For the rest of her shift Mercy didn't do anything all too notable, just sitting and reading what looked like a book.

Maybe Celeste's strangeness was rubbing off on her. But then, as soon as I got the least bit comfortable, she'd throw me an icy glare and I'd resume my innocent expression, frozen to my seat.

I couldn't wait until she switched with someone else. Even Uriel I could stand more than her, for crying out loud! Any one of the other weirdos in the Verisat would affect me less than Mercy.

If there was one thing I could say for certain, it was that whoever chose her name was a supreme idiot. 

I'm not sure how the thought first came to me, but I decided that I would find some way to keep Mercy out of my hair. If blackmail and insults wouldn't work, I had only one route left.


If there was one thing I was good at, it was snitching.

When Mercy finally left the room and Sher came in instead, I put the drama on.

"You have to keep her away from me!" I hissed as soon as the door was shut.

Sher looked at me with a bothered face, sitting down and pulling out some tools from her long sleeves.

She started tinkering at some little circuit board after she pulled on her goggles, looking at me eventually with a sigh.

"What do you want?"

"Don't leave me with Mercy. She's crazy!" 

I gestured to my banged-up nose as proof.

"Done." she sighed, tightening something, "Now shut up. Don't even breathe."

For a second I held my breath, before I realized she was exaggerating.

"I told you not to breathe." she sighed, throwing a disc at me.

Not the mask, again! 

I put it in my mouth and braced myself as it hugged my face.

Sher turned away, hunched over the table and meticulously adjusting. She was quite the picture, robed in white and tapping away at a tiny piece of machinery. Every few seconds she would throw something away, muttering and then the next she would be searching madly for it at her ramshackle workstation. 

Eventually she pressed a button and a holoscreen projected into the air, grey and buzzing with feedback.

She shut it off and, muttering, continued her tinkering.

Eventually the door creaked open and Uriel gestured to the hall.

"Dinner will be served in a few minutes." he threw me a glance and shook his head, "Please take that off, Smith, you're a sinner not an alien."

I did as he said, and was promptly thrown a cross on a loop of black string.

"Wear it."

And then Uriel turned and left, having to duck his head to fit through the doorway.

Sher made her tools disappear into her sleeves and stood, gesturing for me to leave.

"After you. Don't say a word unless I let you."

We walked until we found the rest of the Verisat, all gathered behind one of the large doors leading into the hall. 

Hopefully their introduction wouldn't be as melodramatic as the last time. 

The End

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