Cleaning (Day 2- Early Morning)

Working on a fishing boat Elle was no stranger to those that had fought losing battles with machinery or the environment. Crushed limbs, missing hands and eyes, legs severed by the closing of a line that cut it off as neatly as a wife's fillet knife flicking away a fin; every boat had them what had suffered. There wasn't the social safety net of a Core World to take care of them and they just kept working, making do with what they had left or turned to tasks their new situation allowed them to tackle. Elle had been fortunate to not have suffered an injury but she did struggle with her own shortcoming.

Education. Lack of it. There just hadn't been time for much of it and Elle never took to letters and numbers. Where other kids mastered them Elle mixed them up and didn't understand how it was so easy for everyone else. It was her own problem to deal with, handed down from on high, so she just dealt with it and didn't feel sorry for herself. There were ways to cope.

Like the little yellow wax pencil in her pocket. Every time she dismantled the cover on a duct she drew a square, or a box, or a triangle, or the half moon on the bulkhead beside it and then drew the same thing inside the cover where it wouldn't be seen. That way she could match 'em back up once the cleaning was done. They were filthy, all furry in places with grime and hair and dust. After filling a large tank in the hold with water and some red chemical she'd found that cut grease, Elle took to dumping them in there to soak while she went and got more. Marisol was getting some cleaning equipment and Elle wanted everything ready to go.

Sides, not like she was going out of the ship. That was for folk that had coin and cred and a burning need to be rid of them. Ashore, or dirt side she supposed she needed to start calling it, there was just too many temptations to spend money on and entire storms of trouble to find yourself in. Nope, better to stay and work and make sure when the LV lifted off she was aboard by choice and because her betters what owned the ship thought Elle was a good hand.

Soon enough she had a good pile of vent covers soaking in the tub. There were more to get, a lot more, but she needed room for them. Also some of them were in the cabins of passengers or officers. T'weren't no way Elle was going to go bothering them without Marisol's say so and someone to go with her to make sure she couldn't be accused of stealing nothing. Stuff came up missing and it would be natural to blame the new girl and the outsider. No thank you Little Baby Buddha.

Red water turned black and stained her arms up to the elbows as she scrubbed the vent covers clean. Cleanish. Cleaner anyway. It was easy work and Elle just sort of switched off to let the time pass.

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