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One Job

Posted on Sun Dec 22nd, 2019 @ 10:16pm by Comm Tech Wulf Edevane & Pilot Allegra Jennings

Mission: The Forgotten Arm
Location: Ceres Station
Timeline: 18 Months Before the Eros Incident

He’d literally only been five minutes. Just a short detour to pick up some road snacks and a special order datacore from an old friend. Much to his chagrin, they’d warned Allegra not to leave him on his own for too long, but not vice versa. Bastards. He knew she could look after herself, but so could he dammit. Still, Wulf hurried across from the food market down deeper into the station to the seedy little dives that sold junk, machine tools and secondhand parts.

Noise and crowds surrounded him like a comforting aural fog of invisibility, people in heated conversation, thumping music filling in the bass beat and that general crazy fullness of Ceres station. So different from the solidly familiar loud silence of that refurbished and refitted Dillinger class corvette Wulf now called home. Here, now, he felt insignificant, in a good way, unimportant enough to pass through the maelstrom undetected.

Six months Wulf had been with the Albatross’ crew, officially on the payroll and everything. He didn’t exactly know the crew, but he knew enough. They were good people, trustworthy so long as he was, and aimed at a common goal more often than not with teamwork in mind. That was plenty enough for the comtech to stick around, the money was just a bonus.

Still, as he stepped into the shadowy business unit and adjusted his eyes to the light, he did a double take. In the centre of that filthy oil-covered floor, Allegra stood over the unconscious (hopefully just that) form of the untidy, unshaven and somewhat unwashed Belter who ran the place.

“What happened?” Wulf said, with a gulp and a quick look about. There was no one else here. “You okay?” She looked okay. A lot better than the dude on the floor at least.

Shoving the strand of her hair that had come loose from her face, Allegra lifted her gaze, breath rushing out on a huff at the familiar voice. Wulf. He’d only been gone roughly five minutes and shit had happened. But not the type that some of the others had thought would happen, nope, instead it was on her end. Surprise, surprise. This was a clear, obvious reason why most people didn’t like surprises. Emerald eyes still sparking with fire as she responded with a single shoulder shrug, “He got handsy.” Simple explanation.

The longer explanation was that almost as soon as Wulf had left and it was just her and the Belter, things had taken a wrong turn. Normally, Allegra had no issues with anyone from anywhere, be they an Earther or Belter or what have you. But this particular Belter had taken her friendliness a bit too far when he’d tossed the indecent proposition her way and grabbed a handful. She let the wrench that was hanging from her hand falling to the floor of the shop, the metal clanking throughout the space as metal hit metal.

“Peachy keen.” Allegra answered as she stepped over the lump on the floor. “Did you get what you wanted?” She wasn’t going to place blame on him for leaving her alone, such happened often and normally things went smoothly. Not this time around, obviously. And she would be steering clear of any place that used the words whore and Martian in the same sentence.

Wulf looked Allegra up and down, then zoomed in closer to be sure. She was alright. A little disheveled and looking murderous, but not physically harmed in any way, unrequited sexual advances notwithstanding. That bastard! Wulf delivered a sharp kick with a heavy boot to the dude on the floor in further recompense for his stupid move.

“(1)Glupyy razvratnyy lokh,” muttered Wulf to the unconscious Belter. He flinched as the wrench hit the ground.

“Just glad you’re okay,” The comtech noted gratefully, kicking the dude a couple more times for good measure then moving to put the bolt on the back of the shop’s front door. “Yeah, I got the stuff. But I shouldn’t have left you.” Wulf let his eyes lock with Allegra’s. She was a bad-ass Martian, but he’d had one job. Get the part for the ship. Don’t get in trouble. “Did he hurt you?” He asked, sounding worried as he moved to pick up the wrench and an oily rag and studiously wipe one with the other.

Fuck… They were going to kill him.

While Allegra wouldn't normally have told such a fib, it was rather minor and really, it would do no good to say otherwise. There was no reason to make Wulf worry. Besides the Belter was basically out cold on the floor. She rather liked for people to underestimate her, it gave her an element of surprise. So no, Allegra wasn't all peachy keen.

She did however find it amusing that Wulf delivered a few good, shift kicks to the unconscious Belter on the floor. As well, as gaining his senses a lot quicker than herself and locking the door. Smart. Something she should have thought of herself instead over standing over the lump on the floor with a wrench in her hand waiting for just anyone to wander inside. Luckily for her, it was who it was.

Allegra felt his gaze land on her and it felt heavy even as she met it with a cloudy, blank look in her normally vibrantly bright eyes. Quickly she blinked it away and gave his shoulder a quick squeeze. "Don't go beating yourself up." He'd got what he set out to get and she'd handled herself. All was as good as it could be given the situation.

She shook her head in response, letting her gaze linger on the way he was running the rag over the wrench. It had been the first thing her hand had landed on and she'd just swung with it. But..."We should probably think about getting out of here?"

She was okay, Wulf told himself. She looked… and then those shiny green eyes hit him with an emotional void that kicked him right in the conscience and dragged concern back up again. No, she wasn’t. Wulf sighed softly, and offered her a small smile as he looked back at Allegra with real worry in his eyes.

“I’m not beating myself up,” he said, as he dropped the ‘cleaned’ wrench on the floor near the unconscious Belter and delivered another kick on his way past. “I’m beating him up.”

But they couldn’t leave yet. This guy had good parts in his shitty little unit, despite (or in fact because of) the grime, and that definitely meant he had some kind of security. Wulf located the recording equipment with a scan from his own terminal and set to work. A few minor tweaks, nothing too fancy, just a backtrack and classic re-record over the last… say half-hour just to be safe. Could have been the work of any half-decent thief.

“We still need the part for Ken,” Wulf said then, with a heavy exhale and he looked around the messy shelves behind him as if it might be clearly labelled. “Allegra, do you know what an induction dampener looks like?”

She laughed, the sound a bit hollow but Allegra still found Wulf amusing. He was still delivering kicks to the Belter which really didn’t qualify as beating him up. “Think that wrench did most of the work.” Probably uncalled for, but it was said anyway. Certainly it wasn’t any of the skills she had learned in the MCRN to handle herself. Nope. It had all come down to a rapid heartbeat and a searching hand grabbing for the first thing it touched. Such was one of those weird things in life, she guessed.

Allegra didn’t miss the worry that crept into his dark eyes, but neither did she call attention to it either. Sympathy wasn’t wanted, or needed. She just hoped this didn’t come back to bite the ‘Tross or cause issues with herself.

As eager as she was to leave she quickly realized just what Wulf was doing, and found a semi clean spot to lean against while he worked. She was almost jealous of his skills, of being able to do some of the things he could with a terminal. But this was for safety, watching as fixed the video recording. Good thing one of them was thinking clearly. Allegra had been ready to just leave, not even thinking there was any video in the grimy place.

“Nope.” That was the part they needed for Ken? Green eyes slid back towards the Belter. “We could wake him, but doubt he’d be much help...look it up?”

“Yeah,” Wulf couldn’t deny Allegra in that regard. He sounded suitably impressed and very proud as he added. “You and the wrench definitely did a number on this perv.” He wondered if that was standard Navy training for Martians, but didn’t ask that outright and he smiled up at her as she took a seat beside him to watch him work.

No one usually cared how he got this stuff done, so long as he did, so Wulf wasn’t used to an attentive audience. Allegra seemed almost interested, but he was just happy to see her safe and calm. His work complete, Wulf nodded gently.

“Look it up,” he repeated. “Yeah, good idea.”

“Occasionally, I have those.” Allegra was joking, of course, a halfhearted attempt at making the situation move on from what had happened to what they had come to the place for to begin with. Though, there was no telling just how long the Belter would stay out. From her perch beside Wulf, her gaze slid back over to the Belter. Should she check to see if he was alive? Had she hit him that hard? At least there wasn’t any blood.

Armed with this new information, Wulf slowly wandered the interior of the unconscious Belter’s business unit using his terminal as a light.

That didn’t help an awful lot though, the machine parts all looked kinda the same - metallic and shiny in the imagery his search brought up and filthy and dull on the racks in here. “Bugger,” said Wulf as he turned his terminal round to try and match the shape to one in reality. “I’m not sure if it’s this one,” he held up exhibit A. “Or this one.” Exhibit B was rolled around in a moment of deep thought.

Wulf’s gaze lingered on Allegra’s own for a long moment as he considered their options.

“We’ll take both,” he decided, swiftly, and hurriedly shoved the two parts into his backpack. “C’mon, we’ll go out the back….”

The rear door led to a dark alleyway that smelled of feet, sweat and urine. Wulf paused for just a second. “Head straight back, or grab a quick drink?” He asked, a glimmer of optimistic hope in his eyes.

“Both.” She agreed with a light shrug. Machine and ship parts were not her thing. Much like the magic that Wulf seemed to be able to work with his hand terminal.

Following, Allegra almost ran into Wulf as she stopped suddenly. Green eyes lifted to meet his gaze as she ran the question over. Did they have the time? Could she go back to the ship in this condition and hope no one asked a question she didn’t want to answer? Screw it… they were getting a drink. Although, there was no judging the look shining in his eyes, which he wanted. “I need a damn drink.” Allegra grabbed his arm and tugged. “Let’s get out of here.”

Those big emerald eyes…. Daaaaaamn. But, yeah. No. Not a good idea. One drink, and head back to the ship. One cheeky little drink, to help distance Allegra from that wandering Belter hand, and that unconscious form on the shop floor.

“Then a damn drink, you shall have,” declared Wulf proudly, a big dumb grin on his face as the Martian pilot took a hold on his arm and insisted such. “I know just the place.”

TBC

OOC:
(1) Russian: ‘Stupid lecherous little fucker’


 

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