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Guided Tours Provided (Under Duress)

Posted on Fri Mar 5th, 2021 @ 5:05pm by Comm Tech Wulf Edevane & Ships Engineer Delphi Jammer

Mission: Ticket To Rhea
Location: Albatross
Timeline: Immediately after Delta Tea

Wulf didn't walk. He trudged. It seemed as if the weight of a large, unwelcome asteroid rested upon his shoulders as he walked from the galley - which needed no explanation - to the lounge. He stood then, at the hatchway and pointed so that his 'guests' could see inside. "Lounge," he stated, moodily as if this tour guide business was something he'd endured for decades with no reward, rather than 5 minutes after a polite request. "Kinda self-explanatory. Entertainment's free, I'll hook up your terminals to Tross-net if you have them, if not there are screens both here and in your quarters that you can use. Anything you want, but you can't find, let me know." Cos, apparently, he added in his mind, this is now my job.

"Like Mickey says, you stay well clear of Ops, engineering and the flight deck. And no breaking into the weapons lockers. Trust me, we'll know, there's a hotline to Ken's terminal if anyone so much as looks in their general direction." Wulf sighed, heavily and waited for any questions before moving on. "Communal showers and rooms are on the crew deck, we're headed there next."

"Lucky us, will there be a continental breakfast served to us in the morning too?" Aisling commented as she trailed after Wulf with little enthusiasm. The ship was nice, in fact, compared to the Rockhopper the 'Tross felt opulent, but all things considered, she'd eat her mag boots to get back onto the Rockhopper with Delphi and get back to their mundane servitude, at least there they'd have something better to do than play make-belief and maintain this charade that they where guests.

Delphi walked along beside Aisling, a flat expression on her face as Wulf went about showing them the few places they could go aboard the ship in his less than enthusiastic manner. Really, it seemed like the guy was competing with them for not wanting to be there. The Belter engineer ran a hand through her bright blue hair and took a deep breath.

"Sabe, you no wan't show us around da ship no more, why don't you just shove us into our cells like the prisoners we are and be done wit it? Because you sure no wan't be here, and da feelin's mutual, difference, me and Aisling no have a choice" she said, her voice harsh and thick. "Mi pensa think you be happier to lock us up for da rest of da trip, or blow us out da airlock when no one looking"

Wulf stopped in his tracks and keeping back a little from them both, took a moment to cast a long, slow, upward look at Delphi. He felt the twist in his gut as she spoke, and the weight in those looks from both of them and he tried to push his own fear and judgement down, deep down inside. It wasn't their fault, he reminded himself. They'd not done anything to him. They were new. And this situation really wasn't something that they had chosen either. Was it? He took a moment to control his breathing and winced as he spoke.

"You're not prisoners," Wulf said, and he truly meant that. "And you were about to run into us - hit us with the full weight of your ship - when Ken shot at you." Wulf shrugged and looked awkward as hell as he continued. "Truth is..." the tech admitted with extreme reticence and an obvious nervousness. "I'm afraid of you, alright?" He looked down at his boots. "But yeah, I'll make you breakfast. In the galley though, like you're passengers, not criminals. I think we might have some croissants..."

Delphi laughed loudly and suddenly, she couldn't take it anymore, and there was no mirth or joy in it, rather it was a harsh sound in response to the ludicrous thing Wulf had just uttered. "You hear what this pinché coyo say?" she glanced at Aisling, still laughing her mirthless laugh, then turned her violet eyes back to Wulf, her glare boring into him. "We were on da breaking burn to stop beside da rock and mine, you pop out from other side and shoot us, no way we ever had chance to crash into you!" she said and crossed her arms over her chest. "And we are prisoners, you shot our ship, tried to kill us, you boarded us with guns and power armor, now we stuck here, no choice, no options. Sure we not locked in a cell, but we still prisoners are good as you chain us to a pipe in da hold!" she hissed and jabbed a finger at his chest. "You afraid of us?! That pashang Kaka felota. You have da guns, you have da armor, you watching us, make sure we be good little girls or you shoot us. No matter what you say, we prisoners"

She was breathing heavily, there was rage on her face, but also something deeper, seeping out from under the anger she was projecting, sadness, anguish even. This, being shot down and taken prisoner aboard this ship now after everything else that had happened to her the last couple of years, the Swordfish's destruction, loosing contact with her people, being snapped up and enslaved by Vector Red, this all was just the icing on the cake and she hated it. She did not want to be here, she wanted to be back with her old shipmates in the OPA, her family on Ceres, just anywhere but here.

He backed up fast as Delphi laughed, only to hit a hard stop as Wulf hit wall and found himself caught in the harsh headlights of that pretty-coloured stare. It was a physical sensation, being trapped in that very specific sphere of attention, an unpleasant and unwanted one. Her words hit the tech like rounds from a weapon, each emphasis making him flinch just slightly. Old memories, unfair comparisons that were out of his control.

Then the Belter's prodding finger completed Wulf's nightmare and he closed his eyes for a moment. He was afraid, yes, but that didn't invalidate Delphi and Aisling's situation, or the point the tall woman was in the process of making.

"Kowlting gonya gut(1)," Wulf muttered. "Kowlting gonya gut," he repeated. Breathe in. Breathe out. He opened his eyes, and forced himself to look up into those violet eyes, expression like a kicked puppy but his gaze direct.

"We didn't try to kill you," he said, as calmly as he could muster his voice. "We reacted. And if you worked for Vector Red you were already prisoners." He'd heard enough about that firm from Allegra. "They specialise in indentured servitude rather than employment, right?" Wulf asked, still clearly nervous, but forced to stand his ground because he refused to curl up into the fetal position on the floor.

"I don't have a gun," he added.

Delphi rolled her violet eyes at that last statement. "You shot our ship with a railgun. Shot came close enough to mi crash couch to feel da heat off it" she replied. "And don't matter if you no have a gun, we even breath a way you no like, you or one of your coyo have one real quick." she made a gun shooting gesture with her fingers.

He could argue all day that Ken had fired the shot, but it didn't matter. Wulf knew what she meant, and he was part of the crew that had made that decision. "I don't know what you want me to say," he countered. "'I'm sorry' doesn't seem to cut it, right? Whatever you think, no one on the Tross wants to kill you. If we wanted to kill you, Ken would have done that by now." Wulf was certain of that. "So," he continued down the dark path figuring might as well face that worst fear. "Look at it from my point if view for a second. Don't even need a gun to end someone in space. What's to stop you two killing us?"

The belter engineer laughed again, "What da pashang, coyo. We have nothing, you have the guns, even if not on you now, you da only ones who can get them, you outnumber us, no way we take all you down before you shoot us, give me a break" she crossed her arms, glaring at him, his stupid comment having brought her anger back again. "But if you so scared of a couple unarmed rockhoppers, why not chain us up in da hold and throw away da key, or push us out da airlock?"

"No pedí esto, no quiero esto, ¿por qué me haces estas cosas? Ellos no escucharán," Wulf said, the Spanish words and accent chocolatey in the air between them. "I can't get a gun," he told Delphi. "I'm not allowed a gun on the ship. Why would we bring you here if we just wanted to kill you?" His voice was uneven, not through anger but mild frustration and Wulf stepped just a little closer, though kept his hands in his trouser pockets, his body slouched. "I can't turn back time," he continued, with far more apology than sarcasm. "What do you want from me?"

"To maybe understand that no matter how scary this is for you it was definitely a magnitude more traumatic for us" Aisling replied equally defensively, "We almost died, sure you're taking us in and offering us safe passage but your ship's original greeting was hardly a welcoming one" she carried on waving her arms a little, but with her rant over her expression softened a little, she could tell there was no ill-will from their tour guide, "We're not just gunna' be skipping around the corridors full of laughter, it's gunna' take time for us to not associate your crew with what happened".

Wulf sighed with his whole frame, heavy and weary, and he considered biting back. Then he changed his mind as Aisling's logic and reason filtered through his ego and pride and settled into the part of the tech's brain that needed to hear sense. He bowed his head as he spoke. "Yeah, okay," Wulf begrudgingly admitted. "I get what you're saying." He buried his own issues down just a little deeper and sucked up the history that was really nothing to do with these two fine Belter women. They hadn't, as Aisling and Delphi had both now pointed out, enemies with intent, but victims of circumstance.

"You'll be safe here," Wulf said as he looked up to meet each pair of new eyes in turn. "I promise."

There really was nothing else for Delphi to say, unless she wanted to rial the argument back up, which she didn't. Aisling had explained their side of things pretty well and, for the moment at least, Wulf seemed to have backed off. Not that she had any intention of trusting him, or any of the crew, at all, not for a long while with a lot of convincing at least.

She was tired. The engineer stuffed her hands into her jumpsuit pockets and waited for the tour to resume.

Down the tall ladder than spanned the ship's length, Wulf took the Tross' latest guests. From top to bottom, was the bridge and Ops deck, followed by the galley and mess hall/lounge, then crew quarters, next engineering/medical and Ken's (with an extra desk that had begrudgingly become Wulf's) machine shop, and finally the cargo bay. For now, at least, Aisling and Delphi were limited to the two decks containing crew quarters and the galley/mess hall, but that was enough room to walk about and relax some, if they felt able at some point.

"This is the shower room," Wulf pointed out, opening the door to the small wet room. "Go easy on the water, we gotta long trip ahead before we can resupply."

"We know the drill, the Rockhopper hardly had premium facilities" she joked, never taking her eyes off of the shower unit, nothing had ever seemed so beautiful, "almost as good as the one we had back home" she commented, redirecting her attention to Wulf.

He couldn't help it, he really couldn't, it was just impossible at that point not to imagine Aisling naked in a shower and so there was a long - too long - moment of absolute silence. A silence in which Wulf's brain fought to indulge himself in said very welcome imagery while his subconsciousness repeatedly reminded him that he was standing right in front of the object of said perfect vision. "Uh," the tech finally managed to break the internal mental loop. "Uh... Where's home?"

Delphi eyed Wulf sideways like as he seemed to skip more than a few beats and stare at Aisling a bit longer than the engineer was comfortable with. "Da belt" She answered flatly for both herself and Aisling. She could only wonder what was going through his mind at the moment, he seemed to mentally stall often. Maybe plotting ways to bring about their demise, or, more likely, especially since he had gone into the short stupor when telling them about the shower, mentally undressing them, or more specifically, Aisling. That thought made Delphi shudder a bit.

She also had no intention on going easy with the water, at least the first couple showers, the Belter engineer figured they were owed the luxury of a long shower or two after these people had holed their ship.

"That narrows it down," muttered Wulf. "But, anyways, this level is as far as you two go." He led Delphi and Aisling down the corridor from the communal shower and tapped on the panel to open the currently empty crew quarters. As the room beyond was revealed, it was reasonably large, battleship grey in colour and providing a little space to move around between the bunks. The tech pointed to a screen up on the wall. "I'll hook this up for ya so you get the Entertainment package," he promised, then lurked awkwardly at the entrance. "All yours," Wulf added after a moment of them all simply standing there. "If you need anything, just let me know," he indicated the comm panel inside the quarters. "I'm linked into the ship's system so you can contact me from here."


OOC:(1) Everything will be fine.


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