Muspar: Cayden IV
“Alright boys, rise and shine. I want everybody where they're supposed to be in five. Muspar's a few hours off and I want us moving as soon as possible.” I broadcasted throughout the ship. I had only just woken up myself and I was eager to get moving. I didn't bother changing my shirt, just threw on some pants and my boots and headed for the bridge.
Fozz stumbled out of his room just as I was about to pass. “Mornin' Cap,” he said with a yawn. Honestly, I was surprised he managed to get up. He got absolutely done at The Academy last night.
“Morning Fozz. You set to take us out?” I asked him reaching my hand to rest on his shoulder. After all, he was my pilot and I needed to be sure he was able to get us off the ground.
He ginned, “Oh yeah,” he said, “No need to worry about me, Tirrg.”
I patted his shoulder. It was true, Fozz may love to drink his body-weight in alcohol, but I've never seen him suffer the repercussions of it. “Good. How long do you think it will take us to get to Muspar?” I ask him as we start walking.
“If weather agrees, then I'd say not much longer than 6 hours,” he told me as we met with Jecks.
He nodded to us before we all passed by the sliding door into the bridge. Fozz jogged across the room and hurried down the stairs leading to the cockpit. I moved to my chair, and Jecks sat himself at the station to my right.
“Get that hangar open, Jecks,” I tell him as I start to get comfortable. A loud clanking sound echoes and bright light starts to pour into the hangar, and not the harsh artificial kind. I welcomed it with a smile. Time to get out of this place.
“Morning Captain, Torbul.” I hear Vars's voice say and I swivel in the chair to see him. I smile when I see that Jason is with him, his hair all flat and messy and cute. “I ran into Jason, he wasn't sure of where to go so I told him to come here,” he said with a hand on Jason's shoulder.
“Morning,” Jason smiles at me. His eyes dart to Jecks and I can see that he starts to bite his cheek.
“Morning Vars, Hawk!” We hear Fozz's voice boom from the cockpit below.
Vars laughs, “Hey Fozz, how are you feelin' today?” he asks.
“Oh you know me, buddy!” Fozz calls back.
Jason kind of looks around, “Um... where is he?” he asks.
I smile, “He's in the cockpit, just down those stairs,” I say pointing.
He laughs, “Oh, of course!” he says with a grin.
Just then, a humming noise starts to radiate across the ship. “We good to go, Fozz?” I call down to my pilot.
“Yes Sir!” He throws back.
“Then take us up!” I say as I swivel back around. The humming grows louder and I start to vibrate in my seat. Slowly, the Hurricane starts to hover, before Fozz raises her up and the Firmus cityscape comes into view past the hangar ceiling as we climb.
I smile when Jason leans against the rail to my left, his mouth drops in a grin as he takes in the scene while we get higher and higher in the sky. “How's the view?” I ask him with a grin.
He beams but doesn't turn to meet my smile. “It's incredible!” he laughs as he grips the rail tighter. He turns to face me. Wow. His eyes looked so green in the sunlight.
It takes me a moment but I respond. “Just wait till you see it from the deck.”
He furrows his brows, “There's a deck?” he askes, still smiling.
I grin and relax in my chair. “Once Fozz get's us on course I'll take you up. Shouldn't be too much longer, eh Fozz?” I call down to him.
“Nope,” he answers, just gotta get out of city skies and auto-pilot can take over,” he says as I pull up a holo of the globe. Muspar was about half way to the other side of it, and far more south. It was a large island, larger than most island colonies, and was covered in desert.
Not long after, we had taken to the skies without any trouble and Fozz had set us on course to Muspar. I was excited to show Jason the deck and had taken him to the elevator that would take us there. My quarters were the only stop before the deck level, so I made sure to tell him that.
“Wow,” he muttered when we stepped into the light. Slowly, he moved forward into it before rushing over to the railing to watch the clouds. He was laughing and I couldn't help but smile.
I walked over to him, “Pretty cool, isn't it?” I asked him as I moved beside him, resting myself on the rail as well.
He did't say anything for a while until he looked around, “Uh... why isn't there any wind?” he asked suddenly realizing that us being out here at such a speed may not be the best idea.
I laughed. “There's a shield.” I say as I turn to him. “Once we're going at a slower pace and don't need it, we should come back out here. The breeze is lovely.” I tell him turning back to the pretty impressive cloud structure. “Or at night.” I murmur softly.
“Oh my gods I bet that's amazing!” he says, “Can you see the stars?” he asks.
I turn to him and open my mouth to reply but stop. He must have the greenest eyes I've ever seen. I swallowed and looked down at his lips. No. I had to turn away. “Uh, yeah.” I reply before clearing my throat.
He laughs, “I've never seen stars before,” he says as he sinks down to rest his head on the railing. “The city's way too bright for that.
“Yeah I know,” I began, “I can remember when I first saw them. I'll never forget it,” I say before slowly turning to look down at him. He's wearing those sleeves on his arms again and images of his bruises pop up in my head again. “How's your arm?” I ask and he shuffles to raise himself to me.
He doesn't say anything, but he turns to lean his back against the deck railing before slowly pulling down the black sleeve. I nod with a slight smile. It looked better than it had yesterday but it was still pretty grim looking. I looked over the rest of him before slowly bringing my hand close. He didn't flinch when I slowly stroked it with the backs of my fingers. Immediately I felt regret and quickly pulled away. “Uh, sorry.” I cough as I return to grip the railing.
Jason turned bak around to watch the clouds with me for a while, my thoughts drifting elsewhere until his voice breaks the silence. “What is that!?” He cries excitedly.
I look up and I see what he's looking at. I smile. It's an enormous floating structure that is covered in turbines. It's brownish in colour and its dock is housing a few ships. “That is a sky-station.” I tell him. “It's kind of like a floating city. Ships can stop there to refuel, pick up supplies, eat, sleep. They have pretty much everything a real city has to offer just on a smaller scale.” I look over at him, “This one looks a little run down, but some of them can be quite extravagant.” He didn't say anything, and I smiled before turning back to the passing floating mountain of iron.
That's when I hear a low, rumbling sound that can only be Jason's hunger making itself known. I laugh, “How 'bout some breakfast?” I say as I turn and pat his shoulder. My boots clank on the metal deck as I walk past him, and I hear him laugh before rushing behind me.
I refreshed “Ah” escapes me as I drop my fork on to my plat with a loud clank. Together, Jason and I had made breakfast. A HUGE amount of vemuan sausage and eggs, with side of guappo and berries. It was funny. It was the first time Jason had ever fried, let alone cracked an egg. Vars had joined us later and we all sat together at the booth, with Jason constantly turning his head from talking to watch the clouds pass behind him.
“I can't believe you guys have so much of this stuff.” Jason said before stuffing his mouth of his last cube of guappo. I grinned.
“Well when you have a few tonnes of meat and muscle on board, you've gotta keep a stocked fridge.” I said as I lifted my arms to rest on the seat-backs.
He laughed, “No, I mean the guappos.” He said, setting his own fork down and turning back to look at the sky.
“They're the captain's favourite.” Vars chimed as he stirred at his bowl next to Jason before bringing the spoon to his lips.
I nodded as Jason turned and grinned, “Mine too! Only this is my fourth time ever having it.” He said with a cute little chuckle.
I leaned forward to reach across to Jason's plate and stacked it on top of mine. He thanked me with a wide grin which I returned. “Well they are kind of hard to come by nowadays. Before the storms though, they were about as common as bugs.” I told him as I took from the booth to set the dishes in the wash.
“Only you would compare the most delicious fruit on the planet to bugs, Tirrg.” Uric said with a laugh.
Jason chuckled too, “Man it really MUST have been paradise back then.” he said.
“If you were rich, maybe. But war and slavery don't exactly fit in with my vision of paradise.” I told him as I sat down again.
He licked his lips and shuffled in his seat. “I uh... I didn't mean-” but I cut him off.
“I know.” I said before turning to look out the window at the passing clouds. “But you're right. Aside from all the bullshit they say it was beautiful.”
Everything was quite for a while, and I looked back at Jason when I heard him set down his glass. “So um, who is it that you're going to see in Muspar?” he asked me.
“His name's Yaun Izarra.” I replied before Uric spoke up.
“He was one of Valak Oman's scientists. Until he reformed and saved Tirrg here from being drasilander lunch. Now he owns a club that's main source of entertainment is cage fighting. ” Vars said before taking another spoonful.
I turned back to Jason. “Oman was keeping his son from him, that's why he was working for him. He helped a great deal in finally bringing the bastard down.” I smirked. From scientist to fight-club owner. I can't be too surprised though, clubs like that were very popular in Muspar.
Jason looked at me with big eyes, “And you think he'll know something then?” he asked me.
“I doubt it.” I grumble, “But he's our best shot at this point.” I say with a scratch of my beard.
Jason looks at the table and sucks in his cheeks. “Well let's hope he does then.” He says with a warm smile, and I can't help but return it as I tilt my head. It's hard to believe he was someone who had lived on and off the streets for his teenage years.
Vars set his spoon in his bowl before raising up to put it in the wash as well, when the door to the kitchen slid open and in walked Jason's cabin-mate.
“Good morning everybody!” he called loudly as he marched past Vars to grab himself a plate. “Hey Vars.” he chirped with a pat on the doctor's back before practically tearing off the door of the refrigerator and beginning to dig through.
Vars stiffened and I smirked. “Ollins.” he muttered before turning to face me and Jason. “Well, you'll know where I am if you need me, Captain. See you, Jason.” Vars said with a grin before turning to walk on out. It was always amusing to see Vars and Ollins interact.
Ollins marched his way over to plop himself down where Vars was sitting. He had a plate full of cold leftovers he had brought back a few nights ago, and I wondered if they were still good. “Doesn't say bye to me!” he said before taking a huge clump of saucy noodles in his mouth.
Jason chuckled and I grinned. “How were the engines this morning, Ollins?” I asked him as he swallowed. Im amazed he didn't choke.
“Beautiful. As they always are when I take care of 'em.” he says before inhaling more.
I chuckled. It was good that he was so modest, otherwise he probably would get on the crew's nerves. I watched him take another bite of his food before glancing over at Jason, who had returned his attention to the clouds. “I'm really glad you two are getting along.” I say with a grin. I've gotta admit, I was pretty worried Kitch was going to be a little shit about things.
Jason turned back, beaming while Ollins swallowed, “Yeah!” Ollins said before taking a sip of his juice. “Me too!”
Jason didn't say anything, until he turned to me and asked, “Have you been to Muspar a lot?”
I leaned forward to rest on my elbows, “A few times.” I say. “It's a change of pace from the other colonies. Gonna have to be careful while we're there.” I tell him with warning. Jason may be well accustomed to the streets of Firmus, but the ones in Muspar would eat him alive. And I really didn't want that to happen.
“It's awesome!” Ollins cried, “It's got these clubs, where super hot guys get locked in a cage and fight!” he squealed as he threw an arm around Jason's shoulder.
Jason grinned, “Yeah that's what Cayden was telling me.” he said.
“Did he tell you that at some of the clubs, the guys do it naked? You've gotta see it!” Ollins said with a stupid little grin as he brought his face close to Jason's.
Jason's eyes darted to me and his face started to redden. “Uh... no.” He muttered before looking at the table. I smirked. It was true, and I had even been to some of those venues. Though the fighting was much more tame at them, but I welcomed that.
“First Python and now you want to take him to one of those?” I chuckled. “What are you trying to do? Turn Jason into Ollins 2.0?” I took a moment to ponder that thought and honestly, it didn't sit well with me. Not that I look down upon Ollins or anything. Hell, I was exactly like him at one time, still am actually, and so is the crew. Always thinking about dick or ass. But I had no control over what he did. I snickered when I saw him shuffle and his face grow redder. “You don't have to be embarrassed, Jason. We're all men here, you can talk about that stuff.” His shyness was so cute.
I noticed him swallow and he kind of sat up straighter before nodding. Maybe if I shared more of my experiences, he'd feel more comfortable talking about his. “I've been to Python a few times.” I said with a smile, “It's a great place.” I mumbled as my thoughts drifted to memories. I chuckled. “And Ollins is right, there are clubs like that in Muspar. Been to a few myself.” I say with a laugh.
Jason's eyebrows raise a little, “Really? You?” He asks perplexed, with a huge grin growing on his face.
I nodded and clasped my hands together. “One time,” I laugh again, “Some people from the crowd kept yelling at me, telling me to take it off and get in the cage.”
Jason's eyes widened, “And did you?”
“Of course not!” Ollins chirped with a scoff.
I shot him a glare, but he was right. “No, I didn't.” I say with a shake of my head. “Didn't want to embarrass whoever they put me up against.” I say with a wink at Jason. He smiles with a laugh.
“I'm surprised that stuff doesn't go on in Firmus.” He states.
“Oh I'm sure it does.” I tell him, “Only I bet it's far more underground, the Stripes don't really tolerate that stuff.” I scratch my beard again. “The fighting I mean.”
Jason nods and turns to the window. “So how much longer till you think we're there?” he asks quietly.
I laugh, “We're barely two hours in.” I say with a smile, “It'll be a few more yet.”
That's when Ollins slams his fork on his plate and rockets upward to take it to the washing unit. “Well, I'm gonna go check on the engines, and hopefully run into Stone!” He laughs while walking backwards out of the kitchen and I roll my eyes. “C'yah boys.” He says with a salute and spin as he leaves.
My eyes move to Jason, who's lightly chuckling but I can tell he's holding back with his laughter. He looks down to rest his cheek in his palm and draws a circle with the other on the table.
“Approaching Musparian skies.” the gentle AI voice broadcasted across the ship. Quickly, I marched my way to the bridge and into my chair after just having showered and dressing. Fozz came hustling through the doors shortly after and laughed as he hurled himself into the cockpit below.
“All ready for landing, Cap!” He called to me as I smiled.
Some more footsteps approached as I looked over the holo-map. A few more minutes and we'd be in Musparian skies, and ready to land. In the corner of my eyes I saw Jason hurl himself against the rail again.
“Woah!” He uttered as he took in the approaching city of Muspar. The sky was reddish, as it cast it's glow on the tall, iron and steel towers that made up the crater-city. Even from above, it looked almost ominous.
“What do you think?” I ask him as he beams.
“It's... wicked! Way cooler that Firmus!” he started before turning to look at me.
I chuckle, “Most places you'll see with us are cooler than Firmus.” I replied before looking ahead. We were approaching the port and I grinned. It was an enormous black tower covered in thin branches that other ships had already docked on. I threw Jason a grin before calling to Fozz, “Take us to port, buddy!”
“Yes sir!” He called back as we started to descend and zoom towards our destination. Fozz picked out a spot near the top to park Hurricane. I smirked. We came in slow, as Fozz carefully set us down on the dock.
“Nice job.” I called down before swivelling in my chair and pressing a button on the arm. “Alright everybody, we've touched down in Muspar. Machotta, you'll be with me when I head into the city. The rest of you, tend to your post-flight duties and if you choose to check out the local flavour, just remember where you are and to be careful. And if you do, be back by 21:00.” I broadcasted before raising from my seat as Hurricane stopped humming.
Jason turned to look at me with a smile. That's when I heard the doors to the bridge open up, revealing Machotta. “When do we leave, Tirrg?” he called over to me.
“As soon as possible,” I replied before turning to Jason, “Ready to go?” I asked him with a grin.
His brows furrowed, “Me?” he asked in shock.
“Yeah, you're coming too.” I tell him as I reach to one of the holsters at my side, and pull out a small, compact-pistol. “And take this, just in case things turn south.” I smirk as he tentatively reaches forward to take the gun by the hilt. He looks up at me with sudden determination and smiles as he nods. I return the gesture with a pat of his shoulder. “Let's go.”