It really was amazing, how many different forms of organic life one bar could support.

Quinn leaned back in her seat, and took a moment to admire how the bit of furniture had molded itself for her human form.  To her left, a chair had adapted itself to account for the thick, scaly tail Drask sported, and across from her, Korgen’s nearly gelatinous form was cupped in something that vaguely resembled an Earth-style teacup.  The two had found something new to argue – sorry, debate – about, and a smile curved Quinn’s lips as she brought her cup to her lips, taking a slow sip of the foamy, slightly bitter drink inside.  She hadn’t even caught the name of it, only knew that Drask swore by the stuff and had insisted that she try it. 

Just as she leaned forward to try and make sense of what this new debate was about, and determine if she’d need to intervene this time, her vision blinked.  Not her eyes, her vision, going black for the briefest of seconds.  Almost unnoticeable if it hadn’t been so unexpected.  Information began flooding her mind, and understanding hit.

Her ship was here.

I am here.

“Synching with bio-form complete.” The Quintessential reported, directing Their voice through the speakers on Their bridge. One of them gave a discordant hum, and They instantly made a note for the maintenance team to have it looked at.

They watched through five different lenses as Their Captain leaned back in her seat, a look that The Quintessential’s translation programs identified as satisfied on her features.  “Good,” she praised, nodding and looking to her crew.  “Hold a steady orbit, we might be here a while.  Depends on how much trouble Quinn has gotten up to.”

“I never get up to trouble, obedience is written into my parameters, you know this.” The Quintessential pointed out, feeling that it shouldn’t be necessary.

Trouble, pheh.  It was organics that specialized in getting into trouble.  Just because they pulled Themself into it half the time…

“Right right, of course you wouldn’t deliberately cause trouble.  But that bio-form of yours when unsynced? Remember Afalon-47?

The Quintessential’s circuits fired off in a series of reactions that one with quite a bit of imagination and knowledge in AI programming might be able to interpret as a wince.

“Yo Quinn, you good?”

Quinn started as she heard her name, and realized that she’d been sitting up straight and stiff, hand tight around her cup.  She forced herself to relax, forced her lips to form a reassuring smile.  A gesture that had been familiar, and now felt somewhat foreign.  “Of course, Korgen, just…reminiscing on some stuff?”

“Yeah?” The gelatinous form’s mass shifted into a look of concern, a faint reddish hue dancing over its iridescent blue surface.  “Yeah…I can tell, you look kinda like you did when we first picked you up.  All stiff and formal.  Remember that, Drask?”

Quinn flicked her eyes over to Drask’s scaled form-

Drask Baronel, ID#75432, Warrant#0987432354

Crimes: Four counts of spacecraft theft, two of armed robbery, twenty of minor assault and inciting violence in public spaces

as he looked to her, searching her gaze with his own.  “Yes…picked you up from near here if I remember, yes?”

“Near abouts, that would have been…5 cycles ago?”

Five cycles, 42.5 rotations, but few organic lifeforms could remember time with that much detail.  Best to keep it approximate.

“So how about it? Did you make contact with our bounties?”

“Five…that long already?” Korgen

Korgen Romawniz (approximate phonetical writing) ID#545435 Warrant#42365743

Crimes: Several counts of smuggling stolen goods, five of smuggling illegal drugs, ten of impersonating Space Core Officers.

 settled down deeper into his seat, pensive for a moment. Quinn forced herself to lean back and relax a bit as well. She lifted-

Their bio-form had chosen to use ‘she’ this time…interesting…

her cup to her lips and took another slow sip, though she made it seem longer than it was.  She-


were here on a mission, after all.

“Bounties are currently located in the same building as my bio-form, they are enjoying a drink together and speaking of simple things.  They do not suspect a thing.”

Quinn took a long moment to just watch her friends,


her friends, taking in their features and committing them to memory. 

“Right then,” Captain nodded, typing quickly on the holo-screen before her.  “Take them in, we’ll make sure transport is ready to go.”

We’re sorry.

“I’m sorry,” the Quintessential whispered as They stood, the seat shifting to oh so helpfully guide Them up.  It was a matter of seconds to pull the two energy pistols from Their belt, one aimed at each of the fugitives They’d been sent to apprehend.  They could hear the sudden scraping of chairs over the floor, concerned reactions ranging from whispers to shouts. “By the authority of the SCOUG and the powers it holds, you both are under arrest for your crimes.  There is ample evidence against you, I advise that you come quietly.”

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