The Dynamic Duo
Mission 1: Gearing Up
Location: Cargo Hold
Timeline: Directly after "A Rough Landing"
Clayton stood in the cargo hold of the Geronimo, inner calm seemingly completely shattered. He didn't like playing the part of a pawn, especially when he didn't know what the game was. And now he had two mercenaries, though seemingly innocuous, forced upon him. Their collision course with him couldn't be coincidental, especially because their "Benefactor" was behind it.
Tapping a foot, he awaited the presence of both the two visitors and the security person of his own choosing. He'd have to feel them out, see what their deal was.
As Jonas walked up, he noticed the Captain's foot tapping on the metal deck. In the relative emptiness of the warehouse, one could possibly hear the resulting sound echo. "You know," he said, "if you have an itch, you oughta scratch it. Name's Jonas Barstow, if that wasn't made clear enough already. But I like to do my own introductions."
Clayton stared at the man, anxious energy causing his foot to continue tapping of its own accord. He said nothing, merely directed his attention to the other visitor.
He could feel the tension in the air, but there were no hands on guns right now, no obvious red laser intentions of death and that was good enough for Alden. He was willing to take things as they came for the moment, if'n it meant getting off Persephone safely. But, that said, this felt anything but comfortable right now.
"If it's any consolation," Alden said, his tone amicable. "The fancy guy had us at gunpoint out there." He sighed. "We ain't looking to fight, but if you need one, I understand."
She stood a bit to the side and a few steps back from Clayton, arms crossed as she tried to present herself as not ready to shoot on sight. But if the need arose, then she definitely wouldn’t hesitate. The Benefactor, creepy as she found him, had made an appearance once again -joy. And now here they were, having a meeting with these two. Were they mister fancy pants’ lackey’s as well? So all in all she couldn’t help but sort’ve understand just why the Captain was tapping his boot, he didn’t seem the type to be having others make decisions for him.
Sizing each of the guys up as they joined them, Ayla realized they were quite bigger up close than they had been when she’d peered down at them from the ramp. Unconsciously, the brunette took a small step backwards. But she couldn’t help but snort at the comment the one with short hair made.
Clayton didn't respond to the comment. Instead, he introduced his own. "Why are you here." Said almost as a statement, instead of a question, voice neutral and stern.
"It's real simple," Alden offered up, his tone light and his stance nonchalant as hell. "You got a ship, we don't. We're willing to pay, or work, for passage to somewhere that ain't here. My personal preference is for working, but if you don't need my skillset, that's shiny too." He shrugged. "Course, you can shoot me if you have to, but I'd take it as a kindness if you didn't." Once in 24hrs was more than enough.
"He's pretty much spot on," added Jonas. "I can pay or earn my way, but I'd honestly prefer the work, too." He wondered if a little straightforwardness would help and decided to give it a try. "I've lived on this planet since I was sixteen years old and been off and on mostly for jobs. I'm here because I want off Persephone on a more permanent basis. And your big ole ship provides that opportunity. You mentioned earlier that we were mercenaries. If you really want references, I can give ya some and you can go talk to them while you're here. So, you gotta place for a couple hired guns?"
Clayton stared them down, not moving or blinking for long enough to raise concern. At the moment the tension so thick you could cut it with a knife, he sighed, and nodded. "Seems I don't have much of a choice in the matter." He gestured towards Ayla. "She'll show you around, get you squared away. I suggest you listen to her, her bite is far worse than her bark. Ayla, get them situated in quarters. And if they're actin' funny, shoot 'em." He paused, grimacing slightly. "Politely."
They needed more crew, Ayla knew this. But she could also tell that the captain wasn’t happy about seemingly having the crew picked out for him. Especially by mister fancy pants. Ayla did however, flinch slightly at the gesture from Clayton and the command to show them around. When did she become the welcoming tour guide?
Quarters meant quarters, and there were quite a few of those to choose from seeing as how they didn’t have much crew. For now. And hey, if the captain wanted to tell them her bite was worse than her bark, that was just mighty fine with her. Ayla did however give each of the men a quick once over before her blue gaze landed back on Clayton, “Politely?”
Clayton merely shrugged in return. "You know, kneecaps and the like, as opposed to between the eyes."
Jonas had nodded at the bite being worse than the bark comment and was about to chuckle when the Captain started talking about shooting. "Aw hell," he said. "If ya gotta shoot me, be real polite and hit the left shoulder first."
He felt decidedly uneasy with the way this was going, did Alden. This Captain, seemingly forced to take him and Jonas on board, the XO, uncomfortably silent and yet very present in the moment.
"There's always a choice," Alden said, and he looked from Jonas to Stanton and back again. "Like I said before, I ain't looking to get shot, politely or otherwise."
Alden scowled, then turned a darker gaze towards Ayla as she echoed the Captain's request. "Kinda rather you just let me leave if you're gonna get all kneecappy and such," he added. Then came a direct look and a definite pout. "What exactly is your plan here, Captain Stanton? Lock us up and hold us at gunpoint? I ain't signing up for that."
Clayton turned a final time, looking over the men. "You know as well as I do that our choice to be here was coerced. Let's just see what this shadowy figure wants with all of us. Until then, don't be stupid."
With that, he turned on his heel, returning to his bunk.
"On both sides," Alden added openly. "Yeah." They'd all been played to get here, he just didn't see why he needed to be shot for it. But then, if this had been his ship... He took a deep breath and looked to Jonas with a grin. "I guess we could try to be smart for a little bit at least, huh?"
Ayla snorted at the comment Alden made about them trying to be smart to not get shot. Funny in a way, that neither seemed to think she couldn’t or wouldn’t if the need arose. She watched as the Captain left her with the two men, their two new hires. “Guessin’ you want to see the ship?”
"Might as well," Jonas replied. "Probably gonna be here for a while. Might help to know a little about the place we'll be livin' for a bit."