Tammy told me how to get to the sky deck since its route wasn’t on the map. She said it had a great view of the stars and that I should take a look at it, so I did. The entrance was hidden in a small corner towards the stern of the ship. I’ve walked by it before but never noticed the grooves in the side of the steel wall that led to a small circular hatch in the ceiling.
It was hard for me to go up considering my clothing brace constricted most of the movements needed to climb a ladder. Still, I made it to the top and placed my hand on the hatch door and it opened. I looked inside and was simply amazed. The ceiling and walls were made entirely of glass, which made it look like you were among the stars when you looked up. The multitude of space’s brightly glowing stars provided the only light. There were millions of them in many different sizes.
I wandered around inside. There were large beds, couches, and every soft and fluffy piece of furniture you could to just imagine. It was a perfect place to gaze at the stars. I was already lost in my own world just standing there, looking up.
A voice startled me, “I see you finally found this place.” I turned to see Akiko lying on a comfy looking bed next to the see-through wall, her arms behind her head as she watched the stars go by.
“Sorry, I didn’t know anyone was in here.” I said.
“It’s okay. This room is for anyone to use. You can stay.”
I didn’t know what to say or do. She sounded normal to me, so why had she been avoiding me?
I chose a bed in the middle of the room. It conformed to my body, releasing the stress from my aching muscles and I found myself never wanting to get up.
We both gazed into space for a long time in silence.
I decided to be the first to break the silence, “I’ve never seen the sky so dark before, with such bright stars. On Sola, since we have two suns it never gets very dark and you have to search hard to find any stars, but up here it’s completely different.”
She replied, “It’s the opposite where I’m from. It was almost always dark.”
“Where are you from?” I asked.
She didn’t answer. I didn’t want to press the question or sound too nosey so I remained quiet.
“Do you miss it?” she asked.
I’d never really thought about Sola since I arrived. I always try to look to the future and never the past, at least that’s what I was taught.
“No, not really” I answered honestly, “I’ll follow the wind wherever it takes me.”
“I see,” she said simply.
I thought about what Tammy had told me earlier.
“I never really got to thank you– you know… for saving my life back on Sola. I would rather have died than live as one of Vaughan’s slaves. You saved me from that life… so thanks…”
Once again she didn’t reply and I thought I might have said something wrong. I just didn’t want her to feel guilty about what happened.
After a moment she got up and made her way toward the exit. “Well, I’m gonna go make dinner, tonight’s my night.” She sounded chipper and I relaxed a little more.
I watched her start down the ladder.
“See you there,” she smiled at me.
I smiled back. That was the first time in a long time I felt so great. I couldn’t stand the distance she had put between us and now I felt like I could die in peace.
I stayed in the sky deck until summoned for dinner. I made it to the kitchen in record time, even from the back of the ship. Since I was early, I sat to watch her finish cooking in the kitchen.
So far Cashel’s, and even Tammy’s cooking was good. I didn’t need to use a taste nullifier for their cooking, so I was interested to see how Akiko’s would taste.
It smelled great so far, but when she placed the dishes on the table my heart sank a little. They looked almost exactly like Rei’s dishes.
I decided to wait for Cashel and Tammy to give me a clue, just to be sure.
I was surprised to see both Cashel and Tammy looking so casual arriving at the dinner table, like it was their own cooking and they had no worries. I waited for Tammy to slip some nullifiers from her wrist but she never did and nor did Cashel ask. Instead they started eating right away.
I probably looked stupid being the first to sit at the table and the last to eat so I decided to put a few pieces on my plate and just eat as much as I could.
I nervously picked at the food on my plate until choosing one that looked the least intimidating. I swallowed nervously before taking a small bite. My mouth dropped from the shock of eating something so good after eating something that looked exactly the same and being traumatized by it. I couldn’t believe how good it was, it was one of the best tasting foods I’d ever had, if not the best.
Everyone else liked it too because we battled to see who got the last of it. Rei and Akiko won most of those battles but Tammy snuck out pieces when they weren’t looking. It was funny to watch and everyone laughed together in the end.
It was strange that Akiko’s food looked identical to Rei’s, but had such different tastes.
That was the best dinner night by far, and for the first time, I felt like part of the crew.
© Copyright 2017 Anon Amous. All rights reserved.
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