6.3

Calvin had gotten enough repaired by the time the sun set to turn the ship into a lopsided house. He nearly fell as he stepped on a log that had been placed as a step by the door.

“Watch your step.” Jerret called out to him from the fire he’d apparently built. Calvin ignored the hint of sarcasm and made his way to the fire. There were several fallen trees in a semicircle around it and Jessie sat on one of these with her back to him. The wind shifted and he finally noticed the scent of cooking meat.

“You got something?” Calvin’s stomach growled at the smell.

Jerret grunted a reply and gestured to several sticks with small chunks of meat from some animal roasting in the fire. Calvin sat down close to Jessie and she scooted away pointedly.

“Is it almost ready?”

“Little bit longer, kiddo. Don’t want undercooked meat.” Jerret was squatting next to the fire, but backed away to rest his back against the log behind him, “How’s the ship?”

The question caught Calvin by surprise and he stammered a bit before collecting himself, “All the filters are fine, and we have hot and cold everything… Comms are still offline and she won’t be flying anywhere soon.”

Jerret shut his eyes and sighed, “Well if we can store food I think we can survive however long you need. I’m not much of a cook but it’ll be better than ration packs. At least until we get sick of meat.”

“Once I get the comms going I can send a distress beacon at least, maybe someone will come along.”

Jerret sat up again and pulled a stick out of the fire, pinching it in his fingers. He handed it to Jessie. “Ladies and children first.”

Jessie bit down on a piece eagerly and winched, waving a hand at her scorched tongue, “Hot!”

“Blow on it a little, it’ll cool down quick.” Calvin suggested. She frowned down at her food, refusing to look at him. Jerret handed him a stick and he blew on the top piece to cool it off a little. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Jessie turn away a little to hide that she was blowing on hers. The meat was tough and dry, but after so long on rations it was a welcome change of pace. They ate in silence, and barely anything was left by the time everyone was full.

“You said we can store food right?”

“Whatever can fit in there, yeah.”

Jerret disappeared off into the shadows and reappeared a moment later with what looked like half of some large animal, skinned but with obvious rib bones. Jessie eyed it curiously but said nothing.

“This?”

“Oh.. uh… I think if you… cut it into smaller chunks?” Calvin said nervously. He couldn’t quite imagine how large that animal had previously been.

“Alright, I wasn’t quite sure how big the space was when I was cutting it up before.” Jerret carried his prize inside without another word. Calvin turned to Jessie, who was watching the fire start to die down.

“I…” She got up as he spoke and stomped into the ship in silence. He watched the door shut, then turned his attention to putting out the fire. Jerret reappeared a moment later and helped him put it out, “I guess she’s never speaking to me again, huh?”

Jerret didn’t reply at first, and when he did he didn’t really look at Calvin, “S’not really my place to say, but things are more complicated than you think… Give her a bit to process everything and maybe she’ll change her mind.”

Calvin wanted to ask and even started to, but something stopped him. Jerret went back inside and Calvin waited in the dark for a few minutes before going back in himself. The ship beeped angrily at him but he ignored it, heading into his room. He lay down, staring at the wall. The ship started to reluctantly play soothing noises and he smiled, patting the wall a little. “At least you still like me.” The ship beeped a grumpy affirmative noise and went back to the music.

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