The Vessel: Chapter 5

Marle cocked her head up to look Travis in the eyes - his CG eyes - and responded meekly "No."

"Marle... I think we do," Travis was cautiously adamant in this need to speak to her.

Marle laid herself out on the edge of the cot and stared at the ceiling. "Travis, I'd rather not... now please go away," Marle spoke, fatigued and automatically.

"Marle please," Travis trailed off. His voice was soft and even as his avatar looked around the room. He spoke with sorrow in him when he spoke again "your scaring me."

"There is nothing to fear Travis," Marle simply said, emotion far too even, "now, please, leave me alone."

"Not until you tell me what's going on," Travis simply stated, anxiety bleeding through his expression, "please Marle, I don't want to see you like this."

"Then don't!" Marle turned to him, "Go tend to the ship or something: you're a pile of circuits, not a council..."

"God dammit Marle!" Travis grew in rage, "I'm a Nigh... I'm more than that rubbish that they weld together on Mars or Hichi*. I don't just simply read sensors and fly the fucking ship you know.

"Speaking of which, Marle..." he took a deep breath and in a calmer, more sympathetic tone continued: "I swear, something snapped in you... I mean, you flew into this... this... insane tirate, and I swore you kept going on about not letting them kill me and selling you, and that they were pirates.

"Marle... I want to help, believe me," there was a pause as Travis meekly remarked "I watched a crew go mad on me... your reminding me of that."

"I don't have space sickness Travis," Marle replied quietly.

"Then tell me what's wrong... please Marle," Travis spoke in a sad desperation, "We're going to be with eachother for a while, I want to understand you."

There was a silence. It was a cold on as Marle looked back up the ceiling. "You can't help me anymore than you already have..." her voice was even and matter of factly, "Its too late."

"too late for...?" Something inside Travis made him realize something as he asked her in a sympathetic tone "How exactly did you come about being on the Phoneix-Belle?"

There was another pause. Marle stared at her shoes as she thought on what Travis asked of her.

"It was pirates," Marle softly spoke, "I... I was in the engine room... safe and sound..."

"Marle, I'm so sorry," Travis responded, "I... I see it."

"I heard everyone on the bridge... everything Travis," Marle spoke with a ring of slow panic, "I heard everything in the cargo bay..." she bent over and layed her head against her lap.

"A freighter I assume," Travis asked.

"I heard it all in the intercom," Marle went on, "There were four others. Three of them were killed."

"Oh, another one escape?" Travis seemed optimistic.

"She was captured..." Marle softly cried, "The captain spoke something about Fra'gatta..."

"Oh... on dear," Travis replied in a sinking tone, "I'm so sorry."

“I mean, I was in the engine room,” Marle softly weeped on, “I could have done something...”

“Marle, you couldn't have known,” Travis quickly replied in ernest.

“They were pirates,” Marle snapped as the tears came, “What do you think pirates do? They lie. They kill. They abuse. I should have done something. Stupid Bile, did he really think they would spare him and us?”


“I had the controls of the ship with me, I could have, and should have, macguavered something, I know I should have...”

“You were in a freighter, and they were superior in their armorment, no?” Travis asked, his desire for calm opaque in his vioce.

“Still... oh why did Bile let them board?” Marle kept on going, “He should have known they were lying... he should have known.”

“He was in a tough situation, and that pirate vessel would have fired if he told them to shove their offer up their asses,” at this point Travis was getting impatiant... not that anyone asked him to do this... other than worry of having a psychotic roommate.

There was a pause. As Marle gathered her thoughts she looked back up at Travis and his cgi image. “Travis,” she meekly spoke, “I... I don't know what to do.”

“Neither do I,” Travis replied with a vague smirk, “I'm just making it up as I go along.”

“Seriously, I... those people weren't bad people,” Marle sheepishly remarked.

“I know,” Travis replied, “I know they weren't.

“Course, now we are lost in space, trying to find our way, the past is the past... there wasn't anything you could have done: there were no repair droids to dismatle, was there? Did the freighter have a plasma array on it?” In a pause Travis got his answer. “There, Marle, my friend, you have been absolved. The past is the past, and the future is coming, and we have eachother... you and I in a dark universe.”

“Friend, Travis?” Marle asked in an curious humour.

“Why not?” Travis simply replied, “Its going to be a long trip, I hope we can at least be friendly.”

Marle nodded as she looked at her feet over the edge of the bed. “Would it make you think less of me if I told you I was scared?” she quietly asked.

“No, I wouldn't,” Travis replied, “I... I think were both scared.

“Let's be scared together.”
*Hichi is a colony in the Alpha-Centery system that is a leader in military technology, including automated kill-bots