Welcome to New Kasmir

The Captain in the cowboy hat was sitting at the galley table, at the moment nursing an empty glass. He wasn’t a feisty drunk, that was for sure, but Serena couldn’t remember a time when he wasn’t halfway to the bottom of a bottle to compare it to. He hadn’t wanted anything from her, and even if he did, she doubted he’d be sober long enough to act on it. Stark difference from the Passenger Leo, who hopefully would be departing in New Kasmir and not coming back. He still gave her the creeps, even though the system Doctah Aduhr had worked out seemed to be doing just that - working out. She hadn’t been ‘accosted’ as he’d put it since she started timing her routine to match up with his. It was nice to actually settle in, to know the ship a little better, and even to know when the Captain needed another drink. The answer to that last part was always. He always needed another drink.

“Another whiskey?” She asked him, holding up the bottle with the blue label.

“You do pour a good whiskey… er… uh….”

“Pigtails.” She reminded him. “That’s what you usually say. Once it was ponytails, and before that it was Margaret, but usually it’s just pigtails.” She shook her head side to side for emphasis.

“Right, right, right.” She poured a glass of the non labeled brand on the shelf. She was told it was the ‘rot gut’ of the two, and brought it over to the glassy eyed captain who raised it to her in thanks. “How’s the… er… uh….” he held his hand over his head.

“Rooster?” She giggled. He meant the crew chief. It was fun trying to interpret who he meant, and she’d gotten pretty good at it, though she still wasn’t sure who he was referring to when he traced an hourglass with his hands.

The captain nodded, absently waving his hand. “How’s he doing after the -- ” she had NO idea what that gesture meant, so she just assumed he meant Jacy leaving. It’d been almost a week, and the Crew Chief had been pretty scarce. When the deckhand did see him, he was usually working his tail off at some menial task, and spoke like his usual care-free self. It was actually - in her opinion - a little disconcerting.

“I think he’s okay Captain, though actually… I don’t know. He’s pretty good at pretending stuff, so maybe he’s pretending he’s okay, or maybe he’s pretending he’s not, I can’t rightly tell.” More than once she’d found him just sitting by himself in the make-shift crew area of the cargo bay, not even smoking a cigarette. The first time she craned her neck to peer over the chair, expecting to see him full of his own blood from self-inflicted wounds or with his mouth foaming from drain opener. Sometimes that happened on the Skyhook, usually right after someone signed their second or third contract, some sooner. More frequently when Captain Edward was on the ship. “Weak,” he’d call them. The crew chief didn’t seem weak. Fractured, maybe, split into different people which made him all the more scary because she worried on a daily basis about which she’d see.

“Women.” The Captain said with a shake of his head. “Nothin’ can destroy a man quicker. “

“Cept bullets.” Serena added, washing out the glasses stacked in the sink. “Or teeth.” She wasn’t sure if she was supposed to agree or not, but she reckoned bullets could probably do some serious damage faster, and she’d seen the latter first hand.

“Whuh?” Keller asked, raising an eyebrow.

She shrugged, pausing momentarily to contemplate before going back to the chore at hand.

The captain pinched the bridge of his nose, and checked the watch he kept on a chain in his coat pocket. He didn’t wear a fancy vest or waistcoat like Mistuh Doctah Adluh, but he had a pocket watch all the same. “Hand me that--- “ He waved his hand around, and Serena picked up various objects until she found the one he was looking for - the mic.

Clearing his throat, he blinked a few times, cuing it up, and sounding - in her opinion, remarkably sober. “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking, we’re about to break atmo here in a few minutes as we complete our landing on New Kasmir. The temperature is…” He looked to Serena, who simply stared back at him without a response. Dead air filled the ship as the two stared, the Captain in anticipation, and the deckhand in confusion as to why he stopped talking.

“Cold?” She finally offered.

“The temperature is on the frigid side so make sure you bundle up. We’ll need all crew, I say again, all crew in the cargo bay area to secure the drogs for transport, any questions, you can direct them towards the crew chief or lieutenant. We’ll be departing the planet in six days. Passengers, it’s been a pleasure, crew - we’ll square up after all cargo has been delivered and collected upon. Welcome again, to New Kasmir, and thank you for flying the Lunar Veil.” Letting go of the mic, it made an awful feedback sound throughout the ship, and the young teen covered her ears. She stifled a giggle putting it back on the hook where it belonged as the Captain signaled for another drink. See? She told herself. Always.

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