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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?"
Workin’ For A Living Part 6 - Early Evening

New Melbourne

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

Isaac worked his way over to the locked door on the far side of the room. Cyd's timeline was spot on. With the main course served, the staff got a bit of a reprieve, having only to only tend to the guests every few minutes or so. Hell, even security was using this downtime for bathroom breaks and the ones still at their posts stealing the occasional quick bite. The window was small, but it was doable. Isaac was in position as he waited for Mathias to draw the large man's attention.

Mathias put together a drink and a small plate of appetizers. He walked up to the guard whispering discreetly, pointng to the kitchen door as he passed the guard the plate and whiskey. Gig workers were always buttering up security and staff so this was far from unusual. Plus Mathis has the forethought to set up a little chair just inside the kitchen door for him to discreetly enjoy a few things that would traditionally be way above his pay grade.

The man smiled quietly, thanked Mathis and sauntered off with a smile to enjoy the delicacies.

All too easy.

“Nineteen minutes,” Cyd reminded them over the coms.

As soon as the guard was off, Isaac made his move. He popped the security card out of his pocket that his older brother slipped into it earlier. The guard hadn't even noticed it missing when he helped Mathias with those chairs. The younger Skye slid the key card in and, working from memory, played the notes of the key code on the pad as the lock disengaged. The teen slipped inside, leaving the key card still in the slot. He noticed the doors were unusually thick but slid effortlessly on perfectly balanced hinges. If the room Cyd was in was all show, this room was all business. It was a respectably adorned, albeit rather muted. This was where all the transactions Vanderhull didn't want folks to know about were conducted, Isaac was sure of it. "Just like the crime shows" he whispered to himself in awe, respecting the man's commitment to the part. If the doors were any indication, there was likely soundproofing, maybe the whole room was blast proof. A panic room maybe? All he knew was it was all pretty ongelooflik.

"Seventeen." Cyd's tone was firm yet even and was just enough to snap Isaac back to reality. He scanned the room. The bookcase was exactly where the floorplan said it would be. He knelt down and ran his hand along the kickboard until he found a small protrusion. The intel was good. He pressed it freeing the bookshelf to turn out into the room on a hinge exposing a wall safe.

"Bingo" he whispered.

Cyd kept an eye on her brothers, as well as the clock, tapping in a code to disable the silent alarm that would have alerted Vanderhull or his men by Datapad. “Sixteen. No pressure, Lolo. Gershwitz is in the kitchen, Mathias - you’re clear.”

Mathias offered to load up the empty boxes on a cart for the bartenders. Drunk party goers were happy party goers and the whole thing just helped him look like a go getter. Best part, so long as it was carted out of sight, say around the hallway, no one would really care. Given how crazy things could go it could be easily dismissed as the help forgetting it or some shit.

Isaac adjusted the frequency on his earphones as he prepared to crack the safe. The particular model, a Jensen SP-15, was a bit older but an industry workhorse as safes go. He was only going to get one shot at this. Any mistake and the safe would activate the spring loaded deadbolts. After that, only a Jensen representative or a jackhammer were getting in. There was talk in circles about ex-employees leaking the method to disable the failsafe but it, by design, took time. Time he didn't have. So no screw ups, Isaac thought to himself. He rubbed his fingertips and hesitated for just a moment, wishing he had some sandpaper for them like on his shows. With one hand, he applied steady pressure to the release handle as he slowly rotated the safe's dial to the left, only stopping when he heard the faintest sounds of metal on metal.

"One down" he whispered.

“Fourteen minutes,” Cyd counted, her eyes scanning all of the feeds. All of the cameras were still clear, the feedback loops were still displayed. She took a quick glance at the tables, all was going well at the dinner party, so as Isaac worked, she worked, scrubbing any trace of the three of them from the recorded footage.

"You know, you constantly telling me how much time is left? Great for my nerves." Isaac griped at his sister. He took his fingers off the dial for a moment and drew in a few slow deep breaths to steady himself before returning to his task.

“How about … you have one minute less than before and not a lot of minutes left?” Mathias offered quietly.

“You rather I wait until there’s zero time and let you--” Cyd stopped mid sentence when she heard the giggling from the otherside of the door, followed by the jiggling of the handle. “Fok,” she swore under her breath, quickly grabbing her datapad. “Come on….” She pressed the power button to hard shut down Vanderhull’s computer and dove under the desk, just as the door opened.
Workin’ For A Living Part 3 - Early Evening

New Melbourne

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

The trio reported, like the job ticket stated to Ms. Gershwitz, an imposing looking woman with short cropped hair and deep set brown eyes furrowed just enough to portray she wasn’t looking for any shenanigans. The Skyes along with about a dozen other temps like them were quickly put to work setting up tables for the soon-to-be arriving guests.

“Forks on the left, salad, dinner, fish, on the right it’s knife, weird knife, spoon and water glass,” Cyd reminded Isaac under her breath. She should have made a chart and had him study.

"I know!" Isaac hissed at his sister as he placed the flatware on the table, copying one of the other workers but trying his best to not make it look obvious. The last thing he needed was for Cyd to know he had forgotten. He'd never hear the end of it.

"You two, don't dawdle." Ms. Gershwitz instructed in a very crisp tone while snapping her fingers at Cyd and Isaac. She didn't seem the type that tolerated dawdling. Worse still, she did, however, seem the type that might watch them like a hawk all evening. A fact that neither sibling particularly relished. Every time the woman's severe eyes fell fell upon Cyd's aqua hair, one thing was certain...she did not like it.

Isaac gave a small curl of his lip to his sister that simultaneously said both "Nyah" but also "Get lost!" They didn't want to spend the entire evening under the withering gaze of the Eye of Gershwitz. He continued busying himself with the place settings of this and then the next banquet table.

Should have gotten a wig for Cyd. Mathias chided to himself. Isaac wasn't helping with the sour faces he was making. "Excuses Ms. Gershwitz I'm noticing my layout is a bit off. I know it's supposed to be a thumb space from the edge but … uh … I got big hands." Mathias said, pointing out the predicament. Hopefully with a different bone to chew Cyd and Sourpuss face could rocket through and keep under the radar.

“You do indeed, “ Gershwitz said with a smile. “Here, let me help.”

Cyd tried not to laugh at her brother’s expense. She made small talk with a few other temps hired for the event, avoiding Gershwitz at all costs.

Ms. Gershwitz leaned in close to utensils … and Mathias. Oh when plans go much further then it should. When the forks and knives were fixed she had given him a pat on the shoulder that lingered a little too long then what someone might consider appropriate. Either this was going to work really well for them or backfire spectacularly. The night was young!

Isaac's annoyance at his sister soon evaporated as he watched his brother be …"mentored" the cougar. It seemed everyone has their weakness and Madam Librarian's weakness was "big hands". The teen bit his lip hard trying to maintain his composure. Then he heard it. He managed to be allowed to hold onto his earbuds, feigning a disability and explaining how they helped him to hear. While the former wasn't true, the latter most certainly was. The sound of six bright, unique beeps being entered on an access panel chirped happily in his earpiece. The panel in question was connected to a door at the far end of the room that led to Master Ian Vanderhull's study. Isaac noticed a rather sizeable guard pulling a key card from a slot in the access panel where the code has been entered and the lock on the door disengaged with a click. The guard stepped through and the door closed behind him, giving another click as the lock re-engaged. As he set the next place setting, he briefly tapped out "G-E-T C-R-D" with the butt end of the flatware as he placed them. He repeated it with the next place setting and glanced to his siblings to see if his message had been received by either of them.

Mathias thrummed his fingers on the on the table as Ms. Gerswitch fixed Mathias' collar that definitely did not need fixing! "O-N-I-T"
Hey, Brother Part 3

The China Doll

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

Cyd jammed her fists into the pockets of her hoodie.There was nothing worse than that moment in an argument, the moment you knew you were in the wrong. aShe bit the inside of her cheek. Her hands shook, and she was losing the battle of keeping tears locked up where they belonged. She wasn’t sure who she was agriest with - Mathias for calling her out, herself for letting her guard down, or Baker, for putting her in that spot, putting Abby in danger, getting her shot. She wished she had time to check in on the little redhead, see how she was doing. Less than a week on the job and shot in the gat. Had it not been for Isaac’s outburst, she’d have… well, she wasn’t sure what. She glared angrily at Mathias, softening her gaze to meet Isaac’s, thankful for the distraction, and her voice cracked with emotion. “Why do you say that, Lolo?”

“I am only dealing with one set of crazy per day.” Mathias groused.

"Fokkoff" Isaac bitterly snapped back at his brother before turning to Cyd. "Think about it. You had two women and a kid in the cargo bay, right?" he interrogated his sister as he worked things out in his head.

“Jip, Me, Baker and Abby,” she agreed, trying to shake off the adrenaline.

"And he fired...a Purp... on two unarmed vroue and a kind??" Isaac asked incredulously. "When's the last time you heard of that?"

“It was a warning,” Cyd replied, scrunching her shoulders with the memory. “Straight up.”

"Why'd he fire a warning shot inside a ship?" Isaac pressed, fully interested in the details of what happened before he arrived. It helped him take his mind off of the unfortunate events that occurred after he arrived. "Was anyone making a move on him?"

“No,” Cyd said with a shake of her head, hazy details clearing. “He said Marisol Chavez, you are bound by law. She had her hands out where he could see ‘em, to the sides,” she demonstrated Marisol’s stance. “She said he was bound by law to tell her the charges, he asked if we thought he was playing and fired. Never said any charges.”

Isaac clapped his hands together in a 'eureka' moment and pointed excitedly at his sister. "That's a mugger move! Get 'em shook up so they don't try anything. If he was a Fed, he was crooked." he added with the confidence of a TV show detective that cracked the case.

“Settle the fok down, Nancy Drew. You know damn well Fed's don't got the exclusive on shooting people. Dead is dead no matter what side shoots so aint no point dwelling on it.” Mathias retorted, digging through his bag.

Cyd squeezed Isaac’s shoulder ... Lolo had a point. If he was a fed, he was ongeskik, he didn’t know what the fok he was doing - one fed? No back up? But Mathias had a point too. Dead would be dead, if it was a Fed, a Brownie, or someone in between pulling the trigger, it wouldn’t matter none if she lost one of her own.

"So what do we do now?" Isaac asked, completely out of ideas. If they all just greased a Purp, we're gonna get dragged into a lotta heat … especially her." He added, motioning his head towards Cyd. "We gotta weg wees ASAP...get scarce." He said, not bothering to mask his worry for his sister.

“This ship is a malhuis we keep the mal’s at arms length. Head down, don’t make eye contact, the only sane person on this damn ship so far is probably the damned bird.” Mathias said with a snort.

"I am gonna miss that bird." Isaac wistfully, smiling a little and allowing himself a small bit of joy in this otherwise horrific day. "Past couple days, he was always in the galley. I know I wasn't supposed to, but I snuck him some of my fries." He impishly grinned.

“We got a job,” Cyd added, guilt-stricken as she checked the charge on her data pad. “I’ll make the call. It’s my mess, and if word gets back,” she shrugged. “Better I own it.”

Isaac bumped the side of his head affectionately against his sister's leg. "It's all our mess, regso?"

“Yea but only one of us gets taken to task for it.” Mathias muttered quietly, finding his tin. “Can I trust you two not to get me or anyone else killed till we finish this job? Or better, not get into any mystery hijinks with that damn bird? Isaac.”

The younger Skye gave a non-committal shrug in a playful effort to defuse his high strung older brother. In most cases, his super seriousness could be downright annoying but today…'s not every day someone's insides end up on their outsides and then end up on your face. Mathias might be due a little leeway on this one. Isaac still hadn't processed what he had seen. Best not to think about it, he figured.

If Cyd’s head hadn’t been clouded, she’d have thought to bring up the oddity of the Neko cats on board, thinking there was something likely housed inside them. Drugs, she briefly thought, or more microchips, or it was the Alliance, they could be bugged or full of explosives for all they knew. That would all have to wait. They had a job to run.

“You need new shirts,” Cyd reminded, glad to change the subject to something, anything else. One more thing they didn’t account for while budgeting. “Job board said white shirts over black, black shoes. Event starts at 7, we’re there at 6 to set up. Not a lot of time. Let’s hit the shops for some button ups. We’ll need the money unless we want to get stranded. Then we go see the planet’s biggest cannon, maybe the pirate cove, like we planned.” Like we planned. Cyd thought, as she mentally practiced what she was going to say.

"Stranded beats getting caught up the stink that's gonna follow this boat and crew if they don't take issue with smeering someone, Fed or otherwise." Isaac reasoned, his attention back to finishing up his board. He gave one of the wheels a firm spin and watched as it went on turning, near silent, for well over a minute. "Baie mooi." He said, looking satisfied with the results.
The Kids Are Alright Part 3

The China Doll

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

Cyd put her speaker on the galley table, the house music radiating loud enough to shake a few glasses. Isaac looked pleased as punch and was eager to get back to their room, antsy, which almost, but not quite won out over his stomach. Cyd let the steady techno rhythm move her feet, though she did take half a step closer to her brothers when two cagey looking… passengers? Crew mates? They hadn’t met everyone on board yet, paused in the doorway. They were cagey looking, that was for sure. The taller one smiled and gave a few steps of what could possibly be called a really weak Charleston. Cyd threw in a diamond T-step to retaliate moving into a slide slide.

The food from breakfast has long been gobbled up by the crew and really the Skye’s had no one to blame but themselves. It was just long ingrained habits they had developed. “Oye.” Mathias greeted keeping. “A’right birdies, let's see what we got … who's hungry for what? We got options.”

Isaac was tapping absentmindedly with the rhythm, his thoughts completely elsewhere. Only two things broke through: one was the two creeps that paused in the doorway to ogle his sister. Something didn't sit right about those two. Spending years on the streets, you develop a nose for spotting people who were up to no good and those two were it. Fortunately, they moved along after the shorter man shoved the tall one out on his awkward mating display. The teen chuckled to himself, which the tall one seemed to notice and a brief expression crossed his face that he didn't like being laughed at one bit. He took a warning step towards the Skyes.

Thwack! Mathias aggressively bashed the knife he was holding against an empty chopping board with enough force to garner the attention of both men. The eldest of the Skye sibs gave a warning glare to the interlopers. Shorty ushered Tallboy on their way and Cyd couldn’t help but giggle, switching up her footwork in time to the next song. Heel-Toe-Cross.

“Skelm,” she said under her breath, stopping after they’d left.

This could be trouble later. Isaac shrugged it off when that other thing demanded his undivided attention: food. It's siren song beckoning through his nostrils. And the best thing of all that he heard his brother say? 'Options'!

“We gots the trappings for some shakshuka?” Mathias offered peeking through the cupboards as he acquainted himself with the kitchen. “I think …” He mused.

"Laduma!!" Isaac said with excitement. "You ain't made shakshuka in a dog's age!"

“Esh! Not often we gots a kitchen to cook in.” Mathias reminded as he started pulling together spices and ingredients.

“Lekker,” Cyd agreed, shrugging off the encounter.

The rambunctious trio resumed their jibbs and jokes as Mathias pulled a meal to gethe with the little bits of this and that along with some protein paste to bulk it up without adding any flavor. Soon enough there was a high sided pan with chunky tomato sauce still bubbling. There was a bit of veggies, some frozen, some fresh cooked in the liquid and four eggs simmered on the top of it all cooking over easy. Mathias also pan fried a pile of flatbread after he found the flour.

“Smaaklike ete.” Matthias said, clapping his hands together.

“Itadakimasu.” Cyd replied clapping her hands in front of her as she slid into one of the galley chairs, waiting impatiently for her food to cool. Isaac had less self control. Her younger brother gasped and fanned his mouth as he shoveled in the hot food. It’d only been a day and a half in the black, but, she thought as she glanced around the galley. I could really get used to this. She did, afterall, have a good feeling about the China Doll.
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