4.2

Jessie had sat outside the control room for what felt like a day and a half, although the ship seemed to not bother with day/night cycles sometimes so she wasn’t sure. She had to use the bathroom but if she left then Mr. Calvin might sneak off to his room without talking to her again. Mr. Jerret hadn’t known when they would arrive, and kept saying strange things about the universe instead. She wanted to ask him more about what they were but every time it came up he looked really sad and he was already stuck in that cell.

The door hissed a little and finally opened. Mr. Calvin stepped out into the hallway and nearly tripped over her. He let out a startled yelp and backed away, giving her the chance to get between him and his hiding places.

“What are you doing lurking in the hallway?”

“I’m bored and I want to know when we’re getting to the station.”

“I… Why don’t you talk to him some more?” He gestured to the room with Jerret’s cell.

“I don’t like books and every time I ask about our species he looks sad and I don’t want him to be sad cause he’s already locked up in a cell.” She took a quick breath, “When are we getting to the station? I want to see Misa, and we’re supposed to be going to granny’s and I’ve seen all your bird videos and the robot ate my hair so I don’t want to play with it anymore.” She stomped her foot with this last statement.

“It’s going to be at least a few days before we… get where we’re going.” Mr. Calvin opened the door to the room with Mr. Jerret’s cell and peered in. “Wait.. species?”

Jessie shrugged, “He says we’re only half-human but I dunno… Misa never told me anything about that. Mr. Jerret said he can tell ‘cause of how we smell or something.”

“That’s… interesting… look I’ll have the computer find something interesting for you to watch, but I need to talk to… Mr. Jerret right now, ok?” He stepped back into the cell room, “Alone.” He added, shutting the door before she could follow him in.

Jessie frowned at the door, then wandered over to her own room. Mr. Calvin had said the would be at the station after a few days, so at least it wouldn’t be too much longer. She used the bathroom finally and curled up on the bed as the computer started displaying more bird videos.

“I wanna watch cartoons.” She said to nobody in particular. To her surprise the video changed to a cartoon she remembered seeing a long time ago and she smiled a little.

***

Calvin sat down heavily on the other side of the door and exhaled loudly. Jerret looked up from his book with a frown.

“That’s an awfully heavy sigh for someone about to have a payday.”

“Oh just shut up. It’s bad enough trying to keep her oblivious without you being a jerk.”

“Oh, I’m the jerk here?”

Calvin almost took the bait, until he looked up and saw a hint of a smirk on the man’s face. “You’re not helping.”

“I think you’re forgetting why I’m here. I was trying to save the girl, not make your life easier.”

Calvin narrowed his eyes at the man, remembering what the girl had said before, “Yeah… why did you do that? I would never have known you were a shifter if you hadn’t come after me. You could’ve been dumped off at the next station and gone on your way.”

Jerret met his eyes and the two stared at each other in a heated silence before Calvin finally looked away, staring up at the nearest computer panel.

“You look after your own, especially when there are so few.” Jerret said, his voice dropping deeper than usual. Calvin looked at him again, but the man was staring at his book and didn’t make eye contact.

“Then you’re the same species?” Calvin asked. Jerret tilted his head a little in what could’ve been a nod or a shrug. “What do you mean by so few?”

“How long until you hand us off for your precious payday?”

“It’s not about the money!” There was nothing to throw around, and it would’ve pinged harmlessly off the cell anyways, so Calvin settled for an angry glare.

“Oh that’s right, you told me, it’s about freedom.” Jerret hadn’t looked up from his book.

“Anyone tell you you’re an ass?” Calvin said, standing up finally.

“Not since you kidnapped us.”

Calvin left the room, relieved to find the girl had found something to amuse herself in her room. He retreated to his own room. The computer started playing relaxing music as he lay down, and this time he let it go. The console near his bed beeped a few times and he frowned up at the ceiling. “Yeah, I know, I have to… not sure I’m ready though.” The computer beeped softly and the music grew a little louder, “Thanks.” He shut his eyes and managed to drift off into a restless sleep.

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