Category: Pinky



“Is that everything Pinky?” asked Rog, a bit more sullen than she had ever seen him. Pinky blinked her big eyes in the affirmative as if unable to speak and Rog wondered if he needed as much as wanted the mech to feel, to feel what he felt too numb or too angry or too confused to process. “That’s all. Tell Goldie I appreciate everything the two of you have done. Are you sure we’ve retrieved everyone’s personal effects?”

“Yes Mr. Rog. Everything is present and accounted for,” responded Pinky, her normal silly playfulness clearly absent.

Rog sighed at the irony of that thought coming from a mech. Everything, he mused. Everything indeed was not accounted for, not present. What had happened to Kyra, Em and Von was anyone’s guess but one thing was clear—they were not on Bravo. Nor were there any clues; no note, no sign, no transmission, no nothing to indicate what might have happened. For all intents and purposes, Kieran might just have well swooped down and scooped them up into the heavens. Wouldn’t be the first time; still, only one small problem with that theory–Where were the bodies?

“Will there be anything else Mr. Rog?” asked Pinky.

Rog shook his head.

Pinky hovered to the exit. Rog waited for her to leave before he opened the box in front of him, almost embarrassed to sift through someone else’s personal belongings. He was sure his father would not have approved. Not your place, he would have said in a solid tone that needed no further explanation.

Thoughts of packing this up and sending to next of kin flashed through Rog’s mind and he smiled, again at the irony, of how wonderful it would be if there were next of kin to notify. Everything is relative he thought as the smile faded as quickly as it had come. There were no next of kin, for any of them, which also meant their was no father to tell him what to do or not to do.

The first box he picked up was unmarked. Inside he found several sketches, which told him this belonged to Em and his thoughts flashed back to their mission together on Neraj and the time they spent waiting for the Tear to open again. It was the first time she had shared her art with him, the first time she had opened up, talking about her father and sailing the open sea. Em was as sweet and innocent and genuine as they came—and tough too, he learned later, which only made the nagging thought of what had happened all the more painful.

Picking up the first sketch, Rog sighed. Bravo. Unfinished. Everything always seemed to be unfinished. Always a loose end here, a regret there, be it word or action. And now Bravo. Rog walked to the port window. There she sat. Silent. Quiet. Dark. They would be leaving soon and Bravo would not. Rog felt his heart beat and he looked at her golden hull as if Bravo was looking back at him as a puppy does with eyes that say don’t leave me. And it was or so it seemed. Bravo was home, had been home for more than eighteen months and in a few hours, like Hyneria before, she would fade from sight, abandoned, rejected, useless.

Rog looked down. Em’s sketch was crushed in his leathery hands, the damage done. Where is home he thought, as images of Yul popped into his head.

“Rog,” commed John, “we’ve got an incoming message. You might want to see this.”

Categories: Story, Rog, Pinky, John Discovery, Bravo-Four-Zero

Pinkster

“Emy, Emy, wake up,” said Pinky, poking and prodding the sleeping young Hynerian as she hovered above her bed, the soft pink light from her oculators illuminating the room like a gentle nightlight.

“Go away Pinkster,” moaned Emy, half awake. She pulled the warm sheets over her head and wiggled back into the fetal position, hoping Pinky would get the message.

“I think you’ll want to hear what’s going on,” cooed Pinky. “I got the lowdown directly from Goldie. You’d be mad at me if I didn’t tell you.” Pinky was a gift from her seafaring father. He had purchased the cogitor south of the Nusian peninsular on one of the trips Emy had stayed home to attend an art seminar. Pinky was going to be a birthday gift until the sudden climate change; as such, she became the last material exchange between father and daughter.

“Pinky, we’ve been over this before. I’m not interested in the gossip you exchange with Goldie. Besides, can’t you see, I’m sleeping. Now go away.” Dang cogitors, thought Em, if they can program them to gossip why the frail can’t they program them to understand the most basic of Hynerian needs, namely, sleep.

“Emy, my darling dear child, this isn’t gossip, it’s a plan and if you don’t wake up, it’s going to happen without you. You see, Rog is—“

“A plan? What are you talkin bout Pinkster?” said Emy, sitting up in bed, her hands corkscrewing the sleep from her eyes. “This better be frailing good or we’re going to have another talk about your non-sentient access.”

“I know, I know, I do love to exchange potential useful information on occasion.”

“Pinky!”

“Promise. No gossip. Rog went to rescue Mairi and has got himself in a hornet’s nest of trouble. Poor lad, I know he means well. Such a handsome–”

“Pinky, please.”

“Sorry child, I do get carried away. As I was saying, Rog is in trouble. Las fire you know. Not good. Outnumbered I hear.”

“P-i-n-k-y!!”

“Yeah. Sorry. Kyra, Von and Yul are going on a rescue mission. They’re over in Von’s quarters right now. If you don’t hurry, you’re going to miss them.”

Emy jumped out of bed. The thought of not being included fueled her desire to be seen as an equal. After the mission on Neraj she felt a certain bond with Rog, shared experiences no one else could claim. Besides, he liked her art work. That alone was worth rescuing she reckoned.

Kyra came tumbling out of Von’s quarters and right into Emy causing both to fall to the floor. “Emy, what are you doing up?” asked Kyra, caught off-guard.

“You’re not going without me,” said Emy.

“I don’t think you want to go where we are going,” responded Von.

“Thanks for making assumptions about what you think I want or don’t want,” said Emy.

“We don’t have time for this,” interrupted Yul with just a slight irritation in her voice.

“I can handle a weapon as well as anyone here,” said Emy, her tone indignant. “What do you think my father taught me on those long journeys south of Point Unknown? Yul’s got a pulse rifle, model 945, last used in the Vespusian campaign–single charge, multi-fire. Von, you’ve got duel proton magnum las blades, modified for Blue Onyx divisions and rumored, I believe, to be issued exclusively for Zing Tao use. And Kyra,” Emy paused, “I don’t know what the frail that is in your left hand.”

Kyra looked up at Von who just shrugged his cheeks with a slight tilt of his head.

“It’s a Ji Shield,” said Kyra. “Von, get her equipped and be quick. We’ve got to move.”

“Whoa, whoa whoa,” snapped Yul. “You’re not—“

“She’s coming Yul. We need all the firepower we can manage,” answered Kyra.

Emy smiled. She knew opportunity when she saw it. Sticking it to Yul was just a bonus.

“Come with me,” said Von. “I think I have just the thing for you.”

Categories: Story, Pinky, Emy, Kyra, Von, Yul