April 29, 2023 02:41PM
Iolaise pressed through the hanging bead curtain into the shop. The shop smelled like just the right kind of things; hydraulic fluid, that... other fluid she wasn't sure about. Oil, maybe. Gun and other kinds. And the walls were full of exotic (dead) drones and firearms. On this level of this city, she wasn't surprised to see the lighting be gaudy and blinding to the point where it was hard to see the flaws in the hardware lying around; noot even in the working models.

She approached the counter, smiling apologetically at the other customers. She put the flying spider drone on the glass counter with a bit of concern and eye for making sure it didn't stain the glass with a towel. The next five minutes had her looking around the room, her elbow leaned against the counter while she took in the various models with a look of growing disquietude.

When the proprietor finally returned from the back with a kitchen drone in their hands, her heart fell. She didn't show it. She waited politely until it was her turn. "Hello, could you maybe fix this?"

The proprietor looked at the drone once and blanched. "Honey, I aiin't... that's merc tech. Even if I got the parts..."

Iolaise smiled. "I understand. Ya ain't the first I've asked. Could you kindly send me the right way, if you could?"

She watched the blotched face turn sheepish. "Nope. But I can offer you a rugged scout drone to help out. If you want."

"No. Thanks, kindly. It's one of a kind, this. For your trouble, though, kind you," Iolaise said, flipping over a tiny banknote before collecting the drone. She smiled over; it died on her face as she wrapped the drone up again. Gone as the smile was, she looked determined. And troubled.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/29/2023 02:42PM by Neverwashere.
Re: Once...
April 29, 2023 03:15PM
One of the other customers, a tall, dark-skinned woman, followed her. "Hey, wait a mo! If you're having trouble finding someone to try fix that cute bug, I can." She smiled, eyes crinkling. "Try, that is. Or at least have a close look?"
Re: Once...
April 29, 2023 03:21PM
Iolaise, no stranger to people following, took her time turning around. She was still mostly in the mindset of cradling the poor dear in the towel. She took her time judging—not for long. "Cute bug?" She looked up at the stranger and handed over the still sometimes meekly twitching drone. "Not a lot who'd call 'em that." Her tone was both warm and sad.
Re: Once...
April 29, 2023 03:35PM
"Some people just have no taste," she answered with a smirk, and took the drone carefully. "Oh! That's a medical model, don't see them often." She didn't sound daunted, but mildly enthusiastic. "I should have compatible parts, did some trades recently..." She trailed off and looked at the shorter woman. "If you're willing to risk business with a transient, I have a workshop in my ship?"
Re: Once...
April 29, 2023 03:39PM
By now, Iolaise had taken stock of the taller woman. She'd made her judgments; the way the woman carried herself, the way she spoke. And she couldn't help but smile. "Happen to be a transient with some taste myself," she said. "Long as there ain't a shootout, and." She looked at the drone so carefully held. And nodded.

Looked up.

Nodded. "Name's Iolaise."
Re: Once...
April 29, 2023 03:41PM
"Beverly." She balanced the drone carefully on her left forearm and offered her right hand. "You want to come with, or meet up later?"
Re: Once...
April 29, 2023 03:42PM
Io narrowed her eyes in thought; and another one. She shook the hand. "I'll come with, Beverly. I'm not letting that out of my sight. Vow."
Re: Once...
April 29, 2023 04:12PM
"Sure thing." She led the way through the dusty streets towards the port, asking questions about what had happened to the "patient".

Ory was a part of a slowly growing trade route, with over a dozen visiting vessels in port. Bev's ship, a small-for-interstellar-travel vessel sporting more patina than shiny metal on the surface, sat on the outer edge, were the ground was imperfectly flattened bedrock.
Re: Once...
April 29, 2023 04:23PM
The answers regarding that patient were truthful, if dodging.

There had been a great big battle on some pissant rock. That was what she started with.

When Iolaise looked at the craft, she had many questions. And answers; knowing how her drone was being held and how the ship was kept going reminded her of something. Not least, how the drone was no longer what it was like when it had come out of the factory.

More so, it appealed to her. And hit so hard. So she finally answered honestly: "The last command given to Paiz—that drone —was to take care of me," she said, speaking finally like she was an officer of some sort, "and it did. Just like its owner. High caliber round through both of them, into me, partially. Wouldn't be here without them." She looked at the bundled drone, glanced up at Beverly. Haunted, a little. Maybe. Determined. "Can't resurrect the dead, but Paiz, maybe."
Re: Once...
April 30, 2023 01:10PM
"Ah. That's rough, but yeah..." Beverly's mood was a bit subdued after that.

In her workshop, a bay of the main hold actually, she pulled out the low-backed chair for Iolaise, and a conveniently sized box for herself to sit on before flicking on the lights. She turned over Paiz, murmuring reassurances as if to a pet, and pulled a magnifying glass from one of many small compartments on the wall. After observing how the parts of the twitching legs moved for a while, she said softly, "I need to switch you off for a bit, no worries."

Her workshop was crammed full of tools and parts, but all well-sorted and stashed away so it stayed put during flight. She knew exactly where the screwdriver and the tin of bits was she needed to open the drone's casing.

After a few minutes, she turned to Iolaise. "Looks like a few connections need re-soldering - that should be no problem - and a few mechanical parts in the legs replaced. Those are Carran make, which I don't have, but I do have Escudo, and they ripped off Carran designs and just changed connectr design, the bastards... Anyway, with a bit of tooling, that should be doable, too."
Re: Once...
April 30, 2023 01:18PM
Iolaise smiled ruefully. She hadn't meant to scuttle Bev's mood like that. Something else worried her more. How would this turn out? She almost reached out a hand until she heard the reassuring whispers to the drone and realized—

Someone cared enough. She took in the view, wracking her brain, silently terrified. She just sat there, wrapped up in her woollen coat and watched, barely seeing until Bev finally spoke gain. She fixed her green eyes on Bev and blinked away a couple of times. "Will he be okay?" was all she asked, too numb to figure out what all of the jargon meant. She bit her lip, tense.
Re: Once...
May 01, 2023 11:17AM
"I think so. I see nothing catasthropically wrong with the physical parts, and the data storage is built sturdy."
Re: Once...
May 01, 2023 01:48PM
Iolaise joined her hands and tried not to peek too much. "So will... he remember?" she asked, both hopeful and worried.
Re: Once...
May 01, 2023 01:58PM
Beverly hesitated, then spread her hands. "I think he should, but I can't guarantee it. Software isn't my speciality."
Re: Once...
May 01, 2023 02:00PM
"Not sure if that's good or bad if I'm honest with ya," Iolaise said, watching the drone. "I'll live with it it. Can I help in some way?"
Re: Once...
May 01, 2023 02:07PM
"I don't think so. I'm sure you'd have already started if you could." Beverly took in Iolaise's expression. "You can stick around if you like, but the tooling is precision work and repetitive and will take hours."
Re: Once...
May 01, 2023 02:12PM
She smiled at Beverly. "Aight. I can make coffee or tea while ya work magic. Or I'll be still as old water." Unsaid but clear to see was how nervous she was about the drone. It was clear that she was going to be one of those types.

Those who had vowed something. The look was there, smiling as Iolaise might have been.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/01/2023 02:13PM by Neverwashere.
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