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[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat She was right, she had put words into her mouth and spoken for her. But she was also speaking on behalf of Dante and what she believed he would think right now. And in each case she felt she was in the right. Though Rhea had tried to respond, her lack of a reply was evidence enough to Tera that there was truth to her words and she shook her head slowly at the woman who could not even look at her.
[+red "If it wasn't for you he would be alive. If it wasn't for you the twins would be alive."] None of that was her fault in truth. Dante had died saving the ship, the twins of some as yet unknown reason. She had no answers to offer and so her anger filtered through her thoughts to her words and her actions. She was not in control of anything, least of all her words.
[+red "And instead of trying to fix this, of trying to do something about what has happened or offer up some kind of penance, you and your niece are going to leave with your tails between your legs and me and Jax will have to figure out a solution to everything. Thanks a whole lot Rhea. I only hope you warn the next crew you go with about just what you've done here so they can make the right choice about you.. so they don't end up dead.. like Cap.."] Her body trembled for a moment and the end of her sentence broke down to nothing but light sobs as she help herself up off the table on shaky arms. Her knees did not have the strength to keep her up and she fell back into her seat, covered her eyes with her hands as she broke down. She was a mess of tears and whimpers, quietly crying to herself.
[+lightcoral “You are putting words in my mouth…”] Never once had she said that she wanted to just up and leave Dante. She had only asked what Tera wanted to do and what she thought best, because no one could not make the decision on their own. And Rhea needed to prepare herself for what was the come, whichever option that ended up being. But she didn’t have time to say all that before she was being berated about all the awful things she had done along the way. The pilot was throwing it all in her face as if Rhea hadn’t felt guilty about all of it to begin with.
Opening her mouth to speak, nothing came out. She couldn’t fight all these accusations of being a terrible person when she herself believed it to be true. Head falling, she couldn’t continue to look at her. Rhea’s eyes found the cold gray flooring of the kitchen. [+lightcoral “You are right… I bet he’d regret everything.”]
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Her hands smacked the table at that, the cup jumping a little, tipping over and spilling the remainder of its contents across the surface.[+red "My only [i incentive] right now is to get Cap up and moving and alive again. That should be your only incentive too, if you were a part of this crew, but it seems I was wrong to think you were. Instead you've already decided he's dead and not worth thinking about."] It was part hurt and part fear that spoke then. She didn't want to lose Rhea and yet she felt the woman had given up very easily. Tera stood up then, staring across at the other woman, a scowl on her face as she leaned on the table.[+red "From how I see it you used us for your own needs. To get away from Pyreen. To hide from the Termani. To deal with whatever crap you want all for your own desires. You got Cap to like you, wrapped him around your finger. You got Cap hurt twice and the moment he's dead you are fine with ditching us. Well good riddance then. I think if he was able to see you now and how you repay his memory for helping you then he would be glad to be dead."]
They both knew that Rhea didn’t have any funds. All her assets had been frozen nearly as soon as she left Pyreen and any credits that could be considered hers as payment for time on the ship were always allotted by Dante. Before now, the money in this mattered little. She’s never bothered to ask where she stood or look into any ledgers. [+lightcoral “I would have thought taking the girls off your hands so you have two fewer mouths to feed would be incentive enough, but I guess not.”] It might end up being that she would have to take Kashia with her, but Rhea trusted that she would be able to weave her way out of trouble if it came to that. If she was anything like Sephora was at that age, and she knew she was, then at least she would make it out alright.
Taking in a long breath, she let it slowly out her nose in attempt to calm herself. [+lightcoral “Then Kashia will come with me, but we cannot take the girls.”] Rhea was not sure if Tera had forgotten that she had a five million credit bounty on her head, or what, but running as a wanted criminal was not the way to raise children.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Tera didn't want that. She wanted Rhea to stay, to help them and to help get some semblance of normality back to the world. She wanted the girls back and to take all of them back to the villa where things were safe and peaceful and everyone enjoyed themselves. But like her Captain before her she was a stubborn woman and she would cut off her nose to spite her face.
[+red “Fine. We're heading to a station as we speak; Fensome. You can leave us there. But unless you're going to pay us we aren't ferrying your niece across the galaxy. If we can't get Cap back then me and Jax have to fend for ourselves.”] It was a rather cold thing to say, but as she had mentioned they were by themselves now. She had to try and think of ways to keep the two of them going and money was the primary thing they would need. God only knew how much this mechanic come engineer would cost to look at Cap, let alone fix him.
The anthro woman was speaking like Rhea expected her to do one thing over the other, when in reality all she had done was ask which she wanted. The answer came out, but it very much sounded like she didn’t want Rhea anywhere near it. Tera was lashing out, that much was obvious, but that did not mean that it didn’t hurt. And quite frankly, the red-eyed woman couldn’t take any more. It was too many blows in too quick succession. [+lightcoral “Alright. If that is how you would prefer it, then fine.”] Her tone was even, almost understanding, as she spoke. She was giving up. [+lightcoral “I will get off at the next station, but please take Kashia back to Shelvit. She can take the girls as well. Her family will be able to care for them much better than me.”] Rhea didn’t even want to think of what would happen to them if , or rather when, the Termani caught her. No doubt they would end up shattered as well. And even if she didn’t really have much of a will to live at the moment, she did not want that fate for them.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Shaking her head Tera showing her disdain for either option. She did not want to make a choice.[+red “Why is this a [i we] thing? You were only here for Cap and the girls. You can just leave at the next station with them, with those crystals.”] It was said to hurt, though the look in her eye belay the fear and shock in her system. She was talking out of sadness and hiding it with anger.
[+red “Look, me and Jax will keep working on Cap. We don't know what he is as a thing but he was our friend and our leader. We need to find someone to.. to fix him… like a doctor but for whatever he is.”] She sighed as the stress of everything bubbled to the surface. She had been thinking this over exclusively for hours now and the energy drink in her hands was only making her more jittery. She knew she needed sleep, but couldn't force herself to go and rest as it felt like a betrayal to the man.[+red “We don't expect you or Kashia to stick around. You have your own lives. But Cap.. this ship.. its all me and Jax have got. We can't leave him Rhea.. not now.”]
[+lightcoral “Tera, you know that’s not what I meant… It’s just, if this were anyone else, dead would be dead.”] And it wouldn’t do them any good to keep holding onto him if that were the case. All that would bring is more heartache and pain, which would make them unproductive and that was the last thing Dante would have wanted.
[+lightcoral “What I am asking is, do we want to treat him like everyone else and just accept what has come to pass.”] That was what they had to do with the girls. It was not that outlandish a concept. [+lightcoral “Or do we want to admit that he is not what we thought and blindly try to revive a system we don’t entirely understand.”] She did not mean to make it sound like the worse of the two options; it was just that it seemed a nearly impossible task. [+lightcoral “I just need to know where I should invest my mental energy and expectations.”]
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Letting Rhea eat in peace, Tera was given her quiet once more to sit and stew and mull over things. Aside from the occasional sound of the woman's chewing things were quiet again. But it did not take long for the voracious woman to finish and put away her plate. She remained at the counter as she put out her opinion and Tera looked over sluggishly.
Had she heard her right? Or perhaps her fatigue was messing with what she thought she heard.[+red “So you're ready to just.. get rid of Cap?”] She did not speak with anger or fear, rather curiosity at what she was hinting at.[+red “Maybe we just break him down for parts to.. to sell at the next station. Flush the useless parts into space..”] It was a morbid thought but the lack of any real rest was not helping her.
Rhea had not made an effort to check the time. She had no idea how long she had slept, but walking into the kitchen she found Tera and quite frankly she looked like she had been up entirely too long. Met with nothing more than a short greeting, the petite woman gave the same for the time being.
[+lightcoral “Hello.”] Her voice was quiet and unenergetic, but she managed to supplement it with a nod back.
Considering the look of Tera, and the fact that she was not being immediately updated with news of what had come of Dante, Rhea could pretty much assume no miraculous turn of events had come about. Things were still as bad as when she lost consciousness. It made her want to go back to sleep, but she had to convince herself that that was not going to help anything. It would only make her feel worse to stagnate like that. And so, she forced herself to focus only on the task in front of her for now: get food.
Opening the cooling unit, there was a container of leftovers from the night before… or it might have been the night before that now, she was not sure. That was good enough for her. Throwing a pile of the stir fry like dish that Kashia had made on a plate, Rhea reheated it and then coated it in the first spicy seasoning or sauce she could find. Not bothering to sit down, the woman instead stood at the counter to eat. Like the last time, she started slow, but just as soon as she had some food in her her body realized just how hungry she was. She kept a safe pace, but given she had warmed the food a little too long; her mouth was slightly burned by the time she was finished. Then it was just a matter of rinsing her plate off and putting it away.
It was amazing how a simple meal could rejuvenate a person so quickly. Rhea might not have been up for facing all of her problems, but at least now she felt like she could start working on some of them. That being said, she turned to Tera.
[+lightcoral “We need to decide how we want to proceed.”] It might have been a touch insensitive, but Rhea wasn’t exactly worried about wordage at the moment. Too much of her attention was being spent of blocking the emotions that were trying to render her a sniveling mess. [+lightcoral “How I see it, there are two viable options. Since Jax thinks this is a… nonorganic… issue, we can continue to try to revitalize him until we have exhausted our resources, or we can take the hit and cut our losses.”] Rhea wasn’t entirely sure what that second option would look like, as it would be difficult to proceed with their last objective without the Captain. Most likely it would be the lot of them disbanding.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Getting Rhea to bed was the easy part. With her laying down, curling up to keep warm and her Niece wrapping her up securely they had at least gotten one to go to sleep. Things were in an unhealthy and strange juncture. With no Dante to lead them and having lost the twins, things were complicated. And having such a new member of the crew in Kashia, it was like they were down to the bare bones. They could fly the ship, keep it running, but it was a skeleton crew and there was no leader.
Looking at Kashia as they left she shook her head. What could she say? She did not know any more than the other woman and yet now she wanted answers?[+red “Go rest. Or stay here with Rhea. I'll go with Jax and see if we can't figure out what the hell is going on with Cap.”] She didn't want to talk about rebooting him, about restarting him or fixing him. She still wasn't sure just what he was so for now, he was her friend, her Captain, he was still a living being.
When Rhea left her room and entered the kitchen area, she found Tera sat at the table. Nursing a very sugary drink in her hands and staring blankly ahead the anthro was in a world of her own for a time. She had been that way for at least an hour, unbeknownst to Rhea, but the flash of pink before her and the movement made her look up with tired eyes.[+red “Hey..”] Her voice crackled with her whispered greetings and she nodded her head lightly.
Usually it was within her nature to get up, offer a drink, help Rhea sit and get her comfortable. But in the present situation she could perhaps be forgiven for keeping to herself, remaining in her seat and nursing her drink. Not wanting to offer up answers to questions that had not been asked she remained quiet in the silence of the ship.
/ 1y 201d 10h 53m 54s
Kashia mirrored Tera’s actions, they needed to get her back where she came from, but it was a significantly harder task now that Rhea was unconscious and unable to help. But with the two of them they seemed to manage. It was a good thing Pyrenians didn’t get very big, or this would have been a lot harder.
Maneuvering out the door and through the halls, Kashia kept her mouth shut the whole way back to her Aunt’s room. The quiet was unsettling. This ship wasn’t particularly loud or rowdy, but there were always some small sounds that hinted at life. Now it was practically silent, save the mechanical sound of internal operations.
The duo was able to get Rhea into bed with a bit of finagling. There, the roseate woman curled up, still clutching the cores to her torso, and made herself comfortable. It was a quick and instinctive response; she did not wake. Once she finished squirming about, Kashia was able to get the blanket over her and tuck her in. The young woman had no clue if she needed it or not, but she did it all the same. It just felt right. With her Aunt in place, Kashia was comfortable leaving again, though she was not sure where to go. She followed Tera out to the hall.
Door closing behind them, Kashia felt like she could speak again. [+orange “What are we going to do?”] Out of everyone left on the ship, the Shelvi woman had the least experience handling emergencies like this. Like the others she was looking for someone to tell her what to do so that she could help. Because she did want to help; it felt strange to give up, especially with how mechanical Dante turned out to be. Was there a time limit for him, like there had been with the twins? Had it already passed? These along with a million other questions were bouncing around in her head. And unfortunately there was no one who could really answer them.
With no one wanting to risk waking her, Rhea slept uninterrupted. Twelve hours passed before her eyes fluttered open. More than anything, she just wanted to lie there and do nothing. She was still so tired, but she knew she needed to eat something or it was just going to get worse. The woman recalled feeling a great deal better the last time when Dante made her eat… though that memory did not call on good feelings. She squeezed at the crystals in her arms a little tighter, trying to focus there instead. They were still here; they would be back soon, if she just waited. There was a bit of comfort in that, at the very least it was a distraction from the elephant in the room. She knew she needed to tackle this one thing at a time or she was going to lose it.
Standing, her legs were wobbly beneath her, but at least she could carry herself again. Grabbing one of the covers on the bed, she dragged it with her to the desk. There she bundled it up in an almost nest like fashion and set the girls’ cores atop of it. Once she was satisfied with that, she switched on the desk lamp and brought it in close. When left on it let off a bit of heat, but the light was really what she was after, even if it wasn’t quite as beneficial as natural starlight.
With that done, Rhea mindlessly started her to the kitchen. She needed to get something to eat and she needed to not think about anything other than that along the way.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Tera stepped over toward Dante, moving slower as she approached and reaching a tentative hand up toward where the horn had been ripped free. It was so peculiar to see him like this. Could he really be a computer like Jax said? So many cybernetics, it was hard not to think likewise. Yet these were far and above the kind of implants and augments that Jax and his people had. And far too sophisticated and carefully implemented to be add-ons.
Both of the remaining crew looked at Rhea as she spoke, seeing her talk like a half drunk woman as she fought to say her piece. Seeing her slump over it was good that Kashia had the mind to move and check on her. Their collective breaths held as they waited to see if this was the fourth member of their crew they would lose, but the nectar-coloured woman soon informed them she seemed to be sleeping. In truth they could see she was not darkening in colour and the slight movement of her chest showed she still breathed.
[+red “Jax..”] Tera had recovered enough to speak, though it was still shaken.[+red “Stay here with Cap. You know most about computers and stuff. See what you can do.”] She looked back on the teal man and inspected him one last time before having to pull herself away and over to Kashia. Crouching down on the other side of Rhea she nodded.[+red “We.. should get her to her bed to rest..”] It was the best plan she could muster though it seemed Rhea was intent – even in sleep – to hold onto the crystals tightly, her arms not moving from cradling them.
Scooping her arm around the back of the smaller woman, and an arm under her legs, it would be a little difficult to carry her but Tera knew they could do it. Thankfully her room was not the one tucked in way at the back of the ship.[+red “Come on..”] She said softly to the other woman as she took a deep breath to steady herself and lifted up the woman.
/ 1y 201d 13h 13m 22s
When Tera returned she didn’t exactly have good news. Kashia was not sure why she didn’t do the same thing she had, and overridden the lock from central command, but no one here was thinking quite clearly. She kept the thought to herself. With the keypad broken it wouldn’t work now anyway.
As for Rhea, she had essentially given up on the situation. She just wanted quiet so that they could mourn, though she was not going to last very long to utilize it. Her eyes were heavy, and the woman was no longer trying to desperately to fight it off. But then Tera began shouting again, this time more angrily and at Jax. He was still fiddling about with Dante’s body. She wanted to tell her to shut up, that there was no harm in it if he was dead already. If this was the process Jax needed to cope, than so be it. But once again, Rhea didn’t have the energy to raise her voice.
Jax pressed his point once again, though it seemed useless as Tera either did not care or did not see value in it. Dante and the girls were the ones who focused on computers aboard this ship and all of them were indisposed. It was more frustrating than words could tell. It all came to a point in Rhea as well and she spoke, rather sarcastically. [+lightcoral “Treat him like a computer then… Reboot him, or whatever. I am sure he has a back up hard drive somewhere.”] Unhelpful words came sluggishly through gritted teeth, still not very loud, but said with such dictation that they were heard across the room.
That expended the absolute last of the vigor left in the woman and she passed out. Slumping forward, her tail helped her from falling over. The suddenness of it alarmed Kashia. She ran over to check on the older woman. Thankfully her fears were not confirmed. Rhea had only fallen asleep. The orange-eyed woman watched as her chest moved, quivering every once in a while from the residual quaking of her crying. Letting out a sigh of relief, she looked to the others. [+orange “She is okay… just asleep, I think.”]
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Jax was in his own world to listen to Rhea or watch what she had Kashia do. Just like Tera he had focused upon Dante, his mind partitioning the twins off for now and assigning it to Rhea to be dealt with. It was not healthy to repress these emotions but, perhaps lending to how Dante portioned things out and kept it all rather orderly, they were going to progress forward this way. If not, they would be down beside Rhea bawling their eyes out and nothing would be done on the ship. That time would come later.
Nodding as Rhea confirmed his suspicion, Jax took the piece of fibre optic back gently. Whilst it may have been a synthetic material, it was a part of Dante and so it deserved some respect at least. He stood, turned his back on Rhea and returned to the still figure of their Captain. He wanted to do more investigation on his theory. He was Sherlock Holmes; albeit much taller and muscular than the fabled man.
Tera came back not long after, nursing her arm as she did though otherwise she was empty handed. Looking at Rhea she shook her head lightly.[+red “His door was locked.. and I may have busted the keypad trying to get in.”] She looked ashamed at herself for that second part, though she was more frustrated that she couldn’t get those black vials that Rhea had talked about. Noticing the woman was cradling multiple crystals to her figure she decided against asking if she perhaps had been given a secret stash of the vials. It was a wild shot in the dark but she was quite desperate. Instead, as she looked back to Dante, she saw Jax was pushing and prodding at the man’s arm more vigorously than before.[+red “Jax leave him alone, there's nothing else to try.”] She said in a tired tone of voice.
The large man persisted with whatever he was trying to do, hands moving up the arm and to his neck. His fingers were probing deep into the skin feeling the skeletal structure beneath. There was something not right. He couldn’t explain it – not even to himself – but he was sure it wasn’t right.
[+red “Jax I said leave him alone.”] Tera was more exasperated now, seeing the big man near molesting the body of their Captain. Seeing that he wasn’t about to end anytime soon as his hand ran up the man’s neck to his head she moved forward, putting her hands on his thick arm to pull it back. It did no good as the giant was built like an ox and immovable. By now his hand was turning the man’s head this way and that, lifeless eyes staring ahead blankly as his hair swayed with the movements.[+red “Let go you fucking idiot!”] She gritted her teeth as she tried to drive herself into the man’s side and push him back.
It was like a fly tackling a human. Jax continued and his hand grasped about Dante’s horn. That was when a plan flickered in the man’s usually soft eyes and he tugged. It was stuck firm – almost like it were really just a horned protrusion. The head whipped this way and that as he tried different directions and levels of strength. Tera continued her one man mission to stop him, slapping at him as she shouted, tears falling as she let out her anger and her barriers to the pain began to fall. It was useless however, as with a series of grinding and grating sound and a – somewhat satisfying – snap/pop/click the horn broke away from the dead bodies head sending the two struggling figures to fall backwards and into the pilots seat.
[+red “Jax! For fucks sake what is wrong with you you fucking gigantic idiot! Why the fuck would you do that!”] Her cursing continued as she pushed the big man aside to rush back to Dante, his head turned away from the pairing. Tears streaming down her face by now, panting a little to try and focus her breathing, she gingerly lifted the man's chin to turn his head to face her. Where once his right horn had protruded from his head, flush to his skull and looking somewhat undamaged, was a small circuit board sat atop a mass of pure white muscle like fibres. Two lights flashed in a varied pattern as slowly that very same black liquid began to run free, more like a sludge this time as it trickled down the man's smooth blue cheek.
Looking back at Jax, she saw he was staring down at his hand, looking at the larger open part of Dante's horn that he had broken off and finding a similar series of circuits, small wiring and a multitude of different robotic parts. This however was not lit up and seemingly devoid of power.[+darkgoldenrod “Cappy.. not like us.. Cappy.. like computer!”] He said in his most assured voice yet.
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