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The Nightwing's Voyage

The Nightwing

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a part of The Nightwing's Voyage, by HOLYCRAPAGHOST.

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HOLYCRAPAGHOST holds sovereignty over The Nightwing, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

2,335 readers have been here.

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The Nightwing is a part of The Nightwing's Voyage.

17 Characters Here

Minerva (Minn) Darv [370] What? Did I leave flour on my face again?
Saein Vernig [337] Ms. Fix-it / "I have a tool for that. Somewhere..."
Eddie Ackers [330] "Is it really that hard to understand? I mean, Imagine a turd spinning around in a toilet; THAT'S what we're going to look like if I make even one mistake."
Regina (Reggie) Oris [299] It's time for humans to finally know their history.
Bond Mason [130] Is that what you think, then?
Delw Night [102] Hello My name is Dlew Night and I am a series 500 Android at your service.
Dr. Alexander Greenhaven [90] "Trust me, I'm a Doctor"
Thomas Steelbeam [79] "Just been dragged through hyperspace on the outside of your ship, but I'm ok."
Annarein (Ann) Vernig [54] "I'm fluent in many languages but have no words for this"
Rokunam [44] "The Human Race is is quite like ourselves, physically and mentally, thus, we must have the same goals."

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Character Portrait: Eddie Ackers Character Portrait: Minerva (Minn) Darv Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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Instead of Eddie, Saein found Ann and Minn. Minn waved her over, told her she had made food (which was no surprise) and introduced her to Ann. Saein was very tired, but awake enough to see the humor in that. “Hi, I’m Saein. Gosh, who would have thought I’d meet another firni on this ship!”

Ann stifled a giggle. She didn’t want Minn to think they were making fun of her. Saein gave her a hug, and suddenly she caught a glimpse of an angelic and impossibly attractive pink creature on the other side of the table. Her instinctive response was to try to hide in Saein’s arms, but that only made her heart race even more. Once it occurred to her what was happening, she pushed Saein away. Keep those feelings to yourself, will you? she thought. Ann blushed and coughed awkwardly.

“You said you made food?” Saein tried to provide a distraction.

Eddie joining them was probably a better distraction from the awkward moment. Ann shyly corrected him when he greeted her as “other”: “Ann.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eddie Ackers Character Portrait: Minerva (Minn) Darv Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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Minn

Seeing Eddie resparked all her previous worries. Leaping up, she hurried to him and hugged him. "Are you all right!?" she exclaimed, then pulled back, sure that hugging wasn't what was comfortable right now. "Sorry...I...made food!" She waved at the pastries and stew.

Her eyes returned to the pair of firni, realizing they did know each other. She felt kinda stupid, but was tired, so brushed it off. Glad to meet someone else who knew Saein was interesting though and she stepped toward Ann asking, "Did you want any, Ann? Or Saein?" she added, facing her roommate. It felt like ages since she saw her, too many mind numbing events happening in-between.

Trying not to fall back into her discovered images of the past, Minn busied herself with making plates and bowls up, whether they wanted food or not. They were eating. It seemed like everyone was too busy to eat all the food she made. She wasn't having leftovers this time.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Eddie Ackers Character Portrait: Minerva (Minn) Darv Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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“I do hope that wound is healing okay” Saein told Eddie. She’d like to give him a hug too, but that would make both of them uncomfortable.

“I’ll have just a little bit of stew” Saein replied when Minn offered food once again. “I could eat it all, but I did something stupid and now I have to diet for a few days. Ann?”

“I think I want some of everything!” Annarein grinned. Her expression changed. “Sorry, that can’t be nice, watching everyone else enjoy the food...”

“It’s okay” Saein lied, wiping away the beginnings of a tear.

Ann sighed and nodded. She understood it was better not to point it out too much. Another thing that she’d better not remind anyone of was the awkwardness moments ago. She was glad Minn didn’t seem to have gotten the impression they were in a relationship. Considering how much Saein liked Minn, that would have been bad. Trying to start a positive conversation, she asked “Saein, were you working on some art earlier?”

“Oh! That’s right!” her sister replied. “Look, Eddie, I got you more of that candy you liked so much. Kidding. I made you something, hope you’ll like it. Sorry I didn’t get a chance to wrap it.” She pushed the chess set she had made out of nuts and bolts and the square tin to his side of the table.

Ann raised an eyebrow. “You gave him some of our candy? Silly.” She shook her head.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Bond Mason Character Portrait: Regina (Reggie) Oris Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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Tom hadn't met Dlew the resident android, but he decided the computer room would be quite a nice place to stay. That is, if there was a bed in there. Somehow he doubted it. In the end, he resolved to stay in the barracks - at least that way, he'd quickly meet all the crew he hadn't met yet.
Lost in his thoughts, he got in the speeder and before he knew it they were back in the ship. Saein and Regina left swiftly and Ann wandered off too, and he decided he'd have a proper explore of the ship.
He got up and caught Bond's eye before he disappeared as well.

"Hey, Bond - you know the barracks? Can you take me there?"

"I can take you there..." said MAK, but Tom ignored him. He much preferred to be guided by someone he could see.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eddie Ackers Character Portrait: Minerva (Minn) Darv Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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"Ann"

Eddie turned and looked at the unfamiliar Firni by the name of Ann, aparrently. Smiling a bit, he greeted her somewhat properly. "It's nice to meet you, Ann. I'm Eddie, the pilot, in case you were wondering." he wondered if he'd end up having to give an introduction to all of the newer people, once everything was back to normal. Might be a drag if that were the case, but he'd live.

"Are you all right!?" suddenly, Minn ran up to him and gave him a hug, igniting a sharp pain in his side. But, because this was Minn who did it, he didn't let himself show any signs of pain, because she was bound to panic and hate herself if she caused pain to someone else. She was kind like that. While he'd normally not mind a hug, now was a small exception. A tiny smirk played on his face as she backed off from him a bit and he looked down on her, the contrast between height apparent since they were close. "I'm not fine, actually. It's been more than five minutes without your cooking, you know."

Nothing like a little light humor to ease some tension. After what happened earlier... well, everyone had probably spread themselves too thin trying to help each other and deal with it. Too much unhappiness and drama for them to live with, he'd like to believe. But it wasn't like you could simply say "Stop, Drama!" and things would be okay. It was much, much harder than that. So for now, Eddie simply followed Minn over to the pastries and stew, and took the first available bits that she made, eagerly awaiting something in his stomach now that it felt like the gunshot took something out of it. He then sat down at the table and began eating, enjoying each second his tongue tasted the food.

“I do hope that wound is healing okay”

Eddie smiled over at Saein. "It'll be okay soon enough. But what? No hug?" he laughed. "Well, I appreciate the concern. But never fear, your pilot is still here. Though he could probably pilot the ship more often than the AI if he wants to get paid. I'll feel like I'm stealing from someone if I don't." noticing he might have been on a rant, he shut himself up long enough to listen to Ann inquire about some art Saein had been working on. He raised an eyebrow as his name was instantly mentioned after.

Chess?

He instantly recognized the board, as if he'd spent years inspecting every last inch of a set to memorize it. His smile grew a bit wider in response, as he was obviously happy about the present. "Did you make me a Chess set, Saein?" he asked, feeling the set with a hand, and eating a spoonful with the other real quick. He swallowed. "You didn't have to do anything for my birthday, but I'd be lying if I said I was unhappy you did."

And purposefully, he tried ignoring the candy.

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Rokunam

A foreign and unexpected creature made it's way into the kitchen, without so much as an announcement he was there besides the sound of doors opening. He only announced his present as soon as he was near the food. "The ship's intelligence, MAK, informed me that the Minerva Darv had made food, and I am quite... hungry, to be put in simple and honest sense. If I may..." Rokunam gazed over the food. For an alien dish, it looked and smelled quite good, but just because it had been made of complicitly combined ingredients, didn't mean you could trust it from raw food. Although, there's a difference between manufactured food and food made by a trusted person.

"Although, I don't see how one should feel shame over anouncing their hunger," Rokunam mumbled in admittance, eyeing the food, considering Rokunam hadn't eaten in a while and he had high energy needs. He was sort of waiting to be given the permission to help himself, although he didn't want to admit it aloud. Was it simply anti-sociality or human dignity? Either way, Rokunam normally wouldn't have been able to have meals as big as this. Not on Exburna.

Although, something made him jump a little, but then made him go silent. A person busting through a door, carrying with it a warm loud "HOWDY, ZE!". The Genkshi examined the others in the room, but then saw their food. Looking below Rokunam, she saw the source. "Ooh, food!" Maria cried and immedietely drove herself over to grab a pastry. Not bothering to grab a plate, some soup, or a seat, she took a bite of the pastry. "This is good, who made it, ze?" she commented, having not near finished chewing the food in her mouth, causing crumbs to fly from her mouth, especially at the last 'word'.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eddie Ackers Character Portrait: Minerva (Minn) Darv Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Rokunam Character Portrait: Caroline-Marie (Maria) Shirokuromahotsukai Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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"I did give candy earlier, only Dlew the android seemed to really like it, anyway no candy this time, just chess pieces in a candy tin. I imagine they're even less tasty" Saein explained to her sister, who had some difficulty keeping her food inside her mouth at the amusing thought of chewing on metal chess pieces.

Saein watched Eddie examine his present. "You're welcome, a birthday smile like that is more than worth the effort" she replied when he thanked her and told her a present wasn't necessary. She was glad it seemed to have made him forget the pain for a while. Saein couldn't allow herself to eat much, but she could still recharge by making her friends laugh or smile. She turned to Minn. "The food is delicious again! Shall I help you clean up later, so you get to sleep a little sooner?"

Rokunam entered the cafeteria, as usual he used a lot of words and Saein wasn't quite sure what he was going on about. Moments after he appeared to have finished his speech, the Genkshi who had joined them on the trip to the planet ran in. "HOWDY!" Saein shouted back at her.

Ann told Saein "Behave." Saein could tell from her tone she didn't really mean that. "Minn," Ann continued speaking now she had taken her turn anyway, "I'll bet there won't be any leftovers from food this great. But I'll need to feed my seeing-eye furnak something. He eats mostly anything."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eddie Ackers Character Portrait: Minerva (Minn) Darv Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Rokunam Character Portrait: Bond Mason Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam Character Portrait: Caroline-Marie (Maria) Shirokuromahotsukai Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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Bond

Disoriented when they arrived back on the ship, Bond jumped a little at Tom's request. His eyes scanned the robot-like humanoid thing...thing...he ...he couldn't think straight, but gave a nod. He thought he remembered where they were and without a word, started down the hallway.

His thumb grazed his pocket. Somehow the screwdriver had returned there.

"Here...we are," he sighed, seeing the beds and nearly collapsing with happiness. "Kinda far from everything...but...looks comfy."

Laying back on the bottom bunk of the closest beds, he smiled a little. "Oh yeah. Comfy."


Minn

Busying herself with the food, Minn was happy more crew members had arrived to eat this time, even if they were a little rude. Well, the girl was. "I'm the cook," she answered her and then turned to Ann and Eddie. The chess set was beautiful and Minn glanced sideways at Saein with a smile. Eddie definitely liked it.

"Furnak?" she inquired, tilting her head at Ann's question. "There should be plenty if he gets in here now," she giggled, hoping that a furnak wasn't too large for the kitchen. She couldn't quite put her finger on what they looked like from memory.

Facing Rokunam, she handed him a plate and bowl with yet another smile. She was just happy she was working with food. "You can help yourself," she assured. "But I like serving too. Have a seat!"

With everyone seated and with food, she sighed and leaned against the counter. "It's mostly done," she replied to Saein's request to help her clean up. "Just what has food in it."

Eye lids drooping a little, she focused on Eddie, examining the pieces of his present happily. Part of her felt bad, but didn't know what to make him for his birthday either. Her cheeks grew hot at the memory of strawberries and she had to shake her head and face Ann again to concentrate fully. "What's your furnak's name?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eddie Ackers Character Portrait: Minerva (Minn) Darv Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Rokunam Character Portrait: Caroline-Marie (Maria) Shirokuromahotsukai Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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Minn told Ann “There should be plenty if he gets in here now”, so apparently animals were allowed in the kitchen. Ann whistled.

“Geez, he’s not THAT far away” Saein complained, rubbing her ear.

After some scratching noises, the door opened and Ip walked in. The animal was about the size of a great dane, so it did fit inside the kitchen. Its legs seemed a bit too long, and its shape was similar to that of a hyena (though that would have been an even less familiar animal to anyone who was there). It had thick soft wine red fur with white stripes, and a black bald stripe around its neck. With its round ears and its sharp teeth neatly folded back, it was a friendly looking animal, though not exactly pretty.

Saein, having finished the little bit she was going to eat, refilled her plate with stew and placed it on the floor. Ip looked up at her in confusion. “Yes, that’s for you, aren’t you lucky?” Saein touched him on the neck to confirm that he was allowed to eat this nice food. Ip emptied the plate in less than a minute, after which he spent a lot of time cleaning his face with his front paws.

Saein picked up the empty plate. “Looks clean, but I guess I’ll wash it anyway” she laughed. She was glad there wouldn’t be much cleaning to do, Minn looked like she needed sleep as much as she did.

“His name is Ip” Ann replied when asked. The question seemed to have come out of the blue, maybe Minn was trying to distract herself from something, or just trying to stay awake. “It means star. He wasn’t always a helper animal, he was born to one of our pets when I was five.”

“You were always carrying him around when he still fit on your hand” Saein reminisced. “It was cute.”

“I don’t really remember. That can’t have lasted for a very long time” Ann furrowed her brow and her freckles moved in circles. “Do you remember if it was Son or Lav who was the mom?”

“Definitely not Lav, she’s the pink one. And Son was already too old. I think it was Onni... or Hae.” Saein wasn’t sure either.

“Onni is a boy! And Hae is only three years older than Ip. Maybe you mean Hatti?”

“Ah yes, it definitely was Hatti” Saein nodded.

Ann asked “Did you have any pets, Minn?”

Saein cringed. She was pretty sure Minn’s youth hadn’t been filled with fun and pets like theirs.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eddie Ackers Character Portrait: Minerva (Minn) Darv Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Rokunam Character Portrait: Caroline-Marie (Maria) Shirokuromahotsukai Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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Minn

Twiddling her thumbs together, she gave a polite smile and a shake of the head. "No...no pets." Explaining further didn't seem possible at the moment. She stepped back to the food, rearranging some of the pastries as she smiled over to Ip. He was a scoundrel of a thing, an obvious sweetheart.

Smiling tiredly to everyone else, she leaned back on the counter and asked, "Does...anyone mind if I slip out?" She pushed some pink hair behind her pink ear. "I need to...lie down."

She was tired, very much so, but also needed to be alone with her thoughts. Chasing down memories that ignored her reaching hands was difficult, but she didn't hang on to one thing, a very disturbing thing. Somehow she knew where they were. And somehow...that mattered.

Part of her knew she had to tell Bond, but why didn't make itself plain. Besides, he must already know what planet they were on. Why did she need to tell him? What did it matter to an engineer like him?

Minn held her head, feeling a little woozy. She started for the door, hoping no one objected.

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Rokunam took a firm grasp of the dishes given to him. Having only two very flexible fingers rather than five boney ones including an opposable thumb, still made Rokunam able to do tasks others could do (besides count to 10, which may or may not have factored into his math impairment), it was still difficult to carry dishes in seperate hands, the way the weight was dispersed requiring a thumb.

Carefully making his way to a table, like an old man or child in need of assistance, he placed his food down on it's surface, and met his next challenge. A chair and table. Let's just say his butt wasn't exactly meant for sitting on, as it wasn't nearly as cushiony nor full as other humanoids. Not to mention once he sat down, he'd have an awkward time eating, as his neck wasn't positioned in the same way as others, and was much longer, and with the way his head was positioned, it'd be closer to the table.

Nonetheless, somehow Rokunam managed.

"Need a lil' help there, ze?" Maria called to the Exburnan, despite him being only a few feet away from her. "It is managing well," Rokunam responded. Turning to the food, having just finished her pastry, she decided to help herself to soup. "Well, I gotta say, this food looks great, y'all better eat before I 'ave it all, ze. Bet I can eat more than the rest of y'all combined, 'cludin' that Furnak, ze." She brought her soup and another pastry up to the table right next to the only human in the room, not to mention the only boy in the room who didn't look like a monster.

"So," she asked him, "Where'd 'ya the game, ze? I'm up for any challenge, ze!" She eagerly ate her soup an examined the many creatures in the room. "So, y'all wanna introduce y'selves, ze? Maybe if 'ya aint got no stuff t'do, then we can all play somethin' together, whadya think, ze?" She was certainly an energetic one, no one could possibly deny that. "M'name's Maria, an ordinary magician, ze!" she introduced herself, "Not t'mention I'm a professional, a professional pyrotechnic slash demo-girl dat is, ze! What makes me a good Demoman, ze? If I was a bad Demoman, I wudn't be sittin' 'ere, discussin' it with 'ya now, would I, ze?"

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Double post, ze. To lazy to delete it, ze. Usin' a mobile device, ze.

Rokunam took a firm grasp of the dishes given to him. Having only two very flexible fingers rather than five boney ones including an opposable thumb, still made Rokunam able to do tasks others could do (besides count to 10, which may or may not have factored into his math impairment), it was still difficult to carry dishes in seperate hands, the way the weight was dispersed requiring a thumb.

Carefully making his way to a table, like an old man or child in need of assistance, he placed his food down on it's surface, and met his next challenge. A chair and table. Let's just say his butt wasn't exactly meant for sitting on, as it wasn't nearly as cushiony nor full as other humanoids. Not to mention once he sat down, he'd have an awkward time eating, as his neck wasn't positioned in the same way as others, and was much longer, and with the way his head was positioned, it'd be closer to the table.

Nonetheless, somehow Rokunam managed.

"Need a lil' help there, ze?" Maria called to the Exburnan, despite him being only a few feet away from her. "It is managing well," Rokunam responded. Turning to the food, having just finished her pastry, she decided to help herself to soup. "Well, I gotta say, this food looks great, y'all better eat before I 'ave it all, ze. Bet I can eat more than the rest of y'all combined, 'cludin' that Furnak, ze." She brought her soup and another pastry up to the table right next to the only human in the room, not to mention the only boy in the room who didn't look like a monster.

"So," she asked him, "Where'd 'ya the game, ze? I'm up for any challenge, ze!" She eagerly ate her soup an examined the many creatures in the room. "So, y'all wanna introduce y'selves, ze? Maybe if 'ya aint got no stuff t'do, then we can all play somethin' together, whadya think, ze?" She was certainly an energetic one, no one could possibly deny that. "M'name's Maria, an ordinary magician, ze!" she introduced herself, "Not t'mention I'm a professional, a professional pyrotechnic slash demo-girl dat is, ze! What makes me a good Demoman, ze? If I was a bad Demoman, I wudn't be sittin' 'ere, discussin' it with 'ya now, would I, ze?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eddie Ackers Character Portrait: Minerva (Minn) Darv Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Rokunam Character Portrait: Bond Mason Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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Tom entered the barracks, thanked Bond, and plopped down on the nearest unoccupied bed. He let out a great whoosh of breath as he landed and just lay there spread-eagled as he deflated. He was exhausted.

He stared up at the ceiling for a bit, finding patterns in it and imagining pictures made out of the various scratches and smudges.
Time passed, but after a while, he woke from his daydreaming and dragged himself from the bed. A more prominent need was making itself known: hunger.

He stood and made his way back to the hangar, following the route Bond had showed him in reverse. From there, he found his way to the kitchen and found Saein, Ann, Ip, Minn, Eddie, Rokunam and Maria sat at various tables. He made his way over to Rokunam's table, giving those sitting with Saein and Ann a wave of greeting, just to make sure they didn't think he was avoiding him on purpose. He grabbed himself a pastry on the way, using his other hand upturned in front of him as a plate.

He sat at the table across from Rokunam, his metal rear end providing just about as much comfort as Rokunam's bony bum. The poor Exburnan looked incredibly uncomfortable.
"Hiya," Tom said in greeting. He thought for a second, analysing Rokunam's posture. "I don't know if this will be helpful for you or not, but you might find it easier on your neck if you were to lift your bowl up."
Then, realising he had only two fingers per hand, "Or, er, maybe I could find you something to put the bowl on to raise it up a little?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eddie Ackers Character Portrait: Minerva (Minn) Darv Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Rokunam Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam Character Portrait: Caroline-Marie (Maria) Shirokuromahotsukai Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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Ip looked back at the pink alien that smiled at him. She was the provider of food, and the food was very nice, so he would like to get more attention from her. On the other paw, being touched by aliens was unpleasant. He wasn’t sure what to do.

Meanwhile, Maria energetically introduced herself in a somewhat bragging way.

“I’m Saein, I’m the mechanic, nice to meet you” Saein replied with a smile. She liked genkshi, they were entertaining, but right now she was a bit too tired to want much attention from one.

“Annarein, I’m an interpreter and intelligence specialist” Ann concisely introduced herself. “The way you refer to yourself... If you don’t mind me asking... Are you a C?”

Saein waved back at Tom, whereas Ann wasn’t aware who had entered. And Ip never waved at anyone.

"Does...anyone mind if I slip out?" Minn asked. "I need to...lie down."

“Don’t worry, I’ll make sure those few plates get... cleaned” Saein was interrupted mid sentence by a yawn. “You go lie down.”

Ann shook her head. “Saein.”

“Yes?”

“Even I can use a dishwasher.”

“Uh-huh.” Saein didn’t get the hint.

“And you’re really tired.”

“It’s just a few plates.” Saein shrugged.

Giving up subtlety, Ann asked “Laj dersmar leingan?”

“Oh. Hm.” Ann had a point, Saein was passing up an opportunity to be alone with Minn, which was extra silly because she was curious and worried about the new refound memories the girl might have. “You’re right, I really should get some sleep. You don’t stay up late either, you never know when your next chance to sleep will be on this job. Besides, it’s no fun to watch everyone eat.”

“Could you please put my stuff outside your room?” Ann suggested.

“Sure, sure. Good night, all” Saein put Ip’s plate in the dishwasher, waved at everyone at once, and left the kitchen.

Ann put her datapad next to her plate and let the fingers of her left hand slide over the first page of the first book. It was titled Speculations on the History of Earth. She wasn’t sure how much good content there might be in a book with such a title. Her right hand continued moving the very good contents of her plate into her mouth. Ann couldn’t think of a subject to talk about with Eddie. Maybe after she read a bit about this game he liked, chess it was called, she would know what to say to him.

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Character Portrait: Minerva (Minn) Darv Character Portrait: Saein Vernig
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Minn

Saein decided to get some sleep too and Minn was glad to have the company. Back in the room, she made sure the door was closed, remembering Bond's intrusion from earlier, and glanced at the shower longingly. She was clean enough she knew, but liked the feeling of the actually warm water on her skin. She was too tired to stand though and decided sleep was the best option. She could shower in her dreams.

Glancing to Saein, she smiled sleepily. "How was it down on the actual planet?" she remarked. "I feel like I missed out on something."

Starting toward the bed, she started to undress, thoughts going three ways at once as her arms pulled her shirt off up over her head, pink hair falling down to her bare back in a wave. She felt cold and slipped under the covers before removing her pants. She shivered, and wondered if she should have kept the sweater on.

Her green eyes found Saein, something to watch, a good something, and she smiled again. She clearly wasn't thinking about the bedroom though, a million worries hidden behind the grin. She was scared, yes, the memories revealing too much and too little at the same time. Realizing she had the perfect opportunity though, she sat up suddenly, fingers twisting together as she said, "The...memories...I don't know what they mean, but I know they're real. I can't help thinking...that someone did something to me. Maybe I hid it away. Like a traumatic event. And I can't remember because...because its so horrible..." She realized, she had lowered her gaze to her pink nails. Lifting her chin, she added quickly, "What if something bad did happen?"

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Character Portrait: Minerva (Minn) Darv Character Portrait: Saein Vernig
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"How was it down on the actual planet?" Minn asked. "I feel like I missed out on something."

“I’ wa’ ’re’y ’ori’g” Saein replied, a toothbrush in her mouth. Firni needed more time to brush their teeth, with those complex mouths they had. Saein was glad her mouth didn’t freak Minn out, some more sensitive aliens would throw up the first time they noticed firni didn’t look much like them on the inside. “It was pretty boring,” she started again, “lots of rocks. But it was nice to get some fresh air and some time to make Eddie a present. I s’pose it’s as okay as any place if you want to go shopping for food, or clothes, or something.”

Indeed, Minn seemed to enjoy watching Saein get ready for bed. Saein smiled back at her, she also found it relaxing to watch a friend. She especially liked to watch Minn cook. And there was this feeling of being reminded of trusting the person she was with, when her clothes weren’t protecting her. Without hiding anything, but also without making a show out of it, she undressed and folded her clothes. The room was cold, it was always cold in space, it felt extra cold because she was tired.

Minn decided to talk about her returning memories. "The...memories...I don't know what they mean, but I know they're real. I can't help thinking...that someone did something to me. Maybe I hid it away. Like a traumatic event. And I can't remember because...because its so horrible... What if something bad did happen?"

Saein stopped moving, her eyes and freckles losing expression. What could be worse than the things Minn did remember? She could not imagine. Finally, she put an arm around Minn and said “Then I’d better get completely used to hugging you before you remember.” The cold pain of skin contact froze her lungs, though only for a second. She was getting used to it. Gasping for breath once the unpleasant feeling went away, she hugged her friend. “I think you’re pretty good at dealing with bad things from the past” she reassured her. “Seems we both do that by working.” She paused to think of something else to say, it wasn’t easy now she was so sleepy. “Maybe it’s good when bad memories return, so you can stop the same thing from happening again.” Shivering from the cold this time, Saein pulled the blanket up. “You can’t change the past, but at least you have a bright future. But you can tell me about your memories, if you want. Now, or in the morning, or another time. What would you like?” She was still holding Minn, not for comforting anymore but because the girl was the warmest thing in the room. It was nice, once her body had stopped protesting about the lack of skin-communication. “I’ll tell you about my memories too... if you want...”

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Character Portrait: Minerva (Minn) Darv Character Portrait: Saein Vernig
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Minn

Saein's skin was cold, the freckles along it only picking up somewhat of a speed after the blanket was pulled up around them. Minn was reminded of so many things, sad things, happy things, all concerning her 'sisters' but this felt different. Not just safe, because she definitely was safe. She couldn't deny it. A sense of rootedness, a belonging. Even with her 'sisters,' as close as she was with them, such a feeling never came over her.

The skin contact woke her up though, a strange adrenaline spreading down throughout her veins. Carefully, she pushed a piece of pink hair out of her green gaze, staring toward the wall. "My memories are mostly bad," she said quietly. "And these new ones...I'm pretty sure they're just as bad...if not worse." She sniffed. "Talking about them won't help. I can't remember much."

This wasn't completely true. She had made headway, thinking about it too hard, sleeping on it briefly earlier. She remembered another detail, a minuscule one, but one nonetheless. "All I can remember is that name," which she couldn't utter "and...needles. A lot of needles. Maybe I was sick or something. In a hospital." Glancing up to Saein, she half-wanted her to consider the possibility and give her opinion, but then shook her head. "It probably doesn't matter."

The girl looked half-dead and Minn smiled as she hugged her closer. Changing the subject, she said, "Eddie seemed to like his present," she giggled a bit, "you're very talented."

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Character Portrait: Minerva (Minn) Darv Character Portrait: Saein Vernig
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“Needles?” Saein shuddered. She imagined a mad scientist using Minn for an acupuncture experiment that made the girl look like an overfull pincushion. But then Minn mentioned a hospital, and Saein figured she had been drugged, probably to prevent or remove memories of some event. “That does sound bad. I guess it will come back to you, or not... and that it will matter only as much as you let it.”

Saein blushed and grinned from ear to ear when Minn changed the subject to praising her talent. It meant more to her than a compliment from anyone else. “Thank you. I just like to make things. I think you know what that’s like... except you make edible things.” She chuckled about the way she put that. Her eyes wandered from the green ones smiling back at her to Minn’s smile itself. It was fascinating, magnetic. Not yet, she mentally told herself.

She still felt cold. And she had forgotten something. “Just a second.”

Saein dug around in her luggage until she found a large blanket-like garment. It looked much more elegant than a snuggie once she had put it on, and it was made of the same soft and thin black material as most of Ann’s clothes were. “Much better.” She put her sister’s luggage outside their room as promised, double checked that the door was locked, and returned to bed. “Okay, ready now. C’mere!” As Saein wrapped the blanket-thing she was wearing around Minn too, her laughter ended in a yelp. The cold feeling shot through her body again and stabbed her heart. “Damnit, I let go of you for two minutes... Okay, that was stupid” she commented once she had regained control of her breathing. Although she had just been through a few moments of intense pain, she could still laugh. It was completely worth it to cuddle Minn.

“Nice and warm, eh?” Saein ran her fingers through Minn’s hair. “Think you could sleep like this? I know I could.”

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Character Portrait: Minerva (Minn) Darv Character Portrait: Saein Vernig
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Minn

Saein returned with a yelp and Minn tried to squirm away at first, but Saein had a grip on her. She didn't mind at all, and smiled once she knew her bedmate was okay.

"Yes, very warm," she said with a small giggle, snuggling her head into Saein's shoulder. "If you're okay, I can stay here for quite a bit." She wrapped her arms around Saein, one under, one over, holding her tight to her side. Neither had said so, but both knew this was one of the more comfortable and exhilarating moments either had ever had. Minn didn't quite understand, her heart fluttered rapidly, but understanding wasn't her priority. What to do with these...feelings...overwhelming emotions...she didn't quite know.

Her fingertips played with the ends of Saein's hair. "This is nice," she whispered, raising her eyes to Saein's.

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Character Portrait: Minerva (Minn) Darv Character Portrait: Saein Vernig
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Saein could feel Minn’s heartbeat. Even without being able to sense her emotions directly, it was easy to figure out what was going on in Minn’s heart and mind. It wasn’t very long ago that Minn had said “friends first”, now the friends phase appeared to have lasted shorter than Saein had expected.

Minn clearly wasn’t used to this kind of affection. Saein knew she would have to take the lead, it would be so easy to seduce the girl now... but she wasn’t going to do that, and she wouldn’t have even if she had already solved the puzzle of how that was supposed to work physically. She contemplated giving Minn a good night kiss straight on the lips, but maybe that would keep the girl from sleeping for hours.

Different feelings were trying to push each other out of Saein’s mind. She badly needed sleep, but at the same time her heart wanted to see if it could be louder and faster than the one nearby. She chose to side with her sleepiness.

“I am better than fine” Saein reassured Minn. “I think the first part of touching gets easier every time.”

Minn played with Saein’s hair and whispered “This is nice.”

The way those green eyes looked into her dark blue ones gave her warm, fuzzy, tingly feelings. She wanted nothing more than to take good care of this little bundle of cuteness, and to be looked after by the same of course. “It is nice” she agreed. “Also warm, and safe, and sweet, and... things.” She made herself comfortable, embraced Minn a little tighter and gently stroked her back. “It’s nice because you are.” A big smile on her face, Saein’s eyes slowly began to close while she continued to look into Minn’s. One by one, her freckles disappeared.

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Character Portrait: Minerva (Minn) Darv Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Bond Mason
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Minn

Saein's eyes fluttered closed and Minn was glad she wouldn't have to wonder about what to do, at least for tonight. Embracing her roommate, most likely soon to be more, she closed her eyes too, the lights dimming around them. MAK must have been watching. Minn probably would have cared, but sleep took her almost instantly.

.-.-.

She stood in a long hallway. Doors lined the walls, lights above bright and irritating to her eyes. Pulling a pair of shades down over her scowl, she started down the hall, pausing at the second to last door on the left-hand side. She knocked once. Listened. No answer or movement. Checking the handle, she saw it was unlocked and pushed herself inside.

The bunk was small, like a closet. A metal frame bed was shoved in the corner to make room for two duffel bags, food wrappers and cans. It smelled like a guy room. And the supposed culprit lay on the bed on top of the covers, sprawled out like he had fallen onto the thin mattress from a great height.

Minn closed the door and kept the light off.

Snaking her arms around him, she gently bit into his ear, grinning madly. He reacted as she expected him to react, jolting up, nearly knocking her out with his own head as his fist came around.

"Hey," she giggled, a soft edge to her voice that felt strange on her tongue. "It's just me."

Where her hands touched him, the muscles relaxed and a sigh wrapped around her. "Don't...do that," he muttered, leaning over his knees.

Minn smiled and hugged him. "You slept for a long time," she revealed, leaning her head on his shoulder.

He looked over, but she couldn't see his face in the dark. "Should I go?"

"No," she assured, tracing one finger down his jawline. "Stay here. With me."

"Minn?" he asked, a strange question.

She laughed. "Of course its me." Sitting up on her knees, she forced him back down on the blankets, straddling him middle and holding his hair tight as she pressed her lips to his. His hands reacted with sliding grace, moving up her sides to her hair as well, keeping her against him. Rocking her hips, she smiled into the kiss, tingling all over. It had been so long since she had been touched like this.

He broke the embrace, to breathe, to assess. "Did Boyle send you?"

"No," she laughed, stroking the side of his face. "Why would anyone send me? I can't come here on my own?"

He gave an empty chuckle, not explaining. "Look...I don't know if this is such a good idea..."

"Of course it is," she pressed on, fingers tapping and dancing down his chest to the waist of his pants. "You've wanted to for months."

His body was growing tense. "Yeah..." he admitted. "But Minn..."

Her pink fingers pressed to his mouth. "Bond. Just relax," she ordered, smiling madly.


.-.-.

Minn sucked in a deep breath, sitting up and trembling fingers heading straight for her hair. That wasn't a dream. That wasn't a dream!

Leaping from the bed, she stumbling and fell to her knees in the dark. She rocked forward. Why was she with Bond? What had happened that night? Had he been a previous client? She didn't understand! The memory was slipping away too quickly and tears came to her eyes from frustration.

What did it all mean?

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Character Portrait: Minerva (Minn) Darv Character Portrait: Saein Vernig
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Standing in the doorway to the kitchen, Saein sized up the new crew she had been added to. An experienced medic who had fixed her before - good; a geologist on his third mission - why not; an okay cook - okay; a captain who was a friend of hers - great!; an interpreter fresh out of university - hmm; a bunch of scouts straight from military service - poor disposables; a... well hello there!

She approached her new target. “Hey. I’m Saein. I’m the one who will be rebuilding half of this new boat.”

The girl turned to face her, and took a step forward. She seemed angry and assertive. Their noses were almost touching. “I’ll make sure you won’t have to rebuild the other half. I’m Rachne, your pilot. And no, you won’t get any complaints about the controls not being just right.”

“How did you know I was going to say that?”

“I’ve been warned about you, hon.” Rachne tickled Saein’s face with her black ponytail. Her agressive expression changed to something a little more cheeky. “What do you say we have a look at how nice a room I got? See if those warnings were necessary?”

“Whatwhatwhat?”

“Come on, I haven’t got all day!” Rachne shoved her out of the kitchen. Saein wondered how a skinny girl was able to do that, and whether she should be happy about what was going to happen, or scared.

* * *

Suddenly much younger, Saein sat at her sister’s bedside like she did every afternoon. Her eyes burned from too much crying. She kept muttering “I will fix this. I promise I will fix this.”

A doctor gestured at her. “Saein, come with me for a moment.” He offered her a chair in an office. “You have to stop telling Annarein that. Part of her nervous system is gone, there is no way to heal it. I’m sorry.”

“You mean our family can’t afford it” Saein tried, talking to the wall instead of his face.

“I mean there really is nothing that can be done about it.”

“NO!” She screamed, slamming her fists on her legs. “NO! There IS a way! There IS!”

He put a hand on her shoulder and looked her sternly in the eye. “Saein, you have to understand, it was not your fault.”

* * *

“You’ve got a problem, you know. Working like crazy, drinking, chasing newbies for meaningless relationships...” Rachne wiped the sweat off her face. “You’re trying to hide from something.” Minutes ago she had been aggressive and rough, now she looked so serene it was difficult to recognize her as the same person.

Saein thought she looked even more beautiful now, only a few lessons in tact and subtlety were needed to make this girl perfect. “That’s an awful deep insight from someone I met less than an hour ago. And we didn’t even talk” she shot back at her.

“I told you I was warned about you.”

“Who have you been talking to?”

Rachne sighed. “Ann.”

“Please tell me you didn’t.”

The black-haired girl laughed. “Don’t worry hon, I didn’t give you sister-cooties.”

Saein sighed with relief. “So she asked you to talk to me in that blunt way of yours, did she also tell you to... do that other thing?”

“Oh heavens, no. She didn’t ask me to do or say anything. I did it because I felt like it. Silly!”

“...And you’re telling me not to have meaningless relationships?” Saein furrowed her brow.

“I never said I don’t have a problem.” Rachne smiled an innocent smile that would have been more appropriate on the face of a child.

“Right.” Saein looked down at her wrinkled clothes. What the fuck had just happened? “Right then. I’ll work on solving my problem...” She pinned Rachne against the wall in a surprise attack. “...if you work on yours.”

* * *

Saein stomped on the wrench that wouldn’t move. “Turn, damn you! Turn! Turn! TURN!” What kind of idiot ship builder had screwed down the back up fuel rod so tight it wouldn’t move?

“Need a hand?” someone asked behind her.

Saein spun around. “What the hell are you doing outside the cockpit?”

“Fat lot of good I’m going to do there while the engine is down. Think I’m just going to sit there and watch us crash into a star?”

“OUT!” Saein pointed at the exit of the engine room.

Another, now extra angry kick against the wrench, and the engine roared back to life. Just in time she grabbed a pipe. It immediately slipped from her hands, but it helped her aim her feet at the wall that had become the floor for a moment. Rachne wasn’t so lucky, she was slammed against the doorframe as she walked out. She dropped to the floor, limp, her head ending up at an unnatural angle.

“CAPTAIN!” Saein yelled. “PILOT DOWN! MEDIC!”

She ran to help her girlfriend. Her for-real, share-everything, wonderful, crazy, dysfunctional girl. She found only an empty shell staring at nothing with a surprised expression.

* * *

The hateful glare Rachne’s parents gave to everyone in a bright orange RMEE jacket at the funeral seemed to linger on Saein for longer than on the others. Saein broke down in sobs. The medic, who was standing next to her, put his hand on her shoulder and told her “Saein, you have to understand, it was not your...”


Something shook Saein awake. She tried to shake the images out of her head. «Thanks, Rachne, what an awful dream» she said in her own language. “Rachne?” Of course not. Then who was she breaking her promise with this time? No, she had stopped doing that years ago, she wasn’t breaking her promise. Well, not that one, anyway. She still worked harder than was healthy for her, and she had become immune to alcohol. But who had been in bed with her? Minn! Where was Minn?

“Minn, are you okay?” she asked at the dark room. Her voice was shaky and weak.

Saein threw off her sleepwear. It was a little too warm now, which explained the nightmare. The image of Rachne, broken, the fire all gone from her almost-black eyes, kept showing everywhere around her in the darkness.

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Character Portrait: Eddie Ackers Character Portrait: Caroline-Marie (Maria) Shirokuromahotsukai Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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Maria seemed to ignore Ann’s question, Ann guessed that either she didn’t notice she was being talked to, or she didn’t understand it. Probably both. A quick lookup in her encyclopedia told her that as far as the firni knew, nobody who wasn’t one of them would have understood it. This made her feel stupid.

After reading some very speculative and therefore useless stuff about Earth, she got bored and switched back her datapad to the encyclopedia to look up chess. This game was played with colored pieces... well, that wasn’t going to work then. Too bad. Or maybe she was being too negative now. She asked “Eddie, is chess a very difficult game? Do you think it’s possible to play it without being able to see the board?”

Petting Ip, she used him to idly look around the room. The crew acted very different from what she was used to, firni touched each other all the time and would be in deep openhearted conversation by now. The difference was a good thing, she wouldn’t like to have a bunch of aliens pile on her (that would hurt a lot), but she did feel more lonely here than she felt at the moment she decided to go to the kitchen.

She asked herself if Eddie was the right person to try to make friends with first. Pilots, at least those of her own kind, usually were quiet types with less interest in interacting with others. She did have a pilot friend once who wasn’t quiet, that woman had become rather disturbed because of having to sit in one place and concentrate for a long time. That same friend had died in an accident while working on the same ship as her sister. She had a feeling there was something Saein wasn’t telling her about that.

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Character Portrait: Eddie Ackers Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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(Sorry if I ignore anything. I literally haven't seen what's been going on. I'M HORRIBLE I KNOW QQ)

"Oh uh...." Eddie pondered the thought for a moment. Thinking about it, he definitely wouldn't say Chess would be impossible to play without eyes, but teaching her how to play would maybe prove to be a bit difficult. If she didn't mind, maybe he could try tutoring her as best he can. After she at least knew the rules, maybe she could pick up on her own style of play. So, he answered, "Chess itself is not too hard to grasp. I'm not saying it's as easy as Go Fish or stuff like that, but learning the rules shouldn't take more than a few minutes."

Eddie looked at his gift and smiled. He really couldn't think of a much better gift in his life. Probably because he never had one. He almost felt like he didn't deserve it. Saein and Minn had only known him for less than a week, and they already acted like friend. At least in the drama department. But Eddie wasn't innocent in that regard either. "Well, I can't say it will be too easy, but I'm sure you can play chess without seeing the board. Would you like me to try and teach you? I need to go over the rules again myself anyways." he offered.

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Character Portrait: Eddie Ackers Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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((Less QQ more pawn pawn))

Eddie pondered the question for a while, comparing the difficulty of the rules of chess to those of a simple card game.

“Actually, card games are pretty difficult when nobody volunteers to whisper what cards I have instead of playing” Ann smiled wryly.

After some more consideration, Eddie decided it should be possible to play chess without seeing the board. He offered to teach her.

“I would like that very much” she replied. “I always like to learn new things, and it will be nice to play a game every once in a while between all that reading I’m going to have to do.” Changing the subject a little, she remarked “You must have done or said something my sister liked, she’s already willing to spend time on making you a present.”