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Landfall: Drop Off and Pick Up

Posted on Fri Oct 9th, 2020 @ 4:44pm by Alden Loxley & Alison Bliss & Karen Dawson MD & Daiyu & Chloe Waltz PhD & Jonas Bailey

Mission: Just A Short Hop to Priam
Location: Priam Docks
Timeline: Day 17 Early Morning

Breakfast. That was the first thing on Alden's mind as their landing gear hit hard ground and Alison completed their journey from Hera. He stood, not on the bridge, but ready on the cargo bay ramp, thumb on the big button that released all the safeties and lowered that slope to freedom.

Thank fuck. He needed some fresh air and a little distance from the confines of the ship, but Alden didn't simply disappear into the busy docks, no. He stood there and waited for those who wished to wander to usher past him, counting passengers and crew off like a concerned father.

"Three hours," Alden told them. "Be back in three hours, okay?"

Karen waved her walkie in front of Alden, "Please let anyone else staying aboard know I have this... I'll stay in walking distance, though Daiyu's breathing isn't likely to worsen now - Never be too certain this close to an episode like that. Still, there a tastey you want me to buy for you or Daiyu? And who's watching her while we're out in port?"

Karen sounded like a mother hen to both Alden and Daiyu, despite her feelings for the latter. It was also her best attempt at a peace offering for disrespecting him in front of Bailey too.

"Doc," Alden spoke gently but with a clear sense of confident authority. "We'll be fine." His hand gifted Karen's shoulder a firm squeeze of supportive attention. "No side missions, no secrets going on here, okay? When I go into town, I'll take Daiyu with me. Relax. Go walkabout. I'll see you in a coupla hours, how?"(okay?)

Though she had never been to Priam before, at least to her knowledge, Daiyu was excited to get out to see it. She wasn't allowed near her plants without supervision. This would be almost a walk in the park by comparison.

Karen took a deep breath and exhaled. She was prepared to answer when she heard heavy boots head down the stairs. She blushed slightly when she saw Alison. They had yet to talk about that romp. Karen wasn't sure she was ready for that discussion, not with everything else going on at the moment.

He didn't miss the obvious and overt blush, but Alden didn't add verbal fuel to that particular fire. Curious as he was to see if they went anywhere beyond drunken - whatever that was - this was something Karen and Ali had to sort out between them.

Alison came down the stairs onto the bay floor. She had heavy military boots but remained relatively quiet. The tight-fitting denim pants, cream tank top and flannel shirt over that tight under her bust completed the outfit. Her holstered gun was sported on the belt and she also had a bag over her shoulder.

She gave a careless salute to Alden as she approached.

“Three hours. Sure.” Alison confirmed, stopping. “Are you going to take care of the supplies?”

Alden fired back a messy salute and grimaced. "Yes, pilot," he confirmed, giving Ali a lopsided smile along with a comical tilt of his head. "I'll get the supplies. Promise I've no plans to do anything stupid," he added.

"I never had you for one who plans to do anything stupid, captain." Alison said without changing expression of her face.

Karen waved casually and exited the ship. Nothing like a good tea and cakes to get her mind of the craziness.

He waved back, and Alden sincerely hoped this visit would be considerably less traumatic than the last one. He turned to his lightweight shadow as Daiyu spoke.

"Can I get a new coat?" Daiyu asked. "My old one... I lost it." Truth be told, it was bloodstained and sodden in a Hub gutter back on Hera, but Daiyu knew better than to share that. "It was no good anyway."

"A new coat?" Alden considered this for a moment, casting his gaze off into the distance as if it were an tricky and important decision. "Yes, Daiyu," he agreed, and he shot Alison a look that suggested this wasn't up for discussion. "If you stay right beside me while we're in town and you don't draw attention to us, you can have a new coat. Anything else you need?" He asked, curious rather than compliant to further requests.

"Depends..." Daiyu fluttered her dark almond eyes with a coy look on her face. "Does Priam have a nursery?"

"The plant kind?" Risked Alden, going on what he'd seen of this young woman so far. "Yeah, imagine so." His brow furrowed as he thought about this for a moment. "How would you feel about tomato plants?" He asked. "Or maybe strawberries?" If Daiyu's green thumb could grow some fruit on board Fortune's Echo, it just might ease some tensions all round.

"Those are summer crops," Daiyu said. "Needs lots of sunlight, more than my little lamp can give." She tilted her chin to the side and slyly asked, "But if the spare room where my plants were moved was converted into an aeroponic bay with lots of extra grow lights, larger fruits and vegetables would be possible." Looking down, she said, "All I can manage now are some herbs and small shoots, and that was... before..."

Before her lockdown.

Alden cast his gaze out to the streets beyond the end of the cargo ramp, busy port, lots of people, a mix of nicely dressed folk and the workforce, but no visible altercations and no voices raised in anger. He steeled himself and then looked back, down at the young woman beside him.

"Before the Doc had to step in and save your life," he finished Daiyu's sentence for her, voice gently firm. "Now, I'd be all for this fancy plan to grow our own fruit and veggies," Alden agreed. He patted the bulkhead above his head lovingly. "But... I need to keep everyone on this ship safe. You understand? And if I'm to consider investing in a project such as this - aeroponic? - bay of which you speak, I'd need to be sure that the person in charge of that was sane, rational and trustworthy. You see my issue?"

"If I spot anyone who is insane, irrational, and untrustworthy, I will be sure to point them out." Daiyu's normally stoic face ticked up with the makings of a sassy smile.

Alden grinned and let the young woman have that one. He looked behind him, quietly gauging who was where and when he might slope off to get some chores done.

Jonas was leaned against one of the struts near the top of the ramp. "Quite the spry crew ya got here, Alden. Three hours is a long time to get into some kind of trouble. Reckon I'll help with supplies so as to stay out of it." He turned to Daiyu, smiling. "You're a feisty one. Kinda like that deranged honey badger Alden and I caught years ago. Now there's a story."

The Echo's captain caught his friend's eyes and nodded, then followed Jonas' gaze as it tracked to Daiyu.

"You think I'm deranged?" Daiyu flatly asked. "And feisty." She chewed on the word as though sampling a cheese platter. "I think you're big and hairy."

"Nah, honey badger was deranged. Don't know ya well enough to call you that. You just seem feisty." He pushed himself off the strut and walked towards them. "And you're not wrong about big and hairy," he added with a smile and chuckle. He tossed his dreadlocks with his hands a little and fluffed them out. "Does it make me look bigger?"

Daiyu shook her head, making her loose dark hair jostle across her cheeks. "No. Your tight pants do that."

Chloe watched this all in silence. Alden closed his eyes and wrinkled his nose.

Alison was thinking of leaving, but as more people arrived at the ramp and words were exchanged, she decided to hang around and have a feel of the interactions. With sadness she noticed that the spirit they had before Noah-Jade death, before Jacob left was gone. She sighed.

"You two want to get the supplies in then?" Alden suggested, looking to Jonas and Chloe. "I have a list," he told them, pulling a crumpled piece of paper from his trouser pocket. "Daiyu and I'll pick up a couple things, and then Tristan can help me run some checks."

Once they'd all made it back, James and Niamh could take a turn out in the town, but someone needed to stay with the ship. "Ali," Alden added, noting his old friend still lurking close by. "You need a hug?" His expression suggested he was serious.

Alison frowned.

"I think I manage." She said somewhat amused. "Someone might get wrong ideas on fornicating or something." She let herself for a toothy smile and started walking away, leaving the Echo behind.

Honestly, it warmed his heart to see Ali smile, even if she did then drop off the ramp to join the people milling about the docks themselves. "Look out, Priam," said Alden as he watched her go. "Here comes trouble."

Alison turned around and walking gracefully backwards she winked to Alden.
"You know they won't see me coming." She said before she turned back again and vanished in the crowd.

Jonas chuckled at Alison's comment. "Guess I won't be livin' that one down for a while. Meantime, I reckon we can go shopping. Whaddya think, Chole?" Jonas reached for the crumpled paper.

"I suppose," Chloe said, not showing much enthusiasm. Shopping so soon? She was in over her head.

"Thanks you two," Alden said, with a significant look to Jonas. "Look after each other and let James know when you're back, so he can head out. Anything provision you can't get on that list, just improvise." He wasn't sure if Chloe had shopping skills, but he trusted Jonas to locate edible food well enough.

Looking at Alden who watched Alison leave, Daiyu asked, "Are you going to fornicate with her too? I think she wanted to fornicate with me before..." She turned her head aside and stared at the ground. Before she chugged medicinal alcohol.

Alden mock-choked at the suggestion. "No," he answered after a moment's pause. "Ali's kinda like an extra sister. A gorgeous, dangerous, brutally honest sister." Best way to think about his business partner and co-owner for sure, even if he had had a few unsisterly thoughts in their time together. "Hey," Alden reminded Daiyu. "Remember what I said. No one here is gonna do that with you, unless, you know," he added awkwardly and with a complicated look that mixed uncertainty and confusion. "Unless, you both wanted to. You're safe here, Mei Mei." Safe as the rest of them at least.

"C'mon," Alden shifted subjects. "Let's go find you that coat." And, he considered, a client and/or a cargo.

Daiyu hesitated, but soon let her small hand slide into Alden's as she let him guide her away from the ship.



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