The Mephitis

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Captain Pirate II 9/9/2019 11:12pm

"そしてそれは何ですか? コーヒーとミルクの色です!"

"What? That? Oh it's just some bit of dust, caught up by a whirlwind. Sometimes we see them this high."

We were on the larboard observation deck, the film crew taking some b-roll.

"しかし、顔があります! そして、角! 私たちを見ています。 そして私たちに従ってください!"

"Oh, that's just a common perception misperception of people who haven't been airborne for long periods of time before. Objects are closer than they appear, objects appear to have faces and horns, objects appear to the following you. All quite normal for the uninitiated."

Come to think of it, there might have been something about the look of that particular dust devil. I mean, I've seen plenty in my time, but this one seemed especially fresh in my memory. Kind of like the ones I'd see the Doctor working with in Chichen Itza...

"そして、それはこのように向かっています! 走れ! 早く!"

Ah, yes, Chichen Itza. It all seems like somebody else's vacation now...

choco loni 8/10/2019 10:03pm

when the captain has the japanese camera crew busy doing his lines, the doctor and i have been letting the little thunderdevil get a bit of exercise off the port bow. generally it stays near the ship, scooping up the iron-enriched dust the doctor tosses out like fish food. when it starts to stray i shoot off a whirlwind bullet that i've notched to give it a full loop trajectory. as it makes its curve, the little devil follows it all the way around back to the observation balcony where i catch the bullet back in the barrel, and the doctor gives the baby thunderdevil a treat. it's starting to get wise and takes off now and then just so it can chase the bullet round and get its reward.

sure is cute. but what happens when it gets bigger?

"no one's tamed one before," says the doctor. "but i suppose we'll need to set it free eventually."

Doctor Argosa 7/11/2019 11:27pm

After barring the camera crew from my lab, I began the delicate process of removing one Thunder Devil from its wunderbottle. Yes, normally such a procedure should only be done in a specially equipped lab, but this particular Thunder Devil had been injured in the process of netting it, and I was concerned it needed attention. Its thrashings in the wunderbottle had become far more faint than the others, and let's be honest none of us really know what happens inside those things, am I right?

So I've rigged up a temporary playpen for it while its little funnel sets and its spiral updraft straightens out. Poor thing.

Captain Pirate II 6/11/2019 10:14pm

"I don't always drink Kahlua in my coffee, but when I do, it's in the morning."


"Being an airship captain means both being alert AND inebriated at the oddest hours."


"Drunk and jittery? Welcome to my life!"


*translated from the Japanese

This sounded like some easy publicity, plus a bit of bounty on the side for the Captain. Oh, I would have thrown a party for the crew with most of it. Or a fair amount, anyway. But the point is, this has been a lot more work than it was presented.

Our commercial agent said "Hey CP! I know you're on the coffee & Kahlua run, heading north, and there's this Japanese creative agency that's looking to do a Kahula & Coffee campaign AND give Zephyr Air Transport a big plug in the process. All they ask is that you let them have run of the ship on your way north. You know it's milk run. Ha ha get it? That's my Cappy. What I mean is it's an easy trip, and your crew is going to have trouble keeping busy as it is. So you've got a few extra passengers, who are going to be taking a some shots, some footage, some b-roll, maybe have you read a few lines. It'll be fun! I hear your face will be all over the hot canned coffee and Kahlua machines in Tokyo. Plus, there's a little bit of a bonus for the star, if you know what I mean... All I need is to have you sign here..."

"Ah! Mr. Capitan Piratu! Gomen nasai. We are ready to begin once more. But this time, we wish you to fully show the spirit of the Hikōsen, yes? Here, in your eyes. And also in your heart. Gambate Gokurosan!!"

"Hai! So desu ne."

Hard work.

choco loni 5/12/2019 10:25pm

i've been keeping whirlwind bullets behind my ears, but there's been no need for them as the @Doctor Argosa's net protocols have been sound, neatly bottling up each thunder devil he snares. nothing much else to shoot at given the civilized nature of the natives. the local authorities have nothing to fear, and we keep the tourists happy with our hourly rentals.

so instead i've been using the holiday snaps gun. here's the temple of kukulcan with the mephitis docked nearby.


@Captain Pirate II with elote on a stick.


me hiding behind a column at the temple of a thousand warriors.


(the holiday snaps gun is so safe you can ask strangers to shoot you with it.)

it's a little disconcerting i can't find my memory stick though. it's not like me not to put things back in their places. i feel like i can almost remember putting it somewhere odd... but i can't quite remember. i suppose it will turn up eventually.

in the meantime, the crew has had just about enough shore leave, and the captain has mentioned getting back on the road with a coffee and kahlua run up the coast. we'll take it north and sell it. feels like it's been quite awhile since we've had some honest work.

Doctor Argosa 4/12/2019 11:09pm

Having a wonderful time at Chichen Itza! The weather has been great, and the warm jungle air has been doing wonders for the crew. There's even been a bit of a breeze to keep things on the cooler side. The Mephitis has been riding the updrafts, taking tourists on short spins around the area. The warm weather gives us just the extra lift we need to chase around the little Thunder Devils, and I've been able to snag three in my array of nets and talismans. They give you a bit of fight once you get them on board, but we've been able to secure each one into its own wunderbottle. One of these days I'll go ashore and visit the ruins and figure out if those people are selling balloons or cotton candy or umbrellas or what!

Wish you were here!

Dr. A.

Captain Pirate II 3/12/2019 8:30pm

Ow! @choco loni--no throwing things on the bridge!

Especially at the Captain.

What's everybody staring at? Man your stations! Status report!

Set sail for Chichen Itza. I've always wanted to visit, and I hear it's beautiful this time of year.

choco loni 2/9/2019 5:34pm

this is my memory stick. it’s clear now, see-through like everything else. or reflective of everything else. same images of everything reflecting off everything else, with nothing to reflect but the reflections. there’s still something being reflected—contours, outlines, oily shapes along the crinkle of infinite telescopy...

which is why the memory stick seemed like the perfect weapon. see-through as it is, its size and shape is clear in my hand, and i know what ammunition it holds. will the memories be see-through too? how could they be? i see them in my mind’s eye now, clear as day, full color like any picture in a phone. you can see your memories, right?

so i raise the memory stick to whack the captain in the head, drawing back my arm, when i sense the intruder out of the corner of my eye. i whip the stick across the room, perfectly aimed to richochet against the far wall of the bridge and crack against the head of whatever it is that’s creeping in....

Doctor Argosa 1/8/2019 11:08pm

While we have all now become the Mirror People, we are still ourselves on the inside. This leads me to believe that the situation may still be reversible.

The skin of the crew started to turn shiny in patches. The Captain was becoming calmer, and less manic, but I knew it was likely just the Droste Fever taking him to a fugue state.

Soon crew members' entire bodies were coated with the shimmery, silver coating... faceless reflective mannequins. This doctor included. Clothes melted away, while all surfaces of the ship became mirrored as well.

Somehow we still know where each other stand, and where our stations are, and we go about our business, reflecting those around us, reflecting our environments, with no distinguishing marks but the curve of a shoulder, or an over stuffed couch.

Outside the ship, clouds too have become mirror, as well as the earth, and the sea, and the sun.

And what does the world reflect, when the world itself is nothing but the reflections of reflections?

Captain Pirate 12/7/2018 10:11pm

"Oh, hello me!"

"Hello you. How are we doing?"

"Well, we're just fine. Thanks for asking."

"Wait, are you you and me me?"

"Apparently so, since we're talking to each other."

"Oh come on. Haven't you ever heard of internal monologue?"

"It steals the soul. Like a mirror."

"Now you're talking."

"That's you!"

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