By KIMBLEY BATES
I can’t sleep.
I know that I only have four hours to sleep before a really long day of communicating with beings and with fixing things that other people broke. And I know that if I don’t sleep now, then I will probably be so tired by the end of my 18 hour-cycle shift that I will fall asleep where I stand, but whaatteveerrr.
My thoughts drift from one thing to another. Finally settling on the first day that I joined this crew on the ship.
I had came out of my Ship Repair class on top, having the fastest time of pretty much everything. Afterwards, I was stationed with a good crew before I got transferred to this one. First day, I was feeling really salty. I didn’t want to be transferred. I remember R’deel, walking up to me as I stalked onto the ship. He held his hand out to shake– a human gesture rather than his own species, a R’Oraag. I purposely disregarded it and walked past.
“I had notice that you were the best of your class, Human George.” R’deel said, making conversation.
“Nonsense, I am merely faster than my comrades, nothing more.” I informed him.
“I see. I have arranged for a pleasant tour of the ship for you to–”
“That is not necessary, I need only to see the engine room, I will begin repairs immediately.”
My new peer looked somewhat taken aback, but conceded with my wishes.
As the weeks went on, I made little effort to make conversation or even friends. I was the only human. Which sucked. After a time, the otherworlders on the ship stopped trying to talk to me in general, but none seemed particularly bothered that I was present, and went on with their own conversations. They were amusing to say the least but I never felt the need to join them. I had the feeling no one else wanted me to either. Although, I did make them new computers. I scavenged for parts and made some of the Karacks a computer, along with R’deel and R’sakas. They seemed to appreciate it and I was happy they were happy.
One day, there was an attack on the ship. Pirates. I was in the engine room and by the time they stormed in there, I was hidden behind a substantially sized barrel of oil and other minerals from a nearby planet. R’Cowd was not so lucky, though. He was near fainting, and the pirates saw him, holding him at plasma point against a wall. I came up behind them and managed to steal a small plasma shooter from their side sheathe, hitting both in their legs and enfeebling them. R’Cowd looked at me for a couple seconds and then actually fainted. I sighed. I pulled him behind the barrel, stole a big plasma shooter and then made my way to the control room. As quickly as I could, I hacked into the system of their interworld translators. I ran to where the pirates were holding my crew captive and I shot a few fireballs into the air.
“The first thing you should know is that I have control of your interworld translators, so everything your comrades says will sound like gibberish.” I yelled. They tried, and slowly panic settled in. “the second thing you should know is–” I shot a plasma ball inches to the head of the leader, “the next one goes in his chest.”
My crew stared at me. The pirates quickly ran off the ship and to their own. Minutes passed and once I made sure my crew was okay, I walked up to R’deel, ginning.
“Phew that was fun, are you alright?”
“Why?” He breathed. My grin faded.
“Why what?” I said.
“Why did you bother to save us? You could’ve kept hidden.” He said.
“I couldn’t have kept hidden, all of you guys were in trouble. Why would you ask me that??” I furrowed my brow and frowned.
“You have made no attempt to befriend us, Human George.” he said. “We were all working under the belief that you disliked us.” His expression looked angry. I felt like I’d been punched.
“I… you.. You don’t like me? I thought we were friends…” I could feel my eyes watering.
“You made no effort we just thought…”
“But I made you guys new computers.” I said. I could see that he didn’t understand. Of course, computers didn’t equal friendship. “I made you guys new computers.” He connected the dots. Why would I specifically make anything for anyone if I did not consider them friends. A minute passed before he said anything, and then he held his hand out.
“Greetings. My name is R’deel, and this crew welcomes you.” I suddenly noticed that the entire crew was around us, watching and listening. I let out a choked laugh and shake his hand.
“Hi, I’m george, and I appreciate your welcoming.”
And the rest is history.
I checked the time, and I had three hours and 56 minutes left to sleep. I closed my eyes and drifted off.