Charon's Opus ::
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Strong stuff and thick accents

Posted on Mon Nov 22nd, 2021 @ 11:08pm by Executive Officer Kenneth McTigue

Mission: Stories From The Expanse
Location: Galley
Timeline: A few days after Aisling and Delphi came aboard the Tross

Wulf had just gone down to his bunk. Ken had put his friend's glass in the washer and sat down when the lift clanged open again. Having just poured himself a measure he called out without looking at the person coming up, "Forgot your terminal again?"

"I have no idea what you're talking about" Aisling commented as she exited the lift and made her way into the galley proper. Sleep alluded her, what had happened had unsettled her more than she realised. Though, given how consistently confrontational she'd been she wondered how she hadn't been able to find the obvious. The uncertainty of her future and an abrupt reminder of her mortality had left her with a pit in her stomach, she felt like a banshee was going to wail away her existence at any moment. Ken, in particular, had earned her ire and out of everyone, he was the singular reminder of how fragile her life actually was.

She considered tearing him another until she saw the drink before him, it'd been a long time since Aisling had had anything like that to drink and for a fleeting moment, she considered herself forgiving Ken in order to share some. She was too proud to ask though and instead made her way into the kitchenette in search of some water.

"Sorry, thought you were Wulf." Ken said, his words slurring into his brogue ever so slightly. He took a sip of the amber goodness that was Ceres Blue Limited. "You're Irish by way of Ganymede, right?" He asked after a moment.

"Aye, Mammy and Daddy wanted to provide me with more opportunities. They'd be granted further education but there was a chance I wouldn't, Ganymede was easier" she shrugged, walking towards the table Ken sat at despite herself. She hated to admit it but there was a certain comfort that she could draw from Ken's similar accent, it reminded her of home. Frankly, stood before him, she realised she was too tired to fight. She plonked herself across from him and though her expression was softer than the one Ken was probably used to receiving from her so far, there was still a trust of distrust and frustration lurking below the surface.

Ken nodded, coming to an internal decision. "Say I have a bottle of proper Irish whiskey. Real, honest to God distilled in Ireland whiskey. Would you do me the favour of sharing that with me, and talk as they talk back home?" Emotion might have crept into Ken's voice, a little bit of nostalgia, smidgen of sadness, and a lot of homesickness. "It's been a very long time since I heard someone speak proper English."

Aisling eyes narrowed for a moment, more on instinct as opposed to the offer. She knocked the water in her bulb back, her eyes blue eyes on Ken's brown. Bulb empty she slid it across the table with the tips of her fingers, offering her fellow countryman a wry smile, "God be with you, that's the first thing you said that's not made me want to batter you" Aisling said truthfully but there was a hint of humour to her words.

"I'd love to see you try." Ken chuckled and stood up, "I'll fetch us the bottle, got to keep the good stuff hidden away or it'll be gone in a bang." and disappeared for a long minute.

Aisling watched him leave feeling regretful that she'd left her terminal back on her bunk, she hadn't been expected to do anything more than pop into the galley so hadn't felt she needed it. Whilst she waited she tapped her fingers against the table to the beat of an old song called by a late 20th band called The Cranberries. She'd not listened to it much, but it had always stuck with her since they'd learnt about 20th-century Ireland in school. "Zombie. Zombie..." She mumbled quietly, happy to focus on recalling the song in favour of going over the days events again.

It looked properly old. Real glass, green-tinted, with a proper real cork stopper. A small stone sat on top of it. Ken sat down across from Aisling and cracked a happy smile as he looked at the bottle. He ran his finger of the embossed glass before setting it down. It was half-empty and had been with Ken ever since he bought the 'Tross. A gift for himself.

"Are we just going to admire it?" Aisling quipped, though her eyes were fixated the bottle. After so much time on the Rockhopper the offering Ken had returned with seemed to be the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. It was no secret that Vector Red was about cutting costs, the rustbuckets crew of two had had access to nothing more than the most basic of necessities. Enough to keep them efficient.

Ken took the stopper out of the bottle and took a sniff. His eyes closed in delight. "There's some real glassware in the cabinet." the engineer gestured to one of the cupboards. "Grab us two, would you?"

"Fancy," Aisling commented with a smirk and she complied and went to retrieve them. "Almost as nice as Daddy's," she said, placing them delicately on the table as she sat down, gently pushing them towards Ken.

With a final sniff Ken poured two fingers in each glass before carefully putting the stopper back into the bottle. One glass was slid over, one Ken kept to himself. He picked it up in silent reverence at the over a hundred year whiskey. He looked at the amber liquid, it swirling in his glass before taking a sip. Less than a mouthful, but enough to let the tastes of home wash over him.


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