Wednesday, April 6, 2011

In Coromaur's Debt - Part 5.

"Alright, so," Viper muttered to himself as he stepped out of the flow of the bustling crowd. "Checklist," with the simple command a list was brought up and displayed in the corner of his vision. As he reviewed his rough agenda he tried to estimate both remaining time and funds left to him. "Ship's being refueled and they should have the regulator changed out in about an hour." Not able to help himself, Viper absent-mindedly began ticking things of with his fingers. "That leaves a good 3-4 hour margin to try and manage a visit to the cyberdoc's and to check on that lead on psicraft shells. Hmmm... "

Double-checking his bearings, Viper referenced the Outpost's layout again and tried to navigate his way back through the commotion of commerce. This was part of his visit he could do without, he hated the herd-like feel of so many others in such close proximity. Viper couldn't wait to get back to the safe solitary comfort of Ghost-Face.

Quickly Viper found himself irritated by the stressful business of navigating around so many strangers. One more innocent bump and he was sure he might snap. Distracted so he almost walked right past half-lit sign that hung over an open door way proclaiming it to be 'Doc Henson's', his destination. Glad to get out of the corridor Viper jumped at the chance and entered . No receptionist greeted the new arrival, and more shockingly, no sign of bodyguard was present. Stepping out from a sheet of plastic covered in traces of gore and old oil hung like a curtain came a tall and lean old man. Wiping his hands on his shirt he then turned to adjust a pair of glasses set atop his nose and began to study Viper.

Glasses, Viper halted, his mind reeling in shock as if he had just waltzed into some terrible joke. This guy was going to be handling his 'ware, and he didn't even have a simple pair of cyber-eyes if his vision had degraded enough to require glasses. No one he could think of ever having met had wore glasses, it was just absurd. How could he trust this guy much less consider his services anything at all serious or professional? Considering his pressingly short supply of time, Viper swallowed what little pride he had and decided not to try and seek out another cyberdoc. Besides, it wasn't like he was looking for prototype implants or anything exotic.

"Hey, old-timer, you Doc Henson?" Viper decided to forgo hiding his disdain, and go with his normal blunt approach. "I need to have some work done on this ol' arm of mine and I'm short on time. It's got some bugs and a slight mod, but hasn't seen routine maintenance in a good while." A hawk like gaze was still trained on Viper, he could almost feel himself being analyzed in such detail he was certain would of put scanners to shame. This had to be the doc, he'd of been willing to bet on it. "So you going to fetch the doc or ply your trade, I got pressing business. "

"Right," said the old man quietly to himself as he approached Viper, making sure to push his glasses back up his nose. As he gripped the cybernetic limb he spoke, mostly it seemed to himself. "This arm needs more than a quick mend. You have blown at least two motors and a few limit switches, at least." Looking up he brought the weight of his gaze right into Viper's eyes, like a disappointed grandfather it made a growing ember of shame ignite within Viper. "That is why you no-doubt get a whine and a tick every time you extend arm and judging by the hack job here this 'mod' you refer to can't keep that overly obvious pistol mount powered." Doc Henson's stare never wavered, "don't run your mouth boy if you don't know what's under the hood. There is more to skill than a few simple tricks stuffed up your sleeve, especially those that only work half the time." Doc motioned over to an old chair behind the curtain; "If you want this mess straightened out and done proper, then have a seat. It'll be 200 Regals hard coin, I don't take credits."

Swallowing what remained of his wounded pride, Viper took a moment to gulp, accepted the seat and offered up the coin. Doc Henson truly knew his trade, in a matter of minutes he had already replaced worn out components and was setting about to calibrate everything. By the time he was done not only was the limb mended but also moving smoother than Viper ever recalled it doing before. Once he got to the implanted weapon mount he couldn't hide a chuckle though. "Just who is responsible for this mess? And is this an old Viper sidearm?" Reluctantly, Viper acknowledged his own handiwork, not to mention the irony in it's choice. "It was all I had handy at the time," he cited as explanation.

Whistling Doc set himself to re-wiring the tangled nest, "See here's your problem." Tapping with his probe he pointed at some worn wires. "You keep shorting out the power feed from your arm's direct line. Let's see, if we rewire in this micro-gen unit, that should do you for awhile. Won't give you unlimited use, but if you manage to stop back in when you have more time I can maybe do more." Cleaning his hands on an old rag, Doc turned back around to give one last look over his handiwork. "You ever think about upgrading to a newer model?"

"Thanks, Doc, but you could say there's some sentimental attachment here. I must say your an artist of your craft." Rising Viper added, "Need to be on my way, and I'd like to apologize for before." With a nod the Doc waived him off as Viper turned to regard his mended arm while he walked back out the door.