An odd calm settled over the ship as it sailed through the stars. Although everyone was loud; it seemed to be a pre-requisite of the job, there was something so calm about the atmosphere. Thea felt a strange, and entirely wonderful calm settle over her. It was like coming home.
"Penna!" The captain called. Thea spun on the spot, staring at her captain. "The ship we've picked up has one passenger. I have made arrangements for her to assist Mr Livo in the kitchen for now; you will escort her down there and then report to the deck. We've got to get you up to speed on the other jobs you will be expected to perform."
"Yes Ma'am." Captain Vega frowned, and drew herself up even taller, if that were possible.
"Captain." She muttered.
"Yes, Captain." Thea hurried to say. "Where is the... erm... new recruit?"
"Down the steps, down the corridor, three doors on your right." She pointed. "Chop chop."
Thea scurried down the stairs and followed the Captain's instructions. A guard posted outside seemed to pause, unsure of whether or not to let her in, but she straightened her shoulders and tried to emulate the Captain's authority. It worked. She was let in to the room.
A young lady, petite and pretty, peered around the back of a chair.
"I've come to take you to your work assignment."
"Oh." She stood up. "Alright then."
Thea peered at the stranger, who looked nervous, and offered her a small smile.
"I'm Thea, by the way. Thea Penna."
"Lady Xura Maelin." The woman's eyes were less fearful now.
"Come on. You're working in the kitchens. Probably better for you; you look petrified and there isn't time for that on deck." Thea turned and led the way down to the kitchen, Xura following her all the way. "What're you doing here anyway?"
"You don't have to tell me. I guess you've already told the Captain, and that's good enough. She's the only one that really needs to know." The other woman stayed silent. "Well, here we are." Thea stopped outside the kitchen door. "Now I've only had the pleasure once so far, but he can be a little... bracing, when you first meet him. Heads up."
She opened the door and led the other woman inside.
"Mr. Livo!" The short blonde man hobbled out from behind the pot in the middle and glared at them.
"Brought your assistant for you. Captain said she'd cleared it."
"Ay, she did. Dinnae mean I likes it though."
Xura was peering out from behind Thea's shoulder, and Mr. Livo got a good look at her.
"Well at least she's nae a giant. Let me look at ye lass."
Xura straightened herself, and stepped out, drawing some confidence from who knows where. Thea was impressed.
"Hello Mr. Livo."
"Ever worked in a kitchen lass?"
"No, but I'm a quick learner..." She tailed off as Livo groaned.
"Well, orders is orders. I aint happy about it though." He turned back to the pot, hobbled around the side, and suddenly popped up on the other side. Thea thought he must have a step hidden back there. "Well, get a shift on lass!"
Thea threw Xura an encouraging smile, and left her to it. Back on deck, new duties, including learning how to tie knots, awaited her. Luckily, this was one of the many things her father had taught her, and she wasted no time in performing a couple. Other duties were not so easy; for all her climbing at home, it was different once you were in the rigging and the winds were rocking you. She managed tolerably, and decided she would focus on getting her sky legs in the ropes, as soon as possible.
When there was a lull in activity, and the ship was being pushed along by the winds without need for assistance, she used the time to stare in to space. Looking down at the vast expanse below her, knowing that should she fall out of the ships gravity field that she would truly fall, forever, she couldn't help but feel overwhelmed. It sank in that she was finally here, but her father wasn't beside her.
"Enjoying the sights?" Malik had appeared, his eyes analysing her as though he didn't entirely trust her. Or anyone for that matter.
"Or full. Depends on how you look at it, I suppose."
"I think the point is that it's empty. It's empty space." He frowned.
"It's full of possibilities." Thea shot back, not in the mood to be talked down to. She understood she was new, but that didn't mean her opinion was less valid. "But I guess a soldier wouldn't see that."