Special Kind of Crazy


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Scene Title Special Kind of Crazy
Synopsis The crews of the Kuihua and the Second Star clash on the open seas.
Date October 20, 2020

Off the coast of Shikoku, Japan

"It's been too long since we've done something like this," Asi proclaims, eyes closed with her hands folded loosely over her abdomen.

The gentle rock back and forth of the Second Star nearly lulls her to nap in the sun, a broad-rimmed hat protecting her face from the worst of the rays. A weather-proofed book is sandwiched under her hand, covering over the scar on her side. It's peaceful here where they've dropped anchor, off the southernmost tip of the island of Shikoku. The water is clear and calm, the sky dotted with series of clouds that provide blessed shade at intervals.

Kicking one leg into a tented position while she lounges on the cushions she's brought up from below, Asi starts to ask another question before she's set upon by the gangly white mess of paws belonging to the ship's cat. Eyes blinking open, she looks down at it as it turns around and curls up right on top of her.

"It wasn't like I was relaxing here or anything," she balks at the cat. Then she lets her head hit the cushion once more, staring idly up at the sky before turning to peer to see where Silas is sat now. Her eyes narrow for a moment in thought before she resigns herself to remaining stuck, pinned for an indeterminable eternity under the weight of the cat. She draws a hand along its back despite its intrusion into her personal space.

"You know, if you're determined to be out here until we make a big catch, we've got enough water for another day, probably," Asi calls quietly across the deck.

"It's been awhile," Silas agrees; his face is turned towards the sea, but his smile is a thing that can be heard in his voice. "Last time was… ha, what. Three years and some change? When we ran into that crazy lot of moonshiners?"

Her comment on the water situation is met with a sigh, though his smile doesn't fade. "I've gotten rusty. Haven't had to fish for dinner for awhile," he sighs. "Or maybe the fish can smell something on the hull. We've come a long way…"

That thought sees his gaze drift off into the distance for a moment… then he lets out a single quiet laugh. "You get tired, though, say the word. I said I wanted to try to make a big catch, but… sometimes it just ain't in the cards," he says. Sometimes, the sea wins, he thinks, but doesn't say. There's no point saying it; that's a lesson that's been well-learned by everyone in the world at this point. Better not to think about that. Just enjoy the fishing and the peace and quiet, he thinks. And the company. Can't forget that. That thought sees his smile return.

Asi cracks a small smile at Silas' admission maybe he's lost his touch. A tone in the negative chimes from her as she rejects the idea outright. "The rust will come off. Maybe the fish here have different manners. Different seas, different…" She wrinkles her nose. "Well, fish," she finishes lamely, and for her lackluster commentary, opts to take hold of the cat and hold it gently while she rocks into an upright sit.

"That's the way, Kuro," she murmurs down at it, petting its head attentively and letting her book fall to the side. Lifting her voice, she clarifies in a more conversational tone, "I'm not bored yet, somehow. You would think after how long we spent out in that desert, I'd never want to step foot aboard a ship again, but…"

Her head turns to the jagged greenery of the island shoreline. "Perhaps the change in scenery makes all the difference." She hms before conceding to herself, "That, and the knowledge that this time is booked for relaxing."

The cat is gingerly set aside so she can amble upright, walking toward the cabin barefooted. Asi announces, "At any rate, it's lunch. Jerky and rice?" before ducking her head to meander into the shaded interior of the craft. At the kitchenette, she pops the "new" ricecooker open on the counter and frowns at what's left from breakfast thoughtfully. Afterward, she curses herself for realizing she left the machine plugged in even after turning it off. The solar panel would need set out soon, most likely. A grumble escapes her for that.

"Come fix however much you want," Asi yells distractedly.

Silas grins at her point about the fish being different here — it's not the most eloquently made point, but she's not wrong, either. "Knowing land's nearby helps," Silas agrees… then, with a grin, he adds, "And yeah, knowing it's a vacation also helps." He starts to say something about hoping that this one doesn't have any surprise guests, but — nope. Not gonna jinx it.

Silas considers for a moment, staring out at his line for a bit. "You know… I think this is probably the farthest I've ever been from the Pelago," he muses thoughtfully. He mulls over that for a moment longer, then sighs and secures the rod to the rail before levering himself up to his feet. "Can't go wrong with jerky and rice," he grins. That grin shifts to a grimace as he stretches — eliciting more than a few creaks and pops — before padding off towards the kitchen. He's not terribly hungry, but it's never a good idea to skip meals when you're out at sea.

Sensing food on the horizon, the cat abandons the deck in favor of weaving its way around Silas' ankles at first opportunity, making clear not only how much of an angel it's being, but also ensure it's not forgotten.

Asi meanwhile glowers down at it, finishing fluffing the remaining rice with a deft touch before scooping a small serving for herself. "I find the meat to be particularly dry," she balks before moving on to the sealed bag, "But…"

Inside as they are, all she hears is the sound of their own conversation and the occasional wash of sea against shore— all she sees is the task she's set herself to. She doesn't have eyes on the sea to witness the ship that's appeared on the horizon.

A black spot which only grows.


"It's getting to be such a pain, Min, traveling so far to find gas and in turn wasting that much of it."

Nonetheless, Kara remains placidly at the helm of the Kuihua, navigating it along the Western coastline of Shikoku without particular concern. And why would she have reason to be? The fearsome body of their craft served as plenty enough deterrent for those who would think about plaguing them… and ensured those who attempted to do so anyway suffered an interesting end of their life regardless of if they made it within boarding distance of them.

Sheer blouse waving in the breeze coming through the open door, Kara hums softly. "It's a shame, too, having come out all this way from our usual course only to find…"

Then her eyes narrow on the horizon.

"… Nothing." is nothing no longer, looking suspiciously like something. She waits a beat before eating crow. "Actually, take a look there. A settlement around here after all?"

"If it is any consolation, all of Yi-Shan's calibrations should be paying off," the sounds of Yi-Min's stilted, slightly-too-proper English floats up moments before she becomes visible herself, clambering up the closest ship ladder leading down to the subdecks. Without warning, she takes the very top of the wide-spaced metal steps in lively little bounds, one then two at a time— until at last she appears with equal suddenness in the open air, the lean line of her sheathed épée swinging jovially from her hip.

"We will have improved our fuel efficiency by nearly eleven point five percent once he is done! Well… supposedly. Any day now." Her twin has been down there for a while, doing god only knows what.

The Taiwanese woman stops short just behind Kara, clinching her arms tightly about her much taller lover's waist as she too peers with a meticulous sort of puzzlement out towards the horizon. Her gaze grows shrewder and sharper the longer it stays trained there, focusing on something. "Wā! And would you look at that. I thought we were still several days out from any manner of civilization. Our maps appear to be outdated."

This might just turn out to be their lucky day.

Meanwhile, aboard the Second Star…

"糞1," Silas murmurs, in what is very nearly the exact opposite sentiment as he stares out the window. It's Japanese! See, he's learning. That one, in fact, is one he's learned as a direct result of Asi's teaching. Good job, Asi!

The dot on the horizon is distant, yet, but Silas is pretty sure it's coming towards them. He's also pretty sure that there wasn't supposed to be anyone out here — which is part of the very reason they chose this little corner of the sea. Both of these things taken together don't make for the best sign.

"What do you think? Pirates? Wannabe bootleggers? Actual bootleggers?" he asks Asi, dipping himself a bowl of rice without taking his eye off the window. He absently drops a piece of jerky for the cat — ordinarily this would be accompanied by petting, but right now he doesn't want to take his eyes off the window.

Asi pieces the pieces together when Silas keeps his attention fixed firmly on the port-side window. "Fuck," she breathes out, finding her appetite to be shot. Her bowl is set aside, head turning for the door. Assuming the oncomers were unfriendly, and she doesn't suspect otherwise, she'd rather not be sighted going across deck to retrieve her sword.

"Take one look at that thing," she answers Silas' question directly if quietly, like they were already being set upon. "What did the kid in Hokkaido warn us?"

He hasn't been a kid, but his advice had been sound: if it doesn't look like a fishing boat or a pleasure craft…

And the dark craft cutting their direction through the water definitely looked like neither. The shape of it looks distinctly military, actually. "I'm worried it's Sentinel." No sense in not calling it how she sees it.

Asi grabs hold of her stiff, sun-stained white tee and hauls it over her head. "What do you think? We make like the boat's abandoned?" Her voice is tense, paced quick. "Your call."

They had time to prepare, but not much.

Aboard the Kuihua

"I'm not seeing anyone," Kara reports after looking down the gilded telescope held in one hand. She lets her arm loll to the side to offer it to Yi-Min, other hand on the wheel. The engine slows up, letting them glide.

After they near and there's still no sign of life from the bobbing boat, nor a hint of civilization on the forested crags it's moored near, she frowns and picks up the handheld for the ship intercom. "Looks like it's abandoned, Yi-Shan. Someone must have picked the crew off earlier. We'll check it out anyway, see if there's nothing useful aboard."

The engines let out a note of protest as they churn backward to bring the ship to a proper halt by the smaller vessel, and once their own anchor is laid down in the smooth waters, Kara slips from her position to head for the railing and observe the craft below. Her eyes soften immediately.

"Oh, look, there was a cat left behind," she calls for Yi-Min's sake, her heart sounding like it's breaking. The white, gangly thing notes them above and even mewls pathetically. Must be hungry. "Poor thing. We should save it." The wind billows her blouse briefly as she grabs hold of the knotted rope she'll use as a ladder to get down and throws it off the side of the craft.

"Yes, we can deal with the cat once business is taken care of." Yi-Min appears to only be half-listening to Kara, however: she is too busy snapping open a fearsomely sized, well-loved brass implement, aiming an ornate scope down the horizon line to where the settlement teases them like coy visions of a promised land.

It is a minute before Yi-Min lowers the sextant from her eyes again. When she does, it's to tick off numbers from her fingers, mouthing a silent calculation in Taiwanese as she does. "We should be able to get in and get out without worrying about any reinforcements from… that mystery outpost, should they be an issue. I shall go back down for ah-Shan shortly, both to confirm with his radar and tell him what we are doing. You are ready for the standard plan, yes?"

The 'standard plan,' more colorfully referred to by Yi-Min (in a close-to-incomprehensible accent) as her sturm und drang plan, is one that Kara knows well. It is one the trio has executed repeatedly in the past, to the point where it is now as familiar to all three of them as the steps of an old dance.

Storming the castle.

Kara snaps back upright after dropping the ladder, a wide-eyed look directed toward her partner. No, she does not seem ready to complete their usual plan. In fact, she looks panicked. "Minnie, no!" she cries. "Think of the poor cat!"

Her head turns back to the deck below theirs, brow knit in concern. Oh, she couldn't even imagine what might happen to that poor kitty if it suffered a facefull of teargas. If she were less of a bleeding heart, she'd see the signs of the cat for what it is— signs of life, and recent, which could mean trouble

But she's not thinking that far ahead. She completely abandons her gas mask in favor of beginning to clamber over the side of the Kuihua to head down below. Her movements are strong and certain, sure, but slightly frazzled as she apparently means to leap essentially in the line of fire before Yi-Min could chuck any of their fearful gas mixtures onto the deck below.

"It'll be fine!" Kara calls up to her partner, nearing the bottom of the ladder. She's checked the deck below multiple times to make sure there's nothing she should be watching out for that would send her scurrying back to the safety of their own ship. The nearer she gets, the more reckless she realizes she's being, but neither does she abandon course. "It's all clear, Min!"

With a sigh of relief she jumps the last bit down to the deck of the Second Star, looking immediately for the cat nearby. White and thin, it mewls for her again, green eyes of narrow pupil peering up at her while its tail flicks. Excuse her, has she brought any snacks.

"Aw, just look at you," Kara croons warmly, her expression breaking in pity.

This is a far cry from the terse and tense woman Silas once saw in the New York Safe Zone following a shared dream featuring the end of all time.

"Aiya, Kara, no! What are you doing?"

Of course Yi-Min isn't going to throw down her riot control canisters with Kara standing down there unmasked, using herself as a fearful body shield for a goddamn cat.

Yi-Min immediately seems different too from the version Silas remembers, even from that distance: a lone figure on the bow of that foreboding black ship, primness and hauteur shading her brow in lieu of any shadow of fear. Exasperation brings a line of rigidity to her posture, but her gaze is sweeping well past the figure of her partner and down the lengths of the apparently empty decks.

The declaration that the coast is clear only causes Yi-Min to shake her head without stopping her perusal, carrying it forward with narrowing eyes and steadily mounting unease. Her hand now rests on a thin bamboo blowgun where it is strapped to her belt.

"Forget the cat and return here at once, Kara. Quickly, before it becomes too late—"

"Too late," echoes a voice, and suddenly there's someone there, just at the corner of her eye — one Silas MacKenzie, of course — positioned so that Kara is neatly interposed between him and Yi-Min. "No sudden moves, please. You get points for making friends with Mr. Mittens, but I still get twitchy when people on heavily armed warships look like they're thinking about pulling shenanigans on my boat. My nerves haven't altogether calmed down yet," he says, cool as a cucumber; the blade of a knife, thin and sharp, gleams in one hand, though it's only pointing in Kara's general direction, instead of actively being brandished. There's nothing worth noticing in his other hand.

"Anyway. Since you've been kind enough to come by," Silas pronounces, with sardonic good humor, "How's about we talk for a bit? On what exactly brings you lot out here, all the way to what was supposed to be my uninterrupted vacation fishing spot?" Silas shrugs. "And who you are, of course. Better introduction than some, I think." He keeps his eyes on Kara and Yi-Min, these two passingly familiar women… and, hopefully, their full attention on him. Not that they'd notice what Asi's up to anyway — anymore than Kara had noticed their brainstorming session going on right beside her as she'd gone to say hello to Mr. Mittens — but the Kansas City Shuffle works best if the bait is hard to ignore.

Oh no.

Kara jumps, a lump in her throat when it turns out they're not alone after all. Eating crow like this could have been more painful than it is— so far— but it also could have been more innocuous. Her head begins to tilt back in a sign of her regret even as she tries to keep the slippery figure of Silas in the corner of her eye. She flexes one hand by her side, wanting for something to defend herself with.

"Oh, you know," she chimes with as much valor as she can manage, voice a little shaky. "Girls just looking for a little bit of gas to get by. Enable a certain lifestyle. I mean, look at that thing, it doesn't run itself."

Her head snaps back in a doubletake abruptly, realizing who she's talking to, realizing what language they're using. "Hey hey, whoa," she acknowledges, eyes a little wide in surprise. "Hold on, you speak English? You're… American?" The tension in her posture starts to slack. She thinks they've found common ground, even if she can't place him just yet. "I'm from Kansas City."

For just a moment, there's a warp of perception on the verge of Yi-Min's awareness. It sounds like a ghost of a footstep on the deck, further away, too light to be Yi-Shan's. But maybe it was nothing.

Damn it, Kara Kara Prince.

Yi-Min allows herself the luxury of a micro-sigh- letting her eyelids fall shut in a flicker of a grimace)- before refocusing on Silas in a cool, gimlet stare, keeping the most severe of tabs both on his physical tells and his distance away from Kara.

"Talk? Yes, tell everyone on your craft to come out into plain view, so we can properly 'talk' without things getting… venomous." This is said without menace or malice, in a voice lifted just enough to carry easily between their positions astride the two vessels. In the meantime, Yi-Min cocks the tip of her spear-like blowpipe askew at the end of her lips like a farmer chewing on a wheat straw.

A whisper of instinct tells Yi-Min that something is out of place: something that had not been resolved by Silas's all-too-sudden appearance. Her expression is serene, her mouth set in an airy line, but internally she is wired to act.

Silas's eyes fall on Kara; her slackening posture sees a hint of a grin. "Kansas City, huh? I'm from Alabama, myself. Originally, at least." Then a frown crosses his face, his head tilting in puzzlement. "Gas, huh. Kinda… slim pickings out here, isn't it?"

Then Yi-Min speaks, and Silas's frown deepens. That quiver in Yi-Min's awareness hadn't gone unnoticed; he's able to step on that brainrat before it can snitch on Aces, thankfully. Sharp instincts. Maybe the other one would've been this sharp too, if not for that vision. Which is fair; that vision had spooked the shit out of him, too. Enough to come out of hiding.

But he doesn't have time to think about that. "Could do that," he calls back. "Doesn't seem a terribly wise idea, though, just yet, to throw away the few hole cards I've got. Not when you're cruising around in a warboat, and I've got a yacht," he says pleasantly. "A military warboat, at that, unless I'm missing my mark. Very shiny," he observes, his gaze sharpening just a bit as he looks to Yi-Min.

"Besides! I've already made a gesture of good faith — I showed myself. Didn't have to do that. But me bein' an optimistic soul, I'm always hopin' for that… non-venomous solution." He keeps Yi-Min in the corner of his eye — easier to pick up motion in the peripheral, and he wants all the warning he can get if she moves. By default he would tend to be a little skeptical of a blowgun, but the fact that she's carrying it seems to indicate that she thinks it's a valid threat, and he's going to defer to her expertise on his matter. "What's your take, Ms. Kansas City? I ain't keen on surrendering, and I ain't got enough gas to spare if I want to get back to the seas I'm used to. Think we might be able to work something out? That doesn't involve me getting robbed, or my crew getting hurt?"

Kara only tilts her head slightly in brief consideration, her half-raised hands flexing again. "Well… we need gas, too, Alabama. How else are we supposed to get from A to B in our scary boat?" she asks with a well of well-meaning innocence. "You know as well as we do what these seas can be like if you look…"

She glances up to Yi-Min on the deck above, weighing their situation. "… Weak." She gives the slightest shake of her head, an encouragement to not escalate. Kara knows well by this point she's in over her head.

And the mention of crew sent ice through her veins. She'd not noticed Silas til she got down here… who else weren't they seeing? Was Yi-Min already at risk? Stupid, stupid Kara and her big, bleeding heart. She looks back to the fisherman quickly.

"You can call me Kara," the blonde clarifies, extending one hand out slightly. Not enough to move to get close enough to shake, but clear enough to signal she's trying to make a like connection. "And you know, I'm fond of peace, too. So if you don't go rocking the boat… I won't."

For all her blindly innocent overstep, she's calming rapidly now, with a diplomat's tenor to match her partner's threat of steel.

"There's no need to heighten tensions here."

"Scavenged," is Yi-Min's extremely quick and dismissive response from above their heads to Silas's observation that yes, they are technically occupying a warboat.

The irony of Silas's compliment could not be clearer to anyone with working eyeballs: their ship is anything but 'shiny.' What it is is a long, ugly, black hulk of a thing, her submerged bulkheads letting loose a particularly clangorous groan from somewhere deep beneath their feet as though in protest of the gross mischaracterization.

"Hardly the rarest prize to find washed ashore in this day and age. If you have sailed these waters, you must know there are many more such remnants dashed up and down this coast, no? Especially on the mainland side." A trace of satisfaction in Yi-Min's tone rises when she specifies, as though she is gloating, but this dies down again in her next sentence. Her stare hardens.

There is nothing false about these words, and yet Yi-Min doesn't seem to feel the need to state the other side of the truth that is most intimately obvious to her and Kara: that through blood and sweat, their little military 'remnant' has been kept in enviable condition when compared to other, far sorrier wrecks.

"I shall ask you again. In a friendly way. Tell everyone from your craft to come out. Else, a less friendly poison may just find its way into your throat faster than anybody can come to save you from it." Yi-Min steadies the bamboo pipe to her mouth, the lazily-curtailed line of her stance interrupted only by the small, tight curl of contempt skewing the corner of her lip. A little girl playing with a toy blowpipe she is not.

With the threat spoken, Yi-Min's suddenly aware of a knife's blade under her chin, the sharpness of it biting into skin. Not just any knife– a long one, wielded by a woman about her height, dressed not for war, but seemingly in…

A bathing suit with a ratty, sunbleached tee thrown quickly over it? Which is nothing to say of the paired absolutely unmatching sunhat.

"请," she says with as much sweetness as she can muster in her salt-hardened voice. "不要威胁队长2."

The sound of the unfamiliar voice draws Kara's attention up, no matter how quietly it's spoken up on the deck above. She lets out a noise at once startled and anguished, the blood draining from her face. "You get away from mine!" she calls up her demand to Asi. There's no brandishing of a weapon to go with that. She's just come down as herself, after all.

"We won't have enough gas to go back where we came without a little help, so let's just come to some kind of deal, okay? Please?!" Kara looks frantically back to Silas with that, clearly finding him to be the better-amenable of the two aboard the Second Star– and an authority, apparently, besides.

Asi leaves her blade carefully positioned as she turns her head slightly to the side to call down aloud, "Nothing up here looks Sentinel, that I can see. They might be telling the truth about the scavenge."

For all that Aces stepping in with a knife is probably not a good play for overall diplomacy, he can't help but feel a warm glow of pride that she's stepping up for him. But Kara's right to try to throw oil on the waters now, before things slip completely out of control. "Stand down, Aces," he calls mildly. Not at ease, but stand down, at least; there's no way anyone sane would truly be at ease under these circumstances. For all that he's striving to project calm, he's wound as tight as a bowstring, and his ability's ready to go the instant Captain Curare — or Kara, for that matter — looks like she's going to try something.

He takes a breath. "There you have it, Captain," he calls evenly. "Me and Aces, and Kuro," he says, nodding to the cat, "makes three." Nothing else to pull out of his sleeves yet except knives; his hole cards are on the table for this hand, but they're pretty good ones. Now, time to make his pitch.

"Now. I do apologize if we've shown an overabundance of caution," Silas says smoothly. Without said caution, he is very certain they would be having a very similar conversation but from a much worse position, but making a fuss about that isn't going to do them any favors. "But as you heard — it's been our experience that military equipment can often mean Sentinel; as such, we felt prudence was advised."

"So I do hope you will forgive us if we've made a bad first impression… but maybe we can yet find common ground. Gas, for instance," he says, tilting his head slightly towards Kara. "What we have aboard our ship probably wouldn't do a lot for you; ship like this has big engines. Hungry engines. But it might be that we can get you some. And you, unless I miss my guess, have got knowledge of the seas further west than we've been."

His gaze flickers to Kara for a moment, then back to Yi-Min. "Might be that we can work out an arrangement where all of us walk away… winners," he says, pausing just a beat to lend the faintest bit of emphasis to walk away, though not quite as much as winners. "So. What say you? Parlay? Captain to Captain, crew to crew?" he shrugs, open hands rising up for a moment before falling back to his sides, a faint smile on his face… but inwardly he's still as tense as a drawn bowstring, watching the others for any sudden movements. If Yi-Min says no — or, worse, if she tries something on Aces — he's ready to lash out with his ability to try to mask Aces' movements and to hide himself. If it comes to a fight — if someone is going to get buried at sea here — he doesn't intend for it to be any of his crew.

At the mere mention of the Sentinel, Yi-Min tilts her head back and laughs, heedless of the stinging prick of blood from her neck that her sudden movement arouses. Amusement glows in her dark eyes, narrowed into crescents.

So, Silas doesn't recognize who she is. Who they are.

That was truly for the best. If they did, the interlopers might not be so forgiving of the captain who had slaughtered so many of their Expressive brethren in the past.

"We are certainly no friend of the Sentinel," Yi-Min calls downwards again— an address to both of them this time, the new ease and merriment in her voice flowing through all of her demeanor like cool wine. With one twirl of the warlike implement between thumb and forefinger, she plucks the pipe out of the edge of her mouth, letting that hand drop away to her side. Almost immediately thereafter, she favors Asi with a slightly oily side-eye of a smile, encouraging the blade down from her throat with two reprovingly gentle fingers.

"Kara can happily confirm that little fact. Parley, then. Now, pray. Get this thing out of my face."

With a huff of breath, Asi languidly lowers the blade down away from Yi-Min's neck. She doesn't turn the blade away entirely, but she does step back to further show she doesn't mean to use it unless needed.

In that time, in that exchange, Kara had watched Yi-Min with widened, worried eyes. Her breath had caught. And now that she seems safe for the moment, her shoulders settle, a little more at ease. "Oh my god," she breathes out, her chest caving with relief. She looks on the verge of saying something else, something she would say to get under a radar– but alas, it looks like the scrawny thing with a sword up on the deck with her fiancée speaks several languages, too.

Kara's hands defensively raised slowly drop to her side and she looks down at the white cat on the deck once more, who takes the opportunity to mewl loudly at her before bumping his forehead against her shin and dragging his head along her leg.

The cat played her– hook, line, and sinker.

"Goodness no, we're not friends with the fucking Sentinel," she relays suddenly very tiredly, that sounding to be a sore point as far as she's concerned. "We're just– you know–" Her head bobbles for a moment and then she casts a hand across the whole of the Kuihua, as though it were a humble thing. "Trying to keep this girl going. She's in good condition and she still looks scary, which is a bonus, all things considered," Kara dithers, but she doesn't look at Silas while she says it.

Asi at last turns her head away from Yi-Min to look across the deck, taking note of the gun on the deck of the ship that does not look to be nearly in the condition that the Cerberus' had been when she fired it remotely using the ship's targeting systems. The technopath's eyes suddenly shift from their darkened natural coloring to take on a seagreen glow as she scans the deck and ship for pings of electronics.

"We traveled from afar," she explains at a conversational volume that floats between the two ships' heights. "From the Archipelago of Manhattan. We're out here taking a break from earning our keep to get us the fuel and supplies we'll need to make that round trip back again." Asi looks back to Yi-Min without so much as a blink out of place to suggest that she's exaggerating about that endeavor.

"Yep," Silas agrees. "We've never yet had a vacation that went quite as expected," Silas says mildly, "but we keep taking them anyway." There'd been something off in Yi-Min's manner — one doesn't normally laugh about the Sentinel with a knife to one's own throat — but Kara's earlier sentiment had been on the mark, in that not rocking the boat might not be a bad idea. "Besides. Seems a waste to be in a whole new ocean and not try fishing it."

And with that out of the way, he straightens a bit and inclines his head. "Silas Mackenzie, Captain of the Second Star, of the first Trans-Pacific Expedition of the Archipelago of Manhattan. Pleased to meet you, Captain…?"

Right at that moment, before Yi-Min can start to answer, a crackle of static sparks to life from somewhere near her earlobe— not too far from where Asi's knife had pricked her neck, in fact. The static-y current strings together into a thicker, reedier buzz, eventually becoming a very muffled string of urgent yelling in some utterly incomprehensible (to Asi, anyway) dialect of Chinese. With her side-eye towards Asi growing ever wryer, the Captain of the Kuihua slants her head forward so as to hear it a little better, short hair sliding forth to reveal her earpiece.

For the whole of the next forty seconds, Yi-Min treats Silas and Asi as though they aren't even there: all of her attention is directed at languidly deflecting repartees from some unknown male speaker. What they can glean that the mystery party is ostensibly is elsewhere on their ship, given that he clearly isn't here. To Silas, Yi-Min even cheerfully sticks one index finger up in the air in the universal gesture for 'wait.'

"Ahh, Yi-Shan. I-jing siu ho-ah? …haah?! Mm-thang-oh! Bo-uh, diam-diam. Diam-diam-ah. Bei yao giiiiin, dai-ji beiiiii yao gin. Wo lai zong, gin dehn-ki zoh dai-ji3."

Sharp click, from Yi-Min.

"I am Yi-Min," the little woman announces to her audience with utter blitheness, not showing so much as a hint of the exchange she had just concluded. "Captain of the 'Sunflower.' Trans-Pacific Expedition, did you say? What an extremely interesting qualifier. Perhaps, we could discuss the specifics of such a journey over a less awkward distance? Say…. over tea?"

Silas tenses slightly at the sudden interruption, though his face is schooled into a blandly nonplussed expression. Yi-Min's dialect is impenetrable to Silas, and given their assuredly very different backgrounds, non-verbal cues will be unreliable at best — doubly so over this distance.

Kansas City, though, is a lot closer, and so Silas studies her for a moment, from the corner of his eye. "Penny for your thoughts?" he murmurs.

Kara looks absolutely at ease. She even sighs luxuriously. "Oh, I could really go for some tea after all of this, personally," she tells Silas free of charge. And then since the moment of stress seems to be over, walks back to the ladder spread between the two ships and takes it by the hand. "I know just the kind I want after a scare like that, too~"

She's not quite carefree, but she's certainly rebounded quickly. "By all means, you first," she offers graciously.

Asi, on the other hand, has her eyes narrowed after the exchange, having caught enough of the exchange clearly to understand that Yi-Min's fended someone off who might do them harm, but her skepticism regarding the other party's willingness to listen is alive and well. The glow of her eyes swims off across the ship, and she walks closer to the edge of the ship to look down at Silas, sword still by her side.

It'll probably be there still through whatever tea is shared.

"Asi," she introduces herself with no further word or explanation, overall still seeming wary, if not uncomfortable.

Kara's ease is a good omen for the immediate future, at least; Asi still seems to have her guard up, but it doesn't look like she's gotten any angrier, at least. Onward, then, Silas thinks…

…and smiles, showing no sign of his tension. "We'd be delighted, Yi-Min," he says warmly.

"Good!" is all Yi-Min summarily answers to that, turning sharply on her heel and heading for the direction of the ladder herself. Once she judges she's near enough, she bends lithely at the hip, clasping a slightly outstretched hand with Kara so as to help her partner over the last stretch— and more, so the two of them can walk belowdecks hand-in-hand. Presumably, the interlopers will both follow in their own time.

With her bamboo blowpipe re-strapped diagonally to her back, Yi-Min's small shape cuts a warlike silhouette even as a stray dash of sunlight glitters off the metallic sheath of her épée. But in the glow of that moment, it seems the Captain of the Kuihua has eyes only for her partner…

…and thoughts only for a cup of delicious tea.

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