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Picking Up the Pieces

The China Doll Port Shuttle Day 2 Night

Joint post with @Winters, @Yule

Mathias dumped himself into the pilot's seat next to Issac. "That spot on the console looks clean enough to eat off of …"

'Nailed it.' Mathias thought dryly.

Isaac's eyes lazily rolled from the spot on the floor he was so intently gazing at over to his brother and then to the day, responding with a rather unconvincing snort of adjustment. 'Well, at least he didn't he open with Hey, buddy...' he thought to himself, thinking about how ridiculous his brother would look trying to comfort a sad toddler. The thought of that, on the other hand, did elicit a small grin, if only for a moment.

"Thanks." Isaac said curtly.

The teenage brooding was overwhelming. "You wana … I dunno … talk about it or something?" Mathias said lamely. He has no clue what pearl of wisdom Cyd thought he could impart on his little brother. It sucked. It will continue to suck. It will not get better, just more tolerable. Not exactly the thing a lovelorn teen is going to want to hear.

Isaac lazily shrugged his shoulders at his older brother, breaking eye contact to fix his gaze on something inanimate. He was never good at putting on the 'brave face' when it came to his sibs. And if he kept looking at Mathias, the older Skye would undoubtedly wear down his resolve and he'd spill his guts about the whole situation.

"Nah, not really." The younger conceded, slumping back into the co-pilot's chair.

"Well if you ever want to talk about it-" Mathias said, moving to get up.

"It's just that-" Isaac started, leaning forward onto the edge of his seat and unwittingly blocking his brother's attempt at escape.

God Dammit! Mathais plopped back down in a fit of adult dramatics as Isaac let loose.

"I mean," Isaac continued, "everything was going so great, ya know? Then I told her we were leaving tomorrow and she got so sad, then so mad! Why do we always have to keep moving like this?" He didn't wait for his older brother to respond before continuing his barrage of questions. "Why couldn't Cap say when we'd be back to New Melbourne? Least I could have told her when I'd be back, ya know? Why'd Sarah get so upset? I-I told her the truth! Now she thinks I was just stringing her along for fun or something." Isaac punctuated the last bit with his body slumping back into the chair, then continuing his list of grievances where he left off. "It's not like I've got any say in the matter. 'Isaac, go where you're told. Isaac, do what you're told.' And she's nice, Mat. Like super nice! And sweet too! And she likes me. Well, liked me," the younger Skye corrected himself, "before I went and hurt her feelings like a jerk."

"I don't think you were being a jerk. Just honest and upfront. Not that it makes ya feel better." Mathias explained trying to recall how he had been at that age. At the very least he knew what not to say. "It's really the best thing you can do, be upfront and hope for the best."

Isaac shifted his weight towards the armrest closest to a window and propped his elbow into it dropping his cheek into his hand.

"I guess" he replied, unassured by his brother's reassurance, as he stared out the shuttle's window at whatever activity he could spot that would distract him from his current dilemma.

"Yea, I know it's not what you want to hear." Mathias said, leaning back on the seat. "I could lie and say it gets easier if you want." He shrugged.

Isaac cocked an eyebrow at his brother.

"How are you two twins and she's so good at this while you're so bad at it??" Isaac had intended that to be said in his inside voice but, quite possibly due to lacking a filter in his current emotional state, that came out in his outside voice.

"Okay, when was the last time you ever saw me on a date? Or Cyd with anyone longer than a day. What is she going to say differently? Other than giving you cavities from the sugar coating she would dump on?" Mathias asked. "I dunno, maybe the reason she sent me in is cuz there isn't a nice way to sugar coat it. It sucks, it will continue to suck, our lives are not going to change anytime soon and the worst part is it won't get better. But you will get used to it and the one thing I can guarantee is your family is always here for you. That's about all I got for you cuz honestly it's the only thing that really keeps me going."

Isaac was quiet for a long moment. Mathias was right. But, more importantly, he was being brutally honest. Mathias rarely showed insecurity and the only people he ever allowed to see that side of him were Cyd and Isaac. Still, it happened so infrequently that it always surprised Isaac when it did come out and honestly, Cyd wouldn't have put it that way, maybe she couldn't. The younger Skye finally broke the silence.

"Thanks, bro" was all he said, his voice calm.

" … that and always use a condom." Mathias smirked.

"Dick." Isaac laughed in spite of himself.

"Exactly!" Mathias laughed.
Fishstick Flirtation

New Melbourne, Day 2, Early Afternoon

OOC: By @Yule

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Isaac rifled through his pocket and pulled out a handful of Vanderhull coupons. “Because I kinda know a guy…” he added with a sly smile.
Wasn’t that a Party (Part 2)- Day One Night into Day Two Morning

New Melbourne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Pangolin’s a real thing, Yobo,” Cyd snickered. “Maybe you should….” She yelped as the tide started coming in, lapping at her feet. “What the…” It wasn’t just water and seaweed washing ashore. Cyd climbed to her feet and dusted the sand off her bottom walking to the waters’ edge. “Hayibo! Check here.”
Workin’ For A Living Part 8 - Early Evening

New Melbourne

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

Isaac could hear that the 'distraction' (Gorram it, Mat) was getting out of control and redoubled his efforts. The fight had spilled out onto the main hall. Even without the earpiece, even despite the considerable soundproofing in his room, he could hear the commotion outside of the door. He chewed his lip, turning the dial agonizingly slow for his liking given the current situation. This was it. Home stretch. If he hurried and screwed this up now, all the planning, everything, would have been for nothing. Suddenly, the resistance on the handle vanished. As it gave way and the teen almost yelped in alarm.

"That's three!" He whispered urgently into his mic.

“Four minutes,” Cyd whispered back, checking her datapad. “Do you have it?” Gingerly, she peered out from behind the desk. Vanderhull’s tuxedo pants lay in a crumpled heap on the floor, and Cyd tried not to giggle, picturing the man running out in his broekies.

It became quite a stir when Fishstick ran in damn near streaking in his boxer, followed by jilted husband raging and streaming obscenities hot on his tail and the Mimi behind him sobbing loudly. It was a hell of a sight as everything ground to halt.

Fishstick crashed spectacularly into another person, given he was in socks and the wood floor had been polished to a mirror shine. Jon, the jilted husband wasted no time and soon enough the two men were rolling around knocking a few other people down and they throated like a pair of lame school boys on the ground. This left mini sobbing for them to stop, unable to do much of anything.

Security was a bit slow to react as they, Mathias and a few other waiters came in to break up the fight and help the party goers who had fallen over back up. Mathias along with one of the security guards managed to detangle Jon from Fishstick. The guards grip on Jon had been tenuous and Jon, still furious, lunged at Fishsticks again. Mathias held on in spite of his thrashing and shoving which unfortunately got him an eye full of elbow for his effort.

The safe door swung open to reveal a rather sizeable black velvet bag sitting in the middle of the otherwise empty safe. The ruckus outside sounded like it was hitting a fever pitch and Isaac even heard his brother's voice among the ones grunting and shouting. He grabbed the bag and couldn't help but noticed how light it was for its size. "Got it." He triumphantly whispered into his mic. Closing and locking the safe, he pulled his pocket square and quickly wiped down the areas he had touched on the safe door and bookshelf before sliding it back. The bookshelf have a gentle click when it fell to rest in its original position. He made his way to the door but before opening it, he stopped and unzipped his pants, pulling a small bit of his shirt tail through the opening. "Ready to go." Isaac said to his siblings over the mic, signifying he was in position.

Finally with the two men separated Mathias was left with a torn suit jacket and nursing a growing shiner. He leaned next to the security door taking off his jacket to inspect the rip. Security had their hands full and all eyes were still on the shouting men. ‘N-O-W’ Mathias tapped on his mic as if he were inspecting his tender eye.

Isaac tucked the bag under his arm inside of his jacket and, using his pocket square, grabbed the door handle and opened it ever so slightly. Seeing Mathias's back acting as a physical blinder, the younger Skye has one of those rare moments where he appreciated how much shorter he was than his older brother. He slipped out and gently closed the door behind him. "Your jacket." Isaac tsked with disapproval as he tugged at the top of the sleeve where it had torn free. "Give it to me." He scolded Mathias. "I'll need to fix that."

Cyd scurried out from her hiding place when the coast was clear, slipping her data pad back into her bag. “Reset,” she told her brothers. By then guests and patrons were milling around uncomfortably, talking in hushed murmurs, skinner about what happened between Fishsticks and Mimi. A security guard handed Vanderhull his tuxedo pants, but like a petulant child, the minced fish mogul tossed them aside as a gaggle of women offered to console the man. Cyd gathered a cloth napkin full of ice, and standing on her tiptoes she pretended to scan the crowd until she found her kin. “For your eye,” she offered, checking their surroundings. “Bekkie, 9:00.”

“Haven't I taken enough hits today.” Mathias sighed, pressing the ice to his swelling eye as Ms. Gershwitz trotted up to the trio.

“Oh you poor thing!” Ms. Gershwitz cooed, inspecting Mathias' face. She shot Isaac a look and an arched eyebrow, she cleared her throat for emphasis shooting a look at his pants.

Isaac gave her a confused look, following her gaze down before gasping in embarrassment as he fumbled to zip his pants. "Bathroom break." He said with a sheepish grin which was met with a stern ‘Hmm’ from Ms. Gershwitz, who had now latched on quite firmly to Mathias's arm.

"No matter," she said in an uncharacteristically forgiving tone, "it would seem the festivities are ending early again this year and to think we almost made it to dessert this time." She sighed wistfully. "Come, you've been through quite enough" she said, presumably to all three of them but keeping her eyes firmly on Mathias when she did. "We'll get you settled up and...maybe something a little extra for your trouble." She added with a small devilish smirk that quickly vanished whenever she looked at anyone who wasn't Mathias.

Cyd kept her head down, her eyes away from Gershwitz’s gaze as she followed behind her brothers. They were almost home free.

Gershwitz paid each of them their own separate credits, and as promised, Mathias - did get a hefty bonus, right after he agreed to sign a waiver saying he wouldn’t sue for getting injured on the premises. He even managed to up that when he balked at signing, saying he was having trouble reading the agreement, what with his eye so swelled up. Gershwitz also offered them a dozen or so coupons for free fishstick boxes, which Isaac, of course, would think was lekker. Between that, their pay for the day, her tips, and of course, Isaac’s score, they made out, Cyd snickered inwardly, like literal bandits.
Workin’ For A Living Part 5 - Early Evening

New Melbourne

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

The next part was easy but he had to work quickly. You never know when working a gig when someone might notice the tall redhead is missing for too long. The bathroom for the ‘help’ was still pretty nice and clean and plenty of space for him to work in. Just to be safe he cracked the window, so the fumes that would be produced would dissipate faster.

Everything in his pockets were of some genuine use, glue, strips of tape, bandaids and a lighter. Working with practiced ease he used a tape strip to lift the thumb print off the tumbler, next Mathias wiggled a ring off his finger. It was a trick ring any aspiring street machine could get, he tugged it to expand it some. Next after putting the ring on the tape with the print in the center he took some of his liquid glue and filled the ring to begin making a print mold.

Now for the tricky part, it needed to be heated. There had been a lot of trial and error getting this part right, and more than once a fire being set while practicing this. Mathias stood by the window, one side of the tape in his teeth the other in his left hand keeping it taut while he held the lighter underneath making circular motions with his right hand. To close and fire, to far and … well … nothing. It would still be a goopy mess.

He hummed a little tune as he saw the glue slowly turn opaque. He played back down on the small counter and checked to see if it was firm enough before popping it out for inspection. He held up the rubbery disk to the light. There it was. Lord Fishsticks thumbprint, the virtual keys to the kingdom.

Now to deliver it to his sister. Mathias scooped up his tools putting it back in his pocket, flushed the toilet, ran the water to wash his hands and headed back out to the party floor.

Cyd pocketed another few credits when she spotted her twin. Glancing at her watch she could see that they were just slightly off schedule. She moved to the next table to take their drink orders when she grazed a passing Mathias with her elbow.

“Oh don’t forget to grab something to eat.” Mathias reminded her in passing, smoothly picking up an empty tray as the workers started to rotate out for their own time to eat.

The Aqua-haired girl didn’t need to look - Mathias had made the drop.

The event was going smoothly. Cyd made decent tips, Isaac was keeping the tables clear, and Mathias had put some of the little hot dogs Isaac liked so much aside for his brother. There did end up being a toast to Vanderhull, and the middle Skye had been off and on flirting with the man for the majority of the evening. With the guests all seated and served, Mathias taking care of his tables, and Isaac taking over on drink duty, hah, duty, Cyd retreated into the house. She checked for staff, most of the security would be outside with the Fishstick king, but if anyone stopped her, she had a back up plan. Luckily that wasn’t the case, and thanks to Mathias, she easily slipped into Vanderhull’s office and put her hands free earbud and mic in place. Even his office was pretentious. A tufted leather chair behind a mahogany desk, and at least four monitors. “Fishsticks, you loerder” she giggled under her breath as she set up her Data. A few keystrokes and she was asked for a thumbprint to access the security system cameras, which she easily provided. “Let’s roll back a bit, take me out of the picture here, and… let’s see what we can do.” Figuring the password was the easy part. A simple script tried random combinations, and Vanderhull wasn’t the type to make it too secure. She rolled her eyes when it turned out to be his middle name and the year of his birth backwards. No sense in letting an opportunity go to waste, she decided to tiptoe around in his files as she waited for her brothers to come online.

Mathias ran his fingers through his hair as guests absently loaded him down with their empty drinks. He hummed tunelessly. Just loud enough for Cyd to know he was online.

Isaac gave two short coughs and a touch to his TV totemple signifying he was online and assuming Cyd could see her via the monitors. He wished he could see himself at that moment. He'd seen that move in a spy action movie he watched not too long ago and was positive he pulled it off perfectly and looked awesome.

Mathias gave his brother a dry look that screamed 'REALLY?' and shook his head at his little brothers antics.

The younger Skye met his brother's gaze and traced his own to the rather large guard in front of the door he needed to get through, the same guard Mathias had the good fortune of 'running into' a little while earlier.

"I think our brother is a potato in disguise." Mathias muttered quietly.

The hacker’s eyes scanned the monitors with the actual feed from the cameras, as all other locations would get more of a static loop. ‘We’ve got twenty-three minutes until the system resets itself,” Cyd warned them. “That’s when the camera system resets and I’ll only have a brief window to get it back offline before you’re seen.” Now wasn’t the time for joking around - they had work to do. “Let me know if you need me to send a distraction for security. I’m in the system.”

"Chop chop little brother …" Mathias hummed, exchanging a full tray for an empty one at the bar. The upshot of this kind of event is the ridiculous amount of alcohol these kind of people consumed.
Workin’ For A Living Part 2

New Melbourne - Late Afternoon

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

Mathias hated clothes shopping, it being such a chore to him. He really didn't care about the style so long as the shirt was white, a button down and it fit for the event.

The shop wasn't big and the clothing was either packaged neatly on shelves or hanging on racks. The cashier was reading from a data pad and it was clear the place was not getting a ton of traffic today. The duo received a halfhearted grunt of a hello.

Mathias zeroed in on the shelf focusing on the plainest simplest look that just happened to also be the cheapest. He rifled through the stack trying to find his and Isaac's sizes. Mathias tried not to look like he was chewing on rotting lemons as he searched further and further down the stack of folded button down shirts.

Isaac looked at Mathias quizzically. "Why do you always do this?" He asked. "They aren't gonna be any different further down." He added with a roll of his eyes. "Me Medium, you Large." He said as he pulled the first two from the stack that matched those criteria. "See? Simple. Why are you always so picky?"

"Because they never put them in order and larges are never actually large and the mediums are either too big or too small. You have to check the numbers on the back." Mathias said, flipping one over to show the measurements printed on the back. "Otherwise you're looking like a ten year old wearing one of my shirts. Be my guest if that's the look you wanna go for." He prodded his brother. "If mine is too small it'll tear if I move the wrong way too fast. Remember Yu city on Shion? Not looking to repeat that."

Isaac snickered remembering the time Mathias's pants didn't fit quite right and tore at the seat. "You gave those rich old bitties quite a show." He laughed. "As I recall, you got some baie mooi tips that night. Just had to deal with a little grab ass." He teased with a grin.

"I am a human being! Not some slab of meat to be ogled and fondled by thirsty cougars!" Mathias with dramatic flair.

" are tips." Isaac shrugged nonchalantly and then smirked at his older brother. "So what's it gonna be," he asked, holding up two shirts for comparison, "barely enough to afford protein paste or fresh strawberries for a week?" He held the second shirt a bit higher and made suggestive looks.

Mathias gave his brother an oblique look. "Oh look! A medium that might just barely fit you. Only one I could find. Show off those budding biceps of yours, too bad we can't find one that fits better, oh noooo." He said in a deadpan tone, nabbing a more appropriate large for himself.

"Doos." Isaac said, hardly amused, as he snatched the button down from his brother's hand and marched to the nearest changing stall just to make sure it fit properly. Would Mathias be so petty as to "accidentally" grab a Small shirt and pass it off as a Medium just to watch Isaac suffer? Yes, Isaac reasoned, yes he would.

"Remember the potential tips!" Mathias called to his retreating brother.

Issac made a rude gesture before closing the stall to try on the shirt causing Mathias to laugh.

Cyd leaned her foot against the wall of the shop, taking care not to rest her shoulders against the bricks, briefly wondering if every temp worker in the verse had this hard of a time keeping themselves clean before a gig. She traded flirty eyes with a sailor passing by who returned the gesture, but work first, play later.

"We weren't on the ship that long were we?" Mathias teased his sister as he exited the shop. He was walking out in his crisp new white button down. Cyd chuckled stealing one more glance before falling in line with her brother.

Isaac followed close behind, tugging at some parts, scratching at others. "How come yours doesn't itch like mine does?" He complained to his older brother. "You're all like 'Oh, look at me, I'm so cool. I can wear a shirt straight out of the shop'" He mockingly imitated Mathias.

"And when you grow up big and tall you might be as cool as I am. Someday." Mathais said innocently as they trotted along.

Isaac opened his mouth to retort and then caught the insult. He closed it in a tight frown as he followed close behind, careful to remember not to tuck his board under his arm like he usually did. He didn't need an earful from Cyd about messing up his shirt in addition to dealing with his brother's stupid needling.

Cyd slung her bag over her shoulder, data pad in hand, “Ian Vanderhull is hosting the gala. Vanderhull is heir to the fish stick fortune, you know...the little minced mystery fish …” Cyd immediately had flashbacks to fish finger Fridays, images she managed to push down unlike the fish sticks, which usually came back up. “He’s throwing the gala for himself, the dopkaas, in honor of his 40th birthday. Prime mid-life-crisis time.”

Mathias shuddered at the mention of fish sticks. "I still have my doubts as to the authenticity of there being genuine fish in those fish sticks." He said scrunching his nose. "Well at least you know there won't be any fish sticks being served there." He laughed, rich assholes never eat their own crappy product.

"What's wrong with fish sticks?" Isaac grumbled at his siblings disparaging his beloved childhood snack. "I always got extra!" He added beaming with pride.

"Those were ours, we slid them on your plate trash can." Mathias reminded.

"Still extra!" The younger Skye pointed out, totally undaunted.

“All right,” Cyd said when they got to the gates, practicing her non-accent accent. She straightened her blouse and gave her brothers a last once over, giving a look of disapproval to her younger sib. “Gum.”

"Busted." Mathias said quietly to no one in particular.

"Yeah, so glad it wasn't me this time." Isaac grinned as he waited for his brother to give up his contraband.

"A little sympathy? Hm?" Mathias said locating a trash bin to spit into. "Arrite … time to pretend to be educated rich folk." He said, clearing his throat. These parties were so stuffy you could suffocate in them and walking around sporting any kind of accent would get you 'the look'. So it was easier to drop it for something a bit more universal sounding.

“That’s the plan,” Cyd said, pressing the buzzer to be let in. Part of it, anyway.
Hey, Brother Part 2

The China Doll

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

“Don’t defend him! If he wants to speak he can and he can defend himself particularly if he defends his sister who nearly busted us all and oh right … NEARLY GOT US SHOT! Shot as in filled with gorram lead.” Mathias fumed angrily.

“Reg! That was me, - not him, me. It’s me you’re mad at, I’m the one who near got you…” Cyd’ words got caught in her throat, her voice cracking. “If you got shot, if --She shook her head, that was one ‘if” she couldn’t even consider.

“... I would be dead.” Mathias finished his tone cold. “I think we deserve an explanation why you thought it was a good idea to put us all in the crosshairs of a fed … sorry … A DEAD … fed.”

"Ha…'Fed'." Isaac scoffed at the idea, only glancing up to make sure he didn't draw any unwanted heat in the exchange.

“It don't matter he was a law man and I got brain on my shirt!” Mathais said sharply to his little brother.

“Just ain't no way is all." Isaac said softly with a shrug as he avoided eye contact and buried himself in his work.

“You know damn well I wouldn’t do anything on purpose to put you or him in harm’s way,” his sister protested loudly.

“But you did! Cyd, you don’t even have the excuse that you were high! You did this stone sober! This amateurish neglect! Dog het gedog hy plant 'n veer en 'n hoender kom op!” Mathias ranted. “What compelled you to even be in the cargo bay! How was that a good idea in the land of fokever!”

“Oh come on! Baker asked for help! I thought … it was like reaching something off a high shelf or something,” Cyd replied, trying to find levity where there wasn’t any. “That’s what I do! Help out, make nice, smile pretty, maybe I get us better rates or get the bearings for Isaac, and before I knew it, there was an open hatch and shit being tossed overboard, and shouting and a gun --”

“So this stranger ‘Mar-Bake-Chav’ who's supposed to be a passenger but yet had been working in the engine room the whole time … comes to you … another passenger … for help … in the cargo bay? And your street shuffling sense not once went off?” Mathias said, crossing his arms as he sat firmly planted on Clip-Clop the high horse.

Cyd rolled her eyes, irritated at being dressed down by her kin. “Ag, man! Sies! I coulda been a fed for all they knew! Kiff wheels and smooth sided crates! I didn’t think it was going to be anything shifty! I was looking to get a deal on our next ride. So no, it didn’t ping my radar ‘til I saw what was in the crates and what we were doing.”

“Bull! She marked you and you know it! She had the pick of crew to help with her shady side hustle and picked you and you acted like some backwater rube and you fell for it.” Mathias accused.

"Weren't no Feds." Isaac sighed, focusing on the pesky 3rd wheel whose stubborn nut wouldn't budge.

Cyd raged, but Mathias knocked the wind from the sail of her argument. Her ears burned with embarrassment as she grasped for some reason, some valid excuse - even though he was right. “I said I was sorry.“ She huffed and looked at the ceiling. “I thought it was different. And maybe I wanted it to be something different. Sein jou gat.”

“This …” Mathias said with a wave. “... are a dime a dozen suster! This crew are strangers, a one time ride we’ll likely never see again, thankfully! Worse, all greener and newer than spring! They are not our friends, they ain’t family and have nothing but trouble to give, today proved that! No one has ever had our back ‘cept for us. Shame on you for forgetting that.”

His words stung, tiny little daggers digging into her, each barb a little sharper than the last, and hot tears formed behind her lids. “After everything we’ve been through? Don’t you say that. Don’t you dare say that! There’s nothing, no one I put before you an Isaac!”

“You just did! You walked in, saw what was going on and you could have bailed! You didn’t! You could have called one of us for help but instead it took a gunshot and me running like a psycho at a Fed thinking the worst! The problem Cyd is you didn’t at any point THINK! Like at all! You got lucky today.” Mathias stood staring Cyd down against her challenge.

Isaac threw down his wrench as it clanged loudly on a bit of exposed metal flooring. He'd had enough. "It weren't no fokken FED!!" he shouted. The anger was out of character for the teen but he was tired of being ignored.
The Kids Are Alright Part 2

The China Doll

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

After cleaning up enough to look presentable, the trio made their way towards the galley across the catwalk that stretched high above the ship's cargo hold.

“You think there is any food left? I don’t mind cooking if there ain’t.” Mathias said messing with his still moist hair.

Isaac bounced in front. "What do you think Cookie made today, eh?" He mused aloud. "Sausages? Chicken with rice? Ooh! Steak and potatoes??" The boy's mind reeled at the possibilities.

“Protein Paste,” Cyd teased, as she looked over the spacious cargo bay. “All you can eat.”

“All the fake flavors of the rainbow too.” Mathias said with a dramatic wave of his arm.

Isaac's spirits were immediately dashed by the awful suggestion from his sibs. "Protein paste sucks" he groused, dragging out the last word to show the depths of his distaste for the gritty provision. Just then, something caught Isaac's attention down below them in the hold. "Hey...are we allowed to go down there?" he asked, his head motioning in the direction of the main part of the cargo hold.

“No we are not.” Mathias said as he moved to drag his ferret of a sibling along.

Isaac squirmed as he tried to free himself from his brother's grip to no avail. Since brute force didn't work, he opted for a different tactic. "I saw something cool" the teen crooned, hoping to rouse just a hint of curiosity out of Mathias.

Cyd exchanged a quick glance with Mathias before ticking her head.

Mathias sighed letting the mischievous monkey have at it. “You get us spaced, it's totally on you.” He accused his younger twin.

“On everyone’s second day?” Cyd asked with a quirk of her eyebrow. She grinned and elbowed her older brother playfully in the ribs. “Like you’d let that happen,” she said with full confidence. Turning her attention to her younger sib, she waved him on. “Make it quick, Lolo,” she warned.

“Yea yea yea rules are only broken if ya get caught …” Mathias chuckled.

Isaac had no plans to waste this golden opportunity. He looked up as he lazily let his combination lock fall from his hand. The silvery device plunked and plonked seemingly hitting every loud metallic object on the way down. The younger Skye sheepishly looked at his siblings, wincing with each kid clang. "Oops?" he said apologetically, " have dropped my property." he said with a weak grimace.

Cyd watched the tow-headed boy with amusement as he playfully took the stairs. Despite everything, he had a way of always making her laugh, it was nearly impossible for anyone to be in a bad mood around Isaac. He was silly-hearted, and she loved him all the more for it. She couldn’t help but wish things were different for him, for Mathias too, but the ping of her data pad reminded her they weren’t. If something so small would make him happy - there’s no way she could bring herself to deny it. She knew Mathias, despite his demeanor, felt the same.

The youngest Skye trotted deftly down the stairs like a ‘footpad’ in a vain hope that his quiet movements would somehow make up for the impromptu metallic drum solo his lock decided to perform in its trip to the cargo bay floor. It landed nearby some crates that were neatly stacked away from the rest of the cargo. There were some kind of seals on them as well, clearly to prevent prying eyes and fingers. "Well, lookie lookie here..." the teen said as he retrieved his lock.
Skyejacked Part 2

Eavesdown Docks

Abby, Mathias, Cyd, Isaac

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

“Depends on which is the least expensive?” Cyd replied, avoiding the word cheap, which some folk tended to get indignant over. “We don’t mind a double, I’ve shared a room with my brother’s before.”

"Dibs on the single then!" Isaac chimed in with enthusiasm.

"Cute. No Short Round … she ment us three cramming into a double." Mathias explained as Issac skated out of slapping range.

“He gets the sleeping bag,” Cyd tsked with a shake of her head.

“So,” Abby glanced from the big’un to the green haired girl to the blond Asian kid. “A double...fer all three of yah.” She shrugged. “Bit close, but we can setcha up. Standard fare fer each. Ten percent off fer each.”

Cyd shifted the candy in her mouth again, this is normally where they’d haggle, Mathias or Isaac most likely given the orange headed girl’s disposition, but getting off Persephone seemed like a better option. And the take was pretty good this go round, plus with sharing a room… She bobbed her head affirmatively. “Kiff,” she agreed. “Standard minus ten percent each sounds great.”

"Bomba!" Isaac and Mathias cheerfully concurred as they bumped fists.

The girl opened the clipboard. “Whilst yer diggin’ out yer coin, I’ll take yer names fer the log.”

“Cyd,” Cyd replied, pointing to her brother’s respectively. “C-y-d. Not S-i-d, it makes a difference. That’s Mathias, an’ Isaac, Skye,”

“Sky,” Abby repeated. “Like the wild blue? All three of yah?”

“Where the sun rises and sets,” Cyd agreed, “Only with an e at the end.”

"So … Who do we pay? Captain? First Mate?" Mathias asked.

Abby replied, “That’ll be me,” before returning to her clipboard. “Sky with an E. All three. Travelin’ family.” She conjured sayin’ somethin’ ‘bout the strong resemblance, but ruled that one out. Passengers was paychecks. No need fer her to go pokin’ their stories. “Alright...I’ll walk yah back after yah pay up.”

Cyd held her backpack straps a little tighter.

Isaac snorted a laugh as he hopped off his board. "Had a deckhand say that before. Cash up front, no guarantee. Go to board and the Cap knows nothing about it. Tell him we paid up in full and even pointed out the one we paid. Skebenga pretended to know nothin'." Isaac popped his gum as he slung his board under his arm and shifted his weight, leaning against his big brother. "Not much on a replay of that kind of...unpleasantness. Yabai. Need a guarantee or pay the Cap direct." he said, folding his arms and exaggerating his gum chewing with a smile.

"Cho. We don't mind waiting or you can walk one of us to him or her direct." Mathias offered. They weren't unreasonable, just very cautious.

“I can show you we got ‘em,” Cyd added in a softer tone as she nodded to Mathias. “But we were stranded for a pretty long time after that. Can’t blame a body for being cautious.”

The clipboard remained aloft, ink drying on the names of the three Skyes. Abby regarded them, feeling the burn of her honesty impugned by strangers. This is the part where Uncle Bob woulda gone back tah full fare, she thought. But Uncle Bob was dead. This was a new boat, with a new Captain, and if what she’d heard ‘bout Badger rang true, a skinny thread of a deal to carry them through.

“Bad luck, friends,” the girl swallowed her anger. “But here’s how it is. Cap’n trusts me tah log in passengers an’ cargo, and ta collect cashy money. Yer guaranty?” she turned toward the smallest of the three. “That was me tellin yew I’m walkin’ yah back soon’s I gotcher fares in hand. That ain’t good enough, then y’all can wait outside. Cap’n’ll be around presently, but with a boat fixin’ tah launch it ain’t gonna happen fer awhile.”

“We were just askin’ for a guarantee, you know, a piece of paper sayin’ we paid and who took our creds,” Cyd replied, unsure why that would be an unusual or difficult request. Maybe she couldn’t write? No, that couldn’t be it, she added their names to the clipboard.

“A receipt?” the girl asked. “Shiny. Happy tah oblige...soon’s I have yer fares in hand.”

“How long you been running with the captain n’ ship?” Mathias asked casually, thumbs hook on the strap of his shoulder pack and Cyd scribbled their names down.

R-e-c-e-i-v-e-d f-r-o-m Abby wrote onto a blank page. “Today’s muh first day on this boat,” she replied.

Cyd gave her another warm smile. No wonder the hiccup!, she mused. “Bon Bagay,” She congratulated. “It should be a good trip. I have a good feeling about this boat.”
Street Credits Part 3

Persephone City

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

Isaac snickered and shook his head at yet another poor sap whose blatant advances were shot down by the insurmountable Cyd. The boy's mocha skin and distinctly Asian features betrayed the fact that, while he may not have been a Skye by blood, he was family just the same. As he shook his unnaturally blonde shaggy hair out of his eyes, he couldn't help but noticed some in the crowd were a little uncomfortable with the jerk that tried to put moves on his sister.

My turn he thought to himself and without missing a beat, Isaac changed up the rhythm to something simpler and alluring. As he did, he continued the rhythm with one hand while he lifted his shirt with the other, playfully imitating the jerk to the delight of his buddies and to break the tension.

Playing the fool came easily for the boy as he looked down at his not nearly toned stomach as his muse and, with an exaggerated pout, poked at it pathetically with his drumstick, eliciting laughs from the crowd. With the crisis averted, he surrendered his brief moment in the spotlight and changed up the rhythm yet again with a deft flourish.

It wasn't hard, honestly. The three of them had been doing this for so long they learned ages ago that, while the faces change, the behavior of the crowd is always the same, predictable. And you can shift their mood this way and that with just a little bit of effort. Still, let Cyd's movements feed their fleeing fantasies or Mathias' charm excite and amaze, if just for that brief moment. He was exactly where he wanted to be, right behind his sibs.
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