#Traveler'sGorge – September 21, 2021

Gaz' smile grows a touch and she gives a small snicker, quite familiar with just how overwhelming it can all be. And Amy certainly has that 'fish out of water' look about her. "Good." she offers, reaching out to pull her case closed. Folding her hands atop the edge of the table in front of her, she shifts her focus back to Amy. "But do not worry, Amy-..." she shrugs, "...nobody is expecting you to figure out your place here overnight. Take

it slow. You will get there." she says through that kind smile of hers. She gives a small, respectful tilt of her head as she acknowledges that she's at least aware that Amy is sticking around for a while. It's a small place and, even if she hadn't been outright told by others in their small, tight-knit circle of friends, the fact that she's been given one of the old prefabs would've been a dead give away.

Jean-Luc gives a few small, distant nods as Yan Sun speaks, still studying the fire. The mention of Jessica showing Yan Sun Adrasteia is unexpected, but it doesn't show in his face. He's well aware of the minefield that is Jessica's past. His own knowledge is filled with half-truths, gaps, and flat out lies, culminating in that fateful night that led to her departure. When a little too much information about her past leaked into her present.

Information that seemed far more important- and damning- to her than it was to anyone else at the Gorge. Shame and guilt can be strong motivators. He can't help but wonder what kind of holes exist in Yan Sun's understanding of Jessica. What has she been told? How truthful has Jessica been? Is she still running from the same ghosts of her past that ran her out of the Gorge? But that's none of his business. A fact he's acutely aware

of. "So, no plan. Got it." he nods, a slight smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. "Considering who you're traveling with? That makes a lot of sense." he teases. "I just hope Earth is able to survive the force of nature coming its way." he adds with a snicker.

Kirill chuckles, offering a small, exasperated shake of his head. "I don't know. I think that maybe some traveling-... uhh-..." he shifts in his seat a little, glancing Yan Sun's way, "...A bit of distance from this place? Chance for a fresh perspective?" he shrugs after repeating Yan Sun's earlier words. A gentle way of letting her know that it didn't just go in one ear and out the other. He actually listened to- and thought about- what she

had to say on the subject. "Could be good for Jessie."

Amy 's smile grows a bit more genuine with Gaz' words, a bit of embarrassment there too at being judged to need assurance. She nods faintly, brushing back a loose strand of hair, fastening it out of the way under the beanie. There's a complicated sadness in her eyes as they fall away from Gaz for a moment, thoughts inevitably dwelling on her family, but she leaves that unsaid. "I've never lived around so many people before." she admits

instead. A definite testament to her isolated existence. The Gorge isn't exactly a metropolis.

Yan Sun lets out a snort at Jean-Luc's words, the last addition bringing out a grin that quickly softens when Kirill speaks. She nods, gaze falling to her beer before she takes a sip. "I'd like to think so." she says softly, gaze shifting between the two of them. "I know leaving Earth has been a real eye-opener for me." she says with a quiet chuckle, not feeling comfortable talking too much about what Jessica might need distance from when

she's not even here. A one-on-one with Kirill is one thing, this is another.

Gaz gives a genuine chuckle. If she's aware of any of the family drama surrounding Amy, she's doing a good job of hiding it. The size of the Gorge isn't too far off from what she's known her entire life. Trips to other parts of Aite were few and far between, but her recent, short stay in Adrasteia was more than enough to show her just how small the life she's always known truly is. And to be familiar with that feeling that Amy must be

experiencing. Like the curtain has been peeled back just a little more, giving you a sneak peek into something so much larger than you're used to. "You get used to it." she assures, sounding far more like an expert than her handful of weeks in Adrasteia should permit. Brows momentarily furrowing as a thought comes to her, she asks, "How big is the place you are from...?" It only seems to occur to her as an afterthought that she might

be overstepping her boundaries, causing her to quickly add, "...If-... if you do not mind me asking."

Jean-Luc's smirk persists as he listens to the pair, gaze shifting from Kirill, back to Yan Sun. It's clear that there's more behind Kirill's words than he's privy to, but he, too, seems to think better than to pry into a discussion about someone who isn't around. Instead, he merely gives a small nod in agreement to the pair's sentiment. But Yan Sun's final addition, and the chuckle that follows, causes his smile to widen. "Oh?" he asks,

brow lifting in interest. "Do tell. What kind of knowledge has Yan discovered on her journey across the galaxy?" he asks, a playful sense of wonder in his tone that draws another snicker out of Kirill.

Amy 's smile falls away, shrinking a bit in her seat as she looks down at her untouched beer again. A small sip follows just to occupy her. "Eleven people. Uhm... ten, now, I guess." An awkward almost-shrug. "Just my family. There's a few other homesteads in the area too."

Yan Sun lets out a slightly embarrassed snicker of her own, looking down at the fire as she considers her response. "I don't know, I just-... reading about the galaxy is pretty different from seeing it for yourself. Aite especially has been... I mean... everything you see about the Terminus on Earth tends to be... uh..." an apologetic wince. "...pretty focused on the bad stuff."

Gaz' smile pulls back a bit as she takes note of Amy's reaction, but she gives a small nod as she listens to her speak. She knows better than to pry into whatever led to Amy leaving her home. That's not the sort of thing you just ask around here. Everyone has a story, and it's rarely filled with puppies and rainbows. "I can see why this might be... a lot." she snickers.

Kirill gives a small shrug. "Plenty of it to focus on." he admits, a slight sigh slipping out. "Companies with deep pockets payin' locals to fight over their claims. Warlords at each others' throats over land that don't belong to 'em. But-... that ain't the whole story." he continues, his words garnering a small nod from Jean-Luc. "I'm glad you've had the chance to see a bit of the other side of Aite, Yan." As always, there's a hint of

optimism behind his words. "The side they don't focus on."

Jean-Luc's expression shifts to a slight frown as Kirill speaks. "They focus on the bad because it makes it easier for them to ignore that there's actual people out here suffering." he explains, sounding a bit more bitter over it all than Kirill. "Pretend that we're all bad. Nobody cares when bad things happen to bad people, right?"

Yan Sun glances Kirill's way as he speaks, a small smile tugging at the corner of her mouth as she nods, but Jean-Luc's addition soon draws her attention, and another, heavier nod follows. "Yeah..." she agrees with a sigh, shifting forward a bit on the bench. "There's a lot of that back home." she admits. "And when it's not that it's some militaristic 圾 about how the Alliance should 'roll in and set things straight'." she adds with a scoff.

Amy lets out an awkward chuckle. "Yeah..." she says with a sheepish nod. "But I'm glad I'm here." she adds, the words sincere despite lingering sadness in her eyes.

Gaz props her smile back up. "Me, too, Amy." she says, meeting Amy's eyes. There's a short pause before she speaks again, smile growing sheepish. "I-... hope you liked the chime. It was just-..." she shakes her head, offering a dismissive shrug, "...a small welcoming gift. I wanted to deliver it myself, but Paige was-... well-..." a fond snicker slips out, "...Paige. She can be pretty insistent."

Jean-Luc gives a roll of his eyes. "Mmhmm. Of course. Because they're so good at 'setting things straight'." he replies, perhaps unintentionally wearing his Alliance opinion on his sleeve. "Just like they set the Collectors straight..."

Kirill's bushy beard twitches from the frown beneath it. "Hard to blame those people. They hear what they hear about things happenin' half way across the galaxy from people they trust. They don't know any better." he sighs, helping that bitter pill down with a swig from his beer.

Amy 's eyes widen a little. "Oh! The chime! I-I didn't know-..." she goes silent as her voice hitches a bit and a hand goes to her mouth as she tries to quietly clear her throat. Judging by her expression it's louder than she'd like. "I... had a lot going on the day it was put up." she says, uncomfortably trying to dance around the incident with her father. She's not eager to tell Gaz if there's even the slightest chance she hasn't heard

about it. "I didn't realize you made it." Another brief, awkward chuckle, eyes tearing up a little. "I really like it. Thanks." It's the gesture more than anything. Another in a growing line of acts that's made her feel welcomed here.

Yan Sun 's opinion doesn't seem all that far from Jean-Luc's, judging by the look on her face. The mention of the Collectors makes her mind go to what Jessica went through, however. To the footage she's rewatched several times during their trip. A different kind of reality check. There's a lot of scary things out there. It's a relief to know they're gone, but so many unanswered questions have been raised. Although they're back in extranet

range, she's been holding off on digging deeper - Jessica deserves her full attention for the duration of the trip. She shakes those thoughts away - made all the easier by another sip of beer - and turns her attention to Kirill. "I've... tried my best to stay informed. But it's hard to even imagine a planet like Aite when you've spent your whole life in a megacity on a homeworld." she says with a self-deprecating laugh.

Gaz' smile grows to something bright and genuine when Amy expresses that she likes the chime. "Tehn." she says, Amy's newfound translator quickly regurgitating it from the batarian dialect it's spoken in, to 'You are welcome.' "I have made many of them." she snickers, a fact that she's banking on Amy having quickly pieced together. Their soft music plays any time a heavy gust blows through the outpost. "If I am being honest, they're

not entirely selfless gifts." she admits, smile wavering ever-so-slightly, but no less bright, "They are a nice reminder of home."

Kirill gives a small shrug, dismissing Yan Sun's unspoken apology for troubles and misinformation that she has had no hand in spreading. "That knife cuts both ways, Yan. While we're out here sittin' around a fire- having a beer while we trade stories- most of us have no idea 'bout half the problems going on at your end of the galaxy. Easier to just-... sit back and assume that everyone out there has forgotten about us while they're livin'

the easy life. Ain't that right, Luke?" he says, flashing a smile Jean-Luc's way, perhaps giving away that there's some unspoken wisdom behind what he's trying to say.

Jean-Luc seems to pick up on it pretty quickly, his frown turning upwards into a semblance of a smile, offering the older man a quick roll of his eyes. "Right. Point taken." he sighs.

Amy 's curiosity seems piqued, studying Gaz. There's a moment's hesitation before she asks: "Uhm... where are you from?"

Yan Sun snickers a little, nodding. "Makes sense." she comments, glancing off into the darkness that Jessica disappeared into, idly searching for any sign of her in the direction of the greenhouse, the glow in her cybernetic eye shifting as it does its best to compensate for the dark.

Gaz' attention shifts to the table briefly and she reaches out with one hand, checking to make sure the clasps on her container are secured. "Umm-... Ma'Shah?" she says, sounding as if she's not sure if that name will even ring any bells with Amy outside of when she mentioned the name earlier in the evening. "It was a mining colony to the south." she explains as her focus turns back to Amy. "Is." she's quick to correct with a slight wince.

No reason to believe it's not still there, even if what it once meant to her is long gone. The smile that crosses her lips as she recalls her home doesn't quite reach her eyes. "It wasn't quite as large as the Gorge. But-..." she shrugs, "...it was home."

Kirill snickers as realization seems to hit Jean-Luc. As he notices Yan Sun looking out into the darkness, he, too, joins her, craning around in his seat a bit, seemingly wondering if she's seen something. The greenhouse light is still off. "Think they might have gotten lost?" he asks Yan Sun, though his tone and the smile that peeks out from beneath his beard implies he's none too worried. There's not a whole lot of trouble they can get up

to around here at this time of night, after all.

Jean-Luc chuckles. "Given how drunk Paige was? My guess is someone is patting her on the back while she's hunched over a toilet right now." he muses.

Amy nods a little as she recalls her earlier words about her home, but awkwardly trails off. "I... have no idea where that is." she admits with an embarrassed half-laugh. She goes quiet as Gaz elaborates, listening closely. Curiosity lingers, but knowing how she'd feel about answering questions about her home, she opts against putting Gaz through the same. Instead, she just offers a small smile that fades quick, eyes falling to her beer

before it turns to the fire, and Yan Sun. "Do people from... other planets come here often?" she asks the woman next to her quietly.

Yan Sun lets out a loud snort - a bit louder than intended courtesy of the alcohol in her system. She can practically hear Jessica mocking the poor girl for not holding her booze. "She seems... pretty intense." she comments quietly on Paige.

Gaz' attention follows Amy's, resting on their guest for a moment. She seems to consider the question briefly before answering with a small shake of her head, the bright bangles clasped to her braids gently clattering about as she does. "No." Few offworlders would have use for the pass unless traveling with locals. Those on Aite for a short time would likely pay for air transport. More expensive, but far safer. It's the locals that are

forced to rely on ground transportation. A far more affordable option. "Most of those passing through are locals." she confirms as she looks back to Amy, "Farmers or haulers, usually, on their way to, or from, Adrasteia. Or the spaceport in Freedom Falls." She gives a small shrug, smile widening, "But, every now and then we get an unexpected guest."

Jean-Luc snorts in turn, seeming to find Yan Sun's description of Paige apt. "That's... one way to put it."

Kirill snickers, but there's nothing but fondness in his eyes for Paige. "She can be." he admits, casting another quick glance out into the darkness. "But, this place means the world to that girl. And it wouldn't be half of what it is without her." he continues, his smile causing the crow's feet around his eyes to become more visible in the light of the fire. It's more than just lip service. There's a certain respect in his tone for Paige

that you can't just fake.

Amy nods again, looking thoughtful as she studies the tech-covered girl by the fire. Curiosity in conflict with shyness. "Do-... do you think she would be annoyed if I asked her some questions about Earth?" she asks in a near-whisper to Gaz.

Yan Sun smiles a little at Kirill's words, offering no comment right now as she relaxes a bit on the log and takes a swig of her beer.

Gaz once again finds her attention shifting to Yan Sun, studying her from afar for a moment. It would be a lie for her to claim she knows Yan Sun any better than Amy does. Her familiarity doesn't extend beyond the past few hours this evening. But she does pride herself as having a good read on character. "I do not think she would mind at all, Amy." she encourages as she looks back to the woman at her side, that kind smile of hers back on

display.

Jean-Luc gives a small nod to Kirill's words, seeming to feel a little guilty over his passive dig at Paige despite it obviously being meant in jest. Anyone that has spent more than a few nights at the Gorge knows how much she means to Kirill. He's practically a father to her. Hell, he's practically a father to everyone at the Gorge. But the bond he shares with Paige and Rafe is different. Everyone knows that. And it wasn't all that long

ago that people would've said the same about Jessica... "She-... certainly has something special..." he offers, as if to assure Kirill he didn't mean anything by it.

Kirill doesn't seem as if he had any plans to read more into Jean-Luc's words, merely nodding along with his addition. "She certainly does." he agrees, practically beaming with pride as he takes another swig from his beer.

Amy gains a slightly nervous smile and nods, looking back to Yan Sun. She remains in place for a moment, hesitating, and then she takes a sip from her beer and stands up. She doesn't seem quite sure how to gracefully depart the table, and ends up offering Gaz an awkward half-wave before heading over to the log bench and offering Yan Sun a wave too before taking a seat, trying to judge if she's disturbing her. "Uhm... hi."

Yan Sun just studies Kirill for a moment, something about the way he so obviously cares about the people here making her smile widen a bit. As Amy sits down next to her she looks a little surprised, attention turning her way, but her tone is friendly as she speaks. "Oh, hey. Amy... right?"

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