Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by sail3695
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sail3695 If you do, I'ma do too.

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And The Sea Shall Yield Up…

The NS Eileen McSorley plowed her way through six foot swells, her decks remaining steady beneath the crew’s feet as if the rolling ocean were calm as glass. Granted, measuring in at just under eleven hundred feet in length and sporting a beam of one hundred twelve feet, the ore carrier presented an imposing challenge for the typical summer squall lines to which her captain and crew had become accustomed.

Tonight however, the “Mick” was far North of her familiar waters. A fresh contract had the venerable freighter plying a different route. That morning, they’d taken on thirty-nine thousand tons of taconite, a hardy grade of iron ore that was finding a new use as the foundation material for numerous manmade island projects. After leaving Bergen, she rode her heading southwest, toward a distant cay envisioned by developers as the spaceport link to a massive resort complex. “Another playground for the rich,” old Edwards laughed as his younger counterpart mused over the volatile weather in their path. “And lots of overtime for us.”

Yuri didn’t exactly see it that way, but he wasn’t prone to argue philosophies with his boss. Better still to share this moment at the stern rail before another descent into the bowels of the old ship. Tomorrow, their course would take them south of forty-five degrees. The “Roaring Forties” were the perpetual battleground upon which warm, moist air from the tropics rose to clash with descending cold bursts from New Melbourne’s polar icecap. The resulting weather could come up with little warning, and build rapidly to excessive violence. Even a tough old iron boat like the Mick could not claim immunity when Neptune rolled the dice.

“I should cycle the main pumps,” he observed, before drawing from his pipe.

Edwards chuckled. “Skipping out on reactor watch again?”

“Those midships stress cracks,” the younger replied. “I saw the torque in the main deck on our way up….”

“By design,” the chief engineer cupped his hands over the match’s flare. He drew deeply on the cigarette, the blessed smoke filling lungs pronounced cancerous during his last physical. “I’ve been on this boat for twenty-three years,” he replied. “The Mick flexes a bit more than she used to, but she’s a tough old gal.”

“But we are running an aux pump nonstop, Chief.”

“Yes...and that’s keeping the bilge steady at a half inch,” the Engineer countered. “Always fretting, Yuri!” he admonished the mate with a clap on the shoulder. “A day and a half in the forties, and then we’re in home waters. You’ll be back with your girl in Pensacola this weekend.”

“I don’t have a girl.” Yuri puffed at his pipe, mindful of this code in their discussion. Chief didn’t want to discuss this anymore. Time for a story, instead.

“Damn shame,” Edwards shook his head as their conversation slipped into more comfortable territory. “Good lookin’ young fella like yourself? When I was your age...hoo boy! There was this time in New Mobile. I met these sisters…”

Yuri leaned against the rail, his eyes cast downward as the old man settled into yet another telling of The Sisters of New Mobile. The churning ocean in their wake had disturbed teeming hordes of luminescent plankton. Even on a night like tonight, when the moons were hovering above layers of scudding cloud, their tiny neighbors cast a glowing trail that stretched aft for a good mile.

“...and then Magnolia says, ‘hope you brought enough to share,’ she says...”

”Oh, I got enough,” Yuri clinched down on his pipe to avoid the disrespect of mouthing the oft told response. The yarn would take a more graphic turn from here, with then youthful Edwards’ exploits and prowess building to fantastical levels. Yuri took the pipe smoke, enjoying the subtle flavor as he considered his options. The control rods and mod blocks were overdue for replacement. Reactor output was down by thirteen percent. The Mick could still generate steam for her customary twenty-five knots, but if they were fighting a heavy sea and a head or cross wind, she’d lose that momentum. The reactor was running at capacity, with only two rods inserted for moderation....a worrisome setting in a very delicate ballet of physics and chemistry. He’d increased the cooling flow, which aided the balance and steadied output. So far, so good…

“...heard tell them sisters walked bowlegged for a whole week!” Edwards laughed.

The tale was ended. Now, the necessary adulation. “Never in my lifetime,” Yuri shook his head. Praise for the chief's narrative thus given, he could now expect Edwards to reciprocate.

“Tell you what, son. I’ll have Chrissy give all the pumps a good going over on the morning watch. That settle your nerves?”

“Sounds good, Chief…” A sudden gust of cold wind tore at their clothes, whipping shirtsleeves and trouser legs as both men instinctively huddled.

“Brr!” Edwards stubbed his cigarette into the red “Smoko” bucket. “Shoulda worn my foulies!”

“Same.” Yuri emptied the last of his briars into the pail. He was officially off watch, but one more look at the reactor couldn’t hurt. “I’m headed below,” he said.

Chief Edwards made for the galley door. “Thinkin’ another slice of that pie would suit,” he replied. “See you at oh-seven-hundred.”

……………...To Be Continued……………….
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by wanderingwolf
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wanderingwolf Shiny

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Collaboration with @sail3695 and @wanderingwolf

The Galley

Mornin’ come with a fresh batch ‘o’ pain tah her backside, but the same old need fer some coffee. Abby’s still in the doctorin’ gown with its’ back all open. After diggin’ in her duffel, she come out with her bathrobe.

She’s halfway up the steps when she conjured what a bad idea this was. Ever’thin’’ hurt this mornin’. If it was North of her knees an’ South of her navel, it hurt like all hell...sore, stiff, an’ stingin’ tah beat all. Wrapped in her bathrobe an’ barefoot, Abby climbed one step at a time. Left foot up, pull on tha handrail, right foot up. Repeat, gasp, repeat.

She rounded the turn into tha galley, limpin’ along like she’s ninety. Her eyes was dulled with pain, but still brightened a whit at sight of a pot ‘o’ coffee. After a careful pour out, Abby shuffled tah tha big dinin’ table. Once her mug touched down, she lowered herself inta a chair, eyes half closed and mouth hung open as she eased onta her left hip.

Leanin’ as she was, weren’t no way tah git comfortable. But when that first taste of Hook’s coffee passed her lips, she conjured it was worth tha hurt. Abby swivelled forward, hair all askew, her hands closed over the steamin’ mug. She closed her eyes an’ breathed in tha fragrance. Still, she thought. Jest keep still.

“Goooood morning Abigail!” Captain Strand said at outside volume as he crossed from the crew quarters, “How’s our favorite holey deckhand fairing this fine day?” The scent of coffee crossed his nose, “Ah, worshippin’ the Almighty Bean, I see.” The captain beamed as he stepped up to the pot himself, filling a tin cup which he set down across from the sagging young woman. “Now I think there’s just one question needs answerin’: doc let you keep the bullet what caught you in the pi gu?”

Fer a second there, she ‘membered Aunt Lupe, boomin’ out her ‘good mornin’s’ tah Uncle Bob when she knowed full well he’s all hung over. Abby ain’t never had no hangover, but somethin’ ‘bout tha way Cap’n was carryin’ hisself this mornin’ give her tha notion gettin’ it like this must feel perty gorram close tah tha real thing. Her mouth was all set tah crank out somethin’ a deckhand shouldn’t oughtta say tah her Cap’n...so she swallowed that right quick. “Cap’n,” she shifted, careful not tah set down on her right cheek. “Ain’t fer certain, but I think I fergot tah pick it up. I’s sorta moon brained last night.”

Cal smiled into his cup, “Don’t you worry none, look at it this way: if you don’t get this one, you always got the other cheek.” Setting down proper, Captain Strand took in the girl’s harried hair, her robe, her bloodshot eyes. “In seriousness, Abigail, how you doin’? I know it don’t feel that way right now, but it was Ta Ma Duh Jin Yun that bullet met where it did(damn lucky).” He took another sip before meeting her eye, “Plus, menfolk like scars.”

“Got no plans tah go wavin’ that scar about,” she answered afore takin’ another swallow. “But I’m walkin’,” Abby’s brows lifted. “Shot tah tha paddin’s best place I could ever conjure...and Alana? She took right good care. Yah picked a good one in her.” One more swallow warmed her insides. “I’ll git sitchiated here in a short,” the girl propped on one elbow as she brought the mug down easy. “Git them rooms all put right, an’ tha wash.”

“Much as I’d like to watch you try, I think Hook, Rex, and me can handle the rooms. That bullet earned you some sittin’ time… just not literally.” Cal took another mouthful of Hook’s coffee black as night. “Glad to hear the doc’s not wet behind the ears--you never know who you can rely on to stitch up a deck who catches lead while helpin’ strangers tip strange things into the ocean.” Captain Strand watched the woman, bent over and sideways as she was. “Reckon I ought to apologize for gettin’ you wrapped up with Ms. Baker.”

Abby scoffed at that. “Weren’t nothin’ I didn’t know could happen in tha black. I conjure you’n Hook kept that Fed from puttin’ a bullet inta one ‘o’ them boys.” She thought on that moment, an’ them what led up to it. “That Marisol woman,” she cast an eye upon Cal. “Taught me some stuff ‘bout mechanickin’...more’n I knowed...knew...afore. ‘Course they’s alot happenin’ ‘bout time she jumped, but what’s all that ‘plan A, plan B’ talk that come afore?”

Cal’s pursed his lips, “Marisol…” he began, pausing as Abby seemed to know more than she let on, “Is a complicated woman. I know it’s tempting to follow such a woman, given said woman’s enigmatic nature.” He hesitated, “‘Nother word for complicated; see what I’m gettin’ at here? She’s got her own agenda far from the China Doll, hell, she’s talkin’ about fighting a war, but the war’s been fought! Don’t you mind her talk of plans and such--your pi gu is a reminder of what can happen when folks follow ‘Ms. Baker’s’ lead.”

Abby thought on that. War was somethin’...jest a thing, somethin’ yah knew was around but never part of yer day tah day. War took her folks. Uncle Bob said was the fever got her ma. An’ her pa? Thing called a ‘griz-wold.’ She looked it up once, an’ decided never agin. Cap’n says it true,’ she unnerstood where he’s comin’ from. There’s a life tah live. She got a job, good job, near’s she could tell. Good Cap’n. Good boat. That’s where her mettle was best spent...and then she ‘membered how she done Gǎo zále...

The girl’s brow furrowed. “Got somethin’ yew should know,” she stared inta her coffee. “I screwed up...gonna cost money.”

Cal’s expression didn’t change as he lifted the tin cup now half-full of coffee to his lips.

“Them Skyes,” she’s workin’ up what tah say ‘bout her foulup. “I give that green haired girl my word she’d git three single rooms fer half fares each on this next run.”

Reclining in his chair, Captain Strand tipped his hat up, “Now why would you go and do a thing like that?”

“‘Cuz I’m stupid,” she dern near spat the word. “She come to tha cargo bay with Ms. Ba...Marisol,” the deckhand said. “Actin’ all friendly an’ such, ‘til we got that first crate open. Then she set tah bargainin’...try’na git free passage. We’s hoverin’ in a gorram storm an’ she’s…” Abby give an exasperated sigh an’ a shake of her head. “So I promised her what I did to shut up an’ stop gummin’ up tha works.” Her eyes wore remorse as she looked up. “I’m sorry, Cap’n. Made a bad call. I’m willin’ tah work off tha cost...anyway yew say’s shiny with me.”

Cal met her eye with a steel look in his own. Less fare meant crew ate outta pocket. Meant Badger’s thin line they’d managed to just scrape above was threatened. He’d looked over the numbers, and they didn’t look good--not with Badger claiming seventy percent. If it weren’t for the next job he’d lined up… Those eight ten-plus-pound salmon he and Hook caught last night were starting to look mighty small. “Three for half?” he said, tone measured. In light of what had happened in that storm, the cost amounted to adding insult to infamy--now that there was a dead Fed not reporting in on Marisol’s whereabouts, and his last known location aboard the China Doll.

Her eyes was moist. “I’m powerful sorry,” Abby give ‘em a wipe on the sleeve of her robe. “An’ bein’ all laid up...but I could still help. Yah need somebody out front fer bookin’s? Sure’n I could handle that ‘til I’m back on muh feet.”

Seeing Abigail laid up, twisted in her chair from the Fed’s bullet, and crying to boot softened his frown. With a sigh, he said, “Clean yourself up, kid, and you’ll do just that. We need to recoup two more rooms at standard rate for this haul to Greenleaf, dohn-ma?” He loosened his jaw to take in the last of his coffee.

“Thank yew, Cap’n.” She fought the quiver at her lip an’ give a nod. ‘I’ll git squared an’ right out there,” Abby piped up. “An’ I’d be much obliged if yah’d take mah share back? All I need’s enough tah git a couple pairs ‘o’ socks.”

Captain Strand rose, “Socks, huh?” He chewed on that for a moment, “You earned your share workin’ hard as anyone on this boat. Deck works hard, she gets paid for what she done. You’ll take your share, buy your socks, and fill the Doll with folk, just like you did on Persephone. Of that I have no doubt.” If she’d asked him square, he would’ve told her he’d have done the same thing in her shoes. In the moment, she negotiated for what needed to be done, and for that Cal knew he’d chosen true in Abigail.

Abby ran fingers through her hair, pullin’ it all back tah fall more proper. “Yessir, Cap’n,” she nodded all serious. “Mighty kind ‘o’ yew...I won’t letcha down agin.”

With that, Cal set his tin cup in the sink and made his way toward the cockpit.

The girl watched him go. Uncle Bob used tah talk about “the measure of a man.” Hard fer her tah conjure at first ‘cuz it didn’t have nothin’ tah do with a yardstick. Only since she took tah sproutin’ inta her womanhood an’ seein’ how men behaved toward her did his words ring home. Cap’n was a man who gave trust, even after she let him down. A man who knowed what’s in her heart to do right by ‘im. As Cal headed forward, his measure looked mighty tall in her eyes.

He’d left the clipboard for her. Abby welled up at the sight.
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by Aalakrys
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Shell Sorting is Serious Business

The latent hummed groan that came from beneath a pile of patchwork quilt as Penelope stretched her tender legs was the first indication the pilot was waking. When between ports, she operated more like clock-work, keeping to a set schedule that mostly left her in the flight deck. But, when the ship she was piloting was docked, she was one to fully embrace shore-leave and off-duty life unless the captain called on her for something or another.

A sigh escaped her lips as she pulled the blanket off her head, her eyes staring up at the curved ceiling of her quarters. When she’d made it back in the late hours of the night, Penelope had been ready for sleep. It had been a good day, everything was good with the captain, she’d made a new set of local friends, and the shore supplied her with a very good haul. Though her legs were sore from all the walking, she couldn’t be sore herself. Besides, as her smile returned, it was a good sort of pull in her calves. Once she got up the ladder, a little walk around would stretch it right out.

But first - the treasure! The young woman’s head turned on her pillow to the backpack she’d placed down carefully in the corner of the room, out of foot traffic if she got up in the middle of the night. Again she stretched out, the blanket still covering her bare legs, and carefully dragged the pack over by the just captured strap. Lifting it up and placing it on her covered lap, she unclasped the flap that secured the largest part first and began to pull out her findings.

Penelope had been mindful to take some cloth with her to wrap up the more fragile pieces and a few small plastic bottles for smaller prizes. Among the scraps of burlap and cotton were cowries, winkles, whelks, scallops, lettered olives, augers, and conkles and many more. They all had nice color splashes or patterns, separating them from the many that had littered the stretch of sand she’d walked on. A circular dish with a twisted lid secured small sand dollars, and a large one as big as her hand was safely tucked in the front pocket so it wouldn’t get broken on the journey back. Inside a tiny corked bottle was a star-shaped white remnant she’d found inside the center of a broken one. There was a chance to get a large starfish, but she saw its little tendrils moving and instead returned it to the sea just in case it was still alive. Later on, she’d found a few small dried out ones and decided to give them a new purpose so pocketed them in the other front pocket.

Admittedly, her favorite thing to find was sea glass and the local friends she had made had not steered her wrong at all. That beach had an abundance of it. Recycling recycled goods brought a smile to her face, and the pouch she had pulled out had her positively beaming. That was for later though, she knew, so she set it aside in the circular spread of sea forming around her atop the quilt.

The task at hand was to make a decision she couldn’t make last night: which one of the shells said ‘Abby’? The backpack now returned to the floor empty, her hazel eyes studied the contestants all laid out before her. First, there was a perfect pair forming the angel wings that gave the shell its name - half a foot long and still connected while flat open. It was an incredible find. The matching zebra ark shell seemed a better fit for Abby, looking more like the wings of a fiery little sprite. But her eyes kept straying over to the conches.

Like the sand dollars, she’d collected a variety of sizes, but there were also different designs to these lovely shells. As she was hunting, she found more than a few that had a little critter still living inside. Nearly all, she’d returned to where they were, but one… she picked up the shell she’d carried in her hand the entire way back. It was a little thing, white and spiraled with tan. Inside, her new little friend peeked out at her from his shell at being lifted from the circular tray filled with sand that she’d left him on while she slept.

“What do ya say, Herbert? A conch for Abbs?” She grinned, tilting him to look at the choices. He started to creep out of his shell a little, getting a laugh from her. “No, we’re not looking for new real estate, mister. But… that is a nice one.”

After setting Herbert the hermit crab back in his temporary lodging, she carefully crawled out from her sea bed so as to not disturb the strayed items and went through the motions of getting dressed. Trading her long jersey knit sleeping gown for a loose cotton top and pair of wide-legged cloth capris that she tied at the waist before tying back her mussed hair, Penelope gave a gentle brush of her finger to Herbert before leaving with the shell that she had no idea what it was aside from knowing it was Abby’s.
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Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by MK Blitzen
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MK Blitzen Have Plot, Will Travel

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Wasn’t that a Party (Part 1)- Day One Night into Day Two Morning

New Melbourne

OOC: JP between @Winters, @MK Blitzen, @Yule

-Trigger warning! Alcohol and or recreational drug use-

“Come to Castaways, and cast your troubles away, oh, that sounds lekker….” Cyd said, reading the flyer out loud. “Authentic Luau, hula dancing, music, games, half-price drinks on the beach, come on, it’ll be a jol.” It wasn’t hard to convince Isaac Castaway’s nightly party on the beach was a good idea. Even Mathias, ticked off as he was, couldn’t deny that drinking something out of half a coconut with a tiny umbrella could make any situation better, and he agreed it sounded better than the Salty Sailor which, low and behold, was where many sailors tusit, making for a little rougher of a crowd.

Brilliant twinkling lights lit up little beachside huts where drinks were overpriced but had fruit juice and fun names like Rum and Pensa-cola. Small bonfires dotted the beach under the stars as the sun sank beneath the ocean for the night. Mathias had spent some time dobbling with the management before things got too crowded. It made the Blue Pelican Cyd occasionally sipped out of a tiki glass more affordable, even at half price, to say the least.

The Skye’s were decked out in beachwear. It was practical and packed far better than cold-weather clothing. Mathias wore a pair of longboard shorts, black and red with two large cargo pockets on either side and his drug rug, a beat-up, off-white, oversized even for him baja hoodie. He held a thinly rolled smoke with his lips as he strummed the chords of a flower print ukulele, looking relaxed, and - Cyd noted - happy. It made her slightly regret the novelty crab sunglasses she cajoled the DJ into giving her for him. Slightly. He looked sommer bosbefok wearing them.

Isaac, katjie van die baan that he was looked right at home behind a set of steel drums. Sounded right at home too. The band couldn’t help but be charmed by his enthusiasm and boisterous attitude. Decked out in board shorts covered in neon palm trees, he’d come in with a bright pink tank top and somehow managed to score not only a paisley print button-up, but a pair of larny sunglasses - something pricey Fishsticks would own - that sat atop his head as he played. His echoic memory made it seem easy. And it was Isaac - he was impossible not to like.

Cyd traded a floral print tank dress in favor of a bikini matching her hair color and a grass skirt, kupe'e leis adorning her ankles and wrists. The sand was still sunkissed warm, beneath her bare feet. She was among the first to volunteer when the beautiful dancers offered to teach some of the party-goers some Polynesian-inspired steps. Her arms rocked like waves, and her hips swayed as she sidestepped to her brother who stopped strumming just long enough to pass the dagga. Inhaling deeply, she was hit with the giggles until she took another sip of the Blue Pelican. Still elated, she handed the smoke back to her twin and fell back in step with the music. Lekker jol

Somewhere around 2 am was last call. Isaac had made five fast friends of the band, Steel my Sunshine. Part of it was his personality - but it may also have been his willingness to share his share of Mathas’ weed. Mathias had cozied up with two of the hula dancers, and, finding out there was a nearby stable at the beach tacked up and took one of them for a moonlight ride. Cyd kept busy trading notes with the in-house DJ, and found out that during night swimming she screams the same if a piece of seaweed touches her leg as she would if someone yelled ‘shark.’ It was a near-perfect way to celebrate the job they'd just finished.
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Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Yule
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Wasn’t that a Party (Part 2)- Day One Night into Day Two Morning

New Melbourne

OOC: JP between @Winters, @MK Blitzen, @Yule

An hour later the surfside shacks were locked tight, and the Skye’s were content to lay by the embers of one of the bonfire pits, playing ‘name-the-constillation.’

The siblings sprawled out on the beach, the tops of their heads almost touching as they stared upwards. “That one!” Cyd said pointing to a bright mass. “Horned owl. See? Two stars make up the tips of the ears, then those two bit for the eyes, and down two more for feet.” She traced the pattern with her fingertips for emphasis.

Matthias tilted his head. “Okay … yea i think I see it.” He squinted. “Wait, is it that one or that one that makes the tip of the ears.” He asked point to the winking stars in question.

Cyd giggled and moved his hand downward to where she was looking. “Izzit? Wait, yes.” she decided. “Oweh, I’m glad I don’t have to sail a ship like that guide said the pirates did. We’d still be lost.”

"Speak for yourself," Isaac said pretending to be offended, "I would have been an amazing pirate! And I never get lost!" He added proudly. "Oh!" His hand jutted out, pointer finger extended as he declared his discovery. "Kinkajou! Right there! See? That's the curly tail." He said confidently.

“I see it, I see it, Lo,” Cyd promised, “You woulda been a madder pirate. Scurvy and all.” She paused for a minute, nudging Mathias’ ankle with a bare foot. “I shoulda had you boost one of those gold coins in the gift shop.”

“What more junk for us to carry?” Mathias snorted. “Wait if that's the tail where are the eyes, it needs to have big eyes otherwise it’s just a mutated monkey and not a Kinkajou.” He said nose scrunching. “Well ... more mutated than it already is … “

"Die dom oë are right there!" Isaac stabbed in frustration at the sky. Honestly, he couldn't figure out how his brother couldn't see them. "Right. There." He punctuated with a couple more jabs. "Die aap is nie die enigste met geen oë nie." He grumbled, throwing a side eye to his older brother.

“Is it … crossed eyes? Are you sure it's a Kinkajou and not how you look when you're asleep?” Mathias said with a playful giggle.

"Ek sal jou oë kruis." Isaac threatened under his breath.

“Oh I see it … there's the paw-paw that passes for your mouth.” Mathias said with an innocent blink.

“Lekker, Lekker,” Cyd soothed, nudging Mathias again to defuse the situation. “I see it Lo. That’s why you’d be a madder pirate. You hungry? I got candy coated macadamias....”

“Just teasing ... '' Mathias stuck his tongue out at his sister. “... You got a candy coated nuts and you didn’t share it earlier … you monster.” He said poking Cyd.

“From what I remember you were busy at the time,” She teased back, handing over a small box of the treats to Mathias.

"Today was fun." Isaac smiled, but it soon faded. "Tomorrow, though, we go back on that boks vol waansin of a ship and make all nice nice." He knew he just killed the mood, but the teen wasn't much for not speaking his mind, particularly the moment something enters it.

“Yeah but that's tomorrow … Tonight I got the sweetest nuts on my mouth and high enough to touch the stars. Want some sweet sweet nuts in your mouth too?” Mathias chuckled, waving the bag near Isaacs face.

Isaac didn't want to give his brother the satisfaction of saying yes because he knew he wouldn't hear the end of it for a good day or more. But the nuts did smell pretty nice. "Yes" he mumbled as low as he possibly could to be considered a response as he quickly snatched the box away from his pain in the ass of an older brother.

“It won’t be so bad,” Cyd promised. “I mean, for the most part, the ship seems a bit bot itself. We don’t ask questions, they don’t ask questions. Plus I was thinking we can doss in the shuttle. From what I get the ship needs babki and we can pay full fare for it. And I wanna thank Hook the Cook for not lettin’ Yobo get shot.”

“Uh-hu.” Mathais said in a skeptical tone. “We got this far cuz we don’t ride dirty and that ship needs a bath in the worst way.”

Isaac put up a fist for his older brother to bump. He may be as annoying as a horing in die gat, but he was right.

Cyd crossed her hands over her stomach. Mathias was right, he had a point, but they didn’t have a lot of say in the matter. Renting out the shuttle would be kief, now that they had funds to do it, that was a plus, and besides, there had to be a bright side. “Maybe it was a one time thing,” she offered, not fully believing the words herself. Something in the pit of her belly told her it wasn’t the last time they’d see Ms. Marisol Baker-Chavez.

Mathias didn’t let his Lo hang and bumped his fist with his own.

"Here in die hemel! Let's hope so!" Isaac laughed.

“Not a single one of ‘em phased, all green but chill as fresh sorghum on their first run together.” Mathias snorted, ever the pragmatic one. “I doubt it’ll be the last.”

“Roof over our heads and we get to stay together.” Cyd offered by way of solace. “Three squares. No protein paste.”

“Are we listing pros and cons or the bare minimum to live and be comfortable?” Mathias teased.

"Why can't it be both?" Isaac smirked. "I'm not gonna be on the floor for good, am I?" He groused.

Mathias made an iffy gesture. “We’re on the floor now ain’t we? Side’s if we negotiate shuttle space … then we can all have a nice bed to crash on. Not that I approve of any of this in the least.”

"No, of course not." Isaac pretended to reassure his brother. "But if you did , would you load yours up with big fluffy pillows?" He mused.

“In a forever home? I would make a second bed out of fluffy pillows.” Mathias said, playing along. Of course he could go into the whole, ‘What was the point of talking about stuff we can never have?’, but he was too close to Cyd and she would do terrible awful things to his shins if he did.

"Then we make the best of it." Isaac sighed as he leaned back, cradling his head in his hands and gagging back at the night sky. "'Sides... doesn't sound like we've got a lot of choice in the matter, anyhow." He added with a shrug, just as his arm shot straight, pointing a finger at the sky. "Pangolin." He said lazily.

“Tragopan? I can name weird animals too.” Matthias elbowed Isaac.

“Pangolin’s a real thing, Yobo,” Cyd snickered. “Maybe you should….” She yelped as the tide started coming in, lapping at her feet. “What the…” It wasn’t just water and seaweed washing ashore. Cyd climbed to her feet and dusted the sand off her bottom walking to the waters’ edge. “Hayibo! Check here.”
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Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Winters
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Wasn’t that a Party (Part 3)- Day One Night into Day Two Morning

New Melbourne

OOC: JP between @Winters, @MK Blitzen, @Yule

Mathias propped himself back up on his elbows. “If it’s a dead Jellyfish I am not interested. Just stating that now.”

"Sand shark? Horseshoe crab?" Isaac started guessing, barely bothering to crane his head in his sister's general direction. "Crab shark?" He smirked. "That would be pretty cool."

“Crab shar…. No. That’s not even a…. Computer chips,” Cyd said, plucking one from the water. “The one the loskop scammed me an’ the deck to throw overboard. Shame, saltwater’s gonna fok ‘em up. Gotta be something, I mean, was a big todo over one fed.” It seemed extreme, lank even to ditch two crates worth for one kerel. There weren’t even no feds waiting for them on the ground, like she’d expected.

“That's not a fish dish is it …” Mathias said disappointed.

A surprised laugh escaped Isaac. "Storm surge must have forced them to shore super quick! Maybe they should've had a better plan." He shrugged, looking back at the stars. "Probably worthless now."

“Probably.” Cyd agreed, palming it anyway. “I got one that isn’t though. Skimmed it when all the scaly business was going on. I’ll check it nou nou, when the heat’s off.”

“It’s kak. The mal nun mechanic ... whatever she couldn’t pick a role or a name apparently … she ditched it. You should ditch it too. We don't need that in our back pocket with the kakspul of trouble that ship brings all on it’s lonesome without our help.” Mathias pointed out.

“If the ship’s in trouble and we’re on it - we’re bosbefok anyway,” Cyd reminded him. “Maybe kak, maybe kandi. Could be worth a loti. And ‘sides, I want to know what the fuss is about. It’s a data chip, I’m black hat.” The hacker in her wanted to know what it was, what it did, what it’s worth and how she could use it to their benefit.

Mathias grumbled. “Fine but it don’t come on the ship.” He groused.

“The ship full of them gorram cats that likely got something hid inside?” She asked with a quirk of her eyebrow. “Like you said, Yobo, it’s already lank muddy.”

"Mudskipper!" Isaac jammed a pointed finger at the sky only to be met with silence from his siblings. "We not playing anymore?" He asked, feeling a bit awkward.

“Oh, now I know you're just making that kak up!” Mathias said with an accusatory point of his finger.

"Hundred billion billion stars, bro," Isaac countered. "Technically, I can't possibly be wrong!" He said, giving his best 'check and mate' smirk.

“That is not how the game is played!” Mathias shouted, attacking Isaac ribs with his fingers.

Isaac squealed from his brother's tickling. "Cut it out! A cute girl might walk by! I don't want my brother making me look like a verloorder!"

“I’m sorry I can hear! You're laughing too hard … Can you repeat that!” Mathias said, merciless in his tickling.

Isaac tried to mount a proper defense, but all he could manage was limp flailing and high pitched yelps as he gasped for air.

Cyd turned the waterlogged chip over in her hand, there was no coming back from the briney damage. Then again, shame about the beach, anything in the ocean swallow one of them chips ain’t long for the world, and that was two crates of them dumped. “Yobo, don’t kill Lolo,” She said dismissively as the stars gave way to the sunrise. She couldn’t help but still be curious about what was so all fired important about these chips that they’d need transport only to hastily ditch right before landing. Part of her couldn’t wait to find out. But first things first. Cat naps, then Cal Strand, and if there were time- a word of gratitude to the cook. Sure the ship was shady, the crew was green, but a muddy ship was less likely to ask a lot of questions. Besides, Cyd still had a feeling about the China Doll.

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Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by sail3695
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Things To Be Treasured

JP/collab from @Aalakrys and @sail3695

Gorram difficult takin’ a shower ‘thout gettin’ yer pi gu all wet.

Abby finally give in an’ jest washed her hair under them jets. Rest of her got scrubbed outta the lav sink. Doc’s morning round ‘o’ pills was takin’ hold. Soreness never went away, but long’s she took her time an’ shied off any acrobatics she’s able tah git about.

She’d pulled out a pair ‘o’ denim cutoffs fer the day. Short as they was, she didn’t wear ‘em much beyond layin’ about her room. But today she could smell tha ocean, an’ feel a warm sun on her skin. Wouldn’t hurt her legs tah git a little color. Arms neither, fer that matter. Abby knew jest tha tee shirt fer tha job. It was a nice pink she’d cut the sleeves off. Message always tickled her.

...in beautiful Broken Compass

”Cheap liquor...mind the snakes”

She ain’t never been to Broken Compass. Heard it’s on Deadwood, though. After brushin’ her teeth an’ puttin’ her hair back in a ponytail, she set herself up front ‘o’ the cargo bay ramp. Lawn chair she’s sittin’ in was aided by the pillow a might, and after some adjustin’ she’s tolerable comfy. Abby stretched her legs, bare feet nuzzlin’ the sandy soil underneath. Let’s make some coin, she thought as the clipboard come open.

After carefully tucking the large shell inside her satchel and climbing up the ladder out of her room, Penelope made a stop by the crew bath to tidy herself and the gift up a little. She pulled her damp hair into a messy bun atop her head, the orange strip making it seem like a swirled iced cream treat, and then redressed. The smell of the ocean as well as the salt spray was gone from her skin, but it'd likely be back later on. After visiting Abby, she had plans to check with the captain about going a little further out so long as no one needed her.

But first, Abby - who she found parked back in the lawn chair she'd seen her in only a few days and bullet wound previous. The little pillow made it look comfier, but Penelope doubted it was - bullet wound and all. As she walked down towards the open dock bay door, the wind was a fair bit gentler than it had been yesterday. Her loose clothing rippled gently against her sunkissed skin. If she weren't a forester bound to the stars, the beach would certainly have her soul.

"Mornin', Abbs." Unlike the captain, the melodious nature of Penelope's call as she rounded the lawn chair was less intended to playfully vex. She was just a cheerful disposition sort, and she bet the folks already knew it on account of her smile, which was present here. A tuck of a renegade strand that had broke free, the other hand rested over the flap of her satchel. "See you're feelin' good enough to come sit out in the sun and court potential passengers."

Abby looked up from the clipboard she’s studyin’. “Mornin’, Pen,” she smiled. “Tween you’n me, I conjure the Cap’n just don’t want me underfoot, shufflin’ about like an old gramma.” She’d never really thought on what folk called ‘er afore. Uncle Bob raised her as ‘Abby.’ But last few days, hearin’ the Cap’n usin’ her proper name an’ Pen callin’ her by ‘Abbs,’ the girl conjured she’s likin’ the difference. Even Rex callin’ her ‘Cal Junior’ brought a private snicker. "So,” she set her task aside, “d’ja have fun last night?”

If Penelope weren’t already smiling, the question would’ve done it - followed by the image of Cal unsuccessfully trying to get Abby to sit down any other way and take it easy. The girl was certainly a hard worker, and then asking after the beachcombing… was almost enough to make the pilot feel as if she should be doing more around the ship. But, if she had been, then she wouldn’t have what lay in her bag, would she?

“I might have had a little success in what I was aimin’ to do. Speakin’ of...” She gave a wink as she slipped her hand under the flap and flipped it over in one easy flick of her wrist. Since her palms weren’t covered with the customary fingerless gloves, it was easy for Penelope to feel for purchase on the curves of the hard shell. Still, she was careful and looked down to see what she was doing as she withdrew the large seashell. “One special order - hand-picked by yours truly and delivered as promised.”

Penelope’s fingers had curled inside the shell’s opening, and she held it out thus so Abby could see the ridges and wave-like curls of the Miyoko Murax. “I ain’t seen one of these before, but thought it looked most like the ocean formed it from the way it patterned. Best way to bring the beach to you.”

Abby’s eyes grew wide. “That’s a sea shell?” She took it into her palms, holdin’ gentle as she turned it. “I swear it’s like...a blossom,” her fingers trailed the rippled edge. “Or a sculpture.” She set fingertips glidin’ the ridges as colors shifted...orange...pink...white...all radiatin’ out from the pearl smooth hole where a little creature done called home. “It’s...so...beautiful,” Abby breathed. She’s lookin’ on it...followin’ where it took her...colors an’ lines shootin’ out in all directions like a star burst. Her hands wanted...chalk. She had tah git chalk. “Pen,” Abby finally tore her eyes from that glorious sight, “this is..I’m...thank yew.”

Abby moved to get up, til she’s reminded of her hurt. Just the same, she put an arm up tah give Pen a hug. “Thank yew,” she said agin. “Thank yew.”

Penelope gave her gentle laugh as she leaned down to accommodate the hug offered as thanks. It was clear Abby saw the beauty in it same as her, and that was a wonderful thing to share. “Reckon you like it a little bit, then.”

When they broke from the embrace, Penelope was grinning. “I’ll have’ta show you the rest of my collection later on. Got all sorts, but liked this one best for you.”

“Oh, I love it!” Abby burst out. “Ever’ way yah turn it, it’s jest...” She laughed, shook her head. “Hard tah take my eyes off it. It’s like yah found treasure...jewels what nobody seen afore. Now I’m goin’ off at tha mouth,” the girl’s smile wouldn’t quit. “An’ yes, I’d like tah see what else yah found.”

Penelope always thought smiles were contagious, and that’s why they came so easily to her - she liked seeing other folks wearing one. Abby’s face all lit up was well worth the sore legs hunting it down had given her. It hadn’t bothered her one bit to see the girl gush. Was a mighty pretty shell worth the praise.

A fist against her hip, she nodded as if it were settled. “Wouldn’t want to distract ya from all this work and get the ire of the cap’n down on us, but if you’ll be here a spell then I can get ‘em cleaned up all pretty and come show ya.”

“Ain’t no hurry. I’ma be here,” the deckhand nodded. “Cap’n wants passengers fer Greenleaf. Wanna git him two at the least...hopeful they’ll be a few more.”

Mayhaps it was because she was in an amicable sort of situation with Abby, and mayhaps it was because she hadn’t been expecting it, but at the mention of their next intended destination Penelope’s entire being froze for a brief moment. She blinked and it was over, though, passing just as quickly as it had struck her. The warmth returned to her eyes, that honeyed hazel free of the startle they held just a breath before. Home.

“Greenleaf, huh?” She said as she rocked back on a heel as she bounced the point of her other foot’s toe against the ramp. “Shouldn’t be too hard to find folk that want to go there even though it’s mostly wild jungle. Big Alliance city takes up a large chunk - shiny tech takes some fancy engineers, so don’t let any potential passengers try to short-change ya if they ain’t wearin’ light and loose clothes like mine.”

Locals didn’t get too posh, even with the Alliance trying to make ‘em complacent about a quarter of their forest-covered planet getting raized by showcasing the best and new fashions and qualities of life. The allure of the city didn’t call most the natives like the Purps had hoped, so most of the population had come from off-world. Penelope’s parents had been natives, but they’d been part of those that got all-but forced into coming to the city by other underhanded means. It weren’t like they were uncivilized, the natives. Just didn’t quite meet the bar the Alliance set to qualify for civilized.

“Foresters might try to trade you goods though. Tell ‘em you’re full up, that your pilot is a barefoot, and she’ll trade if’n they’re keen but they gotta pay regular rate.” Saying that brought out her full grin again, but not entirely for reasons she said aloud. Pilots like her got the best deals in barefoot trades, beings they went all over.

Abby listened. “Ain’t no better teacher than a native,” Aunt Lupe used to say. “Barefoot,” she answered. “Foresters. If we git one try’na deal such, I’ll come askin’. Meantime,” the girl give a pat to the clipboard on her lap, “I’m stickin’ tah the rates. Already made one foul up gonna run us tight. Cap’n shoulda fired me outright, but he didn’t. Ain’t plannin’ no repeats.”

"Seems like Cap'n'll allow a little strayin' from the straight-and-narrow if'n there's reason." Pen figured aloud idly, especially given their last conversation topics. "So reckon since you're still sittin' here, he understood. Wouldn't go worryin' after it too much, Abbs."

She offered a comforting pat on the arm along with her gentle smile before nodding down at the shell. "Want me to tuck this beaut away somewhere till you're off the clock?"

Abby moved the shell in her hands, turnin’ it to an’ fro to catch the light different. “Think I’d like tah look at it s’more,” she lifted her eyes toward Pen. “Mayhaps this don’t make no sense, but it...sorta takes me somewheres.”

“Makes sense a’plenty.” Pen’s grin hadn’t faded as she sighed with effect of hanging her head backwards and looking upwards at the sky. Well, the roof of the cargo ramp, but it was more or less not what she was looking at specifically. When her head came to a moment later, she looked back down at the girl in the lawnchair. “It’ll keep ya in the chair, I hope. Let them fellas pull their weight for once and load up any thing needs loadin’, yeah?”

It wasn’t that the pilot thought anyone didn’t pull their weight, but rather that Abby didn’t seem like the sort to know how to rest without it worryin’ on her. So, she teased, all obvious and light-hearted.

“Cap’n says stay right here,” the girl piped up, “so right here I’ll stay. Try’na get some sun on these space white legs, anyway,” she give a chuckle. “Hey Pen,” thought struck her as the pilot was turnin’, “think we can talk sometime ‘bout Greenleaf? Ain’t never seen beyond the port afore. I’d like tah learn ‘bout the jungle from someone who’s been.”

Glad to hear that Abby would certainly be sticking to the chair, Penelope had almost given a comment on how she might not want to go too long in the sun or she’d burn without a good base-coat, but the question caught her off-guard. Greenleaf again, but thankfully it wasn’t what she’d been thinkin’ - and that got Abby a double-edged soft laugh. Maybe triple? Surprised, circumstantial, and thankful. Yeah, triple.

“Shaw, we can talk about it.” She said with the merriment still carrying in her tone, then she shook it away and explained. “But I’ve more than been - grew up there. How about I get my treasures cleaned up, then I can come set up with ya while I work on my trades? Show ya what else I got and spin some tales about the forest proper.”

The deckhand give a nod. “Sounds fine,” she smiled agin. “Got an errand tah run later on, if’n the Doc says I can go. I’ll letcha know when I git back.” She give a half wave as Pen smiled an’ turned. “An’ thank yew agin’,” Abby called as tha “barefoot from Greenleaf” made her way up tha ramp.

She thought on the shell once agin. Sun was warmin’ up; she’d as like need tah cover her legs soon tah keep from burnin’, like Pen said. But fer now, she pondered, ”feels too nice tah head in.”

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And The Sea Shall Yield Up….

Part 2

The sun rose, a pale disk on the horizon, soon to be enveloped by the advancing clouds. Yuri hustled along the main deck, hands shoved into his pockets to brace against the cold wind. The Mick sailed upon a sea grown restless in the red morning glow; all about them the chop rose to white peaks which soon blew clear as a bitter cold spray. He could feel the great ship, shuddering and hesitating beneath his feet as she pushed on toward the Southwest.

As he made his way forward, the mechanic passed the cargo bay hatches, giant slabs of steel which were supposed to be anchored in place by some fifty locking clamps each. He was lucky if he counted more than ten on any one hatch. The practice was an old one; The sheer tonnage of each hatch was considered more than ample to hold it in place atop its’ opening. Captains were hard pressed to explain the many hours of overtime pay required to have a crew dog each clamp into place, only to reverse the painstaking operation upon arrival. Of this practice, all the experienced seamen were rather blase’. “How it’s been done for decades!” more than one old mate had ridiculed him for his concern. Yuri wondered if any of them had witnessed the ship’s more pronounced torquing motion.

“Maybe I am being alarmist,” he considered as he bounded up the forward steps. “And that,” Yuri chided himself, “is likely why I’m about to receive a personal pi gu chewing from the Captain.”

The first thing he noticed when he stepped onto the bridge was the ship’s motion. At this height he could feel her deck plates, undulating beneath the soles of his boots. Yuri glanced about, taking in the burnished gleam of wood paneling and trim, a lovely sight made all the more interesting by the crisp arrays of technology that composed the ship’s nerve center.

Gina was at the wheel. Further starboard, the Captain stood, huddled over the chart display with Anderson, the navigator, and the First Mate, Gallegos. The grim looks all around set the hairs on the back of Yuri’s neck tingling as he approached the helmsman. “Hey, Gina,” he whispered. “What’s up?”

She cast a sidelong glance. “Weather. Got a massive low pressure system rolling up from the South. Gonna get nasty...fast.”

“How nasty?” he whispered.

Her ebon hands made a series of corrective moves on the wheel, holding course against the rhythmic buffeting of the waves. “Gale force winds. Freezing pre-cip,” she said quietly. “Seas running fifteen to twenty feet.”

”La shi,” Yuri swore under his breath. “Coming right over the port beam. We’ve gotta batten…”

“Antonov.” The captain now stood alone, his eye piercing as he fixed upon the Engineer’s Mate. “Over here.”

Yuri made all haste to stand before him. “Sir,” he replied.

The captain lifted an accusatory finger, directing the young man’s eye toward the displays arrayed about his chair. “What does that say?” His finger touched upon a readout titled Speed.

Yuri saw the train coming. “Eighteen knots, sir.”

“Eighteen knots. Can you tell me what our speed was when you came on watch this morning?”

“Twenty-five knots, sir.”

“Twenty-five knots,” the captain repeated. “Now do you care to explain to me why the dog watch reactor mate can give me power for twenty-five knots in these seas, but you can’t?”

Yuri straightened his back. “When I came on watch, the reactor was operating in an unsafe fashion. I restored…”

“Against my orders,” the Captain growled.

“No, sir. Per our corporate NavSafe regulations..."

“Alright, you legalistic little shit,” the Captain glowered. “You mentioned an unsafe reactor. I’m obligated to hear you out. Report.”

Yuri took a deep breath. There was the line...the one he was about to cross. “The reactor was spiking,” he answered. “The mate on watch had removed one rod altogether and had withdrawn the final to half insertion. When I arrived, I observed that he’d defeated the alarms and manually overridden the reactor control functions.”

The Captain grunted. “Manual,” he muttered as he folded his arms. “So how was he maintaining?”

“Each rod has an emergency hand crank,” the mate responded. “He was riding that crank, adjusting it by watching the output reading, sir.”

“Innovative,” the Old Man nodded.

“Sir,” Yuri spoke up, “you don't fuck around with one of these old RBMK's. I wouldn’t surf like that even if our rods weren’t almost completely spent…”

"So you're a coward."

"Not my call, sir."

“I’m well aware of the condition of our rods,” the Captain glared. “Thanks to your running off at the mouth when corporate’s engineering VP was aboard, we’re due into Biloxi for full replacement after this run.”

“I answered his questions, Captain. Didn’t lie to him.” Yuri held his ground, “just like I don’t lie to you.”

“Tell that to the rest of the crew. While you’re on the clock with the yard apes for the refueling, your shipmates’ll all be sitting at home without a paycheck.”

“Eatin’ ramen for a couple weeks is better than dying,” the Engineer’s mate countered. “Are we replacing the mod blocks, too? The pyrolitic carbon is coming apart. Some real graphite…”

The Captain’s finger pointed toward the dual radar displays. “See that ping? Twelve miles astern?”

Yuri studied the dual screen images, watching them refresh with each clockwise sweep of the radar emitters whirling atop the bridge. “Yes, sir.”

“That,” the Captain shoved a pair of binocs into his hands, “is the SN Darryl Moncrief.”

He trained the glasses upon the horizon, scanning until a fat blob of the following ship swept into view. He backtracked, focusing the oculars as he zoomed in. Sure enough, the long hull of an ore carrier with superstructures fore and aft could be clearly observed. “I see her, sir.” Judging by the tumbling white ribbon of her bow wave, she was putting on all speed.

The Captain snatched the binocs from him. “If you’d kept your reactor at power, you WOULDN’T!” The man’s eyes burned as his voice dropped. “The Moncrief,” he said, “is headed for the same destination as us. Do you know what happens if he gets there first?”

“He unloads first.”

“First thing you’ve gotten right today! He unloads...while we spend twenty-four hours at anchor...sitting on our hands and burning money.” The Captain’s eyes narrowed. “Now...Antonov...get your ass back to your reactor and get me twenty-five knots.”

“Sir, I…”

The Captain lifted a hand. “Son, I’ve already requested your replacement as soon as Corporate can find one. What you need to decide now is if you’re off with your full share and a chance to land another seagoing post, or if I stop your clock right here and you ride out this trip in your bunk. Answer me now.”

As the question stilled the air on the bridge, Yuri weighed his options. He could try to make the man understand just how close the McSorley’s reactor had come to being a bomb. The rods were nearly spent. Worse still, the cost cutting move of replacing graphite with cheaper pyrolytic carbon moderators was the very cause of their declining yield. He could point all this out..the truth was plain and fair...but no. A great many men had gone to their graves as impoverished outcasts, clinging to the scant comfort of being “in the right.” Things were already bad enough. Besides, he reasoned, if what Gina had said about the approaching weather were true, the Mick would eventually have to reduce speed. “Yes, sir,” Yuri met the master’s scowl. “Twenty-five knots, aye, sir.”

“Be quick,” the Captain’s order was curt.

The mechanic turned for the bridge exit, his mind now set to redline the reactor for an hours’ long knife edge dance. He was nearly to the stairwell when Gallegos’ voice echoed across the bridge. “Captain, looks like that weather’s moving faster than predicted.” Yuri paused, eyes moving toward the broad swath of forward facing glass. The storm’s leading edge was announced by an immense wall cloud. The sight was magnificent, but every person on the McSorley’s bridge understood exactly the approaching threat.

“Gorram it,” the Captain cursed under his breath. “Helm, hold your course.. Mate,” the ship’s master regarded his First, “rig for Gale One..”

“Rig for Gale One, aye, sir,” Gallegos answered as he set to the ship’s intercom. “Attention all hands, attention all hands. This is the First Mate. Rig for Gale One, I repeat, rig for Gale One.”

“Antonov,” the Captain said to his departing engineer, “Until my direct order to reduce speed comes down, you give me that twenty-five knots. Am I clear?”

“Aye, sir.” No need to voice further concern; he’d done that, and been overruled. His orders were clear. Captain wanted to redline it, that was his call. Yuri would deal...and hope that he could land a gig on the next ship.

Peeling his eyes away from the approaching weather, the mate had just gripped the handrails to slide downward when the Captain called his name once more. “Antonov.”

“Sir.” He turned, expecting the same critical grimace that announced his declining tenure aboard the Eileen McSorley. Instead, the Captain’s expression had shifted to one of deepening concern.

“Have the pumps manned and ready.”

“Right away, sir.” For just a moment, the veils were lowered. Both men shared the understanding...and acknowledged the risk. With a silent nod for his captain, the young man hurried aft. He’d be performing a dangerous balancing act in Reactor Control. But here on the bridge of a leaking old ship, the Captain would be walking a tightrope of his own.

……………….to be continued………………..
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by wanderingwolf
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Cold Calculations

New Melbourne

Properly caffeinated thanks to Hook's brew, Cal entered a silent bridge, except for the whirring and ticking of one S.A.M.N.T.H.A.

"Hey Sam, how're our fuel reserves lookin'," Captain Strand asked the empty room as he sat in the pilot's chair.

"Hello Cal, our reserves have been topped off thanks to the crew that departed last evening. We're fueled up and ready to 'break atmo' as you put it," there were hints of a smile forming on the digital lips of the speaker--the slight, black box that sat on the flight console.

"Now, that's great news to hear. Penelope been treating you right? Not riddling you with questions, is she?"

"Whatever do you mean, Cal?"

"I guess you're just as inquisitive as she is," Strand chuckled.

"Why do you ask?" Sam replied, unfazed by Cal's pronouncement.

"Well, see, Marisol, or General Chavez, alluded to you being part of some larger Alliance conspiracy to control people's minds. Sounds a bit far fetched to me..." the man was picking lint off the arm of his shirt.

"She was correct."

"Come again?" Cal said, looking up as if he could make eye contact with the black box.

"Through neural links."

"Neural what?" Cal paused, chewing on the direction this conversation was headed.

"A microchip embedded in human hosts allows me to suggest actions based on micro haptic feedback in the chip itself," Sam's Bostonian accent lilted from word to word, matter-of-factually.

Cal stroked his chin, listening. So Marisol was telling the truth, and there were more secrets here to be plumbed. "You mention any of this to the pilot?"

"It hasn't come up," Sam replied, "would you like me to?"

"No, not right now. Let's keep mum on all things to do with the Alliance," Cal shook his head, "Don't need any more Purple Bellies showin' up on my boat."

"Purple Bellies?" Sam asked, intoning the word 'bellies.'

Captain Strand laughed aloud. "You had to be there, sister." Changing the subject, he asked, "How's the weather fairin' for launch day?"

"Skies are clear here, but there's a category four hurricane about five-hundred miles North East of us. They're calling it Hurricane Daniel."

"Movin' this way?" Cal brows knit together.

"No, satellite reports read it's moving at about ten miles per hour, North Westerly."

"Jao Gao (not good)," Strand muttered; the China Doll was due in that direction tomorrow for cargo pickup. "Well, let's hope it clears up."

"Unlikely, as historical almanacs indicate--" Sam began.

"--I don't need the details, just a little hope is all," Cal interrupted. "We're about to be heavy with cargo, fish, for a leg to Greenleaf..." He started, then hesitated. "How cold would the passenger and crew areas get during a sixteen hour flight in the black?"

The black box on the console was silent for a moment as whirring and ticking filled the void of Sam's response. "At sixteen hours without atmospheric temperature systems, the external hull temperature in the shade would be near negative one-hundred degrees Celsius, and in direct light from the suns, as hot as two-hundred and sixty Celsius," Sam began, "As an average, there is more shade on our route to Greenleaf with enough light from local suns for the China Doll to maintain an internal temperature of negative five degrees Celsius without atmospheric systems for that amount of time."

"That ought to do the trick," Cal said, considering it would freeze their four-thousand-pound haul of illegally fished tuna for his buyer on Greenleaf. Given that the season had just officially opened in New Melbourne, any ship caught with cargo prior to yesterday would face serious charges and impoundment.

"At that temperature, you may expose passengers and crew to suppressed immune systems. You may want to ask Alana if she has any preventative means to stave off illness," Sam implored.

"Good thinkin', I'll be sure to have a chat with her before we launch." Beyond bundling up and those couple space heaters he had in storage, Cal couldn't think of any other 'preventative means' aside from gritting teeth. "Now, let's get you set in the avionics bay, that way inquisitive eyes needn't go snoopin' about." With one hand on the Epsilon adapter, he carefully snapped loose the black box from the console and made his way down into the avionics bay.
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Folk was still lookin’ out fer her. After Pen headed in, she spun back by with a tube ‘o’ sunscreen an’ a jug ‘o’ water. Cap’n showed up with a walkie. An’ then Hook come out with this amazin’ fish sandwich. “I should git shot more often,” the girl tried the joke. Judgin’ by the blank stares, it went over like a lead balloon. Lesson learnt.

She may come up short in the joke tellin’ department, but one thing Abby conjured straight up. Them’s who showed her so much kindness was due double in return. Mighta been a bullet goosed ‘em inta action, but she figgered it had tah be in ‘em tah start...and that made ‘em good folk. Folk she wanted tah be like. Emulate, she’d read in one ‘o’ her stories.

Abby mused on that as she rubbed the lotion ontah her legs. Aunt Lupe an’ Uncle Bob was good folk...leastways til Lupe died. But even in years tah follow, when she’d have tah steer him tah bed at night or pick him up from a puddle of his own sick come mornin’, she always knowed Uncle Bob cared for her.

He taught her tah draw a pistol..”tah keep yer virtue from them’s tryin’ tah take it.” All the while, he waved that book about. “Looka here, Chick Pea! Says it right here! Blackjack Bob O’Halleran...fastest gun in tha ‘verse!” Sure’n she believed it, too...leastways ‘til she beat him on the draw. She’s eleven at the time. Afore then, she’d always pondered why none of them other guns never come lookin’ fer him...jest farm boys with big ideas an’ dog eared copies ‘o’ that book. But after a time spent thinkin’ on it, Abby come tah realize that them gunslingers, Lefty DuFresne, Jean Ann Cuthbert, Doc Adler an’ tha rest...knowed all along what she jest learned. Uncle Bob weren’t fast. Weren’t even close. But even when she kenned his feet ‘o’ clay, the girl loved the man what raised her. ”I should open that book tahnight… she thought of her last remembrance.

“Excuse me? Miss?”

Man was standin’ right fronta her. “Sorry,” Abby startled from her lotion. “Mind’s a million mile away…”

He give a smile. “Those are my favorite times. Apologies for interrupting your journey.” Man looked about her height. Had a suit jacket, but everythin’ ‘bout ‘im was rumpled. Scuffs an’ dirt on his shoes tole her he weren’t no high toned gent, but them spectacles and the eyes behind got her tah thinkin’ he’s a right smart one. He’s breakin’ a sweat, draggin’ a big trunk behind ‘im. “I was told you’re bound for Greenleaf?”

Abby nodded. “True that. Skids up ‘bout fifteen hunnerd tomorrah. Got single an’ double berth rooms open.”

Man’s eyes brightened a skosh. “Perfect! I’d be delighted to book a single. May I store my trunk aboard now?”

“Sure’n you can.” Abby opened the clipboard. “Gotta warn yah. We’re haulin’ some fresh fish, so won’t be no heat ‘cept a space heater in yer room. We’ll set ya up with extra blankets an’ such. That work for yew?”

“Shiny,” the man give a broad smile. “I’m from New Kasmir. It’s always cold there,” he chuckled. “I was so afraid, with the fishing season starting, that I’d be stranded here and miss my orchid.”


“I’m a botanist...I study plants,” he said tah Abby’s lost stare. “I think there’s an unnamed species of orchid growing in the southern jungles on Greenleaf.” As he ‘splained his purpose, his eyes took a shine. She could tell he’s gettin’ excited jest talkin’ ‘bout it. “I’m meeting a guide, but she says we have to leave in three days’ time...so I’m glad to face a little cold for the chance to name a new species!” He’s durn near bouncin’ on tha balls of his feet.

“Then yah got tha right boat.” She lifted the clipboard. “Care tah putcher name on tha line?”

“Certainly!” He took her pen and set to writin’, his name laid out in neat letterin’.

Prof. S. Marquina

He went fer his pocket, then like a doctor measurin’ out medicine, he counted out his coin. “I believe that puts everything in order,” he said as Abby took the clipboard back.

Her brow furrowed. “Prof? Kinda name is...oh,” she caught wise. “Perfessor. Perfessor Marquina,” she said with a nod.

“You pronounced my name correctly,” his smile was good humored.. “You know some Spanic?”

“Had an Aunt Lupe...Guadalupe,” she counted out the coin, afore lookin’ up. “All square, Perfessor. I can have someone show yah aboard.”

Marquina straightened his tie. “Actually, I’m running late for an appointment in town. Might someone take my trunk aboard while I attend my business?”

”Ku. We’ll git it stowed fer yah. Welcome aboard tha China Doll, Perfessor.”

“Thank you, miss?”

“Oh yeah. Travis,” she give her hand tah shake. “Call me Abby.”

The Professor give a half bow as he took her hand. “Pleasure to meet you, Abby. I’ll be back.” Tossed a friendly wave her way, and in a second, he was hurryin’ off toward town.

“Seems nice,” sht watched him go. Good tah see there’s nice folk out there. Durin’ his last years, Uncle Bob was all paranoid an’ warnin’ her tha ‘verse was full ‘o’ killers, rapists, and con artists. ”He’s prob’ly right,” she conjured, ”but seein’s I ain’t been killed nor raped, one outta three ain’t too bad…”

This next fella she seen comin’. Younger, mayhaps her age or a year or so more, tall an’ long haired. “S’cuse me,” he asked, eyes fixin’ on her legs til’ he realized he’s makin’ a fool ‘o’ hisself. “Are you...Abby?” he near whispered.

She laid the open clipboard over her thighs. “Who the hell are yew?”

“Jerome,” he stammered. “I...got a message...if you’re Abby.”

Abby cocked an eyebrow. “The same. Go on.”

The boy chose an honest to Buddha whisper this time. “We got a mutual friend. She left her bag on your boat. Hopin’ you’ll give it back?”

Her hands gripped the armrests. “She’s alive?”

“I conjure.”

“So y’ain’t seen ‘er?”

“Nope...oh,” the boy fished in his pocket. “I’m s’posed to give you this.”

She took the envelope, an’ tore it open. Abby read it all quiet as Jerome shifted about, til his nervousness couldn’t be ignored no more. “Yah gonna keep doin’ that rain dance or yah gon’ let me finish?” she demanded. Once he settled down proper, she went back tah readin’.

”This,” Abby thought of them words in the note, ”is zactly what Cap’n warned me tah steer clear of.” She tucked the note back inside afore pushin’ it intah Jerome’s hand.

“What time I gotta be there?”
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by MK Blitzen
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MK Blitzen Have Plot, Will Travel

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Home Sweet Shuttle Part 1

New Melbourne, Day 2, Early Afternoon

OOC: JP between @Winters, @MK Blitzen, @Yule, @wanderingwolf

Cyd shifted the small lollipop from one side of her mouth to the other as the trio waited by the China Doll, business on the brain. The beach was kind enough to provide showers so the trio could wash off the surf and sand from the night before. She reluctantly returned the hula skirt and wore Isaac’s paisley button-up tied at the waist over a pair of dark shorts. The kupe'e lei stayed on her ankle, she saved the second one, maybe Abby or the pilot or Hook would fancy it.

She still wasn’t sure what to make of the Captain - the man who remained rather elusive to date. He was quick with small talk, but then again, so were they, and the debacle in the cargo hold was no place to play chitty chitty chat chat. Now though, they had babki, something to offer, and from the digging she managed, full-fare might be appreciated.

Boots on the ramp of the China Doll, Cal breathed in the warming, moist air of Pensacola. The cries of oceanic birds circling schools of fish in the distance gave the impression that they were on a vacation, but Captain Strand knew better. Not a day went by that this old Firefly didn’t need some part or other, and it was for one of those parts that Cal departed now, at the former Ms. Baker’s behest. Before his heel touched earth, Cal saw the passengers he recognized to be the Skyes, thanks to Hook’s memory last night. With a tip of his hat, Cal intoned a begrudging greeting, still being a little sore, to Pipe, Ball-Bearings, and Blue--the mastermind of their latest accommodation arrangement, way Abigail told it.

"Is it too late to change our mind?" Mathias whispered to his sister as the mysterious Captain approached. There was a moment of silence. He looked to Cyd and shrugged. Normally there would be a 'How can I help you?' or 'hey you back are you looking to book another room?'. It made more sense now why he delegated the task.

“Captain Strand,” Cyd said with a smile, ignoring her older brother’s apprehension. “We were hoping we could have a moment?”

"Or two if you can spare it," Mathias added jamming his hands in his pockets so he wouldn't fidget.

Tipping his hat back on his head, Cal slowed as he approached the three. “I hear we’re takin’ another leg together,” he began, eyes bouncing between the three. “What can I do for you?” Instinctively, his hand laid hold of the silver clasp containing his dwindling supply of cigarettes. With a flip, a slender, hand-rolled met the corner of his mouth as he laid eyes on Cyd.

“Oweh,” Cyd said, nodding in agreement. “A few, actually, if you’d have us. My gesin and I,” she pointed between her brothers and herself, “are thinking a bit more long term. We don’t so much have an itinerary, so we’re not picky about destinations.”

Cal’s eyes widened, mouth occupied with a cigarette mid-light. Hand raised to catch a spell of coughing, he replied, “Sorry, just caught me off guard, you three wanting to stick around after the way things went… you know.”

"You mean when the Fed got his head blown off." Mathias said bluntly.

“That’s right, and way I saw it, you did a real number on him with that pipe.” Cal shook his head in appreciation. “Doc coulda been diggin’ bullets outta more than Abigail’s pi gu if it weren’t for you.”

“It was a little bosbefok,” Cyd agreed, changing the subject back to business. “Well, more than a little bosbefok. But the verse sometimes goes sideways, after a while, you learn to slide off the rails yourself. Besides, I owe your cook a debt of thanks.”

“You said it, sister,” he said, having no idea what ‘bosbefok meant. “See, I said the same thing, well--” He made an iffy gesture with his hand while he pulled on his smoke, “--more or less, to the pilot. ‘Verse is a dangerous place.” Captain Strand surveyed Cyd, Mathias, and Isaac as if he were making his mind up about something. “Glad we understand each other.”

“It’s a fact like a cow,” Cyd agreed, steeling herself for the question at hand. “We were hoping you were open to negotiating a shuttle for rent? It would give us a little more room, get us out of your hair, and the boys and I work odd jobs. We can’t always get so lucky as to have them be near port, ja nee?”

Cal stroked his chin, cigarette nestled between fore and middle finger. “You weren’t kiddin’; how long-term we talkin’? Couple jumps? More?”
“Till we find something better or port of call pulls somewhere else.” Mathias chimed.

“More than a couple of jumps,” Cyd said at the same time as her brother. “I got a good feeling about the China Doll.”

“Uh-huh,” the captain followed along, “and these odd jobs,” his head tilted as he said the word ‘jobs’, “what do you three do?”

“This, that, what comes up. Just yesterday we worked Ian Vanderhull’s jol… er… party,” Cyd offered. “Lekker tips from rich folk. Slinging drinks, waiting tables--”

“... And more coupons for free fish sticks then you can shake a chicken at … We get a kakspul of free stuff from those types of events.” Mathias explained.

“There’s a few sites post for temp jobs on the cortex,” Cyd continued, “We can always make bank, then for fun an’ extra creds, we’re buskers. Entertainers. Mathias here is probably the best street magician you’ll ever meet and Issac drums. Should’ve heard him last night with the steelpan,” she said proudly. “Great tips. I dance. Work crowds. So you can see where transportation would come in handy.”

“Opens options up for better gigs at popular locations. Means more, easier money.” Mathias said, spelling out the logic.

“Ah,” Cal said, fighting a smile, “to be young and flush with coupons for fish sticks. Tell you what, just so happens the shuttle is for rent, but we don’t take coupons and fare ain’t the same as three bunks at half.” Strand took his last puff from the stub of his cigarette and dropped it to the soil, “If you’ve got it, I’m open to negotiatin’, but I’ve got some ground rules.” He’d never heard a tale so full of color--in fact it reminded him of a younger Cal who’d taken on the core planets all those years ago. If he hadn’t signed that indenture, and if he had any talent to speak of, maybe he’d have roamed from planet to planet on nothing but the wind sowing oats all across the verse. But he wouldn’t have that fancy accent.

“Lekker,” Cyd nodded in agreement, a smile crossing her lips. “We’ve got the funds to pay full up, but what sort of ground rules?”
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by Winters
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Home Sweet Shuttle Part 2

New Melbourne, Day 2, Early Afternoon

OOC: JP between @Winters, @MK Blitzen, @Yule, @wanderingwolf

“Rent’s paid up front, in creds, usually--and, pretty as she is, the China Doll ain’t a passenger ship, per say, so no turn-down service included. Also, I reserve the right to commandeer the shuttle in an emergency. ” Pivoting his boot, Cal ground the last embers of his cigarette into the moist Pensacolan dirt.

Cyd twisted one side of her mouth, thinking - not just about his terms and conditions. She considered taking up smoking. Captain Cal made extinguishing a cigarette look positively dashing. “Rent paid up front. Credits, usually, no coupons.” She tried not to sound giddy, which was bad for negotiations, but It’d been a while since they’ve slept on the same pillow more than two nights. Home. “We’ll clean up after ourselves in the shuttle and the common areas. Rent include both room and board? You have a lekker cook, but if you'd rather we can bring our own padikos and fend for ourselves in the galley. Am I forgetting anything?” She asked Mathias.

“Given the last ride, we are happy not to ask questions. We just expect the same sentiment in return. We're big on fairness.” Mathias added.

“And privacy,” Cyd added.

Eyeing Mathias he could already tell they were going to get along just fine. No questions asked? Music to his ears. The less he needed to talk about what mess Ms. Baker had brought to their doorstep, and by extension Badger, the better off they’d all be for it.

“Board’s included. You’ll be livin’ on the China Doll the same as crew, and we pull together. And if you’re keen, I’d knock some off for pitchin’ in for chores. S’far as privacy, the mechanic needs to be able to give your accommodations a regular once-over, once we find one,” he shook his head, “but other than that it’d be yours under these conditions. Oh, and don’t take the shuttle out of atmo. Am I missin’ anything else?” He said, interrogating the ground as if it would reply.

Cyd nodded her head, mulling it over. They were used to working off their keep, and the practice could come in handy. “We keep odd hours, so we’d like advanced notice of once-overs, no surprise inspections, and you got yourself some tenants.” She held out her hand to shake on the deal.

Cal looked Cyd in the eye and shook her hand decisively. “Paperwork’s with Abigail who should be riding the lawn chair hereabouts any time now. Few signatures, boilerplate liabilities, and you can start movin’ in. I’ll warn you, ain’t nobody lived in the port shuttle, so might take to a cleanin’. Rex’ll take your first week in creds, and after you been around a spell, we’ll take them month to month.”

“A fixer upper? Kiff, Kiff.” Cyd agreed, slipping her data pad back into her bag. She’d planned to just transfer the credits, but as she fiddled absently with the lace choker around her neck, she chalked up the Captain’s antiquated cash-in-hand, pen-to-paper policy as a nuance of the swashbuckling charm she was building up for him in her head. Also occupying her thoughts - a shopping list of what they’d need for home.

Looking to Mathias, Captain Strand added, “Can I ask you a question, son?”

"Sure?" Mathais shrugged innocently.

With a glint in his eye, Cal asked, “How do you feel about a weekly game of cards?”

Mathais was a little surprised, usually when people heard street magician he typically got the exact opposite response. The normal policy was they didn't gamble but if they were nesting on the ship for an indeterminable amount of time … he guessed it would be wise to make nice. It was a friendly game after all. "Sure why not, I ain't opposed to a friendly game."

Captain Strand nodded, “It’ll be friendly, alright, ‘til I beat you a few times,” he gave a wink as he tucked his hat back around his ears. “See you all in your new place when I get back.”

Cyd was about to ask where the man was headed but stopped. Not only did it violate the no-questions-asked rule they’d just established, she’d rather believe it was somewhere adventurous.
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by Yule
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Fishstick Flirtation

New Melbourne, Day 2, Early Afternoon

OOC: By @Yule

Isaac managed to steal a few moments away from his siblings to wander the port while they attended to other matters. He loved Cyd and Mathias to death, but everyone deserves a little me time every now and then. Besides, there was this regtig oulike girl working at the port authority front desk who caught his eye and he didn’t need the two of them cramping his style. The last thing he wanted was the two of them rushing up and tousling his hair or pinching his cheeks while he made his move. Fortunately for him, they’d be too busy booking passage on Cap’n Cal’s vlieënde kis to get in his hair.

The young girl sat at the customer service desk looking the very definition of boredom. She had only been on the job a couple of weeks and, between the old pilots or decks hitting on her and the dreadful tedium that came with working in a port authority office, she was already considering quitting. Just then, she could see a boy walking towards the office through the double glass doors. A boy her age! A cute boy her age! And he was looking right at her as he came in through those very same doors. As quick and as subtle as she could, she checked her appearance in the nearest shiny object that was facing her on the desk, which was the glass of the monitor that had been asleep from inactivity for the past twenty minutes.

Isaac sauntered up to the counter, shifted his weight to lean against it which, in his mind, looked incredibly cool. He gave a slight nod and a crooked smirk to the young girl sitting behind the counter and crooned an equally incredibly cool. “Hi. How are you this fine day?”

The girl hid a stifled giggle with her hand. In the short time she had worked there, she had already lost track of exactly how many of those same old men pulled the same exact move. Normally, it was obnoxious as all holy hell and it was all she could do not to curse the old pigs out and send them on their way with their egos thoroughly deflated. But something about this boy, this sweet, awkward, dorky boy, in that moment made it charming. She held onto her composure to recite the obligatory “Welcome to the New Melbourne Port Authority of Pensa-” she couldn’t help but stifle another giggle, but quickly recovered. “How can I help you?” She finished with a large grin.

Isaac started to work his magic. He’d seen enough of those action-adventure vids on Cyd’s cortex and the young girl’s smile told him he was nailing it. “Name’s Isaac.” He purred. “What’s yours?”

The girl blushed a little, fighting back from laughing right in the poor boy’s face. She couldn’t believe he was still going on with this, but she bit back hard and held it together. He may be a total dork, but he was pretty cute now that she got a good look up close. “Sarah,” she nearly snorted, “my name’s Sarah.”

Isaac noticed how Sarah blushed before answering. He figured he was good, but he didn’t realize he was that good! He masked his surprise and pressed the advantage. “Mine’s Isaac.” He returned the courtesy of giving his name. “And how are you this fine day?”

Sarah blinked at Isaac for a moment. Didn’t he already say that?, she wondered. But then realized she never actually answered his question. Most folk ask ‘How are you doing?’ but don’t generally want to know the answer. “Fine, I’m fine.” She smiled before stumbling and then remembering her manners. “Uh, how are you?”

“Oh, just fine.” Isaac let his response draw out like an old cowhand. He had nothing else prepared past that. Usually at that point on the vids, someone recognized the hero and a fight would break out. But instead of a fight scene, just more awkward silence.

Sarah smiled nervously. Clearly, she was going to have to make a move. “So uh...you like to skate?”

Isaac looked astonished. “How did you know?!”

Sarah paused. Is this guy messing with me?, she considered. “Your...board?” She said sheepishly as she made a small gesture with her chin to the skateboard tucked under his arm.

Isaac looked down, forgetting in all of the nervousness he was working so hard to hide that he was still carrying his board. “Oh, right right , right.” He said, nodding in time with each ‘right’. “Yeah, It’s...something of a hobby of mine.” He said, turning the cool voice back on. “You skate too?”

Sarah gave a shy shrug and a coy smile as she shook her head. “I’d probably end up breaking my neck.”

Isaac gave a reassuring smile. “Naaah...I could teach yo-”

Before he could finish, Sarah sunk the hook. “That would be amazing!” She said excitedly. “I get off at five.” She added before realizing that she may have jumped the gun a bit too quickly, judging by Isaac’s deer in headlights expression. “I mean...if you’ll be around, that is.” She amended as she nervously tucked some wayward locks of hair behind her ear.

“Uh yeah.” Isaac said flatly. He couldn’t believe how well everything was going and it took him a moment to realize he was just staring at the girl. He shook himself back into the moment and repeated himself, this time with more enthusiasm. “Yeah, No doubt!”

“Great!” Sarah agreed with a grin. “Meet me here at five.”

“It’s a date!” Isaac agreed emphatically before realizing he blurted out the ‘d’ word. He was about to apologize for assuming but since Sarah didn’t seem to object, he let it be. “So,Sarah,” Isaac leaned in on the counter, turning back on the charm persona, “you like fishsticks?”

Sarah looked at Isaac confused. “Umm..?”

Isaac rifled through his pocket and pulled out a handful of Vanderhull coupons. “Because I kinda know a guy…” he added with a sly smile.
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by MK Blitzen
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MK Blitzen Have Plot, Will Travel

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Taking Care of Business Part 1

New Melbourne, Day 2, Early Afternoon

OOC: JP between @Winters, @MK Blitzen, @sail3695

Cyd glanced more than once towards the Captain as he retreated, tapping absently on her datapad between glances. Opening his jacket, Mathias peeled the exact amount Cal stipulated of Alliance credits from the bankroll he kept close to his chest. Cyd jokingly called it the Safe Deposit Box, because there was nowhere safer to keep anything. She rationalized it was best to get everything squared away,paper work-wise before buying anything on her mental list. They had the necessities but Isaac would need… Isaac?

“Eish, where did that chop get off now?” Cyd asked, glancing around briefly.

“Broekie … let the boy have some breathing room. He’s big enough to wander about. He knows where and how to find us.” Mathias assured his sister. “He’s safe as safe can be in this tourist town.” He added.

“Maybe it’s the tourist town safe from him I’m worried about,” Cyd quipped in response.

“Touche sistra.” Mathias chuckled.

Abby couldn’t tell if’n the sunscreen were workin’ or not.

She’s all careful with it, rubbin’ it inta her face, arms, an legs, even pushin’ a might up intah her cutoffs tah keep frum gettin’ burnt. Been out here a spell...sun shifted across the sky. She took that as good fortune, stuck sittin’ here as she was all day, ‘cept fer answerin’ nature’s call a couple times. She pressed a finger inta the skin of her right thigh. Once she lifted it, color was gone fer a second, ‘til it all pinked right up agin. She was tinglin’ jest a bit...mayhaps she’d look fer some aloe tahnight.

Doc had kindly checked on her. Offered a couple more ‘o’ them pain pills, but she turnt ‘em down. Best tah stay clear. A touch ‘o’ sore fer a couple days wouldn’t hurt her none. But her lil’ errand fer tonight? Buddha only knew how that might turn out. ”Pegleg Pete’s,” the girl conjured. ”Don’t sound like no local haunt…”

The clipboard in her hands give a mild flash. She opened ‘er up an’ commenced leafin’ pages ‘til she found a fresh note.


The Skyes are leasing the portside shuttle. They’ll come see you to sign. Rex will collect their coin. You’re off the hook, kid.


P.S. Just joshing. You’re never off the hook, kid.

Abby giggled at that, then flipped the page to tha lease.

“Aweh!” Cyd greeted, an easy smile crossing her lips as she saw the young redhead on the folding chair. “How are you feeling?”

The girl looked up from her readin’. “Uh….away?” she answered. “Tolerable well. Still a might slow, but I git there.” Her eyes moved betwixt the pair now steppin’ up. “Beg pardon I don’t git up. Jest dropped back in a couple ticks ago.”

“We’re not larny,” Cyd assured, “No need to put on airs and graces on our account. Captain Cal said you might have some papers need signing?”

Abby give a nod, her bare feet shiftin’ in the dirt as she reached up with the clipboard. “That I do. Looks like jest one page.” She give’em the clipboard tah read. “Don’t conjure it matters which of ya signs it...from what I can tell.”

“Been a while since I put pen to paper,” Cyd offered, taking the pen. “So it may be a little skeef, if that’s all right.” She meticulously wrote out C-Y-D S-K-Y-E in her best cursive, initialing and dating the papers where indicated.

“Ooh look at you all fancy.” Mathias whistled at the extravenct loops and curves of Cyd’s cursive. “I think that constitutes as calligraphy. Show off.” He teased.

Cyd snickered at her brother making fun of her writing. Penmanship was a lost art.

“Now I think,” Abby held ‘er hand up, “I’m s’posed tah sign on the line what says ‘witness.”
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Hidden 10 mos ago Post by Winters
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Taking Care of Business Part 2

New Melbourne, Day 2, Early Afternoon

OOC: JP between @Winters, @MK Blitzen, @sail3695

Cyd nodded in agreement, still compiling a list of things they could use in their new semi permanent/ semi temporary home. “And initial and date to make it official.” She added.

“Thank yew.” The deckhand laid the clipboard in ‘er lap. She signed her name...prob’ly a might ‘keef,’ then set tah initials. Soon’s she set tha date in place, Abby pressed her thumb on the bottom. A small flash happened under tha page, movin’ down slow ‘til it bottomed out an’ disappeared. She flipped the lease up, pulled tha fresh duplicate an’ handed it up tah….Cyd Skye. “Yer copy,” Abby offered.

“Shot,” Cyd said with a smile, looking it over before handing it to Mathias. “Oh! Could you help us with something?” She tapped a hand against her boet’s chest to indicate what she wanted.

“Shot …” Mathias said diggin for the money roll they had counted out earlier and passed the neat roll to Cyd. “ … all flossy.”

“Captain says we should give our coin to Rex, the first mate. Isaac’s been feeding his bird. Would you give him this on our behalf?” She asked, holding out the money.

Abby shook her head. “Sorry...can’t. Cap’n tole me the same’s he did yew. If y’all come back fer supper, Rex oughtta be about. Good night fer it, anyway,” she added. “Hook’s got a mess ‘o’ fresh fish he an’ Cap’n done caught last night. ‘Long with somethin’ called Rice Peel-off. Got no idea what that is but it sounds appetizin’.”

“We trust you with it,” Cyd said, with a shrug. “And, as far as food, we got plenty of fish sticks in case it’s not.”

“Understatement …” Mathias interjected.

“Mighty kinda yew tah say,” the girl nodded toward ‘em both, “but Cap’n was perty clear that Rex’ll accept yer money.”

“Lekker, Lekker.” Cyd agreed handing the money back to her brother to put in the vault. “All right then, guess we’re official shipmates.”

Mathias took the money and put it back in the inside pocket of his jacket, safe and sound until they saw the first mate.

Abby offered a tight smile. “Looks like,” she said. “Welcome aboard...agin. Plates’re on at eighteen hunnerd...six o’clock.”

The girl looked like she was in pain, so Cyd thought it best to leave her tending to her wounds, and offered a warmer smile in return. “Eighteen hundred tonight?” She clarified.

“The same.”

“Kiff, Kiff,” She agreed, shortening her to-do list with the new timeframe. “We will be back before then, right after we find where our brother trotted off to. Katjie van die baan.”

“We’ll have three places set,” Abby said. Fer a moment, she thought tah try answerin’ that last bit, but seein’s all she conjured was akin tah “Katey bar the door,” she decided it’s best not tah step inta that thicket.

“Lekker,” Cyd nodded, offering another smile, ticking her head for her brother to follow. “Lekker! Aweh! See you then!”

“Later, pistool-soen.” Mathias said walking away along with his sister.

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Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by sail3695
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sail3695 If you do, I'ma do too.

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And The Sea Shall Yield Up….

Part 3

The galley of the NS Eileen McSorley was intended not only to serve fitting meals to her crew, but to send a message of family bonding and comfort to those who took refuge there. A series of comfortable tables were arranged about the room, their deck mounts concealed by the once plush, now wearing deep pile carpet.

The centerpiece of the room was its’ elaborate main dining table. In the ship’s early days, this table played host to teams of visiting executives and their families. It was the setting for sumptuous banquets served upon its’ inlaid wood top. Several years back, as the Mick relinquished her flagship status to newer vessels, a layer of polyplex had been slapped down to minimize damage by the crew. Though the march of time was slowly denuding the room of its’ earlier grandeur, the crew still found comfort and hearty food within the galley’s confines.

Yuri was seated at the main table, next to the Chief Engineer. Edwards was busily wolfing down a plate of porkchops. “Daniel, they’re callin’ it,” he dragged a slice through his mashed potatoes and gravy, then scooped the whole mess into his mouth. “Ain’t nothin,” the Chief’s voice was thick as he waved his fork toward the floor-to-ceiling viewpane. “Shoulda been here back in ought-nine....Kate? Now that was a storm.” To Yuri’s gratitude, his lunch partner finally swallowed the offending morsel. After following it with a healthy swig of Captain Bob’s Cola, Edwards resumed his tale. “Bad, bad storm. Took New Hampton right off the map. Mick was right in the middle of it,” the old man’s brows lifted. “I tell you, son, that’n had me holdin’ onto my cho chos. This?” He sent the fork in for another assault. “Danny-boy’s nothin’ but hot air. Gonna head north an’ die. Just a fish storm.”

Yuri nursed his coffee, eyes focused upon the hurricane’s chaos before them. A wicked sky of black, low hanging clouds swept above. The winds tore across the open deck, fueling waves that now broke among the cargo bay hatches. In the past hour, they’d gone straight from Gale One to Gale Three preparedness, closing watertight doors and instituting rolling damage checks within the hull. One such investigation revealed a larger stress fracture through which water poured every time the Mick rolled heavily to starboard. Even as they sat here, Martinez was welding a patch. “Eleven inches in the bilge, Chief,” Yuri offered.

“I ordered all pumps,” the engineer devoured more pork. “Conjure we’ll be dry again in a couple hours. Your reactor happy?”

“Efficieny’s rolling off in these seas. Three rods down and output is slowing. I think the roll stress is accelerating breakdown in the mod blocks.”

Edwards nodded. “We still running at ten knots?”

“Yes, but shipping seas over the port beam isn’t helping.” As if on cue, a mountain of water slammed into the port side. The great ship seemed to stagger beneath the blow, her deck hatches nearly obscured by the torrent of violent water, a sight to inspire gasps and whistles from other crew situated about the galley. “Whew,” the young man exclaimed. “That was a…”

The loud squawk that blared from both their walkies caused the engineer and his mate to reach for their radios. “Chief Edwards!” Chrissy’s voice echoed til both could cut their volumes. “Chief! Come in!”

“Edwards here.”

“Looks like we just lost a vent topside. Took heavy water down the duct. Port forward pump’s offline!”

The Chief’s eyes met Yuri’s. “Can you…”

“I got it.”

His coffee cup left behind, Yuri made for the stairwell, grabbing each handgrip to swing hastily downward. Deck by deck he moved, his descent accompanied by the radio chatter. “Antonov’s on his way,” the Chief responded. “What’s it looking like, Chrissy?”

“Regular wavebreak,” came the harried response. “Right down the duct. Shipping one - two hundred gallons each time. Waterfall...right onto the pump motor. It shorted out.”

”La shi,” the mate cursed under his breath. “Martinez,” he keyed his mic, “status?”

“Starboard midships...tryna finish this patch!”

Yuri entered the portside raceway, one of two interior corridors that would connect the fore and aft cabins and work areas. If this were a normal day, he’d have already completed his daily run, four laps of the eight hundred foot passage to get him just over the mile mark. But today, with the ship rocking under the hurricane force, his stride was more intense. “Port forward pump!” he barked into his walkie. “We gotta cap an air duct. Bring your rig, a four by four sheet of galvanized, and some eighth inch strip. Double quick.”


Overhead, the roar of an angry sea echoed through the raceway. Yuri could feel the blow, sense the Mick as she labored under the added tonnage. They’d lost one of their four primary pumps. This struggle had just grown much tougher.

……………….to be continued………………..
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Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by psych0pomp
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psych0pomp B E H O L D / i'm shiny

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What has Rex been up to this entire time?
Rex woke up; his cheek was hot and somewhat sticky. His mouth was agape, and that was verified by his sore throat and dry tongue. Of course, it said nothing of the headache that thrummed right behind his eyes. He groggily stirred and rolled over, his long arm slapping against flesh. A grunt came out, and the hum of fan blades barely moving the air was the only other sound in the room. He opened his eyes and smacked his lips—mouth tasting like he’d licked sour milk.

The wooden paneled room with its equally wooden flooring was suffocating. A small window gave a hint of the sunlight that was outside behind thick, mauve curtains. The motes of dust danced around as sluggishly as he did. Rex threw a leg over the side of the bed, and his foot connected with what he thought was the ground. Instead, it was a glass bottle. It rolled underneath the arch of his foot and shot out from behind him—sending him into the bedside table. One moment he was catching himself in the mirror and the next his head collided with the sharp edge of the wooden table. He flailed helplessly, grabbing a hold of the curtain. It couldn’t hold his weight and clattered to the ground with him.

The other members of the room awoke, groaning and grunting as they pulled themselves from the thrall of bunched, sweaty sheets. Two heads poked over the side to get a good look at Rex splayed out on the floor, the curtain draped over his long form. “I saw it in the window, and I thought it’d look good on me,” he grunted out, the injury to his head adding to his headache.

One of the figures giggled, her blonde ringlets still angelically curled around her face. Rex didn’t know how she did. Black magic, maybe? The other was an older man who just rolled his eyes and pulled himself up. “Don’t tell me that I have to pay for that as well?” he asked.

“It looks like there are just hooks up there. I should be able to,” Rex started to say as he was pulling himself up. He choked the vomit in his throat down. Concentrate on the task at hand. Thirty-seven times nine is… he ran that math in his head as he steadied himself. While his head throbbed, he was able to crunch the numbers like gears grinding in an old ship. Three-hundred-and thirty-three. Wait? That right? He ran the computation again, grabbing the curtain from the ground and threading it over the hooks. It was as good as new… ish. As he admired it, his tired brain confirmed that was the correct amount. Rex had always been the smart one.

“See,” he said, gesturing towards the curtain. “I told you I could fix it.”

The man already had his pants on and was currently tucking in his shirt. His salt and pepper hair was messy, but the angelic woman was quickly running her fingers through it—as naked as the day she was born. “I suppose. You should just stick with,” he trailed off, waving his hand at the bed loosely, “and leave the higher arts to the ones that it comes naturally to. Isn’t that right, Trinket?” His face lit up as he glanced at the much younger woman. They were a married couple, and he was a prominent salesman of a food distribution company. Apparently, he’d come for—fish. It seemed like something that could be handled through a third party, but Rex figured the man was the sort that enjoyed getting his hands dirty. Rex could attest to that sentiment; his legs were going to hurt for a few days. These sorts of dalliances weren’t really well looked upon in certain societies, and there was always the sort that’d find him and his young wife out. So, why not handle business elsewhere? Get a taste for travel and other things.

Rex didn’t mind, though he hadn’t quite thought that was where his day was going yesterday. He’d finished fixing the logs, changing the numbers up, and tending to some things around the ship before leaving the China Doll to grab a drink. He’d fully intended on coming back to his cabin, but instead, one drink led to two led to six led to the bedroom with this couple. He hoped Cal or the like hadn’t been looking for him. Though, they were bound to have questions. Rex rubbed his sore head, feeling where the goose egg was going to raise up as the day went on. Could he say that someone mugged him?

The man fished out some platinums from the deep pockets of his coat and threw them into the bed. “I like to make sure I show my gratitude,” he said, straightening the collar of his coat. His wife was already dressed, Rex noted. She’d practically slipped into her dress like a fish into the water. It was amazing, really. Trinket was perfectly coifed with a giggle and the smell of roses.

Rex looked around the aftermath of a night of debauchery for his pants to tuck the platinum into. He realized he’d have to drop the mugging story if he planned on pocketing the money. Maybe he was mugged, then he hunted down his assailants and the local law enforcement paid him a pretty coin for their capture? That sounded feasible, right? Rex didn’t care to find backup for his story. He just wanted to find his pants. The sun was… up… and he probably needed to make an appearance at the China Doll lest they think he was dead, or Cal thought he’d abandoned him—again.

“This never happened, by the way,” Trinket said with a smile. She was adjusting her garter belt, and Rex caught that her statement was not just punctuated by words but also a thin blade tucked into the frills. When in the nine hells had she put that back on? Where was it last night? Rex must have been getting lax in his old age. He wanted to applaud the older gentleman. The marriage wasn’t just for arm candy, it was for protection as well.

“What happened? I just got drunk and fell asleep, and you two were nice enough to lend me your room.” Rex smiled, finding his pants, and sliding them on. He glanced down, realizing he’d need to wear something a little less revealing today. There were too many hickeys to say that he’d also fallen into the sea and gotten accosted by the largest of cephalopods.

The man gave his first semblance of emotions as he smiled and winked at Rex. “Right. We’re nothing but good Samaritans, aren’t we Trinket?” She nodded, dropping the hem of her dress, and latching onto his arm. Then they were gone. Just like that, out the door as if no time had lapsed at all. Where, on the other hand, Rex looked as if he’d been in a brawl with the business end of a wet mop.

Using the mirror, he dressed and fixed his hair. He ran a hand over his beard, realizing that he needed to give it a trim. Making the bed and pocketing the platinum, Rex slid out of the room long after the high-born couple had. He slunk down the stairs and out of the inn. Barely anyone was awake, and they surely hadn’t had their coffee to connect the wires on what he’d been up to.

A shower later in the China Doll along with a change of clothes, and Rex was bandaging his head in the makeshift mirror. He’d trimmed his beard and the hair on top of his head and applied some light cologne to get the smell of booze off him—hopefully. He was still more than a little drunk. The best cure for a hangover was always more alcohol. Lucky eyed him out of the shadow of his cage. Rex glanced back, catching that there was the refuse of food that he hadn’t given the bird. “You’re judging me for my actions when I’m not the one showing off my pretty feathers for treats. Who was it? The small one with the clipboard? The pilot? That haggard deckhand? The doctor?” He paused. “Oh. Was it the doctor? You must tell me if it was her. Too much pretty to be shackled with those brains.”

The bird just let out a gravelly noise from his beak.

“Don’t tell me you bit them?” He narrowed his eyes at Lucky. “Nah. You would never. You love treats too much.” He extended his hand, resting it on top of the opened cage door. Lucky took a few sidesteps and nuzzled into his palm. “Sorry, I promise I won’t leave you without company again.” Lucky nibbled his fingers. “I’ll let you pick. But it’s not going to be the pilot.” He nipped Rex’s hand. “Hey, be nice, or it’ll be Cal.”

After some time, Lucky managed to con him into taking him along. He climbed up Rex’s broad shoulder and slid in behind his ear, resting against the crevice between his ear and neck. The bird let out a few happy chirps as Rex pulled his jacket on, creating a nice cozy, resting place for him. Rex also put on a deep purple shirt that he fully buttoned up. It covered most of his neck, and only a sliver of a hickey protruded from the top of it. It was the best he could do without throwing a scarf around his neck, which would just draw suspicion. Now, he’d just look nice for dinner—or whatever time it was. Either way, it wasn’t too late for coffee.

Rex pulled himself up the ladder and into the hallway of the China Doll, making his way to the galley. There he brewed himself a large cup of instant coffee from whatever powered mixture they had. He then sat down at the table to sip it. Unfortunately, he didn’t get very far in before he fell asleep, chin resting on top of his palm. Lucky took that moment to crawl out from his jacket and perch atop his head, ever alert for any intruders.
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Hidden 9 mos ago Post by Aalakrys
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Plans Change

As tempting as it was to crawl back under the rumpled patchwork when she returned to her quarters, Penelope resisted. There were shells that needed the sea scrubbed off, and her short journey back to collect them had an idea brewing. Talkin’ on barefoots and trades made her formulate what to do with her goods even more. Now there was a reason to have everything ready. But… there was a hitch or two in her plans now because of it.

Going to Greenleaf meant speakin’ with the captain. And likely Abby as well, because she’d certainly noticed when Penelope went poking around in the roster. Maybe Rex, too. Naw, Cal could tell the big guy, if it came up. The idea of the less than liberal, ‘least when it came to details, captain sharing anything made her smirk though.

But it quickly turned back into a pensive frown as she surveyed her goods she’d been spreading across the bed she’d tidied up. Today was her day to sell. Not the shells - that was all new and found here. But the things from other places in the ‘verse. Things she’d made. Barefoot folk would offer trades for it, not coin. The only problem was that Penelope liked the idea of both. True barefoot didn’t use coin for their goods, but they also didn’t make things out of what they found either.

Hands on her hips, she puzzled it out. Scraps could go for a good trade. And she had some wholes left that she hadn’t touched yet - been saving them. Those, she reasoned, would have to work. Most barefoot wouldn’t want a made, an unnatural. A rare few - like her - would trade them proper. Near abouts good as coin.

Penelope bit her lip lightly, worrying at it with her fists in her hips digging in a bit while she thought. Reckon I won’t sell today… Can wait to hawk the whole set in Greenleaf if’n there ain’t a barefoot joinin’ us. If there ain’t some sideways scheme brewin’ that I won’t know ‘bout till I’m in it.

The last bit wasn’t an unkindness towards Cal. She believed he’d hold his word - hoped he would anyway. It was more to do with the fact that being home was always tricky for other reasons. But that wasn’t here-and-now. Here-and-now was shells and showing Sam Hermie and relaxing with Abby later on. Maybe some fried fish and time spent makin’ up some more wares.

Tonight, she’d think on what to say to the captain. He was a no-questions-asked sort of person, so likely she didn’t have to say much. It wasn’t like she had a warrant out on her. Though, if Cal was hoping to find work on Greenleaf, he’d have a better chance of getting it without eyes on him if Penelope Randell was not his pilot. Yeah, that’s what she’d say. Vague, just like he likes.

Now that worry was off her chest, she could set to work without it loomin’ over her. Usually, she just cast things off, but this was sort of serious. And she knew when to be serious, though most people thought she too detached to muster it up. To be bothered or to make a stand. But Rex had seen it first, then Cal. Weren’t no need to go about like that all the time, so she didn’t. Instead, she found harmonic tranquility in just being in the moment.

With some plans, of course. That’s what landed her standing in a shop lookin’ over a series of different small handtools. The circuits in her old soldering iron went kaput on her, so that was a necessary purchase. But shops like these were a trap for a crafter like her. Versatility was a general rule of thumb, especially with her lifestyle, so she could talk herself out of a rock tumbler. What caught her eye was a mini-rotary cutter. Second-hand, but the blade wasn’t warped or dinged. And she always wanted one…

She got back around midday, and decided the best place to do some work was in her usual spot since she’d already been out and about enough after all. Besides, she had to show Sam a real-life sea critter. Later on, she’d take Hermie back out to his home - she’d promised him that, and she was good on her promises. Humans, AI, and sea critters alike. Till that time came though, anyone needing her could find her in the avionics bay, her motley collection spread all around (neatly, at least, so no vents or panels were obstructed - couldn’t do that to the Girl). That was after she’d discovered the new spot Sam had been relocated to, of course, and showed off Hermie - who sat in his little dish of sand beside her while she chatted away with the AI about her trip to the beach. Sure, she could do it from the pilot's chair, but there was more space on the floor and part of her project involved that black box.
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Hidden 9 mos ago Post by MK Blitzen
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MK Blitzen Have Plot, Will Travel

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New Melbourne, Day 2, Late Afternoon

OOC: JP between @Winters, @MK Blitzen

Cyd leaned an elbow on the counter, chatting it up with the two technicians as they tried to explain the difference between two of the latest data pads. The boys behind the counter seemed interested in the tech talk and were happy to oblige. She fiddled with a charm on her choker listening to them explain why one processor would be different from the other, the different features they offered. “So to take pictures or video,” the young man in the blue polo shirt pointed out, the camera--”

“What if I’m more interested in running Alphanite?” Cyd interrupted, partly to keep their interest, partly indignant at the fact they’d think she was using a state-of-the-art machine to take selfies. Of course, she would take selfies, but she was more interested in what she could do with the folding screen, virtual keyboard tech. “With a dedicated source box.”

“Alphanite?” The taller of the two asked, raising both eyebrows. “If you want to run that, then definitely this is your better choice. Much better processor speed and the capability to connect several machines.”

“And Evobot’s installed?” She asked, pretending to be impressed. Both the technicians nodded. Cyd whistled, running her hand over the smooth screen. “Can I see?” She asked innocently, twirling a strand of hair around her finger.

“Sure!” The shorter offered, typing in the password.

“Valor Reckoning pre-installed,” Cyd purred, picking up the pad for a closer look as she tapped on the screen. “Do you play?”

“I have a level 68 Warlock, “ the taller one bragged.

Cyd eyed the shorter of the two, “Barbarian?” She suggested, to which he proudly waxed poetic about his bard and cleric.

Mathias shook his head watching his sister charm the unsuspecting employees. They clearly had not stood a chance. He was convinced he could cartwheel through the aisles and walk out with an entire display and they would never notice it didn't help that the camera they installed were almost all fake as well.

He continued wandering nabbing a choice bit of tech here and there. Mathias was being very particular on what to apply his discount to. He had only so much room in his coat and pack after all.

With the EAS disabled, the cameras looped back 24 hours ago, Cyd continued to scroll around the datapad pretending to be fascinated by the campaign stories they regaled. She smiled warmly, brushing her hair behind her ear, waiting for the signal from Mathias. Taking a quick glance at the time on the screen, it looked like shopping from homegoods would have to wait.

Pockets just about full Mathias, having looked the part of a board older brother finally chimes in. "Hey sisters. We gotta head out? You getting that or what … we still got the futons to pick up." He said with an impatient tone edging to the door.

“Coming!” Cyd said absently, “Ja, yebo, I mean, I need it,” She said, drawing out the ‘e’ sound. “I need it, this one.”

“Oh, we can get you one new in the box and… “

“Yeah, but this one is already set up, and then you can put in your c-tags,” Cyd said coyly. “My sorceress keeping in touch with your warlock and your barbarian, seeing as the game offers real-time chat and video…. Oh, and open box gets a discount, doesn’t it?”

Bargain in hand, Cyd met Mathias outside of the store, unlooping their security cameras. She didn’t need to ask Mathias if he got everything on the list. It was Mathias. The store could have been lank crowded and her boet was light-fingered enough to swipe the sommer register if he set his mind to it!

Once a good distance from the store, he emptied his jacket into Cyd’s backpack - she could sort through it back on the ship.

“I’ll see if we can get right lekker beds on Greenleaf,” Cyd promised, “and right lekker weed, I know that’s true as a cow.” For now, tatami mats, shikibutons and kakebutons would have to do. They were to be delivered to the China Doll in a few hours. They could easily be rolled and stored, and Isaac couldn’t complain about sleeping on the floor if he wasn’t the only one. Isaac. Cyd slipped the new toy into her bag. “Well, check this bosbefok…” she said pointing. “Is he charfing up a meisi?” A grin crossed Mathias’ face, but Cyd pulled him back behind a transport truck. They cautiously peered around the vehicle cab. From the way their little brother was strutting with his longboard around a girl about his own age… It looked like he found himself a friend. The friend stole a quick kiss when he tried to show her a ghostride kickflip, which is when the older Skye’s decided to give him a little privacy.

“Up for dinner?” Cyd asked, noticing how Mathias puffed a little with pride. “I heard something about salmon at six on the ship.”

“Lekker,” her brother replied, distracted as he glanced over his shoulder. “They grow up so fast.”

“Ja, nee. Yesterday, he had his head stuck in a cannon.” Cyd reminded him dryly. “Let’s go eat.”
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Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by sail3695
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sail3695 If you do, I'ma do too.

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Supper With Shipmates - Part 1

JP/collab from @wanderingwolf, @Psych0Pomp, @Aalakrys, @Xandrya, @Gunther. @Winters. @MK Blitzen, @Yule, @sail3695, and @LuckytheParrot

Hook had been in the galley preparing the food at least an hour before the meal was ready. He gathered all the ingredients from the pantry after cleaning the table off. He had prepared everything with cutting boards to keep surfaces clean. He preheated the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the topping was ready for the Salmon filets, he laid them across a few foil lined cookie sheets. The asparagus were treated with the garlic and lemon and then again laid out on a cookie sheet. When they were ready, they were inserted into the oven. The potatoes took a little more time to cut up into manageable chunks and then treated with some garlic, olive oil and sea salt. He cut up the carrots, placed them in a pot to boil on top of the stove.

Once all the food was in the oven or on the stove, he cleared away all the utensils used for food preparation and then cleaned them all up in the sink. After drying the cutting boards and knives, he put them away and set the table for eight people. In a few minutes, the crew started filing in.

“Take a seat, dinner will be ready soon,” Joe told the crew. As the timers were going off, he pulled the food from the stove and oven and transferred them to serving bowls and plates. These were then transferred to the table for everyone to access along with serving utensils.

Reaching over the sleeping first mate, Captain Strand plucked a fried tomato from mid-table, gingerly setting it on his plate. “Rex,” Cal called in a booming voice, “you wanna say grace?” His grin stretching from ear to ear.

“Aw, Cap’n, don’t go botherin’ him,” Pen said with that same faint smile that always lingered, this time more to do with the pastel rainbow ‘shawl’ across those large, hunched shoulders that she’d put there. She sat cross-legged at the table, with a foot hanging down swinging, cheek pressed to a palm as she glanced over at the big guy. “He’s cozy.”

Mid-bite Cal continued, “Cozy? That man could sleep through an Alliance raid, and he has before.” He finished his mouthful, before nudging Rex with the butt of his chopsticks. “What’d I tell ya? Kids, this is what happens when you party too hard.” Amused at his own joke, Cal went in for another bite.

“Must be nice to get that level of shuteye… Some nights even a feather dropping will pull me from my beautiful slumber, though a couple of drinks does help,” Alana mused, serving herself some more potatoes.

“Nothing bad happens from partying too hard,” Cyd replied with a knowing smile. She flashed a quick glance to the captain and the passed out man beside him who looked as if he’d raved the night before. She and Mathias managed to make it to the galley fashionably late. “Ever.” Their first of many shopping trips was a success, but the shuttle still needed a scrub down, and that itself was an understatement.

Mathias made an iffy hand. “I can think of a few times you had to nut someone... “He snorted, ready to be jabbed at by his sister.

“On them, not on me,” Cyd defended, jabbing him in the ribs. ”We heard there’d be a lekker dinner, Abby said plates at six.”

“Ah, the prodigal Skyes return. Pull up a chair. What, no small-fry? That’s okay; way I hear there’s not enough food in the ‘verse to fill that pit.” Cal made a sweeping gesture to the empty chairs and bench at the galley table.

“Small-Fry is getting his alley cat on. He may drop by after.” Mathias said with a bit of pride.

Cyd pulled up one of the chairs leaving a few spaces, Mathias sitting at her side. “Is that Rex?” Cyd asked, tilting her head. “Huh. Maybe we should hold off on first week’s rent?” They’d never had trouble paying anyone before. Why couldn’t this ever happen when they’d been short?

Penelope was polishing off a spoonful of rice pilaf when that notion came up, her eyes twinkling but smile hidden by the spoon still popped in. The Skyes were all sorts of amusing.

“Good for him. More for us.” Captain turned from the Skye twins to Penelope, “How’d the shore treat you? Abigail chewed my ear off over some shell or other.”

“Went right nice,” Penelope summed up. “Got plenty of shells to make up. Heard-tell we’re going to Greenleaf, so want to make sure my affairs are in order.”

“‘Deed we are. In fact, I was hoping we could have a chat about some business later on. Got a pickup tomorrow after midday ‘fore we take off for Greenleaf.” Cal reached for another salmon steak.

“That’d be shiny, Cap’n, since I was hopin’ for the same.” The pilot said as she helped herself to some garlic roasted potatoes, not real keen on sharing the details with the group at the moment anyhow.
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