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The four quickly made there way across the wide open field to the strange and tall structure that stood in the middle. It was when they were about halfway between the cover and the building that Silver began to question the wisdom in their decision. While they would be sheltered they would also be effectively trapped within it were the pirates to discover their whereabouts.
He wanted to tell Jim to stop and find somewhere else to go but he knew this was their best and only option. Silver glanced over at the Captain and could tell from her alert posture and darting eyes that she was also feeling uneasy about their choice.
Silver's leg was aching by the time they reached the steep rock formation that was the base of the odd metal structure but there was nothing he could do about it until he was able to repair the damage. Though his prostheses were made of metal, rubber, and wire they were connected to his nerve endings allowing him to control them as if they were his own flesh.
Jim and Doppler helped the Captain ascend the slippery moss covered mounds that led up to the metal tower. He looked back and noticed Silver struggling somewhat but knew better than to offer his help. The stubborn cyborg would undoubtedly make it up under his own power but it was clear his leg was troubling him.
"It appears as though we have reached an impasse."
Jim directed his attention forwards again at the Doctor's words and saw that that was indeed the case. Between them and the entrance above was at least fifteen feet. The space was accessible by thick vines that hung out of the round entrance way but there was no way the Captain would be able to climb them in her current condition.
"Why are we stopped?" Silver asked as he caught up with the group, slightly out of breath.
Jim nodded towards the vines and Silver immediately understood.
"I suppose I could carry her." Doppler suggested.
"You will do no such thing, Doctor." Amelia retorted in a flash. "I am quite capable of-"
"I think the point is yer not quite capable at the moment Cap'n."
Jim could tell the cyborg took pleasure in interrupting the Captain for a change but said nothing as he knew in this instance Silver was right.
"An no offence Doc but I think you'll barely manage ta get yerself up there let alone the Cap'n."
"Now see here-" The Doctor huffed.
"We don't have time for this!" Jim cried in frustration. "I'm going up first to make sure no one is in there then, Doc you'll climb up on your own and Silver will carry the Captain."
The three adults stood in shocked silence and stared at the boy as he began to climb the curtain of vines. A third of the way up Jim looked back down when he realized no one was following.
"Now!" Jim exclaimed.
Doppler was jolted into action and he leapt up several feet only to slide back down and fall on his behind.
"Fer Flint's sake." Silver moaned. He grasped the Doctor by the armpits and lifted him overhead. "Grab da vines man!" He cried when the Doctor just hung there like a limp noddle.
Doppler grabbed a vine in both hands and Silver released his grip but the Canid made no upward progress.
"Use your legs, Doctor." Amelia instructed.
Jim was beginning to think Silver would have to carry Doppler up as well when the
Doctor finally seemed to figure out the proper climbing technique. Jim hauled himself over the lip of the entrance into the dark building. A sliver of moonlight seemed to filter in from somewhere above and at first glance it appeared as though the room was fairly empty.
Below Silver had turned to face the Captain and was rubbing his neck, an action he unconsciously preformed when uncomfortable or stressed. "How do ya want to do dis then?"
Amelia looked as though she had just smelled something rather unpleasant. "I suppose over the shoulder is the most viable option."
Silver had to agree. "Let's get dis over with." And with no further preamble he slung the Feline over his left shoulder and climbed the vines as quickly as possible.
Doppler had just cleared the lip of the entrance when Silver reached the top. "A hand?" He called.
Jim and the Doctor lifted the Captain into the room before Silver managed to drag himself over the top and drop down onto the floor. He breathed a sigh of relief now that they were finally all out of the open.
"I do not appreciate being flung over your shoulder like a sack of tubers, Mr. Silver." Amelia fumed, rubbing her sore ribs. "In the future I would expect more consideration."
"I swear I'll never do it again." Silver replied, not bothering to move from where he lay on the floor with his eyes shut, content to let the matter rest.
Amelia did not feel the same way however. "And what was all that bunkum about your being a Captain back there?" She looked from Silver to Jim and back again.
Silver was tired, possibly concussed, and assuredly frustrated. At long last he was on Treasure Planet but all he could think about was getting Jim off of it alive. 'Definitely concussed.' He told himself. Why else would he no longer care about the treasure? He needed to rest and think but the blasted woman would not stop nattering. With a growl he forced his eyes open and pushed himself up onto his elbows.
"Is dis really somethin' ya want ta be discussin' right now?" He asked a dark edge to his voice.
Jim had been hoping that with the direness of their situation Amelia would have forgotten about Silver's earlier comments but he should have known better. He needed to shift the pair's focus; they could not afford to have infighting in their little group if they wanted to hold out a hope for survival. Having never spent that much time alone with adults before the voyage Jim was surprised at how often they spent behaving like children.
"Will you two please just stop! We have far more important things to be concerned about right now!" Jim cried.
Amelia and Silver looked at him and then back to one another.
"Are you or are you not one of them?" Amelia demanded of the cyborg.
Before Silver could answer Jim interrupted. "Would it really make a difference one way or another? He saved us all back on the ship."
"I cannot in good conscience work alongside a pirate. He may re-join that scurvy band of miscreants the moment it suits his purpose and leave us all to Davy Jones." Amelia snapped.
In the blink of an eye Silver was on his feet and towering over Amelia who met his iron stare with one of her own.
"If I was gonna leave da boy ta that bloodthirsty lot don't ya think I would 'ave done it back on the ship an' saved myself da pains I've suffered since?" Silver fumed. "No Captain, I won't be leavin' tha boy now on pain a death."
The room was silent as the weight of Silver's words sunk in. Everyone looked slightly taken aback by the force of the cyborg's commitment to his cabin boy; including the cyborg himself.
Jim stood slack jawed in shock. He had never felt as though anyone had ever placed that amount of value on his life and was overwhelmed by emotion. Unsure of how to react his body seemed to just take over and he found himself pushing the Captain aside and wrapping his arms around the stout middle of the Ursid.
Silver hugged the boy back, ignoring the look of astonishment on the Captain's face at the scene being played out before her, and trying to come to terms with the strange feeling welling up in his chest. 'That's it.' He told himself. 'Ye've gone completely soft.'
Silver noticed the Doctor talking to the Captain. The Canid had dragged her to the side and was conversing with her in low tones. After a moment the Captain cleared her throat in an attempt to gain their attention. Silver patted Jim on the back and the boy stepped back to a more appropriate distance.
"Mr. Silver, it seems both the Doctor and Mr. Hawkins here are convinced of your sincerity and, valuing their opinion, I shall place my trust in you as well." The woman stated, looking as though she had just been forced to swallow a very bitter pill.
Silver looked over at the Doctor and had to fight to keep the smile from his face when he caught a glimpse of the smug look upon the Canid's. A sharp claw jabbing his chest promptly returned his attention to the Feline in front of him.
"But be forewarned. If I so much as perceive one false move or motive on your part I'll cut you down before you have the chance to blink." Amelia stated in a deathly serious tone that left no room for doubt.
Silver felt like pointing out that of their small band he was the only one armed but a hasty elbow in the ribs from Jim helped him curtail the remark and simply nod in acquiescence instead.
"Alright then, I suggest we take reconnaissance of the building; ensuring we know of all the entrances and exits as well as any perceivable dangers. Dr. Doppler will have the first watch, followed by Mr. Hawkins, then myself, and then you, Silver. And seeing as how the only weapons we presently possess are attached to your being those on watch will awaken you at first sign of trouble. Is that to everyone's satisfaction?"
The men nodded in agreement even though they all knew they really had no choice in the matter. The Captain was correct in her assessment of the situation. They needed to be certain of the security of their hideout if they were ever to get the sleep they were all in desperate need of.
Silver and Jim walked back into the dark back section of the large room they were currently taking refuge in while Doppler and the Captain took the front. Silver was using his cybernetic eye to scan the area. There were containers of oil and other liquids, spare parts, and tools strewn all around as well as what appeared to be a chess board.
'At least we won't be bored while they're starvin' us out.' Silver told himself.
Jim suddenly spotted something and crossed in front of Silver to pick up whatever had caught his eye.
"What is this?" The boy asked holding up a large piece of fabric before him.
Silver smirked as he recognized the article. "I believe they're someone's particulars."
"What?" Jim asked, holding the pink polka dotted cloth closer to his face for closer inspection.
"They're someone's undergarments, lad." Silver laughed.
"Awww gross!" Jim cried and dropped them in disgust. "You knew and you let me hold them that close to my face?"
Silver couldn't help but continue laughing until he saw Jim grab a wrench off the table and slip it beneath the offensive item.
"Let's see how you like it, eh?" Jim said as he lobbed undies at Silver.
Silver back stepped and swatted the cloth away with ease but fell back as his legs bumped into the large half sphere like object that stuck out of the floor behind him. He managed to catch himself on the edge but the thing moved under his weight, sliding slightly into the floor as the sphere revolved. His cybernetic eye picked up on signs of heat, yellow in an otherwise green field, which had become exposed on the far side when the orb had rotated.
He ignored Jim momentarily and pushed down on the sphere again until an opening on the other side was completely exposed. When he leaned over and looked down into the opening he saw a maze of pathways and machinery that carried on for miles making up the interior of what they had previously assumed to be a planet.
"What is that?" Jim asked for the second time in as many minutes, this time with greater significance.
Silver was at a loss for an answer so he said the only thing he was sure of at that point. "Tha back door."
More to come. Please let me know what you think, it motivates me to keep writing :) Thanks and have a wicked awesome weekend. I am off to the internetless Laurentians to enjoy the great outdoors but I hope to come back to some reviews and story update alerts from the other TP writers :) Peace!