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Post by Guest on Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:40 pm

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Last edited by Ysopet on Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:09 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Syrena on Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:00 pm

Swirls of light danced across the bridge viewports like glimmering sheets of wrapping paper. The Swann glided through the misty bath of multicolored light. Kismet couldn't see the individual glow of stars or the colorful sparks of floating gases.

The artificial wormhole swallowed the unique facets of space and blended them into something different. Something that was almost pretty. And strange. Kismet stood on her tip toes, leaning up against the metal railing. She wanted to reach out and touch the light. But she was too short to reach the reinforced glass.

Her toes curled with restless energy as she watched the light continue to dance across the viewports. Grasping the metal railing with one hand, Kismet hoisted her long, bulky skirts up with her other hand. She scrambled up the first two bars of metal railing.

She was taller now. Although, she wasn't tall enough to reach the glass. Kismet tried anyway. She dropped her skirts. The pale green fabric curled around her legs as she reached toward the panels of glass. The tips of her fingers swayed in the air.

The Swann abruptly dropped out of the artificial wormhole.

A shuddering jolt murmured across the ship. The metal railing turned slippery. Unstable. The soft soles of Kismet's shoes slid off the railing. She fluttered in the air desperately trying to catch her balance. Gravity pulled against her.

The metaling railing caught Kismet in the stomach. Surprise muffled her gasp as she slipped backward off the railing. She landed in a heap of green, bulky fabric and loose, dark blonde curls. Frowning, she pushed strands of her hair out of her face.

She wasn't hurt. Adrenaline hummed in her blood, though, and her heart slammed rapidly against her rib cage. Kismet slowly climbed to her feet and smoothed the wrinkles out of her dress. Taking a deep breath, she spun around in a slow circle.

No one was watching her. She looked back out the viewports. The swirls of multicolored light were flickering. Color slowly faded out of the light. Distinct landmarks glittered into view. Kismet could see the individual glow of star systems and the colorful sparks of floating gases again.

Her desire to reach out and touch the glimmering lights faded.

Kismet stepped away from the metal railing. She weaved her way past navigation stations, pausing to glance at the glowing displays. The Swann was still running with the night cycle crew. But she could hear Mr. Gibbs. His voice drifted in patchy static to her side of the bridge.

“We're bearing colonists from the J-System in Sol. We are requesting permissions to access the Cagway MAW…”

She snuck around Mr. Gibbs and bounced into an officer's lounge. A couple of uniformed men were huddled at a white table. Steam rose up from fresh cups of coffee and playing cards were haphazardly scattered across the table. They paid Kismet little mind as she wandered to the far end of the room.

An empty table sat in front of the viewport. Kismet climbed on top of the table. Her dress fluffed out around her as she tucked her legs underneath her. She wasn't comfortable, but the metal railing didn't eclipse the glittering stars from her perch on the table.

The vast emptiness of space suddenly became apparent. She could see endless miles of star systems sparkling in the darkness. There weren't other ships. The Swann was alone. Homesickness slithered into Kismet's stomach. She missed the russet hued skies of the J-System and the merchants' tales of pirates.

“Yo ho, yo ho…” She whispered the familiar tune. It was a small comfort that didn't quite ease her homesickness. “A pirate's life for me. We pillage plunder, we rifle loot. Drink up me 'earties, yo ho! We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot. Drink up me 'earties, yo ho! Yo ho—”

She almost shrieked.

“Quiet, missy!” Mr. Gibbs' hand was warm on her shoulder. The tips of his fingers dug into her skin. “Cursed pirates fly these parts. You want to call them down on us?”

Kismet gaped and trembled. She wanted to sink into the table and disappear. The intensity on Mr. Gibbs' face was scary. And he hadn't let her go. His hand was still on her shoulder and his fingers still dug into her skin—it hurt. She could feel pain wash through her shoulder.

“Mr. Gibbs! That will do.”

She heard Mr. Gibbs' sharp intake of breath. A flash of surprised crossed the navigator's face. Kismet bit her lip. She hadn't seen the lieutenant or her father walk up either. With exaggerated care, she slipped off the table as Mr. Gibbs took a lengthy step away from her. She rubbed her shoulder and smoothed the wrinkles out of her dress.

Mr. Gibbs shot Kismet a weary look. “She was singing about pirates. Bad luck to sing about pirates… Mark my words!”

“Consider them marked. On your way.”

Lieutenant Norrington's face was bland. There wasn't a smile or a frown. But Kismet could feel a palpable tension lingering between the lieutenant and navigator. She started to fidget suddenly feeling out of place between the two men.

Then, after a long minute, the navigator moved past her. “‘Aye, Lieutenant.”

“Bad luck,” Mr. Gibbs' voice carried before turning into a low, barely coherent mumble, “to have a woman on board, too. Even a miniature one.”

Kismet frowned at Mr. Gibbs' back. She put her hands on her hips. A smart, stinging comment lingered on her tongue. Then, she turned to Lieutenant Norrington. A small, almost friendly smile curled her lips. “I think it'd be rather exciting to meet a pirate.”

“Think again, Miss Hunter.” Lieutenant Norrington had a sharp edge to his voice. “Vile and dissolute creatures, the lot of them. I intended to see that any man who flies under a pirate sign or wears a pirate brand gets what he deserves: a short drop and a sudden stop.”

Lieutenant Norrington's face took on a quiet intensity. It was a dark expression that made the lieutenant seem cold and distant. The lieutenant's half-smiled didn't look terribly warm either.

Kismet chanced a look at the occupied officer's table. Mr. Gibbs' was standing there. He slowly tightened his uniform collar and raised one hand into the air as if he were holding an invisible rope. A moment later Mr. Gibbs squeezed his eyes shut and stuck out his tongue.

Kismet gasped.

“Lieutenant Norrington,” her father stepped forward and grasped Kismet's hand. “I appreciate your fervor, but I'm concerned about the effect this subject will have upon my daughter.”

“My apologies, Governor Hunter.”

Lieutenant Norrington's half-smile vanished and he walked out of the officer's lounge. Kismet squeezed her father's hand. She felt confused. Something had passed between her, the lieutenant, and her father, but she had no idea what the something was.

Holding her father's hand, though, made the confusion melt away. Everything was alright.

“Actually, I find it all fascinating.” She smiled at her father, tugging on his hand.

Her father did not return her smile. His brows knitted together with worry instead. “Yes,” he finally said, “that's what concerns me.”

Kismet felt the smile fade off her face. She turned back to the large viewports, letting go of her father's hand. But the glittering stars and bubbling gases were no longer of interest. She was starting to feel the effects of her sleepless night and early morning prowl. Yawning, she turned away from the viewports intent on finding breakfast or a new activity.

“Kismet!”

She jumped at the sound of her name. Even her father looked up. Her nanny rushed toward her. The woman's bulky skirt flared out behind her as she hurried to Kismet's side. She pulled Kismet toward her, and then immediately knelt down to straighten Kismet's dress.

“Where have you been? I've been looking everywhere.”

Kismet frowned. She had forgotten about her nanny. Slipping away from her nanny—and her father—was easy on The Swann. There were so many nooks and crannies to explore and so many different people to talk to.

“I,” Kismet licked her lips as her nanny took her hand and tugged her out of the officer's lounge, “wanted to see the lights.”

Her nanny made a small noise of acknowledgement. Then, “Well, Mr. Gillette said he'd have a navigator show you the controls.”

Excitement flooded through Kismet. She started to bounce. “Really? You truly mean it?” The navigation controls were something she'd been dying to take a proper look at. But Mr. Gibbs kept chasing her off and muttering about distractions. “I can see them now?”

“Yes,” her nanny laughed. Happy amusement was evident on the lines of her face.

Kismet continued to bounce until she reached the bridge. A small part of her was afraid that Mr. Gibbs might be lingering on deck and he'd chase her off again before Mr. Gillette could introduce her to someone who knew how the navigation controls worked.

Her nanny, though, held her hand tightly and led Kismet onto the bridge. The sparse night cycle crew was gone, and the morning cycle crew had taken its place. Kismet smiled at some of the people. But her eyes kept darting toward the navigation stations.

As promised Mr. Gillette was waiting for her. Another man in a crisp blue uniform was waiting, too. Kismet's smile grew as she bounced up. Every bit of her quivered with excitement. Her nanny let her hand go.

“Can I sit in the chair, too?” Kismet asked, her eyes shining with poorly hidden excitement.

Her nanny laughed again as Mr. Gillette and the navigator stepped away from the station. Kismet scrambled into the chair. She tucked her legs underneath her, smoothed her skirt out in front of her, and looked at the control expectantly.

The panels were brightly light with a wide variety of information. Most of the information meant little to Kismet. She liked the glowing lights and floating panels. Understanding the available information wasn't necessary. Still. Kismet turned in her seat, still smiling, to face Mr. Gillette and the navigator.

“So?” She pursed her lips. “What's all this do?”

A slight blush crept over the navigator's face as he launched into a stuttering explanation of all the controls. Kismet tried to listen intently. Bits of the explanation went over her head. She started to fidget until the navigator started to point out the screens, letting Kismet touch the glowing, floating panels.

She moved the floating panels effortlessly through the air, arranging them one way and then another. Eventually she caught a glimpse of red dots on an open screen. She stared at it for a few moments, moving the screen back and forth. The dots hadn't been there earlier.

Now.

“Um, what—”

An alarm went off before Kismet could ask about the dots. A bright red light flashed a moment later. Kismet's nanny pulled her out of the chair and wrapped a strong arm around her shoulder. Dread started to creep into Kismet's gut. Something was horribly wrong.

The morning crew responded to the alarm with a flurry of activity. Kismet flattened herself against her nanny. She didn't know what else to do. Uniformed men elbowed there way off the bridge at a near run. Kismet felt her nanny pull her after the men.

A collective gasp—somehow clear and loud in the midst of the alarm—made Kismet's nanny pause. Kismet looked around. The activity consuming the morning crew had stopped. Metal wreckage floated past the bridge's viewports. She watched the large bits of metal scrap against The Swann. Then, suddenly, her nanny was pulling her forward again.
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Syrena
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