Mongrel: A Live-mind Freighter and an Arrival


Numerals refer to the order of posting. In the final manuscript some of these scenes will have been shifted here and there ...

These are a couple more of the areas I'm writing in. Centred around Tardi Mack, the main character and his journey toward the monster's physical abode. The Freighter is a just the description of the truck. My intention is always to describe through living the experience. Let me know if that works for you?

The second part, Across the Water, is the section where Tardi, Shad and Trinnet travel from the shore to the Reefarium. By boat, it is a new experience for the Stormies. This is the description of an activity, easier to have it be experienced. Again, all and every comment will be appreciated. 

4. The freighter looked fearsome enough to give anyone second thoughts catching a ride. Snub-nosed with no windscreen or side windows visible, a huge steel-look B-double. Articulated rather than joined and so from straight-on, it resembled a long large locomotive. 

As the freighter’s bulk settled on half-deflated skirts, its windows became transparent and the doors, walkways and gantries extruded. 

The door that was equivalent to the front passenger door in one of Tardi’s vintage drives, opened and Ut, a gnomic jockey, grinned into the morning. “Is that a trio of passengers I see waiting for this old bus?”

Tardi slop-slopped forward. “If you’ll still have me in this state, though my friends are fine.” He pulled Trinnet forward by a pinch of his sleeve and motioned his head asking for Shad to follow. He walked to meet Ut up on the gantry, them below, to the steps midway the first section of the freighter.  
“Let me have a close-up at you then,” Ut said. 

“Not so different," Ut said, plucking and teasing at his hair. "I mean, I see the same eyes, the same hair-styling, the same jawline. Same height. Feet … yes okay … feet are a bit different. Come in anyway. Let Thelma get a gander at you. Tell us all about it. You too, friends of a friend.”

They single-filed up the gangway and into the cabin. 

Tardi enjoyed Trinnet’s gaping surprise. Every time he saw the cabin himself, he appreciated the paradox. 

The cabin was large, as befit a large freighter. A table and four chairs centred on a red rug. Red tablecloth. A silver tray with silver tea-warmer, strainer, sugar and jug. Nearside cupboards held Stu’s hobbies and games. Far-side his kitchen. The waist-high shelves in front contained all that was left of the driver’s console along with Ut’s prized collection of antique books. 

5. Across the Water

Tardi laughed the whole way across the water. He stood on the load, half a dozen pallets of glass stacked in a double line of three. He balanced very well, unsteady though that was with the jars shifting and crunching in their crates. Trinnet and Shad hung onto the gunwales, unbalanced all out of their world, according to Shad. 

When Tardi jumped aboard, Trinnet changed his complaints from 'I’m not getting into the boat' to 'I’m not moving from this side'. 

Shad shaded his eyes with his hand, staring at Tardi enjoying himself but trying not to stare into the sun. 

Ut negotiated them the transfer in exchange for their labour unloading on the Reefarium side, what he usually did by himself. Though Thelma could extrude a small crane, pallets had to be emptied once they stood on the dock, with the crates handled one by one. 

Mr Boatman, whose name could surely not really be how he introduced himself, Tardi thought, chuckled about the landlubber Stormies. Tardi slop-slopped on the glass with only a minimum of shifting under his feet.

The Reefarium, what he could see of it, presented as a large round house with a low conical roof. A bare few tall windows were visible from this angle. 

“The rest of the windows are covered with storm doors,” Mr Boatman said. 

The colours were grey and white trims. Long jetty out front, its planking weathered grey. An old cane-chuffer trailed by two flat-topped carriages approached jockeyed by a chunky teenager. 

“There’s your transport,” Mr Boatman said. He spat over the side. “Boy’s handle is Callum. Lonely for someone to look up to. You want to treat him right or have me deal with you.”

 “We’ll treat him,” Shad said. “If we be how he imagines men are.”

You’ll do.” The boatman half-smiled. He lifted his chin toward Tardi. “Stranger critters than him are seen around here.” 

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