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Number 7

Back on the China Doll, Late Afternoon, Greenleaf Day 2

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

“Almost done, almost done, promise.” Cyd soothed, as she firmly held Mathias’ hand in hers, ignoring the ‘ows’ and air being sucked through his teeth as she worked. The job was finished, selfies were taken, and the shuttle returned to it’s home port. All that was needed was a little basic first aid. As far as she could tell, Mathias’s cut wasn’t too bad. It didn’t hit any tendons, seeing as he could move his fingers and his thumb. Iodine stung like hell, but it would keep out the bacteria, and thankfully by the end of the Jungle-cruise tour, the bleeding had stopped. “Eggs,” she half asked, half ordered to her younger sib. Obediently or out of obligation, Isaac cracked two eggs into a bowl, handing the shells to his sister.

Back on Beaumonde, the alliance made sure nearly all med supplies went to the Blue Sun towns with the exception of New Huntsville for the Brewery, anywhere the money was. Most of the people who went to work in the factories did so not for the meager paychecks, but because living in the corporate city was the only place you could get medical provisions of any sort. Saint Lo wasn’t corporate. A hazy, dirty city with low income opportunities and plenty of brown-coats, it was last in line for supplies. The purple bellies would have swept it under the rug if they could. It forced the residents and medical centers to be a little resourceful and extremely creative, especially when tending minor injuries. Even though the shuttle had a decent first-aid kit with shiny packages and little instruments, sometimes tried and true wins out.

Using the brand new tweezers, Cyd carefully peeled the membrane from the inside of the shell, and placed it directly over the wound on her brother’s palm. It’d form a natural bandage, pulling the two sides together. It was probably deep enough to need a couple of stitches, but in a pinch, there wasn’t a body in Saint Lo who hadn’t used the egg shell fix at least once or twice. She absently rubbed the back of his hand with her thumb comfortingly. More than once she’d been accused of babying her sibs especially if they were sick or hurt, but they were content to be babied now and again, under the guise that it kept Cyd from worrying herself sick.

Satisfied that it was on the mend, that is the natural bandage dried bonding with his skin, she put a small piece of gauze over it and wrapped it loosely. “Poor thing. Good as new in a few days, though Yobo,” she cooed, kissing the top of his head for good measure. “Muti?” She asked, shaking a bottle of an aspirin-like painkiller.

Mathias waved it off looking like a cat who ate the canary and got away with it. "No need, had the best medic in the 'Verse patch me up. I'll be up to my old trick in no time flat." He boasted.

“Dis ń feit soos ń koeiI,” she snickered. It’s a fact like a cow.

Mathias chuckled, carefully flexing his fingers a bit. "Since we can relax the rest of the stay here, got any ideas what you wanna do?" Mathis said, stretching himself out. Work hard, party harder was the Skye motto after all.

“I was hoping you’d ask,” Cyd said, grinning from ear to ear. “Khao Yai has an underground. Never heard of the talent, but if you’re both up to it, rave on?”

"Cyd suggesting a rave? Shocker." Isaac said with an overly deadpan expression before snickering. The younger Skye tossed the egg shells and, not seeing the point in letting a perfectly good meal go to waste, fished out a small single burner induction cooktop and a small sauce pot from one of the shuttle's storage compartments. Using a pair of chopsticks, he scrambled and fried up the leftovers from the previous surgery. He squatted back down near his sibs, using the sticks to play "seek and destroy" sad he fished out hunks of cooked up egg curd from the pot to nom on. "So, what's the scoop on this rave? Apart from OONTS OONTS OONTS!-...and dancing?" He inquired, putting extra emphasis on mimicking the beat.

“Ride the rails, rage a little, trade some kandi, drop some mandy? Come on, it’ll get your mind off you-know-who for a bit, and you like the oonts oonts oonts just as much.”

"Sounds like the best and only way to blow off some steam." Mathias grinned. "Who knows, maybe I get a bit of sympathy from a rave bunny. I should practice my sad face."

Isaac shrugged as he popped a bit of egg in his mouth. "I dunno, bruv. Ya look petty sad to me." He smirked at Mathias. "And who says I need to 'get my mind' off a anyone?" He added, rolling his eyes at the offending suggestion.

"No one … just you know. Say that when you have a sweet bunny pawing at you." Mathias said slyly.

“Even if you want to just trance out,” Cyd practically pleaded. “C’mon Lolo, We’ve been pretty much on since New Melboune. Don’t you want to just get bosbefok for a few hours? Shut it all down?”

Isaac lolled his head from side to side as he grudgingly concurred with his sister. "Fiiiine", he sighed, "we'll go. Check out the scene...maybe there'll be food." He raised his chopstick hand defensively. "I know...stay away from the brownies. I'm not making that mistake twice." He added with a crooked grin.

“I think Yobo has some red devils if you want a safer drop?” she offered. “I swear you can see the music.”

"Hey now … have you been peeking at my private stash?" Mathias asked suspiciously.

“Peeking” Cyd said, using air quotes. “Besides, what happened to all for one?”

"Not when it involves my secret stash …" Mathias said defensively "...that's why it's a secret. Duh. Like how we all know about Isaac's secret chocolate stash and say nothing about it."

"Note to self, moving my chocolates." Isaac scowled. "And flushing your purple pills." He snorted.

"Not sleepy time tea!" Mathias said with an exaggerated gasp. "Seriously touch my shit I will smother your ass in your sleep."

Isaac got up to clean up and pushed his butt at his brother. "Yeah, you'd like to be smothered in that ass, wouldn't you." He teased as he bounced his butt against Mathias's arm.

“Half a chromosome away from having sisters,” Cyd tsked with a shake of her head.

What Goes Up Part 8

Alley a few blocks from the Xengenics Lab, Khao Yai Greenleaf

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

When they were out of sight of the crowd, Isaac slipped off the lab coat and helped his brother ditch his disguise. "C'mon! That was some quality acting. I genuinely sounded concerned for him!" Isaac smirked which quickly faded upon realizing how that sounded. "I mean, yeah, bro. I'm actually concerned, but….you know what I mean." He clarified through a weak smile.

"Smooth." Mathias said dryly. "I'm so shaving your hair off in your sleep." He promised with a wicked smile.

Cyd pulled a Dyson Tech shirt from her backpack for Isaac, and a black tee for Mathias, tossing them to her brothers respectively. “Hats, “ she insisted, tossing a ball cap to her twin and a bucket hat to her blonde little brother before tucking her hair into a light colored newsboy cap. “How’s the hand?” She asked Mathias, peering over to take a look. “Can you move your fingers? Your thumb? Make a fist?” Her sib complied, though he grimaced each time. “It doesn’t look too deep. We can patch you up in the shuttle, oweh?”

"Oweh. It aches like hell. Well take a peek a little later. No worries." Mathias assured his 'little' sister and he changed. "Nothing some TLC and a duchy can't fix."

Isaac pulled down the shirt and popped on the bucket hat, tilting it slightly when he caught a glimpse of his reflection in a dirty window. "Man...I make anything look good!" He complimented himself.

“If you’re sure you’re up to it – We still have time to make that tour. Air conditioned bus ….” she dangled the words like a carrot, a break from the humidity.

Mathias groaned like a child. "I do like air conditioning …" He grudgingly admitted.

Isaac sidled up alongside his brother, grabbed his injured hand and wagged it at his sister. "How could you even think of such a thing when poor Mat is wounded?!" He tsked at Cyd and shook his head. "Selfish. Taking him on a boring ass his state!"

"OWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW" Mathis whined, jerking his poor hand away cradling it protectively from … everyone!

Cyd rolled her eyes at Mathias’ histrionics. He could move all of his fingers just fine, his thumb was actually tucked in. Tough to tell if he wanted attention or just wanted to guilt Isaac. She could help with both. “Selfish, because I thought my baby brother would want to see the monkeys,” she said smugly, giving him a good shot in the arm on Mathias’ behalf.

Isaac winced and withdrew his hand, mimicking his brother as he nursed his own wounded paw. He completed the mimicry by childishly groaning "I do like monkeys…"

"But … you see them all the time … in the mirror." Mathias quipped and tugged on Isaacs bucket hat so it sat askew. "He thinks he's people!" He cooed looking to his sister.

Isaac's face scrunched in annoyance as he swatted away his brother's good hand.

“We’ll go for a few stops, take a few pics and then ditch.” Cyd bargained.

"Sounds good to me. To that and the AC." Mathias gave a broad grin. "Too bad there isn't a beach to chill out at."

“This is Greenleaf,” she reminded him. “Beach would be full of barracuda, or gators or some other big bad. But you know what else it has? Plenty of dagga. That’ll make you lekker up, oweh?“ Once on the bus, she was able to sit back, enjoy the cool air and finally relax, mentally tick the job box as complete.
What Goes Up Part 5

Xengenics Lab, Khao Yai Greenleaf

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

“Server room lockdown,” Cyd said under her breath.

"I'm sorry did you say lockdown?" Mathias said, stopping in his tracks.

"I didn't do anything, I swear!" Isaac exclaimed in his defense.

“The server room, to protect the data,” Cyd explained. “Several of the labs, they shutter in. There may be a release from inside in case this happens,Lo, plug the dongle back in, I’ll see if I can remote you back out or find the release.. Sit tight.” Change of plans- disable the alarms.

Isaac moped back over to the server terminal. "It's not even funny to say anymore." He complained as he plugged the dongle back in. As the system started up, he scanned around the room. "What would a release…thingie...even look like?"

“Little green box,” Cyd told him. “Maybe blue, somewhere near one of the access points, it’ll have two arrows and a circle on it. You may have to break glass - look for something like that. You look for that, I’ll see if I can…”, she chewed the inside of her cheek, “figure something out.”

"Got it." Isaac confirmed as he began his search.

“Mathias –” Cyd was at a loss. She couldn’t tell him to get out of there - there’s no way he’d leave either of them behind, not anywhere, not ever. But if the fire spread… She wouldn’t let her mind go there. It would be fine, and they could explain Isaac being locked inside, maybe.

"I'm going to him." Mathias stated. "No one's going to question a security guard going up anyway." He added moving with hurting long strides through the crush of people heading to the stairs.

Cyd searched the files using the password Mathias found on Kari’s desk - but this was new territory. They’d set off an alarm before for a distraction, but everything she was trying was falling short. Time check was useless, cameras were still in play, sibs, alarm.

It was nearly impossible to track Mathias with the cameras. He was heading up, but with the amount of people in the stairwell and the flashing lights, he wouldn’t even be able to hear over the noise. “Lolo, any luck?” She asked, trying to sound calm as file after file opened.

"Yes!" Isaac crowed triumphantly as he located the escape button pretty much like what his sister has described. With a newfound confidence that they were gone free, he pressed the button. He could hear the locking mechanism release...then re-engage. His confidence instantly changed to dread. "No!!" he shouted as he frantically clicked the button again and again, the lock disengaging and, a moment later, re-engaging. "C'mon c'mon c'mon!! It won't stay open" His voice was high pitched and panicked.

“Okay, easy, Lolo.” Cyd soothed, keeping her voice calm even though her heart wanted to settle as a giant lump in her throat. “I’m trying to kill the alarm, as soon as I can do that, it’ll disengage.” She didn’t bring up that wasn’t likely to happen until the fire was out, as it were, another set of sprinklers had just been set off. “It’ll just take me a minute, okay? Sit tight, Sit tight.”

"Okaaaay…. Ok." Isaac said, slowing his breathing trying to calm himself down. "Hey, just uh….just wondering," he inquired, "how do you know if you're claustrophobic?"

“Your head has been stuck in way too many places for you to be claustrophobic,” Cyd promised. Cleithrophobia, well, that was an entirely different story. Cameras. Sibs. Alarm. “We’ll have you out in just a tick. Want to play a game? I spy?”

"I'm not a baby, Cyd!" Isaac huffed. But after a long pause, he finally said "I spy with my little eye,"

Mathias was dealing with his own issues fighting against the tide of people. The din was loud and. He could barely hear his own thoughts, much less the conversation at hand.

“Something blue…” Cyd said absently, trying both to shut off the alarm and keep Isaac calm. Big tanker skiffs, their own sirens blaring pulled up to the building. “Can’t be my hair. That’s more of an aqua. I’m going to go with server lights?” She kept her head down and away from the officials rushing into the building, trying to come up with a plan.

"I should've picked something harder." Isaac grumbled. "Seriously, though. Why are these server rooms always blue?? Like even in the action flicks! And I'm thinking to myself 'No way it's really like that.' Then I come in here and what do I see? Blue…. everywhere! It's so….cliché, man."

“Blue is cheaper to mass produce,” Cyd said, trying another. Cameras. Sibs. Alarm. “And probably because some exec thinks it looks high tech. You’re almost home free.”
What Goes Up Part 2

Xengenics Lab, Khao Yai Greenleaf

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

Despite the humidity, Cyd set up where she could keep eyes on the building, ignoring her brother's antics while she tapped away on her keypad. Line after line scrolled in front of her, looking for an in. Cameras, cameras, cameras…. Luckily the time on the shuttle gave her an opportunity to find the breach she needed. “I’ve got the cameras,” She told her sibs as they appeared on her screen. “Mat, do what you do.”

"Did you give us a code name … ah, nevermind going in." Mathias walked along checking his watch and picking up his pace. The guard would be heading for his smoke break like he did every day at the same time to the same spot. It was secret and out of the way. Bless smokers and their habits.

"You're now 'Dork One'." Isaac giggled as he whispered into his ear mic. "Dork One is on the move." He added as he slipped casually behind a corner waiting for Mathias's next move.

Mathias snorted as he turned the corner and saw a man in a grey guard uniform struggling with his lighter and muttering a stream of curses. "Hey lemme help you out with that." Mathias offered with a smile as he dug in his pocket for a lighter.

"Thanks man. I've been meaning to get a new one but I keep forgetting." He said gratefully accepted the fresh lighter just as he got sucker punched.

The guard went down hard and Mathias almost felt bad for the guy. "Whale penis one to whale penis two. You suck." He smiled as he stripped and bound the guard. The outfit was a bit tight but it was passable. Taking the card he ran it through the small wireless sniffer for Cyd to record. "The wolf is in sheep clothing …"

Isaac cocked his head to one side in confusion but then heard his cue to head over. When he stepped out, he has already put on the party store lab coat they had picked up earlier and was stuffing his backpack into a cooler brightly labeled 'BIOHAZARD'. As he closed the cooler, he quickened his pace to hits brother's location. "Dude! Why would you give us those call signs??? That's way worse than 'Dork'!" Isaac protested to Mathias.

“We’re not using call signs,” Cyd reprimanded, keeping her eye on the screens. Time check, cameras. Cameras on the first floor were successfully looped, meaning she’d have to be selective over when to let footage through so it wouldn’t be suspicious if it were empty all the time. “Unless I get to make them up. Just get him up to the 74th floor, get me plugged in, and get out.”

"Killjoy." Mathias accused quietly. "What, you started it, whatcha think a dork is … dork." He pointed out to his brother as he opened the door to let him in first.

Isaac shrugged as he walked past 'Officer' Mathias. "I dunno….you?" He smirked as he quickened his pace to get out of smacking range. After his brother followed inside, he slowed to get side by side with him to really sell the whole 'security escorted delivery' vibe. "Ok," he whispered to their eye in the sky while looking straight ahead, "which way to the elevators?"

“You’re going to want to take the ones on the west side of the building. Turn right at the next corridor and follow it half way down,” She directed. Time check, cameras, sibs. “Be careful, you have actual security coming up before then.”

"Hmm hm." Mathias replied, lowering his cap a bit. It was amazing what you could get away with when you walked in looking and acting like you belong. People rarely cared, particular when you looked like you worked at the lowest pay grade. Mathias walked escorting his scientist brother like it was just another day.

Isaac adjusted the for of his coat by shimmying his shoulders a little and stood a bit straighter, his demeanor serious. Dang it. Should've bought a pocket protector, he thought to himself. Clearly, so scientists have those, but he figured they'd just have to make do. The two approached the small guard's desk. Isaac slowed his pace a half step to allow Mathias to take the lead speaking to the guards.

“Camera will be on the left side in the elevator, “ Cyd warned. “I have to give live feed, heads down and right.”

The guard was busy reading a book with only the occasional glance up at the monitor. He didn't even notice Mathias at first till he cleared his throat. The man saw the uniform and the lab coat and slid a clipboard for the pair to sign in.

Mathias scribbled a name on the paper before passing it back. The man grunted, waved them along and clicked the buzzer to let them through.

Already having received a warning for the camera location Mathais made sure to stand at his brother's right side using his taller frame to obfuscate Issac as they waited for the elevator, his head tilted slightly down and to the right.

Isaac remained in lockstep with his brother, his straight ahead as his eyes darted until they caught sight of the camera their sister warned them about. He looked straight ahead and whispered "Ten o'clock high" to alert Mathias.

Mathais gave an imperceptible nod as he gave a focused but bored look. Fortunately, he did need to act mildly irritated, given how damn slow the elevator was. After what seemed like a month of Sundays, the elevator door gave a depressing ding as the pair had to step aside letting the people who had rode down out. At least the elevator was going to be empty for the ride up. 'Happy thoughts Mathias' he thought to himself and he pressed the button for the requested floor.

Isaac remained stone faced, really trying to sell the whole 'serious professional' thing, even if it was to an audience of exactly zero actual employees. He dared not glance at his brother for fear he'd start giggling. The floors counted up agonizingly slow. 20...21...22...his fingers tapped on the plastic handle of the cooler instinctively to the rhythm of the numbers changing on the small digital screen above the buttons.

"All this money dumped into the eyesore and you would think … hey let's install high tech fast moving elevators but nope … they go out of their way to find, hands down, the shittiest slowest moving elevators in the 'verse." Mathais muttered quietly.

31...32...33...Isaac added a little syncopation in his finger tapping to counter point the elevator's beat. Very softly, he absentmindedly started singing "You're a shining matter who you are…"

" … shining bright to see … what you can truly be … Now cut the shit." Mathais whispered.
Minor Moping, Major Mopping

The China Doll Port Shuttle Day 2 Night

Joint post with @MK Blitzen, @Winters, @Yule

Cleaning the shuttle wasn't as bad as Cyd imagined, but then again, Skye’s weren’t strangers to physical labor. Decked out in old shirts, shorts and takkies, things that were easy to clean, two of the three were soon looking like chimney sweeps from an old movie. Cyd’s small speaker filled the shuttle with the sweet sound of trance, perfect to scrub to - inbetween cutting shapes and the occasional shuffle. She swayed, shifting weight from one foot to the other in time to the electronic beat as she led a blue wire behind some trim. Mathias swabbed the deck, the older twin showing off a few lekker moves of his own, at one point dropping the mop and reverse kicking it back up to grab it. She laughed at his showing off, and he playfully swiped at her feet with the wet end of the mop. The only thing missing was Isaac keeping time on whatever he could find to drum on. Cyd’s shoulders dropped. He was still pining over the fact that his encounter with Sarah would be a one-time-only kind of thing. His sister suggested keeping in touch via data links, but that only seemed to make matters worse for the teen, especially after she semi-innocently called it puppy love. Since dinner, the youngest for the most part sat off by himself in the front of the shuttle, rag and spray bottle in hand as he absently cleaned the same part of the dash for at least three songs. Poor kid. Mathias noticed his mood and gave the boy a wide berth as well, keeping teasing to a minimum. Both hoped he’d be back to his old self soon enough. Like hard work, the Skye’s weren’t strangers to disappointment either, and Isaac was predisposed to be happy-go-lucky. Our Jack of hearts, Cyd mused, thinking of their matching tattoos.

She affixed a wire along the ceiling to the center of the shuttle with a bit of duct tape ‘purchased’ for that purpose. From there hung a small, glittery mirror ball with flashing lights that Mathias scored just for her. “Rave on,” he said with a lopsided grin, giving his sister a hand down from the overturned crate used as a stepstool. Cyd pressed a few buttons on her data pad to check it out and pink, blue, green and brilliant white light splashed around the inside of the shuttle.

“Lekker!” Cyd replied with a twirl, taking off her cap to let her aqua hair fan out as she spun, the freshly cleaned floor making it perfect for dancing. Mathias would never say it outloud, he wasn’t the type to fetch a baboon from around the hill, but even he was doing his best to enjoy knowing where their next meal would come from - and with Isaac, a ready source of padikos was a must.

Isaac. The boy had given up pretending to clean and sat with his shoulders slumped, staring out at the apron of the landing bay. Cyd nudged her twin, standing on her tip toes to reach his ear. The crate would have been much more effective, given his height and the amount of sound. If her speaker was loud before, the additional three he added from the electronics haul made it a ravers paradise. “Talk to him!” She encouraged, ticking her head towards the front of the shuttle. The ‘bow’ according to the guide at Pirates Cove. “I’ll go check on the delivery!”

Mathias mocked her in response with an impish akanbe gesture that he was promptly jabbed for. “It’s better from you!” She laughed, playfully shoving Yobo, who feigned a dramatic fall. She was still giggling as she slung her drop-leg utility bag over her shoulder. It was designed to be worn around the waist and strapped to your thigh -function over fashion, and it was plenty big for her gear. This way, no matter how much headbanging or how rough a mosh pit grew, her stuff was safe, super important seeing as more than once Mathias had to dive in, throwing elbows and shoulder checks to pull her or Lolo out.

The cargo bay was eerily quiet except for Cyd’s faint giggle.The middle Skye hated quiet, it was as if you could literally feel your thoughts creeping up with you, a mist threatening to make everything damp and hazy. She figured that’s why Isaac always drummed or figited, Why she danced, why she hacked, why Mathias practiced cards or coin tricks meticulously.

Mathais kept his smile from turning into a frown as Cyd bailed, passing the teen grenade right into his hands. 'She's doing this cuz of that thing I did on Ariel …'

The inside the shuttle was awash in colorful lights that pulsated in and out of sync with the music. The buzz of activity, the tunes, it seemed impossible to bring the place down. And yet, that's exactly what Isaac had accomplished. He didn't mean to. He just... couldn't stop thinking. And all of his thoughts centered around one thing...Sarah. Why did it have to go the way it did? Why did he feel the need to put on a fake face to everyone at dinner? Why wouldn't the Captain answer him straight? He could've at least salvaged something with that information. It was only then that he noticed his sister gone and his brother staring at him all...weird.

Mathias was not good at this. Cyd was the one with the mothering instinct, so he had no clue why she thought he would be able to help. He would be sure to file a complaint.

Time to suck it up or fuck it up.
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.

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.
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.

A Pirate’s Life For Me - Evening

New Melbourne

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

Pirate’s Cove was a jol, even though the Skye’s had gotten caught in one of New Melbourne’s famous sunshowers, Jakkals trou met wolf se vrou, as they would say back home. Home, Cyd thought bitterly. a four letter word. She managed to get lekker photos, a selfie of the three of them by the Planet’s Largest Cannon, Isaac with his head in the barrel of the Planet’s Largest Cannon, and some Pirates Cove maintenance workers helping unstick Isaac’s head from the barrel of the Planet’s Largest Cannon. It did settle the argument that his head was in fact larger than a cannonball though. They were extremely nice about the entire ordeal, and assured them that it happened more often than they’d have thought.

“See?? It's practically BEGGING to happen!!” Isaac had said, his voice muted and echoey inside the cannon.

The theme park had a variety of rides and attractions, they dug for buried treasure, went on an interactive boat ride where cannon’s fired, and Isaac - wearing a souvenir eye-patch - was in his element. He was a katjie van die baan all right, a kitten off the track. He and Mathias had a dramatic looking sword fight with realistic looking foam swords, Mathias - with his longer arm span had the advantage and used it fully, but, Cyd mused, Isaac didn’t seem to mind.

With the amount of traveling they did, souvenir’s weren’t practical. They were expensive and you had to lug them around, Cyd would rather keep photos and memories, but she did pick up a tiny treasure chest for Abby, maybe she wanted to save the bullet or a special treasure. Besides, it’s not like she was able to find an ‘I-was-shot-in-the-ass-and-all-I-got-was-this-lousy-t-shirt” or anything. Isaac was busy with a cotton candy, and Mathias was having his third deep-fried-on-a-stick treat. Gross. Any round rides they passed on the way out would have to be skipped.

"So where we off to next? Tell me it's someplace interesting." Mathias probed between bites. "Maybe we can fly on a bigger ship, one with a bit more space." He suggested.

Isaac gaped "Like one of them big long haulers?" He asked excitedly. "Tell me we're going on one of them!" Massive freighters that you could get lost inside for the better part of a whole day just wandering the corridors. Ships so large they couldn't come into atmo, so they need smaller shops to ferry their loads planetside. They weren't normally stingy for space and took boarders for the extra fare. It wasn't glamorous but you got to eat as well as the crew, which was pretty well on those things. Isaac even had a stateroom all to himself, not just a cot or a bunk but a whole stateroom. "I dunno why people don't do it more. They'd rather go on those luxury liners and be guided around like cattle for triple." He scoffed.

"Come on, you must know something …" Mathias probed

“Kinda...” Cyd said dismissively, “sorta. Look! An old timey photo booth! We can get our photo done. Let’s see how much it costs!”

Cyd's sudden change in tone Isaac's head instinctively wheeling around in the direction of said photo booth. Even as he was complaining "You always wanna do those things" his body language betrayed him as he quickened his pace so as not to get squished in the middle position like he usually does.

“Yea, blame Cyd.” Mathias chuckled, trailing behind his sibling. “It's not Aberdeen is it?” He asked quietly. “Because last time we went to Aberdeen …” He started winding up on why he hated Aberdeen.

“I remember Aberdeen,” Cyd giggled, holding up both hands defensively. “I don’t think so. No real details as to where, actually. Isaac! Let Mathias go in first. Otherwise we won’t see you, Lo!”

"Gorrammit" Isaac muttered, defeated once again he held open the little curtain with one hand and gave an exaggerated bow. "M'lord." He added as he offered the first seat to Mathias.

"Soon enough you'll make it past cabin boy, my wee little buccaneer." Mathis smirked, patting Issac on the head before heading in first.

"Only if you die." Isaac muttered through a grimace.

"So … forever." Mathias snarked, settling in.

“Quit it, nice photos,” Cyd warned, fanning out her hair and checking to see which side it looked best from. “Lo, you got the middle.”

“I can’t help it!” Mathias said defensively. “All I see is the adorable chipmunk cheeks who got free Jalebi with those doe eyes of his.”

"Hate you…" Isaac pouted, which just caused his cheeks to betray him and puff as he frowned. He caught a glimpse of himself in the reflection in the glass, "...even if it is true." He finally conceded. "So," he looked innocently to his sister, "you gonna answer Mat or keep dodging?" He asked as he gave an exaggerated smile to his sister and batted his eyes. He never did bother getting the license plate of the Mule he just threw her under.

“Photos first,” she insisted, swiping her credit stick against the payment pad. “Promise me at least one nice one and then you can be as yourselves as you want.”

“Okay so constipated face first and then our natural looks after …” Mathias repeated with a nod. The boys high fived each other looking sweetly to their sister.

“Inverse proportion,” Cyd replied, posing just so as the first picture snapped.

"I don't know what that means," Isaac shrugged, "but I think what she just called you ugly." He glanced at his older brother. "Yeah, proportions are all inversed and whatnot."

“How did you survive childhood again?” Mathias inquired, tugging his brother's ear.

"Her." Isaac said without hesitation as he jabbed a thumb at Cyd a bit too close to her face given their current confined space.

Cyd had crossed her eyes looking at Isaac’s thumb as the second photo snapped. She did give them the okay to go bosbefok. “Come on, with your chipmunk cheeks.”

Isaac complied and turned to fully face the camera putting on his most saccharine Sunday smile.

Mathias sighed, complied and put on his best stepford smile as well.

The counter on the screen let them know there was ten seconds til the next photo. Cyd took a breath as the numbers flashed on the screen. It was time to drop the other shoe. Mathias was not going to like this, not one bit. 7-6-5... “Choon, next trip, we’re staying with the China Doll.” The camera flashed.
Workin’ For A Living Part 9 - Evening

New Melbourne

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

Once a safe distance away, Cyd untucked her shirt and tied it around her waist. “So? Izzit kief, or did the mountain give birth to a mouse?”

Isaac unwrapped their prize from the swaddled layers of his brother's jacket. He untied and pulled open the drawstring and looked inside. "Die fokk??" was all he could manage. Worth a look of confusion firmly etched on his face, he passed the bag over to his sister.

“This is it?” she asked, curling her lip. She pulled it out of the velvet bag to reveal a fake fish on an equally fake 'wooden' trophy board. “We risked life, limb and Mathias’ virtue for plastic?” She flipped the ‘piece’ over to see if there were anything more intriguing on the far side. “Maybe there’s something inside it? Like those cats on the China Doll.”

When Cyd flipped it back to the front side, Isaac read the name aloud on the little plaque underneath the the hideous thing. "Crooning Carp Carl." He said matter-of-factly I'm the hopes that his understanding tone would make it all magically make sense. It didn't work. He looked back up at his siblings no less confused than before.

“Don’t scratch a lion’s balls with a short stick. Job’s a job. We get paid for the delivery … no matter how weird it is. Damn rich folk …” Mathias said, shaking his head at the stupid fake looking fish on a plaque.

“Let’s get ‘er packed and posted,” Cyd offered. “Then I can send the tracking info and we’re good.”

Isaac hung his head in disappointment and jammed his hands into his pockets. "A stupid gorram fish."

“Carp.” Mathias corrected.

"A stupid gorram carp." Isaac amended his gripe.

“It sings,” Cyd said optimistically. “You know how collectors are with this stuff from Earth that was.”

"Sings?" Isaac scrunched his nose at his sister's suggestion. "How can you tell?"

“It’s called Crooning Carp Carl, isn’t it?” She asked in response. “So… it croons.”

Isaac gave a noncommittal shrug. "Thought that was something like crowing. Makes about as much sense as singing." The enlightenment regarding the difference between the two did little to improve his mood. "Rich folk are weird."

“Does it matter? It could be a jewel encrusted turd, some bendan paid to have it stolen.” Mathias pointed out. “So long as we get our share.”

Cyd purchased a mailer, and affixed the preprinted tag. Isaac made a goofy face that she cropped out when she took a photo for proof and then gently dropped it into the postbox. “Lekker job,” she complimented her brothers. She typed quickly on the datapad, sending off the encrypted text and photo. Just a little extra insurance. By now, he trusted them, or as close to trusted as he could get, she reckoned. “Now… about the planet’s biggest cannon!” Within seconds, she received a message back that stopped her in her tracks. Generally it was a simple GJ, “good job”, but this came with an extra set of instructions that she had to read twice. Afterward, Cyd quickly closed the data pad. Later. She could tell them later. “So, Bru! Who's up for Pirate Cove?"
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