Saeera looked down into the sand.

“Rix, you know I can’t-“

“Yeah, I know, I know.” Rix looked back toward Saeera’s beaten craft. “My guys’ll get right to work. I got the right parts in scrap, they’ll have no problem fixin’ it up.”

“Thanks, Rix. Really.”

“No problem girl, you’re family.”

Saeera looked back up at Rix. It had been a long time since anyone had ever done her a favor. It gave her a little faith in humanity. It had been years since she’d kept friends of any sort. She’d given up on the idea long ago. One way or another, they all screwed her over. It was just a matter of how long, and how bad. Family, she thought. Rix was the closest she had, and they weren’t even related. Once he was gone, she doubted she’d have any ever again. They were too much of a liability for her line of work. Still, it shook her up inside, him calling her family. Like it was something she wanted but could never have. She’d learned over the years to get by on her own How to be self-sufficient and never have to rely on anyone. She’d learned the hard way.

“It’ll be dark before they’re finished,” said Rix. “and I got a spare room if you want to spend the night.”

“Thanks, but I’m on a tight schedule,” She replied. “and this is a pretty big setback.”

“Well how about something to eat?” Rix asked.

She looked back to Rix and smiled.

“Your cooking? You tryin’ to kill me?” she joked.

“Come on, it’s not that bad, you pain in the ass.” Rix replied, and led her inside.

“So how’ya been?” Rix asked, as he lit his stove’s burner. Saeera sat at the small metal table in Rix’s mess of a kitchen.

“Alright, kind of all over the place, you know…traveling a lot.”

“Sight-seeing, I’m sure.” Rix looked over at her, and she down at the table to avoid his glance. Rix could see his words struck a chord. He opened the fridge. “Hope you don’t mind left-overs. All I got is soup and half an Encke.”

Rix pulled the bird and the metal pot from the fridge and placed them on the counter. “Same old shit here,” he said. “Finding scraps, fixing birds, nothing much changes around here. Every once in a while I got the time and the money to get off this rock for a while. You should see all the paperweights I got in my office.” He placed the pot on the stove and looked back at Saeera. She was looking out the window at the sun, now falling low in the sky.

“Yeah?” she asked him, snapping out of a daze. “I never get any souvenirs. I don’t have anywhere to put them.” She looked back at Rix as he put the bird into the oven. He closed the oven door and turned to Saeera.

“You alright girl?” He asked her. “All sudden, you’re actin’ different. What’s goin’ on with you?” Rix leaned back against the kitchen counter.

“I think…” Saeera started, and stopped. She looked back out the window, and then again to Rix. “I think you’re all I’ve got, Rix.”

“What the hell you talkin’ about?” he replied.

“You’re the only family I’ve got. You’re the only one who’s kind to me. It’s been so long since anyone’s cared about me.”

“Well shit, you’re the one who’s flyin’ around the galaxy all the time. You ever think to stop and settle down?” Rix immediately regretted his statement. “I’m sorry, Saeera. I didn’t mean it like-“

“No, it’s alright. You’re right. I’ve forced myself to be alone for so long.” She paused.

“You gotta take it easy.” Rix said. He re-adjusted his stance against the counter. “Maybe stay here a while, see how you-“ Saeera cut him off.

“I’m going to kill Reinard Junii tomorrow.”

The soup began to bubble.

It was a good fifteen seconds before Rix could think of anything to say. He drew a worried sigh.


He moved over the table and sat down with Saeera.

“I thought you…” he stumbled over his words. “I thought you just…you know…stole from the rich, type of thing. I didn’t think-“ Rix was in a state of shock over the confession.

“Yeah, it’s not what you expected, I know.” She replied.

“For the gods’ sake, Saeera, how did you get into all this?”

“It’s complicated. It’s very complicated, but I have to do it.” She said. “I’m far beyond backing out now.”

“I know,” said Rix. “I’m not trying to stop you. I hate the guy as much as anyone, but how the hell did you…I dunno.” Rix scratched his beard.

The two sat, saying nothing for a few moments more. The oven beeped. The bird was done. Rix stood up and opened the oven. He continued to prepare dinner in silence.

Saeera spoke. “I’m way too far into all of this to quit now. There’s people out there who would kill me if they had the chance.”

“Yeah…” Rix replied. He cut up the Encke and divided it onto the two plates. He dished out the soup and turned off the stove. “I just wonder what your father-“ He didn’t finish the sentence. He could almost sense Saeera’s heart skipping a beat. He took the plates and bowls to the table, and sat down with her.

“I’m doing this for my father.” She told him.

Little was said over dinner.


Post a Comment

<< Home