Episode 12: Socks to be You
The voyage to Star Island begins with the Jellyfish crew sailing smoothly on peaceful waters. Everyone minds their own business trying to occupy their free time during these calm periods. Kydd fishes off the side of the boat, hoping to catch a rare specimen for tonight’s dinner. Davy ponders over sea charts in an effort to keep their voyage on a straight path towards their destination. KG, despite the fact he’s a robot, does push-ups. Fluffybeard just watches his mechanized servant smugly. After all, he was born awesome, why train? Magnus seems to be busy experimenting with a small petri dish in the medical bay. And Bubba happily sings while scouring the ship for stray fish bones to add to his collection.
Below deck though, in the junk area, a crate begins to stir. The sound of a girl’s voice whispers to itself, “Jeez it stinks in here.” Then, she hears Bubba’s footsteps and merry song, “I’ve got Cabin Feevaa! I’ve got Cabin Feevaa!” She gasps a little and goes silent.
“Hmm? What was that?” Bubba asks himself. He’s always on patrol for possible pests out to eat or nest in his trash horde, so he starts to rummage. However, it’s quite an endeavor to find anything within that mess. “Has someone been going through my stuff again?” He growls to himself. All his searching is for naught as he fails to find an intruder.
The girl inside the crate pinches her nose, thinking to herself, “Ughhh. He stinks so much! Go away!” Crrrooooak The sudden pants explosion nearly causes the girl to give away her position. Bubba fans it a little bit, “There a frog in here?” Then checks his pants, “Hahaha, almost thought I soiled myself with that one!”
The girl inside the crate starts to turn a little green and silently prays for the foul monster to get tired and go away. Her prayer ends with a very very long please. Suddenly, Kydd yells, “Hey Bubba! Come throw up on my hook! I need some bait!”
“Sure!” The Handyman replies. The stowaway thanks her guardian angel, but a little too soon. “One minute though,” He adds, sitting down on top of the box she’s hiding in. “I’m feeling a bit tired! Need to rest my feet for a second!”
“I curse you Heaven!” She regrets her half heeded prayer, even more so when Bubba takes off his shoes and begins massaging his aching feet.
“I really need some new socks and boots.” He says while the hidden girl begins to turn from green to purple, nodding a silent “yes” at his comment. “I think I have a spare pair somewhere. I better save these though for Magnus. He might want to experiment with them.” He pulls off his socks and looks around, “Now where can I put these so I don’t lose them?” They hang in the air, exuding a purple miasma and squirming ever so slightly.
“Not here. Anywhere but here!!!” Fear gripped her heart as tightly as a giant’s fist and the moment of decision seemed to make time stand still, like a life changing moment or a bandit’s trigger finger holding you hostage.
“Shouldn’t be anything in this crate.” He stands up, prying open the crate halfway.
“Today Bubba!!!” Kydd yells, “Dinner won’t just jump on board!”
The plumber turns and yells, “Be right there! Changing my socks!” Without looking into the dark crate he casually tosses his socks inside, hitting her directly on the head with a sickly splat. In a panic, she screams at the top of her lungs and runs topside for some fresh air, throwing the newly acquired socks off as quickly as possible.
Kydd just stares a brief moment, hands still holding his fishing pole casually, “… You aren’t Bubba…”
The girl doesn’t say much, only a short plea for air. She then collapses, having turned purple with green polka dots. Bubba arrives topside only a few seconds after she passed out, “Has anyone seen my slave? She ran this way.”
Kydd fishhooks an eyebrow, “For once, this isn’t because of me.” The rest of the crew stops whatever they were doing to check out this unexpected development. Magnus curiously approaches and looms over her, fascinated by the interesting color she has turned. Beta hurriedly calls out, “Medic!” Then looks at their ship doctor, a sweat drop running down his cheek, “Or um… someone trustworthy!”
Bubba offers his “expert” opinion, “I think she’s sea sick.” KG corrects him, “I think she’s you sick.”
Magnus urges everyone back, “Hmm, looks serious! I must prep for surgery!” He opens his lab jacket and a variety of scalpels, needles, and torture instruments fall out. Bubba pleas sincerely, “Please Doctor! Save her!” Everyone looks at him curiously, “She costs too much to replace!”
“She needs some soup! That helps cure anything!” Kydd comments, rushing off to his kitchen.
KG steps forward with his own emergency procedure, “I will shake her! Shaking always helps!” He picks her up by the face and waves her around like a rag doll. “No no,” Magnus replies, “It’s a skin disease. It has to be cut out.” Bubba applies some lip balm, “Maybe I should try CPR?”
She comes to from the shaking, but now sea sick from the violent motion, “I see a flower garden… it’s so beautiful.”
The doctor places a hand to his chin in thought, “Delusions. This is more serious than I thought, must be brain damage.”
A simple soup wasn’t much to ask and Kydd returns promptly. As the ship’s chef and first mate tries to feed her a spoonful of soup, she whispers a single word, “… Feet…” Bubba believes she has a foot fetish, but suddenly the rest of the crew, excluding KG, notices that their odorous comrade is quite barefoot. “Oh!” Bubba exclaims as a sudden Eureka moment, “My feet can save her! Here! Take a big whiff!”
When KG wonders aloud what this is all about, Magnus offers to give the robot a nose sensor so that he can join the rest in such “joys”. “Joy? Is it that pleasant!? I want to smell it too! Huh? Fluffy? What are you doing up there?” He looks up to the mast where his cat desperately clings for life, refusing to come down.
With her life passing before her eyes, she says cryptically, “May… the sea foam gather my broken heart and deliver me to a finer place.” Suddenly, Kydd erupts into fire as passion overwhelms him, “Yes! That’s from Love Blossoms in the Winter! The tragic death scene of Aquamarine’s final words as she died in her lover’s arms!”
Kydd’s words stir a second wind from her, “Someone’s… read my book?”
The rest of the crew seems to have become distracted, both fascinated and grossed out by Bubba’s third big green toe. Beta demands he that refrain from poking it so much, while Magnus wonders what kind of poison it could produce. Bubba asks Magnus why it’s green though, to which he gets a simple explanation of “Perfectly natural… for you.”
Kydd excitedly asks, “You’re Sakura G. Mason aren’t you!?” Bubba greedily claims possession of her though, interrupting them, “She was in my crate. So she’s mine. I’d be willing to trade her if you give me back my silverware and plates though Kydd.”
“Sorry I had to sneak aboard,” Sakura explains further, “I.. kind of wanted to see if I could possibly… join the crew.”
With impeccable timing, Davy Jones walks up, “Oh? Why do you want to join us?”
Magnus warns that she might not have the fortitude for sea sailing, but Kydd pleas the case of possibly getting a sneak peek at her next book, “Love Blooms at Midnight”. Bubba just calls her a new pet.
At first, she sees Davy’s shadow and thinks, “A Jellyfish?” Then she looks up and sees something human instead. He’s got to be the real deal she assures herself. “Actually, I’m… kind of stuck on my newest book Kydd.” She apologizes, “I’ve run into a sort of writer’s block and well… my last book didn’t do so well. I was hoping to travel with legend everyone’s calling Davy Jones and gain some inspiration.”
“Wait!” Magnus calls for a stop, “Kydd, are those the books where all the guys on the cover are modeled after me? I had to afford medical school somehow.” Kydd thinks for a moment, “Hmm, I don’t recall any bag headed skinny guys on the covers.”
Sakura tries to reign in the insanity, further making her case, “Also, this place could use a woman around don’t you think Captain?”
“Ahem! I’m a girl too!” Beta comments.
“Don’t worry Captain! I’m sure I can tame this new pet of mine!” Bubba claims, but turns to see only a log where she once stood. “Hey! Don’t make me put you back in the box!” Suddenly, Kydd walks out of the Captain’s chambers, holding Sakura in his arms. She looks completely bewildered, “How… did you?”
“Hey! Get back here with my pet! She was in my crate, so she belongs to me!” Bubba objects.
Kydd staunchly holds his ground, “I will not allow Sakura G. Mason to become someone’s pet!”
Davy shakes his head and explains, “No pets or slaves on my ship. Everyone’s got to serve a purpose. Even Red here has been busy drawing maps for me.” He motions to the mosquito bat on his shoulder with a black stained proboscis. “This is also a ship of freedom, I won’t take that from anyone. You’re free to stay Ms. Mason, but if you find our company too… strange, you’re also free to go on our way. However, I suggest you pay for your passage with Bubba, or he might never drop this.”
“I don’t have much money though. Want my makeup kit? It’s got a mirror in it?” She holds out a small compact.
“I don’t use makeup.” Bubba says in a manlier than usual tone. Kydd says under his breath that it couldn’t hurt. She thinks some more and notices his bare feet, “How about my socks then?”
“How soft are they?” He eyes them curiously, toes twitching in anticipation.
She proudly claims that they are made of the finest cotton. The handyman strokes his beard a little, then agrees to the trade as long as she throws in whatever is in her pockets.
“Umm… okay.” She says digging through her pockets, “Never thought I’d bargain my socks and spare change in exchange for my life.”
He beams happily as he takes her socks, coins, and a shiny button. “Your junk is my treasure!” The smelly Handyman immediately slips the pink cotton on, “Ahhh! So nice! Soft as a fat squirrel’s ass!” However, the moment quickly passes when Fluffy calls out from the crow’s next. Everyone looks out to where the cat is looking, spotting purple clouds that bubble up from the ocean.
Davy narrows his eyes and explains the phenomenon, “The Ocean Swamp. Underground poisonous vapors gather beneath the ocean floor and then erupt in violent clouds. We must be getting closer to the Calm Belt.”