Sometimes, I like to stare up at the night sky and spot the brightest star of them all. Of course, not all stars are stars. The one I spot every time always happens to be Cerberus. I guess that's the problem with stars—you never know if it's a planet or not—or if it's just another light or another home. I always wonder if Servlaź looks the same down here as Cerberus does up there. Heh. Sister planets sure are unique.
[Beep Beep Beep Beep...]
Urgh. Alarm clocks are never pleasing. They're so annoying. Hm, maybe that's why they make us get up to turn them off. That's irritating logic. I swung my arm out and reached for the snooze button, blindly feeling for that arched curvature to turn it off. This was starting to piss me off so I sat up and mashed the button. I looked at the clock with drowsiness written all over my face to see that it read 8:34 am. Like a switch, I was turned on wide awake and ready to start the morning routine. I rushed to my closet wardrobe and scrambled through the hangers and boxes to find a combination I haven’t put together yet. Realizing I could change after the errands, I decided to go with a simple summer day outfit consisting of a T-shirt and typical short shorts jeans. I was reassured of my common decency and rushed out into the hallway that was furnished in a Victorian Age designer carpet with polished oak walls that extended to all of the section floors. Of course, there are so many turns that I still need to use the convenient maps that occupy the hallways and nearest stairwells. As I turned left on a corner, a face rammed into my chest, knocking whoever it was onto their bottom.
I recognized them in an instant, "Ah sorry, Reece. I shouldn't have rushed around like that." I kneeled down to the 11-year-old and offered my hand.
His face was a little flustered, looking to the side as if he did something wrong. "M-my bad. I kinda touched them..."
I was a little confused but realized that he's just a kid so what harm could it have done? "It's alright. It was an accident so it's okay." I smiled to reassure him of it. Back on his feet, I waved and ran off to the deck. As I made my way outside, my eyes were blinded for a moment by the rising sun as day now lit the blue sky. Seagulls above flew past my head as a girl with pigtails, looking no more than 13 years old, ran up to me holding two wide mops.
"Uena!" She shouted, "I was hoping I could help wipe down the deck with you, maybe." One could tell she was eager to be given this chance. "Is that alright?"
I smiled and patted her shoulder, "Of course. I could always use a helping hand." And with that, I grabbed one of the mops, lined up with the wooden floor and was followed by the young girl to my right. After the count of three, we both began sprinting vertically every two rows clockwise.
An hour and a half had gone by with only one-third of the deck mopped down. I kept glancing at my partner-in-cleaning to see if she was losing her breath. "Think you can keep up?" I teased.
I liked her. She had spirit. With everything that has been happening, it was considered a valuable resource to have spirit. We all needed it so if there was one person who could provide it, it was her.
This morning errand was always a good workout though. Like they always say, two birds with one stone. At this point, even I was beginning to show signs of fatigue. And only two-thirds had been mopped down. I'm sure you know at this point that we're clearly on a ship. A cruise liner. But not just any cruise liner—a Jewel Voyager, one of the seven largest and luxurious passenger vessels on Servlaź. The one we're standing on is called the Sera Maiden—with a tonnage of around 797,000 tons, a length of nearly 13,000 feet and a beam estimate of 1,500 feet, give or take. So, in simple words, you could say the Maiden is like a small city on a boat. Impressive, am I right? And, of course, one would ask, Why are you on a boat in the first place? That will be explained later.
By the time we were finished mopping it was already 10:49 am. I was panting like I hadn't breathed air in ages. "Hey Jetta," I struggled, "Tomorrow, do you think it wouldn't hurt if we walked the distance instead of running?"
Jetta was sprawled across the floor in the shade, about to pass out from the workout and gave a thumbs up while out of breath.
I put the mops away and checked the clock reading 10:54 am. Looks like it was time to head out from the ship's docks into the city streets. But before I could do that, I needed to do a head count to make sure everyone was accounted for. Our muscle, Gash, handed me the handwritten roster of everyone on board. After it was called and executed for the entire crew to meet up on the west-side of the ship, I began listing off each and every one of them.
"Mhm," I reassured myself, "looks like all 28 members are accounted for." I handed Gash the roster and stretched my back out.
Reece stood up and waved his hand in the air, "Oh oh, Uena! Can I come with you this time?"
"Not just yet."
"But I'm more than ready. I can fight for sure!"
"Don't worry, you and I have a date coming up for you to venture with the party."
Reece blushed at the word date, "W-when?"
I put a finger over my lips, "That's a secret. Until then, you have to help keep the rest of us under control. Mmkay?"
He looked less than thrilled but nodded and dispersed with the rest of the passengers.
"Sounds like he's really eager to join us," a girl walking behind me said.
I looked at my scratched hands, "I know, Ami, but I'm just too paranoid of what might happen to him out there."
"Why not bring him with us on Saturday? I can keep a close eye on him. Maybe then, he can finally shut up about it."
I thought about it, "...well, that is a salvage day so I guess that could work."
Ami rested her axe onto her shoulder, "Go get ready. I'll meet you at the exit."
I nodded and rushed to my room to shower. Next, I put on the usual head-out getup—my white-striped bike shorts, white high socks with my favorite mountain boots, and the assorted Bavarian Dirndl top because, hey, why the hell not. After putting a bra on, I reached for my dirndl top when I suddenly heard a familiar voice at my door.
It was Reece and I was a little flustered that I was standing almost half-naked in front of him. Of course, I don't know why I left the door open in the first place. I quickly put my shirt on. "Is there something you need, Reece?"
He twiddled his thumbs, looking off to the side, "U-um, be careful..."
"Don't worry, I will." In the corner of the room, I reached for my 4-foot sniper rifle barrel (hell if I know what kind it came from). I doused the personally studded end of the barrel with a chalky spray to maintain great traction, clipped a packed belt around my waist and slipped on a black, fingerless glove on my right hand.
"Be sure to keep a lookout for anything," I reminded him. "I will signal a flare if something goes wrong."
He nodded as I patted his head and made my way for the exit on deck where Ami was waiting. The rest of the party includes a guy called Koi, and a teenager named Arron.
As I met with them, I signaled Gash to drop the bridge onto the concrete dock which led to the God-forsaken streets of Lemurian.
"Here we go."