Anya joined the pilot on the bridge. Alpha, her twin brother, had been the ships pilot just as long as she had been crew. They were a two for one deal, the Captain had said smiling. His smile never went the whole way to his eyes. It worried her at first, what sadness must lay beneath them. Why he chose to crew a renegade ship. Sure, some Captains decided to defy the government because they wanted quick money but Anya knew that he was not one of them. He could have been wronged by them, or he could have been caught up in the civil war years ago. She had been only a few years too young to fight against the federation. Whatever the reason for his sadness, it had to be immeasurably deep.
Anya plopped down on the chair next to her brother and slammed her booted feet up on the dashboard, reclining. Nothing was there, really, just a few of his books and some toy soldiers, memories from the past.
"So, ruffian, how are the skies?" She always asked him the same question. Always called Alpha her ruffian brother. It wasn't true of course. Growing up she had been the one to get into fights, break noses and even hearts. Alpha was not a fighter. He was far too content to spend most of his time indoors, reading about flight maneuvers or practicing them in fighter jets. He would have been a great fleet pilot, had it not been for their parents reputation.
He was an amazing pilot, gifted with maneuvering and orienteering but not gifted in the field of fighting. It worried her at first, especially when they were searching for employment. She knew that along with his piloting program he had trained daily and was in physically fit shape, that wasn't the problem. He hesitated. Refused to fight when the time came upon him. He was a pacifist.
"It has been smooth sailing, actually." He rolled his eyes at her and reached over to push her feet down. A grimace graced his lips, as he tried to brush the crusted mud off his copy of Three Brothers Karamazov, "I take it you had a successful venture on rock?" His tone was flat. He hated the surface. Never ventured of the ship.
"Why yes, I did! I rounded up some passengers and got a small amount of crew, engine cleaning and the like. Of course, only a couple will pan out, maybe one, a pretty lady who knows her way around a hydroponic system and can shoot. If we could grow our own food, Cap said, we could save more money than a crew member salary."
Alpha stared straight ahead. He knew that Anya had a way of worming her harebrained schemes into the Captain's head, so he didn't dare to challenge it. Besides this one didn't sound quite so bad and not nearly as dangerous as the last dozen.
"What about the cargo? Did you, get it?" He tried not to show his tension, but it was palpable in the air. Anya could feel it. She stood now, and put a hand on his shoulder. Her big brother (by 10 minutes anyway), always had a hard time with the illegal part. Bless his soul.
Captain's voice came over the intercom. Hearing it sent a chill through her spine. She tried not to let him stir those feelings in her. I mean sure, she wanted a tumble in the hay with him, but she wouldn't let it grow to more than that. After all, he was her boss. She had managed pretty well so far, 2 years and nothing serious had come about yet. Maybe a little harmless flirting. Still, something had changed in the atmosphere lately whenever they were alone in a room together. Like magnets pulling them.
She walked towards the door of the bridge then turned back to Alpha, "You gonna put this bucket on autopilot or you want me to bring you some slop. Captain said it is supposed to taste like shrimp tonight." She waggled and eyebrow at him, holding back a giggle. Finally Alpha smiled. She loved her brother.
"Nah, you go on ahead, I'll have Liam bring me a plate when he comes on duty to help navigate." Alpha turned back to his view of the stars and forgot her. He seemed to forget everything more often these days. Ever sine Mira docked.
Anya strutted into the dining room and looked around. The few passengers they had picked up (four or so) sat next to each other. You could tell who had been aboard a ship and who was on their first voyage. The ones who had ate quickly not even guessing what was in the dish, while the others looked at the meal and poked at it, unsure if it was fit for consumption.
"Might be made of mostly mushrooms and canned milk, but it will fill ya up and keep ya full until mornin'. Your momma's told you all not to play with your food, so put it down the hatch." She barked then plunked into her seat. The crew kept their heads down 3 hands who would probably only last this service, Liam, Sam and Jenn (the new girl). Against the Island, Mephisto stood, a smirk on his face and a plate in his hand. It wasn't his, she noted, for his was in his spot at the head of the table, just to the right of her.
He sauntered over and put it at her front with a clunk then slid into his own chair, eating wordlessly.
It smelled better than most things the crew usually made (dinner was a rotational chore, everyone, except Alpha, took part in it. Alpha... he may be able to read a cook book but he couldn't follow one. It was best that way). The waft of spices made her way to her nose she could not believe they could spare them all. She took her fork and milled it around in her food, inspecting it. Finally she shoved a bite into her mouth and closed her eyes. Delicate, light, with a kind of cayenne and cajun seasoning (why it was called cajun and what kind of plant that was, she didn't know, but it was one of her favorite combinations) that provided just the right amount of spice. She opened her eyes and looked up at the Captain, who was now staring at her as she ate.
That flame she noticed early, it was there again in his eyes. They shared a silent conversation for just a moment, before Sam started interrupting about the mechanical issues.