Live to serve #2

With a tedious walk through a rocky desert ahead of him, Lyryn was grateful he had someone to talk to. He was still wary, since he had no idea what Nyvath’s intentions were, but it was better than wandering aimlessly in this barren land all alone. Luckily the planet had quite the pleasant atmosphere, despite being a barren piece of rock.
– So, what is this place?
– I don’t think this planet has a name or if it even figures in any starcharts. The council probably made sure to imprison me someplace where no one would find me too easily. – the disappointed sigh didn’t distract Lyryn from the core point of her answer.

He made an abrupt halt. This was far from good news and for that brief moment he cared little what she’d do to him. His disapproval had to be given voice.
– Wait one fucking minute…so you’re a convict and this is a prison planet!? I’m not going anywhere with you!
Now is not the time to be so loud, pet. – the warmth subsided from her voice. It didn’t last long but was noticeable enough. – It’s not much of a prison, but yes, I was incarcerated here.
– What were you charged with? – Lyryn had no guarantee of getting an honest answer from a convict, but curiosity still made him ask.
Oh, lots of things. Disrespecting authority, theft, violence, murder, to name a few. Indecent exposure as well! – Nyvath was clearly more amused with her answer than she was with his inquiry.
Noticing the angry expression forming on his face, she decided not to give him room for further protest and quickly went on an offensive. With a voice, sharp and cold as steel she added:
– I was imprisoned because I didn’t appreciate the role that I was given and that’s the worst of sins for the council. But look at yourself! I don’t know what you did, but there’s something about you that tells me your record ain’t remotely clean enough to be judging me, Lyryn Kor!
A sudden sweat cooled his skin. What did this strange entity know about him? His mind began racing nervously at the thought that even something so alien could be aware of his sins. As he stood, he lost all will to fight her. His deepest, most shameful secret felt so close to exposure that the only thing he could do was to yield. Feeling his surrender, Nyvath’s voice regained it’s former, comforting tone.
– We’re both criminals, pet. And what do criminals do in need? They partner up. Though in this case our hierarchy will be a bit different. See, this place is prison for me no more, ever since your human friend freed me…
The last words were enough to liven the man up with a rekindled fire of curiosity.
– There were humans here before me?
– Yes, a woman…I don’t see your legs moving, pet. I’d like to get going, so hurry it up.
Lyryn started walking again. He still had his doubts, but if Nyvath really had a way of leaving this planet, it’d be best to stay on her good side.
– Tell me about this woman.
– Hmmm not much to tell. She was a pretty morsel, but badly damaged when the ship debris that carried her crashed on this planet. I made her a proposal and she agreed to help me. Simple as that.
Nyvath’s path now led through a more varied terrain. The mundane plains gave place to hills, requiring a bit more effort to traverse. The strain, while negligible, had the peculiar side effect of jogging Kor’s mind, restoring the lost bits of memory to their rightful owner.
– What did the debris that carried the woman look like? Did it have any designation? Did she tell you where she came from?
– Hmm let me see. She said she was a scientist on a ship called…the Corona? I think her name was Vera, but I didn’t pay too much attention to it.
– Vera? Not Viria? Viria Agano?
– Yes! That was her name. Is she special to you?
Lyryn didn’t hear Nyvath’s last question. His memory was slowly coming back and the alien confirmed that the woman was a crewmember of his ship, the Corona – he remembered a low level xenobiologist who often tried to chat him up in the ship corridors. They were on a science mission, but he didn’t have even the faintest idea what it was. Still, if Viria reached this planet, others could too. And with a crew as large as the Corona’s, someone was bound to survive the crash as he did.
– Can you take me to Viria?
Nyvath noticed the change in him. She didn’t not expect an angry ball of bitter that Lyryn was to suddenly start resonating so much hope and determination. This piqued her curiosity even more.
– You’ll be happy to know that I’m doing exactly that, pet. It’s not far from here, you’ll see Viria in a moment.
– Good. Also, why do you keep calling me pet?
Nyvath chuckled. Lyryn would lie if he said he didn’t find her laugh attractive.
– As Viria was given a choice, so will you be given one, once you reach our destination. I am very curious as to what you will decide, pet.
You know…I’m tired of your cryptic bullshit, Nyvath. – he sighed and took a short break on the top of the hill. In the distance he could see a strange, angular platform and some unknown statue with a human standing next to it. That must’ve been Viria, standind right the place where Nyvath wanted them to be.
– You see? We’re close. Now, you can complain and rot in this spot for all eternity or you can move forward just a little bit and hear my proposal in full. It’s your choice. – Nyvath’s voice rushed and the man felt that her patience with him was wearing thin. And yet, some weird, dangerous instinct made him smile and take a jab at his guide:
– You’re really obsessed about choice, huh?
– I’m all about choice, pet. You’ll see.

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