Capn' Crunch Now With Crunchberries


ff_adam_icon.gif ff_delia_icon.gif ff_geneva_icon.gif ff_huruma_icon.gif ff_ryans_icon.gif wf_squeaks_icon4.gif

Scene Title Capn' Crunch Now With Crunchberries
Synopsis The Cerberus says hello to its newest crew member.
Date December 6, 2018

The Pelago - Docks

Scavenging has always been a way of life and, in another world, she was actually pretty good at it. Especially with her ability. But in this world, with all its best hidden places unable to be explored, Squeaks can’t help but feel like a fish out of water. Strange, especially since this world is full of water. But she’s been making an effort. It hasn’t paid off well, but she has finally managed to scrape together enough salvage to see her to the Pelago with all its wonders and back to the Crash Pad. It left her with nothing to spend, but it gave her the chance to nose about somewhere different for a while.

But time for that is nearly up now. The teenager has wandered from the excitement and the noise. It was a fun trip, full of way too many things to see. It left her wondering if her ability to find things worked under water, too. She’ll have to try that sometime. She’s made her way to the docks, to wander and watch the boats and their crews while waiting for her ride back to the temporary home place.

"You look a little lost, Kid," a female's voice cuts through the lap of the waves against the docks before her form becomes visible. Wild red hair, knotted at the back in a dishevelled bun, is the first noticeable feature. Then it's the sparkle of her blue eye, the other covered by a tortoiseshell eyepatch. She's busying herself by knotting a bit of thin rope. Practice, restlessness, or nervous habit, it could be any of the above. What is clear is that the rope doesn't need to be played with, it's not attached to anything.

Delia's dressed in warm sea faring clothing, a yellow slicker over a cable knit sweater. Clothing that would be warm as long as it's not damp, which, judging by the salt stains on the garment, it probably is most of the time. Still, she seems in very good health. Her age betrayed by wrinkles near the corner of her eye rather than the youthful glow of her skin. "If you don't mind the advice, it's best not to look lost."

“Heads up, Delia,” A deep rumbling voice calls from ship, a bundle of nets flung out for her to catch. Luckily, they will be lighter than they look as Ben Ryans uses his ability to pull back some of the weight and momentum, but not enough to be noticeable by the suspicious. “Be down shortly to help mend those.” The rescue business does not exactly feed his crew or pay for repairs, so they still need to do things like fishing and scavenging to help supplement their supplies.

The figure on the boat pauses in his retreat and leans over the railing of the ship again, “Who do you have there?” Eyes squint against the sun, trying to see if it is someone familiar. Ryans might need glasses.

“I know where I’m going.” Squeaks’ answer is easy enough, she might be wandering and watching strangers do what they do, but she doesn’t feel like she’s like she’s lost. She’s waiting for a boat. Her head swivels to look at the woman who called to her, maybe about to explain as much since one hand is also starting to motion over her shoulder and the way she’d come. But there’s a visible pause in that thought when she looks at Delia.

“…But thanks,” she amends after that pause. The sailor-woman looks familiar, like a face from a long time ago, and it reflects vaguely in the teen’s expression. Her eyes go up further when there’s motion on the boat, and follow the net down. “I just …” She looks up again at the man leaning over the side of the boat. “I’m not lost. Just curious.”

"You know what they say. About curiosity killing the cat." Previously silent, another female voice echoes out now from the direction of just beyond Squeaks. Lounging on the docks with her back against a pile of lashed-together salvage is a simply-clad young woman, garbed in a short, gray wrap dress with loose flowing sleeves. This woman can’t be that old— a cursory glance would put her at about 20 or so— but there is a cold sereneness to her eyes that is rather strange. Her blonde hair drapes out behind her in an elegant fan: the sea-breeze occasionally flutters through it as if ruffling through a tapestry.

There is a length of fishing lines sitting in her lap and Geneva looks to be in the midst of repairing them, though this does not preclude her from affixing the younger girl with a calm-looking gaze now. “Are you alone here?”

“It is actually ‘care killed the cat’.” Huruma chimes in from her sudden perch up against the railing beside the captain, the collar of her coat tugged against the breeze down her neck. “Worry, rather. Read some Shakespeare.” There’s a library and everything.

Her pale eyes settle down onto the docks where Squeaks stands in her wandering way, pupils ticking after the girl as she looks up. The darkest of the women seems to belong right where she is, languid against the rail and watching the teenager like a bored mouser. Huruma’s voice purrs low, and she flashes a smile of teeth to Geneva..

“Let her be curious. It suits her.”

Delia’s raucous laugh (tone aside) likely suits a man more than a woman, but she owns it. Standing up at her full height, she begins spreading the nets out readying them for repair. “Alone isn’t what you want to be here either,” she responds to her shipmate jovially, waving her over to help with the nets. “Come on Squid, let’s get this done.”

Because who wouldn’t want to be nicknamed after a squid, they’re effin’ fierce.

After pulling the first net taught over the deck, the redhead’s fingers begin knotting it with similar ones used on the bit of rope. It’s cold, so she’s working quickly, blowing on her hands for warmth between every few knots. “I agree with Hooms though, curiosity suits her. Since there’s already a cat, we can call her Kitten.”

For a man pushing seventy, Captain Ryans doesn’t move like one. A clap of a hand on Huruma’s shoulder, he moves to disembark, hopping part of the way down the plank. It is a distance that should be jarring for an old man like him, instead, he is pulling himself to his full height, eyes studying the young girl. “You forget, Delia… you were quite the force of nature at her age and just as independent. You and Lu both.”

Looking down at the girl, Ben offers a hand scarred and calloused from time at the sea; probably even a little dirty from work. It allows him to get down lower and look into the girls eyes. “Captain Benjamin Ryans of the Cerberus.” He then motions to each person in turn, “This is my youngest daughter, Delia. One of my officers, Huruma… and that lass over there is Geneva.” While he talks he observes the young girl.

Finally, the Captain straightens, “Your eyes are older than the rest of you.” He looks at the others, “Somehow, I think she’s more apt at taking care of herself then we think.” Her gives Squeaks a smile and a wink, the wrinkles around his mouth and eyes deepening. “What’s your name young lady? I haven’t seen you around these parts before.”

Bouncing away from the man to the first new voice and then up to the second, well-honed suspicion settles into Squeaks’ expression. The casual comradery shouldn’t be worrying, her tribe was a tightknit one with similar habits — tasks done with practiced ease while jokes were tossed around — but the weathered look of grown-ups is something she’s come to approach cautiously. Those were the sort that weren’t often nice in the Wasteland.

The teenager holds her ground when the captain approaches, and she’s cautiously slow at accepting the handshake. Her eyes flick to each who’s introduced, lingering a teeny bit longer on Delia than any of the others That shadow of recognition returns and remains when she looks up at the old man again.

“Jac,” she answers. It sounds like she’s trying to stifle the suspicion, or her natural wonderment of everything is wrestling for control. The strangers seem nice enough, but this world is still pretty strange. “I’m not from here. I traveled around a lot before.”

A dark blue-eyed gaze slides quietly to the form of Huruma up against the railing, but there lurks just the barest whisper of smugness as well now. "That may have been the original form of the proverb, but nobody has said 'care' since the 1900s. Last I checked, ma'am, we appear to be a little ways past that now." It would seem that this world's version of Geneva Stevenson is surprisingly more well-read than the one in Prime. When she gets the precious opportunity there is little else for the girl to do, indeed, besides dwell in a melancholia on the ship that would otherwise threaten to swallow her whole.

When Captain Ryans mentions her name in introduction, Geneva gives the barest of nods in response, the tail end of her dress flowing languidly in the breeze. “You say you are not from around here. That is strange, without a ship and a crew. Where are you from?”

"Are we really so past that?" Huruma leans her chin on the backs of her fingers, other hand tapping idly against the rail. She doesn't make the rules, she just points out the pirates and the ships and so on. Though she seems to sass aplenty at the younger woman, her eyes trail after Ben as he introduces himself to the skinny girl. "A lot of travellers lately. Not all of them particularly welcomed with open arms. Which one are you, hm?"

"Hey! How about we make ourselves useful and work on the nets while we're gabbin'? I wanna get paid before we get some shore leave and I'm not sharing if I have to do all the work." Delia's voice interjects the questions, a feeble attempt to deflect some of the attention away from the shy girl who doesn't seem so comfortable being the focus of an entire crew's inquisition. It's hard to tell if it's a wink or a blink that she passes along to the young teen but when it's done, there's a bit of a crinkle at the corner because of the smile pasted to her face.

"You're welcome," she says in a lower tone and then tosses the kid one of the smaller nets. "You can say thank you by spreading this one out on the dock. Dad'll probably toss you a few bucks for helping and don't tell me you're good on cash. No one is around here except the pirates and the scavs and you're not going to take any offense at not being lumped in with either of those types."

“Nice to meet you, Jac,” Ben offers pleasantly enough.”You’re the adventurous sort, that much is clear. Curious and cautious. All good traits for a world such as this.” His expression gentles a bit, “And I’m sorry this is the world you kids have to grow up in.” Taking a deep breath, the Captain turns to join the crew and starts to help untangle the nets.

“Extra hands are always welcome,” the Captain agrees with Delia, “If you’ve a mind to help before you’re off on your next adventure…. I’m sure I can dredge up something in exchange.” Cash wasn’t exactly what it used to be, though it’s hard to shake the terminology that has been around for centuries. “Some dried fish or salvage that can be exchanged for goods. Or maybe the promise of a hot meal?” Not that meals amounted for much in a world where diets composed mainly of seafood.

He looks at the nets being spread out as the crew starts to work on repairs, “I have a Captain’s meeting tomorrow.” He looks at the sky, eyes squinting at the clouds. “I’d like to be ready to ship out the following day.” That is mainly for the crew.

The young teen doesn’t smile back, but the look that’s shared with Delia does seem grateful for the attempted distraction. She catches the net that’s tossed at her, and even though the weight off it causes her to take two steps back she hangs onto it and stays standing. “I’m from a long ways away,” she decides to answer the crew’s questions when as she looks at the captain again.

Her eyes flit over to Delia again as she’s offered some form of pay in exchange for helping from both the older red head as well as Captain Ryans. There’s probably plenty time before she’s scuttled back to the Crash Pad and it makes no sense denying that she could use any kind of resources. And besides, stretching out nets doesn’t sound that hard.

“I could use work.” That’s said more to the bundle of nets than anyone really, sort of a decisive way and committing to the work. Squeaks tugs at one end and pulls another, until she’s found a way to begin untangling things. As the net gets laid out and stretched, she side-eyes the crew and then the captain a few times. Probably checking her work. But when plans to sail soon are brought up, she even pauses, curious and not bothering to hide it. “Where are you going?”

Even as she returns to the task of mending the length of tangled and broken lines resting in her lap, Geneva allows herself to smirk— the first hint of an attitude approaching fire that had entered her aspect thus far. A strange break in her forlorn demeanor. All right, yes, they do live in a submerged world filled with ramshackle vessels and scrap as far as the eye can see. “Sure, Hooms. But you know what I meant. Nobody talks like an ancient fogey anymore, not even Adam— and he’s the only one with an excuse.” Being literally born hundreds of years ago and all.

Idly, Geneva’s gaze settles back on the small form of Squeaks once again, evidently approving that the younger girl is already attempting to make herself useful. “You can help me out in the galley,” she says as she observes. “Feeding these bottomless stomachs is hard work.”

A moment later, her silence confirms her acknowledgement of the Captain’s pronouncement. “We’ll be ready. You know what your meeting is about?” she asks curiously, her mildness of expression suggesting that she will not be offended if Ryans does not tell her.

“Respect your elders.” Huruma tosses down with a flippant air, one hand waving dismissively before she is moving to pick up a crab trawler and some tools and goes to work on rethreading some of the joints, cage perched on the rail as she works- - she’d rather not miss watching this.

Squeaks appears well enough in hand, with those small fingers untangling netting; Huruma watches her for a long moment, the drape of her senses studying the girl. Her curiosity is definitely… defining. The question of destination comes up, and Huruma fixes a look longways to Ben, the purse of her mouth edged to one side. He can decide on his own what to answer that with.

“Dunno, yet,” The Captain says to the kid, cause really he isn’t sure yet. “Depends on the meeting.” Which brings him to Geneva’s questions, “Which will be a normal discussion about the winter to come, so that we will see. Maybe we’ll hit up the winter fishing grounds or do some scavenging.” There is a shrug of his shoulders, “Could end up like this last trip out, which had us saving a group from pirates.” Which tended to happen more than he liked, but someone had to do it.

His attention drifts up to Huruma, but it’s not apparent what he’s thinking, though Huruma can feel his unease. “Delia,” Benjamin addresses his youngest daughter, before looking her way. “Make sure you and Lu go see your Mom and JR.” A smile tugs up at the corner, he probably suspects she’s been doing that in her own way. “Pretty sure your little brother will be climbing the walls to see you both.”

Only one of those answers receives a nose wrinkle from the sea captain's daughter. Pirates. She's not a fan. The last instruction, though, sets the woman at ease and a wide grin spreads across her features. "You bet I will," Delia can only answer for herself but she's sure the answer will cover her sister as well. The baby of the family has been everyone's favorite since his birth. "He's going to be tickled when he sees all the starfish I've dried for his collection." She turns to Squeaks and Geneva with a grin and shakes her head, "Swear to god, that kid is half merman.. if it comes from the ocean, it's decorating his room."

Her nimble fingers are busily knotting the holes that have ripped in the net or come loose. Seeing Squeaks actually helping, she move her work a little closer and spends a few knots teaching the teen how to properly tie. "Do it this way, then they don't come loose when the net is loaded with fish." She pauses and looks up at Ben, "Speaking of… If we're fishing, we're going to have to have to prep the brine before we leave. Want me to head in to trade for some salt?"

“I don’t cook, I find things,” is Squeaks’ distracted response to Geneva and proof that she’s listening to everything even though she’s making frowny faces at the tangles. Her fingers are small enough to work some of the worst and it’s work that’s quickly picked up on. When Delia gets close enough to show her work, she pauses to watch and then slowly puzzle through the method on her own piece of netting.

“I don’t know where I’m going yet either.” That’s more in response to the captain’s answer and spoken conversationally. “We got here not that long ago and it’s kind of waiting and seeing a lot. And trying to find supplies for our tr-crew. But we’re used to it.”

“Fogey, was it?” For how much he wheezes after a long walk, Adam Monroe is still quiet as a cat on his feet. Huruma felt him coming, but looming behind Geneva as he is, hands tucked into his pockets and brows lowered in feigned disdain, Adam can’t help but sneak up on the young woman. He shoulders past her, a rough sort of camaraderie that comes with a look back over his shoulder and a playful wink.

But then, blue eyes ringed by fatigued red and tired shadow settle over on the ginger girl amid his familiar crew. One of Adam’s pale brows rise, and he watches the young woman with an assessing look, before turning to Ryans like an elderly cat that’s found a mouse in the kitchen. Too old and tired to bat it around, but just concerned enough to let out a creaking meow. “Did we fish this one up in the nets?”

Eyes focused downwards on her work, Geneva can’t help but release a scowl as Adam suddenly brushes past her, quiet and mischievous as a cat.This is returned in muted jest, though. It’s Huruma who receives the real scowl, as well as a gaze that clearly reads ‘no, excuse me, respect is earned.’ “Adam, you should teach Huru how to talk like a normal human being. She’s the real fogey.” If a tricentenarian can manage it… ahem.

As for Squeaks: Gene shakes her head in mock sorrow. “Your loss. It’s useful to eventually learn how to do everything aboard, you know. And cooking’s a useful skill.” The endless palette of seafood had been exciting at first, but when there are literally no options for anything else, it does quickly get old without a few tricks to spruce it up.

With this now occupying her mind, she throws a look over in Delia’s direction when trading for salt is mentioned. “If you’re heading to the markets, Dee, I’ll come with. Or go instead, if you have things aboard to do. We’re short on oil and a few other things.”

The only thing that Huruma offers back to Geneva’s scowling is a ‘tch’ sucked against the back of her teeth. Yeah, keep making that face all you want. Adam, of course, gets a tiny smile for his sauntering in, and his question brings a small shrug out in response. “May as well have…”

“At this point perhaps we just ought to make a shopping list.” Huruma can’t help a snort, glancing towards Ben. Sometimes these ones make her feel like she has a dozen children. “Maybe Delia could take JR, make him feel important. Children like to feel as if adults find them responsible.” And it might give the girls some bonding time with him, but you know- - she’s always looking out. It also may be qualifying for some of this young crew, but she doesn’t say as much.

“Where have you been all day, then, hm?” Huruma finishes off the last binding on the trawler before putting it aside, tipping her head towards Adam.

"I was thinking about taking Geneva," Delia answers in response to the suggestion of taking her little brother on a shopping trip. "I'd feel less responsible for her welfare than his…" Huruma can feel the anxiety washing over the redhead the moment the suggestion was brought up. "Mostly because mom wouldn't kill me if Geneva stubbed a toe… and goddamn that boy is clumsy. Still growing into his feet, I guess." Finishing that bit of netting, she glances at Squeaks with a bit of a frown.

Teenagers… gotta love them.

She doesn't ask the obvious question.

"You wanna come haul salt with me?" Is what she asks instead, "We'll take the dingy and head up to Lowe's. If you're new around here you're going to want to know your way around there first." Looking up at Adam, she motions to Squeaks and makes the polite introduction, "Jac, this is Adam Olderthandirt, he's dad's first mate. Adam, this is Jac."

Benjamin studies the young girl, “Find things, huh? A useful skill.” The old man moves to sit on a low crate and pulls a section of net to him. Despite age and arthritis, he works deftly with his knotting. Looking at his daughter, it is clear she was suggesting what he was thinking. “You should go with Delia, Jac. She has a knack for dealing and bartering. She might be able to help you find things you need for your crew.”

At her introduction, Ryans gives a heavy sigh and a shake of his head. Adam is offered an apologetic look. “Where did I go wrong? Not a lick of respect for her elders. Tsk.” Though it’s not so much scolding, since there is a kinship among much of the crew. “As for the youngin’ she kind of just showed up, so put her to work.” Giving Adam a grin, he shrugs. “More hands gets work done sooner.” He unwinds a bit of seaweed from the line and tosses it aside.

Twisting away from her bit of net, but not really leaving the work just pausing in it, Squeaks looks up at the new voice. Her eyes get a little squinty with the same kind of cautious look the whole rest of the crew has seen. But she follows the introductions with a nod. “Mostly everyone calls me Squeaks,” she adds, since she’s already inserted herself into the crew’s work.

“Finding things is useful.” As the teen agrees, she looks at the net and starts fussing with it again. “Not just scavving, either, but also places. Like rooms, tunnels…” Her words trail, like she could probably continue for a while but decides not to.

A look flickers to Delia then up to Ryans and Adam. “Okay. I mean I can. But after I tell what I found and we decide what we need?” Because it wouldn’t be good to make her brother worry. And there’s probably certain specific things people want or need that she doesn’t know yet.

The addition of an adorable moppet to the crew is something Adam’s seen happen more than once. Delia, for example. So his interest is instead with the seasoned crew he knows, and slanting a pale-eyed look over to Geneva, Adam kicks up a brow and then flicks a look back at Huruma, brow rising higher with a smirk. “When you’ve been around as long as Huruma and I have,” comes with a Cheshire grin, attention sliding back to Geneva, “you start t’learn that language is a bloody joke an’ everyone’s making it up as they go along. Dictionaries, thesauruses, it’s all just an attempt t’codify something that’s alive.

Hands raised into the air in a helpless shrug, Adam seems more entertained by the conversation of language than much of anything else. The proverbial lazy cat has found his string. “There’s more words that’ve fallen out of favor than are even spoken today. And today’s… what’re the kids saying, botswarf and primal? Are yesterday’s puke and groovy.” Tucking his hands in his pockets and walking with a plodding, stooped posture, Adam tilts his head to the side and continues to regard Geneva curiously. “If Huruma wants to polish up an’ old fiddlefaddle or tommyrot, that makes her like…” his eyes roll back in search of the right analogy. “An antiques dealer.”

No. That’s a terrible analogy.

“Yes, something that’s alive,” Geneva responds drily, one blue eye closed as she focuses on putting the final touches on her repairs. “Things that are alive usually go forwards. Towards progress. Not deliberately backwards.” This not-so-subtle jab to Huruma aside, she otherwise doesn’t seem all that interested by this discussion of language. Rather, it is the littlest prospective crew member that has her attention riveted; she watches Squeaks out of the corner of her eyes casually, but with more than a hint of unbidden curiosity. She would have questions for that one later, and she suspected that they would one and all be finding out more about these ‘travelers’- this one included - soon enough.

Then the pale-haired girl stands up, pausing only to lean and toss her finished work over to Delia over the side of the railing, emptying her own hands. “I’ll be heading to the markets later, if anyone cares to join.” Some time alone on shore before she re-joined her crew, plus one, would be a welcome diversion.

Something tells her that this newest addition to their posse would be the very smallest of changes they would be facing in the days to come.

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