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Missing Pieces

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It’s the quiet times that are the worst. Cidona has always questioned if she was really a part of the crew – they were quick to welcome strays, but that didn’t necessarily mean they became equal decision makers when they were brought back onto the ship. However, since they lost the Awakener, it feels like she might as well be back to hiding in the maintenance shafts. Everyone is so busy with all of the problems involved with transferring to a new base, that they are all so distracted and simply so busy that they aren’t checking in on the quiet members of the group.

Cidona knows more about this crew better than they would believe. Part of that is due to to her ability. She is aware of the possibilities, and there are so many strings of possibilities tied to the members of this crew! It is amazing how many futures rest on the shoulders of this misfit collection of beings. So many ways that they are able to improve those futures. Not just their own futures, either – each and every one of their choices affect so many outcomes. And with every effort, every choice, they seem to be tugging the positive futures more solidly into place. It was this uncanny tendency, to make choices toward the good without even knowing what they are doing, with no way to know those outcomes, that led Cidona to sneak her way onto Awakener in the first place.

Even more than the sneak peeks into others’ futures that her ability presents her, Cidona has learned to be observant and contemplative while she tries to decide what actions she can take without causing any ripples within the future she sees. Combined with the fact that she spent the beginning of her time on Awakener hiding in the maintenance tunnels, she saw a lot of how the crew interacted with each other, and how they spent some of their quiet time. It’s amazing what you can learn about a person just by watching them for a few days. Her observations didn’t stop there, either. She was quiet, and didn’t interact with many of them outside of Jade, but they also seemed to forget that she was there even when she was in plain view.

Cidona was fine with all of this, though. It worked in her favor, really. Fewer interactions meant fewer decisions that she had to make, fewer possibilities to weigh. She had Jade around if she wanted to talk, and she was surrounded by good people. It was a big improvement from her life before. The others had their own ways of making sure that she knew she was cared for, whether it be through food concoctions that Bina offered, making sure that her favorite foods were often added to the list when they stopped to resupply, or the pausing footsteps just outside of her door as the crew settled down to sleep, silently listening to make sure she was settling in for the night, those on the Awakener cared for their own.

But now? The Awakener is gone. And those that she was starting to get to know, that she was starting to open herself up to, are surrounded by a hundred other voices, all crowded onto a single ship. Space is tight, supplies are limited, and the task lists of everyone on board seem to continue to grow. Cidona tries to help out when and where she is able to, but more often she finds herself feeling quite overwhelmed. There are so many threads, so many possibilities and futures stretched out around her, and those spaces where she knew she could escape to find some calm disappeared with the Awakener.

It has been maybe a week since they all crowded onto Wyre’s ship in a frantic effort to escape, and Cidona knows better than most how many futures were put into motion by that dramatic escape. She knows that there is a lot going on, and that she is the least of many of their worries, if she factors in at all! But Jade has became nearly as quiet and grief-stricken as his impostor before him, and anyway, Cidona has discovered that it’s hard to go back to confiding in him after she spent that entire return trip avoiding him. Or, avoiding his impostor. She knew the difference; was the only one on the ship, she suspected, that had known all along. But new habits could be hard to form, and somehow she was also finding it hard to remember that Jade was safe to trust, after constantly reminding herself not to say anything in front of the impostor that might provide them with any more data than they already had, for the last trip. Jade wasn’t going out of his way to seek communication with any of them yet, though, so it doesn’t matter if Cidona wants to talk with him or not – it doesn’t seem to be an option at this point.

There are others around, of course, that Cidona could possibly talk with. But Cidona isn’t great at starting conversations, and hates to feel like she’s bothering others. Peach and Abrielle both have been busy having their sibling newly on board, although Abrielle has been spending all of her free time catching up with her sister forming a duo that it somehow seems rude to interrupt, while Peach spends her time silently observing her brother, wondering what he will wake up to. Cidona already knows what reaction Vix will have to finding himself taken by his sister… and doesn’t want Peach to ask her, because she knows it’s not her place to tell Peach. Truly, if Peach knew ahead of time, she might plan how to react in response, and if her immediate reaction wasn’t genuine…that might completely change how Vix will come to terms… No. Best not to come near that conversation.

Wyre, Xaiyah and Bekker have been so busy that it has been hard to even locate where they are at a given time. They seem to have taken over being in charge, at least for the time being, and seem to both be everywhere and nowhere at once. They also seem to be functioning almost entirely as a unit for this past week, possibly because being solely responsible for the care of over a hundred beings requires a lot of teamwork to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks! Due to all of this, Cidona has largely stayed out of their way.

Olem and the Professor have been in full research mode with whatever limited resources they can get their hands on. Now that they are in the same place for a prolonged period of time, it seems like they have been spending much of their time together, but Cidona suspects that it is also the only way that Olem feels like he can help at this point. There are so many concerns, so many problems to figure out, and for everyone else, figuring out the options and the possible futures requires research. Cidona sort of remembers when that was true for her, as well.

Similarly, Mason has been so buried in notebooks and contemplation and trying to figure out what he somehow missed, as well as figuring out what steps need to be taken in order to keep all of them as safe as possible. Mason is another being aboard this ship who tends to allow the quiet to be present, with no rush to break it or to talk. He likes to observe, and when he’s not interrogating someone, he doesn’t always feel like it is necessary to talk with someone else, even when they are in the same room.

Like Cidona pointed out, it’s the quiet times that are the worst. Cidona is always aware of the quiet around her, but when in the same room as Bina right now, the quiet is blaringly loud. Even on the Awakener, before anyone but Jade knew that she was there, it was rare to be anywhere near Bina without hearing her talk out loud to herself. It was such a happy chatter, listening to Bina talk to the ship and to Alma, like both could always hear her, no matter the situation. Bina was also the person who was always willing to reach out and check in with everyone around her, and that, too has disappeared since the Awakener was taken. Bina is ever-aware that both Alma and Awakener are no longer around to listen to what she has to say, and seems to have gone almost silent. She is still around and doing everything she can to help with the ship that they are flying on, but even in the engine room, Bina has gone silent. Cidona hasn’t had a real conversation with Bina since Alma was taken, and she remains a little scared that Bina may be angry with her, now that she must have realized what Cidona’s earlier comment was about. If Cidona had someone around to talk with, she could probably remind herself that Bina is so much more than angry, that she understands so much more than is on the surface. But no one is talking with her, and Cidona has found that it is hard to convince herself in the silence.

T’Aeon had mentioned, in passing, that many of the crew of Awakener didn’t quite match the personalities of the people in the stories that he had heard. There was enough resemblance that he didn’t doubt any of the stories that he had been told – he had assumed that the conflicts were due to the knowledge that legends and stories that are passed on from person to person can become exaggerated. They were all similar enough to the stories that he figured this was the truth, and the stories were the legends, and that was that. Cidona knew better. The conflicts weren’t due to legends and stories being filled by exaggerations; they were due to the fact that all of them still have a lot of growing to do, and many of their personalities and decision-making influences are formed by these early years of their rebellion. She knows who they are likely to become, and she knows much of who they are at the moment, but those connections are ones that Cidona can’t make for them, and is afraid of altering.

Most of this past week, Cidona has spent seeking out someone else to spend time with. As much as Cidona values silence, she has discovered that it is better not to sit alone and worry about the decisions that she has recently made, or to worry about how everyone else is dealing with something that she knows HAD to turn out the way it did. Explaining to any of them that this was the best-case scenario, and that this was the only way that any of their goals could be achieved just wouldn’t go over well. Still, quiet seems comforting, and is something that Cidona values.

It took some exploring around the ship, but eventually she discovered a young S’Koru sitting on their own, perched on an exposed wall panel’s edge, who seemed open to company. Katya, she discovered, was learning about their own powers, but their talents seemed so disconcerting to many others that they had been outcast from the larger gatherings. Apparently, Katya, this young avian being, could sense what you were going to say just a split-second before you actually said anything. Another form of seeing the future, although maybe it was more hearing the future? Cidona could relate to the confusion and the discomfort that others felt around Katya, and slowly settled in order to attempt to help this child learn to be comfortable with their own talents. It helped to know that, when Cidona felt she again needed the silence, all she had to do was decide what she wanted to say in order for Katya to know what she wanted to say and to respond! It was in those quiet moments when Cidona was finally able to convince herself that, just maybe, everything hadn’t yet been lost.