#Traveler'sGorge – August 14, 2020

Kirill doesn't catch Yan Sun's intent right away, seemingly caught up in his own thoughts as he looks out across the outpost filled with people that he's responsible for. But after a few moments he seems to come around, offering the woman a small, apologetic dip of his head as he steps over to the electrical box and flashes his omni-tool across it. It's probably an unnecessary gesture given that it's the same amateur level of security as

seen elsewhere around the gorge. The sort Yan Sun could likely crack in her sleep. The small light-up indicator turns from red to green and the box unlocks with a satisfying click. "I'll try and make myself useful by keepin' out of your way." he jokes through that kind smile of his as he tugs the box open and steps aside.

The box houses a number of components integral to their communication network. The cords they've been following up the mast are fed in through the bottom and others snake out through the top, extending up towards the dish itself. Yan Sun's scanning would, indeed, indicate that the problem lies within the electrical box. And it, unfortunately, doesn't seem to be localized to a single issue. As Jeannie seemed to believe, there's the simple case

of a loose connection. The constant wind and weather seem to have caused the cord running down the tower to come loose. Nothing some quick soldering can't fix. The bigger problem is that a few of the transceiver's components seem to be dying out, including the capacitors- as evidenced by some slight blackening. Not a difficult fix- especially given the conveniently placed cutoff switch in the box- but given the need to fabricate parts, it's

likely going to take a little time.

Yan Sun smirks a little at Kirill's comment as she heads over to the electrical box, taking a moment to look things over. She sighs a little when she realizes she's not going to be able to make do with the parts they brought. She takes a quick snapshot of the contents of the box, just in case. "Should be easy enough..." she mumbles. "Bit more than just a loose wire, though. Might take some time. I don't think-... yeah, some of these-...

gonna need to fabricate replacements..." she keeps commenting, not really seeming like she's expecting a response from Kirill. "I'm killing the power." she says, a little louder, flipping the switch and taking a brief moment to verify with her optical implant that there's no current before starting to pluck out worn down parts.

Kirill has retaken his position back at the railing and it's not until Yan Sun begins to speak again that he casts a glance her way, brow furrowed. "You just-... uhh-... do what ya gotta do." he encourages with a nod, the lack of power to the components of little note considering they weren't getting a connection to begin with.

It seems likely that, even if it wasn't for the loose cable, their communication network was on borrowed time. It doesn't look as if their setup has seen any sort of regular maintenance. Probably not all that surprising given the effort it takes to get up here. But the harsh weather of the region has left the transceiver's circuit board a mess with plenty of its components on their last legs. Thankfully it's nothing too complicated. Just time

consuming.

Yan Sun ends up stripping out a good deal of the contents, removing more than just the components on the brink of failure in the hopes of making sure the repairs will last longer, since it's pretty obvious the transceiver hasn't seen a lot of maintenance. She proceeds to take a seat and lay everything out in front of her before tugging the bag over to check how far the spare parts they brought will take her, placing them underneath the items

they will be replacing for reference. When it becomes clear that, as she though, she'll need to do some fabricating, she grabs one of the capacitors, turning it over in her hand. "I've got a pretty extensive fab schematic library, might need to make some modifications though. I've been running into a lot of non-standard components out here." she explains while running a comparison of the capacitor to the ones in her library, perhaps

feeling compelled to keep Kirill in the loop since he's up here with her.

Kirill falls quiet as Yan Sun gets to work, forearms rested against the railing. But when the entire structure creaks and groans under the force of a heavy gust of wind, he seems to reconsider his decision to stand and slowly sits down, placing his back against one of the heavy girders of the mast, forearms resting against his knees. Yan Sun's update garners a snicker to himself. "Non-standard sounds about right." he muses, "Like I said. Out

here we just make due however we can. So you just do what ya gotta do, Yan." he repeats his earlier sentiment, "I'm sure Jeannie will be able to make sense of it."

Yan Sun lets out a quiet snicker of her own as she works. For a while she's just poking at her omni-tool interface, typing away and occasionally swiping to make adjustments to a hologram of a part that projects briefly. "Makes sense. Must be a lot of proprietary stuff that you can't get at all out here." she says as she gets started on fabricating the rest of the replacement parts. It's a time-consuming - and energy-consuming process. She'll

probably need to charge her arm or replace the power cell once she's done. Dead cybernetics aren't a whole lot of fun. She's sitting with her arm in her lap, palm up, the intricate patterns that run through her synthetic skin pulsing in electric blue. The light is centered around her fabricator, holographic warning barriers projecting out from the glowing circle to mark the assembly area where a fresh capacitor slowly starts to take

shape as omni-gel is separated into relevant substances and pressed into shape by heat and mass effect fields. "It's nice to get to do some work." she admits, filling the silence as she monitors the fabrication process. "I've felt a bit useless out here. Don't really know what I'm doing half the time."

Kirill catches himself watching the fabrication process every now and then, but does his best not to stare at the expensive equipment. Her comment draws that smile back out of him as he watches out over the gorge. "That makes two of us, Yan." he offers earnestly through that smile of his that hides behind his thick, unkempt beard. He draws in a deep breath and lets the back of his head rest against the girder he's seated up against, his old

worn down tuque protecting him from the cold steel. "So-... uhh-... how was the trip...?" he asks, trying to make polite conversation since it seems like they might be up here a while. Despite having plenty of questions of his own, he seems worried that it might seem like snooping and he's quick to dial it back a notch. To make it less personal. "Truck didn't give ya any trouble, did it?"

Yan Sun glances briefly Kirill's way before returning her attention to her fabricating, expression turning thoughtful as she considers how to answer the question. "No, it-... it, uh... served us well." she assures with a faint snicker. "And the trip was... good." she says, hesitating a little on what word to use, voice turning softer when she settles on one. "I've never really done something like that before - not sure if you could guess."

she says, a self-deprecating snicker accompanying the last part before her expression, and tone, softens again. "And, uh... it meant a lot to Jessica. So... thanks again for letting us borrow the truck. I know she appreciates it too."

Kirill's smile widens a hair as Yan Sun points out her lack of experience regarding road trips across the frontier. But when she mentions Jessica, his smile pulls back a bit, shifting to something more gentle. More thoughtful. He offers a small, knowing nod, as if to say no thanks is required, but it's clear that there's more on his mind. It takes him a few moments, but eventually he speaks up, gaze turned outwards to the view before them.

"How is she doin'?" he asks. It's a simple question, but there's a tenderness to it. A sincerity that gives away just how important the answer is to him. "How is she really doin'?" he clarifies, hazarding the briefest of looks Yan Sun's way.

Yan Sun 's eyebrows furrow as she considers the question, expression growing a bit heavier. She watches another component finish, gently placing it by the one its meant to replace, but she holds off on queuing up the next one. "I, uh..." she starts, before stopping, falling silent. She looks down at her glowing cybernetics before turning her gaze out toward the view. "Better, I think." she offers softly. "I-... I hope." There's a small,

slightly helpless smile, her voice cracking a little. "It can, uhm... be hard to know sometimes. But... she's been making an effort. To talk." she says, quiet and a little choked up. "She wants to move on. Live her life. I know she does, even if it-... even if it's hard sometimes. I'm-... I'm just doing my best to be there for her." She brings up her free hand to wipe at her eyes with an embarrassed puff of air and a sniffle.

Kirill chimes in with a soft, sincere, "Me too..." as Yan Sun expresses her initial hopes, but otherwise falls silent as she speaks. It's probably no surprise by this point that the abrasive young woman has a special place in his heart. He worries about her. But the sincerity with which Yan Sun speaks- the thought that Jessica is out there with someone who cares about her- seems to provide some relief. The sniffle causes him to turn his gaze

her way again, the expression on his face soft as he studies her through tired, dark eyes. Reaching out, he gives her a gentle pat on the shoulder with a large, glove-clad hand. "I know that ain't always the easiest thing to do..." he offers sympathetically. The last thing he wants is to seem as if he's just trying to squeeze some information about Jessica out of her. It's just not in his nature. "She-... uhh-... doesn't always make

it easy." he clarifies, though it doesn't seem to be intended as a dig at Jessica. That isn't in his nature either. It's just an honest assessment. Perhaps even an admission between two people who have had the luxury of getting close to her.

Yan Sun clears her throat quietly after lowering her hand, a hint of embarrassment lingering over her emotional reaction, but Kirill's words brings out a faint smile and a couple of slow nods. "Yeah..." she snorts quietly, smile briefly widening. "...she has been trying though. And-... and that makes me hopeful, I guess." She shrugs a little, glancing Kirill's way, her work still forgotten for the moment. "I-I mean-... yeah, it can be

hard, but I-... I care sooo much about her." Another helpless smile and sniffle, but she doesn't stop. Words come more easily than expected - she hasn't exactly had a lot of people to turn to lately, and Kirill is an oddly easy person to talk to. "I just want her to be happy. I just want to make her happy." she admits with another small shrug and a choked voice, a few fresh tears threatening to escape. She's quick to wipe them away

on the back of her hand and suck in her lips. More emotion than she'd planned for slipped into the admission because it's so very true. She wants so very badly to help ease her hurt, to help bring her back to life, and she's trying her best, but she doesn't really know what she's doing.

Kirill's expression grows sympathetic as he watches Yan Sun give voice to her thoughts. Quiet and ever eager to lend an ear. When she finishes speaking, he shifts his heavy weight back against the metal girder, a movement that's felt ever-so-slightly throughout the structure as it groans. He draws a breath into his lungs, deep and cold before expelling it back into the frigid air. "I think she wants that too..." he offers in that gentle,

unassuming tone he tends to speak with. "To be happy." he clarifies after a moment, mostly just trying to fill the silence as he sorts through his thoughts. It's all he has ever wanted for her, too. And, for a time, he had hope that she would find that happiness here. "...But I'm not sure she believes that she deserves that happiness." he continues with a sigh, gaze turning back out over the gorge.

Yan Sun nods a few times, still sucking on her lips when a small, sad smile tugs at the corner of her mouth. She reaches up to brush away some hair that's fluttering in her face, shifting it back so that the beanie can hold it in place. "Yeah..." she agrees in a soft sigh, but after she draws in a deep breath of cold air that smile manifests fully. "But I'm gonna keep trying. I can be pretty persistent when I want to." she informs with a

faint snicker, still laced with heavy emotion, glancing Kirill's way. "And this trip felt like a step forward. It really did." she says, not offering any context.

Kirill allows a sincere, if sad, smile to resurface in response to Yan Sun's determination, but it quickly fades away as Jessica continues to occupy his thoughts. "I've been where she is." he confesses in that same gentle, unassuming tone as he idly rubs his thumb at some unknown stain on the knee of his well-worn pants.

Yan Sun gains a faint frown at Kirill's words, gaze going back to him just as it had been about to leave. She shifts a little, partly to alleviate the discomfort of sitting on a cold metal platform and partly to face him a little better. She doesn't say anything, just waiting for him to speak again.

Kirill rubs at the stain in silence for a few more moments before eventually giving up on it and draping his forearm across his knee. "Angry. Scared. I wanted answers. Wanted-... revenge. To pretend like it could bring back what I lost." he explains with a nod that seems moreso to himself than to Yan Sun, as if it took a long time to admit that to himself. "Spent the better part of two years tryin' to track down the man that took my wife and

little girl from me."

Yan Sun listens in silence, her gaze falling away as she recalls the family photo in the truck. The smiling faces. She nods a little, just to show that she's listening, but doesn't say anthing, her attention on an arbitrary patch of ice on the metal, expression somber, and maybe a little uncomfortable.

Kirill draws another deep breath in, holding it for a moment as he leans back a little heavier against the structure. "When I finally got my hands on him I-... took my time with it. Made it-... made it last." he says, his voice lowering as he speaks until the final word is barely more than a whisper, nearly drowned out by the wind. It's not something he's proud of. But it is important that he acknowledges it. That he owns it. Who he is.

What he's done. It's how he heals. "Suppose I thought if I hurt him as much as he hurt me it would-... I don't know-..." he gives a shake of his head, the idea sounding ridiculous in hindsight, "...wipe the slate clean? Bring me some sort of peace? Let me take back that part of me that he stole..." The smile that crops up is a bitter one and it makes the leathery lines that stretch out from the corners of his eyes seem much more

prominent. "But all I ended up doing was giving him another part of me. The part of me that my family loved." He turns his gaze back to Yan Sun finally. The tears dried up years ago, but there's a pain behind his eyes that betrays his attempt to tell his story without the emotional baggage it so obviously carries. "The part of me that made me worthy of that love." he corrects himself, that distinction seeming important to him. "I

don't want that for her." he says, the emotion that threatens to slip into his voice making it crystal clear just how much she means to him.

Yan Sun 's frown deepens as she listens, gaze returning to the side of Kirill's face somewhere partway through the story. When he looks her way it falls again, and the hints of discomfort are replaced by an odd, distant look. For a moment her thoughts aren't on Kirill or on Jessica, and in her eyes there's hints of... bitterness? Regret? It's hard to say. But then his final addition causes her to swallow hard, mind back on the present, and

she nods softly, staring at one of the components laid out in front of her. She seems speechless, not sure what to say in the face of Kirill's words.

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