The Tadpole and the Butterfly
Location: Xiao Jin hold
Timeline: Mission Day 2 at 1630
Sula was used to having very little. The room itself was, if possible, smaller than she had at the Abbey. She was not sure that a chair could fit in her room. Privately, she wondered if all of the rooms were this small or whether she was given this one because the Captain's distemper towards her. She shook her head and reminded herself that was unlikely because Addy had brought her here. And if she was going to be useful to the Captain, he would likely want her to be as comfortable as possible.
Of course, that theory might have flown out the window when she noticed that the bed had no sheets and no blankets. And the Good Lord knew that she needed lots of blankets to wrap herself into. Cold was not something she preferred.
Was it Addy or the Captain that had mentioned that dinner was at 5:00? Whoever it was, did not matter. It gave her little time to get back outside, find someone that could sell her a set and then to run back to the ship. She was not going to give the Captain an excuse to be further upset with her by being late on her first moments of work.
She rushed out of her room, climbing the stairs hurriedly, and then practically ran down the corridor and out the hold with what little money she had into town. There, she haggled with a vendor and ended up with a beige set of sheets, a thin beige blanket, and then a thicker wool blanket.
Navigating the streets of the Eavestown Docks was not simple to begin with. They were a mass of humanity. However, it was more difficult when carrying the bedding in one's outstretched arms put the blankets nearly above one's eyes.
Progress was slow, but somehow she made it back to the Xiao Jin without dropping her new merchandise and without getting robbed, two worthy achievements. Relaxing, she hoisted the bedding items upwards and started moving forward through the cavernous hold. Her momentum abruptly halted when she collided with something, causing all of her new purchases to fly from her hands and onto the floor. Looking into the man's face, she pouted and said, "Figures."
Kane had settled once the deckhand that was on the ramp had shown him his room to Boros on the Xiao Jin. He had forgotten her name but assigned her the nickname Lady Lil' Red. He thought it was quite fitting. He had spent the past hour cooped up on his bed since he made a quick errand to buy himself supplies that would hopefully last him to Boros. The last of his credits he had won from the brothers had been spent on booze, he only had one credit to his name. He was tempted to go play another game or two of cards before he left to make a nest for himself.
He sat up as he leaned over to the sidetable by his bed with a bottle of whisky. He was about to pour himself a glass before taking a wift of it directly from the bottle. He placed it down, closing the cap before standing back up onto his feet as he rambled up and turned around. Directly running into the path of a new person.
Kane paused with his eyes closed not believing what had just happened as he reopened his eyes to see a woman before him, "Sorry Ma'am." He stammered as he moved his finger realizing he hadn't put his duster hat back on as he did a double-take hoping he hadn't misplaced it somewhere he couldn't find it.
"The fault was mine," Sula insisted, before bending down to the floor in a squatting position, trying to fold everything back up neatly and putting them in a stack again. "I'm sorry," she said loud enough for Kane to hear but did not look up as she continued about her task. She further explained. "I have to get these to my room lickety-split. I have little time to prepare before dinner and I have no desire to upset the Captain further today." She pushed some of her long blonde hair back behind her shoulders, trying to keep it out of her way as she continued folding and stacking the scattered bedding.
Kane bent down to help her pick up the items she had dropped because she ran into him, "Need a hand? I don't mind givin' a helpin' hand if it helps ya out." He had whisky on his breath and meant well. "Well I don't wanna get between the Cap n' you but if ya need someone to upset the Cap'n before ya. Just holler for Kane in Passenger Cabin Numero Two."
"That's awfully kind of you, Mr. Kane," Sula answered with amusement in her voice. "But I'd blame nothin' on someone that is not rightfully their fault. And even then, I would be inclined to forgive it. Scripture teaches us to forgive." She looked up at him and got a blast of the heavy scent of alcohol on Kane's breath. "It also teaches that all things shall be in moderation. I do hope you take that into consideration, Mr. Kane. But your help in gathering my bedding is appreciated. My name is Shepherd Harley."
"My father's name was Mr. Kane but callin' me Kane will do just fine..." Kane rose an eyebrow as he wasn't expecting a sermon this late in the day. His face changed in colouration as she had noticed that his breathe reeked of alcohol, "I didn't know the Cap'n was a religious man to have a woman-of-the-cloth onboard his ship..." he picked up a few items of her bedding and handed it over to her.
"Thank you," Sula politely told Kane as she accepted the last of the bedding. It was not folded perfectly, but it could be rectified once she reached her room. "And, I do not rightly know if the Captain is religious. I was brought on as a medic." She turned her attention back to the newly stacked bedding and inspected it to make certain she could carry it again.
"Ah, well I've only met Lil' Red and the good Shep so far, haven't met up the Cap yet.." Kane rose to his feet. "Well if somehow I end up hurt, I'll come and find ya Shep-Doc." He moved aside against the bulkhead for her to get pass him as he gestured for her to go pass, "Do you happen to know where the 'loo is?"
"Lil' Red?" Sula answered confused. The only people she had met prior to Kane was the Captain and Addy. She presumed that Addy was an engineer but assuming was dangerous for it often made an ass out of you and me. "Do you mean Addy? And, I'm not a doctor. No fancy degrees. So, just a medic. As to the loo...." She thought about the brief tour that Addy had given her and then hoping she remembered correctly, pointed towards the kitchen and dining room, "I believe it is that way."
Sula picked up her bedding and her face disappeared behind it. "If you are not in urgent need of it, perhaps you could guide me to my room? I'd hate to bump into anyone else or be late. Though, I wonder if the Captain has rules against that." She paused thoughtfully, her face completely obscured behind the bedding. "I never thought to ask."
Kane slowly nodded his head, "Right. I knew that." He opened his arms to help carry her bedding, "I don't mind escortin' ya to your room but I insist on the gentlemanly thing to do is carry some of your bedding. I seriously don't mind." He didn't give her the opportunity to decline him on his offer as he took half of the bedding into his own hands so she could look over her sheets. "Just let me know if I go too far, haven't done much explorin' onboard yet."
He began to walk down the corridor towards the crew quarters.
"There's not much to explore. It is a small ship," Sula responded easily. "And thank you for your help. I don't honestly know how I made it back from the docks without spillin'." Picking up her bedding, she walked ahead of Kane, leading him to her room, giving him an appreciative nod as she passed. "Do you mind my askin' why you're heading to Boros?"
Kane almost stopped mid-stride as he was uncertain how to answer her line of questioning. He had rehearsed this more than once before coming onboard the ship and during his stay in his room he had elected to stay in by his own choice. He didn't know if she had caught that but he hoped she hadn't, "Got possibly line on some work on Boros. Hoping for a protection detail, maybe something a bit more? Who knows."
"Sounds like dangerous work, though I'd suspect based on that, you must be pretty handy with a gun." She then looked intensely at his upper body and said, "You're at least strong enough to carry a bunch of bedding. I'd suspect a might bit stronger." Concerned, her voice became more worried. "Are you certain that's the best line of work for you?"
"I've been fightin' all my life Shep-Doc -- its the only thing I know."
Grimly, Sula pressed her lips together and nodded. "It is never too late to learn something new."
Kane shrugged his shoulders up slightly at that without a verbal response.
Turning to face Kane, Sula stopped, preventing them from getting to her room. "Kane," she started softly and sweetly, "I know that you see no way out right now. However, it is best to remember that everything in the 'verse changes. A frog starts as an egg, then becomes a tadpole, and then becomes a frog. A caterpillar goes into a cocoon and becomes a butterfly. The only constant in this 'verse is change. If you don't, you die. Think on that, why don't ya?"
Before Kane could respond, she turned back on her heels and made her way up the ladders, down the hall, and to her room. She opened the door, which revealed a ladder down into cramped quarters. "Thank you for the escort, Kane. Your help has been appreciated."
If Sula had spoken in another tone he probably would have given her a piece of his mind with her unsolicited advice. He paid half attention when she spoke. He shrugged his shoulders, "Will do, and you're more than welcome. All the best with your chores."
He placed the bedding he had carried down onto the rest, turned around and started to walk away.
Gratefully, Sula took her bedding and climbed on down, watching Kane leave as she did so. Kane seemed like a friendly fellow, if lost. She only hoped that she had helped him.
Time, however, was a-wastin', and she had to get her room set up and do whatever the Captain required of her before dinner. She hustled about her business.