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Any More Space to Spare?

Posted on Sun May 9th, 2021 @ 2:32am by Medical Officer Florian McLennan & Ships Engineer Delphi Jammer

Mission: Ring's Of Gold & Palladium
Location: Albatross
Timeline: Soon After 'Sold For A High Elevation of Legumes'

Flo huffed and puffed his way back to his bunk-room-quarters-place-thing, pulling a heavy string-sack behind his shoulders filled with several of the extra food provision packs he'd bought on Rhea. Despite the low gravity, moving large, bulky objects through the ship's interior twists and turns was enough of a day's work out, at least for the kid.

The door opened and he pushed the sack through the entranceway first, not taking care to ensure it was clear of other things - or people for that matter. It was only when a female voice barked out at him, did he pull back and leaned sideways to see where he was going.

"Oye!" Said the seven foot tall belter engineer who he had intersected with inside the compartment. She had been working on some mechanical thing, held in one hand while she manipulated a small fine detail tool of some sort with the other. She put the handle end of the tool between her lips and ran her now freed hand through her long flowing brilliant blue mohawk as her violet eyes scanned the newcomer and all the stuff he was dragging into the cabin, raising an equally blue eyebrow.

"Sorry," he grumbled, pushing his cargo out of the way and towards his small section of the room, near his bunk. He undid his allocated storage net and pushed the sack in, before snapping it securely back onto the wall.

"Im ta noting" she replied, raising both hands, palm up, in a belter shrug, then set the stuff she was working on and her tool down on the small fold out desk by her bunk. She brushed her hands on the front of her well worn and comfortable gray and blue jumpsuit. The many pockets were full to the brim with small tools, parts, wires, bits of engineering stuff of all kinds that she could cram into her pockets for whenever she might need them. There were several patches on the sleeves, with various symbols and names written in Lang Belta, though one was in easier readable English, a round patch with the word "SWORDFISH" encircling a matching stylized image of a swordfish.

"What all this?" she asked, pointing at the stuff he had lugged in with him.

"This..." Flo finally sat down to take a breath. "Is stuff you'll be wolfing down in the next few months. I've got a heap more down at cargo. Bossman's promoted me to ship's chef and food inventory manager," he added with the slightest smug smile on his face, boasting his new, unofficial titles.

Delphi raised her eyebrows. "Why bring da food to da cabin? she asked. "Na better ere storage?" she asked, starting to poke around at one of the packages.

The boy leaned slightly to one side, to get a better look at what she was doing. "Oi!" he snapped. "Hands off the merchandise. And no, cargo was all full. Nothing left in there. If only it didn't have so much of Wulf's junk in there, we'd have a bit more space."

Delphi raised her hands up away from the package like she was being held up. "Ko, ko, im kowl gut kopeng(1) she said as she settled onto her bunk, running her hands through her brilliant blue mohawk. "That koyo put junk in da food storage space?" she asked, eyes still on the packages, trying to figure out what all was in there.

Flo shrugged. He couldn't be absolutely certain that it was Wulf's stuff left in there - it wasn't much anyway - but he had a good feeling it was. "Yeah. It's not much, but enough to be a nuisance."

He went towards his lower bunk and pulled himself down so he could 'sit' in the low gravity. He realised he hadn't had much of a chance to speak with the lady, despite having spent quite some time within the same living quarters. They seemed to have scattered sleep times that didn't match often. He wondered what she did whilst he was in his bunk sleeping, and considered if she might wonder the same of him.

"Do you know him well? Wulf?" the boy asked.

Delphi pulled her legs up and leaned back on her bunk, getting more comfortable too. "Na sasa Wulf" she answered. "Mi new to da crew, this mi first cruise wit them" she eyed her new roomie "Why, to have trouble wit him?"

The kid seemed to give her question some thought before answering. "No, not really. I don't think so. I find him hard to figure out. Sometimes I feel like he hates my guts. Other times he's all right."

He had originally wanted to even suggest that Wulf was, at times, quite a nice guy. But he stopped short of admitting such. He wasn't sure whether it was a good idea to seem like the guy who tries too hard to get along with everyone, worrying that such an attribute would be seen more as a weakness in a cramped ship ferrying passengers and a semi-permanent crew. He still felt like an outlier, and even though Delphi had admitted to being new to the group, she exuded the impression of confidence and independence - the kind he knew he clearly lacked, at least on the surface.

"What led you to be on this ship?" he suddenly asked.

Delphi nodded with her fist(Belter gesture). She had her own opinions about Wulf, but thought to keep those to herself for now. Her blue dyed eyebrows rose as the question about her coming to the ship was asked. Besides Aisling, who had come with her, she figured the kid was the only person newer than her to the crew.

"Mi du wang wit xĂ­dawang kapawu?(2) that is interesting story" she replied. "Da Albatross shot da rockhoppa Mi and Aisling crew on, thinking we could be pirates when we come up on da rock to mine ore" she said. "We fly up, they shoot, we holed bow to stern by Tungeting tufash(3), miss da reactor, but wreck da epstein drive. Seem all big mistake, sasa, now Mi chief engineer here" she raised her hands in a belter shrug.

Strange way du wang wit ship. "What got you on da ship?

Flo wasn't sure how much he should reveal. "Eh... Stowaway. I was trying to hitch a ride out of Deimos. I couldn't quite stay there, didn't feel safe. Somehow survived the launch whilst passed out. Don't quite know how, but I did. Ship's boss and... another passenger found me in the engineering deck."

He looked away, as if that might help avoid any more probing questions. Perhaps he shouldn't have asked the same of Delphi to begin with. He swiftly left the subject to another one. "And now I guess I'm... the ship's cook, or something. That's what all that stuff's for," he nodded over to the pack he'd brought into the room earlier. "I'll try not to poison you lot."

"Oh, stowaway mmm" Delphi leaned back, stretching her long legs "Lucky they na space you when find you in da engine room" she said and smiled. "So you work off cost fo da trip being ship cook, ya?" she asked. "You sasa make red kibble?" she added

Flo looked down at his feet. "Working off the cost of living here," he said, his voice filled with a sense of general disorientation and absence. "Whether that's... permanently or not. I don't really know what I'm doing, or where I'm going."

The boy then grimaced at the mention of the red, cheap and spicy Belter staple. "Red kibble is... Not really my kinda thing," he admitted, without outwardly saying that he found the dish utterly distasteful. "I find there are other better foods one can make that are just as cheap and simple. But that's just me."

"There always time to figure out what you gonya do wit to sif"(4) Delphi said with a shrug. She knew how it felt to be cast adrift and feel alone and without purpose in the universe.

"But fo red kibble, mi gonya have teach you how to make. It good memories of home and family" she said with a smile. It easy, good belta food" she pulled herself back up to her feet, suddenly hungry. "Wanya fo kom tenye et?"(5)

Flo felt hesitant, but even making something a food he wasn't fond of was better than spending the rest of the day stockpiling in small spaces. Especially if it meant a potential boost to morale over a six-month journey, if he were to make red kibble for those who enjoyed it.

"Yeah, sure," he agreed, standing up to join her, making their way out of the bunk and towards the galley.

(1)Okay, okay, it's all good friend
(2)Me join this ship?
(3)Railgun, literally "really fast bang thing"
(4)...Gonna do with your self
(5)Want to come eat?


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