“Gotta say,” Allison said. “You look so much better with the skin.”
Yuri ran her fingers over the synthetic flesh. “You stated that you still loved me even without it,” Yuri said.
“I do,” Allison said. “I’d love you no matter what. But that doesn’t mean the whole ‘half a metal skull showing’ look is flattering for you.”
“I suppose I can not blame you,” Yuri said. “You would be considerably less attractive with sixty one percent of your skull showing as well.”
“I wouldn’t live if you could see that much of my skull,” Allison said. She hugged Yuri’s arm. “I’m just glad that you made it through all of that with your memories intact. I was afraid that I was gonna have to watch your emergency holo for a while there.”
“I have not recorded an emergency holo,” Yuri stated. “I have no property worth bequeathing unto anyone.”
“Oh Yuri, Yuri, my beautiful but sometimes clueless android,” Allison muttered, shaking her head. “An emergency holo isn’t about leaving someone your shit. There are wills for that. It’s about leaving people a nice little message about what they mean to you so that they have it to provide them some comfort and to remember you by.”
“I do not make my feelings for you or anyone else in the crew secret,” Yuri stated.
“you really have trouble with this, don’t you?” Allison asked. “Okay, let me put it like this. We humans don’t have your ability to perfectly recall everything. If you had died, which would suck but you came damn close, and you had a holo recorded then we all would have played it and taken home a personal recording of the part where you addressed us. Then, like thirty years from now, we could still open the file and hear your final message in your own words.”
“Is it not desirable to forget about someone who was close to you and you lost?” Yuri asked.
“Not at all!” Allison declared. “Yeah, it’s super painful to lose someone but it’s still worth remembering because of al the good times. That pain that comes with loss is also a reminder of how much someone enriched our lives.” Allison smiled at Yuri. “And you’ve certainly done that for mine. And I adamantly believe that such feelings are worth remembering.”
Yuri gently held Allison’s hand. “And you have done so for mine.” Yuri nodded. “I will record an emergency holo detailing my feelings for you and the rest of the crew.”
“Thank you,” Allison said.
Their moment was ruined by a voice coming in over the ship’s intercom. “All crew to the conference room, please.”
“Yuri,” Ophelia greeted. “New skin looks good.”
“Especially after seeing you go without for a week,” Lucy added, her yellow eyes opening briefly.
“You spent only three minutes and twenty seconds with your eyes open around me while I was without,” Yuri stated.
“Yes, but I knew what you looked like even with my eyes closed,” Lucy said.
“Down to business,” Lucy said. “We’ve been asked to travel to Nolillin eight. The akumillian colony that’s been settling there has inexplicably gone silent. No communications have been answered and several of their receiving devices have fallen silent. It’s our job to go there and find out why.”
“We’ll be landing the Cerberus in the colony’s port,” Lucy said. “Once there I’ll lead the investigation team. Grace will come along to check the equipment. Farah, you’ll be acting as her guard. Kat, Leon and I will examine the actual colony for signs of what happened. Paul will remain on standby with his medical equipment in case we find any injured colonists. Allison, you and Yuri can do whatever you like. We may have to call on you if there’s a major emergency, but it seems unlikely. Questions?”
“What is there on Nolillin eight that could cause a mass disappearance like this?” Grace asked.
“Nothing that we know of,” Lucy answered. “The planet’s survey records indicate that all native lifeforms were rather low on the sapience scale. No civilisations. Nothing that could or would group together to attack the colony.”
“Could it have been a deadly micro-organism?” Paul asked.
Lucy shook her head. “Unless one of the micro-organisms underwent an alarming and rapid evolution, they’re all a low threat level and largely neutralised by ordinary universal precautions that all of the colonists would have taken, just like we all did when we started travelling in space.”
“We’ll do a high level scan before you disembark to be sure,” Ophelia said. “If we detect anything that even has the potential to be dangerous, you’ll all go in full atmosphere suits. We’ll arrive on site by 1600 hours tomorrow, so be rested and ready to go by then. Dismissed.”