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CERES The Depths

Discussion in 'Private Roleplay' started by Tadgh, Jul 27, 2018.

  1. Lyla

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    After the weapon was taken from Tadgh, Lyla reached out to take his hand and squeezed it reassuringly. She could tell that he was flagging, struggling to even stay focused on his surroundings. "Stay with me, beratna." She murmured quietly, low enough for only him to hear.

    As they grew closer to the cordon, she noticed that the gunfire was starting to putter out. The gangsters didn't seem to have any interest in engaging with the cops, just themselves. This information was probably important, but Lyla didn't have the mental energy to puzzle through the facts. Much like Tadgh, she was struggling but her eyes were at least focused for now.

    If she could keep moving, keep thinking about the next step, she would be okay. As soon as she had a moment to stop, she was afraid that she was going to break down.
     
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  2. Tadgh

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    There was a powerful mix of pain and gratitude in his eyes, in his expression. This time he didn't even nod. That little gesture had been half his ability to communicate for the last half hour.

    He didn't let go of her hand. The larger detective caught his arm on the other side and took some of his weight. The other kept her eyes on the surroundings. Tadgh saw a colourful sigh above a bar. Felt his legs struggling to keep moving. They turned the corner and were presented with the Star Helix cordon. A van was unloading an armed, tactical response team. They had an a riot truck with a sonic cannon ready to move. Tadgh felt relief, then he felt the darkness finally pull him under.



    He woke with a cough. Coughing hurt immensely, dragging him back to consciousness by the scruff of his neck.

    "Fuck."

    He wasn't in a hospital. He had expected to find himself in a hospital. Or on the med bay of the Azimuth. He was on a cold, hard metal bed in a small, barren room. Lyla was by the door. He had the stolen coat wrapped over himself.

    There were no stitches in his wound, no fluids being pumped into his veins. Unbeknownst to him an officer had applied some sealing gel to his wound and given him a sedative. That was all. They had been locked away at the nearest station and no one was answering any calls.

    "Lyla?" he thought he had said. Instead it had just been a croak. "Lyla!?" he tried more forcefully.
     
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  3. Lyla

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    Initially, once they were brought to the station, the Star Helix officers had tried to separate Lyla and the unconscious Tadgh. The redhead had obstinately refused to comply with this suggestion. With Tadgh in the condition that he was, and being an earther, she wasn't about to entrust his care with a bunch of belter cops that she didn't know.

    Lieutenant Isarde had been the one to "tend" to Tadgh's injury, and then he'd given Lyla a similar treatment -- although he had been notably more gentle. After he had stopped the bleeding, he'd asked for Lyla's hand terminal and simply taken Tadgh's out of his pocket. She knew that it was bad news that their terminals had been confiscated. Blocking them off from communication was never a good thing, and it made the hair on the back of Lyla's neck stand up.

    "Sit tight. We'll come get you once everything is sorted out." The lieutenant had said before he shut the door and locked it behind him.

    At first, Lyla had paced around the room impatiently; but when it became clear that Isarde wasn't coming back any time soon, she went over to Tadgh and draped his jacket over his torso to keep him warm. She checked his pulse, making sure that his heart hadn't stopped beating. If he was bleeding internally there wasn't anything she could do about that, but at least he wasn't spilling blood down his side anymore. Eventually, she'd given up and went to sit on the floor next to the door.

    Roughly four hours had passed since then.

    Just as her eyes were drifting shut, she heard Tadgh stir on the table. A horrid, garbled sound came from his throat at first and then he tried again, "Lyla?" His voice was hoarse, urgent, but she could at least understand him.

    She weakly pushed herself onto her feet, staggering slightly once she was upright in her exhaustion, and then she hurried over to the bed side. As she came into his field of sight, she offered a warm smile and put a hand on his shoulder to calm him. "Hey, it's alright. I'm still here. Try not to move too much..."
     
  4. Tadgh

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    "Oh, okay," he said quietly. Her words went a long way towards allaying his concerns. He blinked his eyes opened and stopped frowning. His fingers felt numb so he flexed them to try and bring a little more life to them. For now he left the coat that across his chest. Tadgh felt cold despite it. His skin was pale, even for an Irishman who never much saw the sun.

    "Okay." Tadgh repeated the word, but this time he slid an arm out from under the jacket and placed his hand on top of hers. His eyes glanced around the room once more. "Where are we?" he asked. His expression was confusion, but it was clear he was trying to keep some building anxiety at bay.

    "When is it?" he added. He remembered finding the Star Helix cordon. The riot officers, with their identities hidden behind the smooth black faceplates. His mind was still working slowly and couldn't work out what could have happened from that moment to now. At least he was still around to be hurting and confused.
     
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  5. Lyla

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    Lyla's smile grew ever so slightly as Tadgh put his hand over hers. He had the strength to move his limbs, at least. She hoped that she wasn't comforting a man as he slowly died in front of her, but she was not about to voice those concerns to him. His palm was noticeably cooler than her own, and now that they weren't being ushered through a war zone, she noticed the roughness of his hand -- which was surprising to her. She'd been expecting an earther to have baby smooth hands.

    She glanced around the room when he asked her where they were, quirking her mouth a little to the side. "They moved us to the nearest station after you passed out. We've been locked in here ever since. Isarde used a sealant on your wound to stop the bleeding, and a sedative to keep you from moving too much. You've been out for... probably seven or eight hours in total."

    Her gaze dropped back down to his, brushing her curls out of her face with her free hand. "The lieutenant said he'd be back once 'everything was sorted out'. Whatever that means." She muttered a moment later, shaking her head. "How are you feeling?" She asked him, lowering her voice to a softer tone.
     
  6. Tadgh

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    "Good question," he replied. He tried to swallow. It had just been a subconscious action but he very much noticed how tight and dry his throat was. "Not great. Cold, dizzy. Tired."

    The last one was particularly emphasised. Even as concerned as he was about what was happening he was fighting the urge to close his eyes and drop off again. In eight hours they should have been given some treatment.

    "Glad you're here." The thought of waking up alone in a room like this filled him with dread. He didn't know she had forced them to let her stay instead of keeping them apart. "Did they look at your shoulder? Is there any water?" he asked in quick succession.
     
  7. Lyla

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    "Yeah, he stopped the bleeding and patched me up." She replied quietly, glancing around the room for anything that she could use to get her companion some water. There was a sink tucked away in the back corner with a plain mirror bolted to the wall above it. At a guess, this was a crash room that the employees used to get some rest when working long shifts. At least they had been placed in a room with a bed and facilities, instead of a holding cell.

    She gently pulled Tadgh's hand from hers with a reassuring smile. "Let me get you something to drink."

    Lyla padded over to the small sink and grabbed a flimsy plastic cup off the stack that was on the back corner of the counter. She filled the container up, and walked back over to Tadgh while she sipped from the contents. Before he had asked for water, she hadn't realized how thirsty she'd been herself. Back at the bed, she handed the cup to him and carefully settled herself onto the side of the mattress, making sure to not bump into him as she sat down.

    "Don't drink too much too quickly. You'll make yourself sick." She advised.

    While Tadgh took a quick drink, she let the silence stretch between them and waited until he was ready before she spoke again. "They did take our hand terminals, though. I'm... not sure what to do. No one's come to the door, which is locked." She took a ragged breath and looked down at her lap, clasping her hands together and wringing her fingers worriedly. "You need a hospital... not a damned detention center."
     
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  8. Tadgh

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    The cup hovered just an inch from his lips. His hand trembled, sending ripples dancing across the surface of the water. The way he twisted his lips and glanced towards her suggested that downing the cup in one go had been exactly what he had been planning. He felt more embarrassed that she'd had to take his hand away to leave, but he could pass that off as just having been too tired to move. Not a reluctant to let go of the only other person here.

    Tadgh took a little sip of water.

    Locked? That seemed very wrong to him. They were hardly in a condition to cause any trouble so what were they thinking locking them up. Even if they had questions about the discharged weapon they were carrying then they should still have seen a medic. Tadgh would have forgiven them for a set of handcuffs between him and a gurney. Eight hours and no terminals?

    "No argument from me there," replied Tadgh. He gave a little shake of his head. "Doesn't sound right at all."

    There was an edge of panic in his voice. Some awful part of his mind suggested that some bent cops might have left him in here to die just to avoid the hassle. He didn't want to die in this little room. He'd rather avoid the whole experience for another few decades.

    There were footsteps along the corridor outside the door.
     
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  9. Lyla

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    The corner of Lyla's lips twisted slightly with amusement when she noticed that Tadgh had paused before taking a sip from his glass. At a guess, she had read his mind and had just kept him from draining the entire cup. Once he was finished, she took it back from him and stole herself another brief swig to slake her parched throat. Had she been screaming and not realized it?

    She bit the inside of her cheek at the thought, setting the cup to rest against the top of her thigh. What was she supposed to say now? Without proper medical care to make sure Tadgh's injury had been adequately sealed, the next time he lost consciousness he might not wake back up.

    Her lips had parted to say something, anything to keep Tadgh awake a little while longer. She didn't want to be left alone again, and she was afraid that he'd die if he closed his eyes. The footsteps approaching down the hall interrupted her, and she turned to look towards the door.

    Instinctively, she stood up from the mattress and positioned herself between the bed and the door. She was the only one that was ambulatory, and as such it fell onto her to intervene if there was a fight. Even if she could barely stand up herself.

    Voices were heard out in the corridor, but they were muffled through the wall and door, making it impossible for her to understand what was being said. A moment later she heard the lock on the door disengage, and the heavy piece of metal soon slid back out of the way.

    Lieutenant Isarde and another man she didn't recognize stepped into the room. The one she didn't know was holding a hand terminal and reading over what looked to be a dossier. Lyla could see her own red hair in the image on the screen, though it was longer in the picture than it was currently. Tadgh's visage was displayed a moment later.

    "Hmm..." The man made a thoughtful sound deep in his throat.

    Irritation churned within Lyla's chest and she took a step forward. "This man needs a doctor or an auto-doc immediately. How dare you--"

    She was interrupted once again by Isarde stepping forward and holding up his hand to stop her. "How dare we save your lives and pull you out of the middle of a gangwar?"
     
    #89 Lyla, Sep 10, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
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  10. Tadgh

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    "Don't go," came a weak plea as she stepped away. For a moment he had irrationally assumed she was leaving. As awareness grew he could tell that he was in bad shape. The pain was a low throb in his side, likely numbed by the drugs. Yet he felt like he had the worst flu he’d ever been given. Head was starting to pound, nausea was coming in waves, limbs were shaking.

    With a determined snort he dragged himself slightly further up the bed and turned to watch what was going on. He hoped Lyla hadn’t heard his voice.

    Isarde seemed like every other officer he had met. Another time and place and they might have gotten along well. He was the practical side of Star Helix, determined to get the job done. A hard man for difficult times. Not the kind to hide his emotions. But was he also corrupt?

    The newcomer was more controlled. He wore a suit; Tadgh didn't trust people in suits. He silently appraised the two as if trying to make a decision. Tadgh didn’t know which way it had swung but he must have come to some kind of resolution behind that implacable mask.

    “Miss Cienfuegos,” he announced. Isarde fell silent. “You must understand, we want to help. We will help. But we finished clearing the district. Found the room smattered in your blood. We also, intriguingly, found your ship has some connections to one of the gangs we believe started the violence.” He looked down his nose at them. Impressive, given how much shorter than Lyla he was.

    “And then there was your record…” The terminal was flipped over. “Now we understand these were difficult circumstances. We want to see about getting you patched up and back on your ship.”

    Tadgh heard the next word coming before the man even moved his lips.

    But, we’re going to need something from you both. Once this all blows over we’re going to need you both to do a job for Star Helix. For Ceres even. We need your help to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again.”

    The man smiled. Somehow that made Tadgh feel even more sick. He looked as if he was pleased with himself for offering the group a homemade cake or a round of drinks. Not holding them hostage until they agreed to become Helix snitches at some unknown future date.
     
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  11. Lyla

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    There was real, seething anger in Lyla's eyes as the man in the suit explained the situation. It would have been one thing to demand something from them simply based on the connections of the Azimuth and Petrov. But to have waited this long, until Tadgh could barely even speak to try to twist them to their will?

    Lyla wanted nothing more than to slam her fist into that man's smug smile. Of course they had. Tadgh was an earther, an inner, in a time where being from the wrong side of the system determined just how well you'd be received by the locals. They were more than willing to let him die to get what they wanted.

    The two words he had uttered as she'd taken that step forward haunted her. "Don't go." He'd pleaded with her. Did he think she was about to abandon him?

    Despite her roiling thoughts, Lyla didn't hesitate to give her answer. "Fine, pashangwala. I'll do whatever stupid job you want. Just get him to a fucking doctor."
     
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  12. Tadgh

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    Isarde actually had the grace to look embarrassed by the whole affair, even if his sympathy for the pair had been eroded when he had found out they were clients of Petrov.

    The suit who hadn't even provided a name probably didn't even understand the insult. He just took a signature. A formal agreement to waive charges under the proviso that they helped dig up evidence to build the case against Petrov's illegal shipping business.

    Tadgh wasn't sure what he was supposed to do now. Defiantly die in this cold room? Make some bold cry telling her not to do it? She wasn't going to die from her wounds but if she didn't sign it sounded as if she wasn't leaving here either. If Petrov caught them snitching the fate that awaited them would probably be worse, but that was now a problem for another day.

    "And yourself," the suit said as the terminal was handed his way.

    What Tadgh said after signing the document on the terminal needed no translation at all. Isarde raised an eyebrow at the creative use of language wrapped in a light Irish lilt.

    Tadgh didn't remember much of what followed. A medical team arrived. He remembered being angry when it became apparent from the conversation that they had been told the pair were too dangerous to treat before. There was the prick of a needle. Ice running up the inside of his arm and Lyla's strained voice trying to be reassuring.




    He woke up in a well lit ward. A curtain was pulled around his bed. His shirt was gone, as was the jacket. He had on a pair of linen trousers that looked hospital issue. He slowly became aware of the auto-doc case wrapped around his forearm. Several lines filled with clear and yellow liquids ran up to some plastic bags beside his head. They'd been pumping him full of saline and nutrients.

    "Shit," he murmured, rubbing his eyes as the weight of the experience suddenly fell upon him.
     
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  13. Lyla

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    Several hours had passed since the medical team had been granted access to the room where Tadgh and Lyla were being detained. It made sense to sedate Tadgh a second time for transport, but Lyla had dreaded it since it meant that she was going to be left alone with Helix again. She did her best to put on a brave voice and reassure him until the medication had taken effect.

    Isarde had taken it upon himself to "escort" both of them to hospital with the medical team, and he never let Lyla out of his sight for most of the trip. If he was hoping to get an interesting reaction or information out of the woman, she was more than happy to disappoint the lieutenant. She avoided looking at him and she didn't speak.

    Once they were at the hospital the officer's demeanor shifted somewhat and he sat with Lyla in Tadgh's hospital room. The still unconscious earther hidden away behind a curtain that wrapped around his bed. She had half expected the lieutenant to separate them once Tadgh had been tended to, but he never broached the topic again after her emphatic refusal earlier.

    With her head resting against the wall behind her and her eyes closed, Lyla wondered what the hell he was even still doing here. Shouldn't he be off duty by now? He'd gotten his agreement out of them. Why was he still shadowing her?

    Isarde sighed heavily beside her and she felt his weight shift on the uncomfortable plastic bench they were seated on. She peeked an eye open to look over at him, clearly unimpressed at the very sight of him. One of the lieutenant's hands passed over his buzzed hair, the soft rasping sound filling the otherwise silent hall. When he'd bowed his head towards his hand, she could the protrusions against his flesh at the base of his neck from the improperly fused vertebra. One of the many differences belters had from the inners. He was going to try speaking to her again, she could see him gathering his courage.

    When he looked back up, he saw her watching him with an impassive expression. "What are you doing mixed up with people like this?" He asked bluntly, a hint of exasperation in his tone. His voice was still that quiet murmur that people used when someone was sleeping nearby.

    The question was somewhat unexpected, but it also irritated Lyla more than she wanted to admit. Who was he to judge her? Her brow furrowed slightly and a frown formed on her lips. "What are you doing kowtowing to pompous inyas?" She countered flatly.

    This seemed to give the other belter pause and he had the decency to look a little ashamed, or at least, uncomfortable. "It's not like that. That flag on your file notified them once we had you in custody. It was either cut a deal with you, or you'd be in a UN transport headed for Luna right now." He tried to explain, but Lyla cut him off.

    "So, you blackmailed me with the life of my crew mate? What flag are you even talking about?" She hissed, anger seeping into her voice.
     
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  14. Tadgh

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    Unsure if he should speak up or not, Tadgh instead checked the wound. There was no dressing. The skin around the cut had a glossy sheen. There was almost no sign of the wound. No stitches he could see either. Must have been one of those expensive glues that stimulated growth before being absorbed into the bloodstream. That was going to set him back a few hundred for just a swab. Wouldn't be covered by his policy at all.

    Did he just say people like this?

    Tadgh didn't recognise the voice at first. Not until Lyla responded and he tried to explain himself. The Helix officer. Ison? Ishard?

    "You must know..."

    Tadgh scrunched up his face in confusion, piecing together some meaning out of the conversation he was eavesdropping on. Yet instead of imagining what Lyla could possibly have done to attract attention from some kind of serious crimes unit he just thought of her broken expression just after she had killed a man. Killed a man so Tadgh could live.

    "Hello?" he called out, interrupting them.
     
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  15. Lyla

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    Lyla softly cleared her throat and stood up, ducking around the curtain and smiled a little when her eyes landed on Tadgh. He didn't look like he was immediately knocking on death's door, which she considered to be a marked improvement. As she stepped up to the side of the bed, Isarde appeared through the curtain with his hands stuffed into the pockets of his jacket.

    There were bags under Lyla's eyes, since she hadn't slept yet since the tram pod crashed in the lower district. She was exhausted, shaken, but alive. The lieutenant looked tired as well, but not as haggard.

    "Sorry. I should have been in here... you look better. How do you feel?"
     
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  16. Tadgh

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    Any embarrassment at not being fully dressed went away when he saw how tired she looked. Had he been in quite such a state people had been up and worrying about him? His brain had done a good job of not entirely committing those worst experiences before he passed out to memory.

    "S'alright. I don't need much company when I'm asleep," he said. His eyes gave a sideways glance as he considered whether that could be taken the wrong way. He was too tired to care or to make a joke. "Woozy, think they may have given me some of the good stuff."

    He smiled up and Lyla and sighed. At least they were alive and safe. There would be repercussions, the officers lingering around the bed was a damned reminder of that.

    "You expecting me to get up and do this job?" Tadgh asked him.

    Isarde shook his head. "Too suspicious. Not until the time is right." When Tadgh gave him a stern look he added: "weeks away. Next time you pass through. If it was up to me I wouldn't even bother with Petrov. He smuggles food and parts where others are trafficking people and drugs. There are more unsolved murders than we have officers." Isarde offered a shrug.

    "Fine." Tadgh didn't have anything more to say on the matter. He wanted Isarde gone and to be afforded some peace.

    "Word is Petrov won his little gang war. He dropped off the parts you were after at the docks, no charge on account of the trouble you were given. Honour among thieves and all that."

    Tadgh just looked at Isarde until he took a step backwards through the curtain. "You should check your terminal for Helix bugs," Tadgh murmured to Lyla. She'd probably already thought of that.
     
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  17. Lyla

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    With Isarde finally giving her some room to breathe, Lyla fished both hand terminals out of her pocket and passed Tadgh's over to him. She took a seat on the chair next to the bed and heaved a drawn out sigh. Exhaustion was going to quickly win out over her, but she still had a few things to do.

    She opened her eyes and clicked on the terminal, typing out a quick message to @Steven Maguire, We're at Medina Central Hospital. Tadgh is stable and awake. Please come pick us up.

    After she finished the message, she placed the hand terminal down on her lap and looked back to Tadgh with a crooked smile. She kept her voice low, in case Isarde was still around. "I will later. Don't worry. I'll check yours too."

    There was a pause as she tried to think of what she should say, wrinkling her nose slightly. "At least we got the parts. Free of charge even. Heh."
     
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  18. Steven Maguire

    Steven Maguire Gotta keep flyin'.

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    Maguire picked up his hand terminal while at the wheel of his electric truck. He read the message and immediately spun the wheel to a hard lock right. It swerved, rolling on self-righting suspension and scattering swearing pedestrians everywhere - but he didn't care. He typed a response with one hand, keeping the wheel locked with the other.

    On my way. Did my best with Helix and Isarde. Getting you back on board ASAP.
     
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  19. Tadgh

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    "Definitely worth getting stabbed...and shot for," he replied. The smile that accompanied the statement was just a little forced. "I hope the good drugs weren't the expensive kind." A chuckle threatened to break out but was promptly suppressed.

    "I don't think I'd ever realised quite how bad the worst parts of Ceres are," he declared suddenly. In all the commotion he hadn't stopped to think about it. Not since she had lifted the jacket for him. Everyone had just put their heads down and shut the curtains when the gunfire started. As if it was a regular occurrence. Suddenly having his feet up on the Ops deck with nothing to do didn't seem a lot more appealing. Just another privileged inner who didn't appreciate the life he had. There was a lot to think about.

    "I should see if I can get discharged then. How is the shoulder?"
     
  20. Lyla

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    There was a strange expression that momentarily sparked in Lyla's eyes after Tadgh's remarks about Ceres. She wasn't surprised that he hadn't known, or really understood the conditions that some belters lived in. Why should he know? It wasn't as if he had ever experienced it for himself. She wasn't angry or disappointed, an inner not understanding the workings of the belt was as shocking as someone declaring that water was wet. What she did find intriguing, however, was the look of reflection that seemed to pass over Tadgh's features. The events down in the lower district had affected him, given him some insight in some way.

    To distract herself, she ran a hand through her hair, pushing the wayward curls out of her eyes and trying to tuck them behind her ear -- she was only partially successful.

    "They've mended it as best they could. Looks like the bullet took a chunk of my shoulder with it. It'll leave a scar, since I was still conscious and could tell them to shove that regrowth gel."
    A faint smile played at the corner of her mouth as she watched him. "Don't worry about your bill though. It'll get sorted out."

    Her terminal chimed softly in her pocket, and she pulled the device back out to read over the message that she'd received.

    "Looks like the captain is on his way to get us. Think you're in good enough shape to walk? Or should I get you a wheelchair?"
     
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