Catching Up

Sirens blared all around as they ran down the corridor. Cass stumbled out of a doorway ahead of them, Jade who had been running on an emotional low since seeing Phi dead was elated to see her friend alive. She ran up to the stunned Cass and enveloped her in a huge hug, before she noticed that Cass was in a similar state of undress to herself, her sheet torn and bloody.
“Jamie, get a clean blanket from in there.” Jade said. Cass just clung onto Jade in an uncharacteristic display of emotion.
“Thanks.” She whispered so only Jade could hear.
“For what?” She whispered back, still hugging Cass.
“Being alive still.” Cass answered quietly as Jamie blushed profusely and proffered a blanket.
“I’m not going anywhere.” Jade smiled, and wrapped Cass in the clean blanket. She tore a small corner off her own and wiped at Cass’ face. The smaller woman flinched slightly as Jade cleaned up the blood. “You ok?” She asked at a normal tone.
“Yeah, we need to get moving, ‘Bug is on its way.” The hacker genius stated, twitching her head away from the attention Jade was offering. The Doctor relented reluctantly.
“We need to get there before the aliens stop us again.” Eve said, shifting in the smelly uncomfortable suit.
“No.” Cass said, distantly, taking the scrap off Jade and dabbing at her nose again.
“No?” Jamie queried.
“I killed them all.” She said, her voice hollow. Jade instinctively wrapped an arm around Cass and guided her forwards. Everyone was hurting, but Jade could forget her own pain if she was helping others. They moved off at a slower pace towards the landing Starbug.
“How long do we wait?” Jamie asked, having settled himself into a corner on a cabinet next to the chairs.
“As long as we ha…” Jay began, as he boarded the Starbug causing everyone to jump slightly and pausing as Cass emerged from the bathroom in an oversized JMC issue jump suit that hung off one shoulder, her hair wet glistening, droplets of water beading down her chest… He swallowed and turned away.
“Nice robe.” Cass smirked as Jay turned his back on the group in the bug.
“What?” He said, craning over his shoulder to see what all the laughing was for. “Ah smeg!” He scowled and rushed into the cockpit shutting the door, the edges of his backless gown flapping in his wake.

Eve felt dirty and not just because she was covered in bug goo from the suit she was wearing. This whole place was tainted by hate and death. The things those bug people did to them was beyond words. Eve really wished Jaxx was here for her to hold right now. Even seeing Jay exposing his butt for all to see was hard for Eve to find amusing as she felt alone from the others. Even standing next to them she felt like she was distant from them. As Eve looked at the other dwarfers they seemed to be in their own worlds filled with dark emotions. Perhaps this place made them face their nightmares and they are still dealing with their baggage. After helping Jade get on the starbug, Eve found a quiet place to sit in the back away from the others. If they asked she told them she felt gross in the suit and she had nothing else to wear. As the crew waited for everyone to get on board, Eve looked at the others and saw they were all in a bad way. Jade was recovering from surgery and nightmares, Jamie was acting primal like he did on Fernandos & Cass was scary and hostile. After the others got on board Eve watched as they were either angry or starring at the floor.

Plisken climbed into Starbug, probably the last one on board. Inside were all the Dwarfers… except one. Plisken took nothing of it and presumed that Phi was just late, she usually was, and took a seat opposite Cass at the table. Plisken’s eyes burned into Cass, the grey storms of his eyes whipped up into a maelstrom.
“We need to talk when we get back,” Plisken said softly, so that no-one else heard, but tried to retain an edge to his words.
“We need to talk now,” Cass said, brushing aside Plisken’s words. Starbug’s doors slide closed and the engines began to hum. Plisken’s head whipped around wildly as he searched for Phi. Cass didn’t say anything else but Plisken knew, he was old enough to know. In anger he stood up and kicked the chair away from him, the metal frame clattering across the kitchen floor.
Damn it.

Eve was nervous as she saw Plisken get angry at Cass on the ship as they mentioned Phi wasn’t coming with them. Eve sighed as that could only mean two things, either Phi decided to stay on this planet and make a home for herself or she was dead. By the reactions of Cass and Plisken it didn’t look like Phi was creating a new homestead with the locals. Eve stared at the ground as she thought about when they lost Davie and Kat in the past. She remembered how sad Jaxx got when Davie died and how he was after he buried him with the Ssala. Then she remembered seeing how sad the others got when Kat died and now Phi was dead as well. Eve tried to think of something else to make her feel better but when she thought of seeing Jaxx again she began to cry. Eve remembered Jaxx was still in trouble and she wasn’t even allowed to be with him anymore. To make things worse she was worried that Jaxx was in a deep depression since all he would do is watch the tele. As the tears came rolling down her cheek she realized just how alone she was. It was bad enough that Eve was not technically friends with any of the others nor was she popular like Jay. Eve reflected on her past when she had talked to the others she realized she really didn’t have much in common with them other than being on the crew of the Blue Dwarf. If the circumstances were different and they met at a club on Earth they would most likely never know each other. Like it or not they were stuck with each other for the good and the bad times. Eve looked out the side window as she waited till they got back to the Dwarf wishing things would get better.

The engine roar reverberated through the wall of the starbug that he was leaning against. A familiar roar, a friendly roar. Something in the back of his mind said 'the stabiliser needs recalibrating...' and he closed his eyes again.
What felt like seconds later, he was woken up by a hand shaking him gently.
"Whu?" He said, his voice a little deeper than usual, and hoarse. He looked around, a confused look on his face. The access ramp at the back of the starbug was open, and the familiar sounds of the Blue Dwarf drew him to his feet.. and hands...
"Umm... are you ok?" Jade said, hoping to have been able to clean the wounds on his arms to prevent infection. Jamie took a deep breath, and looked down at himself. Then, he stood to almost full height, no longer supporting himself with his hands, like a gorilla, but still leaning over.
"I'm... fine..." He said, slowly. "just need time."
"You need to come to the medi-bay; I need to clean your arm." Jade replied. Jamie was still wearing nothing but the loin-cloth at this point, but he consented, and walked with the doctor, though it was more of a lope than a walk.
Jade was naturally walking a bit further away from him than she normally would, as Jamie looked on edge, ready to pounce at anything unexpected. Cass was in the medi-bay already, dealing with her nose-bleed when the door opened in front of Jamie.
He glanced at her, then a harder look as he walked in. A feral, predator like growl in the back of his throat, that sounded something mixed between a roar and a purr.


After Eve helped get the wounded to the med bay she left when they were not looking and headed for her quarters. Of course it wasn’t till she tried to get in that she realized they were locked and Jaxx was still inside. Eve needed to hear his voice again so she knocked on the door and buzzed the intercom. Jaxx tried to ignore the noise as he was watching the tele. Eventually Jaxx replied in his Vader voice, “Go away Flyboy I am still here!” Eve was hurt by Jaxx’s tone so she pounded on the door and yelled, “Jaxx this is your wife dammit! You get your lazy butt off that tele and pay attention to me now! Or so help me I will make this punishment seem like a vacation to you understand?” Jaxx was confused by Eve’s response as he turned around and turned off the tele before heading to the door and putting his claw head on the door. Eve said, “Jaxx baby? How are you holing up?” Jaxx replied, “Not so good Eve babe. I am kinda scared right now.” Eve asked, “What’s wrong Jaxx? Please tell me.” Jaxx made the asthmatic sound of heavy breathing before he replied, “I like think I am loosing it Eve babe. I am totally having a hard time remembering some stuff.” Eve was concerned as she asked, “Like your past or the present?” Jaxx replied, “Naww Eve babe it’s not like that. I can totally remember all the details of meeting you on Fernandos and all the stuff we did to now with amazing clarity.” Eve asked, “So what are you having trouble with then?” Jaxx sighed as he replied, “I am totally having trouble remembering how to feel stuff. Eve began to tremble, as she knew where he was heading with this conversation. Then Eve asked, “Please explain it to me Jaxx. I am not an engineer you know.” Jaxx replied, “I can’t remember how food or drinks taste anymore.”

Eve began to cry as she had seen this before on a sci-fi movie. The hero was trapped in a robot after saving the universe but at the cost of his humanity. In the end the hero ended his own life since he saw no hope to continue living. Eve trembled as she didn’t want that to be Jaxx’s reality and replied, “Maybe its just a glitch from not eating or drinking in a long time.” Jaxx replied, “Maybe your right Eve babe. But......” Eve was now shaking as she heard the last word from Jaxx and did her best to compose herself as she replied, “But what Jaxx? Your mind is just numb from watching the tele to long. Trust me I know what that’s like.” Jaxx thought about what Eve said and replied, “Eve babe I am having trouble feeling anything anymore. When I remember Davie’s death I used to totally get sad but now I feel nothing. When I remember dying all those times I use to get scared but now I feel nothing. When I think of the other crewmembers I like totally had mixed emotions about them, but now I feel nothing.” Eve put her forehead on the door and said, “Jaxx Phi is dead. She died on the planet after some aliens tried to kill us.” Jaxx thought about what Eve said and replied, “Sorry Eve babe I am sure the others will miss her.” Eve was trembling as she heard Jaxx had no feeling in his tone for the loss of Phi. Then Eve worked up the courage to ask the big question she knew she would have to ask soon. Eve said, “So now you are just some unfeeling robot that just wants to watch the tele for the rest of your life?” Jaxx looked at the tele and then at the door as he replied, “The only time I feel anything anymore is when I remember you Eve babe. I remember the feeling I got from our movie nights when I watch the tele. Its like all I have left to hold onto.” Eve smiled behind her tears as she replied, “Its going to be ok Jaxx just don’t let go of that feeling. I promise I will find a way to get you back into your body. Just promise me you will hold onto that feeling. Please baby can you do that for me?” Jaxx replied, “Ok Eve babe but it helps if I hear your voice.

Eve looked at herself in the slimy suit and said, “Well I do need to get cleaned up so would you mind if I talk to you from the bathroom next door?” Jaxx replied, “That would be cool Eve babe.” Evelina then had Holly patch Jaxx’s intercom to the data pad she left in the room she was borrowing since Jay locked her room. After Holly linked Jaxx’s room to Eve’s data pad she headed next door to rinse off in the shower as she told Jaxx about what happened on the planet. After her shower Eve soaked in some scented bath salts she picked up when she had to get more personal items. As she soaked in the foamy tub Eve continued her story about what they had to deal with on the planet. Jaxx listened to every word as Eve did most of the talking. After her long bath Eve felt refreshed and had a snack from her private food stock. Jaxx was slightly amused by hearing Eve talk while she was eating. As Eve was done eating she realized that she could do video on her data pad and asked Jaxx if his intercom speaker was working. Jaxx had Holly set up the link so he could see Eve in her black silk pajamas lying on the bunk bed. Eve was happy to see Jaxx listening to her story. Jaxx was impressed that she did so well with the Gibbles on her own and told her she was awesome. After talking for hours on end Eve eventually fell asleep holding the data pad. Jaxx was torn that he could no longer sleep but opted to watch Eve sleep. She looked so peaceful when she slept. As Jaxx thought about his situation he knew he didn’t have a choice he needed to keep his mind together if he wanted to be with Evelina again. Jaxx focused on his feeling for Evelina as he sat motionlessly watching her sleep. It sent a warm feeling in Jaxx’s circuits when he heard Eve purr in her sleep. Jaxx wasn’t sure if that was normal for a GELF or just Eve, but he got used to it when he started sharing a room with her. It was that sound that gave him hope in his quest to be with Eve again. Even though the thought of a woman snoring was considered annoying by most Jaxx needed to hear that sound in his life to give him strength.


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