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Jul 06, 2022 9:13 PM
A Sable and her Ship find their Crew
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And then Sable unlatches and opens the steel case, revealing stacks of ammunition, each stack labeled with one of the shorthand labels along the top of the reference table.

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Anselma's eyes flick between paying attention to what Sable is doing and trying to figure out which items in the reference table best match the current situation. 

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The ship slows to a halt.

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Sable unscrews and opens the breech, pulling out a block as wide as the cartridges. "I make all our shells myself. We have different loads for different types of targets. Given that jillyfleurs are on the small side, for zee-beasts, and are organic creatures rather than armored ships, we want a 'light flensing, type one', or LF1, shell."

Sure enough, there's a column labeled LF1, and a stack of shells labeled LF1. Sable pulls one of the shells out and fits it into the breech, then slides the block in, then clamps it down with the screw.

"We have to get the breech clamped down nice and tight every time, because that's what keeps all the explosion going out the end of the barrel, rather than out the breech and in our faces."

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"I assume that would be bad," she says, paying close attention. 

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"It would! I'm not a fan of bursts of fire in my face, for sure, and we need all of that explosion to be caught behind the shell itself, carrying it out the barrel."

She then unstraps the long object from rack. "This is a rangefinder. I've done this enough that I can eyeball it decently, but this lets you get fairly precise distances from you to any given object on the zee. You look in these two eyepieces here, point it at the target, and twist the knob until everything overlaps cleanly in your view. Then, when you look at the side of it, it'll show you how far away the target it."

She demonstrates this, and points out the resulting range. "This is the range, which you can use in combination with what cartridge you're firing to get the pitch you'll be firing at. And then you spin these wheels to line up the shot."

Sable dials in the trajectory carefully, making minor adjustments as she goes.

"The angles in this table are approximations for ideal conditions. Over time, you'll learn a sense of how to adjust them for wind, or the target's motion."

Every so often she tweaks the dials just a bit.

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Anise pays close attention the whole time, especially to the dial tweaks. 

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The dial tweaks seem to be about raising and lowering the pitch very slightly when the jillyfleur gets closer or farther away, and rotating the whole gun minutely when it moves side to side.

"So, would you care to do the honors? You'll need to pull this spring-loaded piece back until it latches, then unlatch it."

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"Yes!" 

She takes hold of the piece quickly but carefully, not wanting to hesitate too long to lose the jillyfleur or act so hastily she fucks something up, and pulls it back, and then unlatches it. 

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When she unlatches the hammer, it springs forward and taps the back of the barrel, and suddenly there is an enormous BOOM! Smoke and fire burst from the muzzle of the gun, and a moment later there is a great splashing thud as the shell punches through the jillyfleur, which falls still.

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"Whoah." 

 

"So did we just need that thing to not attack us or do we want to scavenge it for parts."

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"Yes."

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"And good job!"

Sable kisses the top of Anselma's head, smiling.

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Sable and Maya snuggle her tightly between them, grinning happily.

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Happy rescued cutie: best thing.

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The engines start back up, bringing them closer to the fresh kill.

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Snuggles only make the rescued cutie happier!!!

When they reach the jillyfleur's remains, Anselma peers out to see what she can see. 

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She sees a slightly deflated-looking jillyfleur cap, with a pattern of markings that distinctly resembles a woman's face.

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She also sees a pair of long, round, dark purple tentacles, with feathery bioluminescent patterns on them, stretching down from the ship, carrying a net. The net is scooped under the jillyfleur and hauled back up, where the tentacles turn out to be coming from Sable's back, just below her wings.

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Uh

What???

Whoah

Anise is having some feelings about this! Anise has no clue what these feelings are. 

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"Oh, um, yep. I have tentacles. There's a bit of a story in that."

She carries the jillyfleur over to a table, sets it down, and starts looking it over while she grabs a large knife from a nearby rack.

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"They're so pretty."

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Sable blushes happily. "I'm glad you like them! I spent a lot of time trying to get them right."

Finding the jillyfleur corpse satisfactory, she starts cutting it open, carving some pieces out and putting them in a one of two small trays, and occasionally tossing a piece overboard. Her tentacles are liberally involved in this process, holding some spots open, moving carved-out pieces around, and flinging away the waste.

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"...Is the story the kind that could happen to someone else."

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