Objects In Space: A Sci-Fi Ensemble

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"Good, good. In that case, set a course for Av- Aavaska- argh, Aavasaksa! Set a course for Aavasaksa!", Ellery exclaimed, taking a few seconds to compose himself, "Make sure you park us near an oil station."

Streak gave him a sort of awkward nod, which Ellery considered to be a "yes", and turned back to his controls.

"Juniper, check out what's wrong with the ship.", he grumbled, striding off toward the storage room.

Randa slid her fingers into the packet and pulled out a biscuit before holding it between her and and the light bulb that dangled in the center of the store rooms ceiling. Smiling at her own biscuity mini eclipse she shoved it into her mouth, grinning wide at the sweet taste, before grabbing a couple more and stashing them in her pockets.

"Right back to work" she muttered to herself; spraying crumbs down her top, before picking up the rag and returning to wiping down the shelves after which she started putting the boxes and cans back.

"Better hide these at the back, theres only one more packet after these" Randa sighed, picking up the open packet of biscuits and hiding it behind some cans at the back before she could succumb to the sugar god and pinched another.

Bending down she picked up the bottle of cleaning solution and sprayed down the next shelf with a few pulls of it's trigger.
Damn it was kinda fun, dropping the rag she brought both her hands up to hold the bottle like she'd seen people hold guns.
"Bang!" she shouted, her voice echoing off the metal walls as she shot invisible assailants "Fchooo! Fchoo!" she cried as the imaginary gun turned into an imaginary deathlaser500 "Take that you ninkers!" she shouted using the slang if her birthplace.
Discarding the pretend gun she executed a sloppy forward roll before bringing up her invisible shotgun.
"Time to die fuzzballs! Boom! Cha-chuk Boom!"

Wow, guns are fun! Randa thought to herself, I wonder why they don't let me have one?

Sighing she'd picked up the discarded bottle of cleaning spray and got back to work.

Jewels took a very leisurely pace back to her kitchen after the meeting with the crew. There was no point in going there fast, there was barely anything in there. She was doing her best with the meager rations that the WaxWing still had available but three weeks of traveling, and with little money coming into the crew, it was rough. Sigh, I remember when we first started out, seems like we had enough food to do whatever I wanted with it. I hope Ellery can find something to go for soon. I'm going to have to start feeding everyone with ketchup packets.

She heard noises coming out of the kitchen as she approached. They were young sounding, similar to her younger siblings back home. Must be Randa. At least she's a nice addition Ellery's made, although it is another mouth to feed. Ah well, it's a nice trade off for not having to clean anymore.

She entered and saw Randa at work on the shelves, almost down on herself. "Hey Randa," she called to the utility girl. "When your done the shelves, I need you to take out the pots from last night and scrub them out good. That mayo's going to stink up the ship if it's not taken care of soon, k?"

"You know Streak, I never quite got why they call you that." Erin said, lazily hitting the toggles for the ionised redirection array to move a few degrees starboard to send them along the right course for Aavasaksa "Because from where I'm sitting, you're slow as a star decaying. Wait, that's a bad analogy" she said, tapping her chin absent mindedly "To compare you to a star would imply that you're bright. You're more like a leaky pipe. Not much going on, but a little bit of interesting stuff running through you. Of course, all it would take is the right guy with a spanner to stop all of the drops coming through and making you like the rest of the dull pipes around." She gave an idle spin on her chair and checked the displays showing up the relay. "I'm not sure where this analogy is going, but I'm the fuel line and you're stupid" she summed up, gently spinning on her chair in an oscillatory fashion.

"Good to know, hon. Fuel line's leaking. You're talking out of your arse. Think there's a connection there?" Allan said, keeping one eye on the fuel gage and another on the pulse display. He tapped the output once, setting the course so they wouldn't crash headlong in a piece of floating rock.

He leaned back and streched.

"I don't think I've ever been to thingamajig before," He said, waving at the monitor displaying Aavasaksa. He dropped his arm when a bit of faulty wiring sparked.

"You have?"

"Sure, I'll get on that when I'm done cleaning here".

urgh mayo, I wonder if people would notice if I chucked the pots out of the airlock...

Taking a biscuit out of her pocket and blowing the fluff of it she turn around,

"Umm Jewels. Do you have gun? It's just that I was thinking that I should have one in case of... pirates? Yeah pirates" Taking a bite of biscuit as she mulled it over "...Or Banditos" she added, spraying crumbs.

"Yeah, the connection is that you need to get your arse under the engine when I get us down safely as opposed to your last trick of 'Cut the engines just out of atmo' which I'm pretty sure is right up near 'Full blast in the refuelling station' in the list of times you've nearly killed us all. Either way, fix it or you're wasting your wages." she said, re-flipping the toggles for the ionised redirection array to move a few degrees starboard to send them along the right course for Aavasaksa "And yeah, back when you were so hungover you didn't even know what cluster we were in. It's... For lack of a better word, a shit-hole with a couple of hill-billies and maybe a few spare parts while we're there. But, like you said so correctly about the fuel line, I have to take a leak. Don't try to fly my baby while I'm not looking." she said, refinedly pulling herself out of her chair and giving Streak a light pat on the shoulder as she stepped down from the raised platform the piloting chairs sat upon.

On her way to her room, she nearly walked into Mirie just exiting her own cabin after retrieving or replacing some item or another. "Morning, Mirie, how are things with loverboy Leo?" she asked in a joking-with-a-hint-of-seriousness tone as she gave a knock on her own door, letting it slide open and placing a foot in the jamb so it wouldn't close back up while they spoke.

Awww what? She took my biscuits? Dang it Randa! I was saving those. Jeez.

Jewels tried to hide the annoyance of seeing the lowest ranking member on the ship eating her food. This was made easier by the question she was asked. "Um, guns? I dunno, I got like, a little pistol, for emergencies and stuff, but it's not all that powerful. Probably not first call for taking down bounties, but that's why the others are here right?"

She leaned back against the counter in the kitchen. I mean, yeah I could probably take them on though, I got enough practice sneaking around things. I bet I could just go right in and catch one of those bounties right in the next. Game over. Yeah, if I want to call a bunch of attention to myself...

"Oh, confound it. I put seven hours into fixing that up just the day before we filled the tank," Juniper cursed under her breath, shaking her head as she turned and left the bridge. "I'll assess the damage, see if I can't keep her together long enough for us to land," she added, talking more to herself now. She tended to do that when she was grumpy about something, usually a repair that un-repaired itself a few days later. Such as this one.

Upon arrival at the engine room, the first thing that Juniper noted was the particularly strong smell of oils and the various compounds needed to keep the engines of the WaxWing running. A few cracks in the tubing were the primary source of the leaks; Juniper swore quietly to herself at the sight of the ruined pipes and the pools of liquid beneath them. "How the hell did these just break all of a sudden?" she asked herself, clearly annoyed by this development. Nonetheless, she hustled over to one of the many store-cupboards and pulled out four of the small sheets of metal she kept in case of emergency, a rivet gun and the box of...

"Tesage kago no jigoku,"[1] Juniper raged to herself in Japanese, one of the languages with which she had grown up as a child. There were only enough rivets to seal off one of the cracks in the pipes. Still, making do with what she had, the engineer put three of the metal sheets back, took the rest of the material with her and set to work patching over the pipe closest to the fuel tank. When combined with the engine, the two took up most of the space in the room.

[1] "Hell in a handbasket."

"Goddamn hunk of crap, always breaking! It can never just stay in one piece, can it? Nooo, instead it has to go and break down like a little bitch at the first sign of danger. Three thousand! I spent three thousand on you, and you break. Again."

Ellery fumbled around with his weaponry, furiously cocking his prized pistol back and forth. From a different angle, paired with Ellery's breathless grunting, some people could easily get the wrong idea.

"Is it too much to just ask for you to work once in a while? All I need is for you keep going for ten damn minutes and you can't even manage that. Juniper-- hell, not just Juniper, the whole crew tries to get you in working condition. Everyone pitches in. Everyone!"

Slamming the storage door open, Ellery poked his head out of the room and toward the cockpit.

"Streak! Erin! Are we near to landing yet?"

Leonidas sat in the small room that served as the waxwing's lounge and smiled to himself. It seemed as though something had kicked up the hive of the more technically minded crew members, but it wasn't anything that he had to worry about. They always kept things running one way or another.

Leo meanwhile smiled to himself as he shuffled a pack of cards with apparent reckless abandon. Or at least that was how it would seem to most people, few had the eyes to follow Leo's quick hands as they worked the cheep plastic of the playing cards.

Stopping Leo flipped the top card off the deck and let it drop onto the table with a single fluid motion. The card showing was the jack of hearts. The next card reveled in a similar manor was the queen of hearts followed by the king. Finally, with a touch of extra flourish Leo flipped over the last card revealing the ace of spades.

"Well, looks like that's coming together quite nicely." He smiled in a self satisfied way as he propped his feet up on the table and leaned back into the old chair.

"Yeah, I guess so Jewels" Randa agreed, wiping her mouth with the back of a dirty hand.
"D'know if where we're going? I felt the ship change heading. Is it somewhere nice? I hope it's somewhere with trees, I like trees. All green and tall and junk plus they're like living airscrubbers which is cool".

Popping the last can back on the shelf and twisting it around so the label faced the front she moved across the kitchen to the sink and the pile of pots it contained. Fiddling with the taps until she got the water to right temperature she looked over her shoulder and asked "After this is there anything else you need me to do for now?"

Allan spun his chair around and pointed at the rapidly expanding planet in plain view through the main viewports. His face clearly said Seriously, dude? before twisting his chair back into the original position again. He frowned as he saw the ionised redirection array in its full upright position. They were dangerously low on pure hydrogen as it was, and at these docking distances fusion power wasn't neccesary at all. He toggled the fusion->fuel, putting more pressure through the already stressed fuel lines into the fuel tank, which lead for regular old combustion propulsion.

"Her baby. Psh." He said to himself.

"That's all I can think of right now," Jewels replied, answering Randa's second question before her first. One side effect of little food to work with, not many dishes to clean. "To be honest it doesn't look like we're heading anywhere good. There's not a lot in this area of space I guess. Just a bunch of rocks and junk. It seems like forever since we've found a decent place to restock and fuel up." She took a deep breath, trying to recall prior meals that weren't coming to mind after a while of eating nothing substantial. "I don't think this is going to be a fun stop."

"Guess we're gonna need more money again," Mirie said to herself as she left some of the others bickering on the bridge. She shook her head as she went to the dormitory corridor, reaching one hand up her shirt sleeve to slip a dagger out from the hidden pocket within. She tapped the nails of her other hand with the blade, entering her room. "Maybe..."

Slipping the dagger back into its pocket in her shirt sleeve, Mirie knelt down beside her cot and reached under for the case she kept there. She lifted the lid and stared inside at its contents. Her case was normally full of threads of all different materials, thicknesses, and colors, as well as different pieces of fabrics and needles of the same extensive variety. However, she'd sold the best bits off almost a week ago on the last planet The Waxwing had visited to get food supplies. Fabrics and threads from Dunmar usually sold for a pretty penny. Now, her case sat empty of all but the most basic threads, and she barely had any full pieces of cloth left.

Damn. I'm actually going to need to buy some more of these myself if I want to keep our clothes properly mended. Hope we pick up a good bounty soon, she thought with a sigh. Shoving her case back under her cot, Mirie walked back out of her room and gasped when she nearly collided with Erin.

"Morning, Mirie, how are things with loverboy Leo?"

"Hello there, Erin." Mirie gave the other girl a broad grin, placing her hands on her hips. "Oh, the usual. You know. It's so undercover that the two of us barely know about it," she said with a conspiratorial wink.

"I'll bet it's undercover" Erin said with another wink, chuckling to herself as she slipped into her room and cast the door shut behind her. "You aren't going to sell all of the pretty ones are you?" She asked through the door as she stepped over to her dresser. She hadn't actually needed the toilet, but being in the cockpit with Streak for too long wasn't often a good idea, and they'd been up for most of the last "night" if you could call it that navigating an asteroid field, and while she didn't mind being smelly, her hair was unkempt and her face needed a wash. She went to the sink and scrubbed her face as best she could, before drying it with a towel and went back to the dresser to sort out her hair and put on a little makeup before they went planetside.

"Oh you find a lot of interesting things in rocks, yup. Iron, coal, rock salt, sparkly stones..." Randa paused for a minute while she pondered other things inside of rocks while she vigorously scrubbed at particularly crusty patch of mayo.

"...gold, Iron -no wait I said iron already, Phosphorus. Any way what was I saying? Oh yeah so it all comes down the belts after the diggers have crunched it all up like chruk chacker crack!" Randa slapping the water with both her hands to imitate the ore machinery to accompany her sound effects, sending water splashing out the sink and up over the wall.

Grinning she turned around "Sorry.. Anyway all done" popping the last pot up on the drainage board and flicking water off her hands.
Turning around she took a biscuit out off her pocket and broke it in half, offering a piece to Jewels before snaffling hers "D'ya know if anyone needs help or can I just slack off?"

Ellery stormed out of the storage room, pistol strapped to his hip, and headed toward the intercom system. He took a few seconds to compose himself, as to avoid sounding angered over the tannoy system.

"Alright!", his voice boomed througout the ship, "If anyone is coming with me to the market you better get your behinds down to the air lock. Everyone else stick with Streak as he fuels up."

"Aww yeah. Second in command right here." Allan said as he lowered the shielding. This high up, and on this kind of planets, junk floating around'd smash right through unprotected glass. The turbulance of an atmospheric entry rattled the entire ship, and he heard something crash in the back. He kept an eye on the VD of the outside, and one of the ship's diagnostics, and after they descended far enough he opened the shielding again.

He tapped the automatic landing procedure, leaving the ship to be shephered in by the docking guide, rather than find a dock big enough for the WaxWing.

"That should hold that one until we land..." Juniper mused, having patched over the crack closest to the fuel tank. "But there's nothing I can do for the rest of them unless I scavenge or buy some new piping." True enough, she had nothing to fix up the rest of the rends in the metal. It was annoying because the damned thing seemed to break down or need a touch-up every other day.

Then the familiar turbulence of the Waxwing entering a planet's atmosphere kicked in, and Juniper quickly grabbed a stanchion built into the tank's side to avoid falling over. At least the artificial gravity system never seemed to break. Someday it would, though, just like every other piece of important machinery on the ship. Juniper liked the idea of working in zero-gravity, although she'd never done it herself. As the shaking subsided, she heard Ellery's voice over the intercom.

"Alright, if anyone is coming with me to the market you better get your behinds down to the air lock. Everyone else stick with Streak as he fuels up."

Juniper was definitely going along to see what there was available. She - and the Waxwing - desperately needed parts to repair the fuel lines. Heck, maybe they could scrap the existing ones and pick up a whole new set of pipes to replace the old ones. Stopping at her room momentarily to pick up her custom-modified laser-pistol, which she gave a quick once-over and then holstered as she made her way to the airlock.

"Yes she is, and that's why she's heading into town with the boss" Erin said, flicking the automatic landing procedure off above Streak's head, having entered quietly unannounced. "You know I don't trust those. Besides, you could do with the practice" she said seriously, her tone jumping to a jocular tone in an instant. "Anyway, I figure since we've been up here all night you haven't told anyone to get you something in town, so here's me asking. Want me to grab you anything?" she said at a quick pace as she pulled her planetside bag from her overhead storage bin, careful not to let Streak see her code.

Streak quickly put his hands on the controls again, surprised by the sudden switch of automatic to manual. The ship dipped for a second before being pulled into a controlled trajectory again. He sighed. and barely heard Erin's offer.

"Oh, um. Sure. Thanks, I've been meaning to get this to a smith," He said, tapping the buckle and old-fashioned revolver that he had put aside when settling down into the seat. "Would you mind? Oh, also get something that'll hold during long flights. I swear, last time we got served 'flight snacks' I swear I destroyed the plumbing myself."

The ship broke through the overhanging smog and smoke hanging over one of Aavasaksa's ports; a collection of houses, walkways and platforms all attached to giant stilts sprouting from the by now toxic ground. There was one dock big enough for the Waxwing, and Streak, with the tip of his tounge between his teeth, manouvered the ship right through the open deck while the software made contact with the ground command, registering them. A loud clunk sounded, and Streak turned off the belly engines.

"Truth be told, I hardly have any of the ugly ones left, never mind the pretty stuff," Mirie said through the door as Erin stepped inside her room. She stood in the hallway for a moment, folding her arms across her chest as she thought. I can't spare any more sewing stuff, but I guess I could always sell off some of my makeup. I'll just have to hope I won't need to make myself look like an old woman with patchy skin anytime soon.

Deciding not to wait on Erin, Mirie slipped back into her own room. She pulled out another case from under her cot, this one smaller, and peered at the contents within. This case held a variety of eyeliners, concealers, brushes, contacts, and the like. "I could stand to rid myself of the more gaudy stuff, I suppose," she told herself, eyeing the particularly bright containers of eyeshadow. Some of it was sparkly. She hadn't had to use the stuff since that job on Kadonis a few months back. The nobles there had a strange sense of fashion.

"Alright! If anyone is coming with me to the market you better get your behinds down to the air lock. Everyone else stick with Streak as he fuels up."

"Whoops, time to go." Mirie grabbed an empty sack sitting on the end of her cot and carefully placed the items she'd selected inside. Done, she shoved the makeup case back and slung the pack over one shoulder as she headed for the air lock. She hoped they'd be able to find some decent food supplies in the market this time.

Jewels took the half of biscuit offered to her and quickly ate it as the captain's message crackled over the intercom. Well it's better than nothing. I guess the kid doesn't know any better. "I don't know if anyone else needs anything. You can ask Ellery I guess, I'm going out there with him when we get to the planet. I have to make sure he picks up something I can cook with. If it was up to him he'd just be picking up nothing but beef jerky and beer."

As the rumbling started, she grabbed a hold of the cabinets and braced herself on the floor. Luckily in better times, Ellery had sprung for the cabinets with the magnet locks, so there was no worry of being covered in anything. Even the shelves had locking mechanisms...if Randa had remembered to relock them after she was done cleaning. Either way the rumbling stopped.

Jewels got up, sure that the clunk meant the landing was over. She brushed herself off. "So yeah, I'm going to head down to the air locks there Randa, um, so yeah." She left the kitchen before she noticed if there was any kind of mess that needed additional attention. Out of sight, out of mind.

Frantically scrambling around to pop the now dented contents of the shelves back inside Randa swore under her breath before giving up on any pretense of re-stacking properly and just started heaping armfuls back inside the cupboards.

"faster faster, don't get stuck on the ship again, gotta move"

Throwing the last few cans in she slammed the cupboard doors shut and sprinted for her bunk to retrieve her rucksack and leather over clothes, yanking them roughly on over her jeans and tanktop. Making sure she had her goggles she spun on her heels and sprinted for the airlock, the metal flooring reverberating under her as she took the final turn a bit toO wide banging into a support strut.

There! there was the airlock hatch and from the sounds coming from it it didn't appear that they'd left yet. Slowing her pace she swung round the airlock hatch at a leisurely pace that was at odds with her heavy breathing, taking deep breaths as she straighted and zipped up the leather vest and chaps.

Exhaling slowly she turned to Captain Ellery , putting on her sweetest smile and asked "So... can I come? I'm sure Streak aint gonna need me plus I did all my chores"

The small house of cards that Leonidas had started on promptly collapsed as the ship shook with a characteristic of entering atmosphere. Still, he didn't mind much as it had been a bit of a time waster anyways. He then smiled a bit as the captain's message sounded through the ship.

"Alright! If anyone is coming with me to the market you better get your behinds down to the air lock. Everyone else stick with Streak as he fuels up."

Leo was looking forward to the trip out as he kicked his feet up and gathered his cards together. He didn't have any money at the moment, but the market would be full of things he could work with. People; marks, tools, ladies they would all be there and Leo knew just how to work them all. Not to say that there weren't a few cuties on the ship, but it was said that verity was the spice of life.

Leo passed through a open bulkhead and made his way down a short ladder that took him right to the airlock in question just in time for Randa to arrive as well.

"Oh yes Ellery. She has been so good lately." He said with a hint of humor, "Surely you wouldn't keep our little Cinderella locked away for ever."

"Yeah, you can come. No point in you cleaning when we'll have messed everything up by dinner anyway."

Ellery surveyed the area behind the crew that had gathered, making sure nobody that wanted to come was going to be left out. The only people that seemed to be staying were Streak and Erin.

"Alright, we can give those two some well needed time alone. Everyone else, make sure you're packing heat. Pickpockets are going to be everywhere on this dump, and I bet the salesmen ain't so chirpy either."

Twisting the lever to exit hatch left, he opened the exit. Whatever smell came next seemed to be some kind of mix between animal droppings and cheap airfreshener.

"Let's make this quick."

Before Ellery could take a step out in the murky, brown coloured landscape, Erin appeared alongside the others.

"And here was me thinking you and Streak wanted some quality time together."

Jewels emerged behind the landing party, it was much larger than she thought. Everyone but Streak was coming down, and that was no surprise. Streak loved this ship a lot. Even in the state of disrepair it was appearing, despite Juniper's best efforts, Streak still put the ship above everything else.

Some of the crew, she wasn't sure exactly what they were going to be going for, Randa in particular. But if Ellery gave her the go ahead, there must be something on this forsaken rock that piqued the teen's interests.

"Ellery, you think we're going to find something I can actually cook with here that doesn't make a shlorp sound when I put it into the pot?" she asked the captain. "I mean, I'm sure you want something other than beans for the next couple weeks..."

"I doubt it. Not with our budget, anyway. Find the cheapest stuff you can get that'll last a few days at best and a week at a stretch. To anyone else, I suggest using your personal wages on food for yourselves."

Ellery noticed a few sour faces in reaction to his last comment.

"I promise I'll find us a bounty on this rock before we leave, how about that? In fact, why don't you come with me to the local law enforcement station Randa? You can learn the ways of us bounty hunters, the freelance police force of the galaxy! Also, you can totally defend me from the hookers on this planet. I can't hit a girl."

Flashing a smile at Leo for getting her back she was about to ask what a 'Cinderella' was, A helper? yeah that made sense when Ellery spoke;

"I promise I'll find us a bounty on this rock before we leave, how about that? In fact, why don't you come with me to the local law enforcement station Randa? You can learn the ways of us bounty hunters, the freelance police force of the galaxy! Also, you can totally defend me from the hookers on this planet. I can't hit a girl."

Randa grinned and not just at the prospect of maybe having to hit some tarted up doxie, all in defense of the captain of course. This was it, Part of the team taking down scumbuckets and cashing checks plus No more.... less....exactly the same amount of cleaning. Yay?

"Sure I gotcha back Cap plus about time I started schooling in the 'family' trade" smiling she pulled her bulky goggles over her eyes to ward out the glare from the sun that seeped through the smog and shuffled closer to Ellery.
"Sooooo... does this mean I get a gun Cap?"

A sigh escaped Jewels' lips as she heard the expected requirements of her shopping excursion. "Aye, Captain," she replied. A quick check of the ship's food budget that she was entrusted with meant that there would be little coming in, and having to spend their own meager personal wages on food was silly. "Be back in a bit then."

As the Captain headed to the police station, something Jewels had no intention on doing herself, she headed off to the nearby market. As expected, there was really no fresh fruit or vegetables or anything on this speck of rock. Just more canned goods that had to be imported in. "Sigh, I'm with Randa," she said to herself as she perused the selections. "I wish we landed on a nicer planet a bit more often, rather than just these one stop trading posts." While waiting for word that Ellery's business on the planet was finished, she continued to go through the offerings to see if there was anything else that looked like it could contain something with flavor in it.

Juniper whistled cheerfully to herself as she followed Jewels to the markets, then peeled off when she got there and stopped to examine a length of extension cable wrapped around a piece of wood. She noticed the cleverly hidden tear in the cabling, and the broken wires beneath, and immediately put it back where she found it. Putting broken gear to work would just make it worse.

Then she found something in a pile of what looked like discarded junk that would make her day... if it was compatible. Mostly clean, surprisingly undamaged pipes that could quite possibly replace most of the old pieces in the Waxwing's fuel tank and engine. No-one seemed to be looking out for the pile, so she picked up one of the half-dozen or so pieces and took a closer look at it. No signs of intense damage, a few slightly crude repairs here and there but nothing that didn't need changing.

Juniper furtively looked around to see if anyone was looking her way. No-one was; they were all too busy with talking to others or looking through their own junkpiles. With that in mind, the engineer 'requisitioned' the pipes for herself, tucking them under one arm and quickly walking away. She slowed down after a short while, trying to blend in with the crowds and not attract attention to herself by moving too quickly.

Leonidas didn't waste too much time before heading into the markets on his own with an easy smile and a whistling tune. Leo spent some time wandering among the shops looking for his objective and still passed by it for a bit after he had spotted it. It was almost surprising how much the darkly dressed people in the market place almost seemed to get out of the way of the brightly clothed Leo. Of course he knew it was mostly a mater of posture. Most people would see such a person; confidant, handsome, and clean and it wouldn't take much of a leap to assume that wealth and power were the cause. A person probably not to be messed with.

Eventually Leo circled around and crouched slightly to enter the low door of the slightly grimy shop. Bottles of various colors and different labels were set in a few small shelves. But while half a dozen bars were nearby that brazenly advertised their cheep booze, but Leo could tell that even within this near squalor there would be a few prideful souls; and they would hold themselves all the higher for being so low.

Leo wasn't disappointed either as he saw the proprietor, a middle aged man who seemed quite neat and orderly despite his dark shop.

"Oh, hello. What can I do for you?" The man asked, clearly jumping on the rare appearance of a customer.

Leo smiled easily and began to speak as he wandered the shop examining the bottles. "Well you see, my ship is stopping by for fuel and what not." It wasn't difficult for Leo to slip into the role of a wealthy idiot. "And I was thinking of restocking some of my provisions as well, space travel can be rather dull you know. Anyways, I was just looking for some samples of the local drinks so that I might decide what to take with me."

The shopkeeper's eyes lit up quickly at the prospect of a larger sale in the future and he quickly scrambled to offer Leo a bottle of his best wine; at a special price of course. The amount was a bit more of Leo secret stash then he had been hoping to spend, but he recognized the good deal and it wasn't too much longer before Leo left the shop with a bag that contained the wine.

It certainly wasn't good wine compared to what Leo had once been used to, but the captain had said they should spend their money on food, and if Leo was finally going to starve they he would rather do so in a happy state.

I hope this planet's people like to dress up their faces, Mirie thought as she followed behind the others to the markets. She looked around for a bit, pausing when she saw a stall displaying fabrics and threads. The shopkeeper, an older man with trembling hands, noticed her interest and tried to shove practically everything he had onto her. Mirie simply frowned as she inspected the different fabrics. They were all cheap and thin, liable to tear at any given moment. The threads were't any better. "Never mind," she sighed as she waved a dismissive hand at the shopkeeper. He scowled at Mirie as she walked away, clearly offended.

After a while, Mirie finally found a stall selling lipsticks and other makeup. The shopkeeper was a chubby middle-aged woman with pale skin and droopy eyes. Mirie smiled to herself; this would be easy.

"Hello there," she said, resting her pack on an empty part of the counter. "I'm here to sell." The shopkeeper simply stared at Mirie with a bored expression as she took out everything in the pack. "This is all of it," Mirie said, nudging the small pile of cosmetics closer to the woman.

The shopkeeper leaned forward, picking up and studying each container closely. "I dunno," she said, finally setting the last of them down. "They're all kinda bright, yeah?"

"To be honest, my good woman, I think a bit of brightness is what this planet needs," Mirie replied, casting a glance around her as she spoke. She'd definitely taken note of the rather drab decor and plain-looking people earlier. The way the planet's citizens seemed sort of daunted by Leo's bright clothes hadn't escaped her notice, either. "This stuff will help make people stand out and be noticed," she continued, looking back at the woman. "This stuff will make you look younger, prettier, and accentuate your eyes. Those who view these noticeable, good-looking people will want the same attention, thus turning their business over to you for the same stuff."

"Not much here to sell to dozens of people," the shopkeeper said, giving the pile of cosmetics a rather dubious look.

"That's precisely it," Mirie told her with a knowing nod. "The laws of supply and demand, y'see. You can charge more for this stuff, upping the price as the stock goes down." She paused, casting another glance around, then leaned in to whisper, "And have I mentioned that all this fine-quality stuff comes from Dunmar?"

Just a few minutes later, Mirie walked away with an empty pack and a heavy coin purse. She hummed to herself as she spotted Jewels looking through the food selections. "Need any extra funds?" she asked as she stood beside Jewels, looking through the food herself. "I've still got a few packets of beef jerky back in my own room, so I could spare some coin for the benefit of the whole crew. You wouldn't believe how much I got this woman to pay for a bunch of bright, gaudy makeup."

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