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What Goes Up Part 6

Xengenics Lab, Khao Yai Greenleaf

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

Mathis after what felt like an eternity fighting the crowd finally popped out at the proper floor. "Next time I bring a bat!" Mathias grumbled. "Okay where do I go?"

“Right!” Cameras, sibs, alarm. Cyd opened the camera screen to the evacuated floor. “Keep going, keep going, past these lab doors,” she white knuckle held onto the data pad, not sure what Mathias would do, but the fact that he was there was comforting. “Keep going, keep going, keep going, there! See the hallway?”

Given the floor was clear, Mathias was able to move at a run, skidding around the corner and down the hallway. "Almost there!" He said racing down the hall.

Isaac made his way back to the button and awaited instructions. "Ready when you are!" He said, sounding markedly relieved.

Cyd glanced around. The fire department weren’t the only ones showing up for what she hoped didn’t turn out to be the next Towering Inferno. “The door won’t release with an active alarm, and the outside of the building is getting to be an ugly shade of purple.”

"Alright." Mathias said banging on the shutters. "I'm here, let's do this while there's plenty of chaos to blend into."

"Ok," Isaac shouted through the door, "on three! One...two... three!" With that he pushed the button and the sound of the locking mechanism releasing could be heard amplified through the metal shutters. "Now!" He yelled to his brother.

Mathias wedged his fingers between the shutters. He widened his stand a bit, braced and with a strained grunt struggled to budge the shutter. It moved a little and Mathias was able to adjust a grip to gain better leverage. He took a deep breath, fighting for every inch and thankful for his brothers smaller and slimmer.

Isaac saw the movement of the shutter blocking the door. It didn't get very far up from the floor but he figured it might be just enough. He opened the inner door and was just about to start making his way out when he said "Just a sec!" to his brother, popping back inside.

"ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS?!" Mathias gasped. That was it he was going to euthanize Issac the moment he stepped out of the server room.

A moment later, Isaac's hand popped out from under the shutter, holding his prize. "Almost forgot the dongle!" He said as he started shimmying his way out from his nerd prison. He wriggled his way past Mathias's legs and shouted "Clear!" once his feet were safely out of the way.

Mathias let go of the shutter, his hand slipping. He gripped his hand a deep cut across his palm quickly welling with blood. It was quickly followed up with a stream of curses and multiple languages.

Isaac leapt to his feet. "Shit! Are you ok??" He went to check on Mathias's injury. "I'll go get some paper towels!" He said as he ran to the nearest breakroom to search for anything to staunch the bleeding.

Cyd breathed a sigh of relief when Isaac was freed, only to have it taken back when Mathias was hurt. Sibs, camera, exit. “Yobo, howzit?”

"Fine." Mathias with another hiss of pain. "Just trying not to bleed on anything. Lolo's getting something to stauch it. How's our exit plan looking?"

“Go up two flights, you are going to love this,” she promised as she scrubbed any footage she missed from the camera.

Isaac hurried back with a big wad of folded dispenser hand towels he managed to grab from one of the restrooms. "Here, this should help." He said as he handed them to his brother. "Cyd, why up?" Isaac asked confused.

Mathis jammed the wads of paper into his wounded hand, holding it right to stay the bleeding. "Less talkie talking more walkie walkie. Seriously if we're taken the window washing trolley again you and I are going to have words…" he said heading back to the stairwell towing his brother with his good hand.

“If it’s stupid and it works, it’s not stupid,” Cyd reminded him. “You’re going to see a row of lights and lit exit signs, follow them,” she directed once they reached the 75th floor.

"Can't argue with that logic." Isaac said as he excitedly took the lead. "It's like a scavenger hunt!"

"A scavenger hunt he says." Mathias snorted.

The pair moved quickly guided by their eyes in the sky sister till they could upon an open area with a hole in the floor and what looked like tight white cloth leading down.

"The hell is that? A hole. We're pulling an Alice in Wonderland?" Mathias asked, looking to his brother with a cocked eyebrow.

“Yes. Get your Tweedle Dee and Dum selves into the chute, it’s a collapsible fire escape, fastest way down, I’ll meet you at the bottom.” Camera, sibs.

"Holy shit! That's amazing!" Isaac squealed, forgetting about his wounded sibling and running over to check out the escape chute.

"Go Lolo … you first." Mathias said, nudging his smaller brother.

"Really???" Isaac's eye lit up at Mathias's generous offer, then remembered his brother's injury. "But…are you gonna be ok to go with that?" He motioned his chin to the hand Mathias was nursing.

"Sure I mean worst case … you'll make for a dandy crashpad." Mathias chuckled.

"Sweet!!" The younger Skye squeaked, completely oblivious to the potential consequences. He looked over the device. "Soooooo….how do I enter this thing?" But before waiting for a response, he slid in headfirst.

"He's gonna get stuck … if there's a hole he always gets stuck." Mathias sighed going in feet first, like how the instructions on the wall said to.

“If there’s a hole, he always gets stuck,” Cyd said alongside her brother. She peeled herself from the park bench and dropped the data pad in her pack. Avoiding attracting any unwanted attention, she walked at a brisk pace to the back of the building where some of the fire fighters were helping scientists and workers out of the emergency chute, waiting for Isaac and Mathias. She craned her neck back, looking up for signs of them. Sibs.
What Goes Up Part 3

Xengenics Lab, Khao Yai Greenleaf

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

Isaac cleared his throat, coughing into one of his fists before straightening up again and being all serious. Act like a scientist. Act like a scientist. He thought to himself.

The pair continued the stand there in silence stopping at a floor picking up people continuing up and dropping them off. Finally they hit the 74th floor and the duo step through. "Good luck." Mathias winked. Though he was sure his baby bro didn't need it.

Isaac nodded and stepped out, getting his bearings of the floor layout. "Ok, guardian angel" he said softly, "where to?"

Cyd eyed the different boxes on the screen, quickly planning out the best route for him. “Left,” she directed. “You’re going to pass a row of labs, I’ve got cameras off you, just try not to draw too much attention. Company is around the corner, so go, now, walk.” She directed in a calm, even tone. Her eyes flicked between the numerous boxes on her screen. “Cubbies on your right, third one is open, we’re gonna let security walk on by. Third cube, go.”

Isaac dutifully followed his sister's instructions. Left, don't draw attention, third cubby. Just as he stepped into it, the guards in question turned into the hallway. The teen crouched down in the cubby and stayed motionless, holding his breath as the two guards walked by, oblivious to his presence. Once they passed, he let out a relieved long exhale. " what?"

She hurriedly pulled her hair into a loose bun to give the back of her neck some much needed relief, all that was missing now was a cool breeze. None came, just more humidity, like a damp wool blanket covering every inch. “Back the way you came,” She said, her voice slightly muffled by the hair tie she held in her teeth. “You’ll see a hallway beside Lab G,” Cyd directed, giving it a quick scan as she wrapped the band around her hair. “It looks clear, but haul ass, they got a timer on the coffee maker due off soon - that means someone will be taking a break. Server room is at the end of that hall. Mathias- how we looking on your end?”

"Just trying to look like I know what I'm doing. They changed the layout of the cubicle. Can you give me a little point in the right direction?" Mathias said walking at a leisurely pace to buy him time so it didn't start looping around in circles.

“Okay, hold on, “ Cyd said, opening a box larger on the screen, to get a bird’s eye of Mathias’ surroundings. “You’re looking for the desk of Kari Boone in IT. I don’t have much. Vampire books, and she’s got a thing for sunflowers, according to her social pages.”

"Cubical number or am I just looking for a blood-sucking sunflower?" Mathais asked, turning down an aisle looking for a splash of yellow.

“They must have moved recently. Try the one in the corner, “ she said after a brief pause, zoming in. “Sunflower photo frame. Picture of a black cat in it.” Probably named Edward or Stephan, she inwardly scowled.

"Oh she's one of those.” Mathais said, keeping his face neutral." As he turned to be line for the corner desk. "There an event or something going on? I'm not complaining but it seems a bit light in the office right now." He checked his watch. "Or it could be lunch."

“Exec on the fifty-third got infected with a nasty virus,” Cyd said with a hint of pride,. “Kari’s currently keeping it from backdooring itself into the main server. She’ll be busy for a bit.”

"This is why I am glad you're on my side." Mathias said, using his height to peek over a few walls. "I think I see it." He announced his feet moving a little faster.

“It’s going to be a fob, check the desk or if she has a bag or something,” Cyd directed, turning her eyes back to Isaac.

"On it. I'll report when I find it." Mathias assured.

“Great, LoLo, how’s it?”

"Just got to the server room." Isaac confirmed softly. The foot traffic on the floor was very light, only a few star dotted here and there. Few bothered to even look up and the one or two that did didn't do so long enough to take an interest in him. Drones. He couldn't imagine life trapped behind a desk. He almost felt sorry for them, but there was no time to think about that right now. He put his finger up to the ten digit keypad. The intel had been good so far. It would suck if this is where it went to hell. He quietly held his breath and punched in the door code...2...4...6...0...1. The lock clicked and the handle was able to turn freely. He wasn't sure if the exhale he instinctively let out in relief blew his cover but a quick side eye left and right allayed his fears. He slipped inside and the door clicked behind him. "I'm in." Immediately, he began searching for his quarry. A few of the servers had workstations built into them which were little more than a screen and keyboard interrupting the otherwise smooth lines of the monoliths that were stacked in rows filling the room. Fortunately for him, bureaucratic technicians were meticulous as the tall black rectangles all had been conveniently labeled for easy identification during maintenance. He quickly located the right one and squared off with it's interface. He scanned it for ports until he found slots where he could insert the dongle. He snickered, then he inserted the device into the machine. "The dongle has landed." He smirked as he spoke softly into the earpiece. "I repeat, the dongle has landed.”

“Sit tight a sec,” Cyd said absently, cussing the name bestowed on the useful hardware. The screen lit up, as she tapped away, lines of colored code scrolling, interrupted only when she’d glance to keep eyes on Mathias. “I’ve got the remote!” She said excitedly. How could she NOT be? It actually worked! “Downloading the files, few more minutes, Yobo, where are we with the key fob?” She glanced down at the time. Getting the intel was one thing, it would be useless if they couldn’t decrypt it.

"Uuuuuh …" Mathias cleared his throat. "... The fob isn't here." The eldest had, neatly, torn apart the little cubicle. All obvious places had been checked first, then draws, pen holders, anything that could be a container. Hell he even checked under the damn keyboard. "... But her login is 'Sunfl0wers123<3'." Mathias groused.

“Well, that’s a start,” Cyd said, swearing under her breath. “I can get into her system and see if there’s an encryption program stored, or… “ She tapped the screen a few times. “You can find her on the 53rd floor, still working on the exec’s system, I don’t see a bag, so it may be on her person.”

"Right … when's her lunch break?" Mathias asked, thinking as he scratched the back of his neck.

“Probably when she clears up that virus. Let me know when you’re in place, and I’ll make sure that happens, “ Cyd promised.

"I can always go to her?" Mathias suggested. "No telling how long it's going to take unless you plan on sneaking and doing her job for her."

Cyd shifted her eyes to catch both screens, opening another box to check on Kari.“I put the virus, I can make it go away. If you get to the 53rd floor, I’ll make sure you run into her. You do your thing,”

"I can hear the smug from all the way here." He teased heading to the elevator. "On my way."

“Eyes on you… whale dick one,” Cyd teased back, keeping her voice completely serious.

"Oh NOW you like the code names …" Mathais said, smothering a laugh as he got in the elevator.
That’s what it’s called!

Landing Day Late Afternoon

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

The Skye’s had full bellies by the time the ship landed. One thing the verse had taught was that if life offered food, you take it, because you never know when your next meal is gonna find you, or vice versa. Normally Cyd would be making a checklist of what they needed to take, but the beauty of the shuttle was that everything would be going with them as it was.

“Rochambeau?” She asked Mathias, holding a fist against her palm to see who would get to fly. He won a best of three in two rounds, scissors beats paper, then rock beat scissors. He had a ‘knack’ she grumbled, strapping into the passenger side.

Isaac sat behind the two, his knees to his chest as he tapped away at his sister's cortex. He'd pause only briefly to look to the ceiling, searching for the perfect word before his head dove back down again engrossed in the glowing digits flashing on the screen.

“Are you messaging her again?” Cyd groaned, looking at her little brother in the fold down jump seat. “Like a bandage, Lolo. Rip it off and be done. You heard the captain, oweh? We don’t know when we’ll get back, and I need my Cortex.”

"Oh let Lolo be. It's a process … " Mathias said then dropped his voice down to a whisper. "... You and I both know that long distance relationships don't work out anyway. He'll figure it out eventually."

Cyd held her hand back to retrieve her cortex, while giving Mathias a wary expression. Isaac had a bigger heart, he was more sensitive about things than she or Mathias had been. “We have to focus for the job ja nee? Now, not nou nou. The only way this works is from the server room, and if I’m running cameras, I can’t do both.”

Isaac cracked a crooked smile while staring at the screen and let it a slow sigh. Just then, he looked up, noticing the glances coming from his sibs. He rolled his eyes and handed the datapad back to his sister with a huff.

"I know. I get it. He'll be focused." Mathias said with confidence. "You just got to give him a little leeway is all … we can talk his ear off til the stars die off but this is something he had to handle himself. We can only be there to keep him on course-"

Mathias was interrupted with the sound of the messaging app's cheerful notification bell. Isaac's arms lunged forward between his two older siblings, his hands making the universal "gimme!" motion. Cyd raised an incredulous eyebrow at her twin as she passed the datapad back into the flailing clutches of her younger brother, who dragged his prize back to the rear seat.

"… and...maybe a slap to the head if he gets too far off course." Mathias finished, smiling weakly at his irked sister.

Cyd glared at Mathias. She rolled her eyes and looked out the shuttle window. Khao Yai was nothing special city wise, but if you looked over the walls, you could see the vast expanse of green that gave the planet its name. She couldn’t wait to see all it had to offer, but right now, there were still pieces of the puzzle to put into place. “Come on, Lo, I have actual work to do,” she complained, reaching back for the tablet.

"Work first, romance later!" Mathias said sagely.

"Fiiiine!" Isaac huffed as quickly finished up his message to Sarah and thrusted the datapad back to his sister before falling back into his seat, arms folded in aggravation. His mood shifted as he began gazing out of the shuttle's side window.

Cyd side eyed her younger brother, taking the tablet back to bring up her schematics. “Mathias is going to have to boost a keycard from someone just in case, but according to this, the server room also has a lock, and a heat sensor so–” she was cut short by another incoming message.

The messaging app's siren song jolted Isaac back to reality. He leaned forward between Cyd and Mathias, his smile returning to his face. "Can you believe she still wanted to keep in touch?" The teen sighed. "Honestly, with the way it ended, I didn't think she wanted to even speak to me anymore. And yet, here we ar-"

Mathais gave a glare that promised murder. "If you don't buckle up I will barrel roll this ship and rattle you like a bean in a can!"

The younger Skye reconsidered the doe eyes he was about to try and use on his sister and instead slipped quietly back into his seat. After a moment, the two in the front could hear the satisfying clicking of his seatbelt.

“So we’re going to need to account for that,” Cyd finished, holding up the spray can and tin foil for Isaac’s backpack. “This is the dongle.” She waited for the obligatory snickering from both siblings to subside before continuing. “All I need you to do is plug this in and sit tight. I can handle the rest remotely. Questions?”

Mathias snickered. "What's that thingie called again?" He said, ticking his head at the object in Cyd's hand.

“You know what it’s called, Yobo,” Cyd chided, playfully swatting at her twin.

"I don't…" Isaac offered from the back seat, an impish grin stretching ear to ear.

Cyd rolled her eyes, but couldn’t help but giggle. “A dongle,” she repeated. “Now be serious, or I’ll erase any message that comes in.” As if on cue, another message chimed.

Isaac gasped in horror but bit back any protests for fear that his sister might not be bluffing.

Mathis snickered again. "Okay okay … this is my serious face …" he said fighting the giggles.

Cyd eyed her older brother with disbelief. “Dongle,” she repeated flatly, as Mathias exploded into laughter. “Aaaaaaand, he’s gone,” she sighed, dejectedly handing the tablet back to Isaac. “Say hi from me.”

Isaac's giggling was cut short with a squeal as he clawed for the datapad, a tiny, high pitched "thank you" squeaked out before his face was buried in the screen once again.

Cyd threw up her hands and decided to just look out of the window for the rest of the trip. “Dongle,” she giggled, under her breath.
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.
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