Touchdown on Boros
Visit to Boros
Timeline: Mission Day 58 - 2200
The ship's ramp had barely touched terra firma before Boney was off to the races. He'd ridden the ramp down and hopped the last few feet to the ground, landing in a trot that didn't break until he'd reached the nearest pub. It's not that he needed to drink. It was just the stifling atmosphere of the damned ship and its damned rules.
When the barkeep asked in terse Mandarin what he wanted, Boney just replied over quiet murmur of the pub with a shaky hand gesture indicating booze. With a knowing nod, the barkeep poured a shot of something dark brown and smoky.
"Gèng duō de!" Boney exclaimed before he'd even thrown it back. After emptying the shot, he slammed it on the bar top and let out a whoop. "Keep'em coming!"
Watching Boney run off with more than his share of their joint earnings had given Cassian pause. He hesitated at the foot of the ramp, wondering where he should go or if he should even bother. Wouldn't it be better to save their money for a rainy day? Then again, a new pair of boots wouldn't go awry. Decisions, decisions. He looked around to watch the rest of the crew and perhaps take inspiration from any of them.
Juniper seemed to appear next to him, the softness of her steps on the ramp barely registering above the other noises of the docks on Boros. Unlike the others her packed bag was slung over her shoulder. She would be disembarking here, a decision she'd made on the trip over. Somehow the thought of Teague leaving made her squirm slightly and so she'd decided perhaps that was the nudge she needed to move on herself. Besides, there should be a missive from the Companion's school waiting for her. And if that didn't do that trick... well... she still had the card the Matchmaker had given her tucked safely in a pocket.
Delicate hands tugged at the corset bottom that hugged her curves over the men's trousers she preferred. "Where are you off to?" she asked Cassian, pausing at the bottom of the ramp next to him.
"Nowhere special," Cassian replied with a shrug while his hands were stuffed in his pockets. He noted her duffel bag. "Want some company to... wherever you're going?"
The petite redhead considered a moment and then shrugged. "Sure," she commented offering the man a small smile and wondering what he might think of her intended destination.
Juniper's meek smile caught Cassian unawares and gave him pause. "Uh, um, eh, yeah..."
While Teague remained in what was about to be his former quarters, doing a last check of drawers and closets, Poe and Addy headed for the cargo bay. The judge was waiting at his house, located in an upscale neighborhood, about a half hour walk from where they'd touched down. He found Cassian and Juniper standing on the ramp and nodded politely to them both. "We're heading into Boros," he said. "Teague is clearing out his room but he'll stay with the ship until someone returns."
Lizzy Claiborne's ears had caught the name Boros when she stirred and came towards the gathering. "Excuse me? I did not just hear we're heading into Boros" she said sharply and looked for answers. She placed a hand on her waist and took a deep breath.
"That's where we've landed," Poe said as he turned toward Lizzie. "Why? Is that a problem for you?"
She looked at Poe "Anywhere with a significant Alliance presence isn't exactly paradise for me" Lizzy replied simply. "I try my best not to be to avoid them. So, you'll have to forgive me if I don't walk down the ramp and dance in the streets like some Jìnǚ."
"Alliance worlds ain't somewhere I like to be either," Poe said, "but this is where the only friendly judge I know happens to be. Tell you what, stay with the ship and we'll get off this rock as soon as we can."
"How kind and heroic," Lizzy chastised Poe. "Though I appreciate you allowing me to safely stay in your dilapidated man castle, if your lot have any problems with the Alliance, I'm your best chance of not blood staining the soil. So, if it's alright by you, I'll be coming along albeit begrudgingly."
"I have plenty of problems with the Alliance's way of doing things but none of that is like to get me bound by law," Poe growled. "Some things need doing and this is one of them but I explained that already ... not that you particularly cared. And tell you what, if this ..." he gestured toward the ship, his home, his bit of the 'verse that wasn't controlled by the purple-bellies, "if this ain't to your liking, go find better."
"I had better," Lizzy countered and glared at Poe. She would have chosen to go with a better ship if it would have been in her favor, but it wasn't. "I know I may seem like an entitled and arrogant princess to you, but I am just trying to stay alive. Your ship may not be five star Alliance resort, but that is fine by me" quipped Lizzy.
She was stuck with this man. "Excuse my displeasure. I'm not exactly home coming queen on Boros or any of the Alliance territory."
"Not excused," Poe said. "This is home to everyone aboard ..." He paused, his sniper gaze focused on the princess who thought she could do better, and changed direction almost at once. "And if you're so disliked on Boros, just how do you think you're in a position to help me and mine?"
"I'm worth a 'pretty penny' if you have Alliance trouble" explained Lizzy. "I'm also not a bad shot if you need someone to shoot their way through a problem. I'm sorry to offend everyone's home, It has been a while since I've had one of those."
"Not in my nature to sell folks off for profit," Poe said, "but I could use a decent gun hand. Doubt that anyone knows what I have but if they do, it could mean trouble."
"Then consider me asset protection" she replied swiftly. She smiled at Poe. "See, that is what I'm talking about. I'm not all that terrible."
"if you learn not to talk trash about my ship," Poe said, smiling in return, "I might just start agreeing with you."
She entertained the thought. "I'll consider it" she replied with a smirk. "If you're ever in the market for an upgrade, we could try to steal an Alliance ship."
Addy had watched the exchange between Quinn and the woman that she had so deeply disliked upon her original arrival. If Lizzy's treating her as someone lesser... the help... hadn't rankled upon her arrival, the way she insinuated herself into what they needed to do certainly did. She'd no love for baring the ugliness that needed sharing any more than they already had, let alone to someone who clearly felt as though every moment she had to spend in their presence was a trial to be survived.
Still, she said nothing. Quinn knew the judge and he knew what they might need on their way to or from this meeting. Her family was hardly something to trifle with and there was no certitude that they were entirely free and clear until they were. Still, she couldn't help narrowing her eyes and muttering under her breath. "Don't need to steal a ship to get an upgrade. Just need to offload your oversized ego."
Poe who hadn't heard Addy's muttered remarks answered Lizzie's comment with one of his own. "This ... is ... mine. Bought and paid for with everything I've had to do to survive the Alliance interfering in my life. I'm not upgrading to no Alliance ship. Not now, not ever. What I will do though is set you to work with paint and rust remover fixing this place up."
"Perhaps I'll purchase it from you one day" teased Lizzy. "I will try to be better about not insulting the ship or" Lizzy looked at Addy. "What comes with it."
Poe laughed outright at the notion of Lizzie captaining a ship of any kind and just like that, the tension lessened or at least it did for him. "You ready to go?"
"I am," she glared at Poe. "Perhaps this little excursion will give us time to bond, share a bit about one another, and maybe you won't laugh so much at that thought."
"We'll see," Poe said. "We'll see."
The conversation, complete with vitriolic arrogance, had stopped many in their tracks at this point, Juniper among them, though she'd less reason than the rest to be affronted by the newer woman's remarks. With a cool look, the sort she reserved for rowdy patrons and men who didn't know how to keep their hands to themselves, she raised her eyebrows at the spectacle then, shrugging afresh, turned back toward the dock. "Shall we?" she inquired of Cassian.
Stunned somewhere between shocked and appalled, Juniper's question to Cassian snapped him back to the original plan. "Oh, yes, by all means."
It had been awhile since Cassian kept the company of a woman--any woman, for that matter--but the social awkwardness of the opposite sex was a far cry better than sticking around for the catfight that was fixing between two tempers that Cassian had already clocked as indomitable in their own individual ways. Whatever butterflies Juniper's form, figure, and captivating smile brought to his belly, Cassian welcomed the out from the brewing conflict.
"Cap'n," said Cassian with a tip of an invisible hat to Poe as he left the other man to play referee. "So..." he whispered to Juniper, "...where we headed?"
A mischievous smile stole over Juniper's lips before being replaced by a look of faux innocence. "To find a Cortex console so I can make a call," she said, not opting to elaborate further. "And then probably food and finding someplace to crash." It seemed to occur to her that Cassian might not have signed up for all of that, but then he had asked if she wanted company. "You're welcome for all of it," she said and the small smile from earlier made a reappearance.
"Uh..." While the mischievous smile wasn't lost on Cassian, he wasn't exactly sure what it meant. Confusion shielded him from curiosity and any telltale signs it might have evoked, so he dove headlong into it. Her business sounded innocent enough. Nothing wrong about it. And the way the other folks were carrying on was fixing to be a squabble that Cassian was happy to miss. And far be it for him to let a little lady wander about by herself. Something told him Juniper could handle herself well enough, but he knew from a misspent youth that two was always better than one. "Yeah," he finally said, then repeated a little more confidently. "Yeah. Let's go." He gave a half shrug and tried not to glance back at the others.
The mechanic swore to himself, stepping back from the Xiao Jin’s stationary engine and sucking the finger that had just been shocked. With the ship down on the ground for a spell, Abe had decided it was a good time to dive into some of the critical systems and see if he could spot any future problems. It was always a sound idea to engage in some preventative maintenance whenever you could. Everything had been going well until he was inspecting just beneath the catalyzer assembly for the starboard compression coil and his fingers had accidentally brushed against a live wire.
After a few seconds he shook his hand out, and bent to retrieve the no. 4 sprocket wrench that had dropped from his suddenly nerveless grip. Shifting around, he shone a penlight into the space his fingers had reached and immediately spotted where a corroded sheath had worn away, leaving the wires it contained freely exposed. It wasn’t a critical repair, so to speak, but it could complicate any critical repairs down the line. So Abe added acquiring a few lengths of rubber sheathing to his growing mental list of parts he was hoping to source while on Boros. With a spaceport this large, surely there would be a decent scrapyard or two nearby he could raid.
Rolling the engine away from him, Abe’s ears identified a series of small squeals that he would bet were coming from one of the main bearings. Hopefully that would just be a simple lubrication job and not a damaged bearing, but Abe would still have to pull the entire assembly and investigate further. Something told him that the Captain would ill-appreciate a bearing damaging and potentially breaking the engine once they were out in the Black, just because Abe hadn’t wanted to add an extra few hours to his maintenance efforts.
With a sigh of long-suffering that mechanics everywhere would be entirely too familiar with, Abe swung his trusty no. 4 back into action and began unbolting the plates covering the bearing assembly.