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She heard him muttering darkly to himself through the med bay door

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She heard him muttering darkly to himself through the med bay door. Of course, it was locked. Calponia quietly drummed her fingers on the metal, listening for something. His footsteps were silent, but she knew, he hovered on the other side.

"Are you going to let me in?"

"That might not be wise." A long pause. "What are you doing here?"

She swallowed hard, pressing her forehead against the door. "I made a promise didn't, I?" She could hear the gush of his breath through the barrier and wondered if he shared her pose. Her heart pinched as she placed a hand flat on the lukewarm metal. "And now I need a new one from you."


"Next time he comes, you let him take me," she breathed, the words leaving her mouth bone dry.

In the weighted pause that followed her words, she could almost picture his confusion and anger. "I can't make that promise."

"You have to keep Mack alive."

"He can bloody well keep himself alive," Eugene snapped. "Much better than I can, might I add."

She smiled. "I don't know about that," she said, closing her eyes. She wished she had time for other words, other promises, wished that she could shake the sensation of time running out and the dwindling possibilities between them. "Whatever he did to himself to be this way, Henderson was holding back."

There was a long pause. "I know."

"And Mack, he's not..." Her words faltered. Whole.

"I know," Eugene repeated, the words softer and edged with emotion she couldn't define. "We've forgotten something important, someone important."

The hair rose on the back of her neck. "We?"

"The ship is slowing down."

Calponia shuddered at the sensation of pressure along her spine. As if someone trod over her grave. She never thought that was a real thing. "Never a dull moment." Her fingers curled in. "The Krakens are here."

"Calponia, wait."

"We should be up there," she said, stumbling slightly as the door suddenly slid open. Her eyes widened. "Nevermind, I should be up there."

Eugene winced. "I assure you, I'm fine."

She bit back her retort as she stared at him. He was terribly pale, more so than normal, a gauntness to his features that worried her. Not to mention his 'outfit.' Her lips twitched at what was clearly one of Ravelock's crushed velvet surcoats, a deep violet with a spill of lace at the throat. "You look like the lead singer of a metal opera group."

He frowned at her. "I'm not sure that's an insult or not." He pulled the coated at his shoulders, ripping the lace from his throat with a snarl. "It itched."

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