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bright_ephemera
06.28.2012 , 10:16 AM | #164
100. Epilogue: In which things are no longer normal

The bleeding hearts swear that it’s true,
The whole’s more than all parts can do.
They say to belong
Makes man and group strong…
They clearly weren’t watching this crew.



“You’re settling in okay?”

“It is strange to have to eat and sleep again, my lord. My productivity has plummeted.”

“I could kill you again if you liked it better that way.”

“No! I will adapt to the new work schedule.”

“Good. Don’t you forget the advantages of the mortal coil.”

“I don’t think you would let me, my lord.”

“Mmm, correct.”

*

Pierce stood up from his seat in the mess, stretched, and swung his arms wide. One huge hand impacted with Quinn’s face. “Oops,” said Pierce. “Keep forgetting you’re actually there.”

Quinn rubbed his nose and scowled. “Your forgetfulness will be noted in your personnel file. The Wrath has applied for my commission to be restored, you know. I expect that to come through any day now.”

“Maybe you’ll outrank me again, Quinn, but you’ll always be outclassed.”

“Forgetful and delusional. Noted for your file, Lieutenant.”

“Screw off, Captain.”

*

“Vette.”

“Quinny?”

”Stop that.”

“Take it up with the boss.”

“I was going to say, I’ve started work on a project that may interest you, though I regret it already. It’s a difficult task, but given time, I or one of my contacts may be able to construct something to emulate your slave collar code long enough to get it off of you.”

“Wow. You would do that for me?”

“Of my own accord? No, of course not. But I am somewhat indebted to the Wrath, and she asked.”

“This…may be the first time I have ever been glad of your existence.”

“You’re lucky she made it a direct order.”

*

Jaesa walked up to Quinn and hugged him, hard.

He stood stock-still. “What are you doing, Jaesa?” he asked coldly.

“Indicating my affection and my happiness that you’re back with us. It’s something humans do.” She backed off and smiled winsomely. He glared at her. “Things around here are a lot less awful when the Wrath is happy, you know. And that’s when she’s with you.”

“Don’t tell me about how I’m improving your Jedi life.”

“Of course, captain.”

“One more thing. The holovid nights in the Wrath’s bed will stop.”

“You could join us.”

“You will stay out of her quarters!”

Jaesa only smiled. “That’s the captain I remember.”

*

Broonmark jumped out to block Quinn’s path in the hallway. “Brrroglkgl blorp blogggg.”

Quinn frowned up at him. “I still have no desire whatsoever to understand what you’re saying.”

“He’s saying that if you hurt me again he will rip you limb from limb and find somebody to devour your soul,” explained Nalenne, coming up behind Quinn.

“I’m going to have to ask the crew to stop making death threats against me. If I am to effectively run the ship in your absence…”

Nalenne leaned around Quinn. “It’s okay, Broonmark. He hurts me, you kill him.”

“My lord!”

“The problem won’t come up, now will it?”

He seemed about to object some more, but he stopped himself, clenched his jaw, scowled at her. “Of course not.”

“Thought not. Come on, I came to say the bridge console’s bringing in a job from one of your military friends.”

They hurried together to read over the assignment. Nalenne laid her hand on Quinn’s as they read, and he moved to catch her thumb with his. When she finished the briefing and looked up, she found him simply watching her with the faintest suggestion of a smile.

“Ready, Malavai?”

“Always, my lord.”

- fin -
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---(Ceterum autem censeo, Malavai esse delendam.)--- DELETA MALAVAI EST