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Who Are You

Posted on Sun Apr 10th, 2022 @ 9:39am by Alden Loxley & Cooper O'Reilly & Alison Bliss & Daiyu & Chloe Waltz PhD & Kindra Graham & Jacy Wright & Whit

Mission: Twas The Twelve Days of Travel
Location: Fortune's Echo
Timeline: November 4, 2517 - Morning

With Karen Dawson safely on her way off to new adventures, so that new night after a helluva day, there was another bunk free on Fortune's Echo. Cooper took the loft space the doctor had previously occupied, and the passenger dorm below was freed up for their new medical professional. If that was in fact who 'Jacy Wright' was.

Out in the Black, that shipboard night was quiet, Alden and Ali resting wounded heads, Cooper nursing a bottle of whiskey in his bunk and the stubborn little Firefly making its way onwards with all those unique audio markers chiming together to push her forwards through the darkness between the stars. Morning dropped with the shift in lighting, bringing the ragtag bunch of humans into another day.

Breakfast was rarely a private affair and they had twelve days before landfall on Three Hills so there was really no particular rush in which to determine who she was. Alison's vouchsafe via Kindra was more than enough for Alden to be happy enough with Jacy on board, but that didn't mean he wasn't curious.

And so, over hot beverages along with bread rolls, bacon and eggs freshly gleaned from the Li Shen's marketplace (thanks to Jonas and Cooper), Alden addressed the stranger at the table.

"So, Jacy, how d'yall know each other?" He asked, flashing a quick smile to the third of their blonde ladies. "Apparently you fixed Ali up once or twice? Until recently we all thought she was indestructible..."

At Alden's question to Jacy, Kindra looked up from the orange she'd been peeling. She bought a bag of them at Li Shen's, and the rest of the oranges were piled into a large bowl on the table. Kindra was also curious about Jacy and Alison's shared past, but had been reluctant to pry.

James and Jonas exchanged glances, but said nothing, their mouths too full of food. Alden refilled any half empty mugs with coffee from the pot and looked from Jacy to Alison with mild concern. His partner in hopefully-not-too-much crime wasn't quite back up to full speed, but the fact she was sitting up and eating felt like a miracle.

"Thanks for helping us," Alden said, his voice quieter. "It got... kinda scary."

Alison took just a few bites, and not feeling hungry, she pushed the plate away. Leaning against the chair, she still felt lightheaded and there was discomfort in her eyes and nose. She glanced curiously at Jacy. After all, the satisfying curiosity of Alden, like most of the other gathered people around her, was up to her. Besides, Alison wanted Jacy to stand on her own among the crew.

It was strange, sitting around eating breakfast with a ship full of strangers. Though, technically, Jacy did kinda know Alison. And she had met Kindra and Chloe in the bookstore, yet still…strange. She had just pinched off a piece of her bread to nibble on when the Captain’s question came. If that wasn’t a leading question, she didn’t know what one was. Her blue gaze shifted up and around the table, noting the interest and curious looks. But her gaze lingered the longest on Ali, before continuing around to Alden. She smiled, hoping it was pleasant enough,

She was concerned about the woman, but only time would tell just how well Alison was recovering. There was no doubt that it had gotten scary, “Once, yes. Though, I guess that’s twice now.”

"Thank you, Doc," noted Alden with a great deal of sincerity colouring his tone.

Alden was worried for Alison too, curious as to why Daiyu had been unaffected, and in serious denial over his own background headache nagging at his mind. His hearing was mildly improved after last night's rest, but there was definitely still a sense of blurriness and 'ringing' as if someone had hidden a tiny bell and a pocket of water in his eardrums. He ignored both and reserved his concerns for his pilot and partner, and he didn't miss the new doc's genuine look t'wards Alison either.

"Now y'all have coffee and some sleep behind ya," Alden noted, addressing the whole gathering. "P'raps we can do some proper intr'ductions." He smiled, and forearms on the table, toast in one hand, a rasher of crispy bacon in the other, he laid his palms upwards and flat against the long table in an open gesture of welcome and took the lead. "I'm Alden Loxley, Captain of this fine boat - Fortune's Echo. I hail from Ezra, still have family there, but it's been a while since I've been back. Right now, I'm taking us to Three Hills, see my little brother, get some repairs done." He looked to Alison judging whether he was speaking for her or not before continuing.

"You know me." Tall and skinny platinum blonde said slowly and sighed before she continued and introduced herself. "Alison Bliss. I fly the Fortune's Echo. That is when my captain doesn't try to kill me." She said accusingly but lighthearted enough to make sure it was a joke.

Kindra had finished pealing the orange and had bit one of the sections in half. The sweet citrus flavor was delightfully refreshing on her tongue after her savory egg and bacon. Whatever really happened on Li Shen station, Alison could joke about it whilst implying that Alden was in some way complicit. Huh. Kindra swallowed her bite of orange and smiled at the Echo's new medic, introducing herself following the example Alden set, although they'd met in the bookstore. "I'm Kindra Graham, I rent the port shuttle. I'm from Persephone, where my stepmother still resides."

While Alden's smile in response to Alison was bittersweet, he didn't deny her jovial accusation. This was entirely his fault, and he knew it. His gaze skimmed Ali's face, then shifted gratefully from James and Jonas as they introduced themselves, to Cooper as the big guy spoke.

"Cooper," he said. "Imma Shepherd." And so, eloquence deftly avoided, the verbal buck was passed towards Tristan, Whit, Daiyu and Chloe.

"Whit. Pleased tameetcha." Whit tugged at his collar to show he was also a Shepherd.

"I'm Daiyu...and I get people killed." She hung her head in shame and let her black locks obscure her face.

"That ain't on you, lil lady," Cooper interjected, resting a big paw of a hand on Daiyu's shoulder and handing her the basket of thick bread slices. "Folks doing the killing just tryin' to steal you, that ain't yer fault."

"He's right, Daiyu," Alden agreed, ignoring the heated look he suspected was aimed at him from his pilot. "You haven't killed anyone, it's happening around you. You feel safe with us, right? Ain't no one at this table aiming to end you or each other."

It took all of Chloe effort's not to scoff at Cooper's denial of Daiyu's statement. The woman would be surprised if the crazy botanist hadn't killed somebody, at this rate. Instead she just looked over at Jacy and shrugged, ignoring the little side conversation. "I'm Chloe." She said simply. "The engineer. Though I guess this job is more mechanic work than engineering work."

Kindra choked on her last bite of orange, and swallowed it down with a gulp of her cooled tea. She raised an eyebrow, looking from Chloe to Alden, with a glance at Daiyu. Had Alden already forgotten that man on Santo? Did Alden know about the violent threats Daiyu liked to make toward Chloe? Or the constant stream of insults toward Alison? Kindra was no psychiatrist, but Daiyu clearly needed cognitive behavioral therapy and psychotropic medication. Whatever actually happened on Li Shen's, Daiyu hadn't gotten any of the medical help she needed. And if anyone on the ship should be fully informed about Daiyu's condition, it was the ship's medic.

After her weeping had fallen to a dull simper, Daiyu's voice turned to song. Low and husky at first, the melody turned haunting as the verse progressed.

"You haven’t an arm and you haven’t a leg,
Hurroo! hurroo!
You haven’t an arm and you haven’t a leg,
Hurroo! hurroo!
You haven’t an arm and you haven’t a leg,
You’re an eyeless, noseless, chickenless egg;
You’ll have to be put with a bowl to beg:
Och, qin ai dei, I hardly knew ye!

At the last, Daiyu turned quiet as quickly as she'd begun. Her vacant stare drifted across the table, questioning any stares she was under.

He felt the internal kick from his own brain as the mood about the table shifted, and Alden focused intently on his bacon. As much bacon as he could cram into his mouth so as to avoid saying anything else for a few moments at least. Daiyu's haunting song provoked a deeper emotional reaction in him, one that he didn't feel a need to demonstrate right now. There was only trouble in drawing more public attention to the complicated young woman and he really wasn't in the mood to make things any worse.

Cooper babied the dark-haired emotional 8-ball with the consistent placement of his hand on her shoulder, but didn't use any words to try and affect Daiyu's mood or moment. He was the hard, immovable rock to the unstable avalanche and that was all he could be right now.

Alden hadn't missed Kindra's near-choke, or the look that shifted from Chloe to himself and on towards the ticking time-bomb that sat alongside the table with them. What he'd done here wasn't lost on Echo's captain, but it wasn't fixable swiftly or easily or by himself alone either. What he did need to do, however, was resolve this messed up mix of information. Soon. Now, really. For that, though, he needed a chat with the Shepherds.

"We'll have a ship's meeting later," Alden said. "Discuss current business and all it's..." he looked from Ali to Whit and then picked a spot in between and just above their heads. "Intricacies. Medical and otherwise. But before we can do that, Ali and I need some quiet time with our Shepherd friends. For now, let's just try to make it alive through breakfast and I'll take the blame for anything anyone's pissed about. Deal?"



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