Fishy Business


ff_kendall_icon.gif ff_robyn2_icon.gif ff_silas_icon.gif

Scene Title Fishy Business
Synopsis Kendall and Roux have a run-in with Silas, who tells them he’s going to Japan. Also, Kendall needs to be taught how to actually cook a fish.
Date June 3, 2020

The Pelago

One of several bars in the Pelago

No matter the situation of the world, some things remain constant: So long as humanity persists, there will always be those who expend their efforts into impairing their senses by any means necessary. That being said, the presence of bars and the like are a familiar presence, even in a drowned world.

US currency being all but worthless, and alcohol being anything but, bars are also a prime location for barter. Those able to salvage are among the lucky ones, bringing in items that they could pawn off for the precious commodity. And then, there’s some with less orthodox trade items.

Kendall had learned a LONG time ago that just because he’s able to create something out of nothing, he shouldn’t try using that to trade for real things; after all, he can’t keep something tangible more than a few seconds after he stops touching it, so he got found out pretty quickly. As such, everything he tries bringing in is regarded with some suspicion even now, years later.

“I got something good this time!” he announces cheerfully to the bartender, digging into his pocket and pulling out a dirty but still shiny gold bracelet, broken. “Got it out of the belly of a fish I caught!”

The bartender is less than enthusiastic when being presented with this, regarding the bracelet held in the young man’s hand with a frown. “All right, you know the deal.” a finger is tapped on the bar, and Kendall sighs. “Aw, come on, I don’t do that anymore, you know you can trust me.” with that complaint, he nevertheless sets the bracelet down on the bar, lifting his hands up and away from it with an exaggerated motion.

Silas lounges at his usual corner table, watching the haggling going on with mild interest. The boat's getting refit, and he knows better than to skulk about watching while Queen Lowe's techs work; any half-decent tech would get annoyed by that fast, and Silas can't blame them.

And seeing as his former den is now even more of a wreck than it had been when he was living there — i.e., literally slag — well, sometimes you want to go where everybody (or at least the bartender) knows your name. And besides… this place has memories to it. Even if the wallpaper has faded to unrecognizability.

The story that's getting passed is what's caught his interest, though. Silas considers for a moment, weighing whether or not it's worth the trouble to poke at this fish story… but it's a slow day, and he's bored, and he likes this place.

"What kinda fish?" he drawls.

"Kendall…" Roux stands behind him, standing on her tiptoes as she looks past him at the bracelet. She had run into him on his way to deliver his newest find, and while at first she'd been eager to see what shiny thing he'd found now, she huffs out a breath as he backs away from the bar.

"Don't argue," she whines, placing a hand on his shoulder, at least until Silas gets her attention. "Siguy!" Her smile widens, and she practically hops over to him from Kendall, looking like an excited kid waiting for a present. But at his question, she turns back halfway and raises an eyebrow at him.

"Attendre un instant, you did save the fish, right?!" Uh oh. "Kendall we coulda had that for dinner!"

When some stranger asks what kind of fish it is, though, he turns towards Silas, eying him a little suspiciously. "Who's asking?" Then when Roux pops over his shoulder, he shakes his head.

"I'm not arguing! Just wanted to make sure I got the full value for this real, genuine bracelet." Not that saying it that way would convince anyone. At her question, he smirks at her.

"Huh? Of course I kept it." Kendall raises his eyebrows at Roux, then with a flourish produces a rather pungent bag out of thin air. "Just didn't think it was a good idea to carry it around where others could see."

Nevertheless, Kendall reaches into the bag and pulls out a long, skinny fish with sharp teeth - a barracuda, eviscerated. It's not a very large one, maybe about 2 and a half feet long. That should be good enough for Silas' curiosity. Then he stuffs the fish back in and makes the bag vanish again, fortunately the smell along with it. "That's for later." he reassures Roux, then when she greets Silas, he turns back towards him. "You know this old dude?" he asks her, looking him up and down.

Silas arches an eyebrow when the kid asks who's asking; the question reveals more than he might realize, especially being asked here.

He'd have been willing to cut the kid a little slack for being a friend of Roux's, but the old guy bit pushes him right back around to annoyed — not that he lets it show; he just gives a faint smile. "Me? Just an old salt, waiting to turn ship." he says, shrugging and taking a sip of his water. "Nobody important."

Then Silas looks to Roux, and he grins. "Heya Roux. Meet a new friend?"

"Don't be ruuuuude," Roux whines in a murmur to Kendall, looking down at the floor as she stands between him and Silas. "He's a friend! You're both friends, so be nice!" It's as close to a demand as Roux ever gets, her hands on her hips as she looks between them both with narrowed eyes.

"Silas is a new friend from when I was outta the Pelago!" she announces to Kendall. "He's nice, he makes great sweet bread and he was on vacation in another world for a while which is wild and I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't been there myself!" What exactly did she get up to in the Ark that she isn't telling Kendall about?

Turning to Silas, she motions to Kendall with a wide smile on her face. "Kendall is an old friend from before I was at the Ark!" she proudly proclaims as if this is vital information. "We dated for a while and it was weird and he's kind of rude and kind of a nerd but don't hold any of that against him because he's really nice and I wouldn't trade him for anyone else!"

With those embarrassing factoids dispensed she nods, satisfied with her attempt to make both men behave, hands on her hips as she looks between them.

Kendall is taken aback by the sudden stream of unflattering descriptions by Robyn, and he darts a quick look Silas' way, suddenly concerned that his image is being ruined. "Er. For the record, it was a mutual decision." Is clarified defensively.

It's a bit much to take in all at once, and he tries to parse it one piece at a time. "Outside the Pelago… you mean wherever it is you went that you don't wanna talk about, right?" Maybe Silas can fill him in. But more importantly…

"Another world? Like…" he points upwards, skeptically. "Did you get abducted by aliens, or something?" Ok so Roux would likely believe that, but aliens don't exist! If this guy believes it, he's a crackpot.

Silas is good at keeping a poker face, but he can't quite keep a hint of a smile off of his face at Roux's rather unflattering descriptors… though the fact that she's still hanging around with him tells another side to that story, as well.

When talk turns to the subject of another world, though, that smile fades; it makes him look older still. Maybe even a little haunted.

Kendall's question about aliens draws Silas's gaze back to him, and for a moment that hint of a smile returns, a bitter ghost of itself. "No," he says, his voice quiet — a flat and outright refusal.

He takes a deep breath, some animation coming back to him. "No. Nothing like that." Silas's gaze turns back to Roux, and now his grin is one of wry, good-natured humor. "That's not a story I usually tell on such short acquaintance, though; it's a lot to ask someone to believe," he chuckles. "Hell. I wouldn't have believed it either, if I hadn't been there," he admits.

Silas's gaze flickers back to Kendall for a moment, still with that edge of wry amusement. "Don't want people thinkin' I'm a few hushpuppies short of dinner," he says, snickering — he definitely hadn't missed that skepticism in Kendall's voice.

"Don't worry about it!" Roux enthuses to Kendall. "D-W-A-I!" Each letter is very deliberately and individually pronounced. "He's back and that's all that matters!" Reaching over, Roux pats Silas on the shoulder and beams a smile up at him. "Now be nice to each other. Friends!"

"So when're you fixing dinner?" she asks, trying to change the subject now that she's made the most awkward introductions she possibly could. With a turn back to Silas, she quirks an eyebrow. "Can you cook fish? You should join us!" Sorry, Kendall.

"Well if you're a better cook than me you're welcome to come. This fish should be able to feed three easily." Seems like Kendall is willing to hold out an olive branch, at least where food is involved.

"All right, no one wants to talk about this incredibly traumatizing experience." Sigh. Guess he'll just have to languish in having small hints and references dropped. Woe. "Maybe one of these days. Until then I'll just have to suffer with my curiosity." At least for now, he won't push the subject, since it's making both of them as twitchy as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

"I'm a better cook than some," Silas says mildly — it's delivered not as a boast, but as a simple observation of fact. "It's been awhile since I cooked barracuda. Vicious buggers, but tasty if you cook 'em right."

Abruptly, he grins. "Truth be told, I've got nowhere to be today; Queen Lowe's people are going over the boat to get her ready for the big trip, and I'm trying not to get underfoot while they're working. No one likes getting backseated while they're tryin' to work."

With a glance down to the ground, Roux's lips quirk side to side. "Let it go." It's a plaintive request, one Kendall's heard before - every time this particular subject comes up even, never mind that she's the one who put it out there to begin with.

"Big trip?" Roux looks back up at Silas and blinks, head canting to the side. Unable to hide her curiosity, she reaches over and tugs on Silas' sleeve. "What big trip?! Are you going out sailing again? Because, non, ce n'est pas autorisé!1" Hands on her hips, she puffs out her cheeks in defiance for a brief moment.

She deflates just as quickly, turning her held breath into a drawn sigh. "Where are you going this time?"

With a faint sigh, Kendall reaches his hand out to the air between him and Roux and plucks what looks like a small placard of a speech bubble out of midair with the words 'Sensitive Subject' written on it. It's shown to her, then he drops it to the ground with a clatter before it disappears. "Consider it dropped."

When she starts getting upset over Silas' trip, whatever it is, Kendall falls silent, looking from one to the other as he thinks something over. "So, would this be a good example of noyer un poisson2?" Unlike Roux, his French needs a little work, including actually getting the phrase right.

"But, well, anyway. Once I get this added to my bank, I'm good to go." He turns back to the bartender and haggles the worth of the broken bracelet, and a note is written in a log. Kendall turns back to the two, hitching the invisible bag up on his back.

Silas smiles, a bit sadly — French is not a language he's entirely familiar with, despite exposure, but he can guess what Roux is saying. "You remember my friend Asi? She came here from Japan, a long while back… well, we're gonna be doing the same voyage in reverse. A pathfinding mission, with the hopes of setting up trade and maybe diplomatic ties. They're sending an Ambassador and everything." There's pride in his voice as he explains this — pride in himself, sure, for talking the Council of Captains into this… but pride in the Pelago, too. Things have come a long way since that miserable December when he left this bar to help Mad Eve pull off her craziest voyage yet.

He doesn't miss Kendall's little trick, though — he arches an eyebrow at the little placard, and the now invisible bag of dead fish. An illusionist, huh… he muses. Handy trick, that… but he's also a known illusionist, which is not as good. Which explains Sam's reaction to him, too.

Silas's French, however, is not good enough to pick up what Kendall's asking; it probably wouldn't be even if Kendall was speaking perfect French, honestly. He glances to Roux questioningly — would it?

"Votre français est terrible3!" Roux responds with a whirling turn to Kendall, hands replaced on her hips as she narrows her eyes at him. "Tu as pratiqué pendant mon absence4?" Reaching up, she presses a finger against Kendall's nose and sticks out her tongue. "Pourquoi je m'embête5!" She kicks at where the illusory speech bubble fell, as if she were trying to kick it for whatever reason.

Clearly, Silas isn't getting any sort of translation from her.

"C'est magnifique6!" she proclaims as she turns back to Silas and his explanation of their trip. "I think?" And there's that uncertainty, Roux looking over at Kendall for confirmation that, yes, this is good. "But, um… how long is this one gonna take?" There's a clear sadness tinged with displeasure in her voice as her smile dips into a frown, only looking at Silas for a moment longer before she lowers her eyes to the ground.

Kendall's expression blanks as Roux goes on a tirade at him, though he knows she's not actually yelling at him. He's mostly trying to follow along with her, which admittedly he's better at than the mangling he's been doing. After a moment he decides to hide from her behind Silas. Sorry, Silas, you're now a meat shield deflecting her French Wrath.

"I didn't exactly have anyone to practice with, you know…" he replies with a long suffering look around his erstwhile shield. "And when you speak to me, it's so harsh!" He grips his chest in agony. "I don't think my heart can take it!"

What Silas says grabs his attention, however, and he drops the theatrics. "Japan, huh? I thought it would've gotten drowned even worse than us." To be honest, thoughts of the rest of the world haven't crossed his mind in a long time. "Wonder if they still make video games." Cue heavy, depressed sigh.

As for how well known his ability is, well, a teenager and then young 20s guy isn't exactly subtle about many things, which probably explains the distrust from the bartender.

It isn't hard to get the gist of what she's saying; your French is bad, you should feel bad about this! The last part eludes him, but oh well. Robyn's enthusiasm draws a broadening of Silas's smile, but when she asks how long he frowns. "Awhile," he says quietly. "A few months at the least. Maybe longer."

Kendall's question prompts a frown, but it only takes a moment for him to think of how to play off of that. "They probably aren't making vidyagames anymore… but hey. We're hoping to trade, so if we succeed… maybe I could bring you back a souvenir," he says, a bright grin spreading across his face. "Something from the other side of the sea. Whaddaya think? Anything in particular you'd like me to keep an eye out for?"

Roux's lips sink into a deeper frown at Silas' response, glancing over at Kendall for a brief moment before her eyes come back to the ground in front of her. She is quiet at their exchange, a hand reaching up to scratch at her neck. "It's all hills and mountains," she adds to Kendall's thought of the drowned islands. "Not just flood plains." It's a strangely astute, if not entirely correct, observation for her.

Another moment of quiet contemplation follows, before suddenly she looks up at Silas with her hands on her waist. "I wanna come!" she proclaims with a sudden burst of energy tinged with a stubborn tone, looking up at the taller man and into his eyes.

"Oh. I thought it was just like, Mount Fuji and then everything else." Kendall shrugs away his inability to verify her statement, then shakes his head at Silas. "Yeah, no thanks actually, it's not like I would have anything to play it on, and even if I did, it… no, it wouldn't work." Heavy sigh. "A handheld, though… I don't think I have anything worth trading for that though." He cuts his gaze towards the bartender, as if judging for himself how much the broken bracelet was worth.

Roux's words, however, do well to immediately change the subject. "What? No way! That's all the way on the other side of the planet, that's too long and too far, what if something happened?" Kendall reaches over to tug urgently on her sleeve, then looks at Silas. Back him up, yo.

Silas's smile fades at Roux's sudden statement, his expression shifting into something more… calculating. Assessing. Weighing. He says nothing right away, though his eyes do flicker to Kendall as the illusionist makes his objections.

Still, he waits a moment longer before he speaks, his eyes studying Roux. "I'm not gonna say no outright," he says quietly. "You survived when things went sideways on the Ark. That's a feat worthy of recognition, and respect," he says softly, nodding once to Roux.

"But. He's not wrong, either," Silas continues, tilting his head towards Kendall, even as his gaze remains on Roux. "It's gonna be a long journey. We'll be sailing through the edge of the Stormfront, and that's just the opening leg of the voyage." His lips curve up into a hint of a smile to soften his words, but his eyes remain intent. "Like I said — I'm not going to turn you down outright. Not here and now, at least; getting told I couldn't do something was always the surest way to make me do everything in my power to prove 'em wrong," he admits, mouth momentarily curving into a rueful grin.

"But if you really want to go on this trip… here's what I'm going to ask you to do. I want you to think for awhile about why you want to go. Think on the risks, because there's a lot of them on a voyage this long, and we're going to be sailing a very long way from home. Now, I don't intend to let the sea have me without a fight, and that goes double for anyone serving on my crew," he says, and here he gives a momentary flicker of a roguish grin before that grave expression returns. "But… it's still possible that we might not make it. Comes with the territory. So… think about it. Ask yourself why you want to venture out onto the seas, a thousand miles from everything you've ever known. And when we get ready to sail, tell me your answer. Okay?"

A drawn out whine escapes from Roux at Kendall's protest and Silas' insistence that she think about it, a pout forming on her face as she looks between them. "But-" Her face scrunches, making a show of stomping a foot like she's a teenager having a tantrum. "I can't stay here if I'm gonna -"

She cuts her head off, letting another whine as her arms fall to her side and looks defeated. "I've already given up everything once," she remarks in a low voice, almost carrying just the slightest bit of defiance despite how she seems to be relenting. "Twice?" Her nose twitches side to side, the shadows in the bar that curl around the door and through it's threshold to touch at their feet seem to waver, move, and maybe even dance as they lick at their shoes.

"Ugh, fine." And with that, she lets it go, at least for now.

"A trip to Japan across the entire ocean is not a lark." Kendall insists, crossing his arms as he stares her down, even through the cute little footstomp, until she finally relents. "Besides… I don't think you lost everything twice. You still have friends who care about you." A dubious side-eye to Silas suggests maybe he'll acknowledge the older man among that, despite his long-windedness.

Talk of an Ark of some sort is a useful tidbit of information he'll squirrel away from now, probably has something to do with where she disappeared to that she doesn't want to talk about, but this guy does. Hmm. Maybe he'll hit him up for that later. Roux' extreme reluctance to even bring up the subject does nothing for his curiosity.

"Ask instead if they can bring you something back. Souvenirs of far-off places should be good enough, right?" After all, Silas just volunteered to get him something and he barely knows the guy. "I bet you'd look super cute in a yukata." Nerd.

Silas returns Kendall's side-eye with a bland expression… though Roux's protests of having lost everything twice sees his expression shift a bit, taking on an aspect of weary sympathy. He knows exactly what that's like.


"Probably be better off tryin' to bring back the cloth than the yukata," Silas muses to himself, looking thoughtful. Textiles had been big business back in the day… and they might be again, for awhile. Good thought, that; he files it away for later. But now that he thinks about it, that lost everything crack draws a frown to his face.

"Hey, did you ever catch up with Else?" Silas asks, frowning.

"I know it's not a lark!" Robyn practically shouts, before shirking a bit back inwards. They are in public after all, and that realization comes as several people look at her. Her hands rise to cover her mouth, shaking a bit before she turns and abruptly starts to walk away from the pair, eyes wide and trembling at her own faux pas.

Kendall winces at the shout, but sets his jaw stubbornly. “Don’t do something just because others are also doing something. Like the guy said, if you can come up with a good reason for going, go ahead and say it.” Sorry, Silas, you are now ‘the guy’. Kendall reaches a hand out to Robyn, but she seems determined to leave. With a sigh, he lets his hand drop, then looks over at Silas. “I probably don’t need to tell you that she shouldn’t go.” there’s a ring of doubt in his voice, however, since he’s still not sure how well Silas knows Robyn for all their familiarity with each other.

“Wherever you guys went before, it was a bad memory for her, she refuses to even talk about it. I don’t want her to go off on another potentially dangerous trip for no good reason, it’s safer here.” now that the Sentinel was fought off, anyway. “I’m not going to claim to know what’s best for her, but making that kind of snap judgement isn’t right without thinking things through first.”

Silas watches Robyn go, that look of weary sympathy still present. When Kendall addresses him, though, Silas's eyes flicker over to the illusionist, studying him out of the corner of his eye.

When he talks of it being safer here, though, Silas can't stop himself from chuckling. "Safer," he echoes quietly.

Only then does Silas look at Kendall, recognizing the illusionist with a nod. "Yeah. You're not wrong. It is safer here. But…"

Here Silas looks back to his glass, now mostly emptied, favoring the water within with a contemplative look before draining it… then, as he sets the glass back down, he looks back to Kendall. "There's more to life than just doing the safe thing, and it's her choice to make."

"And if things out there are anything like the Ark… that's something it's better we learn sooner rather than later. For all our sakes," he murmurs aloud, a heavy expression settling over his face as his eyes slip into the distance for a moment…

…but only for a moment. His gaze snaps back to Kendall. "In any case. If she wants to go, that's her decision to make. If she can come up with a good reason, she's welcome," he says firmly… then he grins. "Might be you ought to apologize to her when she comes back. Might be I ought to apologize, too. And I don't care who you are, nothing says apology like a nice dinner," Silas proclaims, levering himself to his feet. "So. You got anything to cook with that barracuda?" he asks, a gleam in his eye.

"Apologize for what, telling her when something is stupid?" Kendall shakes his head stubbornly. "She does stuff sometimes, she's impulsive like that. If something sounds fun she'll want to do it."

When the subject switches over to what's for dinner, Kendall shrugs, turning his head over to glance towards his back. "Well I'm not too particular about what to do with stuff like this, just kinda roast it. Maybe go get some green things." Those are called 'vegetables', Kendall. He's pretty vague in his explanation, it doesn't seem like he has anything in particular he had in mind.

"No. For hurting her feelings," Silas says off-handedly, but he doesn't linger on it — this guy reminds him way too much of himself when he was younger and dumber, and he's pretty sure that yakking at Kendall about apologizing is just going to make him dig his heels in all the harder.

It's far easier and arguably potentially more useful to take issue with his culinary skills. "'Green things', huh," Silas deadpans, giving Kendall a flat look. He sighs. "Yeah, we better pick some of those up. Come on, let's hit Lowe's and see what they've got; I know a few different ways to cook barracuda, but it's gonna depend on what they've got. Sooner we get this fish cooking, the better," he says, starting for the door.

Kendall shrugs off the 'hurting her feelings' bit, setting his jaw. Good thing Silas is backing off though, he is equally as obstinate as Robyn is, minus the stamping the foot bit. When he changes the subject, Kendall shrugs. "If you insist. I can at least make things edible, so it's not like I'd burn it." He adds defensively, but if Silas is a good cook, he'll allow it. "Fine, then." He'll follow Silas out the door, shopping trip time!

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