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RP [Exodus] Aside 2: Queen of the Lorath

Alex Hart

Well-Known Member
RP Date
YE 40, 六月 (rokugatsu) 5th through 七月 (shichigatsu) 8th
RP Location
Pacifica system, planet Hope
eOsman Heavy Industries industrial fleet, ships 1-5.

En Route to the Pacifica system via Yamataian trade routes through the Yugumo cluster.

The industrial fleet, composed of 5 massive freighters-come-factories glided through space. The shortcut through this belt of asteroids would shave a full week off their transit, and if need be their weapons could break up any of the rocks in their way.

The bridge was minimally crewed, as no one expected much of anything to happen. The young man manning the sensors was just nodding off to sleep when the terminal in front of him flashed and let out a startling bleeping noise.

He looked at the screen with squinted eyes. There was a weak power signature, and faint life signs directly in the path ahead of them.

It was something small and hidden behind the normal static of space that was radiation and all the other goodies, but today it seemed salvation came in the form of a half-asleep sensor monitor.

The life signs were weak, slowed as if frozen, and that's cause they were. Drifting in a lazy spin through space was a cryo-pod that had seen better days. Scorch marks, pock marks, and other various signs of damage not to mention dated technology. It was a marvel the inhabitant was even still alive.

The crewman quickly showed his findings to the senior crewman in charge of the bridge. Quickly the pod was brought in, as it was understood among the crew that in space everyone had to help everyone else. A crash net was hastily erected and a cargo bay opened up. The pod seemed to glide in smoothly until it entered the gravity field inside the ship, and suddenly it dropped, skidding along the floor of the cargo bay until it slammed into the crash netting.

The crash was the straw that broke the camel's back, but the cryo-pod failed with grace and preserved the life of its occupant. However, the cryo seal was broken and the suspended animation ended.

As the door of the pod popped open just a crack, words from outside the pod were audible.

"-et down there now, make sure whoever's in there is OK. Someone get a doctor down here now!"

As the recovery team approached the pod, the damage was apparent and they wasted no time moving the occupant onto a stretcher.

As the pod crashed to the deck, the last few moments of power would blare a sudden warning alarm. Whether that was about the failure of the pod or the state of the occupant would be tough to discern as they would start to pull her out.

Bloody, beaten to within an inch of her life and probably past it truthfully, it was a marvel the woman was alive from the way she looked. Covered in burn marks with singed hair, her left eye was covered in glass cut deep into her eye. Her hair, long at most points was a stark white with colors of red through it though dye or blood was unsure at this point. Elven ears tipped with tufts of fur, once they would get past the damage visible on her face and part of her right ear missing, they would notice her size.

She was tall, huge even. Dressed in her armor as she was already, a half torn stoneweaved baldric loosely resting across her chest, her wings were even a hassle as they were forced to fight with all 6'7" of her body. The armor on her chest was broken somewhat, dented in towards her ribs in a sickly sign of power. The rest of her clothing was simple pants that seemed to her plates of armor sewn into, though the clothing on one leg was torn open and a jagged wound could be seen on the leg as if a large portion of the bone had protruded from the skin.

Even without doing a scan it would be easy to see the woman was in bad shape. Even easier to figure out as she started trying to breathe on her own, only to start gasping with a disgusting wet sucking of air, what little she could manage.

The paramedic on the scene quickly injected the woman with two IVs, one with saline and a sedative, the other with oxygenated fluid to provide lifegiving oxygen to her body. She was quickly bourne to the ship's medical facility, similar in scope to a small clinic, complete with several floors and rooms.

The woman on the stretcher simply let her eye roll around, trying to make heads or tails of what was going on, but between the damage and the cryo revival, her mind was unable to focus. She was in a bad place as her one good eye went in and out of focus. Blood began to drip from her eye with the glass in it and from her ears as well.

Surgery began almost immediately, with the glass and other foreign bodies being the first priorities. It took an hour to remove all of them safely. After that, came internal wounds. Collapsed lungs, internal bleeding and a myriad of other injuries were addressed over the course of 5 hours of surgery. Finally, external wounds were treated, and incisions were sealed.

The entire process had taken a total of 9 hours, including preparation and cleanup. The woman now lay in a hospital-style room, several IVs hooked up to her arm and with doctors hanging over her at all times.

It was a number of hours later, close to half a day before the patient awoke. Groaning at first as she groggily came back to awareness, the Lorath woman stirred and began to weakly paw at the various implements doting her body keeping an eye on her vitals and feeding her with life-saving blood and IV fluids.

Finally forcing an eye open she began to seemingly panic at the lack of sight from her other eye not really realizing it had been covered to allow to heal. She tried her voice, calling out in her own native tongue a few times.

"He-help! Where am I?" Her voice was weak and strained, full of fear at her predicament. Last she remembered after all were black mindys and the demon cats within.

The doctors in the room looked back and forth. No one seemed to understand what she was saying and one of them turned to the man who appeared to be the chief doctor and whispered something, before patting the injured woman on the shoulder and making soothing noises as she adjusted the levels of sedative. "There there, you're safe now..." Was all the injured woman would be able to make out as she went under.

By the time she would wake up again, there was a translating device in the room.

She fought the sedative, weakly of course, but she didn't want to give up so easily. Swiping pathetically at the woman that came forward, a large had would tap her before she fell back under the influence of the medicine.

Next, she awoke she took a moment to collect herself before moving. The woman struggled to sit up, forcing herself to move into a more dignified position. She began to look around to see who was there before she spoke in trade.

"Where am I?" Was her first question to whoever was near, one icy blue eye searching for faces and answers.

"You're aboard one of the ships of Osman Heavy Industry's industrial fleet. We found you floating in space inside a damaged cryo-pod." A young man said, "I trust you're feeling better now? If you're well enough to eat we can get you some solid food rather than a nutrient drip."

"Everything hurts and I feel like a Berog has been sleeping on my chest, so no, I feel like hell. But I suppose I can try..." The woman said aloud as she looked around. "Where did you find me? You said I was floating in space?"

"Yes, in an asteroid field in the Yugumo cluster. We found you while we were taking a shortcut through it."

"So then where are those accursed cats at?!" The large woman said as she slammed a fist into the table. The reverberation sent pain rocketing into her shoulder before she winced, holding her arm.

"Where is the caravan? Where is my ship at?!" She demanded, fighting to turn and try ti get to her feet.

"This caravan is now exiting the Yugumo cluster, on it's way to a newly found nebula to the southeast of the Kikyo sector." The young man said to her, "And I don't know where your ship is. The internal computer on the cryo-pod we found you in said you've been in animation for about 7 years. It's YE 40 now."

"Seven years? I don't take jokes very well when my people are in danger. Where is the Mihi'Ruda? Where are my people?" She stood then and even clothed in the gown with cords attached to her as she was, the woman was imposing.

"I demand you tell me what happened to the LSDF Mihi'Ruda immediately. I will not be taken for a fool nor a prisoner, I have a right to know!"

The woman demanded answers, yet if anyone assembled looked up the ship name, they would see it had indeed been lost in YE-33.

"Ma'am I don't know that ship name, but I can check Yamatai's historical records, and see if there's anything there." The man got up and walked away to a wall terminal. It took several minutes to pull up the information, but eventually, he walked back over.

"First of all, lie back down, doctor's orders." It was clear that the young man, though physically less intimidating than the woman, was not to be trifled with in his own workplace.

The woman stared down at the doctor, a glare leveled at him. "And since when does a doctor presume to order a queen around?" She demanded from him, trying to put on a brave front. It was only a second or two before she was light headed though, thumping back to a sitting position on the table.

"I don't care who you are, in here you're a patient. Now do you want to keep giving me attitude, or do you want the information you asked for?"

The woman hmphed but otherwise crossed her arms. It was a moment more before she was fighting the pain in her body to return to a laid out position. "I remember why I dislike doctors now." She muttered aloud before turning to look at the man.

"Well?" She asked, waiting. She was unaware of just how out of the loop she was.

"It was destroyed, with all hands reported lost."

For once, the woman was speechless as she forced her mind to work backward. The fist fight with the demonic cats, the heavy damage to her ship, the helpless situation as they had been ambushed... then her command to set the ship on a collision course. After that, it was all black until she woke up here.

Closing her one good eye she fought a losing battle with her tears before she spoke, her voice wavering.

"What... what of the Lorath? What of my people? Do they survive still?" She asked.

"Who?" The man seemed completely confused.

"The Lorath. We live in this cluster? Part of the UOC?" The woman asked, her heart rate starting to pick up.

"Oh, I've heard of the UOC. They used to control this area of space. I think they dissolved in YE 33. Hey, can someone go look up the lorath?"

Someone else got on the terminal.

The woman looked confused. Terribly confused as she went back to a sitting position. It felt odd laying there hearing all this terrible news.

"Dissolved? Wha-.... what of... look up Xiaah Harr'Ikke Destiny Tur'Lista. What does it say of her?" She asked aloud into the room around her, staring at her lap in fear.

The person at the terminal called out, "It looks like these lorath vanished about a year ago. Something about another universe and wormholes. "

"Give me a minute to look up this 'Destiny' person. God that's real cheesy name." They added on as an offhand comment.

The woman on the table bared her teeth, visible fangs growing longer as even her eye seemed to shift slightly.

"Vanished? I will not be lied to!" While her anger rose, so did her heart rate.

"Can someone transfer that to a datapad? Clearly, she won't believe it till she sees it herself."

Someone brought over a datapad to the bed, showing a state-sponsored Yamatain database, Omnipedia. It showed the information that the person at the terminal had read off.

The woman snatched the pad rather roughly from their hand, eye quickly scanning over what she could read. Her grip tightened on the pad as she began to shake. Figuring out how to look up information in the omnipedia, she looked up the woman asked about before.

At the same time as the others would see the obituary, they would see a picture of a rather beautiful woman with long white hair, black wings half cut off from picture cropping, and icy blue eyes along with two distinctive scars above her eyes, just like the woman before them.

It seemed the woman had been the queen of this race the Lorath.

It was strange for Destiny to see her own obituary though and after a moment of staring at her picture, she couldn't help it any longer. The pad dropped to her lap as she let her face fall into her hands and she began to cry softly.

"Huh, well look at that. We're in the room with a dead queen." The person at the wall terminal said as the information popped up for them. "My apologies for your loss your highness." The apology didn't seem very sincere.

"Are you done?" Destiny asked, not sparing him a look but the absolute venom dripping from each syllable would make her expression in her hands known easily enough.

"I awaken to hear my family gone and I've been presumed dead for years and I get a half-assed uncaring doctor that seems more worried about how he looks before his subordinates then worrying for his patient!" To say Destiny wasn't used to such callous treatment was an understatement. Either that or in her life she had become fed up with it from people she could probably crush with her own two hands.

The doctor didn't seem intimidated. "I've got more important things to worry about right now than some pissy royalty. In here, you're a patient and you get treated the same way I treat all my patients. No special treatment for anyone. I'm too busy keeping everyone on this ship from dying for a myriad of reasons to worry about anyone's feelings."

He stood up and looked down at the woman in the bed. "I spent 9 straight hours working on saving your life, and now I've got other people to worry about keeping alive.

Destiny oddly seemed to fall silent as she thought to herself. "Nine hours? How bad was I?" The woman seemed to contemplate her position just then, silent for what was more then likely a few blissful moments for the doctor before she spoke.

As she did her voice was much more meek then her bossy commanding tone before.

"I apologize. This is... it's just a lot to take in at once. I do appreciate you and your staff's efforts to revive me." The queen admitted sitting there hunched in the shoulders now.

"I'll put it this way, it was bad enough that if anyone else gets hurt badly on this trip, I might not be able to do a very good job. And I don't need your appreciation, this is my job." The doctor paused.

"Though it is nice to get a thank you once and a while!" By the end of the sentence, the doctor had turned to look at his crewmates with a telling stinkeye.

Destiny seemed to smirk a little at the doctor turning on his compatriots as she began to flip through anything she could find on the Lorath.

"Can I borrow this?" Destiny asked, holding the pad up to show what she was speaking about to the others.

"Sure, but stay in this bed until I say you're good to walk around. I won't be happy if you undo all my work. I've got to go attend to other idiots."

"Yes, doctor." Destiny said, the smirk a little more playful as she continued to do research. Much of it was a struggle to take in as she did, only crying a few times as she watched various news reports and articles. The one that seemed to give her most pause was of her children laying flowers at her grave. It took her a bit before she would move on.

After another few hours of reading and recovery, Destiny decided to try her feet. She was cautious, not wanting to strain the overworked doctor as she began to move around the room a bit. She would sit a few times as she caught her breath, but eventually, she found herself detached from the machinery and heading out into the halls with a bit better clothing on than just a robe. Loose fitting pants and a sleeveless shirt that showed the side of her bandaged chest, she looked a right mess, but hours of sitting stirred her curiosity to explore.

A far younger crewman was the first to come across her. "Oh man..." Was what Destiny heard at first. "You shouldn't be walking around miss."

Destiny looked down at the crewman curiously, tilting her head as she smiled a little.

"I am taking care and being easy on myself. But I have been frozen for years and deserve a chance to stretch my legs yes? Besides I have begun healing myself up as best I can." She was much kinder then she had been when first awoken hours ago but that could be expected.

"How about you accompany me if you are not to busy? This way I can say I had an escort."

The pair started to walk. After a few moments, the young crewman asked; "So you used to be a queen?"

"I may still be if any of my people remain," Destiny replied to the smaller man.

"How long have you all been traveling the stars? You do not seem to have the same smell as many Nepleslians have."

"A little over a year. My people are from a planet that everyone else calls 188604. We don't really have a name for it ourselves. A few years ago it was taken over by this cat-woman. Nekovalkyria I think they're called. She was working with a bunch of mercenaries and they killed our rulers and took over."

The young man at a nearby viewscreen, which was showing the outside of the ship as if it were a window, even though they were nowhere near the outer hull of the ship.

"They didn't do a very good job though. At first, everything seemed fine..."

"Yamatai... Nekovalkyrja. Locust from the stars at times it seems." Destiny said aloud, seemingly recalling her own memories.

"They visited my planet as we were taking to the stars ourselves, and had us sign a treaty on the nose of a gunship."

"It was just one Neko I think. She named the new 'nation' after herself. If you can call it a nation. The whole thing started to collapse after about half a year. Everything was fine and there was expansion, led by a group called the skyguard for that first period of time, but ever since then, it's like the entirety of the nation has splintered into several groups, none of them working together. The skyguard could only do so much and Uso Tasuki, the Neko who took over, didn't seem to care."

"Our issues were different. Had we more to expand or catch up in terms of technology, I believe things would have been different. As it was, Yamatai was in the middle of a war and we were too far from their lines when they found us. Things just seemed to spiral from there." Destiny said aloud as she shook her head.

"I am sorry to hear about your home though."

"Did they try to help you at least? Yamatai, that is."

"In their own way, yes. But from start to finish the treaty left a foul taste in our mouth. They tried to strip away most of what we were, interfered often in our politics." Destiny could only shrug and sigh. "That said, we weren't any better in dealing with ourselves. Too much change too quick caused a rift."

The two walked for a while in silence. "So," The crewman asked suddenly, "What are you going to do after the ship reaches its destination?"

"I don't know. I have a duty to my people who were left her to lead them if they will even still take me. That said, do I even want to? For the first time in my life... I am free. I'm free to be whoever I want to be." The shock of such an idea seemed to hit Destiny a bit harder then she thought it would.

"I suppose that requires actually knowing who you want to be. I'm guessing you've never actually given it any thought before now."

"Since the day I was born I had a schedule. I had things to do, people to see, everything planned out. It is strange to not have responsibility."

The young man laughed awkwardly for a moment. "I'm not sure if I can really appreciate the scope, but boy do I know what it's like to be kept busy!" As he said that, an alarm went off and a voice spoke over the intercom. "All free hands down to the engine room please, we've got an overheating capacitor and we're going to need all the help we can get ferrying parts down here to fix it."

The young man winced. "I guess this is what you get when you buy used."

Destiny frowned in understanding, patting the man in the shoulder. "Go, I will be fine. I will make my way to the galley for some food. I would just be in the way down there I feel." She admitted, making a shooing motion toward him.

"You're probably right." The crewman said. "Be careful not to let the doctor catch you out and about." With that, he rushed away towards the back of the ship.

A moment later from down the corridor came an exasperated shout, clearly emanating from the doctor. "Oh for fuck's sake, why doesn't anyone ever listen to me!"

Destiny blinked a little as she tilted her head hearing the shout from the doctor. For a moment her curiosity almost got the better of her, but she thought twice and decided a strategic retreat was in her best interest. Turning a hall and walking away, she started to simply wander the ship.

Three Days Later

The industrial fleet was now landing on planet Hope, just outside the only city on the planet. The ship Destiny was on was the last to land, and as it did so she was being given some farewells by a few of the crew members.

"Remember, this is a new world and most of the people here have never heard of the Lorath before, so don't expect who you are to garner you any privelege." One crewman said as another handed her a bundle of clothes and a small ammount of Money. "Here's some clothes, as well as some money. This ought to be enought to buy you a small apartment or passage on a ship. It's all we could scrape together."

"I thank you all for your assistance in rescuing me," Destiny said with a smile as she clapped a fist over her heart and bowed. Her hair, cut shorter then it had been a day ago to get rid of the burned and damaged hair, fell over her shoulders to soread out the stark white hair like a curtain. Simple and pleasent loose fitting robes had been her clothing of choice to allow her wounds to breath easily enough.

As she took the money and smiled, knowing it rude to refuse gifts, she turned and began to walk down the ramp to her new home for the time being. She would stay here, see just what she could do for this place and maybe even enjoy some downtime. In the mean time she began looking for someone that could direct her. It wasn't tough to stick out as a 6'6" winged long-eared woman with stark white hair.

The most immediately visible object of interest in the city, which she quickly found out was known as Landing, was a giant spaceship being worked on in the center of the city. Visible even from the commercial district where she had disembarked. An educated guess would most likely place it at several kilometers long.

Destiny eyed the structure a little oddly as she wondered what in the name of the goddess it was needed for. She oushed on regardless, lugging her things behind her which included her dented and dinged up armor, the extra clothes that had been a part of the cryo-pod's extra supplies, and a hefty sum of precious gems that were tangled up with the clothes. It was an emergency pack of sorts, the gems currency that used to be used on Lor itself.

After a little wandering, Destiny eventually made her way to an information stand, still trying to find transportation or the like.

Destiny soon found a transportation hub, with service to a more central hub in the ex-UOC territories. There she could find passage to almost anywhere in the Kikyo sector, however the next ship wouldn't be there for four more days.

She had some time to kill now, and it was up to her what she wanted to do.

Destiny considered her options. There weren't many as she didn't have much in the way of life skills that could translate to actual work. Sure she had money, enough to get her where she needed, but she really didn't want to be tied down just then, no she wanted to explore. For the first time in her life, she was free.

Destiny opted to start doing small odd jobs. With her physical attributes it wouldn't be tough to do simple physical labor and those were the jobs she picked up. Easy jobs that would earn her enough cash quick that with her bag of gems, and a few other things sold, she could start saving for a ship to explore the stars, but that would take some time. For now, she needed to work. She went to the temp agency in effort to look for work.

Most of the jobs available were in manual labor. The city was very much still under construction from what Destiny could see, and there were innumerable jobs open for construction workers. However, there were also jobs open working on the ship in the middle of the city, and they paid far more, however, the hours were much longer as well.

Destiny tilted her head as she wondered just what all the ship work entailed. As she pulled up the info she walked to the counters where agents were helping.

"This ship work in the city, what all does it entail?" She asked as she highlighted the work.

"Mostly manual labor. There's a lot of it that needs doing and the construction mechs we have on hand aren't adequate, so we're having to take on normal workers. If you sign up now you'll have a choice between working on the critical systems, the hull or the interior city."

Destiny nodded. "I'll sign up for whatever pays the best." She asked before she gave her info to the agent. "Where do I report?"

"Work starts tomorrow morning at the bow of the ship. From there you'll be ferried to the interior city. Please sign here."

"Which ship?" Destiny asked as she signed the paperwork where instructed and waited for her answer.

"The Starlight Road, it's in the middle of the city. You can't miss it."

"Easy enough." Destiny said before she took her leave. She left for the city center after she left the office and began to look for somewhere to stay for the night near the city center, somewhere cheap. She didn't need comforts, just the necessities as she stopped every so often to look around or ask questions and directions.

Destiny soon found a relatively small hotel. There she could rent a room at a reasonable price, and a quick look over the offered amenities revealed that it would be a comfortable place to stay while she saved up to buy a ship. Likely it would have to be ordered from a large manufacturer, as no one on the planet had the rights to anything small enough for singe person transportation.

However, she could always buy used.

Destiny made sure to get a room with a view of the ship she was to work on. As she paid for and went up to her room, she went ahead and ordered a few things like more clothes and some food for the next few weeks. She sat on her bed and relaxed, starting to scan the net and see if she could find any used ships. It was always the plan, buying used as it would be cheaper and easier for her to get to the stars.

On a local listing site, Destiny was able to find two ship offers. One offered a Geshrinari Light Freighter for 18,000 ks, and the other an Origin Mule class light freighter for 11,000 ks.

Destiny saw the two freighters, pondering on both before she settled on the used Origin Class. She had spent a better part of her first night haggling for a finder for her gems, having to settle for a couple thousand KS to which she added to her pile. By now she had just around 7000 KS, but she would try to haggle the other ship later.

As she sent the owner of the ship a notice of interest, she flopped back on the bed and sighed. She would still need to work for a bit to save money for supplies as well as enough of a pool of cash should she wind up stranded or in trouble and need help. Eventually, she crawled into bed properly, getting under her covers to catch some sleep.

The next day, after arriving at the work site, Destiny was able to follow some other employees to a small car, which was then driven towards the enormous ship which loomed over the city. Simply getting from ground level up to the entrance took a good four or five minutes, in which time the true scale of the object became apparent. It had to be at least a half kilometer tall, maybe more.

Destiny certainly could appreciate the size of the ship, eyeing it to take in what she could from the outside as she made her way to the designated meeting area. The ship was massive, but as she was from a race of larger size, well she was used to some large things. That fact did nothing to diminish the scale of such a ship though.

The meeting area was inside the ship itself, just in front of an enormous 20 meter tall airlock. Over 600 people were gathered there, and there was what seemed to be a foreman standing on a raised area of the floor. He spoke into a megaphone, and addressed the crowd.

"Alright folks, I've been informed by the construction board that we've got new workers to help us with the work on the city. Today we're going to try to finish our work on the recreational district. That means laying grass seed in the park, paving the roads and getting a few buildings done in there. Let's get to work people."

Destiny just raised her brow at the idea of laying grass seed and paving roads, smirking at the concept of a Queen doing this. But this was her life now, she was Queen of nothing, and frankly, it would be nice to actually do something herself for once. She would follow the others along to the work area, staying quiet and generally to herself and as they arrived, she was quickly pushed off to the Building work. A hard hat, safety vest, and some tools were handed over to the taller woman as they figured she would be useful with her size and strength.

Except she wasn't...

Destiny had been born and raised as a Queen. Yes, she had been left in the wilderness to train for survival and trained in martial arts when she wasn't studying, but actually doing work was a whole nother adventure. She was quickly run off the site as she mixed up some building materials for the third time in barely two hours of work, and sent to the paving team. She barely lasted an hour there, the smell causing her to complain quite a bit before eventually, she settled in the park. A nice large bag of seed over her shoulder, quiet and left alone, and otherwise in the most nature-ish area in the ship... Destiny could do this job as she spread out seed every few steps.

The park was almost 'complete' as it were. There was a goodly forested area covering about a quarter of the park, as well as a large artificial pond. Aside from that, the park was very traditional. Footpaths wound throughout it, the tract of land punctuated occasionally by small trees, bushes, and benches. Other workers were scattering grass seed as well, and the work was progressing at a decent rate. Almost an hour into the work on the park and the grass seed had been spread over half of the park.

Destiny would finish one bag, return for a second and start spreading that. She hated this mindless work, just simply spreading seed and walking around. It was beneath her... all this was. But it gave her time to think and well... maybe it wasn't? She hadn't done a good job ruling her people, yet she had never really recieved the training to do so. Her mother had sheltered her quiet often. She kept her from the battlefronts except for a few instances where they were major victories. She had been sheltered from learning anything sexual all her life, which had led to the Hanako debacle... She had been... She had been pretty much sheltered until her parents had died, and she was suddenly thrust into the front, forced to take responsibility.

Destiny let out a long sigh, looking down at her hand coated with the grass seed. It was different, working with her hands. It was...enjoyable. She could feel a different strain in her muscles then what she was used to, whether that was from still recovering from her seven years of near death in a cryopod, or just the fact that she had never done manual labor like this was anyone's guess, but the ex-queen sat down in the field to catch her breath for a few moments, looking out over the expanse with a bit of appreciation. It was no Lor... But it was nice in its own right.

Soon, the day's work was done. The construction crews began to filter out into the airlock, and Destiny was given a ride back to her hotel by another worker. As the car was driving down the ramp from the ship to the city, it became apparent that there was no dominant single star in the sky. However, the combined light of the nearby stars gave the same effect as a single sun setting and was significantly more beautiful.

Destiny would relax as she was driven home and watched the stars as she felt herself nod off for a few moments every so often, only to reawake when the car turned or came to a stop. As she was dropped off she would give a wave and a thanks before she found her way to a store to buy something easy to make for dinner. About forty five minutes later Destiny was sitting at the same table in her room, quick heated dinner in front of her and some terribly recommended bottle of beer in front of her forgotten, and a holoscreen up where she could watch the news. For so long during her rule she had been out of the loop and misinformed, and that would not happen again...

1 month later
Destiny had now been on planet Hope for a month. Her work on the ship over that period of time was often tedious, but enjoyable. She had been promoted to the head of a work team after suggesting simplifications to a supply route carrying building materials to the interior city.

She had not just made money, however. Over that month, Destiny had made friends with several other workers. Jarid, the fast talking welder was one of them, as was the kind hearted but sometimes slow Aemmet. Then there was Danil and his family. All of them had welcomed Destiny into their lives in one way or another.

She now had enough to buy herself a used ship, as well as supplies and have enough cash to spare for emergencies.

A sigh escaped the Lorath woman. Her wounds felt healed even more than before, and the work had been good to her. Even in the month, it was easy to see some definition to the woman's arms and midsection, still retaining that beauty a mother could never lose yet she looked... well a little imposing.

She sat at a small break table at lunch, her datapad showing a holographic projection of a ship, one she intended to buy. As she ate her sandwich with one hand she spun the image of the ship with her other, lost in contemplation.

Danil and Aemmet approached, each carrying a small plate of food. They sat down at the same table as Destiny and sat silently for a moment. Finally, Danil asked the question that seemed to be hanging over everyone's head. "So, you're looking at a ship? Thinking about heading out to see the rest of the Kikyo sector?"

"As nice as it has been here... I need to figure things out. Including if my people even want me back or not. The influx of new mouths here would wreck havoc on the infrastructure. Maybe when things get settled and if they want me back, I might bring them here." Destiny explained as she closed down the picture and looked up to the two with a sad smile.

"I'm going to go exploring a bit, something I couldn't do in my past life."

"What do you mean your people?" Aemmet asked, seemingly perplexed. "Do they belong to you? Like I have my pet birdy?"

A smile broke out over her face but Destiny just shook her head. "No, no birds. Well, I suppose we kind of are. I never did tell you all did I?" Destiny tapped her chin for a few seconds before she snapped her fingers as if she came up with a great idea.

"How about this. I am going to throw a going away party for me. Drinks, food, music, the works. Invite everyone over and I'll explain then ok?" She looked to Aemmet and Danil with a smile.


Several hours later, at Destiny's Apartment.

All her friends were gathered there. Jarid, Aemmet, Danil, his two children and his wife. As well as her friends, her co-workers were there as well. Her boss, and several other people who had been working on the interior city with her.

Destiny smiled a little as she sipped at the can of beer she had become fond of. It was strange having friends that weren't required to either be friendly or respect her... It was nice. She felt normal, like any other person and truthfully at this point in time, that's all she was. She nibbled a little at a cracker before she let out a sigb and cleared her throat.

"I just want to thank everyone for coming tonight. I know it has only been a short while since I've known any of you, but I do appreciate how welcoming and open you've been with me. It's because of that, that there are things I feel I need to tell you. I'm sure you all have heard by now I'm leaving. But I doubt many of you know who I really am."

Destiny paused to give them a second to digest the news of her leaving.

Danil's two children ran up to her and hugged her legs. His daughter looked up with doe-like eyes and asked weepily (and with the vocabulary of someone still learning to talk), "Why are yew goin' auntie Detsinee?"

As it always seemed to be whenever the two children clung to her, some deep-seated need to have more children flared alive, her maternal instinct kicked in as she drew the two onto her lap as she sat down. She gave the two a sad smile as she thought how best to word her response.

"As much as Aunty Destiny loves it here, and loves you all, Aunty Destiny misses her own people." She flicked her wings playfully over the two as if to prove her point.

"My own people are out there, and she needs to know how they are doing, and if they want her back. You see, your Aunty Destiny used to be someone very important before she went to sleep for a long time."

"Who were yew?" The little girl asked. Danil stepped forward just after his daughter spoke and said softly. "Yes... I think we'd all like to know that." He set down his drink and turned briefly to the other adults in the apartment. "I get the feeling we're going to want to sit down for this." After saying his piece he sat down on a cushion on the ground.

Destiny waited until the others were comfortable before she began. It would be interesting to see how the others would react.

"Well you see Sidny, your Aunty is from a people called the Lorath. All my people have wings like mine, though not many people can fly. There were a lot of us until some went away cause they were scared of some bad things happening. There were four big families, and each family had things they did. One protected us, one farmed and made us food, one taught us and made us smart, and one watched over everyone to make sure that we all got along. I was from the family that watched over everyone."

She took a deep sigh and seemed to wince as she asked her next question.

"Tell me Sidny... Do you know what a Queen is?"

"Like a more important princess?"

"Exactly!" A finger would boop Sidny on the nose playfully. "A Queen is the princess' mommy. She is the one that watches over and makes sure everyone gets along. Well, your Aunty Destiny is a Queen, or well was. Your Aunty was the Queen of all her people, and she even had a little Princess and Prince." She said with another sad smile. The tears welled in her eyes a little as she thought about her children and for a moment her chest constricts with the pain of their loss.

After a moment she would brave a glance to the adults as she tried to take in their reactions. She was someone they had started out throwing down grass seed when they first came to know her after all...

Danil's wife seemed to be on the verge of tears as well. She knew too the love that only a mother can, and clearly empathized with the idea of losing her children. Danil had his arm around his wife's shoulder, holding her to his side to comfort her.

Destiny smiled as she looked up fully to the others, a bit awkwardly to see how they would react. "I know it is kinda a big reveal... but I wanted to see what being normal was like. I suppose I should introduce myself... My name is Xiaah Harr'Ikke Destiny Tur'Lista and I... am or was the Queen of the Lorath race."

"I thought that lorath normally had light colored and bigger wings." one of her co-workers said, likely confusing the more obscure lorath with Elysians, a few individuals of whom the people of the Exodus fleet had been in contact with occasionally.

Destiny smirked and shook her head a little as she extended out her wing. "We lost much of our coloration to our wings, as well as strength after our time underground. Save for a few of a specific house, our wings are vestigal. I can no more fly then you can truth be told."

After Destiny's explanation, another co-worker turned to the one that had spoken previously, and chided the man. "No Darryl, you're thinking of Elysians." This prompted Darryl to offer Destiny a sheepish apology.

Danil spoke up again. "So Destiny; you are or were the queen of these Lorath people. What are you going to do now? I imagine that without someone in charge things must have gotten all..." Danil glanced towards his children before continuing, "messed up."

Destiny waved off the concern and the apology with a smile but shrugged as he posed his next question. "Truthfully, I'm not sure... I want to go back, to help my people, but from what I've seen they are doing somewhat fine without me. The houses are without direction sure... but they have settled into what planets they have been given with relative ease. My people are not so weak as to fall apart without their Queen. They have leaders that were under me which handled the day to day decisions within the houses."

Destiny frowned a little as she thought things over. "I want to go back, to help them, but I was a terrible queen... a Terrible Xiaah. I don't even know if they would listen to me again, follow me now that they have their own way. And regardless, I want to explore my new found freedom. For decades I was always expected to follow my place in life, expected to be in charge and always make the decisions. It's been nice here, much less pressure... But I want to explore. I want to see who I really am, not just what roles I can fill." She explained.

All the adults seemed to be deep in thought. They were all silent for what seemed like at least a full minute. Finally, the silence was broken not by an adult, but by Danil's son. He had been silent up till now, but as he spoke, and everyone's eyes were drawn to him, it was apparent that he was trying (and failing) to keep tears out of his eyes.

"If you gotta go..." He began, as tears welled up. "That's a pretty good reason." The adults all nodded as the child continued. "I'm sad, but sometimes people have to do things that make you sad. Like when daddy has to stay at work late, or when mommy makes us eat our veggies. I guess this is just a thing you have to do."

"Well, veggies are important... You want to grow up big and strong like Aunty right?" Destiny said as she fought back her own tears. "I promise to keep in touch, and I'll come visit every so often ok? And here, look, I made you two presents." She smiled and placed both the children off her lap as she stood and walked over to her dresser.

From out of a drawer she pulled two dolls that looked like the two children just a little more plush. Big eyes, a goofy smile, cute clothes, it was easy to see the hand worked detail that went into each doll. She walked back over and squatted down in front of the two and held them out. "I used to do this a lot more often, but it's been a few years and my hands shake a little, but hopefully you like them."

The two children's mouths opened in unison and they both let out an amazed "Wooooooow..." as they took the dolls gingerly. "Thank you, Aunty!" They both said, again in unison. Then they scampered off to a corner and began to play with them, as the adults again began to talk amongst themselves.

Destiny was included in the casual conversation of course, and soon it was apparent that people were beginning to get tired. Soon, Danil left to take his children home. Then Aemmet, then one by one people trickled out, leaving Destiny alone to prepare for her departure.

As the last of her friends left, she could only release a deep-seated sigh from her chest. She walked over to her bed and sat down on it heavily. Head in her hands, she considered if what she was doing was right? She had a good life here, a chance to do something normal here.

Yet she felt a need to explore. Idly she stood and walked to her closet and pulled out her armor. She still had a bit left to pack, and it was nice to look over her gear as she began to pack it away. She had it refurbished at least a bit, pulling out some of the dents but not all of them.

Eventually she would fall into a troubled sleep, one filled with dreams of what if or maybes, but eventually she would awaken the next morning and make her way to the docks. The Origin Mule class Freighter waited for her, ready to be boarded and after a few moments she eventually got her things together and items stored away.

It took her some time and some reading before she got the ship turned on, the AI initialized, and the engines up and running. An angry shout over the radio from a traffic controller had her scrambling sheepishly to scale back the power, and after apologizing profusely and getting some more help, she had registered her ship as the Voxphine, and gotten clearance for departure.

It was only minutes later and she was skyward, headed south toward the Great Southern Nebula to visit and act as a good starting point for her journey of self-exploration...

Even as she left the atmosphere, she put a picture of her and the friends she made up on a small screen, and let the small slideshow flip through of all her memories from the short time amongst the people...


 
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