“Hello?” cried Kayin at an odd looking ship parked across town from The Repose letting his voice echo a bit. He cried out a few more times for safe measure. He dared not walk in just crying out whenever there was an open window, or door. Any place with a potential human ear near by.
“Can I help ya son?” A grizzled, yet kindly old man called from behind the opening cargo bay door,”You’ve been doin’ a lot of catterwalin’, is there somethin’ you need?”
Kayin looked over the older man, “Yes. I’m looking for passage. The destination doesn’t matter, and I can’t offer much other than labor. A man named Jacks spoke highly of a ship across town from where I was, and hopefully I found the right one.” Kayin tried not to sound too desperate and hoped the ship was actively looking for a passenger willing to do the task none of them wished to do. Even dish work would be welcomed if it helped secure a room.
Copper squinted against the sun as he surveyed the younger man in front of him. Most days, Copper could tell when a man was lying just by watching the way their eyes moved. This guy was different. It was hard to get a bead on him. With everything happening around them right now suspicions ran high. After a moment the preacher nodded at the younger man, “I ain’t the one to say whether or not you get passage on this boat, boy. For that you’re gonna need to talk to one of the brothers.”
“Where can I find them?”
The older man surveyed Kayin once more trying to get a read on his intentions. After a few more moments, the preacher nodded. “Follow me, boy,” he turned to walk back up the ramp. He stopped and turned back with a smile, “Leave anything dangerous behind would you?”
Hands ruffled through empty pockets on carpenter pants exposing their lack of anything besides lint to the old man, “I don’t own a piece, and I still need to pick up my possessions across town. Even that is mostly clothes and old photos. The name is Kayin by the way,” he extended an arm to the preacher looking at Copper in the eye trying to get a feel for the Sheppard. “Was this a man that could truly be trusted in a way a holy man should?” was a question that burned in Kayin’s mind. Only time could tell.
The old preacher looked down at Kayin’s hand and then extended his own, “Copper.” He nodded toward the inside of the ship, “Come on. One of the boys is this way.” The holds bay door closed behind them as the two walked the length of the hold and up the stairs into the lounge area. “Why don’t you have a seat here, and I’ll go fetch the captain,” with that Copper kept going through the hallway in front of him and into the cockpit, “Looks like we got ourselves someone looking for passage.”
“Does he have anything in the way of payment?” Tyler asked without looking away from the nav screen.
Copper shrugged as he leaned against the wall, “Said he had nothing cept offerin’ cheap labor. Says it doesn’t matter the destination, just wants to get off this rock. Says he ran into Jacks who recomended us.”
Tyler rubbed a hand over his eyes, “Sounds like you don’t quite trust this fellow. We’re already on a rescue mission and there’s a right good chance that we’re gonna have to dust off quick like… Da-shiong bao-jah-shr duh la doo-tze! Lemme see this freeloader.”
Copper smiled nodded his head back towards the galley, “I set him back here.” He stepped back from the hatchway.
Tyler leaned against the bulkhead with his arms folded across his chest. The man was somewhat shabby looking, and there was a look in his eye that told the pilot that he’d seen his fair share and still carried it with him. “Where you bound?”
“It’s like the Shepherd said,” Mason nodded to Copper, “anywhere that’s not here suits me fine.”
Tyler could certainly identify with that desire. The men regarded one another for a long moment before Tyler spoke again. “Get your gear. And don’t make me regret this more than I already do.”
Mason stood and thrust out his hand. “Thank you. I promise you won’t regret this, sir.” When Tyler didn’t return the gesture, Mason let his hand drop. He glanced at the Shepherd, only to receive a slight shrug in reply. “My things are just across town. I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
He turned to leave, then stopped. “The name’s Mason, by the way. Kayin Mason…” his voice trailed off as he turned and found that Tyler had gone back into the cockpit. He looked once more to the Shepherd, and once more, receive nothing but a shrug in reply before Mason made his way back through the ship and outside again.
After he was sure Mason was gone, Copper poked his head back through the hatch. “A might hard on the young fellow, don’t you think?”
“Do you trust him, Copper?” Again, a shrug. “Yeah, me too. And I think he’d find staying dirt side a little harder than any lack of consideration I might be shown’ him.”