The Ropes

Vas’s first stop was a shower. He looked like hell and he smelled like it too. Fresh clothing in one hand, his duffle in the other, he headed to the showers with the full knowledge everyone was busy doing something else. So he would have it all to himself! The pants were pretty much ruined, there was no saving those but they were worn and threadbare anyway. He had new clothes anyway! Vas duffle had a happy swell with new clothing, his recovered cash and maybe a few little extras. Don’t judge.

Vas peeled off the blood crusted pants and set the shower to sear the layer of grime, blood, salt and sweat that he collected over the course of two days. He luxuriated in the heat as he scrubbed the man's blood off his skin, making bloody little pools on the bathroom stall.

The punk ran the shower to drain the last of the bloody evidence of his encounter and violent bid for freedom. Dried and dressed, he followed his nose to the galley to grab a plate; smelled like when he was a kid on Santos.

Yellow rice with bits of meat from their less than honest haul. Something he remembered called tostones, a sweet sticky pile of maduros, beans, and some roasted potatoes. Never had food looked so good! He piled on his plate and scalded his mouth AT LEAST three times to eat the food while it was too hot. He didn’t mind much given he was THAT hungry. Feeling much better and human again, he took care of his dishes. Vas was about to take his prescribed sleep, but there were a few things the rehired Crew Chief had to neaten up.

Catching the dynamic duo, he set them both to caring for the dogs and a list of chores. They were far from off the hook! Next was to get Serena settled in. He made a plate for the kids and put it aside. Time to get the new deckhand acclimated. He thought he was going to be in for a game of hiding but was surprised to find her still in the Med Bay. Dozing in the chair.

He knocked on the door frame to wake her. She was probably skittish as a filly; honestly he didn’t really care, but he did want to deal with the flailing and screaming if he got too close.

Serena’s eyes shot open when she realized she wasn’t on the Skyhook, growing wider when she saw Vas Jat in the doorway. He was physically clean, but she still saw him tainted, his teeth bathed in Adahm’s blood every time she blinked. Her eyes wouldn’t meet his, but she still didn’t take them off him. Had it not been for the sedative, she imagined her heartbeat would register in the thousands.

“Come along. Lemme show you where your room is, food is made if you're hungry. I figure you could use some sleep so I won’t put you to work till after you get some rest.” Motioning her to follow him.

Serena hopped from the table to the floor, keeping a good bit of distance between herself and Vas Jat. She hugged walls as they walked, taking note, or at least trying to take note of where everything is should she have to make any hasty retreats.

“We got Drogs on board so I advise you stay out of the cargo bay till I introduce you to ‘em. They are a finicky lot. Also, I got a mama and her pups in my room. She’s awful protective, so again, stay out till introduce you,” He advised as he showed her around.

“I’m sure you can tell this is a class 4 Firefly so she’s got plenty of room. I’ll get you some spare clothes and when we get to New Kasmir you can choose to hop off or stay on.” Vas continued as if everything was normal. “Stay out of the engine room and never go into the cockpit unless someone is dead or dying. Our Pilot doesn’t like being bothered. You you talk to me if need anything; if you have to speak to her you address her as Lieutenant,” He said, giving her the insider info.

Serena decided then and there that she would not need anything, ever, so she nodded her head affirmatively to show she understood. If she couldn’t get around it, she could always find another crew member or two.

“This’ll be your bunk.” He waved to the room. “Ain’t the biggest or best but it’s serviceable and it’s all yours.”

Serena peered inside, there was a bed, a dresser, a nightstand, almost as if it was an actual room. It was, in fact, an actual room. The lock on the door was on the inside, even. She wasn’t sure if she should be grateful or worried, so again he was met with an affirmative nod.

“Lunch is in the Galley, is made if you're hungry so help yourself. Now’s a good time if you need to if you want.” He yawned.

Serena shook her head again, this time negatively. No one ate aboard the Skyhook for the first three days, and if you did? It wouldn’t be pleasant.

“As you please. I’m in the last room at the end nearest the cargo bay if need anything ... sometimes I'm shuttle one. Any questions?”

Plenty. Like-- why was he acting so… normal? Like nothing happened? Like he hadn’t just ripped Adham’s thorax* out with his teeth? Like he wasn’t starved and beaten and shocked and attacked by reavers all in the same day. Like this was a typical Tuesday? The normality of it all wasn’t a comfort, exactly the opposite, so questions? She had a ton. But instead, she lowered her eyes to the floor and shook her head no.

The biggest question would be how to keep the greatest distance from the monster on this ship.

“As you please. I’ll put ya to work after some sleep.”

“What’s my job on the ship?” She asked, her voice barely above a whisper.

“Deckhand till Captain says otherwise.” Vas answered, pausing a moment since she seemed to have found her voice, she might of had other questions now.

“What’s your job on the ship?” She asked in the same low tone.

“Crew Chief.” Vas answered and paused a moment and turned. “This ain’t the Skyhook kid. You ain’t indentured, you ain’t a slave. If you see fit to leave you can walk off at whatever port we are at whenever you want. You ain’t no one but your own self here,” he impressed upon the girl. Vas didn’t want her thinking he would be going on some revenge trip or anything.

Serena started to nod again, but caught herself. It was a lot to take in; the Skyhook was the only home she’d known up until that point. And the fact that there was no contract? Leave any time? It was either a trap or too good to be true, but either way, she was exhausted and tomorrow would be a brand new day to figure it out. “Thank you, Crew Chief.”

“Welcome. Get some Lunch, get some rest,” he said as he walked back the way they had come. He had to let Jacy know the good news … THEN pass out!

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