Warp Riders – Chapter 2

They agreed after the second or third cycle that the green sunlight was awful, and most of the crew took to sleeping during the sunlit parts of the day, and puttering around in the planet-lit dusk.

On the fourth night, as the dusk brightened on the horizon and the rest of the crew were filing into their mercifully dark tents, the Navigatrix pulled the Captain aside. She gestured with her eyes to the Stowaway, who was dusting themselves off fastidiously before going to bed.

“Have you made any progress on talking to them yet?”

The Captain frowned. “No.”

“When were you thinking of figuring that out?”

“I wasn’t. I’m busy.”

They were standing on the edge of the high plateau, and the Captain watched the tide pull the lake water away from them.

She had been flying with the Navigatrix for years before they left time; they used to work so well together. But now the Navigatrix had this … this pitying look on her face, and it was getting on the Captain’s nerves.

“You don’t seem to be doing that much,” she said gently, her eyebrows tightening a bit. It was infuriating.

“Well, no, I can’t, can I? Because someone crashed my ship on this damp moon while I did a routine computer reset!”

The Navigatrix did not have the grace to look at all guilty. And, to be fair, none of them knew how things had gone this wrong; they’d been safely outside time.

“Well, Captain, it seems somewhat urgent that you prioritize communicating with our quiet friend.” The Navigatrix paused, and leaned down and put her hand on the Captain’s shoulder. “I think they may know more about this whole debacle than we guessed.”

The Captain didn’t sleep after that; she just stared at the seam of her tent as it leaked green sunlight.

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