Boston 2022

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Just Old Al
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Boston 2022

Post by Just Old Al » Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:11 am

AN:This is a collaboration between DInky and I . A serendipitous thought or two and a photograph generated this bit of whimsy.

CLINK.
Al typed into his laptop, the entry appearing in his spreadsheet. "Gear, bronze, 40 tooth, 14.5 degree PA. Quantity 6. Location Gear Store A-35". Completing that, the items in question were placed over a spindle at the bottom of a large, flat packing case and followed with a plastic spacer.
CLINK.
"Gear, bronze, 62 tooth, 14.5 degree PA. Quantity 3. Location Gear Store A-36". The parts from this location joined the last, again going into the sturdy crate.
CLINK.
"Gear, steel, 32 tooth, helical with spur coupling. Quantity 3. Location Gear Store A-37"
CLINK.
"Gear, steel, helical compound with integral bearings. Quantity 12. Location Gear Store A-38". These boxed gears went into a wire-mesh shipping bin, carefully stacked and partitioned.

"Gods, this is mind-numbing." Al muttered, as he accessed yet another location in the storehouse of this defunct gearbox manufacturer. Around him stood racks and racks of parts, only a small number of which held interest for the old man. Sipping from a thermos cup of coffee, he grimaced at the lukewarm liquid.

Al was on a hunting expedition. This manufactory had built overdrive gearboxes for various models of old English cars, and Al had finally persuaded the estate lawyers representing the owner's family to sell him the manufacturing rights and remaining stock of the long-closed company.

However, this meant that someone needed to go in and pack for shipping the cases, bearings, gears, shafts and other parts, and carefully salvage the manufacturing patterns and jigs for the construction of the cases. All of this would be shipped back to RE and would form the basis for resumption of the manufacture - but it all had to be inventoried as it went into cases. Because the manufactory had closed long ago, no one really knew what was what - and Al trusted no one local to do it for him.

Stretching, he started a bit as his phone vibrated. Fishing it from his pocket he was pleased to see a message from his beloved, and less than pleased to see the message. "GO AND EAT, YOU!" Chuckling to himself in the dusty dimness he rapidly typed "Yes, Mother. Your wish is my command. Love you!" In his heart the message warmed him - the sign that she cared enough to note the time differences and affectionately nag him was heartening.

Checking the time on his phone, he remarked, "12:30. It is about that time. Might as well just stop here for the moment." I really need to stop talking to myself, he thought, and chuckled again.

Stopping in the plant office area he spoke to the caretaker. "Bengt, I am deathly tired of fast food, and not up for a hike back to my hotel for the dining room. Any suggestions on a decent local place a man might get a fish and chips or a sandwich and chips?"

Bengt Torstein, a retired engineer from the plant's heyday, laughed and answered. "You English and your chips! Sure, there are plenty of local places, but if you want a good burger hit Commie Bar Row."

"Commie Bar Row?"

"Al, this is the People's Republic of Cambridge. I'm sure you've noticed."

"True enough. More to food, though, what do you recommend?"

"There are two places - the Plough and Stars, which basically looks like an old-school Irish pub, and the People's Republik, which is just down the street from it. Both are good, but the Republik is more fun. It's got all sorts of memorabilia from the Soviet on the walls, and the old guy who opened it a few years ago is always good for a handshake and a story or two."

Departing the caretaker with thanks Al strode out to the street. Around him the busy life of the Massachusetts city pulsed - people scurrying to and fro, aggressive bicyclists and equally aggressive drivers, and the general hubbub of a city in the middle of its day. Turning left, Al walked the three blocks toward Harvard Square until he came abreast of the People's Republik.

A garishly-painted building in red and yellow, it sported a sign above the front painted in a faux-Cyrillic font. The sides of the building were adorned with pictures, the art very much in the Russian heroic style.
PR.jpg
Yes, this place exists!
PR.jpg (197.04 KiB) Viewed 1607 times
Chuckling, Al crossed the street to the restaurant, swung the door open and walked in. He was immediately assaulted by the smells of good cooking and Russian rock and roll from an ancient Rowe/AMI jukebox in the corner. As always in a strange place Al’s eyes swept the area, old habit forcing him to look for threats.

A large U-shaped bar with kitchen behind protruded from the back wall, and the far wall was occupied by dart boards and a few tables, and a standing rail. The front wall was tables looking out at the street from the windows, and the far wall was more tables and…

Oh, FUCK! Buggerbuggerbuggerbugger….

The two men’s eyes locked over the intervening space. Vladimir reached to his back under his sport coat and withdrew a long, muted object – the combat dagger he’d used as a letter opener in Havana. With this in hand he began to move through the crowd of patrons and waitstaff, a murderous gleam in his eye.

Al reached to his armpit only to encounter smooth cloth. With chagrin he realized that his beloved Webley had stayed home, a victim to commercial air travel and the restrictive laws in Massachusetts.

Bugger this nonsense.

Unhesitatingly, he reached to the pouch in his pocket that contained the crystals linking him to his dam, and found one particular crystal – and snapped it between his fingers.

Next moment a redhead with sapphire-blue eyes slinked in the door, wearing a dress to match her eyes, short skirted with long robe-like sleeves and long strands of "hippie beads" in amethyst, jet, turquoise and Herkimer diamond.

She surveyed the scene, eyes missing nothing, and then moved over to Al.

In his mind Al hears, "Target?"

"Saf? Nice look for you – Gorgeous as always. No target yet. Possible - man heading this way with a knife. Vladimir."

"You really do need more care in your choice of inns, Al."


Al’s mouth twisted in a wry grimace. “Sadly, I saw him and he me at about the same moment, else I would rapidly have taken myself elsewhere. This was completely accidental.”

“Nonetheless, you really have to get out of the habit of leaving enemies alive behind you.”


Casually she stepped in between Al and V, remarking charmingly "Tsk-tsk. That's not a knife.

”These...

With motions too fast to be seen she reaches up her sleeve and THWACKTHWACKTHWACKTHWACKTHWACK
...five daggers are quivering in the bullseye of a dartboard across the room - having been thrown through the circulating crowd of patrons and waitstaff.

"...ARE KNIVES!"

Vladimir stopped, reached down, picked up Safyr's hand and kissed the back of it, gently. "A beautiful, dangerous woman. You return to me thoughts of youth, dear lady...as do you, Sergeant-Major, but for very different reasons."

Safyr casually walked to the board to retrieve her daggers, sliding each into its sheath slowly as she slinked back. Staring coldly at Vladimir, she remarked in a low, purring tone, "I am dangerous only if family and friends are threatened. I trust that is not what is happening here, is it? Good."

Looking at Al, she cheekily replied, "Al, you promised lunch would be interesting, but I'm dreadfully booored now." She looked Vladimir up and down as if sizing him up for a platter with an apple in his mouth.

Before the thought could go any further Al hurriedly spoke. "Safyr, luv, all of us here are friends, aren't we Vladimir? Now you run over to the bar and get me a ginger ale and then we'll go somewhere for lunch."

"Get you a...ginger ale?" With that Safyr wrapped her arm around Al's waist, pulling him in, and planted a peck on his cheek. "Happily...Mr. Richer." She then walked over to the bar, causing the vast majority of the patrons to spill drinks, aspirate their sandwiches or have serious problems with the treadwear on their tongues from dragging them on the floor. On her way she thought-spoke to Al, barely masking her ire. Dismiss me to fetch a drink? Why? Al answered Because I do not want to battle this man. Your presence derailed the rush, though he's still sporting that pigsticker I took off him in Havana. Pay attention to what he's up to, but let's not act unless necessary

All right...luv.
She then turned around and aimed a saucy wink in his direction, then turned back to the bar.

"Sergeant-Major, I do not remember seeing you being such a...ladies' man.. in your file. Does your wife in Minneapolis know of that remarkable woman?"

Al chuckled. "She's my executive assistant. My wife knows her, and they conspire against me 'for my own good.' It's not what you think it is."

Vladimir scowled. "Your executive assistant is named Arania, not Safyr, and 'holds down the fort' in your offices last I heard. However, we are both men of the world and I will say nothing." Vladimir glanced away, happily appreciating Safyr's form as she made the last few feet to the bar.

"However, Vladimir, I have something to say, then I shall leave. Neither time in the past few years when we have run into each other have I done so deliberately. I apologize for intruding then, and for doing so here and now. My assistant and I will leave you in peace. This is all my fault, and I shall never bother you again." With this, Al turned to leave.

"Not so fast." Al felt the tap of cold metal on his shoulder as Vladimir tapped his shoulder with the flat of the combat dagger.

INCOMING! Safyr thought-spoke.

HOLD! He has made no menacing move. That could have been at my throat as easily as tapping me on the shoulder. Al made no move, but said "I am here. Kindly put away that pigsticker before my assistant feeds it to you. I'm going to turn back about."

Al turned back and found himself inches from the Russian, a position eerily like the last time Al had seen the man.

"I, too, have something to say. As you had, I am finally retired - my masters in Cuba decided I had overstayed my welcome on that sunny shithole. This is why I emigrated here and opened this place as an - homage? - to my homeland as it was.

Here I have seasons like home, people enjoy hearing the stories from the old man, and I am comfortable and happy. When we last met I was still under the madness of our former profession, and thought of you as an enemy to vanquish - a final reckoning.

I was wrong. You were no more a threat, and I was. You did right in doing what you did to escape - though my masters there were QUITE displeased at the condition of the Commandancia and its personnel when you left."

Vladimir looked at Al, suddenly impish - a sea change in the always-stern face. "Do you still carry the Sykes you nearly castrated me with?"

Al laughed. "No, hardly - it's a bit too large for everyday. I have a better knife - one that Safyr's sister made for me. She's a quite competent metalsmith - almost magical."

Safyr, just receiving his drink said Competent metalsmith? Magical? I am going to take GREAT pleasure in telling Emerauld of this!

Hush, you. There is something going on here I do not quite understand - but I like it.


With a look of glee Vladimir said "All right then, old man. On three - the far target. ONE! TWO! THREE!"

On the shout of THREE! the two old men whirled, moving nearly as fast as Safyr had. A second later there was a meaty double THUNK as two blades - Vladimir's throwing dagger and Al's wood-elf knife - vibrated in the target at the back.

Vladimir turned, shouted at the top of his lungs and wrapped Al in a bear hug, kissing him on both cheeks before releasing him. Rather stunned, Al regathered his wits, his dignity and his aplomb.

"Come! Sit! Now we eat, we drink, and we how you say 'shoot the bull'. NATALYA! VODKA!" He gestured toward a roped-off table in the corner, from which all of the activities in the bar could be seen. Arm over Al's shoulders Vladimir and the elderly Brit headed for the table, trailed by the thoroughly amused Safyr.

They sat, and a tall, slim, dark-haired woman came to the table with three glasses and a bottle of Russian domestic. Also on the tray were Al's knife and Vladimir's. Chuckling, both men re-acquired their cutlery and stowed it. Vladimir gestured to the bottle and glasses, and Al demurred. "No vodka for me, Vladimir. My drinking days are long past. Just a ginger ale for me, thanks."

"Sergeant-Major, I know you no longer imbibe, but old enemy to old enemy I ask of you...to the men we once were and thankfully are no longer." He poured three healthy shots of the vodka, hand steady as the liquid flowed. Al looked up at him, considered carefully, lifted one of the shot glasses and distributed all but a scant half-ounce of its contents into the other two.

"On this occasion, and to that cause, I will drink. To the men we once were, and thankfully will never be again." With that he lifted his glass high, the unaccustomed liquid burning at the back of his throat. Safyr and Vladimir did the same, with all three glasses hitting the table with a resounding report.

Al, what is going on? It seems to me that your old enemy is making overtures of friendship.

That, Safyr my dear, seems to be exactly what is happening. He is as free of the madness of our pasts as I am, now. May the Gods bless him, it's a good thing to see.


The détente began. The slim woman returned again, examining her boss for the reason for this sudden madness.

“Natalya, tea – the proper Russian for my old enemy here. For the lady, whatever she desires. Lunch – tell the chef we have honored guests and he is to impress me.”

Pouring herself another shot of the Russian domestic Safyr downed it with the practiced flip of the wrist of an experienced drinker, slamming the glass back to the table with a HUFF of breath. “I will have tea as well, with sugar cubes and in a proper glass if you have it. Leave the bottle, please.”

Al was endlessly amused to see rapt fascination and not a little good old-fashioned lust in Vladimir’s eyes. Safyr, you’re dazzling the poor old man.

And I plan to do more. Stay with me, this is going to be fun.


As Safyr rose from the table, the occupants of the bar followed the sway of her hips and the click of her stiletto heels to the jukebox. Pulling coins from her bag, she primed the machine and within moments the sound of Pink’s “Get The Party Started” began to play from the speakers. As she returned to the table she danced a bit, quick, sensual moves that had Al worrying about Vladimir’s blood pressure.

Sitting again it was obvious that she had a captive – Vladimir was utterly ensnared.

Soon, lunch was served – traditional Russian fare, served simply but elegantly. A cold soup was followed by grilled chicken and other meats on skewers, served with unleavened bread, pickles and a tomato dip.

Dessert was honeycake – Al found out later this was a specialty of the place, and justifiably so. Thin layers of sponge cake filled with sweetened Russian sour cream and left to meld, it was a decadent treat.
With lunch the vodka continued to flow, both Vladimir and Safyr having shots between courses. As the vodka flowed Vladimir became more talkative, regaling Safyr (and Al, peripherally) with the times that he and ‘her boss’ had met.

“…I’m chasing this miserable spy through Havana and this lunatic hitches himself out of the passenger window of the car with that hand cannon he carries and starts firing!”

“Had you not just fired at him?”

“Yes, but I wasn’t dangling half out of the car. He starts firing, and promptly puts a bullet straight through the grille of my car, shattering the water pump and bringing the car to a sudden halt as it destroyed the timing gears. He got away, and I had a considerable amount of explaining to do to my superiors in Dzerzhinsky Street.”

“Yes, I have seen the bullet hole in the grille. Al tells the story in much the same way.”

“Grille? Seen? I do not understand.” Vladimir looked confused.

“That car is presently in the care of Al, in Minneapolis.”

“You WRETCH. Is it not bad enough you left me handcuffed to a chair, that you and the Americans blew up my headquarters – you actually had the gall to steal my car!”

“Well, not steal to put too fine a point on it. Call it the spoils of war. You’d hit me, beaten my friends and threatened me and my friends with a brick wall and a cigarette – as well as waving your pigsticker around in my face. I see it as payment for inconvenience, no more.”

Vladimir scowled. “Is it well cared for?”

“Certainly. My engineers despise it, but they know better than to risk my ire by not keeping it in impeccable condition.”

“I want it back.”

“No.”

“What an unreasonable man! So neukulturny – a spy and a common car thief.” With that Vladimir smiled and slapped Al’s shoulder. “Spoils of war indeed. Treat it well – I may steal it back sometime.”

“You are welcome to try.”

At that point Safyr leaned to Al, whispered in his ear and placed a lingering peck on his cheek. Al sighed and stretched.

Vladimir scowled, an expression that did not reach is eyes, where a merry glint resided.

Al spoke. “Vladimir, old cock, I’m afraid that we must depart. As Safyr reminds me, I have meetings this afternoon, and she has things to do as well. I’m afraid we have to take our leave. Gods willing we will meet again.”

With that, all three rose. Vladimir hugged Al, saying “Should the winds blow you here again, please return. My door is open.” To Safyr he offered a polite kiss of the back of her hand, as she swept him into a very close hug.

With that Al and Safyr headed for the door. As they reached it Al heard his name. He turned, and four inches from his head a Spetsnaz combat dagger quivered in the wood. Vladimir tossed the scabbard to Safyr and she removed the dagger from the door, sheathing it.

“A gift for the lady. And to you, Al, I say one thing.”

“What is that, Vladimir?”

“Idi S Bogrom, Al. Go with God.”
"The Empire was founded on cups of tea, mate, and if you think I am going to war without one you are sadly mistaken."

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DinkyInky
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Re: Boston 2022

Post by DinkyInky » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:32 am

Seriously love this...

Though Al might have twenty shades of fits if she acquires a taste for top-shelf Russian Wodka.

Also, I don't think that's the last Al will see of that dagger...

She's also probably working on a cloak-and-dagger-inspired dartboard as we speak.

I also have to wonder if Al shall have regular attempts on that Chaika. He's going to need MIB grade insurance on it, because no mundane company will cover that many attempts to steal it.
Yanno how some people have Angels/Devils for a conscience? I have a Dark Elf ShadowKnight and a Half Elf Ranger for mine. The really bad part is when they agree on something.

Aphyon chu kissa whol l'jaed.
--Safyr Drathmir

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Just Old Al
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Re: Boston 2022

Post by Just Old Al » Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:18 am

DinkyInky wrote:Seriously love this...

Though Al might have twenty shades of fits if she acquires a taste for top-shelf Russian Wodka.

Also, I don't think that's the last Al will see of that dagger...

He's going to need MIB grade insurance on it, because no mundane company will cover that many attempts to steal it.
In order:

1. Even top shelf Russian domestic is water to a Drow. Elf spirits are shall we say considerably more potent, as witnessed by Eme getting plastered on elderberry spirits in TTB and the statement of the effect of said spirits on humans.

2. Girl's got a sharp-and-shiny fetish, she does.

3. Watch this space.
"The Empire was founded on cups of tea, mate, and if you think I am going to war without one you are sadly mistaken."

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Dave
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Re: Boston 2022

Post by Dave » Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:33 am

Just Old Al wrote:3. Watch this space.
"Are you thinking what I'm thinking, Pinky?"

"I think so, Brain... but where are we going to get a bullseye in the shape of a human liver?"

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Re: Boston 2022

Post by AmriloJim » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:45 am

Dave wrote:"Are you pondering what I'm pondering, Pinky?"

"I think so, Brain... but where are we going to get a bullseye in the shape of a human liver?"
FTFY

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Re: Boston 2022

Post by FreeFlier » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:39 pm

Just Old Al wrote:
DinkyInky wrote:Seriously love this...

Though Al might have twenty shades of fits if she acquires a taste for top-shelf Russian Wodka. . . .
In order:

1. Even top shelf Russian domestic is water to a Drow. Elf spirits are shall we say considerably more potent, as witnessed by Eme getting plastered on elderberry spirits in TTB and the statement of the effect of said spirits on humans. . . .
Which does not preclude psychological addiction. Don't you know any sugar addicts?

--FreeFlier

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Re: Boston 2022

Post by GlytchMeister » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:20 pm

FreeFlier wrote:
Just Old Al wrote:
DinkyInky wrote:Seriously love this...

Though Al might have twenty shades of fits if she acquires a taste for top-shelf Russian Wodka. . . .
In order:

1. Even top shelf Russian domestic is water to a Drow. Elf spirits are shall we say considerably more potent, as witnessed by Eme getting plastered on elderberry spirits in TTB and the statement of the effect of said spirits on humans. . . .
Which does not preclude psychological addiction. Don't you know any sugar addicts?

--FreeFlier
You rang?
He's mister GlytchMeister, he's mister code
He's mister exploiter, he's mister ones and zeros
They call me GlytchMeister, whatever I touch
Starts to glitch in my clutch!
I'm too much!

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Re: Boston 2022

Post by jwhouk » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:40 pm

Speaking of which:

"Hey, Al - there's a guy on line two, from Kansas. Something about a Bentley and a Russian mobster..."
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin

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Just Old Al
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Re: Boston 2022

Post by Just Old Al » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:43 am

jwhouk wrote:Speaking of which:

"Hey, Al - there's a guy on line two, from Kansas. Something about a Bentley and a Russian mobster..."
"Tell him he's on his own and even I KNOW BETTER."
"The Empire was founded on cups of tea, mate, and if you think I am going to war without one you are sadly mistaken."

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Re: Boston 2022

Post by Sgt. Howard » Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:26 pm

Dave wrote:
Just Old Al wrote:3. Watch this space.
"Are you thinking what I'm thinking, Pinky?"

"I think so, Brain... but where are we going to get a bullseye in the shape of a human liver?"
Old West Scrounger- next question?
Rule 17 of the Bombay Golf Course- "You shall play the ball where the monkey drops it,"
I speak fluent Limrick-
the Old Sgt.

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Re: Boston 2022

Post by DinkyInky » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:25 am

Just Old Al wrote:
DinkyInky wrote:Seriously love this...

Though Al might have twenty shades of fits if she acquires a taste for top-shelf Russian Wodka.

Also, I don't think that's the last Al will see of that dagger...

He's going to need MIB grade insurance on it, because no mundane company will cover that many attempts to steal it.
In order:

1. Even top shelf Russian domestic is water to a Drow. Elf spirits are shall we say considerably more potent, as witnessed by Eme getting plastered on elderberry spirits in TTB and the statement of the effect of said spirits on humans.

2. Girl's got a sharp-and-shiny fetish, she does.

3. Watch this space.
Mwahahahaaa! Challenge accepted indeed. :twisted:
Yanno how some people have Angels/Devils for a conscience? I have a Dark Elf ShadowKnight and a Half Elf Ranger for mine. The really bad part is when they agree on something.

Aphyon chu kissa whol l'jaed.
--Safyr Drathmir

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