New Beginnings – pt.VI

Western Dune Sea, Tatooine

Kaen-Wee walks up beside Noxx as she eyes the freighter, giving her some time to appreciate it in silence. It is much patched and modified but still a far cry newer model than the Nawarmaku. She can't help but feel a tiny jab of guilt in comparing the centuries old HWK-290 to this YT-1400 sitting before her now and finding it completely outclassed.
“The Nick-Nakk.” He finally speaks, loud enough to insure the other two to can hear as well. “Our little brother's freighter. You three will be traveling with him. Our ship Little Sketto will accompany with our-self and the rest of the repair crew.” He pauses as another Weequay jogs over to hand him a data-pad then jogging off without a word. Kaen-Wee scans the padd before continuing. “We lift off in 22 hours. Jojo will show you your quarters on the Nick-Nakk, we will be dining shortly if you wish to join us.”
Kaen-Wee announces Jojo as the tall and lean Weequay stops beside him with a stiff bow. Jojo is the first Weequay Noxx has seen without the seemingly standard issue small arsenal that pretty much all the others wear so casually. She's also the first female Weequay Noxx has ever met. A good hand taller than Kaen-Wee and much leaner with only a hint of feminine curves under her wraps and only two blades hanging off her left hip. Jojo and Kaen-Wee lean in to each other, touching foreheads and sharing some muttered words before Kaen-Wee walks off towards the communal tents waving and calling out greetings to everyone as he goes.
Jojo gives them a quick smile and a short bow of her neck. “Follow. Please” She announces carefully before turning to walk towards and then into the Nick-Nakk. Noxx is quick to follow as is Nika Su and both enter the ship alongside Jojo while Oden Bol follows several meters behind them, a sour look puckering his face the whole time and his eyes constantly moving.
Noxx's eyes were just as active as Jojo lead them into the cargo hold and up to the passenger cabins. Greedily taking in every inch of the ship and the more she saw the more she wanted to fly it. Everything in the Nick-Nakk was decades younger than the Nawarmaku's newest components.
Jojo stops in a small semi-circular lounge just off the cargo holds. Large enough for five or six people and containing several chairs and holo-game tables, four doors are spaced equally along the curved wall. Two of the doors are open and Jojo indicates these two as being for them.
Noxx gives Jojo a confused look. “No. There are three of us.” She finally utters. The idea of sharing a room with anyone was not acceptable and had her hackles up in an instant. Even so she notes Nika Su's instinctive shift towards her and away from Oden Bol, adding even more confusion to Noxx's mind. Jojo shakes her head and gives a sad smile. “Crew is big. No space extra with door. Double bunk, one get solitude only. Will come at food time. Meet Captain.” With her Galactic standard seemingly exhausted she quickly leaves. Just as fast Noxx finds her personal space being crowded by Nika Su, now staring directly at Noxx with large, scared eyes. Oden Bol watches them coldly before turning and going through one of open doors, closing it behind him.
“Really ?” Noxx asks in a sarcastic tone and looks down at Nika Su only to repeat herself in exasperation. “Really ?” Not wishing that human on anyone was one thing but giving up her privacy was something else entirely. For a brief moment her gut instincts fought against her innate distrust before she relents to her gut and sighs. “Fine.”
Entering the remaining cabin she finds a cramped space no bigger than her old cabin. The only notable change was the second bunk above the first. There was barely room for one person to move about at a time and very little in the way of storage.
“Bugger me with a sandstorm..........” The vulgar words pop out of Nika Su's mouth as she looks past Noxx into the tiny room. “It's tinier than I feared.” She whispers sadly. Noxx grunts agreement with that assessment and moves further in so Nika Su can enter and allow the door to close.
With Noxx up against the back wall of the cabin and Nika Su at the door they have less than a meter between them and the only way past each other would require more intimacy than Noxx is comfortable with. Nika Su's scent fills Noxx's nostrils with a strange herbal mix of floral and spice just adds to her unease she is already feeling in the shared confines of the small cabin.
“Kay. Ground rules. I value my personal space and privacy more than I value people. I will give you the room if you need privacy and I expect the same in return. Keep your gear neat and stowed and I will do the same. Nobody else is to be in this room alone, period. Oden Bol is never to be in this room, ever. Any issues so far ?” Noxx asks earnestly to which Nika Su smiles and nods vigorous accent.
“I fully agree. And thank you so much. That Human makes me.....” Nika Su says in a soft hesitant voice, pausing as if catching herself before saying too much or looking for the right word. “Uncomfortable.” She finally states, looking as uncomfortable as Noxx.
Nika Su pulls off her hood and outer robes, putting them on the upper bunk. Taking care to keep as much space between them as reasonable as she does so. Finished she turns to face Noxx again.
Noxx can't help but stare at her as she fusses with the robe. By human and near-human standards Nika Su would be considered beautiful. Her head barely reaches Noxx's shoulder and she is slender in build but with voluptuous curves that her loose jumpsuit can't completely conceal. The entire left side of her head is covered in those fascinatingly complexly interlocked geometric patterns in black and red ink. This extends down the left side of her neck and past the collar of her jumpsuit. Her olive green hair is shaved clean on the left side to show the tattoos and the right side is cut shoulder length and done up in a loose braid. Underneath the tattoos her features are classic and unblemished. The more Noxx looks at Nika Su the more self-conscious she becomes about her own body, and she can't seem to stop staring.
Finally Noxx blinks and fills the silence with the first safe thought she can come up with. “I need to find my duffel.” Pointing past Nika Su at the door but not moving.
Confused for a brief moment Nika Su quickly recognizes the reason for Noxx's discomfort with a chuckle. “Of course. I should do the same.” She answers as she opens the door and steps into the lounge. Noxx follows out with a small sigh of relief and immediately spots her duffel, alongside several others in the middle of the lounge.
Standing beside them is Jojo, patiently waiting for them to emerge. “Greetings again.” She announces. “Your possessions are here. Food is ready. Follow. Please.”
They both quickly grab and stow their luggage in the tiny cabin while Jojo continues to patiently wait. Once finished Jojo turns and starts leading them away. Neither ask about Oden Bol and Jojo doesn't say another word as they follow her out of the freighter.
They walk across the sand to the massive partitioned tent and enter large, cloth walled area full of tables and Weequay. There are at least a hundred Weequay gathered around the many well laden large tables scattered before them. Noxx is surprised at the number of elderly and young she can see in the crowd. The dining area has a more of a community feel than she had expected.
Jojo leads them through the crowded tables to the far end and a low platform holding a large table presided over by Kaen-Wee, several old Weequay in elaborate attire and ten men dressed much like Kaen-Wee, including the stupid number of weapons.
As soon as Kaen-Wee spots them he jumps to his feet and shouts a greeting, waiving them over to the empty chairs on either side of him at the table. Like the other tables it too is covered in platters, plates and bowls full of food. Much of it Noxx has never encountered before, many happily hold identifiable meats cooked, roasted, and raw.
Noxx takes her seat eagerly, feeling famished and more than eager to sample as many of the different meats as she can. Nika Su sits down with a little more hesitation than Noxx but gives the table a bright smile and a soft greeting.
“Today is a lesser Holy Day for us Weequay. In thanks for all Quay has provided we feast. No important business is to be discussed tonight. So, please, relax and enjoy the bounty that Quay has awarded us with.” Kaen-Wee introduces the elders as their spiritual leaders and the others as his 'Captains'.
Kaen-Wee is quick to advise them both on the merits and quality of each and every dish on the table. Surprisingly for a feast the only drink being offered is water. With Kaen-Wees encouragement Noxx and Nika Su are soon enjoying the feast. Kaen-Wee's infectiously cheerful personality making everyone feel comfortable and relaxed. Between bites he regales them with a never ending stream of humorous and somewhat salacious stories of his Clan members that has many at the table laughing too hard to eat.

< Prev : New Beginnings – pt.V Next > : Salvage Run ~ Interlude I