It's No Fancy Resort
Mission 1: Gearing Up
Timeline: Right before the lights go out, before landing on Persephone
Depending on who you asked, there was either little to say or much to say about life aboard a ship. As well as the 'Verse. Ayla had delivered the damn domino that the cap'n was intent on keeping a secret and taken the time to let her side heal as much as she could. But neither of those stopped the brunette from exploring the Geronimo. It was a simple enough ship and she found she had taken quite a liking to it. But there was one thing that kept playing in her mind, and that was how she had caught one of the passengers exploring much like she had done herself. Curiosity could be either a good thing or a bad thing.
What was a bad thing was feeling like you were stuck, which is what she thought about when she thought about the quirky woman. The whole way down the stairs and through the ship to the passenger dorm Ayla couldn't help but wonder if this was a bad idea. A totally gorram bad idea. A totally gorram bad idea that she was going to do.
Letting a sigh roll from her lips she practically sauntered into the passenger area. Blue eyes quickly spotted the woman, with a book which only intrigued her more. She was sucker for a good read. "Hey." Her voice loud enough to carry over, "Wanna read or go explorin'?"
Moira jerked her head up at the noise. As opposed to some others on the ship, she didn't quite have that same sense of alertness or readiness as even the sudden arrival of Ayla surprised her like so. But when Moira noticed who it was she relaxed and smiled, slowly closing the book - an actual, physical book, not something electronic - and placing in a bookmark. Exploring? Both the new, cheerful Moira and the old one would enjoy that, but for different reasons. One part of her wanted to know the most about the ship, for the sake of knowledge and security, and the other part just want to walk around, stretch her legs and explore. "I was at a good place to stop anyway," the woman continued to speak in her formal words, and faint rural accent. "So I'm about ready to explore." With that, she set the book back down on her pillow, her eyes - hazel, in contrast to Ayla's blue - not entirely leaving the woman as she did so.
But what was the woman's motivations for returning? As much as Moira wanted to not be the kind of person who tried to seek out ulterior motives, looking the gift horse of friendship in the mouth, she couldn't help but do so. This was a crewmember, right? But what was her role on here... Was this ship large enough for a dedicated cook or maid? Maybe she was in romantically with one of the crew. The Captain? Well, that was the only other crew Moira had met. She remembered the bruise on Ayla's side, and the faint suspicion of violence. Would the Captain be the kind of man to do that, if they were even a pair? But that didn't matter, did it? None of this mattered... Moira should worry more about her own facade, rather than trying to peel away that of others. On that note, did Ayla seem suspicious of her? Moira had little to hide, other than perhaps her dealings with the Alliance which seemed more and more like the bad guys these days, but she didn't know how to explain her love for the rural expanses of the rim to anybody but a farmer.
She hid this train of thought behind a rather blank smile, that made her seem as dull as you'd expect a young tourist woman from the Core, while she slipped on her shoes.
Truth was, and you'd never hear her admit it, Ayla had felt bad, felt a bit guilty for being rude to Moira that day in the infirmary. She'd been both aggravated and in a bit of discomfort from her bruise and that had come across as making her grumpier than she should have been. Especially to a passenger. She still had no real clear idea just if the captain wanted to be taking on paying passengers or keep them around and paying so playing nice and not being rude was probably a grand idea. Not to mention, the advice Moira had given her about a heating pad had actually helped.
But that wasn't all. There was something about Moira's cheerfulness. Ayla's gaze darted down to the book, an actual book. She'd seen plenty of them in shops and had a few in her quarters, but seeing someone with an actual book and not reading on a personal cortex was different. Seemed everyone wanted to read on those things now. She'd rather lock herself away, get comfortably lounging on her bed, and hold a real book in her hand.
Ayla nodded. "Figured it might be a tad bit borin' down here." The only other woman onboard was Millicent, and while the lady was nice, she wasn't overly friendly.
"I like travelling," Moira said as she stood, stretching just a bit. "There's always something fun going on, and when there's not, well, it's good to be able to just sit and rest." And wasn't that true? Working as a doctor had been busy, if nothing else. Being able to sit and catch up on reading or nap or explore without worrying about patients and paperwork was a relief. Was Ayla bored, though? "I guess you should lead the way." The woman shrugged. Whatever her position was, Ayla surely knew better about the ship's layout than her, and if she followed then she couldn't get in trouble for going where she weren't supposed to, right? In addition to being able to stretch her legs, Moira also looked forward to trying to get to know Ayla better. Her first attempt at an introduction had been awkward and messed up, so hopefully she'd get another chance now... And maybe she'd get to know a little about this woman, though she didn't know how talkative Ayla might be.
She tossed a quick glance about the area wondering just where the others were even though she could really care less. They weren't the ones she was offering to take on a quick tour of the ship. Ayla hoped that Moira wasn't expecting something fancy or knowledgeable because she herself knew next to nothing about the ship. She didn't know much about travelling either, unless one were to count her being part of a crew. But that was a job, not travelling. "Don't guess I know." Life on the Plymouth hadn't been boring, but that tended to happen when you spent years with a crew that became like family. Just thinking about what happened, what had set her course to where she now stood brought an unease to the pit of her stomach.
Here was to second chances and all that gorram good stuff.
"Yeah, well. Yeah. Guess you already know most of this deck?" Ayla turned, tossing the question over her shoulder as she made her way back the way she had come, but stopped at the first set of stairs. Might as well take them. She didn't wait to make sure that Moira as following her, just assumed that the other woman would. Once at the top she did paused to point towards the engine room, "Engine room. Don't go there. And I'd say watch out for Boney, but I think he jus' might have takin' a -ikin' to Kat."
"Ah, so Boney is the engine mechanic?" Moira said, following the (slightly) taller woman and drawing her conclusions aloud. "And who is Kat?" Was Kat one of the other crew? Or a passenger... though it would suck if this mechanic had 'taken a likin' to a passenger only to have her leave at her destination, so Moira leaned towards another crewmember in her guess. That also meant that Ayla was not romantically associated with Boney. Was she with the Captain, then? Or was she crew herself? Moira almost considered asking, but figured that question would probably answer itself during the tour.
Besides, her mind was on other things than just who Boney and Kat and Ayla might be. It felt strange to be on a ship with only one mechanic (or at least, only one she knew about), when the cruiser she had been on previously had practically a whole village of them. It felt like a home, like the crew were a small family, instead of a small city. Like the kind of little travelling group she'd read about in her novels. For a moment, she had a little bit of longing in her heart - how nice it would be to be part of that family! - but that disappeared as quickly as it appeared. She didn't even know these people. And besides, what would use would a transport ship like this have for a doctor?
Ayla paused, leaned into the railing that surrounded the opening to the cargo hold. "Yeah. An if'n you think your seein' double, the Shepard walkin' round is his twin." The whole dynamic there, to her was just rather...strange. Not that she had a thing against mechanics or Shepards. They both had and served their purpose, at least she thought they did. "Kat's," She turned back around eyeing the shorter woman. She sure was full of questions for an average passenger, "she's a Companion. Got her own nifty shuttle."
She crossed her arms, unease sweeping across her face, "What's with all the questions?" Ayla had found her where she wasn't supposed to be once already.
"I'm just curious," Moira said with an cheerful yet unconvincing shrug. "I've never been offered a tour of a ship like this before." Were questions like this abnormal? Moira had given tours of the medical bay to the new resident doctors on the cruiser, but then again, she supposed, they were here to stay, while she was only a passenger. The real reason she asked the questions was a bit more vague... Moira was almost picturing how she would fit into the dynamics of this ship's strange family, as if wondering if she might stay. With a frown, she thought to herself how she really ought to get some friends. In the Alliance she only had acquaintances and in med school she only had classmates, and her relationships and friendships were built more on mutual interest and the politics of it all more than anything else.
A Companion on board. How interesting. Moira respected Companions. Now that there was an honest living. Tossing away the pretense of propriety and innocence and accepting its alternatives with full force. Moira would be lying if she said she wasn't in the Companion's database. That would also explain why this man Boney was taken with her, Moira thought with a light chuckle that quickly replaced her former uncertainty. A Shepherd, well, she had a bit less confidence about that man's place on board. What could a crew want with a Shepherd? Well, he probably only came along because of his brother. Moira wished she had a good relationship with her brother like that, but she simply did not. She hadn't seen him in years. Maybe the Shepherd was with Ayla? Wait, were Shepherds even allowed too... "Seems like a nice little crew you got here," Moira said with a smile, taking her mind off the strange mental image of a Shepherd hooking up with Ayla.
"Ain't today you lucky day, then." She supposed it could just very well be natural curiosity sparking the questions and Ayla couldn't fault her for that. And just because she had stumbled upon her in the infirmary? Well, maybe Moira was a bit of a rebel. Or maybe it was that whole curiosity thing. Whatever it was, she took the answer in stride, turning and leading them across the walk way "Crew quarters. They ain't fancy, but the have a bed and privacy. Those stairs go back down," She point in general directions as she spoke. Why was she doing this again? Right...she'd put herself in Moira's shoes. And she had always hated being stuck somewhere.
Though, Moira had looked right content with her book. "That there's the infirmary, and such, but you know that already," She offered small smirk, "back there's some storage or some such, don't rightly know. Those stairs go up, but don't." Ayla paused, turning her attention back to Moira, "Thanks for the advice. The heatin' pad worked pretty good." At least it had helped ease a bit of her discomfort. There was still some pain if she moved the wrong way or bumped up against something a bit too hard. But hopefully she'd be fully healed before they got to where they were going.
Well, privacy was more than she got in the passenger dorms, Moira thought, slightly amused, at the description of the crew quarters. She returned a sly smile at the mention of the infirmary. "Glad the heating pad worked for you." After that Moira paused, curious. She had been a bit caught up with the tour - she still found amazement in ships, the fact that such a piece of machinery such as it could work together and get through space - but now turned her attention towards Ayla. "Thanks for this tour, by the way. And out of curiosity - might I ask what your job on the ship is?" She couldn't hold in desire to answers much longer, and she figured that knowing somebody's job could be a good way to get to know them.
With all the questions being asked Ayla should have known it was coming. The question about her. The question about her job on the crew. It was something she'd much mulling over, yet thankful that the captain had taken a change and given her one. Certainly had helped her get off Albion and free from Mr. Hodges. Her saving grace was that no one would know just where she had gotten to, well, except for than fancily dressed man. But that was a thought for another time.
Part of her wanted to turn the question right around and ask just what Moira thought her job was, but that wasn't really her way of doing things when trying to play nice. Or make a friend. Really? Was that what all this was about? Maybe she needed another trip to the infirmary to check for a fever. She gave a slight shrug of a slender shoulder, "Hired hand. Like...security. Still wish he had let me shoot that Yi Da Dwei Bun Chou Roh (big stupid pile of meat) pilot."
"Oh." This surprised Moira; a hired hand would not be her first guess. She always pictured security folk as big buff men. And why did this ship need security? What exactly were they transporting? "That sounds like a fun job. Like, something exciting or important. Like-" Moira chuckled just a little bit, feeling like a kid with her descriptions. "-like one of those characters in the books I read. The 'verse needs more strong women fighters." That was entirely true. It was almost a relief, to know this woman's job, to have her curiosity sated.
The second thing the woman said worried Moira just a bit. The pilot? Was something wrong with the pilot? That wasn't good... well, it would do Moira no good to worry about it. Nothing she could do, after all. She shrugged off her concern, and turned back towards Ayla. "Can we check out the kitchen?" The woman asked. Her motivations in that moment were almost entirely on food. She was a bit hungry, and she knew just looking at food couldn't help, but her mind had already focused itself on the kitchen.
It was the singly uttered, one syllable word that brought the grin to Ayla's face. She always loved that reaction from people. Most times it was shrugged or laughed off, until she proved just how good a shot she was. That tended to shut most up quickly. Her hand to hand, or fight skills? They needed work, but that never stopped her from tucking the knife in her boot. Truthfully she was proud of herself. She'd started out as a cook, something she didn't mind doing occasionally, and trained and practiced to get where she was. There weren't no one that was gonna take that from her. "Looks can be deceivin'." She flashed another quick smile, at the description, "Sounds like my kinda book."
Nodding over to a set of stairs, Ayla gestured for Moira to take the lead. It was a tour after all. What tour would be complete without a quick viewing of the kitchen.
Moira took to the stairs quietly, her eyes wide in a childish sort of amazement as she glanced around the ship. Her footsteps were dainty and carefully placed, as if everybody might be watching and judging her ascent on the stairs. She wondered, as they walked, where the Captain's room might be. She suspected he wasn't just staying in one of the crew quarters. When they reached the common area, Moira stopped at the top of the stairs, taking it in. This kitchen and dining set looked more at home in a rural family home than a ship to her, considering the last she had been on for any length of time had contained not one, but many full-sized cafeterias.
"It's lovely," Moira said idly, more to herself to Ayla, taking a few steps into the room after her initial pause. How much she would love to have a home-cooked meal again! Moira had done a good amount of cooking in her youth on the farm, but med school and her military time had sort of thrown a towel over that.