Opening CatH Post 6, Clear is distraught and frustrated. She, as usual, resorts to drink and solitude. When Hebedee comes to find her she rages at him and he leaves her be, alone again. She cries to herself, lamenting that she is now a commodity as much as any object. When she's showered and somewhat sober she goes to find Hebedee and apologise to him, however Note informs her that Hebedee and Green have gone to a strange spacecraft to find salvage.



Clear rose her arms in appreciation of the mellow, chilling music that blared in her room. She swayed back and forth, mostly from the music but partly from the alcohol. The bottle she had hold of knocked against a bookshelf. She didn't mind. She continued to sway. Her left fingers wiggled to the sound of a piano that played a haunting rhythm that played over the coral vocals and drum hip-hop beat. She drank from the bottle and found it was empty. Time to crack open a new one. She tossed the bottle onto the pile of empties and snatched up a new one. This bottle was pink. She snapped open the lid and sniffed its contents. It even smelt pink. She shrugged and raised the bottle to her lips.

There was a loud bang at the door.

She groaned.

Clear: "Go away. I'm not home."

Heb: "Now, c'mon darlin'. Don' be like that."

She doesn't reply. She just listened.

Heb: "Note says ya turned him off."

Clear: "Got tired of hearing him repeat the same rubbish over and over."

Heb: "We do need salvage, sugar."

Clear's temper rose like a boiling kettle.

Clear: "**** the salvage! **** Note! **** this ship! And **** YOU!!"

She throws the pink bottle at her door. It smashes apart, spraying pink alcoholic ooze all over the place. She didn't hate salvage. She didn't hate Note. She didn't hate the ship. And she certainly didn't hate Heb. Even if he is human. But she wants to hate them. Wants to shout at something. Heb doesn't say anything in response. In fact he doesn't say anything to her again and she realises he must have left her alone.

She sniffs.

Then she cries.

Unlike human tears, which are clear, Martian tears are actually blue in colour and they stain the bed sheet she curls up into. She'd been chased by complete strangers. Violent strangers. She had gone in there confident and self-assured. But now she understood. She was a commodity now. The humans had made her valuable. More valuable than any salvage she could ever find. She was unique. The last of her species. Feeling more alone than ever and entirely more vulnerable than she ever has, she continues to weep to herself. The music plays on and on.

Hours pass and she sobers up enough to crawl from her blue-stained bed. She pushes a button and the music quits. She sniffs again. This time she holds back the emotion and wipes her face. She's a mess. She's always a mess. This is the face of the last of the salmittons. And its a mess. She steps into the washroom and peels off her clothes. There is no water, just steam. The steam opens her pores, removes the dirt and cleans her hair. Without getting wet.

Moments later she is dressed in fresh clothes, a baggy tent-like garments of her people, and slowly pads down the corridor. She decided she ought to apologise to Heb in person. She feels sick, both from alcohol and from emotional distress. Tears constantly threatened to spill from her eyes but she had cried and cried herself dry. 

Suddenly a screen flashes to life.

Note: "We require salvage."

Clear: "Not now, Note. And I swear if you keep repeating that, I'm going to smash every screen I see between here and Heb's workstation."

Note: "We require salvage..."

Clear's fists clench.

Note: "Crewman Hebedee. Crewman Green. Departed the ship in search of salvage."

They unclench.

Clear: "What? Where'd they go?"

She rushes to the Command Centre and the screen displays another ship. The ship is elongated, like a pen... in space. It surface is silver and shimmering like it is surrounded by a cloud of sharp needles. Or glitter, but that seems too girlish of a description for such a phallic-shaped vessel. Despite its glittering and being penis-shaped, Clear does not like the looks of it. And no she isn't lesbian.

Clear: "Why, in the name of my ancestors, would they even think of going aboard that thing?"

Note: "We require salvage."

Clear: "But how..."

Note: "They were invited."


Britt's Commentary

"Here I wanted to show that this series is a drama and not a comedy, like the original series The Never-ending Story. I also wanted to show how Clear is broken inside, she's not as strong mentally as she usually acts. Drinking is one of her long-term vices that she'll often resort to or indulge in. I also wanted to show how it might feel to be reduced to object status, to be valued, literally, for what she is instead of who she is. On a small note I wanted to add a small alien quality to her with the blue-staining tears instead of our normal watery tears. This idea was partially inspired by the 'blood tears' of many vampire stories." - Britt the Writer

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