modifying a 205.


Entirely reasonable - though remember, this is not current-time, this is some years ago; an NP205 might have been relatively easy to come by waybackwhen, and Debbie doesn't shriek about sweat equity (at least, not until later) like she does about cash. The way they got her approval for the NV4500 is simple; five gears.

On the other hand, I do like the max-torque spec on the Atlas.

Does anyone know if they could fit a Eaton Roadranger 9-speed into the schoolbus (short bus version of some kind)?

Actually, it's the bus that needs the Atlas... along with the 6-wheel drivetrain and the extra DRW rear axle.

Ellen
Re: After graduation [message #8339] Mon, 30 September 2013 10:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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"What the hell is that?!" Debbie shrieked, pointing.

"It's the front winch bumper from an M-35," Mike smiled blandly. "Fits a twenty thousand pound capacity hydraulic winch, and we're going to fit it with some kind of shock absorbers or something, make it at least 5MPH. Plus some kind of brush guard, keep things out of the radiator. And bolsters, for-"

"How much?" she demanded while grabbing at his throat.

"Jeez, Deb, just four hundred dollars!"

She stopped. "How much?"

"Four hundred. Yes," he sighed before she could ask, "those are U.S. dollars."

She frowned as she turned back to look at it. "Does the winch work?"

That had been the 'little problem' and why it had only been four hundred dollars for the entire thing, if they picked it up. "Uh-"

"I knew it!" she shrieked.

***

"Needs air horns," George opined, and Dan and Book nodded.

"Got mountings for those, plus the air source running off a secondary belt from the portside alternator. 'Bout ten CFM, plus a 3 cubic foot tank, somewhere under the bus body."

"Dude," George said solemnly. "It's gotta play Dixie."

Mike sighed, though he'd known that was going to be a requirement. "Look, we gotta give Debbie a few months to digest the bus stuff. Otherwise she'll get financial indigestion and cut us all off."

***

Pam slowly eased into contact with the car in front of her.

"Okay, so-"

"I got it," she grinned, and started throwing levers. Ten seconds later, she was gunning the engine and shoving the car in front of her steadily sideways. "Oh man!" she breathed reverently, a brilliant smile on her face. Mike's 'crazy' idea of going to a junkyard and 'buying' a car to destroy was looking better and better, and less and less crazy. "It's not gonna mess up the winch, is it?"

"Shouldn't!"

She stopped the bus and looked over at Valerie. "Shouldn't?"

Valerie protested, "It won't!"

***

"The world," Mike said, as they looked at the deployed awning on the starboard side, "is just waiting for flexible solar cells."

"Dude, talk to a chemist," Tucker complained. "Out of my field."

***

"Because, Debbie, if you want to have the bathroom," Mike pointed at the installation in the bus, "you have to learn how to deal with the sewage. I am not going to let you not learn this."

"That's a double negative," she pointed out, but it was sort of reflexive.
Re: After graduation [message #8340] Tue, 01 October 2013 11:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
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"Debbie, can your heavy equipment guy, the Tankerize guy, use a couple of water tanker trucks?"

"Why?"

"The Volunteer Fire Department, the ones who were selling the winch, got a half-dozen more-or-less nonworking deuce-and-a-half tankers from the National Guard. If we can get one working they'll give us the rest."

"And you think you can get more than one working?"

"I think I can get three working, one for the Fire Department and two for the Tankerize guy. We can sell the rest for scrap or park 'em out near the shoot houses for spare parts."

"About the shoot house area - I'm getting serious inquiries from people wanting to set up gun-related shops or move into the area. We'd have to fence it in and provide some security. I think it would be useful to move your lab out there so we can spread the security costs over a larger number of operations."

[Updated on: Tue, 01 October 2013 13:27]

Re: After graduation [message #8341] Tue, 01 October 2013 19:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anne  is currently offline Anne
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If they want Val to not retreat into her lab they had best not put it too far from everyone else. If the Starlite is in a 'bad' or decaying neighborhood they should look into acquiring another motel in the area and converting it to offices and 'shop' space.
Re: After graduation [message #8342] Wed, 02 October 2013 17:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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Anne wrote on Wed, 02 October 2013 00:46

If the Starlite is in a 'bad' or decaying neighborhood they should look into acquiring another motel in the area and converting it to offices and 'shop' space.

Or maybe they should get a flamethrower. Bet that could be used to clean up the neighborhood... I am fairly sure your average crack dealer is as afraid of fire as your average human. Just remind them of the neighborhood association rules, and the penalty clauses. Which Lisa and Mike could generate if necessary.

On the other hand, duh, why would all those girls move to a bad neighborhood to begin with?

Now, I can imagine that with Tuck Et Al in residence, property values could go down - especially for the country club set - but that's hardly the same thing.

Ellen
Re: After graduation [message #8343] Wed, 02 October 2013 17:52 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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"Pam! Phone!"

"I'm busy!" Pam yelled back.

After a few seconds, Amanda asked, "Pam, you know a guy named Tom?"

"I'm busy, okay? Tell him I'll call back later." People always complained if the phone ended up greasy, and Pam was blackened with vehicular slime up to her elbows. "Um, if it's about Friday, tell him YES, okay?!"

"Are you done?" Corey complained.

Pam protested, "I didn't make him call!"

***

"What is that thing?" Bridgette asked, pointing.

"Wh- Oh, that's the DCA port for the STE-ICE," Pam recited with a bland smile, exactly like Valerie had done to her a day earlier. She was pretty sure that Mike had done it to Valerie before that, but she wasn't sure who'd done it to Mike. Maybe one of the fire department mechanics.

***

"We just need new engines," Mike sighed. "And about half a truck in replacement parts."

"And to get rid of those stupid drum brakes," Pam complained. "It can't be that hard to put disks in!" Mike made the international sign for money. Pam argued, "Well, it's an investment!" She hadn't really liked drum brakes before, but after working on them for a week, she hated them with a passion. Plus they were lame.

"Don't argue with me, go argue with Debbie," Mike said. "If we could, I'd retrofit most of 'em like the bus."

"Yeah, seriously," Pam nodded, thinking about it. "Wait, aren't those things gov- The M-50's, I mean, aren't they governed to about 55 miles an hour?"

"Something like that. Or it's a rev limit or something. Probably a different transmission would take care of that."

"Hmmm."

"Pam?" Pam looked up at Gina. "You want seconds of anything?"

"Oh, no, thanks," she smiled, "I'm good."

***

"Told you we needed an engine lift," George smirked at Debbie.

"Yeah, brave guy," Kathy smirked at George, "why'n'cha say that where she can actually hear it?"

"'Cause I'm not actually that dumb."

"You sure? You look that dumb." Kathy grinned. "Besides, didn't you want one for cars, back when?"

"Yeah, but once we got the bus, Mike would've made the point that we needed one that would take the bus engine, and then we'd have it now."

***

"Bikini break."

After a pause, Lisa complained, "What?!"

Pam sighed, but rolled over carefully so she wouldn't fall off the lounge chair again, and looked at Lisa. "A, it's hot and that garage isn't air conditioned; and B, we had lunch, and you know how you're not supposed to go swimming for an hour after you eat? Well, you shouldn't be doing heavy mechanic work either."

Lisa just sighed and left.

***

"You know," Sabrina mentioned, "if we could turn one of them into a fuel tanker instead of a water tanker, we could pick up, what, six hundred gallons at a time? Of Jet-A and hundred low-lead each? And buy in bulk."

"Hmmm." Fuel costs were bad, and delivery was worse.

"Plus," Sabrina pointed out, "no EPA studies about leakage."

"Too late," Debbie sighed. "Still, it's not that bad an idea..."

***

"I am so tired of bleeding those fucking brakes," Julia stated grimly. "Why don't we just run an entire new brake line set?"

Valerie complained, "You know how much that would cost?" Julia threw a fork at her in response. "Hah, mis- OW!"

Julia smirked gratefully at Amanda, who had punched Valerie hard enough to shove her off her seat.

***

"Because, if we take the fucking thing apart now, we can reverse engineer it, and have all the measurements and data for CAD/CAM purposes later. And then only have to do this once." Valerie added, "And winch-mount bumpers are apparently kind of rare and really popular among the military vehicle enthusiasts."

Debbie looked skeptical. "Like how popular?"
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