Burnt Okonamiyaki Productions
"Fanfiction... Grilled to perfection!"
Is pleased to present
An Elliott Belser Fanfic
In the world of Disney's Treasure Planet

Oh, Dash Genetics!

Disclaimer: Avast, ya scurvy attack lawyers! Don't you know th' old buccaneer Belser wouldn't dream of attacking Disney's copyright? Nor is he plundering that good ship, as this fanfic is free for all who wish to see it! So if you want to sue me, ye haven't a plank to walk on!

Notes: This fic is a response to the one thing in Treasure Planet that made no sense to me at all - yes, a Disney standby, but in sci-fi? This fic has spoilers up the wazoo and (GASP) actual scientific accuracy. You Have Been Warned.

"Bosun Icthys, as soon as we're secure hop right off the ship for fresh water."
"Aye, Captain!"
"Mr. Mason, docking speed if you please."
"Aye, Ma'am, docking speed."
"Steady as she goes, Mr. Wright."
"Steady as a rock, Captain."
"Doctor, my office please."
"Ah... certainly, Amelia."
Fifty pairs of eyes (of which the navigator had twenty-six) latched onto Dilbert Doppler like ether barnacles on the underside of the Legacy. Amelia was there before any of those eyes could blink, her captain's coat settling into stillness on her stockings. Her cat nose flared as a thin, barely fanged smile spread across her face. Dilbert swallowed. Audibly.
"Doctor, if I'm not much mistaken, I discussed this matter with you... Let me think... Bosun Icthys?"
Icthys "the fish" burbled through his watersuit: "Mess last night, when he said 'could you please pass the brandy, Amelia.'"
"Yes, that's right," Amelia purred. "Where would I be without you, Bosun?"
"I don't know, Captain."
"Oh come now, after all this time can't you tell when I'm joking? Now then, Doctor, what did I say to you last night?"
Dilbert rubbed his glasses and sighed. "You told me that to maintain proper discipline on board this ship, all crew, regardless of marital status," (this brought a very slight smile to his face,) "should address you as ma'am or Captain." Dilbert tugged at the kerchief around his neck. Why did he wear that waistcoat and shirt getup to a Mercurial Zone anyway? It had been years since he had been back to a port that needed heavy clothes.
Amelia took a second to watch him fidget. He was looking dreadful in the heat. A poor dear. Why of all sentients him, anyway? "She's lost her mind!" indeed. Amelia smiled in spite of herself when she asked, "I said something specific in regards to marital status with that rule, did I not?"
"Indeed, indeed... you said being married to the Captain does not allow you to make an exception."
"So, Doctor Husband?"
"Ah, sorry about that, Amelia. Ma'amelia... CAPTAIN AMELIA, MA'AM." If his cheeks weren't burning, he would have sworn he couldn't get more overheated.
Amelia clicked a solid gold stopwatch, regarded it, raised one penciled eyebrow, then dropped her watch into her coat pocket and turned to the Bosun. "One day, two hours and fourteen minutes to the second since he made his last Freudian slip, Bosun."
"A new record, ma'am."
"Do make a note of it. Now then, Doctor, as I mentioned before you so rudely ignored my rank, I have something I want to discuss with you. In my office. Before we make world-fall."
The Doctor flipped his head up, flapping his ears against the sides of his cheeks. "Ma'am, 'with the greatest possible respect, zip your howling screamer.'"
She flung her stateroom door open wide. "Goodness gracious, I wonder where you learned such evil language... Shall we?"
She indicated the door. Dilbert mock bowed as he entered, prompting Amelia to mock the gesture back as she locked herself in.
"Stateroom" wasn't the half of it. It was a combination central bridge and quarters, with a cherry wood table and real beds. The stateroom was made of airtight hardwood for space and etherium travel and all rimmed with gilt. Dilbert was grateful to share the space with Amelia, both in general and at the very moment as she drew the curtains. Of course, in Dilbert's opinion, being male and not appreciating space shared with Amelia was impossible. After you got past her firing off grapeshot wit. He had long since learned that she was all hiss and no scratch.
Amelia slid the last curtain into place and turned to face him. "Sorry to pull rank like that, but to draw attention to special privileges like a first-name basis with the Captain could get you keelhauled faster than you can say 'longboat.' Besides, it is my general opinion that not being able to say each other's name will make us far more creative. Sighing your lover's name is frightfully old hat."
Dilbert nodded. "Understood, noted, and logged. I'm sorry, Captain, most beautiful Queen of this most worthy Ship, for my incalculable transgression. It won't happen again."
She sat down at the table and bid Dilbert do the same with a wave of her hand. "Oh, shut up, yes it will, and then I'll get to embarrass you in front of the whole of the Legacy. Gives me endless hours of diversion, I'll say that much." Amelia tossed her head, trying to retain her poise in the face of her urge to laugh.
Dilbert's idea of poise allowed him to chuckle. "Something you wanted to speak with me about?"
"Oh, god, yes. Doctor... Let me see... Is there any tea about?"
"Tea? What do you mean, dragging me in here for..." Dilbert stopped shouting when he realized that she was composing herself. Amelia might take a long time to get to the point, but deliberately stalling? This was going to be grave. He picked up the kettle. "Oh! Sorry! Yes, tea! Here you go, no sugar or cream's how you take it?"
Amelia looked like she was smirking, but that was just her version of a broad grin. "No, thank you, Doctor. You can read me like a book. Not that I expect less from someone so obviously brilliant after... how long has it been? Two years? Three? Bloody hell." She took a long draught from her teacup.
Now she was openly complimenting him and swearing. Bloody Hell indeed. Dilbert reached out for Amelia's empty hand. "Second year at Academy for Jim means second year for us, too. Go on, dea... Ma'am."
She finished her cup, poured another, thought long and hard about how to couch her request... ah. "First off, let me say that I've thought long, hard, and often about what I'm going to ask you. We've been together for two years, I've been commanding the Legacy ever since my discharge, well on fifteen years. I've captained this ship since I was twenty two, and have no desire to stop now."
Dilbert nodded, stirring sugar into his own tea. "That would make you..."
"Shut up, it's bad form to calculate a woman's age. When I caught you melting your share of the loot down at the jewelers, do you remember the condition I set forth for your proposal?"
"You remain the captain of the Legacy, where you hardly ever sink at space." Amelia wasn't really listening to Dilbert, but she did catch his lead to their old joke.
"What, never, Doctor?"
"Well, hardly ever, Captain."
Amelia decided that she'd unleash her joke to keep the one Dilbert made good company. "Meaning that I've had practice disciplining and keeping track of a bunch of little hooligans, so I'd be well suited to what I want I want to do now."
Dilbert spluttered into his tea. "Changing jobs? But being a Captain is your life!"
Amelia sneer was real this time, baring a fang. "I thought," Amelia spat, "that I made it very clear that I like having a ship, thank you very much."
"But... Oh, you're not changing jobs? I could have sworn from what you're saying... wanting to do something else..." Dilbert realized exactly what she was talking about. He blinked, wiped his glasses, and said, "Now you've REALLY lost your mind."
"Come now, I don't think I'm any more insane than anyone else making the attempt."
"We can't. It is a simple question of genetics."
"Oh, dash genetics! Are you that worried about combining my gift for science with your gift for words?"
Dilbert raised an eyebrow, otherwise ignoring the insult. "I am not speaking," he said, "of any hypothetical child of ours having a peculiar mix of our blood. It's that any hypothetical child with a mix of our blood is impossible in the first place!"
"No, no, it's really quite simple, Doctor. I believe you have studied anatomy? Oh, wait, that was you trying to say astronomy while you were staring at me."
Doctor Dilbert had a sudden urge to beat his head against the wall. "Tell me, how similar is a chimpanzee to a human? On the genetic level, you understand."
"Does this have any relevance to the discussion at hand?" It was only after she said it that she realized exactly what the Doctor meant. She closed her eyes, feeling as if she had been dropped with no life support in the shadow of a planet. "...so close to one hundred percent to convince one the difference is negligible. Until you try to crossbreed them. And the Canian and Ailurian species..."
"...are so close to being absolutely different on the genetic level to convince one that there are no similarities." Dilbert sighed. "I'm sorry, Amelia, but that's just life."
All Amelia said was "Oh, dash genetics."
It was probably a good thing for everyone's mood that at that precise instant, an explosion rocked the Legacy's deck.