Come out and Play Part 2 (Day 2 into Evening)

Despite her initial attitude, with the parachuting, the bonfire, foods they still couldn’t pronounce, and most importantly drinks out of coconuts, the day out was just what the doctor, if they had a doctor, would have ordered. Suddenly she understood Keller’s idea of retirement, between the beach and the Lunar Veil? Right now the ocean would win, hands down. “Tell me again why we’re going to leave this place?” She snickered.

“Because it's nice to visit. Because birds need to fly. Because no matter how nice the beaches are … by the time we’re ready to take off you’ll be land crazy so when we hit atmo you’ll get a sense of relief.” Drake listed. “Also thats what makes shore leave so great!”

“Yeah….” Riley said reluctantly. “Just makes you think if this doesn’t all work out and they take the Veil, there are worse places to be land crazy.”

“You ain’t in this alone Riley. You have a whole crew that has you back and the ships. Sure they're rowdy and get into all kinds of trouble but how was Boot, hell any part of life in the alliance any different. Besides it’s your ship, they're going to have to pry that bitch from your cold dead finger and that if they can get past your crew.” Drake said, taking a long sip from his coconut. He wasn’t sure what it was he was drinking, just that it was in a coconut. He was sure it was safe!

Riley took another pull from her drink with a nod. “This ain’t turning into a pity party. I was just making an observation outloud,” She told him. “Besides, Space is the only place you keep your ass out of trouble. I can’t see you spending more than … what’s your record being planet side?”

“Just stating a fact.” Drake chuckled. “Planetside? Geez are you talking before or after I got my pilots licence?”

“After,” Riley said, poking at the frozen slush in her coconut with the straw. “Was there life before the academy?”

“There was, just not very exciting thought. I think it was three weeks? Me and the squad got drunk and I woke up with a tattoo.” Drake said scratching his head.

“Everyone got drunk and woke up with a tattoo,” Riley reminded him with a laugh. “Our entire graduating class got drunk and woke up with a tattoo. You know what we should do?”

“Get drunk and wake up with tattoos?” Drake laughed.

“Damn right,” Riley said. “Ship’s name. Nothing crazy. I’ll buy.”

“Let's write it out while we're sober. Nothing is more regrettable than a misspelled tattoo.” He suggested.

“Speak from experience?” The lieutenant chuckled.

“Personal? No. But I did watch a guy get a tattoo of his wife's name and misspelled it, hilarious.” Drake said with a grin.

“On both counts. You never get a name, unless it’s the name of a ship,” she said sagely. “Oh, maybe if you had a kid, that too.”

“Have to have kids first. It’s why I like ships better.” Drake said nodding Riley's logic being rather sound.

“Be surprised if there wasn’t a dozen Valari’s in a dozen ports,”Riley said, leading him back towards town.

“Hey, I am both careful and gentleman! I can say with … seventy percent certainty there are no little Valaries looking up at the sky or anything like that.” He assured, slurping his coconut down to empty.

“Math wasn’t your strong suit at the academy either,” She said, clapping him on the back. “Don’t worry, they’ll fit right in on the ship. I … don’t know when it happened. Half the crew is too young to get into the gorram academy, yet I’m payin’ ‘em full wages.”

“‘Verse is light on deckhands is my guess. Or you got a soft spot for puppy eyes. Hey so long as the job gets done.” Drake mused. “Hey a few more half pints and you can get tax breaks for running an orphanage out the ship!”

“With the taxes I now owe on the ship?” Riley said glumly. “It’s an option. What’s your stance on sweatshops?”

“Legal.” He joked. “Maybe if you label it as vocational skill building while traveling the verse. Sounds way better.” He said with a dramatic wave.

“It’d get the Alliance off our backs for a bit anyway,” she chuckled. “But it’s okay, I have a plan, after High Gate, it should be smooth sailing. We’ll get out from under the Alliance thumb.”

“Was never worried in the first place.” Drake said confidently.

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