"Well, I hate to be the one to say it, but that was a miserable failure," Killjoy said as the three compatriots stepped into the crew room. It was completely deserted except for themselves.
"Then you shouldn't have said it," Abner retorted. It was clear that he was very upset with the results of the morning. "This is your fault," he said, turning on Santa.
"This was your idea," the mechanic reminded him. "I told you about the dangers of dealing on the black market and you decided to go ahead with it anyway."
"That's because you talked about how you could get great deals on the market," Abner said. "'We can get a new core for a song' were your exact words."
"Yes, if you are willing to put up with some acceptable losses," Santa said. "I told you that winning on the market was a rich man's game."
"Let's not lose our minds over this," Killjoy said. Santa and Abner looked at him in surprise. Killjoy wasn't exactly the person that you would expect to keep tempers down in a room. "At least we still have the money that we went there with so we're no worse off than we were this morning."
"Except that we're wanted by a cartel of the black market," Abner shot back.
"Actually, that's probably not true," Santa said. "Whoever is going to take over Reginald's operations is probably super happy with us right now. That's the way things tend to work on the market. I wouldn't expect retribution for our actions today."
"So you mean that we could go back to the same place in a week and try to by a core again?" Abner asked.
"Yes, though I wouldn't recommend it," Santa said. "Some of those people we killed on the way out are bound to be someone's friends and personal grudges can be worse than professional ones."
"That doesn't matter, though since I think I have a way to get another core," Killjoy said.
"I already told you that we aren't straight up stealing anything," Abner said.
"It isn't stealing," Killjoy answered.
"All that you know how to do is kill things by shooting your guns," Santa snorted. "What are you going to do, win a core in a shooting contest?"
Killjoy looked at the two men who were glaring back at him. Could he actually get the core like he had said? Maybe, but seeing how Santa had been put on the spot when his plan hadn't worked made him not want all of that pressure.
"You're right, it was a stupid idea," Killjoy said. "I'm going back to the armory if you need me."
He stepped through the door, surprised at the way things had turned out. A week ago, he would have torn the heads off of those two for mocking him as they had done, but today it was easy to let their insults roll off his back. A week ago, he wouldn't have thought of a way to get a new core. A week ago, he wouldn't have been able to perform like he had today. But that was a week ago, and this was now. It was time to produce or shut up. He would show the Captain that he was more than just a pile of muscle. He would get that core his way but he would need help. Smiling, he walked toward the armory and his best friend on the Safe Haven. together they could do what the Captain and Santa had failed to do today.