Sinners and Saints


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Scene Title Sinners and Saints
Synopsis Miles makes a delivery to Pirate Captain Veronica Sawyer and the two discuss the irony of saints' names among other things.
Date October 9, 2018

The Tempest

Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.

Aboard the austere gray and white vessel known as The Tempest, all is calm — despite the ship's name. The day is a sunny one, without much wind. Currently there's no need to hurry anywhere, so the sails aren't furled and the motor isn't running — The Tempest simply floats. The large rigged yacht is just under 40 meters, so there's only a subtle bobbing on the tranquil waters. A pirate's life doesn't seem so bad at the moment.

For a certain teleporter, it's good news — he never knows just what he'll come into when making a jaunt to one of the pirates' vessels. Captain Sawyer could be in the midst of overtaking another ship, for all he knows. Luckily the crew's been told not to worry about him when he pops in — otherwise he might get a bullet to the head in lieu of a hello. Veronica herself is nowhere to be seen — though there are enough hands on deck to spy any trouble or danger on the waters or elsewhere.

That certain teleporter certainly appreciates the leeway; it would probably put a damper on certain things were he to suddenly become dead. Of course, if that did happen, he'd be joining some illustrious ranks. Well, let's be honest, and some not so illustrious ones, too. There are a lot of dead specials now, aren't there?


There's a little shimmer in the air that starts on the deck, first a little spot, then expanding outward until it's vaguely person-shaped and -sized. It's just a couple seconds before Miles winks into existence. "Ding, dong," he says as he snaps into focus, looking around with a ready smile, just a slight exaggeration of a very helpful sort of assistant. "Avon calling!"

"Are you even old enough to remember Avon, Tinker Bell?" says one of the sailors, who'd been eyeing the shimmering spot just in case it wasn't the expected visitor. He's seen Miles around, so his guarded posture relaxes a little when the teleporter takes shape into the young man he knows. "Cap'n in the bridge. She's expecting you. She said to go on in."

It's not a long walk along the boat's deck to the bridge, which has two captain's chairs and a dizzying display of controls — the electronics are off, to save fuel, but an old "boom box" CD player powered by batteries sits on the floor playing, of all things, a Smiths song. Something from before Miles was born. Something from before the world was a swimming pool.

Veronica sits in one of the captain chairs, her legs folded into a pretzel as she writes in a book — her handwriting is tight, controlled, efficient, leaving very little white space and thus wasting no paper.

"You can't tell, can you?" Miles asks as his head swings toward the speaker, still with that same easy smile, and he gestures up to his face, gameshow pointer style. "I can set you up in my downline if you're interested." Eh? Eh? No? Oh well. He doesn't pursue that, though, instead nodding and heading where he's directed — fantastic pyramid sc multi-level marketing opportunities will just have to wait.

"Captain Sawyer," he says when he arrives at the bridge, snapping to attention and firing off a salute as he schools his face into a more serious expression, though it doesn't last for that long, his body shifting again a moment later and out of that artificially — and again, slightly exaggeratedly — stiff stance.

The sailor snorts. "Yeah, sure, sign me up for some of the Retinol Rogaine Viagra moisturizer, will ya?" he says to Miles' retreating back before going back to his lazy watch, pulling out a cigarette as he studies the horizon.

Sawyer looks up at Miles when he arrives in the doorway to the bridge, and she arches one brow at the salute. "Shit, kid, I don't even make them do that," she says, nodding to the other captain's chair. Her first mate probably would grumble to see the uninitiated nonsailor sitting in his seat, but, well, he's not here.

"You have any trouble getting it?" she asks, closing her book and reaching into a storage console to pull out a bag.

Mercifully, Miles does not hear the return quip. He can do this all day, Gruff Sailor Number 3. Don't worry, though. He'll be back. "Maybe you should," he says instead to Veronica, which is, of course, who he is with right now, first few sentences notwithstanding. "Things might run a little tighter around here.

He does not hesitate to start toward the other captain's chair, though, shifting the backpack he has on his shoulders off as he settles down as though he belongs there, despite the fact that he most assuredly does not. "Nah," he says as he zips open the pack. "The trick is to act like you belong." He pauses, before he amends, "Or just not get caught. That works, too." He removes a bottle of vodka, handing it over, before he reaches in again, this time taking a little more care with a medium-sized box of bullets.

His words about running a tighter ship earn him another brow lift, this one a bit more withering. "I drop your wage with every potentially critical remark you make, champ," she says, taking the bottle and glancing at the cap, to see if it's been opened, and thus potentially weakened. It looks good — not that such things aren't tamper-proof.

"Not quite top shelf, but I suppose I'll take what I can get," she says. "Only one bottle?" It's mostly rhetorical. He'd have brought her more if there were more.

She reaches for the bullets, checking the label, nodding again. The same question probably applies, but this time goes unspoken. "How's the world out there?" she asks, with a nod to the south.

Instead of getting intimidated, Miles puts a hand over his heart. "It's these moments that really make me miss our time together," he says with just a hint of a lament. Notably, however, he does not make any more disparaging remarks about her captaining, joking or not. His mouth just twists at her next words in annoyance, though at himself rather than her. "Those guys love their liquor," he says wryly. "There were a couple empties too. I thought you probably didn't need any decorative vases.

He reaches in one last time, and the last thing he removes gets even more care than the bullets — a child's lunchbox, of the type that has a built-in cooler. He hands this one over almost with reverence as he replies, "Wet." He shrugs, though, and adds, "Keeps on turning. I guess things could always be worse."

She snorts at his quip, setting the bullets into a storage console between the chairs. "I admit, I'm a bit jealous of your ability. It'd be nice to just jump anywhere you can think of and not have to think about water and fuel and wind." She's quiet for a moment as she takes the lunch box from him, opening it slowly. "You know, I really miss driving of all things. I never thought I would. Driving wasn't that fun, but now that it's a thing of the past, I sort of miss it."

When she sees that inside is a pint of strawberries, a genuine smile parts her lips and brings out the dimples in her cheeks that are so rarely seen. "You are a saint. Was there a Saint Miles? I don't think so, but it's been a couple of decades since I was a Catholic."

There's another shrug, and Miles glances out one of the windows, squinting a little bit at the ocean surrounding them. "It's certainly good for making quick exits," he allows. "I like to leave an impression." His eyes move back to her as a little huff of amusement escapes him. "I always kind of wanted to drive. By the time I was old enough there wasn't much point." And now, of course, that is not a thing, as she had noted.

His smile widens a little at the praise, a hint of boyish enthusiasm shining through for just a moment. "Actually, there was," he says. "He's not that interesting, though. One of those martyrs who didn't do anything but be a priest. At least he could've performed some miracles or something."

"You know your catechism," Sawyer says with a laugh, and gestures to herself. "Saint Veronica. Or Berenice. Same person. My poor mother — if only she knew what ironic a choice she was making so many years ago." She says it as if she's ancient — but in a world where so many have died in the primes of their lives, she might feel that she is past hers. Not that she shows it — or would ever admit it.

She leans forward to set the miniature cooler on top of the control panel, then hands him the cloth bag she'd taken from the console — his payment. Next, she hands him an envelope. "Can you run that to the the Kozlow? No hurry. By the end of the day tomorrow's soon enough."

"Only as it pertains to me," Miles says with a grin that might be described by some as shit-eating, though there's enough wryness there to take the edge off. "I think a lot of our moms would be thinking better of their choices if they were around now to see us. Including but not limited to our names. But at least you've got a good thing going for yourself. That's a lot." Especially now.

He reaches forward to take the envelope, a brief flicker of curiosity crossing his expression, though he does not ask about it, and just nods. Either the look from before has quelled him for the moment, or he knows better than to really bite the hand that feeds him. Or one of the hands. She's not the only one, but she's a relatively steady one. "Sure," he says as he sticks it carefully into the backpack, "no problem. Not as much fun as yours was, though."

"Shoplifting from greenhouses and distilleries is definitely up there on dream jobs, I'm sure," Veronica says, looking back to the window when a shadow passes over the cabin, but it's an albatross winging across the path of the ship, blocking out the sun for a moment. Her brows draw together for a moment, before she looks back to her courier.

"Come back Friday. I'll probably have something else for you by then. You need to crash here for a rest, you can bunk with Stella." Stella's the only crew without a roommate — very few will put up with her thanks to poor hygiene and a snore that rivals an obese grizzly bear with sleep apnea. "Or crash out on the deck."

Miles stands up, shouldering the backpack and stepping away from the chair. "It doesn't suck," he agrees cheerily, glancing in the direction of the bird when she does. There's no trace of a frown in his expression, however. For all he's got some esoteric knowledge, perhaps it doesn't extend to that particular bit. "Will do," he confirms instead. "But as tempting as that sleeping arrangement sounds, I think I'll give it a pass."

He takes another few steps away from the chair, and a second later the air around him starts to shimmer in preparation for a jump. But even as it begins, he's still talking. "Let Harmon know I'll bring him some product samples next time," he says. "But he has to use the toner, otherwise it's a waste."

That last word's barely out before he's disappeared.

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