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Chapter 5

“We must continue on this course!”

A small white haired girl continues to scream at me. Her hair is ash-blonde to the point of appearing grey. I don’t think she is older than twelve, if I was to guess. And she is probably still in shock surviving all of this. She must have walked past dead bodies and burnt out bulkheads to get to here.

“I need to go to Andromeda 6! Please!”

“Look, kid, whoever you are, I don’t care where you want to go but this ship is going to Hub-1.”

“My name is Ellie, not kid. And you are…”

I am guessing she just now realized I wasn’t a crew member. She must have been watching me for a while to determine that I am not a Regulator but not long enough to see I am not part of this ship’s staff either. I smirk.

She backs towards the wall. I can tell she is not armed and she doesn’t move like someone used to combat. I quickly assess she is no immediate threat to me.

“Don’t worry, I am not with the other guys as you can see. I am the off-manifest guest.”

“Oh.”

She seems to relax a little bit but is still staying on the other side of the room, as far away from me as she get. It’s probably smart, too, since I haven’t decided what to do with her yet. If I was one of the Regulators she would be a pile of red dust right now. Then again… that would simplify things.

I decide to clarify things for the both of us: “Alright, listen. We are going to Hub-1 and you can hitchhike anywhere you want from there. You mind your own business and I’ll mind my own. We will not have a problem.”

I can tell this is not what she wants to hear but I am not giving her much of a choice. She swallows hard and then slowly nods. It’s good enough for me.

“Splendid,” she mumbles, but I ignore that. I have no time for playing games or building any kind of relationship beyond the strictly functional required by the moment.

I turn around to face the control panel and start a diagnostic sequence. It’ll take some time, these things are complex. I glance back to make sure the girl is still there… A-a-and she’s gone.

Dammit, I didn’t even hear her move! She is going to be a problem after all. Swearing silently to myself for my stupidity I dash after her.

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