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For Poe with a Nod To Henny and Lessons Learned

Posted on Fri Sep 16th, 2022 @ 11:20pm by Teague Harrington & Quinlan Barrett Poe
Edited on on Sun Sep 25th, 2022 @ 10:23am

Mission: The Xiao Jin Chronicles
Location: Xiao Jin, Eavesdown Docks, Persephone
Timeline: Mission Day 47 at 0830

If asked, Teague would say that the reason he checked things out was Henny. Lovely young barmaid he knew in his youth, back on Dyton, who had asked for some help moving her things. Simple enough except for the nearly seven-foot tall, enraged mass of muscle, that was her bouncer-husband, Magnus, because Henny had left out the part about leaving Magnus for her loser of a new boyfriend. Teague came away from that encounter with bruised ribs and a lesson in how things worked. A couple of bottles of good whiskey and a long conversation had straightened things out with Magnus because it didn't do to leave an enemy on your doorstep. The bouncer became one of his many contacts while Henny earned herself a spot on his never-to-be-trusted-again list.

So, these days, he checked things out before he agreed and if the person was a friend, he checked harder. Folks just couldn't be trusted.

He did his checking and, having found nothing alarming, decided to show up. The Eavesdown Docks, never the safest place, was always two things -- colorful and noisy. Three, if you counted the pickpockets who worked the people moving between ships, looking for jobs or a ride. He wasn't generally considered an easy mark and that wasn't because of his height (average at best or short in some circles) or the hard muscle on his lean frame, no, it was because he marked them with his green gaze. They'd start their approach and he'd be watching so that when their gaze traveled up, they'd seem him shake his head ever so slightly. He signed, to identify himself, as well though not everyone knew the cant, the hand gestures that identified one thief to another.

Not that he was a thief. More, he was a friend of thieves and in return for a favor or two, they'd taught him the cant and that had given a measure of safety that a ten-year-old had needed.

Poe was, of course, on the ramp with that restless, searching gaze Teague remembered from their encounters during the war. He walked up the ramp and turned to stand beside Poe. "You're being watched," Teague said quietly.

"Two in the shadows between two stands. One of 'em likes to smoke," Poe answered.

"They're sharing a bottle," Teague said. "So, I don't know how much actual watching is going on. No empties on the ground that I could see so they might still be functional."

"They come and go," Poe said turning toward Teague. "Not round-the-clock by any means. There's a bar down the street they seem to favor."

"The Bucket of Blood," Teague said. "Has to be. Cheapest whiskey on the docks and there's always a game going in the back." He smiled. "Been any patrols through here?"

Poe shook his head. "Not yet but its early. Persephone can't seem to figure out which side of the fence to jump to, so it just stays as it is, straddled and all. Ruin a lot of business here on the docks if they ever decide to get serious about going Core."

"Drive it underground more like", Teague answered. "Those who prefer life outside of Alliance scrutiny find a way to do business. Always have. Always will."

"Sure would make things interesting," Poe answered. "From what I hear though, the Alliance is still busy trying to settle the rim worlds down. Hard work oppressing folk and stealing their resources."

Teague smiled as he turned sideways, facing his friend full on. "Never did sell that Browncoat of yours, I see," he said. "Suits you, mate, though learning to be a bit of a chameleon might just up your chances of survival."

Poe turned toward Teague, his expression ancient and more than a little bleak. "Not something I ever learned how to do, more's the pity. Come on. We can talk in my cabin. It's the only private place there is on the ship."

Teague gestured, a theatrical flourish, as he said, "After you, sir. For the moment anyway, it's your ship."

 

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