Exit Interview (Day 4)

JP, Sail & Blitzen

“This is tha medic speakin’. Our patient is outta surgery. Sistah Lyen and Yevah Schnabel performed about as pretty an operation as Ah’ve evah seen. We expect Mistah Gill tah have a complete recovery.”

She knew it hadn’t been life-threatening. That knowledge didn’t ease the anxiety she felt at all. When she’d recovered Gill from his kidnappers, the wound Yeva had bound up was deep, hideously ugly. As Serena hugged Haddie over the happy news, Marisol heaved a quiet sigh of relief.

“I need to go,” she said, though no one was listening. “Return the horses…” Without further adieu, Marisol slipped quietly into the cargo bay. She’d make it to work at the Cabaret tonight, after all. “Arturo? Hey, I have one stop and I’ll be back….yes we found them…..one just got out of surgery. Wolf bite, but he’ll be alright………..okay, I’m coming. Let Jean Jacques know I’ll do the Selena set tonight………...alright…………..alright………….bye.”

Ahead lay the open cargo bay ramp, with the horses all clustered at it’s foot. She’d have her hands full shepherding them all back to the livery, but the job wasn’t impossible…

Serena had kept her eyes off Marisol, looking her direction only after the woman had left towards the Cargo bay, but she squeezed Haddie’s shoulder when the call came out that Gil would be okay.

In the galley, Riley apologized yet again to Mr. Yamamoto. “I’m so sorry, please, one moment. Crew emergency.” She explained. “Jat will be right here with you, he can get you tea.” She stood to follow the shorter woman into the Cargo Bay. “Chavez, got a minute?” She called from behind her.

Her foot had just landed at the top of the ramp when she heard Riley’s call. “I do,” Marisol turned and made her way back into the cargo bay. “What’s up, Lieutenant?”

“Just wanted to thank you for your help out there, with Haddie, and Gil. You don’t owe the ship anything, and I appreciate you going out of your way like that.” Riley offered.

Marisol shrugged. “Anybody would,” she said. “I’m just glad they’re alright.”

“Anyone didn’t.” Riley countered, sliding her beret off her head. Like the others, she was cold, tired, hungry, but most of all, relieved at the outcome. “Listen, this… this is a no questions asked kind of ship, You don’t owe anyone - least of all me - any explanation to anything. But before we leave, if you wanted to talk, give a reason for why you left, I’d be interested to take a listen.”

Marisol regarded the Lieutenant. She seemed earnest enough, even though the mechanic had offered her reason for quitting on the day she left...but that seemed like a lifetime ago. “I appreciate that,” she replied to the offer. “Look, I’m not trying to be difficult, but I have to ask...would it change anything?”
“If you weren’t being difficult, you wouldn’t be a mechanic,” Riley quipped. “If something on my ship needs to be addressed, then I’d like to address it. There was a time nothing happened on this ship, a rat couldn’t fart in the cargo bay without me knowing about it. I’m not sure when that changed. So I can’t make any promises as to what would or wouldn’t change, but I’d really like to hear you out.”

The one-time mechanic lifted her eyes, surveying the cargo bay as she mulled the pilot’s words over. Again, she’d never seen such a genuine interest in Riley before. Perhaps this was a new leaf? Or perhaps a way to avoid paying out her share? Lost money, Marisol considered as she met the other woman’s gaze. “Chain of command,” she finally answered, “or lack thereof. You’ve got a teenage crew chief who hasn’t had a lick of job training and therefore thinks that as long as he keeps issues off your plate he’s got total immunity to act as he sees fit.” Marisol slipped hands into her pockets to fight the cold. “Sorry to dump it all out like that, but that’s it, in a nutshell.”

“Fair enough assessment. None of this crew would last five minutes in the gorram academy. Jat might be a green crew chief, but I can’t say as I’d find a more loyal one.” She replied.

Marisol folded her arms. “Look, I really hate saying anything about a boat I’m no longer a part of, so please, do us both a favor and order me off. But if you’re not inclined to do that, Riley, please put the academy bullshit on the back burner and think about what I’m saying?”

“I asked you for your opinion, didn’t I?” The Lieutenant responded. “I’m not gonna give you lip service to hear what you want to hear, but that also doesn’t mean I’m going to discount what you’re saying.”

“I don’t work where people think it’s okay to put their hands on me. Simple as that.”

“Ah.” Riley said, with a nod of her head. “I assume responsibility for that - I did give Jat the order to CTQ until situations could be straightened out. I do plan on having a second discussion with him regarding the situation.”

“Good to know,” Marisol eyed the Lieutenant. “Thank you.”

“Thank you for your candor. I can’t stress enough to the crew that unless I’m aware of an issue, I can’t fix the issue.” The Lieutenant replied, returning her cap to her head. “We still are two days out from departure. Offer still stands. We’ll be more than happy to transport you to the skyplex, no charge. Passenger status, even if you don’t think this is the right fit for you. Lot easier to find work at the Skyplex, and next ship might not leave here for two, three months. Not sure if Adler mentioned the offer to you or not.”

Marisol nodded her head. “He did. Thanks, but I’ve got work...leastways for another few weeks. There’s a supply boat coming in a month. I plan to be on it when it leaves.”
“Offer stands. You mean a lot to Adler - he means a lot to this ship, so if you consider it on his behalf, I’ll appreciate it.”

“Dorian and I are old friends,” Marisol offered a smile. “Saved my life once. Dug two bullets out of my back….right there,” she pointed toward a spot above her right hip. “He knows the way to mi familia’s table….I conjure he’ll sit there again someday.” She checked her watch, then glanced up apologetically. “Well, I need to get to the Cabaret. Listen...tomorrow’s Solstice. We’ve got a huge night planned. If you or anybody from the boat shows up, they’ll have all the free drinks I can sneak ‘em.”

“Now that’s an offer.” Riley smiled. “We’ll see you there.”

“Til tomorrow, then.” With a hand lifted in farewell, Marisol turned again toward the ramp.

“Take care of yourself, Chavez.” The Lieutenant replied, turning back to the galley to finish onboarding Mr. Yamamoto.

Outside, Marisol swung up into Flyer’s saddle. She made quick work of lashing the other horses’ leads to her saddle horn. “C’mon, boy,” the former mechanic clicked her tongue a few times to get the strange little caravan moving toward town. And I still didn’t get paid, she laughed to herself, as the horses cantered home.

< Prev : Gill's Surgery: Part 2 (Day 4, Late Afternoon) Next > : Tojiro's Ship Tour (Day 4 ) Part 5