Karis was where it all started. They had touched down with the urgent need to find work, and Karis was one of those cities where work could be more easily found.
“Okay, so. We’re pretty much out of fuel, I want everyone out there working on fixing that.” As usual, they sat at the same table they ate out of, in the only room big enough to fit all of them comfortably.
“I’m staying,” Kiyin said, crossing her arms, as well as her shoulder tentacles. They left through cavities in the shoulder-pads of her pilot uniform, which made them look wider. Her face looked determined under the blue bangs that frequently flustered her.
Daigo didn’t defy her.
“Okay. But everyone else.”
Kiyin stood up and left. She was usually in a mood, all the more so when the ship was in bad shape. Daigo didn’t blame her.
“Before that.” Hannes looked at all of them, eyes grayed out from seeing too much of life, inadvertently showing them the scar he had on the left side of his face. It was disturbing, it would show the inside of his mouth whenever he smiled. Fortunately, he wasn’t much for smiles. “Ya keep forgettin’ my caramel schnapps.” Surprisingly, however, he had a sweet tooth.
“Disruptors more important,” Spinz commented. “Cheaper too.”
They had been without gravity disruptors for a while now. It made much rougher experiences out of lift-offs and landings.
“Not for me,” Hannes argued, crossing his arms, “if I don’t get some…”
“What?” Sára, bent over as if lying on the table, looked as bored as ever and could hardly be seen properly. She wore a long dark cloak and her dark hair was a curtain around her head. “You’ll kill us?”
“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?”
That is what Sára would have them all believe. The only reason she was still alive, apparently, was Kyle.
“Of course, she wouldn’t!” Kyle rose his young voice. Whether he was in his late or pre-teens, Daigo wasn’t sure, his voice retained a very dismissible childish tone no matter which. “Who would like that?”
She raised her hand. “Siiis.”
Sára’s suicidal tendencies had, at first, been hard for Daigo to take seriously. He always thought she was messing with him but he had since learned otherwise.
“More empty you make it then,” Spinz said, nudging her with an ear, all while continuing to eat his vegetable soup, and reading. “Universe kept full with minds of ours. And yours fills much,” he nodded, munching food. “clefver.”
Daigo couldn’t see her smile but he preferred to believe she did, helped by Kyle nudging her on the back supportively. She was the most talented cybernaut he had ever met, and as long as Kyle was alive and well, she would be too. Her little bouts of depression didn’t diminish her competence at all.
Still, they were getting off-track.
“What do you plan on doing, Sára?”
“I dunno?” She lifted a hand, but not her face, her voice being muffled by the table. “Try to hack something, I guess?”
“Also, look for a longer range transmitter, right sis?”
Her hair nodded so Daigo turned to Spinz.
Rodentis, a race of furry rodent humanoids that sported bunny ears and a short stature, were known for being clean freaks. Consequentially, such a grimy hands-on profession like mechanic was rarely interesting to them. Spinz was an exception to that, and thankfully so because Daigo had met maybe one other person who was at his skill level.
“Sell parts we not need,” his high-pitched voice pointed out, absent-mindedly. “Maybe get pay at fix some things.”
Daigo nodded. Spinz wasn’t wearing his Mechanics’ apron and had his gray fur groomed and cleaned up, looking to present a different visage since he was leaving the ship. He still didn’t like to be seen dirty in public.
“I’ll try and find us a good job. Hannes?”
“’m lookin’ for schnapps, I said so.”
Hannes was a mercenary Daigo had hired some years back. The man had a really mean, very infamous reputation, so much so that even after all that time, everyone was still coming around to trust him enough to be at ease, Daigo including. For that reason, he didn’t argue.
“Right,” Daigo’s eyes then focused on Spinz.
“Spinz, is that a book?”
Spinz frowned, looking up at him.
“Of paper? You read paper?”
“Yes,” he was also confused. “Vivacities of Vitality. Is romance good.”
“You’re the only one who doesn’t read, Daigo,” Sára pointed out, “don’t make others feel odd over you being an uncultured philistine.”
Daigo scoffed and shook his head, legitimately surprised at those remarks.
“Hey, Hannes doesn’t read either.”
Hannes grunted in assent.
“And such a fine example he is,” she insulted, gesturing with her hands like she was dealing with a heavy hangover.
Hannes and Daigo looked at each other, it was always odd to find similarities between them. The truth was however that it wasn’t that rare.
“Sure yeah. Ok.” Not knowing what to say then, he moved along. “Let’s go.”
He wasn’t one to think too hard about anything, he preferred lessons to come from life as it was, instead of going outside of it into a book to try and interpret the lessons it might contain.
For instance, he had learned to trust his crew, and not regarding loyalty or because of what they said they could do. Every one of them, except Kyle, had been singularly responsible for their survival. On several occasions. Kiyin included, of course, being their main pilot and co-administrator of the ship. Kyle cooked well but that was it.
There had been rare times where he felt anxiety over having their lives hanging upon his decisions, but for the most part, he felt confident and didn’t give it much thought. To them and his decisions.
And so he had never realized how big of a mistake that was.