Eight months later
The shot hit the rail, which collapsed under Jessie's weight, and she
had just enough time to scream before she fell. Chrizla lunged for
her hand - but not fast enough, and Jessie vanished into the depths
of the ship.
Down on the maintenance decks, a figure awoke. She'd been camping
down here for months, as long as she could remember. She didn't know
how she got there, or where she came from. All she knew were the
various scattered engine parts and the deck that was her home.
She stretched, then got up. The scutters had been going crazy lately,
and then had all disappeared. Now she wasn't even sure they had ever
been there. These days (these days? - had there ever been any
others?) she lived only for the here-and-now. She vaguely remembered
a few faces, and some emotions - love, fury - that seemed to go with
them, but whose they were she couldn't say. Sometimes she dreamed of
falling. When that happened, she always awoke either screaming or crying.
Jessie shook off the feeling of discomfiture that came with those
thoughts, and turned her mind towards scrounging breakfast.
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