Witches, Thieves, and Corpses

"I.. I have a job helping Vas." Gill replied.

So much for charm school, “Then you’d best get after it,” she offered as he turned away.

"See you later."

“Most like,” Marisol tossed the response over her shoulder. She’d just pried the access hatchway up from the aft deck grating when the boy spoke again.

"But my little sister Haddie, she loved working down here. Perhaps you could ask Riley if she could help. She's just a kid but she knows her way around the ship and could be real helpful."

“Shiny. Send her around,” she said as she disappeared down the hatchway, leaving only the echo of her boots on the ladder’s rungs. “But only after we break atmo…like two hours after…dohn mah?” Whether he’d responded, or even if he’d stuck around for her last instruction, she didn’t know. As she set to finding the loose accelerator core inspection plate, Marisol had all but forgotten the encounter. This actually felt good…a part of her she’d put away for all the right reasons, but now it resurfaced as an itch she was taking great pleasure in scratching.

Shortly thereafter, Lunar Veil’s new mechanic left the engine room to make her way down toward the cargo bay. Except for the pack of huge dogs who were even now defeating their inadequate pen’s containment, the scene looked pretty much like any other cargo vessel on the run to upthrust. The mohawked kid from the video was there, fighting a losing battle to both the dogs and a very attractive blonde whose backside drew his constant eye. The boy, Gill, was shouting what sounded like German to the beasts, who, surprisingly, seemed to listen.

“Put it right ovah here.”

There was Dorian, in shirtsleeves and vest, directing two men as they pushed a large crate into the aft corner nearest the infirmary. He hadn’t seen her yet; doubtless he was pondering just how to keep his promises…promises that the Network had taken to fulfilling for him.

“That’s good,” he said as the deliverymen settled the crate onto its’ skids. “Kindly put tha othah two right in line behind it.” Sensing her approach, he turned, fixing her with his one appraising eye. “Don’t believe we’ve met,” Dorian offered a neutral expression, “but yah have tha look of work about yah. New crew?”

Playing it cool. Field protocols, she thought as she stepped close enough to be heard over the canine conundrum. “I’m your new mechanic.”

That raised an eyebrow. “What happened tah tha old one?”

“He broke a leg and they had to shoot him?” she quipped. “Fuck if I know. Captain Keller hired me so fast I could barely grab my things.”

He laughed. “Now that sounds like a similar experience. Dorian Adler,” he offered his hand. “Ship’s medic and fellow abductee.”

“Marisol Chavez,” she smiled as they shook. “New mechanic, and if you ask that boy Gill over there, wicked witch.”

“Oh, Gill’s easy goin’ enough. He and his sistah had an affinity fah tha old mechanic..”

“Haddie,” Marisol nodded. “She’s coming around after we’re underway to see about helping me out.”

“Mmm,” Adler nodded in faux consideration. “Coupla things ‘bout Haddie. She’s got tha lightest fingers Ah’ve evah seen. If it turns up missin’, she’s likely taken a shine to it.”

“Oh, great,” the mechanic’s tone flattened. “Anything else?”

“Stay on her good side,” he grinned. “Othahwise, she’s been known tah be quite tha little dickens.” They fell silent as the last two bulky crates were wheeled into place. Dorian signed for the cargo, handed the men a tip for their trouble, and set to examining the first box. “Give me a hand with this, would yah?”

After they flipped latches on each end, the pair carried one side of the crate to lean conveniently against its’ back. “What’s this?” she asked.

“New equipment fah tha infirmary,” Dorian answered. “Once we’re away, Ah’d like tah talk about gettin’ it all installed.”

“We can do that,” she agreed. “Rumor has it that my first job involves locking a casket down in one of the guest suites.”

“Do tell.”

“Some family named Schnabel…widow and her dead husband…headed for burial on New Kasmir.”

“Schnabel,” he repeated the name.

Message received, she thought. “As the boat doc you might want to be around when they bring the body aboard.”

“Ah won’t miss it,” he replied as he pulled a sealed package from within the crate. “In tha meantime, Ah have tah stow these drugs. Nice tah meet yah, Miss Marisol.”

“Back atcha, Doc. Hey!” she called out to the trio of deckhands. "You need a hand with that dog pen?"

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