The following is a collab between @Xandrya
Amy held out her hand until she found Grayson's, then slowly walked forward towards him. "Well, I'm just glad it wasn't a complete loss. If that were the case, I would have had to get dropped off somewhere and honestly, I don't feel like being stranded in some shady part of space."
She instinctively tightened her grip on his hand when her foot hit something on the floor, making her heart skip a beat. "If your mess doesn't kill me first..."
"Oh, sorry, mind ya step now" Grayson did his best to guide her across the room without incident, after a few more close calls, they made it over to the bend in the L-shaped room and Grayson positioned Amy right in front of his desk's chair.
"There ya go, just take a seat there" he said as he stepped backwards and sat on a stool near the workbench.
"I noticed the acoustics in here get a little distorted, so for reference, I'll be sittin' 'bout 5 feet to yer left" He walked back across the room to locate the container of parts and dragged it over to the workbench. He picked up the tools and got back to work on Amy's armor.
"So, take it from the top, what happened with Arex? Exactly as you remember it?"
“Okay, well… I remember that I was making my way down the hall alone before he showed up. He was a bit hostile then, and wouldn’t go back where he came from like I suggested. He couldn’t have known what I was trying to do, but I guess he was simply suspicious. Regardless, I let him tag alone and when I turned my back to him, I felt the hit a few moments after that. It really did a number on me, obviously you can tell by the mess that used to be my armor. But then he also had the nerve to shoot me three times—a bullet to the back of each knee and one to just above my neck. He then warned me to ‘go back and don’t try to save him’, so I know something was up, but by then he was gone.”
Amy shrugged her shoulders, wishing she knew more about the situation. “And today in the room, after he forced his way through my door, he pushed me for answers on whether I had told anyone anything that had happened. His presence was threatening—I mean, at one point he was like an inch or two away from me. I was up against the wall, what could I have done?”
Amy didn’t mention the fact that Arex had handed her his gun; although she wasn’t sure why she had omitted that last bit of information
"Honestly, up against a fella like that, not much" Grayson said as he leaned in to observe the bullet hole in the neck of the armor "Don't take this the wrong way, but you're not the most intimidatin' physically, especially compared to a cyborg like he is"
Grayson tugged at a loose bit of plating and pried it open. The wiring that ran from the suit's main power source up to the energy transmitters was completely wrecked. The bullet had cracked right into a central conduit, causing an overload of power which completely fried several circuitboards and burnt out a few wires. Grayson began pulling it all out, mindful of the wiring layout so he'd know how to rewire it with the new parts.
"Did a real number on the electronics up here too, bastard knew what he was doin' when he took the shot, the question is, why?"
"Yeah, beats me," she sighed, leaning back on the chair to stretch her arms and legs. "We need to get him to talk to us. I mean, everyone already knows my dirty little secret, now we just need to find out his."
For some reason, Amy was feeling a bit antsy. But whatever little anxiety she suffered barely made itself known most of the time, except for now, ever since these recent events. She put both feet on the edge of the chair and hugged her legs, leaning her chin on her knees.
"What do you say we pay him a visit after you're done with some of your fixing?"
"I was thinkin' the same thing, try an' get the truth outta 'im"
Grayson was suddenly aware of an unsettling silence in the room, save for the clinks and clangs of his work. How long had it been since either of them said anything? He was so absorbed with getting the job done right that he hadn't paid attention to anything else. Perhaps it was just the fact that less than a day ago, hardly more than a few hours prior even, the two of them had been locked into a shouting match that resulted in Grayson nearly losing his real eye, and now here they were. Not to mention the awkward fact that a couple days ago, he didn't know this woman existed, and yet he felt so strongly about her that you'd swear he'd known her most of his life.
"So uh" he coughed to break the silence "You think the Alliance knew when they put ya aboard that your father was in charge of that station and maybe they sent Arex in to take care of him before you found out? Or something like that? Wait, fuck that a mo, I need a little clarification on this here: The visor runs independent of your armor, but she still runs off the suit's main power cells, just transmitted wirelessly right? I don't wanna lock all this in until I'm sure, cuz once it's in there, be a hell of a job gettin' it all back out without fryin' up the works"
"You know, that's a very likely possibility. I was—oh, um yes, it's a wireless device, so please treat the only set of eyes I have as of now with care. But anyway, I'm sure the Alliance have their hands on this one way or the other; those dirty bastards are never up to any good."
For a brief moment, Amy let her mind wonder. She started thinking about her mother, but just as quickly, she pushed those thoughts out of her head.
"Wow, I have no living relatives anymore."
Amy wasn't necessarily talking to Grayson, she was simply thinking out loud, but she soon realized her mistake. "I'm sorry, I'm not blaming you...it's just a thought that came to mind. Everything's still fresh for me."
"Completely understandable. You know if there was any way at all I could've spared him, I would have. I know what it's like to not have family, and I don't wish the feelin' onto anybody in this universe"
Grayson fell silent again, he'd said too much. The work overtook him once more as he finished welding the circuitry back in place and closed up that section of the armor. He went down through the list again, aside from patching up the bullet holes and the faulty leg pistons, it was pretty well operational again. Just one last thing...
"Looks like the backup power cell sprung a leak, probably got tagged by a stray round during the gunfight. Main power seems to be fine, but all the same, I'm gonna replace it, designate the old main as the new backup, just gonna take a minute to refit the energy circuits"
"Again, I really appreciate you doing this for me." Amy shifted in her seat once more, bringing her legs down before she playfully started to tap her feet on the floor. Instead of dwelling in the past, Amy decided it was better to push away the bad memories for now, for her and Grayson's sake.
"You have to remind me to buy you a drink if we make it out of here alive," she smiled, looking forward to such celebration.
"Ah, no worries, it is my job after all, but it's also the least I could do for ya. As for that offer, sounds like a deal to me lass" Grayson said, allowing himself to flash a quick smile at her. He jolted his head back when an errant wire let off a quick spark, punishment for his momentary loss of focus. After a couple of minutes, the new power cell was all hooked in, the backup was up and running, and everything seemed to be running green. Time for a test run. He picked up the visor and engaged it's wireless receiver.
"Hold out ya hands" he said as he stepped over and handed over the visor.
Amy did as she was told, feeling the visor being softly placed on her hands. She tried it on, adjusting as necessary after the work that had been done on it. Slowly but surely, she could make out Grayson's outline.
"Ah, there you are. Hello again."
Out of habit, Amy looked around before she decided she was satisfied with how it turned out. "You did a pretty good job," she said, taking off the visor as she only wore it about half of the time when she was simply lounging around.
Grayson responded to her 'hello' with a simple 'hey' of his own.
"Thank ya much lass, I pride myself on my work, so this right here, is a start. You leave 'er with me for another day, I'll have her singin' soprano. Doesn't seem like you're really gonna need the rest of the rig for a while from what the Cap'n said" He clapped his hands together "How 'bout a quick drink 'fore we head down to find the cyborg? An old associate of mine slipped a couple bottles in with the stuff I picked up on Minos"
He walked over to one of the half-unpacked crates and pulled at the spongy inner casing to reveal a hidden compartment where a handful of unmarked bottles lay on their side. He snatched up one, and carried it back to the desk, digging the cork out as he walked.
"Not exactly Captain Jack's best, but its the closest thing we'll get to a decent brew this far out"
"Yeah, we don't have much of a choice, do we?" Amy smiled, holding out her hand. She then took a shot from the bottle Grayson had just handed her before her eyes started to water as she downed the drink. Caught off guard, Amy went into a coughing fit, pushing the bottle against Grayson's chest.
"That—is strong!" She laughed a little, waiting to hear Grayson's reaction.
Grayson let out a deep belly-laugh as Amy choked her way through the shot. He grabbed the bottle and took a swig of his own.
"Yeah it's great innit?" He chuckled as he set the bottle down within her reach if she wanted another go. This was nice, Grayson decided, just sitting and talking with another person. SAL had been his only company for so long, and that bucket of bolts was severely lacking in the personality department. Maybe this job wouldn't be so bad after all.
"Yeah, if you're trying to get me drunk beyond reason maybe," she joked, but instantly regretted her words. "So, um, should we go get Arex now?" Amy asked, quickly changing the subject.
"Ah, plenty of time fer us to get wrecked outta our minds" Grayson replied in kind as he snuck in another shot "But yer right lass, we got some business to take care of, give us a second, I'll try an clean up a tad"
He retrieved one of his pistols from the desk drawer and tucked it in the waistband of his pants, just in case things got a little too hostile. Surveying the mess on the floor, Grayson did his best to clear a straight path through the piles of ammo boxes, supply crates, and the various other bits of gear laying about, still a few risks of Amy tripping up, so upon returning to her, he offered out a hand.
"Ready to go?"
"Yeah, you go on, rest up for a bit, relax, whatever. I got this" Stryker replied. He waited until he was alone before getting down to business. First off, he stepped over to Tibulus' spot to send full control over to his console, then returned to his chair. The ship's autopilot was reliable enough, but someone had to stay at the helm at all times in case of the unexpected- pirate attack, meteor shower, asteroid in their trajectory, etc. Speaking of their trajectory, Stryker opened the nav computer and checked their destination against a star-chart. He punched in some commands for the AutoNav system to give some rough estimates of alternate routes and total journey times. As that calculated up, he turned his attention back to the data packet for their next mission. What he saw made his eyes go wide in disbelief.
"What the fuck have you gotten us into now Dawson?"