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​​​​Nine

You wake to voices you don't recognise. It takes you a moment to realise they're coming from the comm, which you can't reach from your bed on the passenger seats. Unfastening the seat belts, you make your way to the console to answer the hail.

"This is Moerani Medina on Shuttle Six," you begin, hoping they don't ask what happened to the first five shuttles. You're not sure you want to know the answer to that. "Please repeat, uh…" You scan the sky for the ship hauling you in with their invisible tractor beam.

It takes you a moment to realise the ship is beneath you, and so huge it blocks out the stars. Only one Human ship is that big.

"Genesis," you finish.

"Shuttle Six, you are cleared for landing. Tractor beam will release you at ten, repeat ten, metres from the flight deck doors. Proceed under your own power in three…two…one."

You grab the controls just in time and manage to get the shuttle through the doors without scraping them, and settle in the only empty bay. There's ground crew already fastening your shuttle in place before you're done lowering the ramp. You could get used to this.

"Medina?"

You blink at a young woman in a uniform that doesn't seem to fit quite right.

"I'm Lieutenant Torny," she says. "Captain's orders are to escort you to the bridge. Follow me."

Probably a good thing you'd had that nap, you muse as you try to keep pace with her, or you'd have curled up in the first available corner and started snoring. You hope the captain doesn't plan on keeping you long, and that there's a bunk waiting with your name on it right after.

"So, where are you from?" Torny asks.

"Didn't you see me get out of that shuttle?" you ask in an attempt at a joke.

She shakes her head impatiently. "I mean on Earth. Where are you from? Where did you grow up?" She sounds more brusque than conversational, but maybe that's just because she's in a hurry.

You shrug and open your mouth to answer.

What do you tell her?

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