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Adventures Across the Starways - 5
By
Kari

Adventures Across the Starways - 5

“Please just call me Sive, it's best I still hide behind one of my aliases.”

Chapter 5

By Kari and Khadaj

Rubbing her bruised wrists, Sive turned as she looked up at Jason.

“How can I ever thank you for risking your lives for me just now?”

Her eyes widened as Jason's last words finally sank in giving Sive some hope.

“Wait....did you just say what I thought you did? Are you sure you want me aboard your ship, now that you know my history? And what about the other crew members? Their lives will be in jeopardy as long as I am with you.”

Bringing her hand up to wipe the tears off her cheek with the back of her hand she then glanced at Zlanta briefly before looking back at Jason.

“You heard what Ricky said, someone is interested in me, I think they have caught up with me yet again, I just can't figure out how they keep on finding me.”

Sive again toyed with the little pendent at her throat. Her small body visibly trembled. The eight months on this hell hole of a planet had taken its toll on her, the last few hours seemed to have finished her off. All her defences were crumbling now, leaving just a haunted look in her eyes.

Shaking her head, Sive took a deep breath.

“No, I have no right to bring you all into my troubles; this is not your fight.”

Looking back where Ricky and his men were just disappearing, Sive wrinkled her forehead as she added, “But I really have run out of options....so if you're still willing to take me on, I am grateful and promise, you will not regret it.”

Looking into Jason's eyes she quietly whispered, “Please just call me Sive, it's best I still hide behind one of my aliases.”

Jason looked at Zlanta, who nodded slightly. Donny gave a thumbs-up from where he still stood with his shotgun. The other crew were likely inside, ready to call for help had things gone sour. He turned back to Sive.

"You're right, you'd have no right to ask us into trouble. Or con us like you tried earlier. This is different. We're offering, having some idea of what's on your six. Get aboard. Got any gear to worry about? If so we'll get it for you. If not we'll head into orbit as soon as we can fire up the engines. I'll ask Donny and Mereta to go over everything you own looking for whatever is being used to find you. We'll find a way to spoof it or get rid of it. You can stay in one of the passenger rooms for this leg. We'll figure out what to do with you during normal crew rotas once we're space-bound."

Sive nodded, thinking about what was in her room.

“I do have things that I don't want left behind, things that I don't need anyone sifting through and maybe linking them to my past. When Donny and Mereta could go to my room they will find, well...”

Now she looked sheepish, wondering if she should say anything or not.

“OK, you're going to find out anyway when they go through my gear,” she sighed, frowning. “One of my aliases was an exotic dancer, so there will be the costume for that as well as all the others, plus all the matching documents stored in my tablet. Maybe I should go with them and help, most of it is ready to go, I've had to keep my things pretty much packed so that if needed, I could make a quick getaway. I think Ricky and his bunch will head over to his bar to lick their wounded pride for awhile, before even thinking to ransack my room looking for the money he thinks I owe him. And by the way I don't owe him a red credit, he was cheating in the card game.”

She took a notebook from her pocket and wrote down the address before looking up and handing it to Jason.

“Here, take this, in case we get separated, if something happens to me, destroy all my personal effects, all of it. That way you and your crew will at least be safe from 'Them.' There is nothing of my research to be found, except what I carry in my head. I've made sure of that. OK so let's do this, the sooner we get off this planet, the better off we'll all be.”

Jason nodded, and Donny and Zlanta went with her to collect her things. They didn't look through anything at all, just collected whatever gear Sive pointed out. Donny helped carry bags with his shotgun still to hand. Zlanta was covering them from behind, the sniper rifle traded in for two pistols, one on either hip. They went out and came back in with no major trouble, having managed not to run across even the local law in their foray.

Back at the “Angel” Donny and Sive put the gear in the common room. Jason was there again (still?) with coffee ready. Something was heating in the meal-prep. His nod to Donny and Zlanta had them vanish into the forward part of the ship, probably back to their duties. He waited until the meal-prep dinged, then pull out a tray that steamed when he pulled the film off. Walking over to the table he slid it gently in front of Sive.

"Go ahead and eat. We'll go through your things together once you're done. I just want to make sure you don't have anything overtly illegal in there, all right? Once we're done with that you can claim any of the four passenger compartments. I've got us a departure slot in an hour so you should have just enough time to strap in before we lift. Once we're in space proper we'll start working you into crew rounds. Everyone will be willing to help you learn what you don't know as that means their duty shifts will be shorter."

He leaned back, giving her space while she ate. He quietly sipped his coffee and studied her. Good-looking girl, that was for sure. Trouble for sure. In more than one way. But if she were truly a nearly-trained doctor...that would be a huge help out here. Maybe he could set one of the shuttles up as a med-bay...

Sive blew on the hot food then dug in, looking up.

“This is not bad for heat and serve fare.” She smiled as the food slowly disappeared. “The way you're looking at me, I would say you have some more questions for me. Go ahead, ask away. You won't probably find me in a cooperative mood like this very often.”

She chuckled as she finished the last bite of her food, pausing briefly she looked at Jason gratefully.

“Thanks, I needed that, haven't had anything to eat since early this morning, and that was only an apple.”

Now that she didn't have something to occupy her, she was nervous again, the thought of someone knowing all about her weighed heavily on her. Sive hated to feel vulnerable and that is exactly how she was feeling at this moment. Her hand reached up and started to toy with the small pendant again.

Jason simply watched her for a moment. Their meeting aside...she was cute enough, for certain. Smart, obviously. And intriguing, shouldn't forget that. He weighed his words, then noticed her playing with the pendant.

"One question to start. What's that pendant? You've had it out several times now."

He wanted to see her reaction to this non sequitur. A lot could be told by how a person answered a question from left field.

Sive looked down at the pendant in her hand smiled sadly.

“This little pendant is all I have left of my old life. I like to keep it next to my heart, so I don't ever forget who I really am. With all my aliases the real me could slip away forever.”

She let the pendant drop back onto her cleavage. Getting up, Sive walked over to the counter and poured herself a cup of coffee, turning to Jason she asked, “Do you have some cream? I never was a big coffee fan, so I need a lot of cream to tone it down. It's just one of a number of quirks I have.”

Glancing at the counter again, she spotted the cream container.

“Oh, never mind I found it.”

Pouring a very generous amount she walked back to the table and sat down again, sighing.

“You know I had to leave my old life so suddenly, I never even got the chance to say good bye to my colleagues.”

She frowned while stirring her coffee before continuing.

“I lost my parents when I was just a child, and had no siblings, there was really only the three of us. Both of them were research scientists, I guess I followed in their footsteps. My work and colleagues were my family in a manner of speaking."

Taking the pendant in her hand again, she explained.

“This was a gift I found on my desk just before I decided to disappear.”

Sive took a sip of her coffee and glanced at Jason, who had been drinking his coffee while he listened quietly, before continuing.

“You know, that life seems like a very long time ago now.”

Shaking her head to bring her back to the present, she looked at Jason again.

“OK...next question?”

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