Vivi was roused to wakefulness by the sound of conversation around her. She peered out of the hammock, gazing around the room, then pushed herself up and ungracefully deposited herself onto the deck. Silence fell for a moment as the other occupants of the room turned to cast her a surprised glance, but no one took too much interest in her mishap, and the conversation quickly resumed.
After rubbing the sleep from her eyes, she reached for her boots and pulled them on, lazily staring at the wall for a moment before getting to her feet with a grunt. She shuffled her way out of the room, grabbing her jacket as she passed the hook it was hanging on, then made her way aforedeck to the galley. Owen would be there, she figured; he loved to cook—he had spent most of the past two days helping to prepare the crew's meals, as he usually did.
Owen was, sure enough, in the galley; as Vivi walked in, he was enthusiastically conversing with the head cook, Terry, while at the same time scrambling far more eggs than seemed reasonable. Looking up from his task and spotting her, he raised his arm and waved.
"Good morning, sunshine!" he hollered, grinning widely. "How'd you sleep?"
Vivi rolled her eyes in response and leaned back against the wall. "Ask me again after breakfast."
"You got it, chief," Owen said, saluting, then turned to look at the door behind Vivi. "Morning, Myrin!"
Vivi spun around, and indeed, Myrin was standing behind her in the doorway, looking as unamused as ever. "Good morning, Nerikas," he responded without any of Owen's enthusiasm. "I figured I'd find you here again."
Owen bowed his head and smiled. "Of course I'm here—I take my job very seriously," he chuckled. "What brings you to our humble kitchen? What dost thou seek?"
"Food, probably," Vivi muttered. Myrin had opened his mouth to reply, but since his goal seemed to have in fact been to get food, he simply nodded in agreement.
"Well, in that case..." Owen dumped the now-finished eggs onto a large tray with a flourish. "You're in luck."
Terry put down his own tray, filled with what looked like some kind of biscuits, onto the table, then reached out and rang the bell mounted to the ceiling. At the sound of the bell, the galley was suddenly flooded with people. Before Vivi—who still wouldn't really consider herself completely awake—had time to process what was happening, a hand grabbed her by the shoulder and pushed her in front of Myrin into the quickly forming line of hungry buccaneers. She looked around in annoyance for a moment, searching for the hand's owner, but soon gave up and turned back to grab one of the rough wooden plates from the countertop. After filling her plate with a mostly random assortment of foods, she returned to their sleeping quarters, followed by Owen and Myrin, and sat down in a corner to eat in relative peace.
Vivi took a bite of the eggs, not waiting for the others, then paused suddenly. "What did you do with these eggs?" she asked as Owen sat down on the floor across from her, with Myrin off to the side. "I don't know how you get them this good."
"Quite simple, really," Owen responded, taking a bite from his biscuit. "The secret is simply using enough cream to make any professional chef cry." He paused, chewing the biscuit thoughtfully. "That's an entirely metaphorical statement, of course."
"You made Terry cry?" Vivi asked, giving him a bemused look, her eyebrows raised—Terry was not the type to waste any tears. "What did you do to him?"
Owen waved his hand dismissively. "Nothing he can't handle," he said, breaking a second biscuit in half and stacking an improbable amount of egg on top. "I think. He knows me; he really shouldn't have been surprised."
"I don't know, Nerikas," Myrin said, shaking his head. "You seem to keep finding ways to surprise people."
Vivi smiled widely. "I'll say," she said, looking at Myrin while gesturing vaguely towards Owen with a biscuit in her hand. "That's why he's fun to be around."
"Oh, I bet he is," Myrin muttered. "But sometimes he ought to be ashamed of himself."
"Nerikas? Ashamed of himself?" came a voice from behind them. "He barely even knows what that means."
Vivi looked up at the speaker—Esmond Tyrvoril, the only other half-elf on the Ajdaha besides Owen—sitting on one of the hammocks with a biscuit in his hand and a grin on his face.
"Esmond!" Owen cried, waving enthusiastically. "How'd you like the eggs?"
"They're to die for," Edmond replied dramatically, hopping off the hammock and walking over towards them. "I still don't know how I survived while you were gone—both the eggs and the jokes were dry as a midsummer's day in Nidvagg. I mean, you two must be the only ones here with a sense of humor." He sat himself down between Owen and Myrin, giving the latter a wink and a nudge. "Elves, am I right?"
"I, for one, appreciate the peace and quiet," Myrin said indignantly. "Not to say we don't miss you, Nerikas… we just take the opportunity to enjoy the silence when you're away. You are rather loud."
Vivi smiled. "Loud? Nahh. Owen's just..." she glanced briefly at her friend, trying to find the right words. "...Owen."
The elf opened his mouth to protest, but before he had a chance to, shouting broke out on deck. Vivi got to her feet with a start and took a few quick steps towards the stairs but found her way blocked by Sarjeon.
"Exciting news," he said with a small smirk that betrayed no excitement. "We have sighted the Onyx."