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Wrong Side Of The Solar System

Posted on Fri Sep 11th, 2020 @ 12:19am by Client The Narrator & Executive Officer Kenneth McTigue & Passenger Emma Yonkers & Comm Tech Wulf Edevane

Mission: Ticket To Rhea
Location: Interplanetary Space, SS Albatross Interior, Cargo Deck,
Timeline: 3 weeks after Martian Bogey Man, A Week Out From Saturnary Confederacy

The ship was crowded.

On paper, the Dillinger class corvette was designed for a crew of 8 with a 10 person UNMC boarding party, and her environment plant had been designed with that in mind. That plant had been one of the few items easily unbolted from the space frame and taken out the airlock when the UNN mothballed their failed prototype. In its place was a heavily refurbished Mitsubishi Heavy Industries model whose warrant had run out sometime before Martian independence. The air of the ship felt warm and tired, and there was a taste to it. Like you could taste what the last person who had exhaled had had for their last meal.

Mickey and Ken had made reassuring sounds that this was all in the mind and that CO2 levels were acceptable. They did not mention the growing humidity problem. With more people, more exhaled water, more evaporation from sweat, and that water had to go somewhere. Mostly it went back into the environment plant, but in some places, it began to condense on surface panels. Which meant lots of fun preventative maintenance.

At least the cargo deck was quiet, and as private as you could hope to find on a ship as small and crowded as the Tross. In the narrow corridor that crisscrossed between the four cargo bay cells, with the bulkhead hatch closed, it was downright vacation-like. But instead of enjoying the peace and quiet, Wulf was assigned to repairing a faulty environment sensor. Within Cargo Cell 3 a small sensor nozzle in the wall kept detecting unexpected amounts of gases that had no right to be there. Higher than usual nitrogen level, highlighted with bursts of freon, and coupled with a steady release of molecular oxygen. There was more exotic stuff the sensor was detecting, but given it was clearly faulty better safe than sorry.

The first thing to hit Wulf's nose when we entered the cell until now sealed up by order of Mickey after their first cursory scan of the cargo a few weeks before, was the smell. There was a sickly resin-like smell to the air, reminiscent of burning jam. It was enough to make the eyes water. And then there was a splash around Wulf's feet. There was a half-inch of fluid underfoot, thick enough to make slow motion ripples in though oddly hydrophobic as it rolled off of the sole of his shoe. The greenish fluid (more green adjacent really) felt a stain on his shoes, a similar strain to one that had cascaded down the side of one of the crates.

A crate the size of a coffin.
A crate the size of a coffin that contained guns.
A crate the size of a coffin that was open, did not contain guns and had a padded foam interior with cutouts in a vaguely sinister human outline.

It was like a life long nightmare, that just wouldn't end. Emma Zelda Yonkers had regained consciousness she thought hours, or was it days after she had been beaten into the dark realm. She couldn't scream she couldn't move, she couldn't even shift her vision. All she really knew as that she couldn't feel her body. Had she been paralyzed and now was in some sort of medical facility. She had held onto that hope for what might have been years? hours... Minutes? She couldn't tell.

After a bit of time she had memorized the whole of the panel before her. each rivet and seem line. Emma was going insane each moment dragged on and on. Then something beeped, a hiss, and a few other sounds.

It had taken a few more hours for the panel to slide away and she found herself blinking from the brightness. the dim lights of the cargo bay blinded her. Still it took her time but she was finally able to move her fingers, then toes. With all of the cryo drugs wearing off, her mind started to clear, thoughts started coming to her. It wasn't long before she fully remembered how she ended up here.

It had taken some time before she was able to stand on her own and step from the cryo pod. this was when Emma first realized all she had on was a tank top and her undies. Those fuckers had stripped her.

Wulf had half-welcomed his venture into the quieter depths, though that sense that something was really wrong pervaded his guts as he descended the familiar ladder. Not because of any precognition, telepathic power or supernatural sense, but simply because he was tired of being told everything was okay. They'd said that when the stowaway had been found, then when Ken had shot the Belter ship, and now, weeks later when everything smelt like yesterday's farts lingering in the air and moisture was a newfound combatant. It didn't feel like everything was fucking okay.

He choked back a fierce cough as the cell's unclean air attacked his nasal passages, then muttered a string of curses at the pooling liquid beneath his feet. He'd been right, Wulf muttered to himself. It wasn't a damn faulty sensor, there was something truly broken down here and, because no one listened to him he was going to have to fix it along with whatever else was going on with their cargo. Fine. Just fucking beautiful.

But that wasn't the real problem. The real problem was...

Oh. Shit....

Underlying spidey sense escalated rapidly into full-on backtracking panic as Wulf's dark eyes widened enough to slowly, take in the tall, muscular woman in her underwear who was just standing there all on her lonesome in Cargo Cell 3. The ensuing double-take was a faster repetition of the tech's first lingering look of horror.

Up... pause inevitably at chest level... continue on all the way up...

And Wulf's hand reached into his cargo pant pocket for his terminal with the intention of calling for help.

Her Mind was still a fog, but her instincts were still of those trained into her in the Marines. As soon as her mind registered the man entering the Cargo bay, Emma tensed up. She would have just remained where she was if it wasn't for the hand reaching down to his side. 'This was a danger' her brain screamed, as it pumped Adrenalin and other natural fight or flight agents into her system boosting her ability to process the danger, and fuel the muscles that were going to either fight or flight.

And she was a Martian Marine, there was only one direction her body was going to take.

Throwing herself forward, the barely dressed women slammed into Wulf, quickly trying to pin his hands away from any potential weapon.

Wulf's brain almost vocalised a word even as the rest of his body hit the floor underneath the firm - very firm and very cold - female intruder. That oddly indescribable, possibly green fluid now refusing to soak into his clothing didn't feel much warmer, but, despite all environmental odds against him, Wulf still blushed crimson.

With the wind knocked out of him by the impact of the enforced fall, the finely toned and wonderfully icy woman on top of him and his arms pinned out to his sides, the comm tech didn't so much speak as exhale what was left of the air in his lungs.

"Wow..." said Wulf, as he blinked up into that serious looking, prettily freckled face.

As Emma kept him pinned she glared at him, Her brain started rapid firing thoughts that soon were being shot out her mouth. "What the fuck do you do with me? Where am I? How long have I been out? Who are you? Where is that fucker that hit me with the trench sweeper? You better start answering me before I start beating the answers out of you." She demanded this though each question had no break between to even take a breath let along to allow him to answer.

Alongside the barrage of questions assailing Wulf's ears was a desperate attempt to regain enough breath to say something, to answer her, to defend himself. She didn't stop, didn't pause for him to reply, didn't shift her position in the least. And he couldn't breathe, damn it. When he did finally manage to suck enough breath into his lungs to form words, the tech didn't make a lot of sense. He hyperventilated about his stream of thoughts as they became sound, sound that blurred into her rapid interrogation.

"Guns, sposed to be guns. Looked like guns. Mickey agreed." Wulf shook his head, struggled against her hold and met those hazel green eyes of the crazed stranger with his own confused pair. "Not a person. Not fair. Ow. Gerroff! Dunno. I dunno. Ow. Lemme go, lady..." He tried to wriggle some, but the wriggle room was less than zero.

Slowly she sat up so she was straddling him, "You are a gun runner? Fuck..." She groaned before falling to the side and curling up. Feeling was returning to her body, and she was laying there shivering. Not just shivering from the cold, but from the trauma she had just endured. YEARS of being trapped staring at that tomb's panel. It was a few seconds before she realized she was laying there shivering AND crying...

Wulf took a deep breath. Inhale. Exhale. And relax. Kinda. It took a moment for the change in attitude and position to filter through to his addled brain and then, slowly and cautiously, he took the liberty she'd given him and sat up.

"Yeah!" Wulf declared proudly, in a shining beacon of a moment to be crushed soon after by harsh reality. "That's right! I'm a gunrunner. So a little respect, here, huh?" Which was exactly when the sinking feeling in his gut reminded him that he wasn't supposed to mention the guns. Like not even a little bit.

And then... then came the real downer.

"Uh, hey, lady?" Wulf asked, resting a worried and cautious hand on the scantily clad stranger's shoulder. "Are you crying? Um... it's okay. Hey, let me get you a blanket..." Crap, he thought, looking to the hatchway back out to the hall. "Uh... Mickey? Ken!" He yelled. "Help!"

Then he shrugged his shoulders out of his jacket and placed it over the crying female's own. "C'mon," he said. "It's okay..."

Ken, hearing his name being yelled from the cargo bay slid the door open and poked his head in. "What you yelli..." he stopped mid-word. Three things registered. One of the cargo pods was open. Second, someone he did not recognize was on his ship. Third, Wulf was close by and possibly in danger. Ken's hand reached behind his back and produced the weapon he had taken to carrying ever since they had taken on even more guests. He thumbed the safety and kicked off his mag boots to float into the cargo bay. "Wulf, push away from the intruder." Ken said in that cool, collected tone he got when violence was near.

The jacket helped a little and gave Wulf a few points to his name in Emma's book. But the new person who entered, with the angry voice. Her mind marked him as a new possible enemy. Slowly standing to her full height she glared at him, "I'm not going back into that damned Tomb!" She cried out before pushing herself off to slam into the new person. She was in mid motion when she saw his gun come out. Fuck it was all she thought as she balled up to crash into him.

Wulf had stood up and clicked his boots back down again as Ken's 'boss voice' resonated in the relatively small space. He didn't, however, have a chance to move far away from the strange woman, so as she stood back up to her feet and launched, Wulf reached out to grab a wayward ankle in an attempt to stop her reaching the Tross' engineer.

One bang, two bangs, three bangs. Three plastic non-lethal rounds were fired out of the pistol before Emma's momentum slammed into Ken. As soon as he felt the collision he consciously threw the pistol away from himself. He flexed double over her shoulder, and wrapped his arms around her waist before straightening himself and throwing her over his shoulder and accelerating her a bit while slowing himself down through it.

She didn't feel the impacts of the plastic rounds as much as the force of them shifting her trajectory across the cargo bay. Then the new man grabbed her and swung her towards the bulkhead. She tried to scream but the impacts had knocked the wind out of her. The bulk head did a bit more then that, it knocked her out to the sweet embrace of the darkness.

Shaking his head to clear it, Ken called out, "Wulf! You good?" while looking up and floating towards the unknown woman wearily, ready to remember more of his low-g combat training if she woke up.

"Yeah, m'okay!" Wulf sounded off swiftly, this wonderfully quick response the eventual and long sought after product of many ship safety drills. The potentially next most important question followed a long moment later after the comm tech had taken stock some.

"Where'd the gun go?" He asked, turning around in the cargo cell as he tried to figure out what the fuck had just happened. "You shot her!" Wulf added, a little redundantly. Then, with concern in his voice as he watched Ken move in closer. "Be careful..."

He padded closer, after casting a lingering wary glance in the direction of the other cargo crates, then grabbed some of the ratchet restraining straps from the netting at the side of the compartment. "Ken," Wulf followed the engineer. "Is she dead?"

"Shouldn't be dead. Less-than-lethal rounds in the pistol." Ken replied as he pushed himself towards Emma. As he travelled he spotted said weapon floating towards the deck in a far corner. As he came close he saw the minor blood droplets floating down from the woman's head. "Grab some bindings. We got to secure her before we call the doc in."

Wulf nodded. He trusted Ken on that front - the dead or alive one. He kept his gaze on their mysterious visitor as the engineer tracked the path of the handgun, then, as Ken turned back, Wulf handed over the binding straps with a worried half-smile. "She hit her head," he noticed, calmer now the action had subsided. "She didn't really hurt me, just absolutely scared the shit outta me." Wulf nodded in the direction of the other crate. "I should check that one too..."

Ken secured the limp arms and legs behind the back of the unknown woman and pulled her down to the deck with him. "Negative. Don't touch any of the crates." Ken ordered as his boots clicked onto the deck. "Call Mick and Alex, get them here. Keep the rest of the people outside the cargo bay. Don't talk about it to them until Mick or I give the all clear. Got it?"

He'd turned to regard it, yet not moved any closer to the sealed crate, but Wulf still mildly flinched at Ken's order. "Yessir," he returned, respectfully and looked up to the engineer/XO with concern in his gaze. What if? He wanted to say. What if it opens while you're here on your own? Ken would be alright, Wulf reminded himself, and he nodded emphatically. "I got it, boss," he said, pushing obedient cheerfulness into his tone even as he fished his terminal out of his pocket and wiped the unpleasant liquid off his hands down a trouser leg.

"Mickey - code six in aisle three," Wulf called up to the Captain's personal terminal, hanging close enough to keep an eye on the crates behind Ken while he did so. Then, to med-bay and Alex. "Doc, can you come down to cargo, I slipped in some liquid down here..." Just in case their stowaway was in earshot.

Moments later Mickey dropped down from the ladder well, a compact shipboard pistol in his hands. Though the moment he looked around the cargo deck, and then down onto the deck liner...

"Aw Patchamamas sacred tits," he grumbled as he stowed the pistol. "Doc's on his way down with a medical kit. Anyone want to fill me in on why we have a body on the deck? Wulf? Did you wish really hard this morning?"

Wulf frowned as the second armed member of the crew arrived on the scene, but he didn't get a chance to complain about that until after Mickey had distracted him with an interesting question. The tech's expression shifted from irritated to sheepish then took a swift roam through the realms of amused and thoughtful before Wulf answered the captain.

"I did," he admitted. "Just like every morning." His face adopted a happy little smirk at the recent memory of being thrown to the ground under a particularly awesome and very real answer to said wish. "Can we wake her up nicely, please - she had a whole bunch of questions she wanted me to answer, then plans to beat them outta me."

Wulf regarded Mickey and Ken for a long moment. "Y'know, if you guys let me have a gun I could handled this so much better."

"One reason we don't give you a gun is because people can take a gun away from you." Ken replied and looked at the near-naked form floating around. "Mickey, I came in because I heard Wulf crying out. Me thinks we're not smuggling weapons in those crates..."

That was fair comment, thought Wulf, but his brain skipped right past openly admitting Ken was right, lingered an all-senses-alert in the direction of the muscular female form in her undies (and his jacket) for a good few seconds and then protested. "I wasn't crying," Wulf complained. "I was calling for help. And yeah, Mickey, when I got here, there was fluid all over the deck and the crate was open. She was... just... standing there..." His gaze wandered to the woman again, sure he'd seen something move. "So I reached for my terminal to call you and that's when she jumped me."

"She's not exactly petite and svelte Wulf. That's like saying you got snuck up by an asteroid as big as Ceres Station and a point in the column for your lack of fire arms," Mickey said as he gingerly stepped over the unconscious woman. He looked into the open coffin, and then took two fingers and slid them across the padded foam interior. They came away glistening slightly, and he played his thumb and forefinger together before giving it an experimental sniff. "Suspension gel. Stuff gets used a lot in front line battlefield triage, a way of keeping skin from getting sores from long term bed rest or medically induced comas for long-duration invalid care. A trooper out in the open gets back to a medic, they can stabilise them and put them in a pod-like this and it'll keep them good for months."

Wulf had the good decency to blush and look down at his boots at that relatively friendly reprimand. "Wasn't much I could have done different," the tech pointed out. Six foot four deadly female versus five foor ten tech with no weapon? Was only gonna go one way. He grinned, then paid attention and processed everything else his captain was saying. "Trooper?" Wulf asked, rhetorically.

Mickey turned and looked at the woman.

"I'm not seeing plasma burns or shrapnel scars...and given who gave us this crate," Mickey rubbed his fingers together. "I think it's a safe bet we have live cargo in every single crate of small arms."

They'll hang us for a man,
Ye they'll hang us one and all,
If they knew we'd carried slaves to fair Cydonia.

"Wulf go get your programming deck and a patch kit. I want you to interrogate this unopened crate here. Full breach and clear on the programming, but do not trip anything that could open it up. We're running near max on our environmental systems as it is, any more warm bodies and we'll have to share every other breath," He looked over at Ken. "Saturn still abides by the UNN/MCRN charter on people smuggling being a capital offence?"

His eyes were widely horrified as this revelation soaked into Wulf's brain. Human trafficking. Yeah, that was way worse that gun running. And their route was taking them way too close to home for his liking already... "Yes, bossman," Wulf confirmed, a curt nod of his head preempting his ducking out past the others towards the exit and the ladder. "Be right back." He left with the worlds 'capital offence' resonating in his skull.

Groaning Emma started coming back around, it wasn’t long before her head snapped up and she started struggling against the bindings. Grunts and cusses emminated from her as she wiggled and pulled. Her cussing was as inventive as only could come from a pissed off marine. This went on for a few long seconds before she noticed the three in the room, one she knew was the one who found her and she pinned down, the second was the one who... she started panicking as she looked down expecting to see small bloody holes in her chest. Seeing none she eyed the new third person. “Who the fuck are you assholes? Bet you are all big and manly feeling taking on a half awake unarmed girl, but I’m going to make you pay for kidnapping and trying to take me as a slave!”

Emma’s eyes glared and burned with a fire that would make even the most toughened marine nervous about her threats. “Get me untied. And then some fucking clothes... Now!” she ordered out through gritted teeth and in her meanest drill instructor’s voice.

"Yes boss. They also just skip the trials and go right to the capital bit." Ken then glanced up with the bored eyes of a been-there-done-that marine, "Can you stop shouting? I'll untie you if you promise not try and kick my ass again." While talking Ken had floated over to secure his weapon back into his lower-back holster hidden by his jumpsuit.

Mickey lowered himself down on his haunches and looked at the woman Ken was holding down.

"Okay you have questions, and I have good news they probably match up well with a number of questions we have as well. We are a private courier ship who was hired to bring cargo to Rhea. That cargo was not meant to be living people. You are as much a shock to us as we are to you. My name is Mickey, I'm the captain. Ken, my XO, is the one your tussling with. And the kid you nearly choked out is my comm tech. Now far as I can see you didn't kill anyone, and I'm fine with letting that be. But I need you to know I do not know you, nor why someone thought shipping you in baggage to the ass end of the solar system was a good idea," Mickey said steadily, holding out a hand to dissuade further comment. "To that also means if you begin swinging for my crew now that we're calming down, I have no incentive to keep you breathing. So why not try to relax, and let us get our panic on."

She glared at Mickey for few more seconds before she took a deep breath. “Fine, I’m pissed, I’m freezing, and I’m hungry, if these can be taken care of... that and this pounding head ache, I’ll be good.” She paused before frowning at Ken. “Though I’m going to have to hit this one... he shot me, I didn’t harm anyone, just pinned the first guy tell I knew he wasn’t a risk...” she sighed trying to relax and not struggle against the bindings anymore...

Ken bent down and untied the bindings around Emma's ankles with a chuckle. "If you want we can have a proper scrap after you've had your chow and shower." He then reached for her wrists. "But do try to look at it from my point as well. I saw an intruder on my ship attacking one my crewmen. Tell me, what would you have done?" The bindings came loose and Ken took two quick steps back to avoid being in direct fist range.

"And this guy keeps our reactor going, so knocking his block off is a no go," Mickey said, appraising the woman. "I don't think anything Allegra's got in her bunk is going to fit our friend here. Anything in yours Ken?"

"Yeah, think I have some sweats and shirts that would fit." Ken offered. "Can't promise it won't have the UNMC emblem on it though."

Emma was about to say that she promised not to 'knock his block off' but then Ken mentioned the UN Marine emblem. "Please tell me you stole them?" She asked as she stood up stretching and pulling she two sizes too small jacket tighter around her shoulders. Poor Wulf might not get his jacket back.

"Anyways I am... Well Emma Z. Yonkers, formally of the Martian Marines. Is there a way for me to find out if my family thinks I am dead... How long was I in that..." She chocked a little and the tears slowly built up into her eyes, "That tomb..."

Wulf had ducked back into the cargo cell somewhere between Mickey's welcome speech and Ken's untying of their uninvited guest, hands laden with kit and a bedroll tucked under his left arm. He stood, awkwardly, at the threshhold and watched, waiting for the go-ahead to push past and through to the unopened crates, and moved only when the Tross' engineer gave him the nod. The comm tech's gaze lingered long and on Emma Z. Yonkers' form as he passed by, rapt in the mixture of mostly naked and his favourite jacket along with the definite scent of female musk. Good times.

"Hey, Emma," he risked saying. "I'm Wulf," and he handed the Martian Marine a rolled up clean ship blanket and a lopsided smile. "Don't cry," Wulf said, supportively, then avoided making eye contact with either Mickey or Ken as he added. "I can start looking for your family once we get comms back with Mars, promise. We left a few weeks back..."

"Wulf has a talent for finding things that should not be found. And with the Martian Congressional Republic in an uproar after Diemos got turned to gravel I'm sure their cybersecurity is in low gear," Mickey shook his head. "For the time being, I think the best thing we can do is run silently. Not many ports of call out there would look at our cargo and not throw the crew out the airlock."

The Albatross' comm tech beamed a proud smile at the praise and gave an enthusiastic double nod. "Okay to check the other crate now, Mickey?" Wulf asked, stood now halfway between Emma and the unopened cargo. Then he looked from Captain to XO to Marine and back again to Mickey. "I guess it's gonna take some fancy work on my part to clear us for Rhea huh?"

"Section 70, sub-clause 8 of the jointed UN/MCR Solar System Treaty: The Equipment Clause. Any ship found to contain equipment and facilities for the forceful holding and transportation of human freight in line with this policies definition of slavery shall be deemed a slave vessel regardless of current lack of cargo," Mickey said, reciting a law he'd memorized. "We could wake every one of these sleepers up, have you make us a bill of shipping for these coffins full of fake guns, and we could all still be spaced because we have the means to ship gross human freight. It's one of the few crimes out there that still carries the death penalty."

Mickey shook his head.

"This is a problem we're gonna have to figure out a solution for," Mickey stated. "But right now, Wulf, interrogate the coffins. Make sure none of them need to be woken up for a medical emergency.

Accepting the blanket and wrapped herself in it. Her head hurt a lot. She was about to tell them if they keep her alive, she would testify that they were just idiots and not traffickers, but something caught her attention, and even then it took a few for it to sink in. "Wait... What do you mean Deimos was turned to gravel? Who caused it?" She asked feeling a bit dizzy with every thing happening.

His face noticeably paler, eyes definitely wider, Wulf mentally digested all the words Mickey had just gifted them all. Legal jargon followed by Mickey's horribly serious translation. Basically.... They were fucked. "Yessir, bossman," the tech noted, and, mind racing with potential options, he set himself and his kit up by the next cargo pod. It didn't take a minute to hook in and let Zee roam invasively into the software, but Wulf was super extra careful this time and rode shotgun with his fledgling AI program. That first investigation had shown them both - him and the Captain - the small arms they'd been expecting. Now, forewarned, Wulf half-hoped to find another naked lady. "Retaliation strike from Earth," he casually stated in response to Emma's question, then he let the others fill in the details as his concentration was taken up by trying not to trip the open sequence while deep diving into the coding guts of their next potential nightmare.

"Wulf, fewer words more tech work," Mickey said as he locked eyes with Emma. "It's complicated. And I first one to state that we are not affiliated with the United Nations or any of their paper tiger proto governments around the system. But, if you need to know, which you do I guess, Mars nuked the moon of Pheobe into gravel following the revelation that it was the source of the Eros Bug, that blue goo shit that's been in the news."

Of which, Mickey said silently, we were a part of in a supporting cast kinda way.

"The UN retaliated by nuking the Diemos Deep Space Array. Shook the orbital tether pretty badly, major damage to the High Elysium Tether Station and the MCRN Haphethus Shipyards. No surface damage to Mars, no dome or tunnel collapses," Mickey said watching her for a reaction.

"The Elysium?" Emma paled more then she already had been, "I have to contact Mars... Now!" She started shaking and panicking. Her eyes started darting about as if she was looking for a comm or a way to reach back home. "My.. Father, he flies out of there..." It was all getting too much. Waking on a ship, being shot, finding out her kidnappers arn't, and now the chance her father could have been killed by the UN... "

"Can't contact Mars right now," said a matter of fact tone from Wulf. Most of his attention was taken up by the sheer magnitude of the task assigned to him by the Tross' captain, but as his gaze scanned the seven remaining cargo crates with a mixture of horror, wonder and unhealthy anticipation he picked up on the comms angle of the conversation. What if... what if there were seven more mostly naked female Marines... His brain struggled to wrap around this unexpected carnal possibility/new level of unexpected criminal complicity as Wulf explored the software level of their potential existence. Guns. Nope. Girls... C'mon girls...

"Come on Yonkers, let's get you cleaned up." Ken offered, "Up the stairs and I'll point you to one of the showers."

It is at this point in proceedings that the dark-skinned Alex slid down the ladder well with a medical kit slung over his shoulder.

"Okay, I'm here and..." he began to say before noticing Emma. He then looked to the crew members of the Tross. "Just how many more people are in this ship?"

"You sure you wanna know?" Asked the comm tech, as he turned around to gift Mickey, Ken, Alex and Emma a thousand yard stare of sorts. In his hand, the terminal lit up Wulf's face, the backlit knowledge he had finessed so far hidden from all but himself. "Alex, this is Emma. She came out of that," Wulf added, pointing from the medic to the Marine to the open cargo pod.

Her eyes started glazing over, "Yeah... a shower... that sounds... nice..." Her voice drifting off as shock started overcoming her endorphins and other bio-chemicals keeping her marching forward. "I would like that... and maybe a long dreamless nap."

Emma's gaze crossed over trying to take in the new person in the area, he looked like a martian with his shape, and even a bit of his accent but she wasn't quite picking up on all of that. Instead of looking to the medic for help she moved towards the stairs that Ken motioned towards. "Is there real hot water?" She asked, her voice almost half asleep child like.

"Yup. Hot water and an honest to goodness bunk," Alex said, his questions stowed for the time being. "But first I think it's a trip to the autoDoc just to make sure there's nothing sneaking up on us first huh?"

"Alex, can you come back down here when you're done, please?" Wulf asked, gifting Mickey a significant look in the middle of that question then focusing on the medic. "Just wanna run a couple of questions by you."

"Yeah sure kid, not like I have a full day," Alex said dryly. "Give me an hour or so with this one okay?"

Ebon eyes looked up at Alex for a long second, then returned their attention to the terminal as Wulf rechecked the little detail. A sigh was wrapped about his words as he spoke, but it sounded more of a general concern kinda tone than anything desperately pressing. "Sure thing, dude. No problem. It'll keep."

He hoped.


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