Previous Next

Getting Those Ducks In Order

Posted on Tue May 24th, 2022 @ 11:51am by Quinlan Barrett Poe & Ashe Sparrowhawk & Addy Stone & Shepherd Harley & Caelin Stewart & Morgan Martin

Mission: Ship Life
Location: Eavesdown Docks, Persephone
Timeline: Mission Day 20 at 0930

Cockpit, Xiao Jin

Ashe gave the ship the minute adjustments it needed as they landed down on Eavestown Docks. Despite the relatively heavy Alliance presence on the planet, the docks themselves had few landing restrictions. A busy dock, but not a difficult one.

"We're coming in for a landing," Ashe spoke over the intercom. "Looking like nice weather on Persephone this morning."

"Well, I'm glad to hear that," Poe said as he came up into the cockpit. "Time to go job hunting again, I think." The corner of his lip quirked slightly upward which was what passed for a smile with him. "Think I'll wait to talk to Shepherd until we're on the ground; either that or we need to have some sort of a bucket up here."

Ashe shrugged. "I wasn't much better on my first trip into the black." The pilot quickly dropped the conversation as she adjusted the controls, the ship landing gently on the docking spot. "Welcome to Persephone."

Cargo Bay, Xiao Jin

"If everyone could join me in the Cargo Bay," Poe said over the intercom. "Got some things to say before I turn you all loose."

Addy had been riding out this landing in their bunk, stretched out on the bed reveling in the delight of laying down and not being asked to get right back up again. 10 days had been enough time for her to grasp the workout paces Quinlan out her through, but not yet enough for her to appreciate them over the feel of soft blankets. She hoisted herself off the bed at the sound of his voice and, shoving her feet into boots climbed the ladder and made her way toward the cargo bay.

After docking the ship, Ashe made her way to the cargo bay. She nodded towards Addy with a faint smile, hovering near the base of the Firefly's stairs.

Addy caught the pilot's nod and returned it with a small smile of her own before turning her attention back to Quinlan.

Sula headed to the cargo bay. She was getting used to the boredom of being on a ship. However, she wished that she had some more books to read to pass the time. By the same token, she was thankful that nobody else had come to harm.

"Okay," Poe said as he pulled small red envelopes from his pocket, "we'll be here on Persephone for about two days." He found the envelope with Ashe's name scrawled across the front and passed it over to her. "Ashe, if you could see about getting us refueled."

"Will do," Ashe responded with a small nod, grabbing the envelope and walking over to far side of the cargo bay - to the ramp.

Poe shuffled the packets and found the one marked for the Shepherd and passed it over to her. "Shepherd, correct me if I'm missing something, but I think the Infirmary's good as far as supplies go and all the cleaning's done? He waited a moment for her to answer.

"We have sufficient supplies to stitch everyone up a couple of times," Sula responded obediently. "Hopefully we will not be needing those services for awhile." She looked meaningfully at Poe before her eyes slid over to Addy with a small confirming nod.

"Noted, Shepherd," Poe answered, "though in my own defense, I was hampered by the need for stealth and he wasn't."

Finally, he found the one for Addy and passed that over to her. "And Addy, if you and Shepherd could spend some time on the ramp. Not looking for passengers this time but I am looking to get at least another deck hand, one with some training as a Mechanic, and hopefully, someone who knows how to cook and can back Ashe up in the cockpit."

Addy nodded, red hair swinging with the motion. "Deck hands it is," she said. She'd worked the ramp last time they were in port and that had brought them Sula and Kane and the Judge. But of those only Sula had been a hire. Still, she was determined to get this right. Her eyes darted over to the Shepherd before she tilted her head toward the ramp to indicate they should move in that directly.

"When the work's done, you are all free to do as you like. Just make sure you're back here in time for us to get moving again. We'll be here today and tomorrow so we'll leave first thing the day after that."

Addy nodded then, with a quick step inward, snuck a kiss from Poe before making her way to the ramp, not looking to see if Sula was following.

Obediently, Sula followed Addy, giving Poe a private smile, as she did so.

Poe's habitual smile, a tiny upward quirk of one side of his mouth, didn't seem to suit and he found himself softening somewhat and while not everyone would recognize it as a full-on smile, it was a gentler sort that he turned on the Shepherd than the one he famously gave to most.

On the Ramp
Eavesdown Docks

Sula started making her way down the ramp and got conspiratorially close to Addy. "So, are you and the Captain going to keep exchanging eyes at one another, thinking that others do not see, or are you going to announce your relationship to the crew?"

Addy's eyes widened slightly at the Shepherd's question, but she managed to keep her expression mostly neutral. Her voice gave her away, though as she quipped back. "I figured it was a known thing. Unless there's others going about kissing him before they take to their assignments." Her eyes sparkled as she shot a glance at Sula.

"I know. I watch. Not everyone does. And even if they do, perhaps they think wrongly about what you are both doing." She shrugged apologetically. "Nobody would question the Captain but it might be best if you made everything clear to everyone, or better yet, he did. I see love in your eyes but even now, he plays things closer to the vest." She paused for a moment and said, "Of course, it is up to the both of you. Been quite a time since I have thought about that sort of thing."

Addy's lips pursed slightly at that. They'd discussed it, sort of, but hadn't talked about making any kind of formal announcement. It hadn't seemed necessary at the time. Now, though, she couldn't help wondering what everyone else must think. Their business was their business, but weren't the imaginations of others sometimes worse? Still, she was sure of him... even if the Shepherd wasn't. "It's something to think about," she said softly. "You think others might not... understand?"

"I don't think it is a matter of understanding. The verse is a lonely place," the Shepherd continued. "It is more a matter of others may be concerned about where lines may get blurred and how others may be treated in relation to you." Sula shrugged apologetically. "I could be overthinking things, though. As I said, it has been a long time since I've thought about it."

That thought made Addy's brow furrow and her stomach twist. She knew Quinlan would be fair as far as he could, but she also knew that there was at least a part-way chance he'd be tempted to deck anyone who so much as suggested something inappropriate about her. Or at least she suspected he would. "Perhaps," was all she said in reply, eyes scanning out beyond the ramp, before turning back to Sula.

"If you don't mind Shepherd," she said curiously, "What do you think is going on between me and him?"

"You're lovers," Sula announced unapologetically. "And you both have a history. Right now, you're in that 'everything is wonderful' stage of a relationship. I only worry for you both and the crew if things do not work out or become permanent."

"I see," Addy said, but offered up no more. Instead she tucked that piece of intelligence away to chew on later and share with Poe if it seemed appropriate.

Caelin had just arrived not more than thirty minutes ago when she set to work about finding just that, work. Rolling behind her was a suitcase full of her outfits and spare work clothes, kept apart cause no one wants grease on their dresses. As she looked around the dock, she saw that for the time of day it was mostly empty. She noticed at least two classes she had worked on previously, both looking as though they were independent. But there was one class she noticed that had the docking ramp down that she had not worked on before. She began to b-line that direction, wheels rolling along behind her.

The sound of a suitcase bumping along caught Addy's attention and she turned from where she and Sula had been talking to spy a young woman in a tartan dress, black lace sticking out the bottom, attached to the suitcase. The redhead's eyes narrowed slightly as she took the woman in -- brilliant red and blue hair framed a petite face. Addy's arms crossed over her chest as the woman approached, a bit of trepidation coiling in her belly.

"Mornin'" she said, greeting the woman as she approached.

Sula looked back at Addy and frowned at the crossed arms. "Addy, you might be a bit more welcoming with your body language." She turned back to the new woman and said, "Greetings."

Addy's eyes darted to the Shepherd, cheeks pinking slightly though she didn't uncross her arms.

"Good morning! Don't mind me, I am just admiring your ship. Love the paint job." Caelin said beaming with some unknown energy as well as a dash of youthful energy. Her eyes darted back and forth from the hull to the person that addressed her. "What kinda engines is she running?" she asked curious to know if it's something familiar or something totally new to her.

The redhead glanced quickly at the Shepherd next to her, aiming to get an idea of what the other woman's reaction was. The woman in front of them looked as though she could use a hot meal... or maybe a month's worth of hot meals. "Trace Compression Block," Addy answered casually, eyeing the girl even as she eyed up the ship. She didn't look like the type to know engines, but then most people assumed Addy wasn't that type either and she at least looked the part.

Sula's attention was no longer on Addy. She faced the new woman, trying to listen to the new woman and see what she might be about. She politely had a smile on her face but no other hints showed on Sula's face.

Caelin nodded, "Series two or three, I wonder." She asked taking a step back and looking at the thrusters, "Well a Trace Compression Block is the most fuel efficient, but I would say it's far better than the damnadh ones I have been working on. Einnsean Gustler gòrach. Useless as all hell for any type of fuel saving capacity." Her fingers traced a few things in the air, "Going with Series Three?" She asked referring to the ship herself.

Sula looked back at Addy. This was a language that was somewhat foreign to her. She was trained as a medic and reborn as a shepherd. Sula did not think that they needed another engineer. That was not what they sought, was it? Well, she would wait and see what Addy had to say. After all, if she and the Captain were going to continue on as they have been, it was part her ship too, no?

"You've got a good eye," Addy commented, shifting her stance and dropping her crossed arms. She took the last few steps down the ramp, coming alongside the other woman. By comparison she was small, petite, but also thin in a way that suggested lack. "Have you worked on a Firefly before?" she asked, curious.

Sula did not move, but noted the change in Addy. Talking shop definitely relaxed her and made Addy less defensive. However, there was more of a story to this new woman. She did not know what it was, but it was the new woman's story to tell in time.

"Can't say I have had the pleasure. Done work on a Dragonfly, Hornet, few short range shuttles, and an Alliance short range enforcement vessel but have yet to work on a Firefly. She sure is a beautiful peace of craftmanship. They fly ever so gracefully and effortlessly through space when tuned just ever so, at least so I am told." Caelin responded still looking over the vehicle.

"You ought to hear how she purrs when we light up the engine," Addy commented wistfully. She realized, though, that the young woman hadn't said whether she had stopped for more than curiosity. Addy glanced sidelong at her a moment before tilting her head in the direction of the woman's suitcase. "Where are you bound?"

Caelin pointed to the sky, "Above and beyond. I heard that if someone's lookin for work then this dock be the best place in all the systems." She smiled, "Just me and a few things here and some waiting for delivery. Two more cases about this size. Got my whole life in these bags."

"Well that'd be accurate. Sounds as though you've a fair understanding of engines. You got an experience working the engines on the ships you've been on?" Addy gave the woman another look over, more detailed this time. Poe'd said they needed a deck hand and one with a touch of experience with the engine to back her up.

"Oh I do! On all the ships I handled the engines, kept them maintained and purrin' like a kitten in the hot sun. I also know a little about some piloting but not much. My fingers were not for the consoles. I like the engines." Caelin said still letting her eyes wander between Addy's face and the ship as a whole.

"Alright," Addy said, "Why don't we take a walk inside and you can get a look at her engine. Mayhaps we can talk about what positions are open here and see if there's a fit."

Caelin's eyes lit up and the grip on her bag became firmer with a bit of controlled excitement. "Sounds like a plan to me...Oh I never got your name." Caelin realized.

"Addy Weysmith," the redhead said by way of introduction, offering her hand to the other woman to shake. "And this is Shepherd Harley. She minds any medical needs for the ship."

"Caelin Stewart," she said with an Irish roll of the tongue. "It'sah pleasure to meetcha." She took the hand and gave it a good shake before turning to Harley, "And to you as well."

"Shepherd, would you mind watching the ramp for a few minutes while I take Ms. Stewart up to take a gander at the engine?"

"Of course not. Have fun," Sula responded with a small smile.

Morgan grinned as he walked around the docks, looking up at the ships and their people with all the fascination of a kid at a theme park... a concept which might be foreign to the same folk that manned most of these ships. Docks never got old. Some people might be interested in the cool ships, or the foreign people, but Morgan liked docks for the concept in and of itself. Nowhere in the 'verse was there a more pure, concentrated ideal of the spread of information and culture than a dock. This was where things happened; docks and the areas around them for a blending pot of all the ideas left behind by all the people that ever stopped here. Morgan liked that. He was easy to please.

Of course, he had checked the cortex, read up a bit on what he find about these ships and their crews. Despite his cheer, Morgan was not naïve, and he didn't like the idea of going in blind. He stopped at one firefly- the next in the line, and nodded at the two women manning the ramp. "Good morning," he grinned.

Sula walked up to Morgan and gave him a small smile. "Morning. What brings you here? Looking for work?" she asked curiously.

Hands stuffed in her coveralls, Addy watched as Sula moved down the ramp. She gave the man at the bottom a nod, eyes watching closely a moment before coming down to join the Shepherd. "G'morning," she said with another nod.

Morgan nodded to the red-haired woman as she joined them on the ramp, before turning back to the other one for a response. "I might be looking for work." He shrugged. "Just casually. I'm just putting some feelers out, you know? Testing the water." He grinned. "So, what sort of jobs do you fly in this here ship?"

"The Captain determines that," Sula replied honestly, yet cryptically. "He's looking for some missing pieces, but in this dog eat dog 'verse, he finds the jobs that can pay and does them. 'Course, if you prefer passage, that might be arranged too, for a price. I'd have to check with him either way, understand."

"That's all good and fair," Morgan responded with a shrug. A part of him disliked the woman's vague answer, but another part of him was perfectly aware that anybody might be wary about a well groomed man walking around the port asking what their ships carried. "But it hardly answers my question. If you or your captain'd rather talk privately, well, I always think job interviews work best over some lunch." He chuckled, extending a hand to the blonde woman for a handshake. "I'm Morgan. I mostly do pilot work, but I'm pretty familiar with working the deck as well."

"Nice to meet you Morgan," Sula replied simply, while shaking his hand. There was only a hint of emotion in Sula's face as she did so. A small smile curved upward at the edges, but only a hint of it, as if something held her back. "Well, we do have a pilot in Ashe and Addy over there," Sula said pointing at Addy and then giving Addy a little wave to come over to her. "Addy does the engine work, too."

Sula shrugged and said, "For what it is worth, I'm Shepherd Harley. I double as the medic on this ship. Are you able to cook?"

Addy stepped into the conversation, picking up on the man's credentials and matching them up to Poe's request for someone who could back Ashe up in the cockpit. "Cap'n would certainly chat with you privately if you prefer. There something you're particularly looking to know about our runs?"

"Shepherd, huh?" Morgan asked, looking at Sula. She wasn't exactly what one thought of when they pictured a Shepherd - far younger and far prettier than the stereotype. Morgan himself was not religious, but neither was he an atheist. He respected anybody who cared so much about their beliefs. "I can cook well enough. It's a skill I had to pick up, because I really quite like eating, and bland protein rations don't really hit the spot." He grinned, turning towards Addy as she stepped over.

"Just a couple things I'd rather ask in private," Morgan responded. "If he wants to chat over food, I can pay. There's some nice restaurants here in the docks, and I've been here often enough to figure out which ones they are. OH - and," the man turned to glance down the port. He pointed out a fairly large freighter. "That's the Immortal. The ship I'm currently flying with. If you all need a letter of recommendation or anything, please, bother their captain," he chuckled. "They're good people. But the young man they've been training up as a pilot is beyond ready to pilot his own ship, and they're too nice to kick me out so I guess I got to leave at some point."

Poe, who had gone through their finances, chose this moment to come out onto the ramp. He paused when he saw that Addy and the Shepherd were speaking with someone. "Ni Hao," he said to the newcomer as he turned toward the women "What's going on?"

"Quinn," Addy said, nodding to Poe, all business in her expression. "Morgan here was just telling us that he's looking for a new gig. He's been a pilot on the Immortal, but was hoping for a private conversation to discuss opportunities and ask some questions." Explanation given to Poe she turned back to Morgan. "Mr. Morgan, this is Quinlan Poe, captain of this beauty." She tilted her head back to the ship, a fond smile pulling at the corners of her lips.

Sula looked back at the lovers and smirked before giving a small smile over at Morgan. "Well, I see that you are in capable hands now. I hope that you find your path, whether with us or elsewhere."

"Quinlan Poe," he said as he stuck out his right hand in Morgan's direction. The Shepherd's not so pleasant smile, cast in his direction, was something to think about later. He wasn't sure they needed a second pilot but then, it never did hurt to discuss possibilities. "We can talk in the dining area unless you've a mind to chat elsewhere?"

"Morgan Martin," Morgan took the hand and gave one firm shake. He smiled. "Good to meet you, Mr. Poe. If you want to chat in your dining room, sure. But I always like to spend as much time as possible off ship when I'm planetside - after all, we got all the time in the 'verse to sit around ship dining rooms. I know a few good diners near here, and I can pay."

"Most folk just call me Poe," he said. "And I'm willing Mr. Martin." He turned toward the Shepherd and said, "you've got the ship. Addy, maybe you'd like to come along?"

"I've got the ship?" Sula asked, very confused. She was a medic and shepherd. What did she know of taking care of a ship? "As you say, Captain." She turned and unsurely walked back into the ship, wondering what exactly she should do.

Addy's eyes lit at the suggestion, though she worked to keep her face as neutral as she could. "I would if you don't mind my company," she remarked including Morgan in the comment though her eyes were drawn back to Poe after a moment.

"Then let's be off," Poe said and privately added a raft of new chores to his ever-growing list. Among them, the idea of teaching folk what taking care of the ship actually meant.


Previous Next