S.S. Fawkes - CF-142AC
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Assembling the deck hands

Posted on Saturday March 7th, 2020 @ 21:31 hours by Nali Tali & Carl Clark IX & M'erah & Kari Pahlmihr

Mission: Safe Passage
Location: Mess Hall, Deck 2, S.S. Fawkes
Timeline: MD01 - 0830 hours

Kari couldn't help but notice that the eyes of the people there all turned to face her as she entered. She tried to hide the limp as best she could as she made her way over to the replicators and ordered a hearty breakfast with lots of eggs. With her tray in hand she looked around to find the new Bosun that Mayterial had hired. She started to make her way over to the table where Nali was sat and almost tripped over a floor plate that was just half a centimetre higher than the other one. Had she been lifting her feet properly it wouldn't have been a problem.

M'erah saw how Kari was struggling and had already moved to help her when she stumbled, he made sure to be there in case she were to fall over but didn't want to seem overprotective of her. Her whole demeanour had been a clear indication that she didn't want to be pampered/ "That's a nice brrreakfast, would be a waste if it fell on the grrround, herrre let me help you," the big Caitian deck hand offered.

"I'm alright; I can manage," Kari pulled the tray closer to herself as if to protect it from prying hands. If she couldn't even handle her breakfast tray how would the Bosun ever be convinced she could be put back on duty?

"Wherrre arrre you planning on sitting down?" M'erah asked, looking around the room.

"I thought it would be a good idea to introduce myself to the new Boatswain." Kari continued on her path towards the Deltan woman and put her tray at the empty seat. "Good morning ma'am; mind if I sit down?"

“Please do,” Nali purred almost as much as the Caitian. She set aside the ever present manifest and gave Kari her full attention. “I understand you are Kari. The injury that bore your limp; was it in the line of duty?”

"Not as you would expect..." Kari winced as she sat down and then pushed a smile on her lips. "It's a bit sore still, but I'm fit for duty. So let me know where you need me."

“My arrival to the ship coincided with a desperate departure of the crew from Rangalor V with guns drawn, so I’m expecting all sorts of things and have heard no one speak of it since. Perhaps you have been instructed not to discuss it?”

None of them had really received any such explicit instructions, but they were heavily implied by the nature of the job they pulled in order to get things sorted out, Kari simply shrugged and wanted to comment when their table was joined by a young man.

Onyx had spent the night outside of the ship, but this morning he wandered his way into the Mess and looked around. He was told to report to the Boatswain in the morning, and he did just that. He bypassed the replicator and he looked around to see three individuals near together. Taking a deep breath, Onyx walked over and when there was a pause in the conversation Onyx introduced himself.

"Excuse me, I was told to see the Boatswain in the morning. I'm here to pay for my passage with labor."

Nali looked up from her conversation with Kari and scrutinized Mr. Clark. “Pay for passage or hire on as a deckhand? I can’t very well go around whipping passengers, can I?” Nali laid a hand on Kari’s and gave it a reassuring squeeze.

Onyx, visibly and perhaps literally the youngest person on board, was at a loss. The way she lad a hand on the other woman and gave a squeeze made Onyx not quite sure how he got himself involved with such a crew. His mouth was agape a little as he made 'um' and 'uh' as common as breathing. If her goal was to make his mind shut down, Mission - Accomplished.

"Well, I...to be fair, I do not see myself as a passenger so you can whip me to your hearts content."

“He’ll do nicely,” Nali sounded as she stood from the table and moved nearer to the young man. She walked around him once, looking him up and down. Then she ran her hands along his biceps, testing them for firmness.

Onyx got wide eyed as he realized how what he just said can be taken. Part of him thought to just shut his mouth, but his curiosity on how far it would go got the better of him. Another part also made him give pause. He had to give hope in his mind that the Captain just might be hiring for a new deckhand, something that would make Onyx very happy indeed.

"I didn't mean it like that. I did not know the Captain was looking to hire a deckhand."

“Mean it like what?” Nali moved back to lean lightly against the edge of a table, one finger tapping her full lips as she considered the man. “The reality of your intent and my perception may yet collide, but there is no need to stammer, Sir. I am Nali Tali, Boat Swan of the Fawkes. If I promise to whip you lightly, will you share with me your name?”

Kari looked over at M'erah, who quirked an eyebrow himself at the whole interaction between the two. "I'm not one forrr interrrferrring with otherrrwise wholesome flirrrtations, but wouldn't such encounterrrs rrrender ourrr young guest herrre catatonic?" He had expected some more constraint, even from a Deltan.

Onyx had to give himself credit, he at least got on board the ship before he turned into a blushing mess. His mind was awash with different emotions and thoughts, mainly about how to process what was going on. Being a young man who either worked or slept or ate, he never had time to accurately navigate the sea of flirtation. He had seen it before, and he had his guesses as to how to handle everything. The one thing he did not anticipate however was the prospect of a stranger feeling his bicep. In keeping with his youth and inexperience with matters, he pulled himself together while evidently nervous at the attention.

"Wh-wh-well there is no need to whip me lightly..I mean...I'm Onyx."

“Relax...Onyx? Nickname?” Nali pointed to the table of deckhands and returned to her seat. “Join us and we’ll discuss the job.”

"My grandfather gave me that nickname. It wasn't my idea."

“And if I should choose not to perpetuate the nickname, by what name would I call you?”

Onyx took the seat that was available and he sat down with Nali and the two other deckhands Onyx had yet to meet. "Carl Clark."

“The Fawkes will always lean more towards the ferrying of cargo over passengers, Carl Clark, but we do carry both. M'erah here,” and she pointed to the big Caitian, “and Kari are deckhands as well and have been onboard longer than myself, so if you prefer to bring certain questions to them, I leave it between the three of you whether those get answered.”

Kari gave a friendly smile and wave as her name was mentioned.

Nali continued. “You may also speak to me regarding your duties. We move things. We secure cargo for travel. We inventory and organize everything, and of course, we clean. Does this sound like the work of a man you wish to be?”

Onyx listened to every word that was spoken, and he could not help himself but to feel a gradual sense of familiarity with his old ship, the Pacific Reef. In fact, most of his experiences were going from one place to another, picking up and dropping off cargo. The last question did not give him pause at all. "That does sound like the work I really would like to know as much as I can."

Nali was tapping away at her PADD or manifest or whatever it was that always grabbed her attention. “And you feel you are capable of performing these tasks? Think before you speak, as the Captain may choose to leave you on the nearest habitable settlement were she to find you insufficient in your duties. The Captain, you understand; I would never dream of doing such a thing.”

M'erah furrowed his brow a bit, it was good to get some commitment from young greenhorns like Onyx, but he also knew that comment wouldn't really hold up to any kind of scrutiny. "So do you have any experrrience on frrreighters, Onyx?"

Onyx was still recovering slightly from Nali's statement about him being left on some settlement if he slacked on the job. This was not the first time Onyx had seen something of the kind, yet that was the first it was directed at him. He shifted his glance to M'erah, and Onyx had loving memories of life back home.

"My grandfather is the Captain-Owner of the SS Pacific Reef. My father is her helmsmen and my mother, who was in charge of security, gave birth to me on the Bridge. She put me to work when I was old enough to stand on my own two feet almost. I learned the basics from them: how to shoot straight, how to log, secure, and cross reference a Bill of Lading from the physical manifest, and I even took the helm once or twice." Onyx then knew he could not tell the deeper, hidden meaning as to why he was not part of the Pacific Reef anymore. That pain was still fresh in his mind even after five years. "As far as my work ethic is concerned, my brother used to tell me: 'You are nothing more than a relay in a giant circuit. You can be easily replaced, but people are relying on you to do you job. Nothing more, nothing less.'"

Kari looked over to Nali; that was certainly more experience than she herself brought to the table. This was her first gig as a deckhand and she had already almost given up three times before making it to this table. A pang of pain shot through her hip and she winced, before swallowing that and looking over at Onyx. "Maybe you can help explain some of that to me, then."

Onyx looked over at her and nodded. "I'll do the best that I can to help, though I will welcome any assistance in how things are handled here."

“I’m sure we will carry out some of those duties differently, but you sound qualified for the job. I’ll share a private word with you later regarding compensation for your work, but you’ll find it meets the standard offering out here. Are you able to start right and away?” Nali’s finger hovered over a green button on her PADD.

Onyx, ever eager to finally be part of a crew after four years dock side, gripped his duffel bag and grinned. "I'm ready."

The Deltan lowered her finger and the PADD gave a consenting beep. “Welcome to the Fawkes, Carl Clark. If you’d like to follow me, I’ll show you to your sling.” Nali stood from the table and slipped the PADD into a pocket on the leg of her pants. “It is not large, but it will be your private space to do with as you please, so long as it does not interfere with your duties or ship’s operations. Enjoy your breakfast,” she said to Kari and M'erah before moving away. “This way, Mister Clark. Do you have any additional gear to collect along the way?”

~~~Unlicensed Crew Quarters~~~

Onyx took a look at the conditions of the quarters and he looked a good solid look. There was indeed a double bunk, and indeed a place to store his other valuables. Onyx's life aboard the Pacific Reef taught him to bring only the absolute necessities in life: change of clothes, personal hygiene items, and one or two reminders of home. Basically, everything he needed in life was inside that duffel bag.

"I have all I need already, now I have what I like."

Nali gave him an approving nod and patted him gently on the shoulder. “A mature outlook, Carl Clark. Do you need some time to settle in?”

Onyx set his bag on the bunk, knowing he will unpack later. He turned around and he asked eagerly, "So where do I begin?"

~~~Central Spine~~~

“Your story, or the Fawkes chapter at least, shall begin where all such Deckhand tales begin - The Cargo Bay. Are you familiar with the Groumall class Freighter? There are thirty cargo bays arranged along the outer hull and accessed via a central corridor... erm...spine? Perhaps think of them as pods that can be detached as needed. Organizing and sorting all that cargo is a lot of work which is where you come in.”

"I am not familiar with a Gorumal, I will admit. I do however understand the main concepts. Each pod has a different consignee which may or may not have different locations for each one?"

“Groumall,” Nali corrected, “it is as you can see, Cardassian in design and construction. Solid, serviceable & hideous. How the contents of each bay are distributed will vary. Certainly we would wish to make things simple - by destination or client for example - but some cargo cannot be stored alongside certain others and still other cargos require specific environmental settings for storage. And so forth. There is a satisfying logic to it all; I have no doubt you will catch on quickly.“


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