Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language and violence.
>>Beginning introduction program, take forty-six.
>Welcome to The Jupiter (Skeld Model ̢̋̆̆̒W̢ͥ͆a̸̓̏̿͌ͯ̑̇̊͆̌̄͠ŗ̡̄̀̂͌ͨ̀̑̍̋ͣͪ̿̀s̷͑̎ͩ̃͗͋̕̕t͛̽̏ͨ̓ͭ͝͏̸͆̌̄r̵̸̄̀̂͌ͨ̀̈́̇̿̽̃́͛́ͣ̀ĩ̧͊ͯͨ̇̽͋̂́̊ͦ͐͌͏k̛ͬ̋͒̎͑ͫ͐͐̚̕̕ȅ̡-ͬ̐̂͑͗̓͟͡B̵̸̶ͬ́͋̅̾̆́̊̂ͭ̽̈ͤ͞7́ͭ̒ͤ͗ ), Officer. You have been hand-selected from a group of highly capable, intelligent beings from all over the galaxy to help guide this ship in its mission across the universe.
The holoscreen glowed a soft blue, pulsing with light. The words appeared along the bottom, in time with the human on screen speaking. He looked to have Hispanic origins; richly tanned skin and dark eyes that sparkled with warmth. His hair had been shaved close to his scalp, inky black with a thin scar running from his ear to the corner of his temple. His voice was a smooth tenor, filled with the same warmth as his gaze. He gestured offscreen and an Avian took his place, clearing her throat with a quiet, awkward smile shot towards the camera.
"Why'd you have to leave me?" Fingers danced across a floating keyboard in beat to the quiet, choked off voice.
>>Are you sure you would like to restart this introduction program? All progress will be lost.
>>Beginning introduction program, take forty-seven.
The monotone, metallic voice trailed off into a series of low humming, the video replacing the text on the screen and beginning again.
>Welcome to The Jupiter...
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"Purple! What are you doing? You're supposed to be in Navigation." It took a few seconds for the color to register, she still wasn't used to being referred to as 'purple' opposed to her name, Lyra.
"Coral-" She started, spinning around to face the Sproutling as he crossed his arms, leaves and stem twitching with irritation.
"Don't Coral me. Who's in Navigation if you're not?"
"Yellow said that he'd take over my job so I could have lunch if I finished his wires."
"And you listened to him? That Feli is an idiot, to put it lightly." She wished she could see Coral's expression; instead stuck imagining narrowed green eyes behind a pitch black glass visor, mouth curled downwards in disapproval.
"What a great way to speak about your fellow crewmate." Lyra said, turning back to her- Yellow's- wires with a roll of her eyes. Coral's feet shuffled against the metal floor of Electrical, rasping in the quietness of the room.
"There, done. Come grab some food with me, I'm starving." She said, glancing over at Coral who nodded.
"We'll have to talk to Gray, Lime and uh, Maroon after though." He said, falling into step next to Lyra as they made their way towards the Cafeteria.
"May I ask why?" She questioned, shooting him a concerned look. Anything involving both the Gunner, Navigator, and the Leading Tactical Officer definitely sounded like something to be concerned about.
"Nothing too serious, we're simply heading into a more dangerous territory and I want them to know so they can prepare for it."
"Ah, makes sense." The darkened hallways gave way to the bright Cafeteria, doors sliding open to admit them. The duo separated, heading opposite ways to get their food.
Coral got his first, trailing a few steps behind Lyra while the food synthesiser churned it out, whirring loudly.
"Might have to get that fixed, sounds like it's close to breaking again."
"Damnit. I'll help you find Gray, Maroon, and Lime then I guess I'll hunt down Blue." Her nose wrinkled involuntarily at that thought. Blue was notoriously hard to find, even with the smaller size of their ship. Her food beeped and she scooped it up, shoving a bite in her mouth and following Coral out of the Cafeteria once again.
Coral snickered softly at her dramatics, footsteps echoing across the metal walkways.
"Graayy? Marooon? Limee-"
"Yeah?" That was Gray, the Elde's head poking out of the Admin doors, gesturing for them to come over.
"Coral wants to talk to you guys." Lyra said as Gray nodded and moved out of the doorway to let Coral in. He waved before disappearing behind Gray's gangly legs, only reaching up roughly halfway to the Elde's thighs. "Bye, I've got to go find Blue." She offered a smile to Gray, even if they couldn't see before scurrying away towards Lower Engine.
She delved further into the ship, letting her gloved fingers skate across the smooth metal walls in an invisible trail towards the left side of the ship.
The ship lurched with a disheartening thud, tossing her harshly into the doorway of Security. She yelped as dull pain shot up her side, spreading like a burning wildfire across her torso and rib cage. She doubled over, vomiting. Acid burnt her mouth, bitter as she swiped a hand across her lips in an attempt to clear the taste from them.
"Blue? Fuck, where are you?" Her voice held a shaky tremor as she pushed out of the Security room, nails digging into the thick fabric of her suit in an attempt to stem the pain pulsating throughout her side. Her mouth was dry as cotton, bile thick in the back of her throat, burning, blistering.
The air was thick, compressing around her, like the soup Yellow liked to make from his home planet, but it had a metallic smell; coppery in origin. Something dark coiled in her gut, a snake raising its head and hissing softly in discomfort. The smell was nauseatingly strong, or maybe it was just her senses, but whatever it was, it scorched the inside of her nose.
The Reactor door was half-open, lights flashing scarlet and green warnings that illuminated the hallway with its brightness. She blinked, letting the helmet face darken in response before edging forward, the scent curling around her body like an obedient dog, brushing against her and she fought against the sudden bout of nausea.
A ladder lay discarded in the corner, by Simon Says, tilted awkwardly on its side. Tools had been scattered throughout the whole room, like toys strewn about by a fitful toddler. It was dim in Reactor, an alarm steadily beeping from the lump in the corner.
Lump in the corner?
"Blue! Holy shit, are you alright?" Lyra stumbled over to Blue, feet sliding against the unusually slick floor. Slick floor. Slick floor- She looked down, dark liquid coating her boots in crimson.
"Oh my god, oh my god." Panic scrabbled at her lungs, at her stomach, at her throat, pulling and tugging until she couldn't breathe. Air eluded her, just out of her grasp, as she doubled over, retching. Clearish bile splattered on the tiled floor, mixing with the blood in a watery, spreading across the floor like a pink flower angling its head towards the sun, petals askew. Tendrils snaked in thin streams, following the contours of the ground, flowing away.
"Blue- Blue-" Her tongue tripped on the name, heavy in her mouth, weight pushing down on her shoulders until she collapsed on her knees next to Blue, fingers scrabbling around the helmet in search for the release. There was something protruding from their throat, neon yellow and sharp, digging into the vulnerable area of the spacesuit, impaling Blue like a limp piece of beef on a skewer. The thought alone made sickness rear its ugly head in her stomach, chest heaving, mouth dry as cotton.
The release caught, helmet cracking open with a low hiss of air to expose a human with ivory skin, freckles dotting across their face. No, not freckles, blood. Lyra choked, taking in the sight of the young- young, they couldn't have been older than fifteen- human, brushing aside a damp strand of hair. Startling blue eyes stared back up at her, sightless but terror etched into every line of their face.
With the low lights from the inside of the helmet illuminating the surrounding area, Lyra let her gaze slid downwards to see what caused this. A screwdriver had been jammed into their throat, buried straight through and poking out of the skin on the other side. Blood oozed out with every movement, coating their torso like a scarlet bib, dried and clotting in some spots. A hint of pearly white shone through in the light and Lyra backed away, gagging. They smelled like death; too early for rot but Lyra could imagine it. The sickly sweet smell of rotting fruit paired with the heavier smell of rancid meat.
"What the fuck-" Lyra tilted her head to the side to look at the newcomer with blurry eyes, salt dripping down her cheeks.
"I- I don't know what happened..." Her voice fell to a dull whisper, Rose rushed forward and wrapped her in a loose embrace, radiating heat and warmth and comfort.
"It's not your fault, okay? We need to talk to the rest of the crew."
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