Nice Place You Have Here...
Mission 1: Gearing Up
Location: On Board Geronimo
Timeline: Just after the big boarding speech
He could understand their reticence well enough, circumstances of their arrival and embarkation and all, but that didn't make Alden any more comfortable about this situation. There had been signs, on the Coretex no less, real personal ones. Given that, The Look Captain Stanton had bestowed upon himself and the fruit-toting big dude seemed a little unfair. It seemed neither party here was entirely clued up on the bigger picture. That dude with the fancy eye and laser-guided bullets definitely sounded like he was pulling the strings. Which strings, who on and why was a whole other interesting conundrum.
For now though, the fact that his boots stood on metallic deck and there was a whole Walkabout above his head would do nicely. Alden kept all his gear real close, kit resting at his feet while the Captain and his - second? - gave the Welcome to the Ship, Don't Do this, Do This talk.
"So we just wait here, or can we get the tour?" Alden asked, tone nonchalant and expression friendly. He'd been on plenty of Walkabouts before, he knew the rough way this would be laid out, and he felt no need to upset anyone in his first hour on board so either response would be perfectly acceptable.
The little chat with the two new crew, it seemed, had been interesting. Which really was the only word that sprang into Ayla's mind as she quietly pondered it over. They needed new crew that was for sure, but truthfully in her opinion, they needed a pilot. But Captain was the captain and it was his ship after all. Plus, the last pilot hadn't been much to write home about. Not that she was writing home or anything.
Tapping a thumb against her thigh she gave each one a quick once over...again. They were both tall, seemingly towering over her, and both were nicely looking. And that was putting it mildly. It wasn't that either one scared her, it was just her reluctance to trust that was kicking away in the back of her head. Thus far the Geronimo had had both sorts.
Ayla wasn't sure just what sort of picture she presented dressed simply and comfortably as she was, but neither did she truly care. Her long, brown hair spilled over her shoulders, resting top the blue and green plaid button up that was not buttoned but instead tied in a knot at the waist with the dark material from her tank top peeking through. Her gun was holstered about her hips, resting itself against pants that were a few shades lighter than the top. The boots on her feet concealed the knife she kept sheathed, well, one did. Clear blue eyes blinked from one man to the other as she mentally steeled herself.
What was it with her giving tours, any gorram way?
She lifted her head, chin tilting upwards in a nod, "Sure. Leave your stuff here."
Alden shrugged, not meaning to be impolite, as he answered in a gentle tone. "Ah, no thanks. It's not heavy, I'll bring it along with." He looked from the fiesty lil first mate to the tall man beside him.
"Well I could stand to be free of this big one for a bit," said Jonas. "Just so long as I can come back down and get it later when room picking time comes along." The big one mainly his clothes and stuff in it. The shoulder pack had the more personal stuff, including the shotgun and fruit. No way he was leaving those unattended.
Ayla returned his shrug with one of her own her blue gaze meeting his, assessing before she waved a hand dismissively in the air. It was what it was. In her view, and she totally hadn't been thinking of such things, if these two were going to do something it would have been when the ramp came down or they were waiting for the Geronimo was in the air. Either way, they were onboard now and well, that didn't mean she had to let her guard down. "Fine. If'n you feel like luggin' it around."
But if the tables were turned, she knew full well that she wouldn't be just leaving her things either. "Sure." Partial trust it seemed.
"A'ight," Ayla took deep breath, "Pretty much speaks for itself, but cargo hold here. Through there" she paused a beat while she pointed, "is the passenger area. It's got two dorms, bathroom and a set of bunks." Turning, Ayla lead them towards the nearest set of stairs, that would lead up to the second deck.
All his currently worldly goods on his back, Alden nodded to Jonas to go first. The guitar would risk thumping into the big guy otherwise and that couldn't happen. Too many memories, plus no desire to wound a new buddy. For all the scant time they'd known each other, he and Jonas had been through quite a lot.
"You have any passengers right now?" Alden asked, as he trailed last in the little people train, and followed Ayla and Jonas up to the second deck.
Jonas listened to the exchange as they went. No one seemed to be too much of a talker at this point. Well, at least no one from the ship...Mr. Fancy Pants seemed to like to hear himself. Alden's question was a good one, anyway. Jonas was kinda wondering who else would be around in this new environment.
The question was a simple one, she supposed, and not an innocuous one either. She herself probably wouldn’t have asked, but then she wasn’t as chatty as the duo of the big and the brawn seemed. Reaching the top of the stairs, Ayla silently moved close to the railing with it’s view of the cargo hold below, “Crew bunks an’ a bathroom on each side here. Engine room is back that way,” she gestured with a wave of her hand and then pointed in the opposite direction, “We got a sickbay area an’ infirmary, then the lounge area. Those stairs are off limits unless Cap’n says otherwise.” They led to the cockpit.
She didn't answer the question. Alden couldn't help but notice that. But the lack of response was interesting in itself, given what he and Jonas had seen of their landing. He exchanged a look with his fellow Geronimo newbie and raised an eyebrow in silent intrigue.
"Looked like you had problems with the engines on your way down here," Alden noted. "And those passenger rooms don't exactly look full of people right now..." His gaze tracker Ayla's motion as she told them where they couldn't go. That had to be the flight deck. The controls. Alden felt his fingers itch.
"They ain't." No, the passenger rooms weren't full. Hell, basically if her opinion, they were empty. Tobias as gone and Millie...well, Millie was right over there in the infirmary. She'd pointed a gun at the captain and in Ayla's opinion one didn't point at gun at someone unless you intended to use it.
Jonas caught sight of the raised eyebrow and smirked. "Passengers or not, lots of space to breathe on this ship. And don't go up those stairs, got it." He took a band out of his pocket and pulled his braided locks back. "Just in case it gets a little stuffy on this little tour. I hate humidity."
She dodged his comment about their engines too, which was kinda interesting, but not really suspicious at this point. Clearly, Alden realised, Ayla was a women of few words, at least where he and Jonas were concerned. He grinned to his boarding buddy and shook his head. "Y'all have way too much hair," Alden said, that grin wrapped around his words.
He looked to Ayla then. "So where do you sleep?" Then he laughed at himself "Sorry, I meant *the crew* - where are the crew rooms? Are we to keep away from them too?" He was curious as to where they were supposed to... well be... when they were on board.
Jonas snickered a little. From what he'd seen of Rodeo on stage, he kinda wondered if the slip was...what did they call that...a Freudian slip. "Hey, don't mess with the hair. You may not have too much up there, but you gotta sleep sometime. And I bet I could find something around here to change the color real good."
Alden canted his head to the side and regarded Jonas. "Not too much up here?" He asked, with mock annoyance. "I have the normal amount. Not like some of us who have enough hair for three people." He beamed a big dumb grin. "Fair point, well made," Alden noted at the friendly threat. "Dark blue might be fun, try that maybe," he dared lightly.
Ayla caught herself before she responded with the fact that the steps actually went down to the bridge and not up, but there certainly wasn’t a need to go about explaining that since neither one of these two was to get close enough to know. She did however, unconsciously reach up and touch her dark lockes, smoothly giving them a gentle caress. Ayla let their camaraderie distract her until she realized a question had been voiced. Had he not heard what she had said just moments before? If there was a subtle meaning, she clearly was either ignoring it or she failed to realize such.
“In my bunk.” Simple, matter of fact as she tried to blink away the confusion. Ayla hooked a thumb back over towards the crew bunks. “Three on each side, plus a bathroom. If’n the cap’n says you’ll get a pick of one. Only,” She paused, quickly trying to run through everything that had taken place and just how many bunks were actually occupied. Instead she shrugged, “There’s more’n a few still empty.”
“If’n you two are done joshin’ we’ll go on up.” Not she waited for any such sign or clarification that they were before she moved away from the dup and started up the stairs to the third deck. Why did she end up on these gorram tours?
As previously, Ayla kept the word count low, and Alden looked back to Jonas and shrugged. He hoped someone else on this ship could carry a conversation, but worst case scenario, at least the two of them weren't shy of talking.
"In your bunk," Alden acknowledged with a firm wrinkle of his nose. "Gotcha." He screwed up his whole face. "Thanks." He didn't bother to follow the jab of her thumb. "Captain's the boss, yeah gotcha." She didn't seem to sure how many people were on board, which was another interesting fact about this particular vessel. Or maybe Ayla was just covering up their numbers for some reason.
Alden turned to face Jonas again and mouthed the repeated word 'joshing?' before making a comedic expression.
"Y'know, we can just wander on round," he offered Ayla magnaminously. "Get ourselves acquainted with the layout?"
Clearly, she was confused. Hadn’t he just asked… Where the gorram else was she supposed to sleep? Her bed slept just fine. Ayla paused, one booted foot on one step while the other was a step above. This caused her to go slightly off balance as she shifted to continue up and bump against the railing. A hiss of pain accompanied her hand as it flew to gently lay across her bruised side. Thankfully the two were behind her and unable to see the way her features wrinkled at the stab of pain. She couldn’t wait for the gorram bruise to heal.
So when she responded, her voice was a bit more terse, more hard, than intended, “Yeah, soon enough, péng you.”
He held his hands up, palm outwards before him in a gesture of surrender and Alden made a comedic grimace. "Okay, shiny," he said, then looked from the grumpy Ayla to his apparent and alleged partner in crime. "I think old glowy eye was way more welcoming...."
"I think ole glowy eye was just settin' us up," replied Jonas. "Man probably builds puzzle boxes as a side job. And we're one giant puzzle box to him."
Alden nodded. "Fair point," he noted. "Thinking he'd chilled out what coulda been a warmer welcome." He moved up the stairs to stand on the one right up close behind Ayla and noted her hand touching her side. "You okay?" He asked automatically, genuine concern colouring his tone.
She had been told she could shoot them, politely, if they gave her trouble. But Ayla doubted that this sort of insistent jabbering was technically considered trouble. What she did though, was roll her eyes. It was like dealing with two kids. Two tall, and extremely muscular kids. Maybe she should have been scared, but she wasn’t. Didn’t mean she had to roll out the welcoming mat and pretend to be something she wasn’t though. They wanted friendly-like… that was gonna take time. Ayls snorted lightly at their comments as she continued upwards towards the top and final deck of the ship.
“You mighta actually hit the nail that time.” She wasn’t too keen on Mr. Fancy-Pants. Ayla stiffened, even standing on the step below hers, Alden was a towering presence. Though, it didn’t quite feel threatening. She gave a quick nod and let her hand fall away before continuing upwards.
“Kitchen, dining, storage, pantry, shuttle, Cap’n’s quarters.” Ayla rattled them all off as she pointed to each. “Any questions?”
"Nope," replied Jonas, "not from me. Quarters, kitchen, and dining...I'm good for now."
Alden sighed. This felt like a bad decision, but he was here now and he needed a ride off-world. Maybe he'd just pick up something else at the next stop, call for help or drift into the black, but right now, Geronimo was his easiest way off Persephone, and that meant he needed to suck it up and deal.
"Kitchen and dining.... What time's dinner?" Alden asked, outright and with a faint lopsided smile.
Ayla held herself stiffly, not from the conversation nor the company...though that might of been part of the reason. No, it was mostly because of the twinge she'd felt in her side as they'd come up the stairs, "What time ya cookin'?" She countered.
"Who me?" Alden raised an eyebrow. "So, lockdown doesn't apply if I'm gonna be a chef for you guys?" He queried, tone intrigued rather than irritated.
She shrugged, "Everyone's gotta eat." Somehow, without realization Ayla had slid into a teasing banter.
"I'm certainly not cooking. Lost a job that way once," Jonas said.
Honestly, he really wasn't sure how to take the second-in-command on this ship, but then the Captain had started off on an interestingly complicated footing too, so there was that. Alden smiled, and decided - screw it - if he was stuck here for the time being, he might as well be decent about it, even if the existing crew were all kinda of mixed up and irritated.
"Fine," Alden said, with a forced grin that did give away a genuine glint in those dark blue eyes. "I'll cook for us then. Fair warning though, y'all are gonna be helping me clear up." He looked to Ayla, and shot her an upward nod. "I think we can both find our own way around a Walkabout just fine," he told her honestly. "You can go rest up and let us be. But..." Alden frowned. "Might wanna get the Doc to look at you, if they haven't already."
She'd joked with them a bit, even if neither had recognized it as such. But Ayla was ready to end this tour. They were part of the crew and had to learn their way around any gorram way...she wasn't about to be holding their hands. What she didn't like was someone she didn't know, didn't trust knowing that she was weakened, hurt. "Yeah, maybe." And she left the two men to find their own way.