Can We Patch It? Yes We Can! Part 8 (Day 1 Morning to Afternoon)

“All right, well, we need a mechanic, I don’t know if Jat spoke with you about the pay scale?” She eyed the crew chief for confirmation

“How many times you gone tell me to do exactly not that?” Vas said eyeing Riley as if she sprung a pop quiz on him. “Tellin folk their pay and negotiating ain’t my place.” He recited and he hauled boxes of food stuff to the kitchen. “Don’t make me have Serena do her ‘on account of’ on you.” He jibbed deciding now was a great time to make himself scarce.

Riley narrowed her eyes, and decided she’d speak with him later about his flippant attitude.

“Listen, Lieutenant.” the older man took a confiding tone, “the kid told me about the protein paste. I figure ya got some…’budgetary issues’.” His attempt at being delicate landed with a thud. “Whatever you can scrape, I’m sure we can come to an agreement.” He attempted to sound kind and hoped he didn’t just offend the Lieutenant’s pride.

“You get a percentage of all paying jobs we run - across the board. Decks each get a share, mechanic, medic get two shares, and so on up. The bigger the job, the higher your shares. Room, board, of course included. Any side work you want to pick up is on you, but if you want to use my bay or tools, the Veil gets a cut. No advancements on pay. We used to give a finder’s fee for jobs you brought aboard, but right now I’m not accepting any crew-derived jobs. Terms are not up for negotiations.”

“That sounds fair, Lieutenant. One question, though. This is a civvy boat, right?” Patch asked, quirking an eyebrow.

“She’s my boat.” Riley told him, matter-of-fact. “But we do from time to time run Alliance jobs. They may or may not pay. Tax issues - it’s complicated.”

Patch waved a hand and shook his head. “Nah, nah. Nothin’ like that. I mean, I ain’t never seen a civvy boat that formal with the titles. I mean, Captain, sure. But not on down.” He raised his hands in front of his chest in surrender. “I mean, it’s your boat, you wanna run her like that, it’s fine with me.”

“See modest and brains!” Vas called out from the hallway. “More so than the last two thats for sure.” He muttered.

“Don’t you have something you should be doing?” She called after him. “I can find you something if you’ve decided to take up eavesdropping. And,” she turned back to Patch. “I didn’t spend two years in the Gorram Academy not to be called Lieutenant.”

Patch let the idea roll around for a brief moment and nodded. “That’s fair, ma’am. So,” he clapped his hands together and rubbed them, “who’s gonna take me on the grand tour of the girl?” The older man’s eyes betrayed his excitement as he stole glances around the cargo bay.

“Just lieutenant is fine, Kowalski. Jat! You got new crew to onboard! Make yourself useful! You’ll report to Jat, he runs the crew, if you need anything. Welcome aboard the Lunar Veil, Kowalski.”

“I’ll tour him!” Serena called, having listened to the entire conversation from behind a crate. “You’re gonna love the ship, Mister Kangarooski, wait til you see the engine room, it’s full of stuff for you to mess with. And I’ll take you to meet everyone while we’re at it!”

Patch smirked at Lt. Thorne. “You gotta watch out for that one.” he said, poking a finger in Serena’s direction. “She ok to gimme the tour, Lieutenant?” he asked, waiting for permission.

Riley grunted with a nod. “Crew Chief will let you know if something’s not okay, and he’ll set you up with a schedule. We’ll be here another 4 days if you got any loose ends need tied.”

The older man shrugged. “Honestly, I was just here on vacation.” He chuckled. “Wasn’t expectin’ a job offer outta the deal. Not too many loose ends to tie up ‘cept my suitcase at the hotel.” He gave Riley a small but respectful nod of his head to take his leave and turned towards Serena with a big grin. “Alright, kiddo...lead on!”

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