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"I-It's nothing…" He tries to insist, though his voice is notably choked up.
(Ira mulls over Duane's story for a bit before noticing Ezekiel and Kauri.) Everything okay over there?
Upon hearing Ira, Melvin looks over at Kauri and Ezekiel.
"Oh my. Is there something you want to tell us, Kauri?"
The mention of it causes Parada to cast her gaze downward, but before too long she notices that Kauri seems to be reacting worse than she is.
Ezekiel nudges the boy to move him to speak, looking to Melvin for a brief moment before bringing his attention back down to Kauri.
"Sist-ter… Only f-fami… I miss… W-Wanna… f-find…" He manages to say between sobs.
Poor kid, thinks Victor. Separated from his only family... He must be so lonely...
"Oh..." Melvin now hates himself.
"I'm... so sorry..." Melvin looks off into the distance, not sure what to do.
You only have your sister? (Ira asks.) Wow, I'm sorry, Kauri...do you know where your sister might be, if you don't mind me asking?
Oh, darn... thinks Victor. He wants to comfort Kauri somehow, but he isn't sure what he can say...
"H-hey..." he says. "It's okay... It's going to be okay, Kauri. You'll find your sister..."
...Ezekiel cannot muster up the wherewithal to comfort Kauri with his words. Nevertheless, he wraps his arm over Kauri's shoulders and gives him a little shake of sympathy before drawing his arm back to his side.
"We'll find her," says Melvin, turning to face Kauri again. "I don't know when, but we'll get you back to her."
He eventually stops sobbing and starts using his sleeves to wipe the tears (and tiny bit of snot) from his face. Even so, he continues to hide his face from everyone else. "… I'm sorry."
"It's all right, buddy," says Victor. "We'll keep you company until we find her, okay?"
"Yeah," says Melvin. "We'll stick together. We'll be with you all the way until we find her."
Yeah, kid, we're all in this together anyway! (Ira agrees with Melvin and Victor.)
He sniffs one more time, still curled up. "… Thank you."
"Hmm... we've gotta get that Egg."
Melvin turns to Tom. "How are you holding up, mate? Aetate is getting close. I can feel it."
He turns back to the others. "So... anyone wanna go next?"
"The ship is doing well, we should stay clear of the storm."
Tom doesn't say anything about his own state, though he's not particularly tired or frustrated being told to steer the ship. Mostly, he's happy enough to have something to do and to ensure that they reach their destination smoothly. For a while now he's been tacking slightly away from the worst of the weather, and it's at this point that he starts to turn the ship once more to correct for that adjustment, bringing them back on the course Melvin had provided him earlier... assuming his mental mapping of the area was correct.
Ezekiel looks to Tom, some bafflement in his eyes...he keeps forgetting the man exists, let alone that he's now helming the ship? He did see him when he met the rest of the after Melvin and Duane brought him up, didn't he?
"Did he not already go," Ezekiel asks, pointing to Tom, half stalling and half wondering if there's something the otherwise inconspicuous man is hiding.
"Hmmm, I don't believe he did."
"Tom! Do you want to tell us your story? We'd like to hear about your past... if you want."
"Ah, of course, though there isn't much to say."
Tom remains at his position while he speaks, his eyes to the horizon and staring back to the receding storm as he speaks. It's not so much that he's avoiding eye contact as that he's splitting his focus, and it's clear the majority of it lies with the ship.
"Have a mother, father, brother. None of them out on the sea, like I chose. Was just good at sailing, I suppose. Found a crew, same way I found this one. Worked for a while, captain got removed, I kept working. Quit when things got too dangerous for my liking and I had enough money to hold me for a while. Went and found another crew, and found all you. Here we are."
That curt recap done, Tom spins the wheel once more and returns to his previous task as if nothing at all had just transpired.
Melvin nods. "Fair enough. Uh, who hasn't gone?"
Melvin is well aware that one particular crewmember hasn't gone, but wonders if there's anyone else.
Victor nervously glances at Ezekiel, but quickly looks away, hoping no one noticed.
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