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A time to learn, A time to teach.

Posted on Mon Nov 9th, 2020 @ 10:10am by Passenger Emma Yonkers & Comm Tech Wulf Edevane

Mission: Ticket To Rhea
Location: Ship's cargo bay
Timeline: Some long time after Emma woke up

Emma stood, body relaxed, aiming a pistol at the far end of the cargo bay. It was only a pellet gun. Plastic little balls, fired with bit of compressed air. It was enough to bring her shooting eye back in. Sure her muscle memory remembered most of it, but she was just out of practice. She had begged Ken for the pistol and the practice ammo, but he wouldn't give an inch and she'd found this in one of the cargo crates.

*pop*pop*pop*

The paper target at the far end fluttered at the rounds pierced it and smashed themselves onto the bulkhead beyond.

He'd heard the noise only seconds after getting an alarm from the cargo bay. Motion detector this time, at least, not a faulty sensor, but Wulf was somewhat paranoid about that particular part of the ship ever since he'd made The Big Discovery. As he turned the corner and walked into sight of the person who had tripped said alarm, he stopped. Paused. Stared. Did a classic double take and then coughed.

"Ken let you have a gun?" He called, from way back there out of immediate smacking distance.

Emma turned, she was wearing the same tank top he first found her in, but this time she was wearing a pair of sweat pants that were cut off before any UN Marine icons could be seen. Ken had been nice enough to lean her the sweats, but she wasn't nice enough to leave them whole. She wouldn't be caught dead in UNM clothing.

"Yeah, no..., well really I begged him for some range time, but no avail, so I found this air pistol and started playing." Emma looked down at the pistol in her hand then back at Wulf. "Hey you wanna give it a try?"

She looked good, that dark hair catching a sparkly glow as it caught the light from above. But, if Wulf wasn't mistaken, those were a pair of Ken's sweatpants. He found a small grin at the way Emma had neutralized the logos from them, and stole a lazy, admiring up and down look of assessment of her formidable figure. In boots, dark cargo pants and a J-pop t-shirt, Wulf was comfortably scruffy, but freshly washed and dried, bar his hair which still sat in messy dark, wet tufts.

"Sure," he said, trying but failing to keep the enthusiasm from his voice. He wasn't sure where air pistols fell in the Ken-scale of evil. If she had permission to have a gun on the ship, it had to be okay to break the rules, right?

Quickly she made the pistol safe, pulled the mag, and pulled the slide to pop the bb out. Replacing the spare bb back in the mag she started to hand the pistol and mag to Wulf before pausing. "Wait... have you ever fired one before?"

Just as he expected her to, Emma clearly knew her way around a weapon. Wulf's face split into a big open-mouthed grin as she paused, then nodded as he answered her question. "Yup," he confirmed, with the world's brightest edge to his voice. "Course I have."

She looked at him, "Are you sure? Cause I don't want to be shot again?" She asked before handing him both the pistol and the almost full mag. Stepping back she motioned down to the far side of the cargo bay. "Ok load up and take aim." Her voice fell back to her Drill instructor days, firm, precise, and yet supportive and encouraging.

Another enthusiastic nod followed, then Wulf pulled his head back a little and frowned. "I'm not gonna shoot you," he promised. He might not get a lot of firearms time, but he hadn't forgotten his time learning with Ken. So, Wulf checked the gun over - safety, yup! Chamber, clear! He slid the mag in hard and let warm fingers settle into position, index lying along the trigger guard until he'd loaded a bb into the chamber and taken up a casually footed stance. Wulf visually checked with Emma before removing the safety, then fired off three bbs into the bulkhead, completely missing the piece of paper altogether and scattering to the floor.

Shaking her head she pointed at the paper target, "You do see that target right?" Emma gave a soft chuckle before stepping behind him. With her feet she kicked his into a shoulder width apart stance. Reaching around him she moved his arms into a better angle. "Now try," she whispered into his ear.

Wulf immediately blushed dark crimson across his olive skin as Emma adjusted his stance with unashamed, if relatively gentle, force. She towered above him, her voice tickled his ear and his concentration wandered far from shooting bits of paper and into realms that were definitely likely to get him in some kind of trouble. "I see it," he protested mildly, blowing air up into his face to try and cool himself down. "I just don't get much time to practice."

"Well the time has fallen into your hands, so let us use it." Her husky soft voice spoke as she looked over his shoulder. "Focus on what you what to hit, and go for it."

"Okay..." Wulf managed to vocalize. He bit his lip and, as discreetly as possible, let one hand drop briefly to rearrange his trousers. This wasn't fair. Six foot four inches of awesome female warrior woman gently stroking him with her voice. He tried, he really did, and as he let loose another two bbs, swiftly followed by two more, fifty percent of them winged the target. He exhaled in a rush and let his shoulders rise and fall. "I can't focus," he admitted, quietly.

Shaking her head. "You can do better, keep both hands on your weapon. You don't want it misfiring." She reached down and brought his hand back up to the pistol. "As for focusing, there isn't anything to be distracted by here, if you really needed to shoot there would be a lot of things trying to fight for your attention."

He stood, still and quiet, closed his eyes and tried, really tried, to ignore her hand on his. Her voice, her breath on his hair, her scent and the strength in her every move, but it had been a long time alone out here since that vacation they hadn't had on Eros, and Wulf struggled. He took his time, pushed on through, not wanting to fail again. And when he finally opened his eyes, both hands steadying his aim, the comm tech let himself breathe normally and pretend he didn't have a Martian Marine right... there.

One shot hit high of center, the second way low. He grinned. They were both on the paper.

"Much better." Emma spoke as she stepped away from him. "But you are still tense. Do you ever relax?" she asked as she leaned against a crate crossing her arms below her chest. She knew what she was doing to him. It was mean, more so it was just down right cruel, but there was a mischievous grin on her face as she looked at him. "Or is there something that is causing you to be all wound up?" She asked raising an eyebrow.

There was a tiny shift in the tension currently holding the Albatross' comm tech spine-stiff and on edge as Emma moved from his immediate vicinity. Enough for someone with military awareness to notice for sure. Other than that, Wulf looked wary rather than nervous, and a little shy as she turned her attention back to him from that short distance away. Daaaaaaaammmmmnnnn... wolf-whistled the tech's internal voice, but he wasn't brave or dumb enough to make that sound out loud. "Never been this close to a Martian Marine before," Wulf admitted. He let the still loaded weapon hang down by his side, and subtly, protectively, moved his free hand lower.

It took a lot of self control not to burst out laughing at Wulf. It was obvious what he was trying to hide, even more so with his comment about being close to a Marine. She shifted and crossed her legs leaning against the cargo crate. "If that is the problem how will you handle yourself if you need to with folks shooting back?" She pointed at him, "Let alone getting tight pants when you shoot. That probably will distract you in a fight."

Wulf kept his gaze straight ahead, studying the target for a long moment as he tried to get himself... calmer. Finally, as the word 'pants' left Emma's mouth, the tech broke and looked down. Yeah, calm wasn't working. He looked up, met Emma's gaze and didn't miss the overt amusement in those eyes of hers. "Usually just get shot at by ugly, angry dudes," Wulf stated, a small smile accompanying his words. "But," he added, serious now. "I've never really shot anyone."

"I'm not going to tell you it is easy, nor is it always the right thing. I can say during my tours I did shoot a few people. Sure the training made it a muscle twitch, not much at the time, but the dreams afterwards, not so. To this day I can see each of their faces when I close my eyes and think on it. Took quite a bit of time before I could sleep after that first time." She shrugged dropping her arms to her side. Her body tensed as she spoke showing that it still affected her. "But now... well now I have other nightmares and reasons it is hard to sleep."

The tech was super quiet now, listening with a deep respect to the serving Marine speak of kills in the line of duty. Wulf couldn't imagine how it became second nature, though he'd seen the others - Mickey, Ken and Allegra - still here despite their time in the darker, dangerous and deadly places. Guns weren't something the Tross' comm tech had spent a great deal of time with, though he'd been under-fire a few times. "Battle brain?" Wulf asked, using a term he'd heard from others but never experienced himself. He wasn't sure what else to say, no words could truly justify the aftermath of warfare and direct action. "Has to be tough." He looked up from the floor to meet Emma's eyes. "Other nightmares?" Wulf risked asking.

"Battle Brain?" she asked before realising he meant the same as what she called CTD, or Combat Time Dilation. It was when things would seem to slow down and her actions felt like she was moving far faster then she should be able too. "Yeah, something like that, and yeah it was tough... as for the dreams..." She shook her head for a moment either saying no, or clearing her head, she wasn't sure herself at first until she started speaking again. "I was awake for a while in the coffin. Not sure how long, with the drugs and the lack of anyway to tell time... it could have been minutes, or days." She looked up at him. "It felt like years trapped in my own personal hell."

This serious shift in conversation had eased off Wulf's tight-pants issue a little and he fidgeted, using the airsoft pistol to keep his hands busy. He removed the mag and lowered the toy weapon to his side as he listened to Emma speak. In contrast to her warrior past and training, the comm tech had never fired a weapon in anger, or at a real person. He had no idea what it might be truly like to do that for a living. But that, the concept of war, death-dealing and hardcore moment to moment survival in a combat zone didn't scare him as much as Emma's second revelation. "You were awake?" Wulf asked, unhappily. His face portrayed secondhand horror at the thought of it. "You were awake in that tiny little box?" He exhaled in empathy for the imagined terror of it all, then startled himself.

"The others..." Wulf said, eyes wide as he looked to Emma. "You think the others are awake too?"

With a shrug Emma shook her head. "I don't think so, I hope not, but I think it might be why my box failed." She frowned as if she wasn't fully sure. "But the Captain and Ken were right, we can't have them up and moving with how full this ship is getting. I want to still breathe, and well, if we wake them and they suffocate with us, then it is worse than them suffering awake in there." A tear rolled down her cheek as she thought about it. Quickly she wiped it away and then stood up.

"Better get back at it, who knows what is coming for us now." She motioned to the target.

"Yeah..." noted Wulf on an exhale. "I know Mickey and Ken are right." They almost always were, whether he liked to admit that or not. "But..." He had no real words to encompass his inner emotions on this one. "This sucks," the tech settled for simplicity and a stamp of his boot on the deck. Dark sympathetic eyes regarded Emma though from under his brow as she stood up and brushed fingertips across her face. "It's okay to cry," Wulf said, quietly. "But we'll rescue them. Soon as we can." He emphasized the next two words with as much surety as he felt in his heart. "We will."

Then he pushed the mag back into the toy gun, primed it, and fired five rounds one after the other. All five hit the paper this time, not in any particularly monumentally brilliant grouping, but there were definitely five holes. "Yes!" Wulf celebrated, as he turned, gun in his hand, to face Emma.

She smiled softly and was taken aback at his insistence of saving her fellow captives. She was sure she was going to start crying when he turned with the pistol. It was still loaded, armed, and unsafetied... Growling she stood quickly and snatched it out of his hands. Quickly her nimble fingers worked the weapon to a fully unloaded and safe position.

"Just what were you thinking?" She hissed out at him, as she set the airsoft pistol aside. "Damn it, I know it is just airsoft but... You really need to practice safe weapon practices!" She shook her head and took a deep breath as she turned to set it down on the crate she had been leaning against.

Wulf visibly winced and took a step backwards as Emma roughly robbed him of the pistol and proceeded to chastise him. He looked down at his boots as she reminded him of his mistake and kept his head bowed in shame as he spoke. "Sorry," Wulf returned, the word sincerely offered. "I didn't mean to... I wasn't... It was just..." He looked up then, eyes meeting hers. "Don't tell Ken?" He pleaded.

"I won't, but you got to be more careful there." She smiled and winked at him. "I think you'll do just fine. If it comes to it, stay behind me, and just don't shoot me. I'll take care of the rest."

 

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