We'll All Go Together When We Go


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ff_nova_icon.gif richard5_icon.gif robyn5_icon.gif ff_robyn2_icon.gif ff_ryans_icon.gif ff_silas2_icon.gif wf_squeaks_icon.gif ff_tay_icon.gif ff_veronica_icon.gif ff_walker_icon.gif wright_icon.gif

Scene Title We'll All Go Together When We Go
Synopsis The Travelers arrive at the Delphi Pelago to prepare for the first leg of their journey.
Date July 1, 2021

A howling wind whips across the storm-tossed ocean. Under a slate gray sky, the Atlantic thrashes like a wild beast. Few ships could endure sea travel at this time, and only along the coast is such a journey even feasible at this time of year.

Aboard the deck of the tanker ship The Tempest, Montgomery Biard watches the horizon through rain-streaked glass. Dawn has only just broken, and the mix of snow flurries and rain hammering down outside is accompanied by the crack of thunder and flash of lightning striking the open shore. It was the worst possible time to need to make a coastal crossing, and yet Captain Sawyer was emphatic: it must happen.

Wind gusts into the bridge of the Tempest when one of the ship’s deck hands comes bursting in from outside. “Sir!” He shouts, forcing the door shut with his back. “Sir, lights!” He calls out, stepping toward the bridge window, pointing to the southwest. Biard squints, trying to see through the blurred glass, then steps around the deckhand and out into the storm.

Shielding his eyes with one hand and bracing against the cold wind, Biard raises a pair of binoculars and scans the horizon. There, south by southwest, a violet glow on the horizon blooming in the rain and fog. A smile of relief cuts across Biard’s face as he crashes back into the helm and grabs a hold of the pull-cord for the fog horn.

Two thunderous blasts roar across the ship.

Land Approaching.

One Hour Later

The Ratmarket
Delphi Flotilla
Ruins of Pennsylvania

July 1st
6:27 am

The Tempest is the largest vessel docked at the arrivals harbor of Delphi. The towering tanker ship casts a massive shadow against the rooftop archipelago. Delphi is significantly different from the Pelago, and as the large group of travelers moving into the open-air market come to discover, it is different in familiar and dangerous ways.

“Ok, everybody who hasn’t been to the Delphi listen up!” Taylor Epstein bellows at the head of the group he’s leading into a canyon of shipping containers, tents, vendor stalls, and steam-dappled greenhouses. “We’re walking into Ratmarket, biggest trade hub in Delphi. Covers nine rooftops from here,” he says with a gesture to his feet, then ahead, “and that way. Some parts of the Ratmarket go down into the buildings, and it gets its name from its local residents!”


So many rats.

The market is crawling with them, scurrying along rooftops, crawling up drain pipes, running underfoot. “Do not fuck with the rats! Man in charge of the market by the name of Boxer has eyes and ears in all of them. Effectively every little whiskered fucker here is a cop, so keep your hands to yourselves and don’t mistake one for food unless you wanna become food.”

Cat and Hart, walking together with the group, share a look at each other with that revelation. “Awesome,” Hart whispers, watching one of the rats scurry by. “Super sanitary. Cool, cool, cool.”

“I’ve gotta talk to a salvage team about the land transports we’re gonna need and I neither want, nor need your company. So take in the sights, get something to eat, and if you’re having second thoughts you can go right back on that big fucking ship and go home. Because I’m warning you—not all of you are gonna make this journey!” Tay yells, making sure the whole group hears him.

Near the back of the entourage, Natalie Gray stands with her arms wrapped around herself and a thick jacket pulled closed around her willowy frame to stave off the cold. She turns her attention to a gull perched on a nearby rooftop, then glances to Tay and looks away. The bird, however, follows Tay’s every movement.

“Who’re my procurement specialists?” Tay asks, and Jonathan Smith steps forward with Levi Walker. “Alright. Smith, Walker, I need you two to—” Tay hesitates as a third person steps up to join them, a strong-looking woman with shoulder length, dark hair. A salvager from the Pelago, Glory. “You too?”

“Me too.” She says, adjusting her backpack over one shoulder.

“Alright, anyone else procuring supplies for the trip you’re with Smith, Walker, and…” Tay looks at the woman.


“And Glory.” Tay concludes. “Any questions, fuckin’ hold ‘em or figure it out for yourself.”

“The Epsteins are such charmers,” Gracie murmurs under her breath with a shake of her head. Unlike many members of this expedition, the ginger-haired woman is entirely unfazed by the rat situation. This isn’t her first time visiting the trading hub.

Dressed for the weather in a red parka that’s been patched so many times that it looks like a fashion statement, the hood is pulled up to block the worst of the wind. If it also obscures her features from view, that’s not the worst thing either.

While she carries herself with the confidence of someone who’s been before, she seems keen to keep her head down — not just to watch her footing with the rats about — and avoid making smalltalk with the locals. With her mood indiscernible, she makes her way through the knot of people. There’s a touch of her fingertips to the shoulders of those she approaches from behind, fleeting and gentle, serving only as an alert to her presence in order to avoid collisions. It’s difficult to determine if the memories she has of her time in this place are good or bad.

Destiny, conversely, strides along the dock with a spring to her step. If she’s been here before, her impression of Delphi is a positive one.

And given that she’s just excitedly greeted one of the rats by name — “Billiam!” — the odds are high that she’s done some trading in the markets before. She provides the smallest remnant of a crust of bread to the rodent like an offering. She waves cheerfully as the creature runs off with it.

“He helped me find a great book the last time I was here,” the tiny captain of the Featherweight confides to her companion. “Maybe he can help me find a chess set this time!”

This is the furthest Kendall's ever been from the Pelago since the world ended.

Ok, it's the furthest he'd ever been from New York City since before the world ended too, so there's that. But given how the scenery had changed drastically since then, that fact is mostly irrelevant. Upon hearing that land was sighted, Kendall scrambles to the front to go see, and is somewhat disappointed that it doesn't really… look any different?

"Well the rats are new, at least." he remarks to no one in particular. When their purpose is expanded upon and the warning delivered, he smirks faintly. "Rats." Oh no, they can't eat them. Such a shame. "I guess so long as they don't arrest anyone we'll be fine. The mental image of that is mildly horrifying though." Just imagine, a horde of rats suddenly descending on an individual, working together to subdue and somehow slap handcuffs on them. And to make it cute, all of them wearing little policeman uniforms. "Might be an interesting experience." To watch, Kendall has no interest in being on the receiving end of it. He looks around speculatively, as if gauging who would be most likely to attract the ire of a swarm of rodents.

"Woooow. This place is a completely different vibe from anywhere up north!" Zee blinks, looking over at Destiny, and then back at the city before her. "You know them?!" She sounds both incredulous and mystified all the same, brow stitching together in thoughtfulness afterwards. "I haven't been here since the flood. What's it like here?" Congrats, Destiny, you're now Zee's tour guide.

"…and what book could the rats be interested in sharing?" A genuine enough question, if one met with a sigh as someone walks up behind her.

"These aren't electrified rats by any chance, are they?" Robyn Quinn's lips have been mired in an almost permanent frown since they set out from the Pelago, but now she actually sounds genuinely worried and not just incredibly anxious. "I've heard stories, and to be frank I'm not into it." Her gaze is angled ahead at Tay, a poor quality sword hanging from her hip and an old, barely holding together umbrella she uses as a makeshift cane in her hand.

"Electric rats?" Zee looks back over her shoulder, a confused expression across her brow. "Like Pokemon?"

"Like wha-" Robyn stops after a moment, taking a deep breath. "Sure. Yes. That."

Chess rolls her eyes at Epstein as he tells them to basically fuck off. “Get me some more fucking arrows if you can,” she calls to the supply team. She’s procured a bow and some arrows from working for Marlowe – and she knows how to make more if she has to – but she’d rather not rely on the wilds for her projectiles if she can have some made from carbon fiber or aluminum.

Meanwhile Nova’s eyes are wide as she takes in the sights, and she grins over at one of the travelers. “At least we know we’re not eating rats if we get something to eat. Still, I think I will stick to the fish, myself.” Meat can fall into the ‘mystery’ genre in places like these, she’s found. And when the mystery is solved, the answer isn’t always palatable.

A dark-haired man who wasn’t among the travelers on the Tempest strides toward the ship – while there’s a purpose in his gait, it’s belied by a catlike languidness. He catches the snippet of conversation from Destiny, “Zee,” and Robyn, and smiles.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH,” this world’s version of Nick Ruskin supplies in an East End accent. The man has definitely fallen on harder times than when he lived in the Palisades Sill – he’s traded in his dapper suits for a black coat and boots – all he’s missing is a tricorn hat to scream pirate.

Ruskin’s bright blue eyes catch sight of Tay, and he gives the man an upnod though he doesn’t approach. He’s simply announcing his presence.

The sight of a once-more-familiar face drags Asi from her dour mood as she steps off the craft, a pack of all the belongings she's ever deigned to truly value slung over her shoulders while her katana hangs from her side and the snub-nosed gun she acquired before her last trip abroad stuffed into her beltline hidden below the stiff covering of her old Carhart coat.

"Ruskin," she calls out, more familiar than she likely has any right to be, but it's been years and she thought he was dead. "Holy shit, how are you?" Asi wonders, careless of minding what goes on underfoot as she strides that way.

She bumps into Spades as she passes, who keeps mostly to himself as he casts an eye around the docks, completely nonplussed by the rats. He's been here before, and he always knew he'd be here again. Still, though, he rubs one side of his neck in discomfort over it… and affords a wary glance at Ruskin's pirate-screaming garb before seeking out others in like clothing nearby to get a lay of the land.

The schism between members of Sawyer's former crew and those who were determined to remain pirates varies in intensity on a person-to-person basis after all, and Spades is not keen on the idea of crossing anyone they'll have to shank before being allowed to pass freely by.

"This is just stop one," Ace reminds himself softly to get over his being unsettled about potential foul interactions. "Then we'll leave town and deal with raiders after that." That thought bothers him less, somehow. Just as long as there aren't faces he recognizes on the opposition, he seems just fine with facing the world the way it is.

"Arrows for me, too," LeRoux calls out as she steps up next to Chess. The younger woman has taken up the hobby since the Travelers arrived and she was able to see Chess in action and decided it was cool. Cool, but also quiet and easier to restock in a pinch than a gun. Practical is Nat's favorite kind of cool. And a large supply of arrows would be nice, since she still has a lot of practicing to do before she can be useful in a fight with the weapon. She doesn't seem phased by the idea of rats being narcs or of the notion that they won't be allowed to eat them. Living underwater for so many years has put them far out of her mind as nuisance, pet, or meal.

Plus, she doesn't plan on doing anything worth tattling on.

Monica is the one who lets out a heavy, dramatic sigh at the very idea of being forced to behave for so long. The protest comes with a crooked smile, however, which probably means she's kidding. Or that she's got some ideas for sneaking mischief under all those twitching noses. With her, it could as easily go one way as the other.

"Raiders will be more fun," she notes to Ace, her smile spreading into a grin. Fun, of course, is very subjective.

Nonetheless, Ace can't help but slip into a small, knowing smile hidden under the shadow of her own.

Nadira hasn’t done a lot of travel in particular, either before or after the waters rose, so it’s enough of a new experience that she’s eagerly taking in the sights. That or she’s just being cautious of her surroundings and doing it with a calm expression. She doesn’t address anyone in particular, something a bit unusual for her, remaining quiet as she moves onto the docks and weaving her way around people who might be standing in her path. She’s paying attention to directions about procurement—mostly because she’s not going to verbally acknowledge in a new location that she’s helping with water filtration.

She’s wise enough to know that she doesn’t know the vibe of the place. Back at home, it was no secret as to her use of water. Here, she was entirely unsure of how some would treat it.

Squeaks comes into the marketplace sort of near the tail end of Tay’s warnings and behind almost everyone else. She has a look on her face, the kind of annoyed teenagery expression of annoyance at grown ups thinking they need to repeat themselves two billion and three times. Yes, yes, she knows how to take care of herself! Gosh. Some of that might even be for the Epstein that's giving all the warnings but it's also for the fatherly figure she's hurriedly striding away from. She's got every intention of letting Junior deal with the captain and his worries.

The small redhead hikes her rucksack higher into her shoulders as she leaves the gangplank and steps onto the docks. She draws in a deep breath, taking in all the smells before allowing a wide eyed and very curious look around. Blue eyes even make note of the rats when she pauses, head tilting just so to observe the observers. But not for too long.

Squeaks eventually eases herself forward, minding the creatures as she closes the gap between herself in the collection of travelers. She can definitely look at all of the things and follow newly-familiar faces so she doesn't get lost or left behind.

The ratmarket is a place Silas knows a bit about — he'd shopped here a good bit, back in the bad old days. It's been a long time since he's been back, though; hard to say how the years might've changed things.

Asi's exclamation draws him from his own gray study, though; after a moment's consideration, he also gravitates towards Ruskin, drifting along in Asi's wake. "Ruskin," he says, with the tight flicker of a smile appropriate for a chance encounter with an acquaintance while preparing to undertake business. That smile shows a flicker of genuine amusement as he takes in Ruskin's attire, though. Ruskin and I look like we mugged the same closet, ain't that a hoot, he thinks, amused.

"Small world," Silas says. "You hangin' your hat here now?" he asks.

“Jeez, the old man really needs to lighten up. I’m not a kid,” JR grouses as he hurriedly catches up to Squeeks who he simply towers over. A tall slim shadow to the small mouse. Shifting his own rucksack on his back, he watches a rat with amazement. This was the first time he’d been allowed off the boat in Delphi. While the Cerberus was beholden to Lowe and the Pelago, the Hounds’ activities frequently had them stopping in Delphi for supplies and information.

Benjamin Ryans the elder gives a tip of his head to a particularly curious rat in greeting, despite a darkened mood that came from discussions with teenagers who think they know better. “Not here for long, just supplies,” he tells the rat, knowing the man who controls them will get the message. No need for information this time around. He had done his part and escorted the travelers to Delphi. Now they were gathering supplies for the trip home and picking up a few items for Lowe.

Much to the dislike of his son who had been fascinated by the new arrivals. Speaking of… once she speaks up and he sees her, JR slips past Squeaks and hurries to catch up with Chess. “Hey! Hey, Chess! Wait up!” His father watches with a flat look of disapproval.

“Wait up yourself!” Squeaks calls after JR before tagging along in his wake.

Erin, for her part, is ambling in a bit of a daze. She is holding Colin’s uncharacteristic leash a bit tightly, her anchor in this new place. She's made a lot of changes in the past year or so - first leaving Ithaca, now leaving everything - and is wondering if any of it has been for the right reasons, or if it is all just moving away from standing still. Nevertheless, she is here now, and Colin looks excited about all of the new rats to chase. Erin considers allowing it, but reconsiders: you never know who might be a beloved emblem or pet.

Elliot is carried off the ship by the flow of strangers, hood up and jacket tight. He spots the faces of people he knows, but for now his primary concern is avoiding Glory until he has better footing for a conversation. The look of recognition she gave him in the Salty B is enough to make him worry.

He stays in the general area of the other members of the team, getting his bearings before he heads down into the market for supplies. It would be easy to get lost in the chaos here. The rats don't make the situation better; he can't believe that the world ended and people decided to bring back monarchy and mass surveillance.

It takes a while for Tay to put focus back on the collective of travelers behind him, something in the market had briefly caught his eye. But when he does finally turn back to addresses them again it’s first to give Nick the same wordless head-bob nod of recognition, and then to deliver a final warning to the others.

“One last thing!” Tay shouts, hands raised in the air to get attention. “If you have an ability, maybe play it cool here! Sentinel came up through Delphi before they hit the Pelago and a lot of good people died. I ain’t saying it’s right, but some folks here have a lot of resentment to their lives being upturned because of folks born different. I don’t care if you think they’re right or wrong for feeling that way, we ain’t here to make friends! We’re here to get supplies and get west! So no starting fights, no ending fights, and no getting us all locked up in a god damn brig before we can leave!”

Glory raises an eyebrow to that warning, looks down to the rats, then shakes her head as she meets up with Jonathan and Levi. “Ready when you are,” she says with a nod to Jonathan.

Jonathan glances back at the others and calls out, “Anyone coming with us, c’mon.” Then he nods to Levi and Glory and the three head off into the container market.

“Wasn’t expecting rats,” Cat admits with a grimace as she and Hart maneuver around the perimeter of the group. “You good?” She asks Hart, who refuses to take her eyes off where she last saw a rat scurrying.

“Oh—yeah. Absolutely. Totally uh—” Hart snaps a look back to Cat. “Yup. Peachy.”

Arriving late, Edward Ray catches up to Destiny and offers a silent look to Tay’s back as the group’s ostensible guide is headed away. “I don’t know what to expect here,” he says to her cautiously, “but at the very least let’s try not to touch too much of anything. Given the local law enforcement I’m slightly concerned about sanitation.”

“It’s like that movie,” Else—who steps out from behind Edward like she was his shadow—suddenly chimes in. “The one about the…” she trails two fingers in the air, “the rat under the chef’s hat?”

Edward side-eyes Else, staring at her vacantly.

“Maybe not.” Else reconsiders with a laugh and a pump of her brows.

At Else's comment both of the Robyn's look from Destiny to her, one with wide eyes and the other with a curious expression.

"A chef rat?!" Zee eyes are wide and wild as she imagines what in the world this movie could be - clear she hasn't seen it, or has forgotten it in the decade plus since it even came out, if it even did come out in this particular timeline. "Oh no, was it making, like, human food? Tell me everything!" Excitable is the least of the words to describe her at that moment.

"It's called-" Robyn starts to comment, to correct, like she usually does, but seeing Zee's excitement, instead lets a smile settle as she shakes her head. "Never mind. I'd love to hear Else's version of the movie." Despite that, her attention quickly - and reticently - drift from the other woman to the man with Destiny. A man she's heard so much about, but has never properly met before in any form.

Taking a step sideways, she looks to the two of them, leaning against her umbrella cane as she offers a hand to Edward. "I'm sorry I didn't get the chance to properly introduce myself on the boatride down. Robyn Roux, not to be confused with Robyn Roux. It's a pleasure to meet you."

Destiny turns to Edward and smiles. “It’ll be okay!” she assures him with a gentle nudge of her shoulder to his arm. Then her smile brightens as she leans forward enough to look to Else on the other side of Edward. “Ratatouille!” She tilts her head and considers that for a moment. “It’s a little reverse this time, I think.” With a shrug, she straightens up and swings her arms back and forth twice with an excited energy.

Her usual optimism shines, but it’s tinged with anxiety. Travel by sea is something she knows well. Travel by land… Well, she hasn’t done that since she and Jimmy laid low after her parents were killed. The Other World Robyn’s introduction derails her from a potential spiral. She cups a hand around one side of her mouth, leaning toward Edward to whisper, “Odessa thinks she’s okay people.” Maybe that’s an endorsement, or maybe it’s a warning. It depends on one’s opinion of Odessa Price.

As Gracie moves to pass by Nadira, she pauses, hesitating only a moment before resting her hand at the other woman’s elbow. “Hey,” she murmurs softly. “You doing okay?” She smiles encouragingly.

“We may have to look for arrows ourselves,” Chess asides to LeRoux. “I just don’t have much to trade we haven’t already given to the common good.” She goes up onto her tiptoes to try to see above the many heads between them and the rest of the market, then turns her head when she hears Ben Junior’s shout to wait up. She huffs a short laugh out, but doesn’t seem to be bothered by the fact the teenager wants to hang out with her.

“Hey, Junior. You know LeRoux?” she asks, gesturing from one to the other. It’s then she catches sight of Jac hanging off to the side, and her eyes widen and she takes a quick breath in recognition of the familiar face. The impish freckled face of her half sister isn’t one she expected to see in this world, not with the differences in Adam’s life. It’s a fleeting moment, and she tries to cover it up with a quick stretch and fake yawn.

She’s not a great actress.

“It’s my little Oni,” Nick says with a crooked smirk for Asi as she greets him – anytime someone’s happy to see him and not trying to kill him it’s a good time, really. “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. You signed up for this li’l tea party, have you?” He turns to nod to Silas. “It’s a whole reunion, innit.”

He gestures to the market, wrinkles his nose. “Washed up here. Grabbing the favors owed, paying off others.” He nods to the travelers – there’s just something about them that sets them apart from the rest of the Pelago folks. “You got some new shinies in, I see. They like the last lot, here to wreak havoc?”

“Look up videos on fletching,” Elliot says to Wright sotto voce. It would take too long to type it all out, and he doubts anyone here can hear him talk to the air. “See if it’s something I can manage here. If nothing else, I’ll have a hobby.”

“You do need a hobby,” Wright agrees, launching her office chair across the conference room with a kick at the wall. This room is far nicer than the mess she inherited at Fort Jay, and she’s giving it many personal touches, all of which are technically not allowed. Ames’s drawings aren’t covering any of the important equipment, and only some of the hidden cameras. “This show has been really boring, glad to see you’re trying to spice it up.”

Elliot chuckles and shakes his head. “Thinking of the bao place for dinner.”

Wright hums in agreement. “Good idea.”

Marlowe would have been amongst the first to head out to the deck at the first call of land, but the Syndicate leader has lagged slightly behind. She appears at the tail end of Tay's instructions, wiping her hands on the lone dry spot of an already greasy rag. She keeps to the back of the gathered, observing of their surroundings and uncharacteristically quiet. She's busy studying the environment, the workings and dealings. Away from the Pelago, she's aware she holds little power. What she does have is a mechanic's eye and a half empty rucksack waiting for parts and supplies. "Those deciding that goin' back's better will make it back," she states loud enough for the others. The implication that she isn't accompanying the return trip hangs over her expression as she moves to join her compatriots on the supply run.

The supposed ‘team leader’ of the most recent group of Travelers to arrive has been oddly absent for most of the sixteen-odd hours that they’ve been on the ship. He definitely boarded, but disappeared somewhere along the way.

Richard does that sometime, though.

He’s here now, though. He wasn’t here for the beginning of the speech, but he’s here now; sunglasses firmly in place, scraggly beard already threatening to keep growing, bomber jacket wrapped around himself like a suit of armor. He slants a look over towards Natalie Grey, his lips pursing slightly, then turns to look towards Delphi and this ‘Ratmarket’.

For the moment, at least, he stays right where he is.

Kendall can understand the sentiment of keeping powers secret; he remembers the Sentinel attack very vividly, and there's no need to do anything to draw attention unless absolutely necessary.

"Hey I remember that movie." He pipes up when the conversation shifts to subjects of a more fictional nature. Not really having much more to contribute to the conversation, however, he casts his gaze around again and catches sight of Colin. Oh, a dog. Somehow he missed seeing him the entire trip down. With a glance to Nadira, he nudges her and points. Look! A pupper! He doesn't make his way over just yet, but There Is A Dog. His new goal is to give pets, unless Dog is unfriendly, in which case he will be sad and keep away.

There is recognition for the woman he is introduced to. “Hey,” Jr drawls out with uncertainty for the newish face, eyeing LeRoux while he pulls his pack off and rummages through the contents.

“I… uh… overheard you talking about not having anything to trade,” Jr states sheepishly, glancing up at Chess frequently while he digs to the bottom of the pack. “Being you know… not really…” He trails off not really finishing that comment for REASONS. Looking at you, rats! But he does pull out a bundle of wiring from its depths. Bits and pieces, one having a few coils. Insulated and fairly good condition considering. Probably dredged up or pulled from salvage.

“Here,” Jr holds out the bundle to Chess, “Been holding on to this for trading something cool, but arrows are a better use. Ya know?”

His father watches the exchange from his place near Marlowe, acting as a sort of geriatric bodyguard. Only those in the know understand that Captain Ryans was still quite dangerous, despite the cane. “You still sure about joining them?,” he asks under his breath. He felt weird about traveling dry land again, his home was the sea.


Is behaving from afar, technically she was being a weirdo by staring down at everyone from the ceiling. Clutching to a beam and grinning as the people she knows and the people her other self knows meander about. "Mmm where's the shrimp?" She ponders aloud for the second time, she almost asks this world's Bean but the small turtle was not stuffed into her bosom but instead left on the Forthright. The undead seer hadn't wanted to shift forms and harm Mad Eve's companion.

Berlin. Spying Leroux and smiling fondly seeing that she lives here and free from the conduits.

That old bat had to be Natalie Gray.

Another she needed to seek out but the other two cause Eve to squint and rear back, midnight locks falling into her face.


Eve is vibrating with excitement as she sees Else standing there conversing with Robyn, whichever that one was.

Finally a fellow sister seer.

The wicked woman begins to plot her hello to her old friend.

“That means he likes you,” Squeaks calls from just aside of where JR stops. There's a not-quite-subtle measure of stress added to likes, a veiled sing-song in her tone. She looks at Chess without recognition, just the same intensely curious stare she's given to all of the other travelers as she's spotted some of them. And spied on them.

Speaking of curiosity and spying, Squeaks lets her eyes wander away from JR’s gifting. There's so much to see in the market, even though she's been there a couple of times before — she's actually gone to the market during a couple of the Cerberus III’s supply runs, even if Captain Ben wasn't exactly okay with the idea of it. But Squeaks does as she does. The activity is always interesting, plus there's all the people. Like those they traveled here with.

That's where Squeaks’ attention floats, after an immediate and quick look back to make sure Captain Ben isn't grousing too hard. Her head turns and tilts as she spends a second or three on the unfamiliar travelers, openly and unashamedly wondering about each and every one of them.

Until she spots Robyn Roux in the crowd.

Squeaks stiffens as if she'd just witnessed a fate too gruesome to put into words. She looks sick and terrified in turns. Her hands dart up to cover her ears in anticipation of a sound way worse than just the buzz of voices in the market. As one second ticks into the next, the teen twists away to place herself elsewhere in the group of travelers.

Erin, in her oblivious reverie, just barely notices that Colin is tugging the leash. She shakes her head a little and looks down, seeing that he is panting and wagging his tail at what appears to be a boy – no, man – who looks much younger than he actually is, someone who is perhaps a bit of a puppy himself. It’s a sixth sense that dogs and dog owners seem to possess: person wants to pet, person must pet. Erin grins from Colin to ManBoy, and says, just loud enough to be heard in the world’s most disgu– unusual bazaar, “Don’t worry, he’s friendly. He’s basically a big beefy doofus in a dog’s body.”

There are people she knows here, but not many, and they all seem occupied. And there was something about … something of her old friend Eve being reborn? Frankly, Erin never did understand Eve’s life, but friendship sometimes requires mutual understanding of not-understanding, and anyway, Eve seemed busy. Or maybe it was the other Eve she’d been hearing about. Truth be told, she was a little lost, and was starting to wonder if she shouldn’t have just stayed on her houseboat with her plants, but then, what good was having special skills if they couldn’t be put to use in the toughest of times?

LeRoux nods at Junior, giving him a quiet hey in return. She seems to understand that she's not the focus of this interaction and her attention drifts. She sees Richard there, her head tilting for a moment as she looks him over. It's not much of a secret that she's appointed herself something of a bodyguard, despite the fact that he certainly doesn't need one. Her attention snaps back when Junior produces his wires. Her eyebrows lift in surprise for a brief moment before suspicion takes its place. There were no gifts in the Arcology and absolutely nothing was free in Lowe's. "We can't pay you for that," she says, as if he might need a reminder that Chess is effectively penniless here. Or perhaps just to get the details of trade out onto the table in clearer language.

Monica spots her friend and strides over to drop her arm over Marlowe's shoulders. "And so here the Queen walks the streets in the guise of a pauper," she says, her tone light. Nevermind that Marlowe has never looked like a pauper in her life, it's just a joke. "Care to see if they have anything that passes for booze around here?"

Which is just Monica's way of volunteering to go supply shopping with her. Someday she may learn to speak more directly, but it looks like that day is long in coming.

Asi's wicked grin curves and she reaches out to bat Nick playfully on the bicep to acknowledge his greeting of her. "Well, it's good to hear it. For a while there, the rumors of my own almost weren't. A happy middle finger toward death for the both of us, then." She smiles through it, because there are so few pleasant moments like these, few far in between, and brief.

… So brief that her smile is as short-lived as it takes for Nick to note the outsiders among them. It fades quickly, canine last to shelf for how her lip curls back in momentary distaste. To her credit, she tries to shrug it off. "Would we be here with our lives on our backs, walking to the unknown if they weren't?" She breezes right on past that, though, lifting her chin in the general westerly direction. "Word is there's a settlement far north, far west of here, called Anchor. The summer path Silas and I took before to reach Alaska through the Northwest Passage soured up… the Stormfront's squalling without cease."

Looking back to Nick, Asi arches both brows. "I'd think this supposed paradise bunk, if among their little crew weren't someone who's from there. And the rest of them are damn determined to get there soon."

"So, overland it is," the Oni summarises dispassionately.

Silas regards Aces out of the corner of his eye for a moment when she mentions her own near death experience. He'd heard the story, of course, but he's still glad as hell that her almost had been only that — that someone had been around to help her make it through.

He doesn't let himself dwell on that, though. "Overland it is," Silas agrees, a bit more jovially. "Gonna be a hell of a trip. Don't know if this place'll be a bona fide paradise or not, but I look forward to finding out," he says, a gleam of good humor in his eye.

Then, his expression sobers a bit. "But… gotta stock up first, so…" he trails off, raising his hands to his sides as if to indicate here we are. "But since we're in town… well, I have to admit, I'm curious. Now, it's been forever and a day since I shopped the Ratmarket, but if you don't have your ear to the ground then you've changed a lot more than just your threads. What's the word in Delphi these days?"

“It’s rare to find someone happy I haven’t shuffled off this mortal coil yet, but it’s mutual,” Nick says to both Asi and Silas. “I’ve a bottle I can share with the two of you in celebrating our respective escapes from the clutches of the reaper.”

He shakes his head at Silas, with an apologetic shrug. “I’ve only been here a few weeks myself. Keeping my head down and minding my own, mostly. Epstein told me a bit about this excursion. Paints a far less rosy picture than this Currier ‘n’ Ives shit you are,” he says with a nod to Asi. “But I owe him a favor so I’ll come along. Not much left for me in these eastern waters these days.”

Still, he has a tip or two up his leather sleeves, and his bright eyes return to Silas. “Don’t trade anything at ol’ Briggs’ stall – he’ll claim it’s the only one he has, take it or leave it, but the next day he’ll be telling the same tale to someone else. And if you need any tech, Dusty will beat Margo’s price every time, even at value, just to keep her from winning some long-standing rivalry they have.”

Not too far away, Chess looks at the offering JR makes and her eyes widen, even before Squeaks chimes in with her teasing, and she shakes her head. She very diplomatically pretends not to hear what the redhead says, but looks to LeRoux when the other woman reminds JR that they have nothing to pay him with – which probably doesn’t do anything to diminish the Ryans boy’s resolve to help.

“That’s so sweet of you, but no, you should absolutely get something ‘cool,’” she tells him. “I have some and I know how to make more, but it’s a bitch and I don’t want to if I don’t have to. But really. You should get something for yourself with that.”

Glancing at Squeaks, she smiles, only to see the girl’s reaction to… Robyn? Before slipping off again. She watches, brows drawing together, but she doesn’t give chase – she knows too well the need to escape when fear rears its head.

Her bright yellow fishing coat makes Nova anything but subtle in a crowd of mostly drab and dark clothing, and the young captain looks around curiously. Seeing a rat perched on a wooden pole looking around, her hand comes out of her pocket to lay a little cracker beside it. “Thanks for the hospitality,” she says solemnly.

Destiny perks up as she listens in on Nick’s conversation with Asi and Silas. He’d already gotten a smile for his reference to Mrs. Frisby, but now she’s practically brimming with enthusiasm. “You’re coming with?” she asks, already knowing that he’ll confirm. “That’s exciting!” She bounces in place just once. In her own sweeping black coat and wide-brimmed hat, it’s like they both showed up to the party in the same outfit. (Although neither of them would consider changing due to embarrassment or upset.)

A slight smile is offered back to LeRoux from Richard - hard to say if it’s forced, or what’s consuming his thoughts at the moment - and then with a tilt of his chin up he walks over towards her; hands tucked into the pockets of his jacket, gaze sweeping to consider Junior and his offering.

“I think that’s a gift, Nat,” he points out a bit wryly to his cousin at her words, “You know, a present? We’re kind of all in the same boat now, after all…”

Nadira's attention goes to Gracie at her elbow and she offers a small, kind smile. "Of course. This is all just a bit much all at once, my thoughts are everywhere." She reaches up to tuck her hair behind an ear. "Being on the water I am used to, an overland trek is going to be something else entirely."

The offer of a drink is met with an appreciative nod and a pleased smile, but that Ruskin is joining them surprises him as much as it does Destiny, though his response is limited to a more subdued quirk of an eyebrow. Still, more hands make lighter work. "Glad to have ya, then," he says with a grin.

"The information's appreciated, too; maybe I'll be able to make it out of here with my shirt," Silas says with a chuckle and a roguish grin. Not that they'd have an easy time skinning me.

Still, it's much easier to find out the lay of the land from someone who's been lurking here for a bit than to skulk around and try to glean it himself. More importantly, it's far faster — they're on a bit of a timetable here, after all.

Kendall doesn’t need to be told twice, hunkering down to give the dog an exuberant headscritch. Pets are hard to have in the Pelago since resources are so limited… unless you’re the library ladies, anyway. Or the Forthright. And now Kendall is sad, although if he knew the mental label Erin attached to him, he would absolutely be offended. He is not a boy, thanks. “So what’s his name, anyway?” he asks, not paying much attention to the rest of the conversations happening.

Gracie nods knowingly to Nadira, sympathetic. “It’s… very different,” she admits. “But I’ll help you along. And Epstein presents himself as a competent guide.” The ginger shrugs. By her estimations, he must be doing something right, given that he’s still alive.

“He’s not wrong, though. This… isn’t going to be easy.” Blue eyes drift off, like she’s traveling the miles in her mind while her physical presence remains. “I won’t lie, it will be much harder for the rest of us if you aren’t along, but that doesn’t mean you should feel obligated to throw everything away and come with us.” Gracie’s lips press into a thin line and she briefly wraps an arm around Nadira’s shoulders to squeeze. “But you can think about that while we shop.” A small smile forms as she steps back to her own space. “Let’s find ourselves something pretty.”

“Colin,” Erin replies with a smile. “And I’m Erin. I have no idea what I’m doing here, really, so would you want to walk around and find supplies with us? Colin makes for good company, at least.”

Ruskin’s dark brow lifts and he looks amused at Destiny’s reaction to the news he’s joining the caravan west. “Is it? Hopefully not too exciting, half pint. I could use with a little less excitement in my life, if I’m honest.”

But he claps Silas on the shoulder and nods. “I’m going to see what I can find for reading material. I hear it’s a long drive,” he says, before disappearing into the crowd in search of something he hasn’t read – a challenge when so many books have been destroyed by floodwaters.

The tall teen seems to shrink under the commentary and accusations being leveled at him from various sources. JR looks ready to go hide under a table, cheeks flush from embarrassment. But it is LaRoux that has him sputtering and tripping over his words.

“I know tha—” His voice cracks as it goes up several octaves, completely insulted, only to remember where they are at. Dropping his voice he gives his accuser a glare, while roughly whispering. “I’m just trying to help. Is that okay?!?.” He has to work to keep his voice from getting louder or drawing attention.

It isn't the whole truth, but it is close enough. Squeaks might be right on the rest of JR’s motivation even if he will fiercely deny it.

When the wires are rejected, JR gives a one shoulder shrug as if indifference. “Well, the offer is there…” he trails off, tucking them back into the pack. His cheeks are still slightly pink when he shrugs his pack back on. “And If it’s repaying that is the issue,” he scratches at his cheek thoughtfully, “uh… you could just teach me how to shoot a bow and make arrows.” He makes a point not to look at LeRoux since he knows she’s judging him, like if he doesn't look at her she can’t see him… or something like that.

One corner of Chess’ mouth tips up. “You are helping. And helpful,” she assures the teen, then glances over at LeRoux. “Let’s go see what we can find. I have a couple of things on me I haven’t traded yet, and maybe we can find some arrows and still something cool for Mr. Ryans here,” she says, tipping her head in the direction of the market stalls in the distance, before heading in that direction, assuming the others will follow.

Looking over her shoulder, she finds Ryans Sr. and gives him a lazy little salute – a promise to bring his son back in one piece, maybe.

"A gift?" LeRoux says to Richard, with an incredulous huff, as if that only makes this all the more suspicious. Gifts are for little kid birthday parties, at least in her estimation. And memory. Her eyes narrow when Junior tries to explain, but his flustered response doesn't seem to sway her. Maybe it's for the best he doesn't look at her. She has too much of her mother in her to believe in his sincerity. And too much of her father to tolerate it without at least muttering about it. "Christ." is what she settles on before she turns back to Chess and Richard. "We're getting supplies," she says to the latter, "give us a shout if you need anything." She also looks over to Ben Sr, too, giving him a look like he should be doing something about this son of his.

Squeaks, unfortunately, isn’t near enough to have enjoyed any of the fallout from her explanation of JR’s intentions. She zagged into the crowd seconds after seeing Robyn, zigged past Elliot then swooped by Erin and Colin, still with her hands pressed firmly over her ears. Her arms finally lower and fold around her middle as she skirts past Des and starts a brief jog to join Epstein’s ranks for the remainder of the trip through the market.

“I’m pretty sure that generosity hasn’t been completely stamped out in the world completely,” Richard replies a bit dryly, one eyebrow lifting at his cousin, “C’mon, we’re all in this together now, at least until we reach Anchor.”

A glance to Chess, then back to LeRoux– he hesitates, then gestures a bit with his gloved hand, “Same if you need me, and– I’m going to need to grab you and Tay to talk about something important later, when you’ve got the time. Maybe over a drink.”

Maybe over a lot of drinks.

Running a hand back through her hair as she leans against her umbrella, Robyn gives a curious look as she watches Squeaks take off after Tay and the others. Her eyes narrow and she tilts her head, leaning over to whomever is closest. "Any idea what that was all about?" she asks in a low voice. Rhetorical as it is, Robyn can guess a trauma response when she sees it.

Elliot is familiar with Squeaks's posture as she flees the docks; he spent a significant portion of his childhood escaping tormentors with his hands pressed over his ears. Though they've talked, he isn't the person to check to see that she's alright. The other caravanners headed in that direction are a safer bet, and Glory is in that direction regardless.

He fades into the crowd in search of what he came here for.

It was time for all of them to do that. To find what they were here for, to hold on to it, and if they were lucky…

…survive the journey to distant shores.

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