Authors Notes: - God I've been so uninspired lately... I hate this...
Eccher stared at his food with a frown. Cortez was happily digging into his meal, which consisted of dried meat and nothing else. The alien paused and raised a brow at him.
"What? Not good enough for you?"
"Why is the meat dried?" He asked, poking the stiff reddish brown slab.
"How often do you think we stop to stock up?" Cortez rolled his eyes and went back to chewing.
"So I get to eat dried meat until one of you kills me..." He sighed and pushed away the metal plate.
"Still alive I see." A faintly familiar voice remarked from behind him. Eccher turned and found Jacks smirking at him.
"Yeah, no one has tried to kill me yet but judging by the looks they want to." He glanced around the cafeteria; the pirates were eyeing him suspiciously and threateningly all at once.
"It's just the uniform." Jacks chuckled and sat down next to him, straddling the bench.
"You should go au naturel, like me." Cortez suggested with a mouth full of food.
"I think we should start a petition to cover up your naked gray ass." Jacks remarked with a grimace.
"It's not like I have ugly genitals hanging off of me like you humans." He retorted, pushing aside his empty plate then pulling over Eccher's uneaten portions.
"I'm not even going to dwell on that thought." The jacker said with a shudder. He faced Eccher and smiled. "So, how do you like it here so far?"
"You people are freaks." He replied.
"I'm so proud that you noticed." Jacks smirked and leaned against the table and made a sweeping motion. "I suppose you can say this is a haven for outsiders, the bastion for unwanted, the sanctum of the anomalous."
"Take you all day to think of that pretty speech." Cortez said callously.
"Fuck off gray."
Eccher shook his head slowly and looked around the room. Again his eyes landed on the trio of lizard people. "What are they?"
Jacks looked away from Cortez and followed Eccher's gaze. "Oh, the Silickick."
"You've never heard of them before?" The gray alien asked, finishing off the last bit of tough meat.
"No." He said shaking his head. "I was supposed to take a class in a week though."
"A class?" Jacks chuckled. "Like alien appreciation classes?"
"Something like that." He shrugged. "The fleet likes to keep us updated so we don't cause any diplomatic messes."
"I'm surprised you haven't heard of them before, humans encountered them over a century ago." The jacker commented, eyeing the two empty plates, as if just remembering he was hungry.
"They live in a rather primitive society, very tribal and at peace with their world. You know, crap like that." Cortez said dismissively.
"At first they weren't very happy with our presence on their world." Jacks went on to explain. "They had reached a point in their technological evolution that they were happy with and they resented our insistence that they were 'primitive'."
"You know how humans get." The alien smirked.
"So why are they here if they don't care for advanced technology?"
"Simple, they are young and full of energy. Not much excitement back on their world so they joined us when we visited their world a few years ago." Jacks shrugged. "You can always go ask them if you want."
"Maybe later, when I'm a little less hated." Eccher said darkly.
"You just need a change of clothes." Cortez said leaning over, and plucking at his sleeve.
"What about you Cortez? What's the story behind your kind?"
"Us? Well..." He got a thoughtful look. "Let's just say we prefer to remain, hidden."
"We can take on almost any form we see. Humans apparently don't like that. I don't know how many people avoid me for that fact alone." He shrugged.
"It is disturbing." Eccher commented quietly.
Cortez stared at him and as the lieutenant watched the alien's skin changed color then his from shifted. Within seconds he was looking at a mirror image of himself, uniform and all.
"Fuck!" Eccher jerked back, staring at the copy of himself.
"I rather like this form, maybe I'll stay in it for a while." The alien grinned, the expression looked wrong on a face like Eccher's.
"Cortez, knock it off." Jacks said indifferently.
"You're no fun..." He pouted and returned to his natural state, still sulking.
"Come on, I'll help you find some clothes." Jacks stood up and motioned for Eccher to follow him.
He stood and trailed after the Asian man, happy to be ride of the peculiar alien. They quickly left the cafeteria behind and headed towards the sleeping quarters. Again the halls changed colors and textures, now a more pleasant and less harsh dark green. It was almost as if they suddenly walked from a harshly luminescent desert to a benign muted forest. Now the floor was heavily padded, with a thick brow carpet covering it. Their feet almost made no sounds as they walked, making it almost unpleasantly quiet. An occasional crew member would pass them by. Most eyed Eccher oddly, but none of them accosted them. Finally Jacks came to a stop and entered a code into a small panel beside a door. He noticed that all of the doors had similar displays on the left side of the door. The door slid open and the jacker walked inside, he followed him in and assumed the panel had been the equivalent of a lock.
"I should have something that fits you. You aren't that much taller than I am." He said, opening his closet and riffling through his drawers.
"Are you related to Nami?" Eccher asked, looking around the room. It looked almost like a graveyard for computer parts. Screens, electronic guts and various components that he had no idea what they were littered the floor.
"You're just asking that because we are both Japanese." Jacks said with a snort.
"Sorry, I meant no offence-"
He laughed. "I'm just joking with you, she's my older sister."
"I thought you looked alike... that is if you ignore the horns..." Eccher decided to stay near the door to avoid stepping on anything that was valuable.
"Yeah, she's into that genetic stuff... Ha! Found it!" He triumphantly pulled out a pair of pants. "This'll fit you just fine."
Jacks threw the pair of pants at him and went back to searching. Eccher held them out before him. They did appear to be too big for the slightly smaller man and were made of synthetic cotton. A moment later a shirt flew across the room and landed on his head.
"Sorry, should have warned you." Jacks chuckled.
"That's ok..." He pulled the shirt off his head and glanced down at it. "What the-?"
"Huh? Something wrong?" The jacker asked, backing away from the closet and sliding the door shut.
"What does the shirt say?" Eccher held it out.
"Oh, it's a Latin quote in Japanese."
"So what does it say?" He turned the shirt around frowning at the bright red characters on the black shirt.
"Let justice be done; though heaven fall." Jacks shrugged. "I have no idea what that's supposed to mean, I just thought it looked cool."
"When can I get clothes of my own?" Eccher asked, setting the clothes on the ground beside him.
"I don't really know... hopefully we'll stop somewhere soon. I need to buy a few things as well." He looked around the room with a frown.
"Don't you think you have enough?" The lieutenant asked while undressing.
"There is no such thing as 'enough'." Jacks countered.
"If you insist." Eccher muttered, pulling on the pants. "Hum, these do fit really well."
"Now all you need to do is grow your hair out." His companion chuckled.
"Why is that?"
"You're dressed in civvies and you scream military. It's mostly the hair, though your attitude doesn't help."
"What's wrong with my attitude?" Eccher snapped.
"Let me see... I keep expecting you to snap to attention and salute someone." Jacks snorted and walked past him, out the door.
"I'm not that bad." Eccher protested following him out, stomping his feet back into his shoes.
"If you insist." Jacks smirked at him. "Come on, lets got find the captain and see if there is anyplace to put you for now."
"I hate being passed along like this." Eccher grumbled.
"Don't worry; I'm sure you'll fit in... eventually." Jacks chuckled and headed towards the bridge.
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