Bycatch (Evening Day 1)

Riley whistled and started the wave. Right now it was heavy but deep, mostly unseen on the surface. When it combined with the one always present and frequently cresting in Vas it was sure to go rogue and wash everyone smaller'n both of them against the rocks. Elle moved, almost before the whistle faded. Boots clamped on either side of the ladder and she slid down, controlling the speed of her descent with how much pressure she squeezed her legs together. If the ship had rats they'd have been in awe of how quickly the deckhand cleared out. Even cockroaches would clap.

Knowing she'd just have to get up in a few hours anyway Elle didn't bother taking her boots off and only unzipped the top of her coverall to roll it down around her waist before getting in her hammock.

Hammock, not bunk. Hands long use to mending nets hadn't taken much time at all to knot one out of lengths of cord she'd found laying about and some longer strands of rope she'd unwound out of a thicker cable. Other than a few times in port, with someone even fewer times, she hadn't slept in anything else. Bunks felt wrong to her, like she was trapped. Elle lay with one hand behind her head, the other stretched out and idly pulling on a piece of rope she'd tied to the bulkhead, letting her sway the hammock side to side. It was as much like being at sea as Roose's food was tasty but both were enough to take the edge off.

Going to space hadn't been a mistake but it sure hadn't been a success either. The wages weren't all that much more she felt but wasn't exactly sure. She'd have to ask the Sister after enough time had passed that Lyen wouldn't feel bothered by Elle's dumbness.

Why couldn't she be smart? Like Serena? There was no love in her heart for the annoyingly beautiful chatterbox but you didn't have to love a barracuda hovering shiny and sleekly pretty in the water to know it would just love to turn the sea red 'round you. Worse Elle knew that Serena was only going to go from pretty to what men called gorgeous - when they had enough blood in their brains instead a' cocks to talk - and would keep getting smarter. Elle?

An angry tug on the cord swayed the hammock into rough seas. Some girls were barracudas. Others were just monkfish and bycatch.

I should have slapped some ugly into her.

It was a long time before the hammock finally stopped swaying.

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