The Fifth Element

VIII. The Lounge Singer

Dylan had betrayed his secret for a chance at survival. His name was on everyone’s tongue when the Vorga had first learned they had been compromised. There wasn’t any particular reason, just bad luck. There was a lot of that going around.

His uncanny knack of observation allowed him to pick up on the little things. Bags under that one’s eyes— must have some “night” activities. Blood under fingernails— could be anything. Or it could be the sign of a murderer. Not enough to go on though. It was his acute observation that made him an asset and a target as the ship’s investigative understudy, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise when he was found dead one morning in his bunk. He had gone peacefully, but there were no clues as to who he had been investigating that night, or who had put him out to pasture.

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When fate had been passing out talents, Dylan had received something of a gift and a curse. Quiddity on the other hand, had the power to entertain. Most nights, you could hear Quiddity singing down in the server bay, often with a few crew members passing a bottle of rum around. It was a way to blow off steam, a chance to unwind after a long shift.

PHC was flushed from the warm liquor, while Abracadaniel and Magpie each took sips from the bottle. The company was nice, especially with everything that had transpired over the last week. Quiddity had been singing ancient classics like “Bring Me to Life” and Bowie’s timeless “Space Oddity”. He always liked how fitting it was to sing that one on the job.

The four joked, drank, and sang merrily. Everyone knew about the server bay and was welcome, but the crew wasn’t in its usual high spirits as of late. The open secret of ‘karaoke night’ proved to be his downfall, as during the second chorus of “Roxanne”, a shot rang out from the entrance to the room. Glass shattered. Magpie screamed.

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Quiddity had been shot in the chest with some kind of projectile. His uniform started to stain red, spreading across his chest as he whistled a quiet “Roxanne...”. His last breath.

IX. One Too Many Alien Secretions

Pyramid Head Crab was too hungover to realize what was going on when the crew turned on him. Maybe they thought he had been the one to kill Quiddity down in the server bay. The darkness of space was somewhat relaxing as they opened the airlock, knowing at least this throbbing headache was about to go away.