'Come on you two slow pokes!' Deson's voice boomed from outside Silo's quarters, 'Get yourselves to the Swamp presto! This calls for a
'Were coming, we're coming!' Silo called back while finishing changing into her ceremonial uniform, but Deson had already gone ahead.
Moments later following hard on his heels Silo and Carpet startled in encountering President Bransom exiting Chumley's chambers, a look of surprise
clearly written across her face at being caught.
'Why hello Silo! You... You just missed Deson.' She explained nervously. 'How very nice to see you, right here IN THE HALL.' Bransom's voice
rose to a loud falsetto directed at whoever was still in the room more than for greeting Silo.
Chumley plowing through the door bumped into the pair saving Silo from having to respond by grabbing her around the waist to toss her high in the air
in happiness to see her.
'Hey you big lug, put her down!' Carpet bellowed, causing Chumley to look sheepish, placing Silo on her feet as gently as if he'd break her.
'Oh don't listen to him Chumley,' Silo scoffed throwing herself into the Regallians arms for a hug, while simultaneously digging her heel into
Carpet who gave a yelp.
'We're happy to see you.' Chumley grinned from Silo to Bransom and back again.
'I'm glad to see you too Chumley. I've missed you.' Silo meant it but wondered at his use of 'we' and stepped back to examine the larger of
the two creatures.
There was something different about Chumley, and definitely something different about Bransom, but for the life of her she couldn't' pinpoint what
'Look, um Chumley, we're on the way to the Swamp, to um, have a meeting
, sooo, you coming with us Chumley?' Silo glared pointedly at the
big Regellian hoping he'd take the hint and leave Bransom behind.
'We go too!' He replied a huge grin creasing his face, quite oblivious to Silo's exclusion of Bransom.
The light that shining from Bransom's eyes when Chumley included her in their party made Silo feel like a heel.
Silo promised herself she'd make it up to Bransom somehow.
~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~
In the Swamp Deson's 'snow' triumph turned impromptu homecoming victory for Chumley, Ship announcing Chumley's elevation to First Security
Officer. Ship's then generously issued an invitation to a blushing President Bransom to join the Yydryl as a honorary crew member followed by the
company applauding and cheering with joy. The crew of the Yydryl were glad to be alive.
One arm draped over Chumley's shoulders Deson seemed to honestly enjoy sharing his own victory with the pilot who's enthusiastic recounting of the
perils of his first air battle was a site to see.
Tentacles flailing, spittle flying, his face bright with pride and adding furtive glances at Bransom, his cheeks warming when she returned his gaze
adoringly, Chumley had come into his own.
Deson glad to be out of spit range overlooked the pairs byplay but didn't miss a word of the comments Chumley and President Bransom made concerning
the 'flyability' and 'fightability' of the Deson Fighters.
Congratulations and back slapping complete, war stories recounted thrice over Ship spoke up, asking for their attention her small speech in
recognition for those who'd put their life on the line to keep her safe, to keep them all safe were spoken with deep sincerity and great thanks.
'If it wasn't for...' Ship paused to regain her composure. 'If it wasn't for you all...' Her voice cracked and the room sobered remembering
where they would all be if victory hadn't been theirs over the 'Buzzards', if her water problem has not been solved.
'Look, you know what I'm trying to say so I'll leave it at that. If I don't stop talking I'll start crying and poor Deson will have to come up
with another miracle, so, thank you, all of you!' She ended, a smatter of clapping and cheers once again rounded the room.
Chumley gave Deson a quick hug, Deson backing away arms raised in the air as if to ward off the exchange, but making quite a show out of wiping his
eyes after Silo gave them both he and Chumley a peck on the cheek.
Moving to Bransom Silo offered her hand, then leaned forward and placed a kiss on the Presidents cheek also, less making up for her past callousness
than in real thanks.
Bransom thanked Silo softly, with a true measure of kind regard.
Moving into their chairs circling table, pretzels at hand, jugs of beer within easy reach the group settled in to watch the snow.
Deson standing off to the side, a fetlock cocked under a hind leg relaxing in his own way, a working droid played pony from the bar to a side table
keeping Deson's goblet full with wine, his snack bowl on a side bar at his elbow brimming with the salty chips.
Only Deez, hiding out of sight chewing his fingernails to bloody stumps was discontent. But he promised himself, he would not be for long.
~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~
The pale pink light of dawn barely peaking over the horizon, sparkling off powdery virgin snow brought morning, Center time, to the Yydryl and crew.
Chumley slumped in his chair snoring softly roused when Bransom touched his arm.
Rising to deliver a quick slap to Deson's back and a peck to Silo's forehead Chumley left the Swamp close on Bransom's heels.
Silo called out of a light slumber where she'd been curled up in the corner with Carpet could only look at the retreating couple, stunned.
'Don't ask' Were the last words Chumley called out after 'Goodnight' as he made his way down the hall, the giggle from Bransom something warm
and feminine so unlike the grating giddy tone she'd used when she first came aboard the Yydryl.
Deson, following Bransom with his eyes, smiled a knowing smile, a finger to his lips silencing the wicked laughter bubbling up in Silo's throat, his
large lipid expression commanding her to have a care.
Once more Silo found herself wanting to apologize to Bransom.
'Silo, I'm going to escort Deson back to the Armory. It's the least I can do for the Hero.' Carpet sounded groggy but determined.
'No need for that ma boy. No need.' Deson preened under the compliment, 'Just doing my duty and keeping our girl here aboard where she belongs.'
Stumbling forward Deson caught one of her hands between his own and held it warmly.
'Silo, ol girl, goodnight ma dear, goodnight. And sweet dreams.' Deson, more than a little tipsy leaned closer to give her a hug but catching
himself pulled back to drop a deep bow nearly knocking over a chair Carpet grasped to keep from falling.
'Damned cramped quarters these, don't ya know.' Deson grumbled and chuckled, 'Good man Carpet. Good man.' He snorted, releasing Silo's hand
to follow the path Carpet cut for him towards the armory and his private quarters.
Watching them go Silo reflected on the night, one that would have been perfect had only CindyMars not been absent.
Thinking on her missing friend, wondering where she was Silo went to her quarters, lay on the corner of her bed and watched the snowflakes drift to
the ground, so peaceful and serene.
~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~
'Mmm Hmmm, ' She responded without opening her eyes wondering how long she'd been asleep waiting for Carpet.
"Silo" he said.
Eyes popping open in alarm Silo slowly rose to her feet, blinked, continued to blink some more while reaching out blindly for her knife pouch that had
fallen to the floor.
Someone was there, in her room, right in front of her, and it wasn't Carpet.
Closer inspection revealed it wasn't a person
either, but more an apparition, translucent and faintly shimmering.
Her hands stilled in their search for her knives when she recognized who the vision belonged to.
The Neno, of the SS Penelope.
Clearly the apparition bore his features, his build, and there was no mistaking it was his voice that called to her.
Just before she said his name, the Neno spoke again.
"Silo, I've been told to give you a message. It was, 'Tell the alien SILO aboard Yydryl that 'forever never ends, no matter how brief,
and new life doesn't replace old, it just makes you that much richer'.
He paused, his face contorted before he continued.
Silo, I have no idea what that means, but it's your message, not mine. Also, I need help."
At his mention of needing help, concern overcame instinct and Silo let her secondary eyes travel up their stalks to peer at the Neno in worry. She
was relieved the human didn't flinch as her eye-stalks stretched forward to examine him closer and as much as she didn't want to get involved with
humans' again, in any capacity, Silo knew she'd no choice but to help him. It was who and what she was.
"Silo. Your old buddy Studious has captured me, and I need to get out of here, so I can get back to work. Please get word out, or something.
There's other... unusual... things going on here, and I need to get away. Any sort of he..."
'Sir? What was that Sir?' She called as his apparition wavered, then disappeared leaving nothing behind but questions and alarm.
'Silo? You alone in there?' Carpet called from outside her quarters.
'Carpet, I think you better get in here' Silo replied in one breath and in the next commanded her central door to open allowing Carpet entry.
'What's going on? Was there someone in here?' Carpet asked concerned and a little frightened by the look on her face.
'Yeah, The Neno.' She replied, one hand to her forehead the other at her neck squeezing her Green Man pendant sending an emergency signal to Ship.
'Neno? Here?' Carpet snorted in disbelief clearly thinking she'd been dreaming.
'Yes, The Neno. Here. And Carpet? He's in trouble...'
[edit on 21-6-2010 by silo13]