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Episode 4: Back on Track; Coming Back On Board
Topic Started: Jan 20 2016, 12:28 AM (3,892 Views)
ILEV Constable
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Yes, all of the repairs were made. Blood cleaned up. Supplies restocked. Crew healing up nicely.

The work had all been done by members of the IAV Albright. They were supervised closely. Adria and Melody tag teamed the overall repairs throughout the ship. Lily had gone over stuff in the Bridge. Steph supervised everything in the engine room as she also checked in with wiring and mechanics of just about everything.

When they had down time, it was spent in various ways. Melody and Adria did their own things. Andrew seemed to make himself scarce. Adria would know why, but she didn't let on, no matter how much she wanted to stick it to him. Lily spent time 'entertaining' folks. Boy was she popular and she made a boatload of coin. She was happy; not having to give a cut to an enforcer was fantastic. Steph spent as much time as she could with David too. Alexander seemed to spend time getting to know his new home, especially with the onboard computers. Hutch was making a wonderful recovery too.

There were also some changes. Zeke had healed up nicely and headed towards his home planet, stating that he needed some time dirtside, although he promised to keep in touch. Marshal Jude Kendall was reassigned to another charge, which annoyed him some. He liked bantering with Melody. They had also acquired two knew crew members. Corlain Wallace, the new on board Witness Protection Officer, was now in charge of David and Rasputina Elizabeth Zokirova was their new forensics officer. The ship was filling up and now they needed to shove off.

This episode starts out in the Galley. Open posting is now allowed.
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Captain Jeremiah Hutchins
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Hutch
Hutch was glad to be back on board his ship. Plus he was more than happy to be in one piece. The wound he had gotten from Winston had blown clear through him, but somehow the doctor they had liberated from the Bonnie Calico had done a superb job at piecing him back together. So well, he had sent word to offer the man a job. As far as he knew, he had accepted. He was still mighty sore though.

And he was hungry. Ravenous even. The food in the Albright's infirmary left much to be desired. Some of their fresh food was something he looked forward to.

He also had yet to meet his new folks, even his new XO, Melody Malone. He had heard that she had stopped by once or twice, but he slept an awful lot during the beginning of his recovery. The only person he saw on a regular basis was Adria and he got to know her a lot better. It had perplexed him why she didn't spend more time with Andrew; he had thought they were pretty tight. Something had obviously changed.

He was surprised that he hadn't seen Lily much either, but he figured that she was quite busy while they were there. It never really bothered him before, but he felt a little twang of something when it came to knowing that she was conducting business. Anyway, Adria was probably keeping everyone up to date and he had needed the rest.

So he went about making himself something to eat, even though he was ignoring a bit of uncomfortableness in his gut. He was at 80% currently, but would be back to normal soon.

So he hummed a lively tune as he cooked.
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Adria Stark
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The recent down time had been much needed by Adria. She needed the break from the ship and the memories it held, and the distraction. Spending time with Hutch was fun. He was good company, and easy on the eyes. Adria was pretty sure he could tell something had changed between her and Andrew... he wasn't stupid, after all... but he didn't ask questions about it and she couldn't have been more grateful. While she noticed Andrew's scarcity, she didn't let herself think about what he might be up to. She told herself she didn't give a good gorram anymore, but if she let herself think about it certain possibilities would occur to her that would just piss her off even more. And make her hurt more too, but that was another thing she didn't want to think about.

So instead she focused on having fun, and on getting to know Hutch and some of the other crew better. Jude's departure was pretty sucky, but there wasn't anything that could be done about it. She had made sure to spend some time with him before he left, and told him to keep in touch if he could. Zeke had turned out to be alright, but she hadn't gotten close to him. She did wish him well, though. Titus's death was... well, losing a good looking man like that was always a shame, but she wasn't especially broken up about it. He had been kind of a tool, truth be told. The new people that had come aboard... she didn't have any particular feelings about them one way or another. Though the new doctor was a nice bit of eye candy. As for David and Steph... she was a little envious, but she was glad someone was getting some action. Someone she liked reasonably well, that is. Those two seemed to be alright sorts... though she still wondered what the hell David's story was.

The strangest thing though was having a roommate. Adria hadn't had one... at least, not a female one... in a long time. Not for a good many years now. Mostly she had had a room to herself, or she shared with a man she was shagging for a while. Space on board a ship was at a premium though, so as long as her personal boundaries weren't infringed on she could deal with it. At least it wasn't the blonde skank that insisted on lingering on the ship like a rank fart someone let loose. That was the one thing where she just flat out did not understand Hutch, if she had to pick just one. Why he kept the bitch on was beyond her. Surely the Albright had someone vastly more qualified than a mere streetwalker to be a pilot. Especially considering the purpose of this ship. But Adria was smart enough not to bring it up... for now. Sooner or later blondie would prove to be a liability... again... rather than an asset, and when that happened... all Adria was going to say was that she made no promises as to what would happen.

The downside to all the down time they had had was that Adria was left feeling restless. She wasn't used to it. She was too used to being on the move, to chasing leads and working a case of one kind or another. Normally, she would have burned off the energy with a good lay... or a series of good lays... but that was not an option right now. So instead, she woke well before breakfast and made her way to the training area, making ample use of the workout equipment there. After that, came a good long hot shower. By then it was nearing time for breakfast, and Adria's stomach was making that fact known. Once she returned to her room, she dropped her workout clothes in the laundry receptacle and sat down on the edge of her bed to pull on her socks and lace her boots on. She tried to be reasonably quiet in case her roommate was still sleeping, but some noise was inevitable.
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Rez
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After her time spent on the Albright, the first night on Constable was a cakewalk. Rasputina had slept like a baby, even in the presence of a new roommate who, thankfully, was another woman and therefore felt a lot safer than most of the men she had, in the past, brought home from a bar or club and cohabitated with for a few hours.

Yes, it was nice.

That being said, she wanted to make a good first impression on the new crew, and had endeavored to not sleep in late. She had hoped to be one of the first to arrive to whatever crew gathering introduced the day and, while she did take advantage of the Snooze button the first time, she refrained on the second, and she still hadn't been awake before Adria (the name of the roommate in question, who was clearly a dutiful woman indeed.) So, she took advantage of Adria's absence and did her showering while the woman was away (hoping beyond hope to avoid the awkwardness of Adria returning while she was still in the shower and therefore having to wait and potentially catch Rez unclad save for being betoweled, if that was a word) and then started to unpack in the intervening time.

She had barely managed to hear Adria come in from her room in their shared suite before the woman was disappeared into the shower for her own cleansing. Which, if Rez was being honest, was a good quality. Not subjecting others to your sweaty body whenever possible was certainly best practice. So, she continued to settle in and make her room her own while Adria washed, only coming out when she was certain the woman was dressed. She found the dark-haired roommate putting on her boots. She smiled.

"Oh, hey there, Adria." She rubbed the back of her neck, that being the extent of her planned conversation. Nicely done. She pushed herself forward, however, trying not to come across as, in the scientific terms, a total ruttin' weirdo. "I really appreciate how considerate you are in the mornings. I'm sure you're not used to having someone else in here, especially a stranger. So, thanks, and I'll try to return the favor as best I can." There was a beat, "Though sometimes I can be a bit klutzy so, mea culpa in advance if I knock a bunch of stuff over and make a racket and... yeah."

She laughed, and decided to stop there. Being on the new ship had sent her into an emotional upswing, a welcome change from the rollercoaster ride she'd experienced with Corlain on the Albright. She knew it wasn't possible to flat out avoid him the whole time she was on Constable, but she was going to do her level best. There was no doubt the man thought her pretty crazy at this point. Best to bury that and start afresh with Adria, her captive audience. Having one friend aboard was probably a good thing.
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Stephanie Grayson
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Stephanie had died and gone to Heaven.

She had that thought at least three times a day. Sometimes three times an hour.

She spent her days helping with Constable's refit. The vagaries of the Alliance paperwork eluded her, but somehow the Captain made everything official. She had a new IdentCard. A bank account, with actual money in it. Clothes of her own. Full access to the Cortex... including technical and engineering courses, that she could take for free, for actual university credit. The Alliance engineers completing the ship's repairs answered her questions, actually showed her what the technical manuals talked about. Every moment she wasn't up to her elbows in the ship's innards, working alongside the refit crews, she filled with reading and study, devouring every scrap of information she could lay her hands on.

She spent her nights with David. Mastering an entirely different skillset.

There were rough patches. Saying good-bye to Zeke was difficult. The Noisy Oyster had been her home, and the Captain had looked out for her when he had no real reason to. That ship had been her home - and she tried not to think about the little shoebox of personal effects now burnt and scattered across the vastness of space. The only photos she'd had of her family. The biathalon medal. Her brother's dogtags. She still had the multitool he'd given her for her tenth birthday, the one she carried everywhere... but that was all. Watching Zeke walk away was a little like letting go of all of them, all over again.

And there were nightmares.

The burn on her arm healed without a scar, but sometimes when she woke in the dead of night, covered in cold sweat, she could still smell scorched flesh, could still feel every nerve screaming in white-hot agony. She could hear the screams of the man she'd burned alive. The gunfire, the corpses falling to the deck, the cold smirk of the golden-haired assassin... the doctor with her head smashed in, Titus with his neck twisted at that awful angle. She would run and run and run through corridors that never ended, maintenance shafts that grew tighter and smaller until she couldn't move, couldn't breathe...

David was always there, to hold her until the shaking stopped. To chase the demons away.

Steph walked into the galley with her very own P.A.D. under her arm, freshly showered and neatly dressed in a clean set of official coveralls. She draped her toolbelt over the back of one of the chairs and went straight for the coffeemaker. "Good morning, Captain!" she said cheerfully.
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Corlain Wallace
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It had been an odd few days. First with the escaped prisoners and the short confinement with Rez, then the docking of the Constable and the weird feeling like he was halfway on the ship and halfway off.

He’d met the witness he was to guard - as peculiar a man as his file was vague - and seen the other Marshal off. He was glad the man didn’t take it too badly; getting pulled off a witness was hard enough, but under the circumstances, well… It didn’t take a master detective to figure out why the WPA would make such a switch. With the exploits of the Constable coming to light and some deep pocketed politician’s pet idea paying off, the attention of the media would soon be swung on the ship and its crew. The public was fickle and would cotton better to a younger agent. It’d make a better snapshot of the WPA to have their boldest and brightest on such a revolutionary ship. Additionally, if anyone did any digging - which the media generally did - it would come to light that Cor had even helped fight corruption among his fellow marshals. As much as that fact may have irritated some people, it made him a better poster boy.

It was all just theory on Cor’s part and it was certain that the WPA always had several reasons for everything they did, but he’d seen a hint of resentment reflected in Kendall's eyes and figured he might be having the same thoughts. Pity, he seemed like a good man and Cor really didn’t wish him ill.

He’d met some of the other crew as well, though, not as many as he would have liked; they all seemed to need some R&R and nobody likes a stranger butting in on that, so he generally gave them their space.

He’d taken a gander at the medbay before things were cleaned up and come away with a distinct impression that the two soldiers had known their attacker was present, but hadn’t expected him - or her - to shoot them. The way their bodies had been turned, the angle of the gunshot wounds, even the expressions on their faces - though generally contorted in death - seemed to speak to their surprise. It was just a general impression he got and he certainly could have been wrong, but it disturbed him. He wrote a short report on the situation for Captain Murch, but it was doubtful the man would ever read it; he had his own people investigating.

There was a positive, he’d finally managed to catch up on sleep.

The repairs were finished on the Constable, but Cor had found himself waiting until as late as possible to make the actual move. He'd brought with him a small box of the few possessions he kept on hand - the rest of his possessions were stashed in a small apartment on Bernadette - and moved into his new quarters. They were cozy and had direct access to the hall - something he appreciated greatly.

His new neighbor was the ship's Doctor; a good man if his public record was any indication. It'd likely take a little while to get used to the arrangement, as anyone so much as opening his door would be certain to wake Cor, let alone having to cross through the room, but he was sure they'd work out a schedule pretty quickly. Especially since Cor tended to be an early riser.

His first night, Cor slept the sleep of the dead. That is, for about five hours. Then he awoke and found himself no longer tired whatsoever. Deciding to take a short walk about the ship and maybe find a nice place to read, he grabbed one of the three books he was currently reading - he never kept more than three, often reading a book through a couple of times before trading it off with some other reader he encountered - and moved silently out into the hallway. Deciding to head toward the bow, he wound up in the back of the auditorium, reading from the light of a small tactical flash he always had on hand.

It was a very good book, a rough copy of an old text from Earth that was. Though it was certainly dated and was no easy read, the information it held was timeless and very informative. This was one Cor had read several times, written by a man named Sun Tzu.

After a time, Cor's ears picked up the sound of a voice coming from the galley. Must be morning. Stretching momentarily, he slipped the book under his arm and made his way toward the source of the noise. Stepping into the room, he found himself in the presence of the Captain himself and a girl he recognized to be the ship mechanic. The Captan seemed a bit stiff, but was looking quite well all things considered.

He hadn't officially met either of them, though he'd read their files; he'd read everyone's files, it made his job easier. Though he certainly wanted to get to know the girl, - anyone so obviously sleeping with a man he was supposed to protect needed to be watched - he made his way first to the Captain.

Extending a hand, he spoke, "Captain Hutchins, we haven't officially met. I'm Corlain Wallace, the new WPA marshal on duty. It's a pleasure to meet you."
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Lily Kincaid
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Lily's Cabin

Lily slid out of bed, crossed the room and slipped on a silky robe and belted it shut. On the other side of the room, a young soldier dressed.

"I had a lovely time, Private," she said as she walked over to him and gave him a lingering kiss. As she did, he deftly unbelted her robe and let his hands roam. She parted from him and re-tied the robe. "Unfortunately, your time has come to an end."

The soldier frowned, but then nodded. He placed her fee in the bowl by the door.

"Can I come back again? When are you leaving?"

"I am not sure, but call me later and if I am still here, then I will see what I can do."

He nodded as he righted his uniform and gave her a little salute. She followed him to the door and opened it, he turned again and gave her another kiss in the opened doorway.

"Are you sure I can't stay another hour? I have the coin."

She smiled.

"Private... Even a girl like me needs to rest now and then."

He left, going aft towards the stairs leading to the cargo bay. Lily looked down the Hall to the Galley. People were gathering there and she could smell Hutch cooking.

Hutch! He was back! She walked down there and gave him a kiss on the cheek.

"Welcome back Captain," she told him and as looked down at his meal. "Make enough for me? I miss your cooking in the morning."

Then she looked around the room and took in who was there.

"Steph, it is good to see you," she said genuinely. "Where is that Companion of yours?"

Then she saw Corlain and approached him and extended her hand.

"I'm Lily, the pilot," she said sweetly. "You must be one of our new crew members. Corlain is it?"
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Captain Jeremiah Hutchins
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Hutch
"Good morning, Captain!"

Hutch stopped his tune and smiled broadly at Steph.

"Good morning Steph," he said warmly. "You doing well? Things looking good with the repairs?"

He was glad that she had agreed to stay aboard. She was young, but she was brilliant. Really knew her stuff.

"Get something to eat. We've been restocked. We have just about everything, even the fresh stuff."

His attention was brought to the man who walked in then. He recognized him from his personnel file, which he read in detail. After all, he hadn't had much else to do while he was in the med bay on the Albright. Thank God for Adria's visits. She probably kept him from going stir crazy.

Corlain Wallace held out his hand as he introduced himself.

"Captain Hutchins, we haven't officially met. I'm Corlain Wallace, the new WPA marshal on duty. It's a pleasure to meet you."

Hutch readily shook his hand with a firm grip.

"Welcome to the crew. I read your file and I am glad to have an agent of your caliber here," he said as he then turned to Steph. "This is Stephanie Grayson. She's our new Chief Engineer. Does a fantastic job, especially under pressure."

He looked down the hall and saw Lily and her client kissing before she sent him away. He scowled a bit and turned back to his meal to make sure it didn't burn. Then she was there, giving him a kiss on the cheek.

"Welcome back Captain," "Make enough for me? I miss your cooking in the morning."

He snorted a little.

"I made enough for everyone, Lily."

Then she moved on and gave greetings to Steph before moving on to Corlain.

"I'm Lily, the pilot," "You must be one of our new crew members. Corlain is it?"

He looked back towards her and she was standing in front of him in that robe of hers and he knew she was naked under it.

"Think you might want to get dressed before meeting new people?" he asked, gruffly. "And do you have to conduct business on the ship? I am sure your clients have bunks of their own."

He took a breath and turned back to his cooking. Why did Lily have to elicit such a response from him? He didn't even know where it was coming from. He couldn't actually be jealous, could he? He was their commanding officer now and that meant he no longer would conduct business with her. He turned his attention to Corlain.

"So I take it you met David? You both getting along?"
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Corlain Wallace
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The Captain had a firm handshake. That was always a good sign, it made Cor fidgety when anyone in command had one of those 'you wouldn't know I was alive if I weren't standing' handshakes. Maybe it was just caused by a mental hiccup that occurred in some people due to the physical contact, but it never really recommended its bearer. Not to him, anyway.

"Welcome to the crew. I read your file and I am glad to have an agent of your caliber here. This is Stephanie Grayson. She's our new Chief Engineer. Does a fantastic job, especially under pressure."

"Can't really speak to caliber, but I'll try not to accidentally discharge my sidearm or otherwise make an annoyance of myself."

Turning to the Engineer, he bowed slighty, "Miss Grayson, a pleasure." Still addressing Stephanie, a sideways glance from Cor caught the tail end of the Captain's scowl and its apparent cause coming down the corridor toward them. Returning his attention to the Engineer, he continued, "It's good to know that the ship is in such competent hands, especially during times of pressure." Finishing with a smile, he blinked with the faintest hint of surprise as the approaching woman kissed the Captain on the cheek.

Well now…

He'd known there was a companion aboard, but he hadn't expected her to be so familiar with the Captain. Maybe she was like that with everyone, but by the Captain's reaction, it was likely more. In all likelihood he'd find out one way or another in short order.

She asked something and Captain Hutchins replied, but Cor missed it. Sometimes his own mind was far too loud.

"Steph, it is good to see you. Where is that Companion of yours?" Well, she was a rather candid one. "I'm Lily, the pilot. You must be one of our new crew members. Corlain is it?"

Before he had time to reply, the Captain spoke up, "Think you might want to get dressed before meeting new people? And do you have to conduct business on the ship? I am sure your clients have bunks of their own."

"Well, I'm not really dressed either but-" Cor glanced down at himself, starting in supposed surprise, "Oh! Well I guess I am. Never mind." With a glimmer of humor in his eye, he shook Lily's offered hand, "Corlain indeed. Now I know who to blame if I get space-sick."

The Captain's question about Cor's charge signaled a slight change is his tone, though it still retained its light humor. He nodded, "Well, we have the shared goal of keeping him from dying, and you know what they say about shared goals being the bedrock of a lasting business relationship." he grinned his easy grin, "In short, I think he's a bit of an arrogant bastard… but I might just like him. I guess time will tell."

The more time he spent around the non-lethal criminal element, the less their various prickles bothered him. Like water off the proverbial duck's back. Though, David could most certainly prove to be a challenge. Every witnesses had a different view of what 'keeping them alive' was supposed to mean. Too often the witness would begin to view the whole situation as a pissing contest between themselves and the WPA marshal assigned to their care. That was generally when things got unpleasant and - obviously enough - that was when the most witnesses were lost.

His methods generally followed the pattern of making the witness feel they could put up with him and, if that didn't work, making their life a living hell as quickly and forcefully as possible until they were willing to put up with him. The shorter the 'pissing contest' stage lasted, the less margin for error.

As long as we're making breakfast… Moving to the Captain's side, Cor grabbed an onion and began chopping it. "Whatever you're making, it'll be better with onion. How often do you get restocked with the fresh stuff, like this?" If this was semi-standard fare, Cor had a feeling he was going to enjoy his time on the Constable more than he had imagined.
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David
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The Galley

David walked through the Galley and sidled up to Steph, bending down to kiss her on the neck.

"Hey beautiful," he whispered. Then he caught the tail end of the conversations going on.

"Think you might want to get dressed before meeting new people? And do you have to conduct business on the ship? I am sure your clients have bunks of their own."

Well... Hutch was in a mood this morning. David tilted his head a little and detected a bit of... Was that jealousy coloring Hutch's comments? He knew of his and Lily's past and it was then that he knew the Captain was not unaffected by Lily's tending to business. Of course Hutch knew she was a whore - he had known that for years, but maybe he just wasn't used to her turning tricks nearly across the hall from him. She was closer to him that he suspected or wanted.

"Well, I'm not really dressed either but-" "Oh! Well I guess I am. Never mind."

Noob. Marshal Wallace had experience, but from his tenure on the Constable, it was very much a world in and of itself. Where else could you have a pilot who just a while back gave up the whoring in the Red Light District only to take a job as a pilot. All without giving up her original job. They certainly didn't follow any clear set of rules.

"Corlain indeed. Now I know who to blame if I get space-sick."

"Ah, she's a fine pilot, Cor," David assured him. "If you get space sick, I would suggest looking into how old the fruity oatey bars were that you ate earlier. Do they even have expiration dates on them?"

Then he realized they were discussing him as well.

"Well, we have the shared goal of keeping him from dying, and you know what they say about shared goals being the bedrock of a lasting business relationship." "In short, I think he's a bit of an arrogant bastard… but I might just like him. I guess time will tell."

He was hurt. Well, not really.

"Arrogant bastard? I'm hurt, Cor... I thought I was more of an arrogant, egotistical bastard."

He wrapped his arms around Steph's waist as she got coffee and pulled her down onto the chair where she had her tool belt draped, landing her in his lap.

Cor then grabbed an onion and a knife and began to chop.

"Whatever you're making, it'll be better with onion. How often do you get restocked with the fresh stuff, like this?"

"What are we having for breakfast?" he asked aloud before whispering in Steph's ear. "I'd like to have you again for breakfast."
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Adria Stark
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Adria and Rez's Cabin:

"Hello" Adria replied in a voice that was friendly and almost cheerful. Well... close enough to pass. Friendly and cheerful weren't quite her usual demeanor, but she did think it was a good idea to at least try to get along with both... especially with... her new roommate, but also the rest of her fellow crewmates. Those crewmates worthy of the effort, anyway. Which meant everyone except the whore and the cheating bastard. "Oh. You're quite welcome" she said, surprised at the thanks. Most people would just take it for granted. She decided she could come to like this woman, given enough time. "You would be correct. It's been a while since I've shared quarters with anyone, so that would be appreciated."

She couldn't help laughing a little herself at the string of words. "It's fine. Really. Usually I'm a pretty heavy sleeper, but generally speaking I've learned over the years how to subconsciously filter out the sounds worth paying attention to and those that are safe to ignore." Adria wouldn't discourage her from trying to be quiet... she wouldn't discourage anyone from that... but she didn't want the woman stressing over it if she did make some noise here and there.

"Now, before we go in for breakfast. Is there anything in particular you prefer to go by?" she asked, standing up after tying her boot laces securely. Adria knew her official name, but what an individual went by in day to day life might be different. Some preferred the formality of a title and their last name, some the informality and casualness of their given first name, and still others preferred a nickname. It varied by personal preference and cultural traditions. Since things seemed to be going so well so far, she didn't want to muck that up by accidentally offending her by calling her something she didn't like or that was too familiar for their current level of acquaintance.
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Stephanie Grayson
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"Good morning Steph. You doing well? Things looking good with the repairs?"

”We’re all squared away, Captain,” Stephanie nodded. ”All the diagnostics came back green, and the last of the resupply inventories should be in your message queue for approval. Constable’s good to go at your word, mechanically-speaking.”

"Welcome to the crew. I read your file and I am glad to have an agent of your caliber here," he said as he then turned to Steph. "This is Stephanie Grayson. She's our new Chief Engineer. Does a fantastic job, especially under pressure."

Turning to the Engineer, he bowed slighty, "Miss Grayson, a pleasure."

Steph blushed at the compliment, and then blushed a little more when she got caught fumbling to not drop her P.A.D. while shifting her half-prepared cup of coffee to her left hand to be ready for a handshake… only to have the new Marshall bow rather than shaking her hand as he had the Captain’s, leaving her to do one of those awkward little half-waves like she’d meant to do that in the first place.

Way to go and disprove that whole grace-under-pressure compliment right off the bat, chowderhead…

”Good morning, Agent Wallace!” she smiled. ”Nice to meet you, sir.”

Then Lily sauntered into the room… always handy for a nice distraction to give her enough time to get the damned blushing under control. Coffee. She could finish putting the sugar and cream in her coffee, and go back to reading up on her coursework without any furth-

"Steph, it is good to see you. Where is that Companion of yours?"

Or not.

”Still asleep!” she replied, trying for a nice, normal tone. What came out was somewhere between smug and flustered, and she restrained the urge to sigh as she felt the heat creeping up the back of her neck.

And then, of course, he magically materialized in the galley, in that fascinating way he had of just gliding through a room unnoticed until he decided to draw every eye in the place. Or maybe that was just her reaction to him.

"Hey beautiful," he whispered, bending down to kiss her on the neck.

”Hey yourself,” she whispered back, grinning in spite of her determination to at least try to behave like a professional, responsible grown-up person in front of her new Captain and the new marshall.

"Well, we have the shared goal of keeping him from dying, and you know what they say about shared goals being the bedrock of a lasting business relationship." "In short, I think he's a bit of an arrogant bastard… but I might just like him. I guess time will tell."

"Arrogant bastard? I'm hurt, Cor... I thought I was more of an arrogant, egotistical bastard."

He wrapped his arms around Steph's waist as she got coffee and pulled her down onto the chair where she had her tool belt draped, landing her in his lap.

"What are we having for breakfast?" he asked aloud before whispering in Steph's ear. "I'd like to have you again for breakfast."


Somehow, he managed to do that without her spilling a drop.

She did that part herself, sloshing scalding hot coffee over the rim of the cup and onto the back of her hand as she hastily put it down on the table before she dumped it altogether.

”Actual food,” she retorted as she levered herself out of his grasp and out of his lap, her face now burning scarlet to the roots of her hair.

She actually had no idea what the captain was cooking, or what else they had in the cabinets to eat, but she decided now would be an excellent time to go find out.
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Lily Kincaid
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The Galley

Lily frowned when Hutch got snippy with her. She didn't like this new Hutch. She didn't like the lack of closeness that they used to share. He used to call her his 'Ai Ren. Now he won't even sleep with her. Heck, he didn't barely talk to her.

"I made enough for everyone, Lily."

Lily was glad that someone was happy. David and Steph. What an unlikely pair. It was too bad that sooner or later, he would get to where he was going and then they would have to part. She hoped that Steph wouldn't be destroyed by it. She had the feeling she would be. Sex meant something to Steph. Lily didn't think she was the type to casually enter into things, but then again, he was a Companion. That gave some indication of a short term affair.

”Still asleep!”

Yes, she was glad that Steph had his comfort. She had been through a lot.

Then she moved to meet the new Marshal.

"Think you might want to get dressed before meeting new people?" "And do you have to conduct business on the ship? I am sure your clients have bunks of their own."

Lily closed her eyes and took a breath.

"Don't be a tyrant, Captain," she retorted. "You said I could conduct my business as I see fit when we were in port. My body; my cabin. It's a much safer environment. There's no collectors or knife wielding serial killers here. So why don't you get off your high horse."

She hadn't meant to be so rough on him, but he was being an ass. She opened her eyes and looked back at Corlain.

"I'm sorry for the bad behavior,"

He took a breath and turned back to his cooking. Why did Lily have to elicit such a response from him? He didn't even know where it was coming from. He couldn't actually be jealous, could he? He was their commanding officer now and that meant he no longer would conduct business with her. He turned his attention to Corlain, who seemed to stammer a bit.

"Well, I'm not really dressed either but-" "Oh! Well I guess I am. Never mind." "Corlain indeed. Now I know who to blame if I get space-sick."

She smiled at him. He was funny. David spoke up and she almost jumped. She hadn't realized that he arrived.

"Ah, she's a fine pilot, Cor," "If you get space sick, I would suggest looking into how old the fruity oatey bars were that you ate earlier. Do they even have expiration dates on them?"

Lily appreciated someone sticking up for her. He and Steph were getting quite cozy. And Steph was blushing again. She wished the girl wouldn't be so self conscious.

"Well, we have the shared goal of keeping him from dying, and you know what they say about shared goals being the bedrock of a lasting business relationship." "In short, I think he's a bit of an arrogant bastard… but I might just like him. I guess time will tell."

He had a nice smile. He moved away from her to help Hutch while David protested some.

"Arrogant bastard? I'm hurt, Cor... I thought I was more of an arrogant, egotistical bastard."

David had a nice sense of humor. She would be sad to see him go too.

"Whatever you're making, it'll be better with onion. How often do you get restocked with the fresh stuff, like this?"

"We will stock up every time we hit dirtside."

David piped up again too.

"What are we having for breakfast?"

"Most likely one of Hutch's famous breakfast casseroles or super stuffed omelets," she offered.

Steph had now turned a special shade of red. David must have said something that got her really, really embarrassed. She somehow got up out of David's lap and began to poke around the Galley.

”Actual food,”

Lily was hungry as well. She was working a lot. It burned quite the few calories.

"I'm starved," she said as she poured herself a glass of water.
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Captain Jeremiah Hutchins
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Hutch
The Galley

Hutch was feeling his little green monster stirring up his emotions. Why was he jealous? And why was she looking at Cor that way. And why was he stammering. At least it seemed like stammering. He couldn't believe he had gotten short with her, but it was driving him crazy.

”Still asleep!”

Well at least Steph and David were getting along. Steph was a good kid. His musing was then cut short when Lily zinged him back.

"Don't be a tyrant, Captain," "You said I could conduct my business as I see fit when we were in port. My body; my cabin. It's a much safer environment. There's no collectors or knife wielding serial killers here. So why don't you get off your high horse."

He blanched at her response. She was right. He had told her that she was free to conduct business if it did not interfere with any investigations. He just wished he didn't know about it.

And why did that bother him? He's known what she has done for years.

"I'm sorry for the bad behavior,"

That made him pause in his duties and his jaw clenched almost painfully. Bad behavior... The nerve...

"Well, I'm not really dressed either but-" "Oh! Well I guess I am. Never mind." "Corlain indeed. Now I know who to blame if I get space-sick."

He smiled at Cor's reference. He doubted Lily's flying abilities though. He could see why, she didn't exactly look like a professional pilot in that... that robe. He stared at it a little and realized that he had given her that robe.

"Ah, she's a fine pilot, Cor," "If you get space sick, I would suggest looking into how old the fruity oatey bars were that you ate earlier. Do they even have expiration dates on them?"

Hutch just kept his head down and focused on the cooking.

"Well, we have the shared goal of keeping him from dying, and you know what they say about shared goals being the bedrock of a lasting business relationship." "In short, I think he's a bit of an arrogant bastard… but I might just like him. I guess time will tell."

David was one that was hard to get a handle on. There was something going on underneath that façade he put up, but Hutch hadn't been able to figure it out yet. He knew he shouldn't try, but it was hard for the investigator in him to not wonder the background behind the relocation.

"Arrogant bastard? I'm hurt, Cor... I thought I was more of an arrogant, egotistical bastard."

"Whatever you're making, it'll be better with onion. How often do you get restocked with the fresh stuff, like this?"

"We will stock up every time we hit dirtside."

"Yep, the advantages of having a large budget."

David piped up again too.

"What are we having for breakfast?"

"Most likely one of Hutch's famous breakfast casseroles or super stuffed omelets,"

"Omelets," he confirmed as he offered Corlain a knife to use.

Steph had nearly jumped out of David's lap then. Hutch looked over and she was redder that a matador's cape.

”Actual food,”

She probably didn't get food like this when she was on the Noisy Oyster.

"I'm starved,"

"Someone should call for the others. I can't take orders if I don't know what folks like."

Breaking bread with his crew. This just felt good.
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Corlain Wallace
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The banter was pleasant enough and so far the atmosphere was good. Well, maybe with the exception of the obvious tension between Captain and Pilot. Jealousy was an easy emotion to recognize and the Captain seemed to be dealing with his share. It was one of the reasons Cor never understood those who would retain the services of a Companion. The danger of falling for someone who saw intimacy as 'just business' was far too high.

Raising an eyebrow at the newly arrived David, he shrugged, "You'll have to forgive me for the omission. We have only just met. I suspect I would have figured out the egotistical part soon enough. Just like you might figure out," he popped a piece of onion in his mouth, "that I would sooner die a death by a thousand cuts than eat an oaty bar. But your mistake is understandable, I suppose."

The way David scooped the poor, quickly reddening Engineer into his lap seemed effortless. Watching them, he found himself amused that he had considered her a possible threat to his charge. She seemed no more dangerous to David than a sparrow was to a kestrel. Though - as he'd said to Rez - it wasn't wise to take first impressions too seriously, he still found himself more worried for the girl than for the witness. She did know this was temporary, right? David wasn't crew, he was passenger. That needed to be understood or she was in for a serious fall. Weighing whether or not to make some comment about the short nature of David's stay, he decided against it. He was new here and it wasn't really his business. If it became his business, he'd talk to David privately about it.

"We will stock up every time we hit dirtside."

"Yep, the advantages of having a large budget."

This was looking less like a job and more like a luxury cruise.

"Love a good omelet, even if I haven't quite mastered the art myself." Finishing up he onion, he glanced around at all the faces. We're going to need more. Grabbing a second, he started in on it.

"Someone should call for the others. I can't take orders if I don't know what folks like."

Pausing his chopping, Cor raised a hand, "Anything and everything for me."

"You know," he gestured to the Captain with his knife, "you ought to try something. Make an omelet for everyone without asking what they like, and see just how good at reading people you are. As an investigator I think it'd be quite informative." He chuckled and resumed his chopping. It was a silly idea, but could be rather fun. Besides, he'd already just told the man what he liked, so he wouldn't have to worry.
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